Stories of Guilt

A story in which names are changed.

I was 20 when I first ate at California Pizza Kitchen.
It was a delightful time,
My two new friends and I –
Exhilarated by the thrill of being together
Even though the rules of rehab
strictly discouraged friendships.

I didn’t understand why..
How that could interfere with my treatment,
And yet that day you think I would understand.

As I sat at the table
in the middle of March,
my phone buzzed..
Stepping away to answer,
I notice the area code, and panic slightly.

Earlier that day,
I had gone to breakfast with a friend from the hospital
from which I was recently discharged.
My “pal” had brought me to breakfast,
but it was clear that he was nodding off.
And as he swerved out of the parking lot as we left,
I knew I made the wrong choice.

And to my relief
when I answered the phone,
It was not a car accident;
However that same man
Stabbed himself seven times in the chest –
After heading my advice to leave an abusive relationship.
I lost my appetite.
I cried.
I was angry.
I knew this was my fault.

I called a friend who had also been a patient
with us, and told her what happened.
I was so angry that he put me down as a contact.
I was so grateful too.
I left dinner and went on to Lisa’s
Where she dropped her kids off with her parents
and we lied saying we were going bowling.

We sped down the parkway.
An hour drive shortened to thirty minutes.
We arrived at the hospital to find him okay.
With relief and anger and exhaustion we left.

Despite all this,
I continued to reach out for friendships
from people I met in hospitals and programs
Because those are the only people I know..
The two friends from the beginning of this story and I grew closer,
We spent many days and nights together –
joking, talking about things only we could understand.
One of us fell out of contact and she eventually moved to Chicago.
Only the two of us here stayed in contact.

And just over a year later,
In a night of bad judgment and fun
A newer friend from program and I decided to go out.
I thought a few drinks wouldn’t hurt.
I shouldn’t have encouraged it.
And yet I did.
While I maintained my integrity and awareness,
Sherry soon became so shitfaced,
she knocked over a motorcycle by falling on it.
I decided it was time to go home.
She decided I was wrong.
But somehow I managed to bring her back.
bring her inside.
And when I thought she had fallen asleep,
I positioned her in recovery,
and I went out for a smoke.

In the 7 minutes I was outside,
she managed to steal my meds and take them.
I came back in to find her unconscious, but turning blue.
My heart began to beat fast.
I tried getting her water,
she vomited on my bed.
I called an ambulance.
I gathered her belonglngs
and as we loaded her into the ambulance
(after a hard fight)
I went in to take my meds to discover they were gone.
I fearfully ran out to the EMT’s
and told them.
My stomach dropped.
I was at fault again.

I stayed with her in the hospital until 7am,
and then I left,
went home.
put my sheets in the wash.
I cleaned my apartment.
And I went to program.
And I cried,
And I was scared
And I called her dad.
And I apologized.
And I did the best I could,
And she lived.
And I still feel guilty.

After that, I thought I would have learned.
Other than the one friend from the original story
I maintained fewer connections from program.
But it’s hard to not stay in contact.

Today, I received a call from a friend.
Asking to hang out.
She wanted to use me as a reason to go elsewhere.
She wants me to supervise her while she uses
My stomach drops,
I have been out of program for almost a year,
out of the hospital for over a year,
And I can see her slipping.
And I don’t want to be at fault.
And I don’t want to be a snitch.
And I can feel the pressure of my morals
versus the friendship.
And I don’t know what to do.
I don’t want to be at fault.

I have fallen out of contact with the friend from the beginning of the story.
It breaks my heart because I want to know she is well.
And in spite of that,
I am grateful we don’t talk
Because after everything that has happened:
All the friends I have lost to suicide or OD’s.
All the friends I have almost lost.
All the people I have cut out of my life.
All the guilt I have collected.
I have learned that these people are my people in the moment,
But long term, I need stability and wellness.
And if they can’t encourage that,
Then I can’t ask for it.

I can’t collect guilt,
I don’t want to collect ghosts.



the world is my trigger – blog post

It’s been about 4 days since I got surgery.
It has been the longest 4 days of my life. I don’t remember it being like this last time. But I remember how torn I was emotionally..

Now, the lack of control. The inability to do the most basic tasks are so fucking hard and I’m so frustrated. Everything agitates me, everything triggers me.

Asking for help is hard, but so is receiving help.
Having little attention is hard, but having some attention is too.
Going to the bathroom is impossible, but God forbid somebody tries to come in with me.

I am drowning. All parts of me are suffocating.

I look at progress and notes of other people and everybody is moving and living and yet I haven’t left bed in days. I haven’t been outside since after the surgery. I just want to go outside.

I just want to be okay. I want to walk around. I want to feel my muscles tense and ease, rather than pain pulse through them as they whither and die from lack of use.

I feel like I am gasping for air. But I am getting nowhere.

I don’t know why I bother asking for help, It has always served me wrong.
I should have learned by now.

Do not ask.

Spin spin spin spin spin spin spin spin. my mind goes around.

It’s not that I’m not grateful for the people who have helped me.
I am.
I just want to be okay now.

One Day After.

It pulsates.
I can feel blood rushing
up and down
my strength diminished after a full tiresome day
of laying in bed.

The pain is practically unbearable.
I feel everything.
I want to feel nothing.
All of us want to feel nothing.

Nobody even knows,
because we lay here.
quietly in a closed off room.
Pretending to be okay,
all the while, waiting for an end.


Disorganized – spoken word

Read this with as much rage as you can:


My room is disorganized,
As is my brain –
As is my attachment to my parents.
Disorganized attachment
Brought on from years of
“loving abuse.”

The first memory I hold
was not of physical abuse,
Nor sexual –
Rather a recollection of neglect
The moment they implanted in my brain:
I am not deserving of love

Following were years
Of sexual and physical abuse –
Teaching me that I deserve pain.
Teaching me to search for that
In every partner, in every person.

If you asked my second grade teacher
What she thought of me
She would tell you,
I never came to school without a smile.
What she did not know,
Is that I feared if I did not act perfectly
She would do the same as my parents did to me.

Because my gapped tooth smile
Held for me, secrets:
I would not consider revealing
For at least 15 years.
Because even braces couldn’t hide the gap
That came back despite a retainer.
Because you could retain me for as long as you wanted
With threats and fear and pain
But in the end, those gaps in my memory
Are revealed

My second grade teacher never knew
The anger and resentment I felt
When she disapproved of me.
The heat that washed over my face
Like the first dog day of summer
So hot that movement only created more pain.

Pain. I searched for it.
I search for it.
Because it is that on which I was brought up.
I want to hurt myself in the same ways.
I want to hurt myself in different ways.
I want to be free from them
Only to be trapped by them in my mind.
I hear them.
“You are a rotten child.”
“you are ungrateful”
“you don’t know what’s best for you, I do.”

I don’t know what’s best for me?
Take a second and think about that, fucker.
What is best for me?
I’ll tell you:
It’s not you.

You are the tornado that stormed my brain
Causing me to split and split and split
Causing the above-ground pool to collapse
And wash poisoned unchlorinated water
Through my veins.
Causing my synaptic gaps to widen
Larger than the gap between my two front teeth
And as sparks pop in my brain
The neurotransmitters can’t seem to make their way
From one junction to the next.
Because you are the restraints that held me to the gurney
As they wheeled me into the ambulance for more treatment
And you are the memories.

You are not my present
And no way in hell do you know what’s best for Me.

So walk on out that door, bitch.
Drink your overfilled mug of coffee
And slave over your work which has become your life.
Let that be your life.
I am not that.
Abuse your work
Abuse yourself.
But do not abuse me and tell me that’s what is best for me.

I am my own person.
I am my own person
Goddammit, hear me when I say
You can’t control me anymore.
You can’t hurt me if I don’t let you.
And I won’t let you.
I don’t need you –

But don’t get me wrong.
Because this is disorganized
And despite all this fucking rage,
I am confused
Because I still love you.
And I still fucking want you.

And that is why I search for pain.
Because without you I need to give it to myself.
How do you still have this power over me?
I don’t need you in my brain.
And one day you won’t be there.

I can’t fit into your labels
Nor do I want to.
The only label I want to fit in
Is my own.
I want to bind my chest
And I want to cut my hair.
I want to feel okay
And I want to choose my doctors
And choose my career
And I don’t care if you disapprove
Because your opinion is as valid
As fake news and alternative facts.

Don’t expect a call back from me
Or a call reaching out.
I know what’s best for me
I’m not taking chances.
Don’t hurt me and tell me you love me.
I’m not here for jokes.
I’m not here for you.
I’m here for me.
I am here for me


A Guide to Getting Out of Bed When You Are Depressed:

Open your eyes.
Let the dread overpower you.
Feel the weight of lead on your limbs
Try to swallow, struggle.
Close your eyes.
Let the darkness swallow you in.
This is safer.
Go back to sleep.

Toss in your bed.
Feel the cold come through the windows.
Pull up the blanket.
The warmth feels safe for half a second.
Throw the covers off.
Not Safe.
Smother your head in your pillow
Suffocation is safe.

Get up.
Drag your feet across the floorboards.
They creak. You groan.
Look down the staircase.
Tunnel down the stairs,
Stand in the rain and smoke.
respiratory therapy.
Go back inside.
Go back to bed.

Get up.
Let the anxiety motivate you
to do the things you don’t want.
opposite to emotion acti…. fuck this.
Just get the day over
Go back to bed.
Or just go back to bed.
fuck the day

the whispers of our heroes

the whispers of our heroes
sound something like
the threats of our enemies.
and that is because
there is no difference.

i can feel the condensation
of his breath
on my neck
in my ear
“let me fuck you.”

i feel my body thrown
no control, no feelings
i float above myself
and there i watch.
my hero. my enemy.

the whispers of our heroes
sound something like hate
they are the screams of our soul
as they rip it out of us.

eyes closed.
tears strike down.
the whispers of our heroes
sound something like
our own wish for death.


Thoughts on Mother’s Day

This year, I am beyond grateful to have another year with my fantastic grandma. She is my hero, my everything – i celebrate her everyday, and on Mother’s day, I celebrate her a little harder.

At the same time, Mother’s Day is a weird time for me. My mother is not dead, she’s not present either. It’s hard mourning someone who is very much alive. Over the past decade, almost, my mother has played either no role in my life or very minimal – and it’s sad. Yup, I said it. It makes me angry and sad and all kinds of things because it sucks. And it’s not fair. I don’t care if that’s immature or what. This isn’t a matter of radical acceptance because I know and accept the situation. I just hate it. A lot. And at the same time… I don’t want it to change. My mother can have her own mother’s day, but I won’t be a part of it. Just like she wasn’t a part of so many important things in my life. I became so desperate to celebrate Mother’s day, I used to post a happy Mother’s day to my father for playing both roles. It only made him mad, he didn’t want people to know or whatever…

Growing up with divorced parents, like a lot of kids, it was tough. Considering both of them are narcissists and despite “trying to make things work,” hated each other, and continue to do so – celebrating holidays is tough. As an angsty teen, I discovered the band, Cake. The song I will post below became a sort of mantra about when a certain someone would call, but now it’s kind of how I feel about a lot of people in and out of my family.

At the end of the day, Mother’s day is a hallmark holiday. The idea is nice, but for people who have lost parents, have been hurt by them, don’t get along with them or whatever it may be – these are tough days.

At the end of the day, nobody can be in place of my biological mother. Yet, I am grateful for the pseudomoms in my life. I have my friends’ moms.

I have my Grandma.

And she is my sunshine.