The Way

I heard today that the obstacle is the way.

So true, and yet, how difficult.

I know what I must do, and yet, I don’t.

I remain married to a man-child who drags me down in every way: he drains my finances with his selfish actions and poor decisions, he uses up my time as I endlessly provide for his needs and clean up after him, and he exhausts my energy with incessant fighting, judging me harshly at every opportunity.

Though likely no one would blame me if I left him, women always get shamed no matter what they do.

Now I have our daughter to consider.

My grandmother said that she stayed married for her children, then her grandchildren, and then felt too tired to do anything new.

That was her path.

My path has a long way to go still.

I see the pixie dust sprinkled amidst the pebbles and pine needles.

Opening myself to the unknown, I sparkle back.

A Tale of Two Titties

My tits used to be ornamental, fruit of my tree

Now they serve a purpose greater than me

I breastfeed my baby night and day

Engorged and heavy, my tits now sway

Leaky Lefty has an easy flow

Old Faithful, the right breast, is steady and slow

Faithful humbly carried the load when Lefty was out of commission due to a painful combination of mastitis and a blocked milk duct

My breasts lost their perkiness and youthful appeal long ago

Before the rise of services such as Only Fans, for which they could have raked in riches, I’m told

I’ve worked a lot harder for a lot lower wages

Putting aside all rampages, I bow my head in gratitude for my body, my baby, and my reproductive freedom

Freedom

From the top of the ferris wheel of young love

You came to exist within me

Though I will never see your face or hear your heart beat

I carry you with me still

I had lofty goals of starting a family while starting a career

With less than 9 months to solve big problems, reality set in

I was privileged enough to have a job but not privileged enough to have maternity leave

I searched desperately for arms to hold you while I worked, considered everyone I knew, and found no one because everybody else was working too.

I am grateful for my freedom to choose what I do with my body

I take responsibility for my abortion but I must acknowledge the role that US healthcare un-system played in my decision

Why is it that so many nations have figured out how to provide years of parental leave, afford their citizens healthcare as a human right, give freedom to live without fear of financially devastating medical bills, yet we cling so bitterly to our ‘freedom’ that it poisons us to death

Our freedom is an illusion- the uneven distribution of privilege in America imprisons us in different ways while blinding us to each other’s struggles

Dear one, I blame myself for your abbreviated and hidden existence- I chose an unforgiving career with militant training and rigid requirements that didn’t allow space for the expanding curves of my female body

I felt trapped between the walls I planted myself between, I searched but I didn’t find room for you

I prioritized service to others so much that I had nothing left to give to you

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Those words don’t come close to expressing the raw maternal emotions I feel for you, little one.

The air above my closed lips crushes me, impregnated with secrets

Even if I had managed to keep you, American freedoms might have killed you in your youth. We have racism and freedom for gun violence in this country, dear one, and you would have been born brown.

The lack of support for pregnant women and new mothers in the United States is barbaric.

Instead of taking away our constitutional right for abortion, give us a constitutional right for maternity leave.

Instead of the right to bear arms, I wish I had the right to hold you in my arms.

Good

I no longer strive to be labeled as ‘good’ by others

Like a trained fucking dog

I don’t want to act sweet
When I feel salty and bitter
I never wanted to fit into a box
Or stay between the lines
I don’t even belong indoors
I am a wild, free woman
If that means I’m not the angel you thought I was
Then light up the fire and brimstone
Too long have I carried the burden of trying to save the world while looking cute and put-together
Always satisfying other’s needs like plugging holes in a dam and I’m about to burst
I tremble and ache to let go of the many ropes which bind me
So many roles to play and expectations to meet
No wonder I have no time or energy left for me
I am the only person I can save, and my liberation doesn’t require fake smiles or insincere social pleasantries
To live my best life
I must aspire to be more than simply good
I must liberate myself from the ribbon I am wrapped up in
Rip off the docile doll’s dress and burn it,
Warming my hands and illuminating my night
I must feel my body and ride the waves of my emotions with shuddering ecstasy
You want me to be good
But I want to be better

Take it Back

I feel the knots you’ve tied within me

Stains on my energy
Pains in my body
I observe the damage
Tension, nausea, sensation of suffocation
Insomnia, dizziness, diarrheal defecation
You made me feel powerless for too damn long
You beat me up but my spirit is strong
This shit isn’t mine
This was never mine
This is yours
Take it back
Take it all the fuck back
The trauma and the drama
The hurt and the dirt
Keep your hands and your mind out of my skirt
Don’t tell me what to do
Your mind games were never fun for me
Were they fun for you?
You can win the prize, I offer it freely to you
I won’t play anymore
Your ego will have to deal with the fact that I’m letting my sanity heal
I’m learning to put myself first
Through radical acts of self care to restore my happiness and health
Your energy is yours
Take it back

Labor Pains

Give birth to your best self, America

Painful, messy, terrifying, raw
The most beautiful transformation you’ll ever see
America, you’ve been gestating too long to stop now
Humanity is bursting from your loins, America
Born of the brutal rape of racism
Blood spills on the ground
Fertilizing the soil from which you spring forth
You cannot go back to the way you were, America
You can only keep pushing forward
I am learning to listen to my heart, America
Though the change may not be obvious to you yet
Subtle shifts below the surface move mountains, America
I change my thoughts to change my life
Though the echoes of your trauma are deafening
Though the jaws of your mental imprisonment clamp down hard around me
I no longer strive to be your wounded warrior
I am your healed child, here to show you how to heal yourself
Even though you broke my heart so early and often that you left me without a sense of self
Yet my heart kept on beating
And loving
That is how you heal
Keep on loving
Love yourself, love your life, love your fellow beings and the whole Earth as yourself
Forgive yourself and others
Be kind to all, for we are children on a difficult journey that wouldn’t be so damn difficult if we were kind to each other
Pay it forward and see what happens
Love and kindness and forgiveness is the way
America is having labor pains today
I welcome your birth America, your infinite potential
You suffered so much hate that you became a hater but it is finally time to love, America

Love Languages

If you want to show me that you care about me

Be gentle

Be non-judgmental

Don’t bully me or pressure me, manipulate me or coerce me

Don’t try to imprint your paranoid delusions on my mind

Don’t ever tell me what to do, when, or with whom

Control is not my love language

My love language is freedom

Acceptance

Shining light in darkness

Healing and growth

Leaning through the veil of illusion

Not argumentative protrusion into the autonomy of others

You asked me if you were ‘other people’ to me

Absurdly

Like a child wailing from ego injury, I reassured you that you were special, that you are important to me. You are, but for different reasons than you think you are.

Though we are separate, we are also not separate

We are one spirit

You have forgotten

May you remember

Until then, you babble on

Rambling brook

Carrying messages in bottles

Smashing against the rocks of my enlightenment

If you want to win the game, you have to play

To play, you must be playful

Stop making everything so serious, so grave

Stop pretending that you care about oppressed people

As you actively oppress me

You shout for the voiceless, marching with your fist in the air

As you silence my voice without a care

If you care about me, let me be myself, let me live my life

You have your own life to live, your own love language of anger and jealousy

To communicate, we must learn each other’s languages

I think I’m learning your language of anger when I want to shout at you, ‘Leave me alone, I’ve always wanted you out of my life, I’ve had enough of your abuse’.

I refuse to be controlling and jealous like you.

Perhaps you will learn my language and say, ‘I accept you as you are without judgment, I love you unconditionally, I support you as you follow your heart’

Vanish

You struggle to breathe

Your lungs groan under the weight of a million cigarettes
Your body will not heal, nor will you allow it to
You prefer to smoke tobacco than to breathe, you tell me
Your liver is hardened
Fluid builds up in your legs, abdomen and lungs
You bleed into your GI tract
Again and again
Requiring dozens of blood transfusions
Until when?
You prefer to drink than to live, you tell me
Your blood harbors viruses and bacteria
Years of IV drug abuse riddle your veins
My eyes draw lines between the scars on your skin
And spell out your pain
Your body is massively obese
You’ve had just desserts
Your blood is dangerously sweet
The food on the menu is not nourishing
With vibrant foods, we could all be flourishing
Instead we are toxic
Now you’re turning hypoxic
Your own body gets in the way of breathing
Rather than a vehicle, your body is your handicap
Too much mass to move
Stumbling, you tumble into my view
Bullet wounds have torn right through you
Senseless violence, what kind of freedom is this?
We reserve the right to die at the hands of another at any time
I want to take all the suffering I see
Concentrate that energy inside me
And use it to wipe away cigarettes and liquor stores,
Smash opioids off the face of the planet, and while I’m at it
Take my magic wand and with a swish banish sugar from our lips
Eliminate weapons with one wish
I’ll water that seed of hope with the tears of those who know, so it will grow
And we shall be sheltered in our old age by the tree planted in our youth
We’ve suffered enough to learn how to thrive in our world- at least we’ve discovered what not to do.
I have a dream that tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, processed foods, and guns will vanish.
I realize that this is unlikely to happen for a while, as there are profits to be made and suffering to be had.
Taking into account the billions of healthcare dollars it costs to deal with lung disease, liver disease, drug addiction, diabetes and gun violence, let alone the immeasurable cost of lost lives and poor health, how can we afford to carry on the way we have been?
If a substance is harmful, let it vanish.
Why hold on to that which is no longer serving us?
We can do anything with our infinite human potential.
We alone can change our lives and leave the world better than we found it.
Let’s do what we can before we vanish
Do something today
There is no guide book
Vote with your dollars, your actions, your thoughts
Breathing in gratitude, I thank you

Poetry

Poetry won’t stop leaking out of me
My hands get a tingle
My mind sings a jingle
I search for paper on which to scratch
Anything within reach
Backs of receipts, napkins, old scraps
All other activity falls to the wayside
Until I see the poem before my eyes

I write about the unspoken suffering of my life
Of being brutally silenced
Since infancy I was trained not to cry when I wanted to cry
My feelings were an inconvenience to those by my side
I came to understand that my needs were not important enough to be expressed, and if I made the mistake of even showing how I felt through my face or my body, such truth was beaten out of me by those closest to me
Far worse than the violence was the mental abuse
and even worse than the mental abuse was the neglect
Sometimes I felt invisible and other times I felt like I wasn’t invisible enough
I wished that I could fly away
The shouting was so loud, where could I hide?
I locked my door but they always burst inside
No boundaries
I cried in secret silence everyday
I learned that I existed to be what others wanted me to be
I delivered what was required
Though inside me raged a fire
The primordial desire
To be free
I’d give anything to live just for me

When I became grown, I left home
But my well-trained brain followed me wherever I roamed
Autonomy is foreign to me
I met many lovers but they always chose me
Because I pleased them easily
I never returned the favor
Of serving up the criticism they so abundantly showered upon me

Joyfully, I recently discovered that the suffering of my life has a name;                                                            Narcissistic Abuse
There are healthier ways to love, ladies and gentlemen
I want more harmony and less harm done to me
I am trying to create a life that I want to live,
One where I give from my heart instead of feeling like a marionette jerked around by the malicious hands of fear

I want to tell others how I feel and what I am thinking
Speak from my heart
Release my throat chakra
Weave a tapestry with the golden thread of my truth
Relentlessly I work at this nearly impossible task
Like a seed below the soil, the only place I have to grow is toward the sun
But healing my mind feels like building a castle on quicksand
My efforts collapse, fall and fail every day

I must remember to give myself compassion, the way I try to give my abusers compassion
I have succeeded before in speaking my mind
With every break-up, no matter how clumsy my wording or how long it took me to work up the courage
I want to tell my exes that when I hurt them by finally breaking up with them, it was because I was trying to reclaim my life and honor both of us
God, have I suffered at the hands of men
When they hurt me, it was because they were trying to get a rise out of me, or hurt me out of spite
I want to tell them: Get a life, you jerks

May they stop terrorizing me and find inner peace swiftly

I feel awful about the things I’ve done that I didn’t want to do
Especially the things I’ve done with men
The sex was violent, violating, painful and humiliating
If only I could forget it, but even my body remembers
I think I will always see men as perpetrators, even though not all of them are
An overwhelming amount of the ones I’ve known are
I struggle to shake them off me when they’re ready to rape me yet they’re nowhere to be found when I’m ready to abort our unplanned pregnancies
That excruciating physical and emotional pain is just for me

The bloody landscape of no man’s land

I understand that as an adult survivor of child abuse, I attract abusers
I’m developing a repellant
By noticing patterns and breaking them
Prevent problems before they start
The best defense is a good offense

I still worry
Worry that my heart will always feel broken
Worry that the countless times I was raped will catch up with me in the form of STDs or infertility
I worry that I will always live in fear
I worry that I will always worry
I worry that I will feel sad and mad all my life
I worry that I will continue to suffer though I shouldn’t worry about that because suffering is guaranteed and worrying will do no good
Life is pain
That’s the rule of the game
I can still win the game of life even though I was born with disadvantages, for my advantages are greater still
I have hope and heart
I’m writing a happy ending to my story
I am writing with a golden pen of glory
I am writing unstoppable poetry
Until victory, always

Thank you.

Bra-less and Lawless

 

Bra-less and lawless
That’s what I am
I solved the problem of my poverty creatively
That’s code-speak for ‘illegally’

Because prostitution
Isn’t recognized by the institution
Ironically, it’s the same men who rule the world
Who pay money to have sex with girls

I’ve jerked off CEOs of international companies
Wildly successful ones that you might support everyday
In our inevitable, consumeristic way                                                                                           Like common street pimps, the government and corporate thugs take the money they want, leaving the rest of us just enough to stay alive so that we keep making them rich off our blood, sweat and tears all the years of our lives                                                           We break our backs while their bank accounts grow fat collecting tax

Sometimes I break the law                                                                                                        When I was a sex-worker, I limboed around the law by making a living without paying taxes on my wages, unless you count the immeasurable tax of physical and psychological trauma, which like a war within me rages

Sex work was an avenue to do what I could to improve my reality
With a heart of gold: I did it without hurting others, young or old
I even donated some of my hard-won earnings to charity
Robin Hood is a hero to me

Sometimes I let it all hang out and go bra-less
I am a woman in a man’s world (though we’re fighting for our human rights!)
Taking my bra off feels like exhaling, ‘Yes I am!’

Letting my breasts fall forward to where they naturally lay
Feels like the first time I did sex work and got paid
I could finally afford to buy food instead of scavenging through the trash,                         no more would I dine on the stale leftovers of rats
All I had to do was survive an hour behind closed doors with an asshole rapist                   it was like any other day, except that I got paid a livable wage

Poverty feels like an uncomfortable bra
That is two sizes too small
It cuts into you and suffocates you
Until there is only one thing left to do, if you can
Break free

I’m not saying that everyone with financial difficulty should find employment through illegal activity, although that seems to be the only option at times
I’m saying that feeling comfortable
In your body, your mind and your life
Is something worth striving for
I hope you feel comfortable in some way every day

Freeing myself from poverty was not quick or easy,                                                      Although the lucrativeness of sex work at first made me believe it would be.      Sustainable change takes time                                                                                                         In the long run, it took a lot of hard, unpaid effort educating myself to reach a place of true comfort; for austere years I lived without many things I wanted because most of all, I wanted to be free                                                                                                                                I wouldn’t change my journey for anything                                                                                    I am grateful for all that I learned, the profound ways that I healed spiritually and am healing still, the people I met, the goals I accomplished, the places I’ve lived and…

how good it feels to finally come home to myself, to my heart and my body                     The journey isn’t over, but I know that whatever the future brings, I am ready

…and for the moment, bra-less