1

Selfish.

Sometimes I feel like I need to share my story,
Like I need to warn my sisters,
Like I’m complicit in what you did
every day that I don’t.

Maybe my story, my trauma, my naked soul
could make a difference
and here I am. Selfish.
Keeping it all to myself. Every last bit of it.
To my lone self.

I know at my core that my heart is worth protecting
but maybe it’s not.
I’ve been wrong before.

I’m a terrible feminist survivor, in fact.
Because I didn’t tell anyone that it was you.
Because I forgave you.
Because I don’t think you’re a monster.
Because I didn’t tell your friends why I stopped talking to them too.

I know at my core that my heart is worth protecting
but my fingers feel dirty, like they’re personally responsible
for whatever fucking-up you do,
every day that I don’t say your name out loud.

0

TBH

**This has been on my drafts for some time now, but I finally feel like sharing.**

Don’t tell me to “just” think positive. “Just” build myself a routine, “just” socialize more, “just” change my perspective on things, “just” give it time.
There is nothing *just* about depression.

“Just” getting out of bed is a victory on some days. But you don’t know that, so you ask how’s work.
Survival is unpaid labor.

xx
“Things will get better”, you say.
But how do you know? Are you an Oracle?
Do you know when? Is it this month? Should I make an appointment?
Should I pack my bags right away or do I have time for a sandwich?

You don’t know? Oh. Yeah. I don’t either.

xx

There is a bet going around, and some days my money is on your theory: that I’ll live, I’ll survive. Even if I don’t see it, I know logically things can get better. Statistically, the possibility is there.

Some days, though, my money is on another theory, but you don’t want to read about that one. But every now and then, my money is on that theory. You never want to hear about us, but then you wish you knew, wish you could’ve done something.

You can do something, though. And I know you want to do something, because you give me your advice, your relentless, annoying positivity, your “silver linings”, your pleasantries, your rehearsed lines.

Your “silver linings”, while well-intended, are worth shit when it comes to my depression.

xx

Grieving is weird when you’re grieving about your own brain. When you’re grieving what your brain has been doing to you, to your life, to your friends and family, for the past year. When you’re grieving an abstract hormonal war inside your body, what wonderful life-changing things you could be doing instead of “just” surviving. So let me grieve. Let me vent, let me rant, allow me that space to feel awful, to feel helpless. Hopefully, to feel hope sometimes.

I’ve been you, okay? And I know it can get uncomfortable. There is a void, an emptiness that is there. I know you feel it, and you feel responsible for filling it, but you’re filling it with more emptiness, more space between us. And ultimately, this is not about you. I am a pretty selfless person (as far as naturally-selfish people can be selfless, I guess; another topic for another time), but I need to be selfish about this if I want to heal. My mental health is not about you. And when you fill perceived blanks with your disturbingly oblivious and often ableist phrases to decrease your own discomfort, to feel like you’re doing something good, you are mostly doing it for you. And I need to repeat myself on this: MY MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

xx

I am well aware that you cannot know what I need, what many people with depression need, unless we tell you. So here I am, telling you: Shut the fuck up. Listen.

Instead of your unwanted (because, let me remind you, this is all about consent as well) advice, suggest activities we can do together if you want, if I want.
Instead of your positivism, feed me donuts. Any day.
Instead of your well-intended, but ultimately condescending, “logical” statements, give me validation. Give me hugs (but ask first).
Instead of the rehearsed lines you’ve probably been told yourself, the ones we hear everywhere and get us nowhere, rehearse these ones:
“I’m here.” “I’m sorry you feel this way.” “That absolutely sucks, you’re right.” “What can I do?” Hell, even “shit, I don’t know what to say, but I’m here” is perfectly acceptable.

I need to know there will be people who aren’t too tired to show up. Because I am fucking tired sometimes.
I do want you to be here, don’t get ever get that wrong. But actually be here, with me.

0

Visualizations

I breathe in, and breathe out.
I am supposed to locate my sadness somewhere in my body. If I picture it, then I can shrink it, move it, dissolve it. I forget what this technique is called as soon as my therapist tells me.

Don’t get me wrong, I do picture it. I picture it as a thick, greasy, gross coating that covers all my skin. It clings to it. It is water resistant. It keeps the sun from coming in.

I can’t shrink it without shrinking myself.

 

She talks about how you are yourself, even when the sadness is there. Behind it, there is always you, and after it, you will remain. She talks about rain.
Everybody knows the sun is still out there, even on rainy days, even when there’s a storm and the sky is all the same shade of gray. You know it in your brain, but after enough gray days and nights, your heart starts to question even the most logical of truths. Will the sun still be there after the sadness disperses? Are you still the same without the sadness? Is your skin the same after you wash off the bad days?

There is a bittersweet comfort in depression. It doesn’t betray you, or leave you. It pulls you into the blankets, it tells you it’s okay if your friends don’t call you or check up on you, because it would never do that to you. It is an abusive partner, but like most abusive partners, it lets you think it was all your idea. You chose to get that bottle of wine, you chose to cancel on your friends’ birthday plans, you chose to watch TV for 24 hours. You chose this lifestyle, so you must have chosen your sadness. You chose to cover your skin in isolation, in brokenness. It even congratulates you for your bad habits.

But you never chose this life, you never chose the rain. You never chose to sit on an arm-chair, breathing in and out, trying to explain how, in spite of all logic, you cannot dissolve the parts of you that you don’t like, without feeling like you’re dissolving everything else.

0

Softest places

I never learned how to write about my softest places,
I never learned how to define them.
Maybe if I could define them,
They could feel less scary,
They could let a little light in.

I never thought I would need so much again.
I never thought I would need. I never wanted to need.
I wanted to just… want.
Optional, disposable. Replaceable.

 

I long wondered how I would know,
When I had found home,
When home had found me.
I no longer wonder. I just
Breathe in. Breathe out.

Home is where darkness has heard of you.

Home has pictures of you and knows when you take your pills.
Home has heard about your softest places,
But your softest places know nothing about home.
Home feeds on your aching bones.
Home is with you when you try to sleep.
Home is with you when you try to sleep.

0

What surviving is.

There is a lot you can learn from trauma.

You learn to duck, to dive, to jump, to dodge. You learn to cover essential organs so you wont die from internal bleeding. You learn to sanitize and stitch and cauterize and treat. You become doctor, and teacher, and lawyer, and bodyguard.

 

There are lessons in every bruise of every body of every scared child in the world. Because we are all children when we are hurled up in a corner. Every soldier needs their mummy, no matter how old they are. And so we learn.

 

But, is that not a fucked up thing to say? “Well, now you know. Lesson learned. Be thankful for the experience.”

Now you know what it’s like to be given poison every morning and continue to thank them for their kindness.

Now you know it truly can happen to anyone. No one is safe. Not even the smart and sassy feminists.

Now you know that people can love you and tear you apart at the same time.

Now you know the kind of shame that drowns even the steadiest voice.

 

Now you know. Lesson learned. Be thankful for the experience.

 

It is a fucked up game to play: to drink tragedy with a dose of sugar, and to never say the A word.

The ‘A’ word means maybe he did not love you. Or worse, that maybe he did. He loved you and then he killed you. Every day.

The ‘A’ word means you let that happen to you.

The ‘A’ word means you are a victim. You were broken.

The ‘A’ word also means you must have had a moment of enlightenment. That you are all changed now, because the ‘a’ word means, you must get better somehow.

 

But let me be clear: Abuse. Abuse, did not make you stronger. It showed you how strong, how full of life force you already were.

Abuse did not show you the way with his fists, you showed yourself out with your own two fucking feet.

 

And let me be clearer: Abuse.. Abuse, did not build you. You are not his work of art.

Abuse did not build you.

You are not his work of art.

 

The ‘Thank You’ cards can stay in your desk: you are artist, art, and audience; you are strong like an amazon. You dodged every bullet and stitched every cut yourself.

 

Listen well, kid: Abuse did not build you. You are not his work of art.

0

damages past and present

The damage doesn’t look the same as it used to.

I laugh, I read, I call friends to meet up. I put on my red lipstick and attack, like Coco would advise.

I cook tofu things, I keep up my Instagram. I clean the bathtub.

 

The damage has different outfits, it seems.

I have changed, maybe more than I had realized. Maybe much less in parts of me that I would have liked to have shed completely.

But I still sleep 12 hours or none at all. I still crowd my bed with clothes and sheets of paper. I still hang on threads, always hoping for them to grow stronger on their own, or fall apart completely. My limbs are still heavy with anxiety. I still have dreams of realities much harsher than mine, but that feel quite similar. You know those nightmares in which you want to walk, or run, or stand up, and your limbs don’t move? You gotta wake up. WAKE UP. Stand up. Please.

 

And I have read a lot of books. Bookmarked in my head are all the recipes, all the pharmacies available, all the 10-step guides. I hoped I would never need them but somehow I knew I would some day. The problem with books is they don’t do it for you. They have the map to get out but what if your legs are broken, what if you are? How do you get anywhere then?

These damages seem new to the neighborhood, but their luggage has been here forever.

Hello again. I wasn’t expecting you.

0

Producciones teatrales de mi especialidad

Eramos dos sujetos armados – lo seguimos siendo, creo yo -, en una escena del crimen.

Se abre el telón.

 

 

La línea era vergonzosamente delgada en esos momentos. Nos salimos del libreto.

 

En esta historia ha habido en ocasiones 50 basquetbolistas acostados entre los dos y nuestras respectivas expectativas e intenciones.Ha habido prolongados segundos de estirar y aflojar unas cuerdas que veíamos claramente pero algo dentro de nosotros insistía en negociar los espacios. Hemos también tenido momentos de autopistas paralelas, con barreras delgadas pero fortísimas, blindadas con promesas imposibles de romper. Ha habido de todo, una historia larguísima y de grandes altibajos comprimida en dos años.

 

Pero hubo unos instantes, dentro de unas horas, dentro de unos días de peligro intenso. De tensión e intención absoluta. De un control tan artificial como vulnerable. Control que quería dejarse de mentiras, soltarse el cabello. Unos instantes de querer saber quien eras y quien era yo. No quienes eramos todos los días, sino quienes seríamos en ese momento de decisión, en esos 20 segundos de demente valentía, sin reflectores y sin pretextos. Queríamos quitarnos de esa cuerda floja, de la monotonía de la cual conocíamos bien los males. Y así fue.

Ahora, después del temblor, sigue esa línea delgada, haciéndose más y más delgada, más y más confusa, más y más llena de curiosidad. Hay una razón por la que me mantengo lejos de líneas así de delgadas y me limito a los extremos y los ejemplos claros. La razón es estos días post-trauma en los que te pienso en colores distintos. Y ese no era el plan.