Friday, November 30, 2018

555 - iiii

You are the inkling, seconds before I wake.

And my first cogent thought.

We've had profound conversations.

And laughed at juvenile jokes.

But you and I have never spoken.


I light up at the memory of your smile.

A smile I've never actually seen.


You're my best friend.

My lover.

The only one who understands.

Because you've been there.

Even though you've never been here.


You're the one I always want to call.

But I don't have your number.


The one to share my joys, my pain.

You have your face.

And your name.

But I have neither.


If I ever saw you on the street, I'd walk on by.

Because what is left to say?

Despite days, weeks, years of fidelity.

I haven't said one word.


You don't know my name.

You don't deify my face.

My fondest memories are of you.

With you.

But I've never been with you.

If you don't count this morning.

And last night.

And every time that I'm alone in the car

and we're listening to music -

sometimes, some of it's yours.


That's when I'm reminded

I am alone

But not in my devotion.

There are a million mes

singing along

and only one of you.

Proprietary perhaps, my version.

But your face - your name - belongs to many.


If I ever saw you on the street, I'd walk on by.

But I know I'll

Call you later?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

June 11

There's been a lot of talk lately about how folks who are suicidal need to "reach out."

And to this I say - to WHOM exactly?

Because I've told countless people that I don't think I can continue to make it through the day like this... and yet, my days are empty. There is no follow up. No help from the people I've told. No visits. No phone calls. No "just checking in."

Instead there is silence.

Silence from friends and family who don't want to hear it. Who don't want to deal with it. Friends who disappear because you're no fun anymore or because seeing you sick makes them "uncomfortable".

So who exactly am I supposed to be calling? Those of us who aren't on magnificent terms with our families - on whom are we supposed to rely?

The suicide hotline?

Called them twice. Was placed on more than a 20 minute hold. Twice. No help to be had there.

Get a therapist, you say?


With what $?

And, if $ isn't an issue, do you know how much WORK it is to find a compatible therapist? MOST DEPRESSED PEOPLE DON'T EVEN FEEL UP TO BRUSHING THEIR TEETH, MUCH LESS SCOURING THE INTERNET FOR A THERAPIST THAT ACTUALLY TAKES THEIR INSURANCE, and then booking an appointment, keeping that appointment, sticking with it long enough to see if this person is the proper fit, only to learn they're not and start all over again...

So yes, by all means, enlighten me.

Tell me more about how ending it all isn't the answer.

Tell me more about how you don't understand why people turn to drugs, or that happiness is a choice, or that I should "just find a therapist/get on antidepressants" and be magically better.

Tell me whatever you like in a meme, but never come see me. Never spend time with me. Never call to check on me.

Never let me cry with you. Never bring food, or offer to help clean the house. Never go with me to one of my many dr appts. Never consider my dietary restrictions when it comes to having me over. Memes are easy. CARING - ACTUALLY CARING - IS HARD. It's work. And your absence shows me I'm not worth the work to you.

So if I'm not worth it to you, and I'm not worth it to me, what's left?

I've considered deleting this. Numerous times. Because here's another thing about depressed people - we don't want to be a burden. We know how unfun we are now. We don't want to be any more of a burden. So we try to smile FOR YOU. We act fake FOR YOU.

I don't even know what I am trying to say anymore. I haven't showered today, brushed my teeth today, left the couch today. Because what's the point? I've done those things every day for 3 years and yet my vision has never gotten better, my hearing remains damaged, the tinnitus loud, my sense of taste and smell is gone, I fight body-wide pain every day. Despite it being 3 years, I get new and worsening symptoms every 6 months or so. I fight knowing this was DONE TO ME and nothing can undo it - that I've gotten worse, not better, over time. That this deadly "medicine" combo robbed me of my eyes, my ears, my sleep, my properly functioning body, my ability to have children, and my faith - yes my faith is completely gone.

I am alive today because I love Scott Miller and can't leave him because it would hurt him.

That's it. That's all.

And maybe THAT's what I am trying to say.

That one person CAN make a difference.

But that person has to BE THERE. Has to ACTUALLY CARE on more than a surface level. Has to put in the EFFORT.

The rest of this means fuck all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018



The holidays.

That special time of year when people who despise each other but share the misfortune of being blood relatives unite under one roof to seethe with bitterness under the guise of Thanksgiving.

How appropriate that a holiday celebrating the coming together of pilgrims and "Indians" - a relationship that would later devolve to mass genocide - should be reenacted 'round our collective dinner tables each year.

What sadist came up with this?

I know I'm not the only one dreading the insensitive comments about politics, religion, life choices. I'm the 4 millionth person this week to point out that "the holidays" can be a difficult time for humans with actual souls.

But I'll try a more original tack here and say something that's really on my mind 24/7, 365:


If the facial resemblance wasn't undeniable, I'd swear I had been switched at birth - that my liberal, Jewish, artistic, sensitive, neurotic birth parents who were forced to raise someone else's conservative, evangelical, hardass, Trumpian child are equally confused about it.

Because, for me, the differences between me and my kin go deeper than politics, religion, life choices.

Indeed, those are just outward manifestations of a deeper, inner truth: that - hot temper and dark sense of humor aside - I am literally nothing at all like my birth family, and my inherent difference has been a problem since I emerged from the womb.

A problem for me anyway.

See, while my biological family repeatedly chafes me like an ill-fitting pair of pants (and I'm certain I've caused them a rash or two), they have the good fortune of not giving a fuck about me most days, so those rashes I do inflict have adequate time to heal.

(Overly) sensitive soul that I am, I ne'er seem to take the pants off...opting instead to try to "make them fit," and hurting myself repeatedly - and more - in the process.

You can guess how that's working out for me.

I chafe them. They scar me.

Half the time I cannot decide if I actually love or loathe these people.

But what I do know for sure is that I give them my power.

And that's actually not their fault; it's mine.

My asshole brothers shouldn't be able to say something that ruins my day/week/year.

But they can. And they do.

And, generally speaking, I don't think it bothers them at all.

They haven't the time or inclination to waste on my feelings.

The same can be said of my step siblings and folks.

Maybe that's a healthier way to live - who knows? I certainly don't.

Many's the time I thought: that's it. The straw that broke the camel. I'm washing my hands of the lot of them!

It's the only solution I've come up with to address the truth: that so broken am I - so singed my armor - that the sting of their words and actions repeatedly pierce.

The battle is lost.

Forego the war.

Wanna stop hurting? Avoid those that hurt you.

But the knowledge that even my absence wouldn't effect them just twists the knife.

I've got bookshelves of books on codependence, letting go, boundaries. I've spoken to so many therapists I've lost count.

None of it stems the dread that builds on the car ride to every family function (those to which I am invited anyway).

Thanksgiving's in a few days, and the internal pressure is already mounting.

I'll lose sleep and appetite over the next few days.

And I have no one to blame for that but myself.

I mean - they're not sitting around worrying what abominable thing someone's gonna say or do to them over the course of dinner.

How fortunate for them.

I wish I could be so self-satisfied.

But I'm not.

And whether that's a consequence of my upbringing or merely a manifestation of my nature, I dunno.

All I know is that it hurts.

And that I will be blamed for hurting. I will be told - if my feelings are acknowledged at all - to "man up," something about bootstraps and your-life-is-your-own and all that. That they can't hurt me if I don't let them. That my pain is therefore not their fault for being shitty, but my fault for being so sensitive.

That is the way of things.

For they are the pilgrims, and I am an Indian.

Welcomed at the table today, perhaps, but an obstacle tomorrow.

I dream of walking away, but like as not, I'll be forced out.

Walking my own Trail of Tears.

Because my presence is undesirable, and they need the space to form their own, more perfect nation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Oh. God. Could it be the weather?

"Oh. God. Could it be the weather?

Oh. God. Why am I here?" - Tori Amos


So the past week or so, Atlanta's been rainy and cold, which means I've been housebound and contemplative.

Ask anyone who knows me - that's a bad combination.

Too much time to think (and too little motivation to move), inevitably leads to toxic levels of introspection, the culmination of which is crippling Amazon debt, complete dissatisfaction with my life choices, and the creation of imaginary friends.

Yes, you read that correctly.

I am a grown-ass woman with imaginary friends.

Well, one at the moment anyway.

As far back as I can recall, I've retreated to imagination when the world showed itself to be just too small and banal for my liking.

Which was pretty much always.

While other kids loved other kids, I loved being alone, cerebrally crafting stories about imaginary kids that were cooler, smarter, and had more superpowers than the dummies in my class.

Why would I hang out with second grade Cindy who ate glue off her fingers, when I could rollerblade in my cul-de-sac with mature, sophisticated fourth grade Samantha who I totally made up but who was rad & shared her Beastie Boys tapes (Yes, TAPES!) with me & introduced me to fourth grade boys who were allowed to ride their bikes anywhere in the neighborhood without asking?

Sorry Cindy.

You and your Elmer's can go hang with the losers. I'll be over here, feeling superior and talking to myself...

Years passed, but I never shook the habit of imagining myself somewhere else with someone else.

I buried myself in books about remarkable people, situations, and worlds, or, if the person him/herself was not remarkable (Lame!) at least they had remarkable things happen to them.

At night, I would lie awake for hours, crafting scenarios wherein I met fascinating (and often famous) people, and having enviable adventures. From these adventures came the fantasies. The desires. Both of who I wanted to be and of who I wanted to bone.

Handsome men of diverse backgrounds who could take me places and show me things that my little town in suburban Georgia hadn't offered.

Men who always knew what I wanted.

Men who always delivered.


Cindy went on to have real boyfriends, have real pregnancy scares, and try real drugs.

And I continued to think I was oh-so-much smarter than Cindy.

But my externally safe yet internally tumultuous life choices were wreaking their own havoc: I never learned to be satisfied.

Friends and family were a drag. Boyfriends didn't measure up. And, perhaps most crushingly, I didn't measure up either.

I'd created and honed an impossible life goal (or goal life?) and no amount of hard work, study, talent, or luck was going to be able to deliver what I was really looking for: escape.

Endless excitement and discovery.

The emotional equivalent of hardcore drugs: escape from the white-picket-fence, 401K steady job, blase husband, 2.5 kids, church-on-Sunday life I'd been told since ever that I was supposed to want.

That I didn't - that I don't - has caused me untold pain.

It's also why I've befriended people across countless spectrums. Why anyone trying to assess my dating "type" would throw their hands up in frustration. Why I left the suburbs for the city. Why I rejected Christianity for Judaism. Why I abandoned conservativism for liberalism.

So thirsty was I for something other or else.

So thirsty do I remain.

For a stretch there (late 20s - early 30s), I abandoned the fantasies and just went out and lived.

Instead of imagining things - and living within nice, suburban girl boundaries - I was just doing whatever the fuck I wanted.

And it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

But I felt alive.

Since settling down - and getting sick - I've felt that longing reemerge: subtle at first, but growing stronger over time.

I fight it back - with long walks or activities. Throwing myself out of planes or trying weird delicacies on the menu. Flipping the bathroom...

But lately, I've been spending a lot of time with an imaginary friend.

He understands me.

He challenges me.

He makes me laugh.

He knows just how to approach to touch me.

And why wouldn't he?

He IS me.

The me I want to be...

"Look I'm standing naked before you

Don't you want more than my sex?

I can scream as loud as your last one

But I can't claim innocence.

Oh. God. Could it be the weather? Oh. God. Why am I here?...

Hand me my leather."

Thursday, November 1, 2018


I don't know why you love me.

But I know I don't deserve it.

I prove this to you every day.

But still you say I'm worth it.

I don't know why you love me.

But I know that I abuse it.

I miss the forest for the trees.

But still you disabuse it.

I don't know why you love me.

But I know I can't undo it.

I try to set you free of me.

But still you're sticking to it.

I don't know why you love me.

But I know that I am lucky.

I live in your grace each day.

But still you never give way.

I don't know why you love me.

But I know that you do.