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.

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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

The Light Inside

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The moment when I loved myself the most, was the moment the whole world turned to look at me.
I had spent so very long simply waiting for them all to see
Hoping, naively, that they’d all be accepting
But stares and whispers made way for over-thinking
Turned backs and broken hearts left me wishing
Holding onto the past
Wishing I could go back
So I could know

The moment when I loved myself the most, was when I had to stand up for myself.
No longer did I want them to see a broken little girl –
Someone who feels so alone in this world –
I hoped for a new brand of clarity
To allow me to open their eyes to see
What I had been hiding
All along

The moment when I loved myself the most, was the moment I had to accept myself as I was
There was no more lying or pretending I was more or less
There was no longer anyone around me to impress
I was left on my own to claim my scars
I was knocked down, so I began counting the stars
And when the numbers were fleeting
So, too, was the darkness

The moment when I loved myself the most, was the moment the light ignited inside of me.
I was no longer available to be consumed by the dark
I sought high and low for that which I must embark
On a mission of self-discovery
To locate the real me:
The light inside.

I See Your Struggle, I Feel Your Pain

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One of the worst things is recognizing a suffering in someone who you care about and knowing there is nothing you can do to sooth the pain. You may be able to open a door and shine some light on the situation, but nothing will ever make it better.

Its even worse to have learned this first hand, through experience. I suffer in a similar way, but it was far worse when I was younger. I see my pain in his eyes and I wonder if he will survive. I wonder if he has someone so important and so close to him that he would promise his life for their sake.

My person, my cousin, my best friend, was the one who was so important to me that I made my promise. I held on to that promise until she died. Through the grieving process, you sometimes stumble into resentment towards your loved one for leaving you, and this caused me to disregard my promise. After she was gone, I no longer felt a need to hold up my end of the bargain.

I regret breaking that promise more than anything, but at the same time it saved me. I needed to have a brush with death to remind me of the value of life. To be perfectly honest, the only value I was reminded of was that of family and friends.

To this day, I crave the relief of un-existing. I lust after the satisfaction of self-punishment and the release of auto-brutality. These are things all of us (with depression and the like) face on a daily basis. The presence of the thoughts does not condemn us, but rather our actions regarding those thoughts.

I may feel an urge to rip my skin open, but I don’t do it. The feeling passes and I recognize the fact that those kinds of feelings, just like their positive counterparts, are fleeting. Nothing lasts forever, it only lingers as long as you let it. It took me a long time to figure any of this out. I have felt so alone for most of that time and I don’t want to watch another person, who I care about, go through that kind of life.

I want him to know that the feeling that stings deep in his chest is, too, present in mine. I want him to understand that NO, I do NOT know what you’ve been through, but I promise I’ve been through something that allows me to relate. If I  haven’t, I promise I can be a judgement-free, listening ear. Don’t you ever, not even for a second, feel alone in this world when you know you have a friend, a cousin, a person who cares more than you are able to fathom.

Don’t you dare break my heart the way I’m sure you’ve wanted to before; the way I’ve wanted to break others’ hearts before. Promise me you will take the life you have and cling to it as if it were just as fleeting as the emotions that ebb and flow like a constant stream of rushing water.

They come on strong and hard; a force I’ve never seen before. There is passion present in almost every word uttered from your mouth and THAT is a true sign of life. That is a sign of resilience and strength; to find yourself filled with energy and emotion charged in any direction is better than finding yourself empty.

Empty is something I have felt for a large portion of my lifetime. Empty is something I do not wish upon anyone. Empty is the absence of life, of substance, of people, of love. Empty is a waste of precious time.

As Jamie put it, “There are some people on this planet, who know they only have so long… and there are others who think they have forever… I would give anything to take my death sentence and trade it for the possibility of forever. That’s what you have, Jillian, you have the possibilities of a lifetime.”

And that’s when it clicked for me, though I needed reminding later on, that life is precious and it is insanely selfish of me to throw it away. I need to cherish it for the sake of the people I love who don’t have a choice about their fate. Its not right to take control of your life like that; after all, you aren’t the only one who is hurt by your bad feelings. The people who care about you hurt by seeing you in pain, and if you were to end your life you would only leave behind more suffering. You won’t be there to feel any sense of relief you anticipate.

My point here is that, there is nothing wrong with suffering and feeling pain inside. The only wrongness that emerges comes from the action taken to express that pain and suffering. The wrongness of those actions is not “wrong” in the sense that I don’t think its right. It is “wrong” in the sense that you are doing yourself a disservice. You are diminishing your own worth and failing to recognize that you deserve to feel pain and to express those feelings. You deserve to know that your feelings are justified and that you are not alone in feeling that way. You need to understand that the bad stuff is normal. The bad stuff is important. The bad stuff is necessary to offset the good.

 

If you don’t struggle, you will never appreciate the happiness that comes from conquering your personal demons. If you don’t fight then you will never know that victory, and if you need help but don’t ask for it, you will go down in flames.

Foolish Banter

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So, this is how it works:
You’ll meet and kiss and hug,
He might hold your hand,
But he’ll never show you love.

He might leave you breathless
With the charms of a spoken word,
But don’t let his banter fool you
Or you’ll be left a broken girl.

My dear, I don’t mean to scare you.
In love, there’s so little to hate,
But once the veil’s been pulled
Your heart will begin to break.

When that time comes,
When the world falls apart,
Please, recall my words:
This is no end, but a brand new start.

“7 Stages of Grief”

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So, I have been dealing with a breakup for the past year and a half. This was the relationship I never thought would end. I loved this boy and I have been grieving the loss of him from my life. I was curious what those stages of grief were, the ones I always hear about on TV and what not. I decided it would be helpful for me to identify which stages I have gone through to see how far I’ve come.

7 Stages of Grief:

  1. SHOCK & DENIAL – It took at least two weeks for me to really take in the fact the our relationship had ended. I was pretty clearly shocked and I wanted to deny it, but it was an undeniable fact that it was over. I was, however, in denial about how over it really was. I held on to hope in my mind that things would rekindle between us for far longer than I should have. I guess part of me holds onto those fantasies, but recognizes how silly they are.
  2. PAIN & GUILT – I felt pain and guilt very immediately and constantly for the entire length of time we have been apart thus far. Up until this point, and I’m sure going forward, I have had a notable pain in my chest, where a heart might normally be located. I felt a lot of guilt for pushing you away and for being the way I was. I knew you deserved so much better and I felt unworthy and ashamed of myself.
  3. ANGER & BARGAINING – Simultaneously, I felt apologetic and guilty for not being able to make us happy and I felt angry and resentful towards you for not loving me. I wanted to rationalize things in my mind but I couldn’t get past the fact that we were falling apart because of me. I knew I was to blame and I was angry with myself for ruining the best thing in my life.
  4. “DEPRESSION”, REFLECTION, LONELINESS – Depression was nothing new for me, but it was certainly intensified by the loss of my closest friend and only love I’ve ever been sure of. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I did wrong and how I could have possibly salvaged our relationship. I have realized a lot of things about myself and about how we functioned. I realize that I was never what you wanted, so there was no way I would ever make you happy. I have since embraced the notion of loneliness. I can easily find guys to have sex with, but that is not what I want to do. I am disgusted by the thought and anytime a guy tries to touch me, it makes me shudder.
  5. THE UPWARD TURN – In a sense, I have seen an upward turn. I have been able to focus on new things like preparing for grad school. I have been engrossed in my new job. I look forward to getting my own apartment when I move back to Boston after a while longer in New York. I have been having a crazy experience in New York. I have been trying to try a lot of new things and experience life. I’m certainly doing better than i was was this time a year ago, but I can’t say I’m totally better yet.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH – I guessI am probably in the midst of this step right now. I have a lot of reconstructing to do in my life with a lot of different relationships. I am sure there is someone, somewhere who loves me, who I love. I am sure that once my life becomes stable, things will fall into place and things will make more sense.
  7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE – I look forward to this stage.

It Takes a Special Kind of Person

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My sisters and I have come to a unanimous agreement that it takes a special kind of person to love a member of our family. We are naturally quite different individuals, but there are some likenesses in our personalities that we also see in our parents and aunts and uncles (we have no grandparents). Our father’s side of the family is the one we are closer to. We are compiled of some very intelligent, stubborn, hard headed, condescending, logical thinking, talkative, emotionally disturbed people. There is no arguing with us; we never quit. Sometimes you can’t even have a conversation because we are too caught up in wanting to be right about everything. The men and women who married into this family all share one main trait: they can put up with us.

Crazy comes in all different sizes and shapes, it even comes in different colors in my family. My parents have been married for 30 years. They grew up next door to each other in J.P. (a neighborhood in Boston). My dad has 2 brothers and a sister; all married with children. The older brother married a woman who I am very close with. We have a lot in common; I’d say I’m as close to her as I am to my father’s sister. Her husband isn’t very happy anymore either. The younger brother’s wife is my godmother. We are not close; she’s hardly even close to her husband or children. I don’t think she is happy with the family she ended up in. I know that my other aunt isn’t. I never realized it until I left home, but my mom is not happy either.

My sister was lucky enough to find someone who would love her. They got married and had a child together. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, my sister divorces her husband. She decided she was not happy and she needed to do what was best for her. She has not had another relationship since, and I think its because her standards are set so high. If you want to end up with the right person you have to be picky, right? But then, you end up pushing people away who you might’ve otherwise let in. It just seems so rare to find anyone special enough to handle someone like us.

I wonder if I’m ever going to meet someone that special. Someone who could love me better than I love myself because they love me from the outside. They don’t know what its like inside of me, but the know something I don’t. They know what I am ; they know how I exist in the world outside of myself. To me, that would be amazing.