Loving Me

I have a wild imagination.

I create scenarios in my head that are preposterous. I can lay in a bed for hours and weave plot lines. I can lose focus while driving; imagining macabre situations in which the narrator is always the loser.

An eccentric mind’s eye has served me well in some areas of my life, but in others it works against me. The issue being that I am incapable of being sanguine.

Surely, when all is well and I notice I am feeling jolly, something will come crashing down. I don’t trust the universe.

When things are bad my insides are raucous. Tumbling end over end. Loathing the self I know exists, and pitying the self whom I imagine in the future will suffer the worst fate: being alone and in pain forever.

Imagining trust, peace and contentedness does not come naturally – at least, not without speckles of doubt sprinkled in.

However, writing it out simply without all the bullet points of my pessimism that come after the thought, gets it down on paper and there is nothing anybody or myself can do about it.

I can scoff and laugh at the possibility and it won’t change the words. I can toss my computer out the window and the text will still exist. I can print out this post, crumple it into a ball, light it on fire and catapult it into my therapist’s open window. But the beauty about writing, is that once ideas and words are written somewhere, they are written in stone and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it.

If I loved myself. Here we go.

  •     I would trust myself.
  • I would stand up for myself when I feel disrespected.
  • I wouldn’t hold on to toxic relationships.
  • I could identify toxic relationships more easily.
  • I wouldn’t feel beaten down all the time by taking everything personally.
  • I would also love my intense strong emotions. I would respect them.
  • I wouldn’t want to hurt myself. If I wanted to hurt myself out of habit I would have the self-respect and skills to combat it.


It’s okay to love people who aren’t perfect. If that was our standard then there would be no love at all.


What would I have to do to burn the bridge of cutting?

Why do I crave to do something so traumatizing? My handwriting is sloppy because I’m trying to remember. The hand doesn’t move as fast as the mind, and maybe that’s why the hand follows the impulse to cut even while the child inside is wide-eyed and scared and yelling “No! No!”

Sometimes I think that my resistance to self-harm looks like hot butter on a stack of pancakes. Sliding, sliding, sliding, moving ever so closer to the edge.

I suppose the butter wouldn’t slide if the pancakes were cold, but that’s the problem. When I’m hot I start to slide.

I can remember what my limbs look like with bloody syrup running down them. I remember what color my dermis is. I recall how spongy it looks. Porous and pink, like a sea sponge. There’s always that pause in time between admiring your insides, and when the cut fills with blood. A canyon of blood.

I know what color my subcutaneous fat is. The consistency of egg whites. Egg whites and ketchup mixing – a ravine of violence.

I can recall what color the water turns when you open yourself up to the pain and the blood mixes in the jet tub. Pretty soon the jet tub is spitting your blood back at you and the water is translucent – cloudy with a red dye.

I know what blood looks like when it floats on the surface of a lacquered white bathroom sink. I know how it darkens to a new color, depending on what it dries on.

I know what it feels like to go swimming and have the entire pool of people stare and point at your thighs. I have felt the shame of walking up the pool steps amidst the stares and points of strangers, back to the safety of a locker room and clothing to hide in.

I have felt a vein bounce against a razor like a rubber band.

I have had to lie and make up stories. I have convinced an entire school that I limp because I have a bad knee.

I have not washed a leg for months because that leg always had a fresh slice.

I have watched in panic and curiosity as a cut opened back up at work and the fresh blood soaked through my jeans. I have hopped on one leg through the house looking for a bandage, or maybe just another drink.

I have mopped up pools of blood from vinyl.

I have thrown soaked maroon-dyed blankets in the trash.

I have blushed in shame at the question “why is there blood all over the toilet seat?”

I have thrown blood-soaked wads of toilet paper in the toilet so I don’t have to worry about taking out the trash.

I have gone to the store and purchased beer, bandages, and antibacterial cream at one time.

Some self-harms were more creative. Creativity is not confined to paint and charcoal pencils – my body can be a canvas. I can poke needles into all of my fingertips like I’m making a stitch. Then I can laugh morbidly at feeling like I’m Edward Scissorhands. I can hold a lighter to my arm and make a blister. I can clip the pink part of my fingernails into a zig-zag shape. I can buy a cheap hand mirror so I can punch it repeatedly until the glass breaks. Then I can keep punching it so that the shards shove into my knuckles and take days to come out. With every fingertip dripping blood I can hold my hand over paper and watch the drops fall like tears.

I can have bald spots on my head from pulling my hair.

I can bang my head on a steering wheel. I can kick something until a toe breaks. I can not eat. I can starve myself until my ribs show under my breasts. I can drink to forget and drink to throw up, or maybe throw up to drink more. I can sink under water and not emerge until my reflexes tell me to do so.

I can ask others to harm me physically so I forget the emotional pain. I can park and walk in dirty neighborhoods hoping to get physically attacked. I don’t care if it’s stabbing, I don’t care if it’s rape, as long as it’s something so I forget. I can indirectly ask others to paint on the canvas.

My body is war-torn and a casualty. I own a collection of tally marks, showing how many times I have flirted with death. 

What would I have to do to burn the bridge of cutting? The smoke signals from my wrists never brought the help I was motioning for. Only I know the story each one of those bumps erupted with. Only I carry the scars and the weight. 

I guess I feel like I can’t stop cutting unless I love myself. But then we have a chicken and egg problem. Because don’t I have to love myself in order to stop cutting? How do I reclaim my body?

I have called a razor “friend.” How do I walk away from that?

I have personified a razor blade. Others have walked away from me when I only did them right, and now I have to do the same thing. The only thing that has been there for me through thick and thin (that is to say, circumstances and skin). My imaginary friend since I was a child.

We all have to let go of our imaginary friends eventually.

I will have to cut off the thing that has cut into me. I will have to throw it into the trash can. I will have to shout to those I still trust that I refuse to associate with that imaginary friend anymore. I will have to accept the risk of losing my identity and the possibility of having to build a new one. I will have to look forward to bouts of anxiety, shaking and shivering and just wanting a damn fix already. I will have to remember, every time my palms sweat with the urge, that I am worth more than how deep I cut. I will have to pretend to believe it until I do. I will have to avoid walking down the men’s shaving aisle at the grocery store. I will have to face the shame head-on, of admitting to a friend I feel like cutting right now and I need your help.”  I will have to be brave and rebellious against my own hand.

Self-Love (Hypothetically Speaking)

The problem with loving yourself is that we are taught from a young age that we are not allowed to do so until we believe that we will never take another misstep or make another mistake. We are taught to believe that we must be a golden Object of Perfection before we can have the gall to love ourselves. Religion, especially, taught me that I am not allowed to love myself. Even the hymns we sung are about how terrible we are. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”

A wretch. People actually sit in pews twice a week or more and sing harmoniously about what a wretched person they are. The most resonating lesson I learned in church is this: I am such a terrible person that the most perfect person who ever existed suffered and died so I can vacation in heaven, and dadgum don’t you feel horrible about that? Shame on me for being born wretched and never being able to redeem myself for that.

….But that’s another post.

Here is a concisely written and fantastically unrealistic-feeling bullet point list of what things would look like if I respected and loved my core self. (Or should I say “what things will look like…?)

  • I wouldn’t twist things people say to fit my own beliefs.
  • I wouldn’t feel shame.
  • I wouldn’t feel shame for my shame infinity and beyond.
  • I wouldn’t allow myself to be objectified or used by people.
  • I wouldn’t be afraid to be alone.
  • I wouldn’t be afraid of myself.
  • I wouldn’t be afraid of being left by others because I would know I can cope with it.
  • I wouldn’t be afraid to leave toxic relationships.
  • I wouldn’t feel threatened by other women.
  • I wouldn’t have to explain more scars or risk more infections.
  • I could have high emotions without fearing for my life.
  • I wouldn’t feel like I have to apologize for every emotion I have.

How lucky other people are, that they are able to forgive themselves so quickly.

I Have A Superpower

We are raised being told what we should be, how we should act, what we should like, how we should feel and, most commonly, how we should not feel. 

In time your sense of identity is corrupted by dictators, and the things you would flourish at becomes what you should never be according to the others. What you become instead is this tornado they fearfully categorize as Borderline Personality Disorder.

Without proper personal identity outlets, we are left with nothing between our passion and the world except our bodies, so we must express our passions through our bodies. We engage in behavior that is destructive, since all other forms of expression have been taken away. Every act of self harm, every one night stand, every reckless drive, every drug, every drink, becomes an act of art. Without proper outlets, our bodies become our canvas.

We are art.

Most see us and think we are psychos and crazies. Our passion is looked down upon as illness, and our acts of expression are seen as symptoms of being sick. This is, however, a mischaracterization. We are not sick, we have been corrupted by the agenda of others.

Our passion is a superpower, and people fear superpowers.

Any person who has their strengths shamed and suppressed will not learn how to handle that strength rightfully and with respect. But teach them that they are needed in the world, and watch them grow into something this world doesn’t have enough of.

My hope is that one day people will see that we are not something to be afraid of. Instead of fearing our superpower, my hope is they will feel safer in the midst of it.

For some of us it’s already too late and we are left with a distorted soul that people in our lives have tried to alter – stretching it and twisting it in all the directions it was not meant to be stretched.

But it’s not too late for the future supermen and superwomen. And the world needs them.


Sunday Newspaper

Some hearts have an incredible capacity for love, and when terrible people find this out they use it to their advantage in the same way that they would clip Sunday newspaper coupons.

“Yes,” they say, “I needed this anyway.”

Clip it out.

Stuff it in their pocket.

Give it away when they find what they want.

Using a heart as a means to an end is contemptible. I don’t want to be the means anymore.

I want to be the end.


We are wary when we look up at the night sky and though we are remarkably educated we cannot come up with the words to describe the unexplained combination of solace and distress that seeps in when we peer upward.

Even with the darkness it brings, the ancient people knew the value of the night sky. With it comes Cassiopeia, Orion, Ursa Major, Gemini and many other ever-steady patterns of dead light. Compasses for travelers whose journeys do not end with the suns passing.

But these compasses cannot serve grief-stricken souls. When the source of light disappears during our journey it begs an impossible question: where is a compass for this gnarled heart? And the night sky, in her vast silence, she answers: there is none.

Sylvia Plath Had Emotions??

Today I have discovered the poetry of Sylvia Plath, and it is wonderful. Marvelous.

In fact, I think if she were still alive today, we would be besties.

Obviously there is an irony in that because the reason she is dead is because she took her own life.

Let us imagine, for just a moment, that Sylvia Plath was not born in 1932. Let us dust off the whimsical imaginations that most of us forgot about a long time ago, and pretend that if Sylvia had not killed herself, today she would be very much alive and young. Chances are, we would be besties.

This begs the question, why is suicide so great if you are robbing yourself of the possibility of a possibility?

Like the possibility of a friend. Isn’t that something we all struggle with anyway? Loneliness?

And this brings me to the conclusion that maybe mankind as we know it wouldn’t be plagued with loneliness if we all stopped killing ourselves left and right!

I wish you would step up off back from that ledge, my friend…

Okay, disclaimer – this is not actually a logical conclusion that I have come up with – it just feels darkly humorous to think about. Like, perhaps the only reason I feel like I am a paragon of loneliness, is because my would-be best friend killed herself 50 years ago.

Backing up a little bit…

Yes, Sylvia struggled with loneliness. Sylvia felt like everything she loved would abandon her. One of my favorite poems that I have discovered today was written in the context of Sylvia being left by her lover.


My thoughts are crabbed and sallow,
My tears like vinegar,

Or the bitter blinking yellow
Of an acetic star.

Tonight the caustic wind, love,
Gossips late and soon,
And I wear the wry-faced pucker of
The sour lemon moon.

While like an early summer plum,
Puny, green, and tart,
Droops upon its wizened stem
My lean, unripened heart.

Wait. Stop. Go back – read it again. Read it slower. I know you sped right through that.

Okay, now that you’ve really soaked it in.. Sylvia is describing, in a much more linguistic way than I ever could, what waves of bereft abandonment feel like.

First stanza is the power of the wave. The tears themselves are disgusting – like vinegar. Shame. Sourness. Disconnected, like a star.

Second stanza is power. The powerful effect of this emotion. “Caustic!” Caustic wind! Caustic love! Bleeding hearts of the world unite! And the moon – the very moon! The mighty moon is sour and puckered in disgust. And you wear all of that same mighty emotion on your face and in your heart.

Third stanza we are hopeless. The shame, the disgust, the power – it all boils down to exhaustion. Hopeless exhaustion. I love the fact that it is “unripened” and on a “wizened stem.” Not only is the heart not usable, but it never will be because its very source of well-being is dead.

It is believed that Sylvia wrote this while still in college.

What a shame to have lost such a beautiful mind to the cruelty of life.

What Makes Life Worth Living?

A question even the universe asks itself. In the pandered existence in which we live, it is almost shameful to entertain the doubt of purpose. Yet it has been asked many times and has been answered in just as many ways.

A Hedonist would say “live for pleasure.” Asceticism dictates spiritual transcendence. I say it’s more complicated than that.

How can I heed the pull of life when I cannot forget the inevitable loneliness I will face; the nothingness of existence. This is the paradox I must reconcile with.

Perhaps short-lived moments of fulfillment are only pursued so they can be used for carefully burying the cancer of vacancy I cannot rid myself of. It may be that the desolation arises not from a lack of something, but rather from the fixed quintessence of who I am: a paragon of existential loneliness.
The correct question is not “what makes life worth living,” but “what would make life worth living if I had it.” Because there is obviously a missing variable in my formula. A fault in my code. I cannot obtain it if I do not know what it is I am looking for.
Living a “relevant” life is a weapon wielded to eradicate the unpleasantness of subjective unhappiness. Vagaries are a distraction from the abysmal void of solitude – not for lack of meaningful relationships, but rather in virtue of one’s very being.

To be a whole, one would require the comfort of whatever substance it is that the cavity can be plugged with. I do not know if anyone knows what that substance is.

Every person floats on with the same void – unspoken of, concealed, masqueraded. Mankind strives to expunge disease, pestilence, and death, but this ugly thing which every man carries with him that is so painful is shamefacedly repudiated.

In theory, what would render a relevant life – enough so, that loneliness is no longer a problem? For me it would be to feel that I am wanted; that I am making a positive difference in individuals. A direct, and strong one.

To feel needed, loved, and wanted is to feel that life is worth living.

Daring Is Caring

When I was a child and still unaware of the stubborn bitterness I was holding onto (and would hold onto for a very long time), the other children would play dare games.

That impish grin of theirs would make the trek across their cheeks to greet the ears, and at that moment I knew what my peer was about to say. He was about to say “I dare you.”

I braced for that, too. Before it was spat out into the air, there was already a cage formed around my brain.

“No, I don’t do dares.”
“Why?” they would ask in indignation.
“Because when people do dares, the person who dared it always makes fun of them. It is a stronger person to not do that dare because that means I am not falling to peer pressure. Perhaps if you just ask nicely.”

Yes, I was a snobby outlier, unable to just loosen up and enjoy the ride of the game.

But how could I? I had other things to worry about, like how to be perfect. I was too busy searching for the tools of emotional regulation that everyone else was fortunate enough to be born with. I didn’t have time for silly games when I had to feel like such an adult for my family.

So go ahead and dare me. Watch what I do. The opposite.

But I suppose those dares weren’t for the opportunity to just make fun of me. No, if my peers wanted to make fun of me they did it regardless of how or when. Both bluntly and openly, and even worse, making me think they were trustworthy; my friend.

Becoming the only thing in the world I found a reason to be for, but slipping a bit of arsenic in their words every time they spoke.

Yes, these words you gave to me taste a little bitter, my friend – but it came from you and so I love it. Thank you. Thank you.

The attention and companionship I so desperately needed came with the price of shame and consistently losing in the “Survival of the Most Socially Fit” game. A Darwinian Loser.

Companionship, displayed ostentatiously, with the evil intention of abusing the sincere love of a fool for one’s own self-gratification and entertainment, is the aching abhorrence that overflows the woeful banks of Acheron.





In Tribute to Stephen Crane

Because I’m not sure if the vacuum is outside pulling me into a destruction I can’t fight, or if the vacuum is inside of me collapsing into a self-destruction I was fated to yield to. My breath is not being knocked out rather it is being compressed into a little dense ball in the middle of my belly becoming so heavy I cannot move anymore. I cannot move away from me and toward you with this hidden lead burden and so instead I shrink into myself, in time turning inside out so that all of my nerves are exposed and raw and you can touch them and watch me shrink in even more like some naked bestial creature clasping onto it’s heart dubiously because how does the beast know you’re not going to throw acid onto it’s vulnerability?

This burdensome lead black hole which folds me into a mutilation is too heavy to move toward you with so I plead O Lord someone move to me – someone who will not pry my cracked sore fingers off of this edge someone who will not hold a torch to my rotted uncertain heart.