Orderly

There was seemingly so much order in the house

I didn’t hear the echoes of screams or shouts
Silence deafened the din
The ticking clock was the only sound within
All those books lined up stoically on shelves
Couldn’t hold back his chaos from hell
Every room was clean and neat
Her living nightmare uncontained by crisp white sheets
Grandma, you lived with abuse all those years
Warrior-strong, I never saw your tears
Grandpa’s explosive anger was unjustified
You finally have peace now that he died
But you can’t turn back time
You can’t take back years of your life
From your struggle, I have learned
I depend on no man for what I earn
I prioritize how I feel inside
Over how others perceive my life
Spring cleaning starts in my mind
My relationships are full of ease, not strife
I know you had your reasons
And I thank you for your sacrifice
I honor you by living my best life

Zen and the Art of Driving

I tend to drive vehicles the way I live my life- reckless when I was a young sex worker (professional rape victim), and responsibly now as a woman with a career, committed to a life-partner with long-term goals.

When I was a child I felt nauseous during car rides. I vomited into faded plastic containers which always traveled with me.
As a teen I drove illegally, borrowing my classmate’s broke-down rust bucket of a car. In exchange he took much more from me.
On the brink of adulthood I got ticketed by a cop for not stopping at a stop sign ‘long enough’. I was driving because a friend asked me to take them to the corner store, and I said yes. I always say fucking yes, even when it puts my life in danger. I was rushing on the drive because I was freshly heartbroken, and wanted to hurry back to the party to be near the guy I love even now, even though I’d already lost him.
Every time I’ve gotten pulled over or in an accident, it was with other people in the car. My extreme empath tendencies left me lost in their desires- to drive faster, longer, drive when I felt exhausted or didn’t want to, ignoring my needs over their wants.
What I failed to realize was that I was the one who was driving, not my ragtag friends edging me on. Like a puppet, I felt pushed and pulled, never free to be me, always somebody else’s words coming out of my mouth. Far too many yes’s. Everyday, the struggle continues.
I am grateful for the accident, because it made me a safer driver, though I could do without the PTSD dreams of not having control on the road. Perhaps post-traumatic stress is not a disorder, but a natural reaction to trauma.
I still feel nervous around others: my social anxiety is always ready to rev its engine, and makes me a more skittish driver when I have others in the car with me, but everyday I practice presence, breathing, and empath empowerment.
I am in better control of my life now than I have ever been before, and I am a safer driver on the road.
Driving through patches of panic, I find my breath, and arrive safely home to the present.

Rain Dance

I see gray sky outside my window
Heavy on my eyes and in my heart
I want to stay hidden away
Don’t want to get rained on today
Stubbornly, the world outside waits for me

I can’t stay inside forever
I can’t avoid the ever-changing weather
After futile resistance, I accept that I will get wet
As I have countless times before, even when I felt like I was drowning, I will have nothing else to do but breathe through it
Until I breathe myself dry

There are tears yet to cry
I will get wet again
And it is ok to get wet
It is ok to remind myself that it is ok to get wet
Water is life

Every day I am thrown into the river
Swirled and tumbled against rocks
Yet I survive
And come out of it better yet

Afraid as I am of getting wet, I’ve gotten wet many times before,
Downright drenched
Soaked to the bone and far from home
Yet I was all right
I’ve made it through even the stormiest of nights
Inside me burns an eternal light
I have nothing to fear
The rain of life only brings personal transformation near
I am grateful for inner growth, painful as it can be
I am grateful for the rich soil beneath me
Formed from the detritus of my life’s trauma
From which I burst forth, a green herb
Holding infinite potential
I am earth and rain and sunlight transformed
I am young and sweet and nourishing
I am life

I see the gray clouds outside my window
And know that beyond them, the sun is shining through the brilliant blue
I see the gray day
And rise to meet it
Welcoming all that comes my way
So go ahead, rain down on me
I can handle even hail, snow and sleet
I’m keeping the faith
For my mind is learning all the time
That I can dance anywhere
Today my dance beckons the heavy clouds
Let it rain

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