Growth

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2014 was a big year for me.

i did a lot for myself.

towards the end, though, i lost my grip.

i made a big move a year ago which landed me in new york city.

i left home and i made an attempt at the real world.

eventually it was clear that new york was all wrong for me.

i learned a lot but i learned more about myself than anything else

i focused on myself and doing what i wanted for myself.

this year i want to focus on what i want to do for my future.

i hope to live in the present while gazing forward.

i hope to do so without expectation, but rather hope.

A New Character: Allison Iceland

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I remember when I was a little girl.

There isn’t much I do remember but I remember when I was small and my mother would sit silently, reading one of her giant, beautiful books. She was so peaceful when she was reading.

She was an icy shade of pale ivory. Her dark brown hair was mostly limp and lifeless. Her yellow/green eyes scanned the pages of her books for hours each day. Remembering her is almost like looking at photographs of myself in the future. I can’t remember the sound of her voice, or the scent of her breath, but I remember the way she would alter her voice as she read to me, engaging in the story more than anything else. I remember the comfort I felt when she would wrap me up in the security of our adventures.

I remember feeling peaceful with her.

My mother rarely felt peace. She was always trying to numb the pain. The pain of being a failure by societal standards. I guess I’m resentful because I never imagined in a million years that I would end up like her. I had the opportunity to see what happened to girls who made the wrong choices. I saw what kind of woman they grow into. I didn’t want that for myself, but it was all I ever knew.

She would read to me aloud. She would lose herself in the moment and I would see the distance in her eyes. She was in another world. Somewhere without me.

She read to me about fearsome dragons and the brave princes who would slay them. She recited the tales of fairies and ogres and witches and wizards. We didn’t have much back home, but we had stories. That was more than enough.

The books were all old and decrepid. Loose threads hung from the spines of many, exposing pages that had loosened their bindings.

The condition of the books made them more beautiful to me.

You could tell how many times they had been read; that the stories had been savored, studied and shared over the years.

I imagined these stories being part of history. The part that came before the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War.

The happily ever after always threw me off. These stories were just the beginning, and nothing had ended up happily afterwards.

History has always been full of death and tragedy. It creates opportunities for future horror.

There is a pattern, and order to the maddness.

There is a recursive, repeating flow of events that have created our destructive past and perpetuate our dangerous future.

These books, my mother, they are a product and a producer of destruction.

Destruction and tragedy are often masked with extraordinary beauty.

Life lures you in like that.

Shows you something tempting; then reels you in before you can even think to get away.

Thats what happened to me. I was blinded by the beauty of my mother, of the stories, of the world.

I had a delusional outlook on life that allowed me to fall into the traps set for me by the universe.

I fell, like a fool, for the tricks that were set up to test me.

I said yes when I knew I should have said no.

I ran when I should have stayed and faught.

I gave up everything that mattered to me for something easy.

I failed myself and I haven’t found the opportunity for a new start.

My name is Ali.

Allison Iceland Warren.

My mother named me after the most beautiful woman she ever knew and the most beautiful place she had ever been.

I have been on a journey to find both since my mother left me.

I’ve made it as far North as New York City and I have made as much progress in finding my grandmother, Allison, as I have in raising myself since I was 14.

This is where my journey has ended up, but not where it ends.

Opening Up?

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I am 23 years old.

What is dating?

When I was 15, my first boyfriend asserted a relationship upon me and I reluctantly obliged.

We dated for a year and a half. He was manipulative, aggressive, and abusive.

My second boyfriend was not my boyfriend. I was 18, he was 21.

I wouldn’t let him too close; we saw eachother for about a month.

He stopped speaking to me abruptly, leaving me in utter confusion.

He left me for a 16 year old girl.

These guys did not get much of a taste of who I am.

They got no deeper than the surface.

Then there was Danny, who was good to me.

He was easy. He was kind. He was shallow.

He didn’t care about the intricasies of my mind and my soul.

He didn’t care about the pain in my past.

He cared about nice dinners and gifts.

He cared about formalities.

He treated me like a princess without ever trying to learn who I truly am.

He lasted 3 years.

I left him in an attempt to free myself of the burden that was keeping him happy.

I couldn’t be myself with him. He expected me to be someone I have never wanted to be.

He could never understand the darkness inside of me.

After leaving him, I was sure I was done looking for companionship, and thats when companionship found me.

I met a boy who seemed fascinated by who and what I am.

He was easy to get along with and we had so much in common.

I was excited by the things he found interesting and I was excited that I was one of them.

Over time, I would reveal things to him that would explain different aspects of me and my life.

I would tell him about the tragedy so he would understand the trauma.

He could never understand, though. At least not without wanting to.

I couldn’t make him care the way I cared about him.

His stories all revealed him to be greater than I ever could have imagined and I think my stories did just the opposite.

It was a secret how truly wonderful he was

It was a secret how truly terrible I am.

The more he knew, the more distant he became.

Finally, I had a breakdown.

He saw the parts of me I never intended to show him.

He was afraid of who I was.

He left.

How, now, might you suggest I go about opening up in the future?

When so many have been satisfied with nothing.

And the few who got any bit of me have thrown it back as they fast as they could.

Now that it seems there is another willing soul

Waiting to hear the stories that unravel my knotted way of being

Should I even bother?

How do you know when its worth it?

To reveal yourself as vulnerable and weak

To let down your defenses

and trust that someone wants a piece of you

for any reason other than

to crush you.

Suicide as a Symptom

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As a teenager, I didn’t understand how ‘suicide or thoughts of suicide’ could be considered a symptom of depression. To me, those things were the result of depression; how it ended. If you had those thoughts then you were already doomed. I did not understand that the content of those thoughts is made up by a part of our body that does not know the content of our life. The most objective part of us is our subconscious. The subconscious can tell when we are struggling even when our conscious selves can’t. The subconscious decides when its time to fight or time to flee. The subconscious regulates the rise and fall of our breath, the beat of our heart, the digestion of our food. The subconscious knows everything going on in our body; even the stuff outside of our awareness. When we are struggling on an emotional level, our rational thought tells us to get over it, its not so bad. We know that being sad or angry is not life-threatening. The subconscious, however, doesn’t realize this. The subconscious can feel the pain and can not tell why its happening. It is constantly working to find a solution to ease the discomfort. When things get really bad and we ignore our feelings and needs, our subconscious is forced to address the issues head on. The brain knows that something is wrong but it doesn’t know WHAT is wrong. It can not make a well thought out plan of action without the help of the conscious self. If we don’t pay attention to what our body is trying to tell us, we might behave strangely. This is when we do things that we “wouldn’t normally do” things that seem drastic or uncharacteristic. The thought or the actual attempt to end one’s life is not always a way to end suffering, but rather an irrational attempt to escape that suffering. Sometimes people don’t realize that the things that are plaguing them can only be fixed by addressing those issues. They often feel like they shouldn’t dwell on them. By ‘not dwelling’ we push things aside and since our brain has rationally deemed our problems not worth our time, we don’t return to the thought. The thought then sits in your mind, unattended to. It lingers in the background, meanwhile your subconscious is trying to figure out why your heart rate is unusual and your sleeping patterns are all off. It searches for the reason but can not detect the context of your thoughts, but rather infers that you must be in a life-threatening situation since your body is acting so out of whack. When the subconscious fails to identify the issue, it begins to seek ways of escaping the physical condition that is causing you harm. The more deeply rooted the issues are, the more life-threatening they seem. If you can not attend to the problem and search for rationalized solutions, the subconscious will drive you to a point where the only way to escape the life-threatening suffering that you are experiencing (possibly without even being aware of it) is to literally end your life.

Years Pass, But Some Things Never Change

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I suppose I could take the memory of you and lock it up in a black box and toss it into the darkness.
I can pretend you never reached through the sharp, rugged exterior of my walls and touched the deepest, warmest, most sincere parts of my soul.
I can move forward without looking back at what we lost so soon after we found it.
I can find someone who will hold my hand and whisper secrets into my ear.
I can find someone who wants to wrap me in silver and diamonds and show me off.
I can do anything I want, really, but I can’t go back.
I can’t have your sweet scent or your soft touch ever again.
I’m not ready to say goodbye to my dear friends, the sweet sensations that made my days feel more worthwhile.
I’m afraid to let go of the only hands that held me when I cried, and opened the door to my future only to back out behind me.
I will never have you again, but I’ll be scarred by your memory and I’ll wear it proudly like all the rest.
I only wish I could leave my mark on you as you have on me.
I can only hope that you’ll think of me from time to time and miss me, like I miss you.
I can only hope one day you realize that you loved me, as I loved you, as I still do
and probably always will.

To The Troubled Souls:

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It wrenches my heart to hear it said
That the mentally ill are sick in the head
When it goes unknown what it is they feel
And whether or not their pain is real

Who can say, with certainty, that
Anything’s real? We’re just a ‘brain in a vat’
Experiencing the world subjectively
Allowing things to pass unexpectedly

There is a notion onto which I cling
That allows for anything you wish to bring
Into existence to finally be seen
By you and whoever else believes.

The world is cold and harsh out there
Bravery is the only mask you can wear
Your scars convey more than they conceal
But their stories are still only yours to reveal

Don’t let them know you without your consent
They will never know truthfully what you meant
When you dragged that blade across your skin
But, please, don’t believe when they say ‘its a sin.’

These actions, you see, are not from your heart
They were not part of you from the start
The pain you inflict is but an expression;
An outward display of your auto-aggression

Know that when you feel displeased
There are other ways to get release
From the clenching hold of condemning words
Trust me, I know how much it hurts.

Then again, don’t trust a single soul
You’ll see that you can’t as you grow old
Everyone hides their true intentions
That’s why I strive for prevention