I Thought the Traumas Aged Me

I thought my traumas aged me.

All the childhood crap, the losing of all my pregnancies, the searing betrayals, the fights with death and disease, the ongoing fights with death and disease, and the psychological fallout from all of the above.

Yada, yada, yada.

But no: nothing ages a person like wearing her (or his) heart completely exposed and unprotected on the prosaic sleeve; aware of the devastating effects of every tiny particle of dust and vaporous breeze that touches and then and has no choice but to scar it.

At which point you’re trying to fly low behind the radar, attempting to allude Cosmic Scrutiny and trying hard not to attract more pain than is unsurvivable.

Multiplied by the number of children you have.

That’s the Crucible that turns Ordinary Sitizens into Old Souls.

The Kind of Love That Doesn’t Exist

You’re always there, you never let me down.

When I feel used and beaten and spit back out from the underbelly of a cockroach carcass, your presence comforts me.

It draws me out of my pain; up from down; in from out.

It elevates me and makes me better a better woman and a better human being. Just because you listen to me.

Because you held me when I shed all of those tears that I just needed to shed in front of a man. I always had my mother, but I never had my father. I’m comfortable opening up amongst women, but I’ve never had many platonic male friendships,

You knew that about me. And since you’d done your own therapy and self-reflection, you were the first man who brought emotional weight and awareness to the negotiation table.

I ended up winning the lottery when I met you. I knew it when you let me cry in your presence.

The first time we met, you let me cry.

It didn’t scare you off. You were man enough to handle it. You knew that women cry sometimes. You knew that little girls who were told to stop crying still cried on the inside.

And still needed to be comforted.

Even when they found themselves in a grown woman’s body. They still need to be comforted.

For what felt like the first time for me, you loved me first. You somehow knew I needed that. That for this final go-around, I needed that.

That I needed to be courted and treasured; that just once, I needed to feel like a princess.

I needed to be one person’s “one person.” One person’s Greatest Love; First Choice; Deepest Bond.

Since I was always a second wife, you stepped up and loved me with an Adult Love.

The way a Grown Man loves his Greatest Treasure.

Only your criteria for what defined a “treasure” (a “gem”) was different than most men’s criteria: you complimented me on my physical attributes, but your love wasn’t skin-deep. You had eyes that saw me at my best; at my most radiant.

You loved The Lover in me, The Fighter in me, The Child in me, The Woman in me, and The Mother in me to (you told me that my 3 pregnancies made me a mother and that one day, I would be reunited with my children).

You also loved the Daughter in me, the Friend in me, the Cheerleader (with official cheerleading outfit) in me, and the Soul Mate in me.

You said it didn’t matter that we were meeting late in life; that a few years of what we had cancelled out any prior misery,

You said we could still redeem and restore each other, even if we only have a few years.

Your love enhanced me rather than diminished me; it radiated rather than obscured me; grabbed me close rather than pushed me away.

I had already done most of my mourning, so I was free to love you from a better place. But your love and acceptance energized and catalyzed me in a way I deemed impossible – at least for me.

You did all this just by being there. And listening. When I woke you up in the middle because I had to talk to you, you didn’t mind.

Our love was also a laughter kind of love. We laughed so damned much! I don’t think I laughed that much in all of the preceding years combined.

You let me be all of the things I needed to be when I needed to be them.

You never shamed or judged me. You accepted me. Welcomed me. Desired me. Just me and Only me. You wanted No One But Me. Ever again.

You said I was more than enough. That even if we only had five years together, that would be enough.

That we could die happy and fulfilled.

I had been so lost. Not in a bad way; just in a “lost my bearings” sort of way. You were my Lighthouse. My Horizon Line.

Thank you for Loving Me First.

Because you did, I was able to love you from my purest, unfiltered place. From my reserves. I went to my wine cellar and brought out my best and most expensive Cabernet for you. I carved, scraped, toiled and mined to find my Ruby-Sapphire love for you.

Rubies for passion and sapphires for loyalty. All for you.

My purest, most extreme, and most terrifying (for me) private love, I gave to you. Loving you made me a better human being and a better spiritual being.

All because,

From your core:

You loved me first.

The Replacement Queen

My once “Lifetime Love” stole my whole identity,
And all the while, right there in front of me,
He dangled with pride his shiny new love
Who, he proclaimed, fit as snugly as a glove
On the hand of the fam’ly who now said I was too small.
After years of gifts aplenty, I had given them my all.
My fam’ly’s new adventures were no longer shared with me,
All access was cut off, and my presence sold as cheap.
I was barely out the door when the new Queen took my place
Taking on my name and usurping my old space.
With barren, empty pockets, I was banished from my home,
And told to hurry up so they could shine the new Queen’s Throne.
As this richer, clever Queen with great cunning took my place,
The nine years of my footprints were summarily erased.

2020, REPOST

Sexual Molestation at Your Local Neighborhood K-Mart

“I frigging love this❣️ I don’t know why we insist on only using “lovely” and “lavish” language in poetry. Poetry should reflect life, an observation you and only you are equipped to make. So if I didn’t already say it: I love it!”

This was the comment I made on the poem Your Design by Kait King. I’m linking it, not because I have any exposure to offer Kait [she’s a professional, and I’m not], but because I obviously like what she wrote. I can guarantee you that if you like anything I’ve written, you’ll feel the taut determination of justice in this piece. It’s also important for you to read it for us to move forward. So please, 30 seconds:

https://kaitkingthewriter.blog/2021/11/15/your-design/

Okay, you’ve read it. I want to link a poem I wrote about a murdered child after binge-watching true crime videos on YouTube. Please do me the honor of reading it. I believe it honors predated children by shining a light on their predators. And again, it’s necessary to proceed with this.

https://comewordplaywithme.com/2021/09/23/a-child-cries-unheard/

I know: it’s not a light read. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’m starting to realize that my more imaginative writings have a way of amplifying my inner voice. I don’t know if that requires elaboration (which is a bad sign at this point), but I’ll try:

The week I wrote that poem, my first-ever (of 2) based on lyrical patterns in songs I particularly like, I was thinking a lot about the time I was “sexually molested” (I don’t even know the term for it anymore) as a 6-year-old in a K-Mart in Atlanta, Georgia.

Those were different times and I don’t blame my mom that this happened. She didn’t even know about it until I told her years later. It was during the summer, and every time we went to the store, my mom had to “struggle” all five of us “summer siblings” into an impossibly-small car. Seriously, there were no Tahoes in the ‘70s! I don’t even know how we got to the store in the first place, I just…don’t. I only know that as soon as the car officially came to a stop, children and adults had dispersed and were on their ways to their own favorite dark corners of the store.

Of course, I was the child who made a bee-line for the Toy Section…because that’s where the Barbies were. And I adored Barbie, Skipper, PJ, Ken, and their “Malibu” cousins. All I wanted whenever I had a birthday was a Barbie. And if I didn’t have enough birthday money saved, I’d buy barbies clothes instead. I had a large vinyl box that held all of my barbies and all of their clothes and accessories. I had a mental inventory of every single item in that box.

So I didn’t see the old man near the toy section until I was next to him, separated by an aisle that was about 3 feet high (I’m not very good with height and depth perception). I just remember looking (up?) to see an old (because he’s bald, like my Grandaddy), nice (because again, he looks like my Grandaddy, and Grandaddy loves me) Man standing there.

Who looked DOWN at me and said Come Here, Little Girl.”

He must need my help, because Grandaddy only ever tells me to do something in that mean kind of way if it’s an emergency. So he must need my help. And you’re not supposed to not mind your parents or grandparents, especially when you and your mommy and sister used to live with your grandparents. Since your Daddy didn’t live with you anymore.

Now you only know that your new Daddy Mike says it’s very important to mind grownups, and you’re a good girl. Maybe your older sister Stephanie isn’t, but you are.

So you go to help, and the nice old man tells you he has an emergency (good thing you listened!). He describes his emergency as this:

“I have a “pin” stuck in my [this is one thing I don’t remember: the term he used for it] __________,” but it really didn’t matter because he was busy demonstrating with what he was holding in his hand.

He said he needed me to help get the pin out.

I remember I sucked in my breath very quickly, because immediately I knew I was seeing something that I shouldn’t see.

And there wasn’t a “pin” in it, either.

That man, positioned right in front of the toy section, proceeded to shake his grown man’s penis in front of my little girl’s face. Why? Because he got a thrill from trying to crush the Innocence out of a

Little.

Tiny.

Baby.

Girl.

Well, guess what, Cocksucker (because I’m sure if you’re not dead, you’re professionally sucking cock in prison right now):

You’re a sick pedo fuck and you and the rest of your kind with your disgusting shriveled cocks can rot in your own level of hell for ten eternities, alone and with no one to keep you company but each other.

P.S. You didn’t succeed. I refused to let you steal my Innocence.

P.P.S. I know you sick pervs get off on reading shit like this, but as does Kait’s character in Your Design, I want to expose you for the cowardly, crude, contaminated criminal you are.

For My Next Love

Is there room in my life for you?
Is there room in your life for me?
You know I don't come to you pristine, newly minted, or shiny and new.
I have felt hurt and caused hurt,
I have been broken by the random and the cruel - and by my own choices.
My body has been ravaged, charting atrocities visited on it by plague and progress.
Yet you love it - even desire it - all the same.
You don't love what I once was; you love me now, scars and all.
Of this much I am certain: where our lives intersect
There's a special space; a pocket of air, a sea of calm, a place of rest
That quickens the war-torn and restores its vigor.
You've fixed your circle on me:
Rounding out my sharp angles and smoothing the rough edges,
Like a balm against chafing.
Like sand against glass.
All without any intention of "fixing" me.
In answer to this gift, I will fight my baser self to love you back, with honor and devotion. I know myself; know this will surely be a struggle.
But I am committed to it.
And in the giving and receiving, I will be transformed into the beauty visible to your heart's eye.
Thank you. Bless you. I love you.

http://deeporshallowthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/07/for-my-new-husband.html

2014

Jennifer, The Multimedian

My Introductory Post on Instagram:

MY INTENTIONS HERE

I tend to censor myself on Facebook because, in my head, I’m certain “Everyone” thinks I’m having a nervous breakdown when I attempt to express myself creatively. Maybe it’s because my mother and I share 107 Facebook friends? Or because Family Members and many Friends Since 8th Grade are there?
It doesn’t really matter since the problem is my own.

To tackle it, about 3 months ago, I started expressing myself emotionally on a [Wordpress] blog and physically, through Karaoke, on my [YouTube] channel…of 20 wonderful followers❣️

Both have been anonymous enough for me to feel free to put words to (writing)- and then exorcise (publishing)- the vicious lies and hateful slurs I didn’t even realize I was telling myself. Since forever.

I’m incredibly grateful to these social media platforms for helping me to rediscover my voice. By providing me with therapeutic outlets for energy and conversations too long suppressed, they’ve served as my freedom fighters, rescuers, and liberators.

So please, Friends, here on Instagram (where I’m a total newbie): if you know me personally, know my family, or have known me a long time, don’t judge me by the words I write. Sharing openly and honestly is a life-preserving activity for me. If I don’t do it, my body makes cancer. And I really don’t want to die! For the first time in a long time, I want to stick around. I’m having so much fun, and I feel like I have cried enough. I’m getting really tired of these tears, my Friends❣️

Please extend me the benefit of the doubt and don’t make any assumptions from my words. Some of my angriest ones could be directed at a disease or a traumatic experience.

I want and need to be my most authentic self for what’s left of This Journey. Having gotten a taste of it, I want to actually BE Jennifer instead of play her on TV. I just can’t play the “role you never knew I was playing” anymore❣️

#socialmedia #selfexpression #honesty #transparency #authentic #authenticity #facebook #conversation #creativewriting #writerscommunity #writersofinstagram #womensupportingwomen #women #mentalhealth #breastcancer #traumahealing #vulnerability

What I’d Tell My 7-Year-Old Self

You are beautiful and worthy and perfect just as you are. Follow your heart and don’t lose your passion.
ALWAYS choose feeling over numbing, no matter how terrifying.

Don’t let your tears frighten you, Little One. They are a gift from God Himself.

These efforts will require more bravery than you can imagine or even comprehend right now.

SO LET’S MAKE A PACT:

YOU promise ME you’ll never give up, and I can promise YOU we’re going to be okay.

I’ve seen and lived our future: we survive, but it doesn’t turn out the way we planned.
I’m sorry about that.
I tried very hard, but I just wasn’t strong enough.
It’s called Failure.
Failure” happens when, as a Big Girl, you realize all of those happy, hopeful movies you made in your mind are never going to happen.
In that moment of Despair, when you notice your Dreams are slipping away,
LET THEM GO!!
Unfulfilled Dreams don’t hurt as much once you’ve learned to forget them.

Lastly, and this is what the dictionary calls a “cliché,”:

Life is SO short, Little One.

Every moment feels forever when you’re young.
Somewhere along the line, the pace picks up and Life starts playing in fast-forward.
Time attempts to escape our grasp, and we never have enough of it.
People often behave strangely when they recognize this truth.
I know us well enough by now that I can assure you we don’t deliberately treat others badly.
Instead, we’re more haunted by the risks and chances we DIDN’T take than by the poor choices we DID.

So please, I beg you:
STOP worrying about all the things you should, shouldn’t, could, couldn’t, can, can’t, will, won’t, or might do and…
JUST DO
❣️


PS. You’ll be DOing us both a huge existential favor
(try to remember to “Google” ‘existential” one day; I know you’ll find the topic interesting)

REPOST

With The Back of My Hand:

Or, “A Hannibal Kind of Lust”

—————————

I love you so much that

I’d like to Eat You Alive.

And then wipe your blood off of my mouth

with the back of my hand

that still has

chunks of your hair and scalp

threaded through my fingers.

And later,

after I burp up your digestive juices,

I’ll sleep more soundly

than I ever have before.

—————————

Photo credit: Catalin Pop. Thank you!

“This is My Story and I’m Sticking to It”

by Just Jennifer

I grew up a conflicted people-pleaser, swapped back and forth between parents. I learned that the only way to be “seen” was to be “good” – because my older sister had already taken the role of “bad” and got yelled at for it. I’ve always been highly adaptable like that. I learned that the best way to feel the kind of love that felt good I probably needed to get good grades or say something clever first.

I was treated like a princess with my mom during her rare inter-husband periods and dismissed as too-sensitive by my much-more-financially-comfortable father. There were multiple marriages on both sides with lots of joinings and new family members and disjoining of families and family members. At a very minimum, I’d describe my childhood with one word: Goodbye.

You understand that the earlier this happens, the greater the psychological impact, right? The process began to me when I was 18 months old.

In my life, I’ve been the Heroine, the Victim, the Golden Girl, the Failure, the Loser, the Tragic Figure, the Cautionary Tale, as well as both Goldilocks and Cinderella.

This once “one in a million” girl has finally dropped down to a “one in one” girl, because I’m happy to just be myself. For the very first time in my whole entire life.

I’m actually happy to be:

Just Jennifer.

For Debbie, My Therapist

August 2020

I get my head shrunk each week by woman named Debbie

She helps me to process my grief once I’m ready

Her empathy provides me with a safe place to land

I appreciate how she relates and always understands

Those thoughts that lead me down a path of despair

Always seem more powerful, out of reach in the air

We combat them with “mindfulness”, a tool I’ve just found

With it we lasso these fears to the ground

Once my pain’s in the room, we then can dissect

It from a distance that helps me reflect

On the hurts I have felt all through the years

And in the process I purge many tears

We use hip techniques like “E-M-D-R”

Other times she affirms me and treats me with warmth

I feel quite secure when I talk in her presence

She’s someone I trust with my thoughts most unpleasant

When we look back, we see choppy waters

The hurts from my past, both the grief and the bothers.

I know I have found the best-equipped guide

To help me to cope and bad thoughts exorcise

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez. Thank you, Priscilla!

I Don’t Think I Believe You

Journal, 11/07/21

You just couldn’t stick around, could you? You really expect me to believe that YOU hurt after WE left? After going on your own vacation and cheating on us? After I’d just been born?

Well I don’t. I don’t believe you.

I’m surprised you even bothered to take the picture in the first place since you didn’t keep a copy for yourself. Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever seeing a photo of me in your home or office.

What’s that? You say you never felt seen as child, either? You felt misunderstood, even though you were an ‘only child’? I don’t imagine you’d much like being lost in a shuffle.

So once again, I’m not sure I believe you.

But who am I to say?

Only your daughter. Your second child of four. The only one you never wanted in the first place [second place, third place, last place]; the “fix it baby” who didn’t fix a goddamned thing.

(I’m sorry I couldn’t make the font smaller… I know you don’t like it when I’m too “here.”)

What the Enneagram has Taught ME About ME

After binging on videos, audiobooks, and other digital media about All Things Enneagram, I’ve come to a few revelations about myself. And all I can say is: THANK GOD FOR MY TRAUMAS!!

Because:

1. I’m so charming and relatable and [was once so incredibly] accomplished

2. That I could easily become narcissistic, shallow and depraved, especially since I also

3. Look to others to provide me with my sense of self-worth, while still feeling like

4. A misunderstood and highly-individualized person, who can get tired of suppressing who I am for millions of years, to the extent that

5. If I become too unhealthy, I could turn into one of the most ruthless, depraved, and sadistic mass murderers the world has ever known.

Yeah, lite read.

So let’s all break out the bubbly that I’ve been so severely traumatized, my flesh and blood flayed and then bathed in acid, leaving only a skeletal husk to commemorate my existence.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Other Writers

I want to ask a question of The Writers here on WordPress. I don’t qualify as one because I only play one on TV, and even that’s just over on my own YouTube Channel with only 15 concrete [but who knows how many potential and therefore relentlessly harassed!] subscribers. (?)

So my question is this (and I already know you’re going to catch me in multiple “grammar fails” throughout the duration of this, so I’m just gonna save us both some time by going ahead and copping to it):

When YOU write, do you prefer the dark to the light, the pain to the joy, the HEAVY to the LIGHT-AS-A-FEATHER? Because it all comes down to just being human, doesn’t it?

And what’s our alternative to THAT, even with all the “slings and arrows” that come with said territory? We can’t become dolphins, after all. And honestly we probably wouldn’t want to: it’s terrible what happens to them when they get tangled up in nets and the next thing they know, they’re all cut up and part of your tunafish sandwich. So think about that for 1 or 2 seconds!

#startingtomaybeunderstandthis”kharma”biznessbutnotsureI’mthereyet

Anyway, I ask all of this of you because lately – and at a not-young age – I’ve noticed that ditching my feelings of shame and [reasonable? unreasonable?] guilt by writing about them on my blog has led to some strange feelings of nearly-unbearable lightness.

In fact, for my younger writers, there’s actually a movie about that very same topic from the early ‘90s featuring a SMOKING HOT 🔥 Daniel-Day Lewis. His name is Tomás in the movie, and he WILL try your patience, I can assure you!

I’ve never really understood what the movie’s about, though. And I’ve even read the book predating the movie by Milan Kundera. A couple of hundred of times!

I think it’s about LIFE getting so bad for the characters that they become “lite” as a way to cope. Or that everyone responds that way when they’re exposed to seemingly-unsurvivable suffering. Like I said: I honestly can’t remember! I was probably just looking at Daniel Day-Lewis, anyway. 🤷🏼‍♀️

So anyway, my point is I don’t know what Your Muse looks like. As for me and Mine, we kind of feel like we’ve [maybe? possibly? hopefully? please?] just finished 15-20 years of all that pain. And all that “seemingly-unsurvivable suffering”. All the time, or as I’m fond of saying: 25/8/9,162.

So I just kind of feel like it’s finally my time to be Lite in all Matters of Mind, Body, Heart, Soul, and Spirit.

And I’m having so much fun I can hardly stand it❣️ There’s something very inspirational in The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

Things to Always Remember

Journal from July, 2021

• I’m gifted and can’t lose my gifts.

• I’m physically beautiful, period.

• I’m worthy because I’m human – full stop.

• When I’m being hard on myself, I need to cease and desist and start describing myself as a friend. I must be NICE to her!

• Leaves on a Stream for 5-10 minutes.

• Breathe in colors and textures and life and breathe out rapacious, enveloping darkness.

• Engage by: how my body feels, what I hear around me, what I see around me. Focusing on the here and now and what’s in front of me.

• Practice mindfully doing things: I must do things I don’t like in a mindful way, do things I DO like in a mindful way (focus without “psychological smog” hijacking my mind and leeching my life of color), and practice doing everyday tasks mindfully.

Please don’t think I’m vain, you guys! I’d hate to think anyone thought that. This is my therapy I give to myself. I thought perhaps my notes from – and individual additions to – a few tricks I learned from Audible’s “Confidence Gap” book might make you feel better, too❣️

How To Heal a Broken Heart or Soul (I think):

Exercises to Be Kind to Yourself, Even if You Sometimes Hate Yourself

1. Be Nice to Jennifer: think of yourself as your friend. Would you be so harsh to your friends?

2. Assume the Best Intentions: as you imagine the possible negative intentions of others towards you, force yourself to generate just as many positive or benign intentions, choose the one that provides you with the most peace and actively begin the work of believing it. Imagine it in practice: what things would look like if you believed this. Imagine the actions you would take if that best intention were true. Plus, why not give the benefit of the doubt to others’ intentonas? You certainly offer it to them?

3. Don’t Second-Guess Your Choices: remember that every single decision you’ve made (all the way down to turning right instead of left in 1998) has carried you through Survival As Of Today. All other outcomes of all other choices are uncertain. So though you might be The Walking Wounded, you’re still in The Game. And that’s not nothing❣️

4. More to come as I figure them out!

Lavish & Ravish Me (2019)

Pour out your heart and with it do lavish
Your love onto me, and my body please ravish.

The strength of your presence, it beckons me close;
Banishing fear that leaves me exposed.

Yet with you my exposure is no cause for shame:
I feel full of beauty when you breathe my name.

The confidence you engender calls out to my heart,
And tells me it’s fine that I don’t want to part.

Instead, what I want is to grow a great union
Of mind, soul, and spirit in True Cosmic Fusion.

No longer searching for places to hide,
As all that I am warms to beckon you inside.

Again and Again and Again. Forever.

Lucifer Rising

I’m starting to get worried.

Most people have a mid-life crisis when they realize they’re eventually going to die. For me, it’s realizing I might actually live that’s throwing me for a loop.

It’s like I finally decided: WTH, I’m here, I might as well have some fun! But the way it’s showing up is very confusing and unfamiliar to me. Let me link my advocate video below for you, my beloved subscribers. Just watch this nice and sweet lady talk.

You can’t help but like her, right? She’s very “relatable” as they say. I hate her. She’s a judgmental bitch, but y’all still don’t believe me.

The problem is that the more and more I expose her, the darker what’s left seems to be getting.

Like I said, I think it’s about having some fun for a change, but I’m not sure that’s it. Instead, it might be about my questioning [and subsequent jettisoning] of the Rules I Have Lived by My Entire Life.

With expulsion of said rules, I’m no longer troubled by those pesky “trials of conscience” and “ethical dilemmas.”

No, I’m just sitting here with my dirty mind and the same determination I’ve used to stay alive the last 54 years. Which has not been insubstantial, let me assure you! We are talking about a Determination the likes of which you might not have witnessed up close and personal before.

So how did I go from an Ingenue to a Succubus in such a short period of time? How did I go from being so nice and sweet to wanting to mercilessly use you for my own selfish purposes and then break your shriveled little heart into a million tiny pieces? While I sit back and laugh hysterically…

Because let’s not forget: you didn’t lose any sleep over the tears you caused me.

Yet somehow it’s not pretty on ME, is it?

Me, a public figure and a viral social media sensation. Should I curb my recent appetites to maintain my reputation so that I can continue to advocate for other breast cancer survivors without a sullied path of discarded lovers to minimize my message?

Hell no! I told you I was no longer troubled by ethical dilemmas! That includes how many tears you’ll shed this time.

P.S. It’s 4 days later, and I haven’t been able to sleep since posting this. Mostly because I know I threatened to break the Cardinal and ONLY rule on Jennifurrville, and that’s to NEVER deliberately break another person’s heart. That’s akin to murder in my opinion, and I’m many things, but I’m not a murderer. Will you forgive me?

The Upcoming Anniversary of My Father’s Death

Journal 10/26/2021

The first anniversary of my father’s death is in 6 days, on 10/31/21.

It feels like all of the anger, shock, outrage, and righteous indignation have run their course. And now I just want to cry for a month straight.

About what we both missed as children. No one ever “mirrored” his emotions during his stoic West Texas childhood: how would he ever know to mirror mine?

How could he know that by silencing me, I never told anyone what I was truly feeling or what was truly happening?

It doesn’t change the fact that he left me alone to process a suite of emotions too complex for a small child to process on her own.

As a result, the arbiter of my worth was transferred from Me (worth self-motivated) to Whomever I Was With (worth tied to external approval).

My chaotic childhood turned me into a chameleon I often feared was dead and bone dry on the inside. I would now call that kind of person a “cypher.” Unfortunately, my emptiness isn’t easily filled. Some have tried, but none have succeeded (or stayed, for that matter). They never stay. I wish my emptiness was filled by a plain old human being, but it feels endless sometimes.

I already feel like I’ve cried enough. Isn’t 500+ months of crying enough?

Well, isn’t it?

For once, I honestly don’t know how I feel inside.

Torn? Conflicted? No.

Spent.

But still begging to be set free. Promising I’ll never tell. Pleading for my life.

Little Girl: You have nothing to say. Quit crying or I’ll give you something to cry about. And while we’re at it: you’re the most hopelessly unathletic AND the most self-centered person I’ve ever known. Look how you start every sentence with the word ‘I’” [insert ubiquitous eye roll of contempt].

You know what? I changed my mind.

YOU GO AHEAD AND STAY DEAD, Sweet Daddy.

Please just STAY IN HELL!

I beg you to leave me alone for a year – just a year!!

Please, could I have one last year?

It’s ALL I want left in this life: One Last Year of Freedom from Your Voice Before I Die.

I don’t give a DAMN about your money! All I want is for you to…

SHUT THE FUCK UP!!

I Don’t Have a Work Ethic

I don’t have a work ethic at all anymore. In fact, I often feel and behave like a 54-year-old adolescent.

But please remember this:

I came out of the womb responsible. I drove carpool 40 miles away as soon as I got my used car at 16, delivering two little girls to school safely and soundly every day.

I skipped 4th grade, graduated from college at 20 and graduate school at 24. I never missed a day of work unless I was violently ill.

After taking time off for frivolous things like trying to have a family and fighting cancer, nobody wanted to hire me anymore.

So remember this when you judge me (because you will):

I’m the big oak tree you had cut down 10 years ago because of a wicked case of oak blight.

Now you’re confounded by those strange green shoots growing out of the stump that’s me. The one with the roots that extend under your house?

Don’t write me off yet.