Posts tagged ‘hope’

Six months ago, I never thought I’d find myself here–in a room with white colored walls and a stippled ceiling, a place to call my own.

“There’s no place like home.”

Dorothy once said, as she tapped her ruby slippers

Together one by one.

“Home is where the heart is,”

They all say as if a heart can fill a place, take up

Residence in a building full of feelings.

Maybe home is more than just a place,

I say, as I lie in bed at night wondering

How the hell did I make it this far?

With my dog lying next to me–

Her breathing regulating mine.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Home is where the heart is,

But sometimes the heart is left in memories scattered on the ground.

15 minutes on the floor in the bathroom,

Leave your heart on the ground,

Not asking for a room, just moving right in:

Baggage and all.

There are boxes to unpack.

Boxes contain more than things, memories,

Hearts and homes.

Is this a crisis moment, or just my brain not wanting to be alone?

Home is full of memories and life and laughter and tears

Home is his office, asking ‘are you ok?’

Home is the place where you first kissed the boy you’ve been longing for for years

Home is the memories you pick up along the way.

Home.

The dog snoring next to you, periodically

Getting up to lick your face, her anxiety wondering if you’re still alive.

Am I still alive?

My heart is beating.

My lungs are breathing. Is this what ‘Alive’ feels like?

Sometimes I forget how much my lungs like the taste of air,

Need air like I need water

Not to quench the fire in my soul–

The fire I need to survive.

Does this make sense to any of you?

Home. Home doesn’t make sense.

Home is messy and dirty and sometimes mean.

Home is blue and pink and sometimes clean.

But home. Home is maybe more than just a place.

Home.

Home.

Home is the place where I can close my eyes and just breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

You’ll be ok.

There’s an electric hum coming from the kitchen light

Echoing its way into my ears.

Nostalgia is the echoes of the past

Trying to remind you when things were better than they are now.

But nothing’s better than now. Because

I am here.

I am now.

And life,

Life goes on.

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“But in the end, one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.” 
― Albert Camus

I always thought I’d end up killing myself one day; that’s the way I’d go out–swallowing a bottle of pills, driving into a tree, or jumping out a window. So many ways to die; not enough time to execute them all. (See what I did there?) But then healing has this way of sneaking up on you, of taking your past and turning it into a future, of taking the darkness and turning it into hope. One day, you wake up, and you realize that somewhere along the way, life became the only option for you.

My life didn’t end the day I was raped–I just thought it did. It’s an easy thing to assume, when you’re lying on the bathroom floor, looking up at five guys who just spent the last fifteen minutes telling you how disgusting you are, how no one will ever love you. My life didn’t end the day I was raped; life just taught me how to fight like hell to survive. There’s healing in fighting, healing in surviving, healing in breathing when everything within you tells you to give up.

There’s healing even when you feel like drowning.


Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

I didn’t even have time to turn the bathroom sink off before one of them grabbed me, didn’t even have time to scream as they covered my mouth and started pulling at my clothes. The tears filling my eyes echoed the drip of the bathroom sink. And in that moment, I felt like I was drowning.

There really are no words to describe the physical and emotional pain that come with being held down and raped. I fought back. I screamed. I cried. But what else could I have done? What else could I have done to protect myself in a school, as I was wearing jeans and a hoodie? Really the only thing you can do is take the pain, the torture because everytime you scream, they do it harder.

No one teaches you how to be a survivor. No one tells you that surviving sucks. They just tell you how to prepare yourself so you don’t have to be a survivor. Statistics say that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their life. And all we have left are questions with no answers: Why, Where was God, Why didn’t someone stop it?

Healing means accepting the fact that sometimes, the questions you have have no answers. Healing means accepting the past and moving forward, means getting angry and then letting it go.

One day, you wake up, and you realize that somewhere along the way, life became the only option for you.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified–what 13-year-old child wouldn’t be. I didn’t know how to tell my parents, my church family. I would rather have them think I was a ‘slut’ who had sex at 13 than be a rape victim. It’s easier to place the blame on yourself than it is on others. It’s easier to be angry at God than it is to be angry at a human, but still, the person I was angry at the most was myself.

A month later, I had a miscarriage. And I have to be honest, my initial reaction wasn’t sadness; it was happiness, followed by deep seeded guilt– guilt I’ve carried with me for far too long. Sometimes I wonder if God knew what he was doing, and then I remember this: I wouldn’t be where I am today if I was a mother at 13.

life just taught me how to fight like hell to survive.

I thought I’d be dead by now–should’ve been dead by now. I mean, I’ve attempted suicide enough times, almost driven into trees enough times, skipped enough meals, self-harmed deep enough enough times. And yet, here I am.

I wouldn’t consider myself healed yet, far from it. I just now have the tools in my toolbox, the medication in my bloodstream, the voice of my therapist in my head giving me enough strength to push on. Push forward.

And I know now that God… well, God… was holding my hand through everything, crying with me, angry with me. And that’s enough to keep my head above water, even when I feel like drowning.

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I forgave myself today, kneeling at the altar.

You can’t move forward if you’re angry at the past–

angry at yourself for things that are not your fault,

for relapses you could’ve controlled if you had just. . .

just . . . re  a   c  h  e   d   out,

for relationships you purposefully sabotaged because you don’t feel worth anything.

Maybe forgiveness can’t change the past, but maybe

it can change the future.

I cried at the altar today, got angry at the altar today, wanted to scream at the altar today.

I feel sometimes as though I’m being to/rn in two–

the part of me that wants to die fighting against the part that wants to live,

a tug of war with my soul

(I want to live).

Forgiveness can’t change the past,

but perhaps

perchance

purposefully

it can change the future.

The future–God can find us in our brokenness–

is waiting for us in our brokenness–

meets us in our brokenness–

is beautiful.

I challenged her to write a post in which she doesn’t mention her past–what happened to her,

he said to him as they sat across from me, my head buried in my hands.

I forgave myself today.

I was angry today, trying to turn it all over to God,

but Satan?

He won’t let me.

The punk.

What do you want to do with your life? He asked,

as I sat in his office, trying to hold back the tears threatening to overflow from my eyes.

I want my story to be used for good, make a difference, beauty from ashes.

I want to know that there’s a purpose for all of this, not a giant game of yo-yo with my existence.

Breathe in for four. Hold for four. Out for four.

How many animals begin with J?

On a scale from 1-10, how are you?

Why can I help someone else out of a panic attack but can’t help myself?

My mind goes blank as soon as I get to 100.

100

99

98

97

count backward and breathe.

I forgave myself today,

trying to move forward,

Here’s his phone number. Promise me you’ll use it in case of an emergency.

Right now, I’m moving through the fire–and this fire?

Future?

I don’t know where it will take me.

Hopefully somewhere great.

But right now? This journey ahead–

looks

daunting. threatening. foreboding. And,

I’m not always sure I can do it. I

forgave myself today. For things that may happen in the future

as I walk , walk , walk , this

w

i

n

d

i

n

g

p

a

t

h

of healing.

Because I don’t know what the future holds, but I want to be a part of it.

I’m chasing happiness, and though it feels like a 50pound weight is

d

r

a

g

g

i

n

g

me down, i still stand.

I move forward.

I breathe.

And I let go.

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I found you tonight, tucked away amongst books I haven’t read in years but love too much to throw away. I’m getting ready to move, packing books in suitcases and clothes in boxes because I can’t stay here forever.

I can’t stay here forever: trapped in the past–but I can’t move forward until I move out, can’t live until I leave the place where I tried to die.

I found you tonight, and I’m not sure which time I wrote you. What darkest of nights were you conceived in? You’re older now; the pen marks starting to fade, dust gathered around your edges as you’ve laid undisturbed, forgotten.

I shouldn’t be personalizing you, making you sound more poetic than you really are. Because there’s nothing poetic about your blood stained page, the tear marks from where my feelings escaped. There’s nothing poetic about the way I felt that night I wrote you.

But there’s poetry in the healing; there’s beauty in the midst of pain; there’s power in letting go.

I found you tonight, amidst the memories I’m leaving behind, amidst the baggage and the pain. And where I’m going, you can’t come. There’s not a place for you there: a one-bedroom apartment too small for elephants to take up residence in rooms.

The point is, I’m still suicidal. But these suicide notes, these letters of pain and despair, hopelessness and darkness have no place in my future. A future in which I’m moving forward. And this is not the post I wanted to write tonight. I wanted to write about the process of purging while trying to move, but I guess in a way, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m purging the memories. Years of memories are sitting in boxes before me. I’m purging the past, as I try to make space for the future, making space for love and happiness and laughter. There’s no room for you there.

Dear suicide note. You are no longer an “is.” You’re a “were.”

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How does one even make a budget, I texted to my friend, a mixture of panic and frustration washing over me. Like, I know I need to move out, but I just don’t know how. I don’t know how to even begin apartment hunting, and besides. I have a crockpot and a mattress.

Life has this way of sneaking up on you: one minute, you’re a child, being carried to bed by your father; the next, you’re an adult carried your heavy heart and full mind to bed at 7pm because the depression is too bad to stay awake. And that’s how my depression has been lately. Too heavy for me to stay awake.

But that hasn’t stopped me: I’ve gotten up, gone to work, showered. Done all the things I’m supposed to do. Heck, I’ve even done things I didn’t have to do: start a new blog, apartment search, and found an apartment.

Guys, I found an apartment. And that’s huge. Because six months ago, I wasn’t ready to live on my own. And now I am, or maybe I’m not. This depression seems too big to handle alone. But I’m stepping out in faith that everything’s going to be ok. Because I have the skills, I have the support, I have all the tools I need to be successful in life.

And I’m ready, anxious, but ready.

But, I’m also looking for recommendations on how to live on your own. What’s helpful? What’s not? What works? What doesn’t?

We’re all in this life together.

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