The Dark Side of You: I Have Issues, But I am not THE Issue!

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Stolen Space

I bared, He stared,

At all of me there

In the space we shared

That cost very little.

His hands would mold

My skin of gold

My spirit, He stole

By His constant drivel

His lips, they brushed

My corpse of dust

Animated in lust

At one time, a riddle

He walked away

Unable to stay

Unwilling to say

Why he rid of Her.

***Trigger Warning: Narcissistic Abuse, Physical Abuse.

We’ve been broken up for almost three years now. It’s been two years since we were last intimate. I’ve had contact with you on and off, still searching for answers and sorting out the reality we shared. I’ll admit, I have issues, but as time and distance brings our past into greater focus, I don’t believe I was THE issue.

Here are some telltale signs that convinced me that it is you who needs help:

  1. You continue to “pull me in” only to quickly discard me. This is a power play that Narcs use to maintain control by emotionally manipulating and confusing their victim. You have been upset at me for awhile now because I did not tow the line and instead confronted your games “head on” over and over. When we have reconnected, my intention has been to seek closure, question your sincerity, and define my part in our demise. I am beginning to feel that your intention has been to establish control, seek revenge, and to eventually wound me. I don’t like thinking this way, but it’s a pattern I cannot ignore.
  2. You’ve contacted me and overtly flirted while with another woman. You have boasted about your lovemaking to her and how she “thinks the world of you”, while in the same breathe, inviting me down to your home to be intimate with you. I declined. You have built me up, while trash talking your girlfriend, thinking it would win me over, and instead it made me less attracted to you. For nearly three years, you have told me you are “not in love with her” and you are breaking up with her in the near future, and yet you are still with her. Once you even mentioned that she is “so in love with you” and thinks that one day you are going to marry her. It is at this point I began to realize that you are playing her, and in that awareness, I feel as if I have been played as well. You are being dishonest to both of us for the supply you need to feed your fragile ego.
  3. You declined therapy over and over again. It was something you had promised that you would do, if needed, in order to get me to move back to the state in which you reside. I moved across the country to be with you and all I received were broken promises.  And you never followed through on your promise to go to therapy with me, when things got tough. I was willing to seek help and I pleaded with you to go to therapy with me to no avail.
  4. You stonewalled me, refusing to connect during difficult times in my life. It was during these times, when I was struggling at work, was very sick, and was dealing with difficult family issues, that you would not take calls. If you did, it was to reel me in while you were dating another woman. I began to see your disrespect and disregard for both me and her. These times helped to loosen the hold you had on my heart and my life and let go.

And so, It’s time to truly “let go” now and heal.  You messed with my heart and head so badly that it will more than likely take a couple of years until I am ready to date again. I’ve been single now over a year and have had no desire to date.  In future relationships, I will be very slow to trust and give my heart away. I don’t understand someone who can love me the way you did and then leave.

There were a few times when I “got in your face” and asserted control and you physically asserted your control back by choking me, suffocating me with a pillow, pushing me, etc. These times where infrequent, but they still shake me to my foundation. Over the last few years, I brought up the choking incident on several different occasions: while we were in bed, in e-mails, in texts, in conversations. Each time you laughed it off, saying you were acting and trying to intimidate me, that it “wasn’t real”. I shudder now to think if during one of those times I had questioned you, you had “lost it” again, and this time, mortally wounded me.

At one point last year, you sent me an e-mail stating that you were upset that I was guilting you over the choking incident and you sent links to pictures of what a “real choking” looked like. This was another incidence of you never truly taking accountability. I realize now that I should have left you as soon as it occurred, but I was in shock and unable to process the event. In fact, I am still working on processing it. It may never truly compute that you choked me while threatening to put a bullet through my head. So many things over the years have confused me and have kept me doubting my own reality and sanity. It will take a lot of time and energy to shed light on the past so that I can heal, hopefully to never make those costly mistakes again.

You have stripped me down in doubt and fear. I had issues before I met you. I have even more issues now. I was always one to see my issues and want to improve. I was naive and thought everyone was like me in that way. I feel unraveled and isolated in my experience of us. It seems complex, a riddle that is almost impossible to solve. And yet, I am leaving it behind. I am letting it go. I am healing myself. I am forgiving myself and shedding the shame that surrounds us.

I will pray for light. I will pray for the heaviness to dissipate. I will pray for the lightness to return in my step and laughter to release in joy from my lips. I will write it away, sing it away, travel it away, and hike it away. And as I shed you from my skin, I’ll release the shame and the guilt that is binding me from my freedom. My story isn’t over and I am in the midst of great change. I don’t want to be that “chained up little person still in love with you” (Gloria Gaynor, I will Survive). I still have life and love inside me and it’s not going to wait anymore. I’m grateful for the lesson you gave me in self-love. Had I not been gaslighted so badly, perhaps I would have never searched my heart so much. Thanks to the depth of your continual scrutiny and rejection, I’ve had stake out my own self worth and esteem. In the end, you will have been a catalyst for my “Greatest Love of All” (Whitney Houston), self-love! And, I don’t know of any other gift that one can receive in this lifetime that is more valuable than the gift of loving oneself, fully and completely! The gift was mine!

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Leaving Me Thirsty For More

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Rolling over rocks

Rushing into you.

Feeling interlocked,

Feelings naked, new.

Foaming, violent seas

Heavy, heady night.

Stars floating free,

Giving up the fight.

Hands, silk and sin,

Trees hang overhead.

Sensuality, Sex and Sin,

Soft green grass, a bed.

The tide, rolling in

Silver with moonlight.

Majestically moving within,

Holding on tight.

The sea pulls away,

Brushing the ocean floor.

The dawning of a new day,

Leaving me thirsty for more.

After a decade involved in an abusive relationship, I have been taking a long break from romance and dating. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it, I do! I long for the day I am romantically involved in a healthy relationship. I adore being “in love” and romantically engaged with another. But, I am still not ready. I am taking the time I need to heal and “romance” myself. I definitely do not want to go into another relationship when I am not entirely healed from my past.

I wrote this poem around 12 years ago before I began dating, a few years after my husband and I separated. I had taken nearly 3 years to heal and was ready to begin dating. It was both an exciting and scary time for me as I hadn’t really dated that much in life. This was inspired by my first crush after my separation. A co-worker had caught my eye and we were flirting and having fun. It was all very innocent as we only went out once. It’s fun to think back to the times in our lives that were full of mystery and excitement. I’m hopeful one day that I’ll fall madly and deeply in love. There is noting more intoxicating than the beginning of a new love!

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Existential Angst: Three Poems Inspired by the Struggle of Life

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This Thing in the Mirror

In the mirror,

It’s me.

My reflection.

That I see.

Is that really me?

Is that really me?

I see vulnerability.

I see hope.

All my thoughts,

Come from this thing.

This thing,

Staring back at me.

I smile,


I smile, sweetly,

At the reflection,

Staring back at me.

It scares me.

In the mirror,

That thing,

Smiling back at me.

Is it beauty?

Is it sin?

Staring intensely,

I know not where to begin.

So I stare,

Until I scare,

This thing,

That is me.

Staring so sullenly,

Back at me.

Yes, I have actually stood at a mirror long enough to scare myself. I’ve always found it odd to occupy a physical being for years, only to eventually be forced to leave it. I have so many questions for why we live and why we die. Science only explains the process that can be objectively described. I’m interested in why we exist and why in the form of a physical being? I must say, however, that the physical body is a marvel of mind blowing functions, each system intrically and masterfully created that miraculously functions for years. Collectively, our systems work together with many built-in overrides to maintain homeostasis. It’s pretty incredible! But seriously, why is there pain and suffering? And why do we find ourselves engaged in such mindless pursuits much of the time? I have many hypotheses. Many times if I am laughing wildly it is because of the absurdity of it all.  I sure hope one day I get an answer!  LOL.

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Played and Caged

Ragged, Ripped,


Trapped, Cooped,


Kicked, Sucked,


Deceived, played,


Taken, Killed,


Lost, Forgiven,


Well! I went there on that one! I’m sure we have all felt this way at one time or another in our lives. It’s a bit extreme, but was written during a time when I felt betrayed by a friend and was more than likely pretty depressed abut it. For some of us, we are unlucky and experience a string of bad experiences with people or employers and it can be devastating. Often, these times can challenge us to examine our own lives. For me, it was that I needed to develop better boundaries. I am still working on doing so!

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The Endless Cycle





And I can’t pick it up






And I can’t fix it

So, Throw it up

Rip it up

Throw it against the wall

Tie it up

And beat it

Send it outside into the cold

Laugh at it

Lie to it

Leave it



Eat it



Accept it

Grin and bear it

And live


I wrote this many moons ago about the perpetual cycle of mood swings I experience in relation to my Bipolar I illness and my inability to ever have complete control over them. It’s enraging, at times, to suffer and not be able to truly articulate to others how it feels to have your emotions and perceptions hijacked abruptly with absolutely no warning! I feel wrangled in and drug around while bystanders call out orders for me to do better. It’s a hell I wish on no one and it is challenging, to say the least, to put into words so that people can “get it”. I feel kinda like Dorothy in Oz, except the disorienting experience happens almost every month or so and there is no place called “home” that I can click my heels to and feel at peace again. Perhaps the answer has been within me the entire time, but if so I have been searching like mad, unable to find it. Life can be a disorienting cycle for someone who suffers from a persistent and severe mental illness and I’m infinitely amazed sometimes at how much I have accomplished despite the disease that limits me. I will keep struggling forward and find the answer, or perhaps I will sit back and “accept” it all and stop fighting to find one. Maybe the answer is letting go with a smile.

Mental Healthcare Madness: A Sick System

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I am listless.

I am tired.

I wish there was someone I could talk to who was able to listen objectively, with empathy.

I wish I was able to afford a reputable residential treatment for my illnesses of: Bipolar I, ADHD, and PTSD. I am exhausted fighting all alone. I am only able to meet twice a month with my therapist because I am on Medicaid. It is not enough with everything that has happened over the last year. I need help managing my anger related to family issues and an abusive relationship. The longer I go without treatment, the more devastating it becomes for me. I am unable to work currently because of how sick I have been. My negative coping patterns become reinforced and I feel more alienated and depressed. Often, I am suicidal. And, my physical health is suffering greatly as a result. I have reached out to the crisis hotline a few times over this past year, but being placed in an inpatient facility for acute care and destabilization isn’t appropriate for me and often does more damage than good.

The last place I went to for crisis destabilization, I waited 36 hours to be admitted and was kicked out the same day I arrived.  I was manic and exhausted and impulsively  asked to leave. I quickly changed my mind, but was forced to leave anyhow even though they had not even completed the tests they ordered regarding my lungs.  I was having trouble breathing due to recent influenza that led to bronchitis. I informed several staff members of my decision to stay and receive treatment, and even asked to talk with the doctor who was there at the time of my requests. No one provided with with an answer and then later they dropped my clothes on the floor in front of me and told me I had to leave. I was still wearing a blue suit I was made to wear while on precautions for 36 hours. I told the staff again I was still suicidal, they responded by informing me that if I did not leave willingly, they would involve hospital security to escort me out. I was lead to the exit, provided my belongings in which they had rummaged through and placed in plastic bags, and was shown the door all while I vocalized that I was still suicidal. It was an extremely undignified and dehumanizing experience for me. I thought to myself later how incredibly odd it would have looked had I thrown a big scene vocally while security ushered me from the psych unit of the hospital. Instead, I left quietly, in tears, and immediately went to the administrative offices and complained. No remedy was reached and I left in tears, defeated. It was truly a devastating experience for me. It has discouraged me from ever wanting to get help when I am depressed and suicidal.

Also recently, I nearly attended residential treatment, but backed out at the last minute because they were communicating inconsistently with my mother and me concerning cost.  It was expensive, around $18,000 for 3 weeks, and I was already feeling uncomfortable about having my Mom fork over that much money. My Mom was reassured by the treatment facility that if I had to leave early, she would be reimbursed. However, the following day, I was asked to sign a document stating the exact opposite, that I would not receive any type of reimbursement should I leave the program at any time. I began to get cold feet after reading some on-line reviews. When I withdrew, it took more than a month to get back the $12,000 deposit my mother had paid. We had placed several calls, but were being ignored which caused both my mother and me anxiety. It was only after I wrote a nasty review on-line that they attempted taking down, that they returned our money. This facility, which was Christian-based, lied stating my review of their treatment facility was for another organization across the country. It was odd behavior, and again has made it difficult to trust others in receiving treatment.

And thus, I am on the waiting list, here locally, for an outpatient Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program that seems promising. However, the waitlist is still a few months out and I have been on it for about 3 months now. I also do not have the money to afford treatment, but have been referred to a grant that may cover most, if not all, of the treatment if I am awarded it. I am cautiously optimistic. We’ll see.

I wanted to write this post to demonstrate the potential difficulty one may experience in  receiving adequate treatment for a mental illness in America.  If you are residing in the United States and attempting to receive adequate care, it can be extremely difficult. And, you are not alone.

My niece was declined inpatient care by Medicaid a year ago for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and substance abuse issues. Since then, she has had multiple arrests and hospitalizations. Both the social worker and presiding emergency room MD felt she would benefit from inpatient and admitted her pending insurance approval, the hospital sent her home at 3 AM via cab to my house due to a denial from Medicaid. It was shocking. Had she not been denied treatment, she may not be as sick as she is today. Her diagnosis now is schizophrenia & bipolar disorder, which may actually be drug induced psychosis. Early aggressive treatment may have not only drastically improved the quality of her life, it could have also saved the government money from subsequent hospitalizations, incarcerations, and arrests.

My nephew was brought to the ER with hallucinations and delusions by the police a few years ago. They discharged him to the streets with a note in hand instructing him to contact his primary care physician for follow up care. He began walking home and eventually was able to call someone to come and pick him up. He has bounced in and out of hospitals without any true progress. He resides in Tennessee and they do not have any state hospitals where he can stay longer to hopefully experience stability. Instead of  having one longer stay that attempts different medications and non-medical interventions, he is hospitalized roughly 6-8 times a year briefly only to be medicated and released. It is heartbreaking to watch my nephew suffer year after year and not get well. I truly feel the system is failing him and this is the only life he has!

This is why I write and continue to fight. I realize that there are many people out there struggling, like me. They have also have had bad experiences, causing hesitancy and distrust. I have met many professionals along my journey who are frustrated too, longing to do more, but have their hands tied behind their backs. I hope writing this helps others struggling not feel so alone. I also hope that these stories stay alive to inspire professionals and policy makers to push for reform that will provide more effective treatment. Mental illness is debilitating and can be deadly, it is time that we demand care that is compassionate, effective, and affordable.  Thanks for reading.

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Embracing the Mentally Ill in the Workplace: My Work Wish List!

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I am currently appealing the initial denial of my SSDI claim for being unable to work due to my Bipolar I disorder, ADHD, and PTSD. I fought going on SSDI for nearly a decade which led to multiple failures and a disruption of my medical care and housing, resulting in an exacerbation of my illness. In my last employment experience, a state agency separated me from my probationary period, stating that I was disqualified due to my disability.  They fired me after a medical leave for my illness, at my very first accommodations meeting.  They were not interested in accommodating me and I lost a great job as a result.  This inevitably caused a relapse and after a year of decompensation, I am just now resurfacing.

And so, I am appealing the SSDI decision as a result of being unsuccessful for the past several years. I am trying to become more stable and acquire better coping techniques prior to ever returning to work. One of my greatest problems arising from my mania and ADHD is my inability to “self pace”. I can accomplish an amazing amount of work in a short time and I learn more quickly than others. But, on the flip side, my mania causes inconsistency that stems from insomnia that eventually leads to crashing in exhaustion, often suffering with severe migraines and IBS. As a result, I miss work and to those who do not understand my illness, they are baffled by my inconsistency.  They will often attribute it to my character which upsets me. I perform remarkably well for a time and receive praise, and then inevitably begin missing work. The lack of sleep and mania often will cause me to be more sensitive and short fused. I become drained by having to “hold back” the mania and come across as short and easily agitated.  This results in conflicts with colleagues and supervisors.  I have tried very hard to prevent this from occurring, but it always occurs in the same predictable fashion: performing well with praise, becoming increasing obsessed and driven, de-compensating both mentally and physically, and eventually collapsing to include conflicts, absences, and termination. It has been a major heartache in my life to not reach my full potential in the workplace due to living with a mental illness.

Sadly, most people attribute my failures to my personality and character, instead of my illness which presents itself in a variety of ways while working. It is soul destroying to disclose an illness and be raw and vulnerable only to be continually misunderstood and devalued.  The stigma surrounding the illness and the lack of sensitivity is traumatizing and I have had multiple nightmares with the theme of working with my illness. I have had therapist stop me when discussing my work experiences because I was getting too anxious and visibly upset. It has been that difficult for me.

I feel the workplace and community needs to embrace the mentally ill working. It truly has to be a compromise of sorts for it to be successful. The benefits far outweigh the risks on either side. I acknowledge that there are some workplaces that are truly sensitive and inclusive, it just has not been my experience, yet. I hope one day once I am recovered, I will be able to be myself, open and honest, about my struggle and I will be valued for my skills, education, and experience and my illness will fade into the background. I recognize the importance of a business running efficiently, I also feel that retaining employees, even those with mental illnesses, will benefit employers in the end. Often employers do not want to take the time to accommodate a person with an illness because they feel it will be time consuming and yet, hiring and training a new employee is more involved and costly. The accommodations process might take time initially, but once accommodations are in place they are often effective, benefitting both employee and the employer.

Here is my wish list should I choose to brave the work world again once I have recovered.

  1. I want to find a place that truly exemplifies a culture of diversity and inclusivity. I want to work for an agency that sees the value in employing people of diverse backgrounds.  A place that longs to hear the voice that often isn’t represented in an organization, the voice of one who is disabled.  I want them to see that it makes their organization stronger, not weaker.
  2. I want to work for an organization that is aware that I have a disability, but also is aware of my strengths and values them.  A workplace that gets that I am often more productive than most, but I do have the risk of decompensation due to my illness. I want an employer that accepts both and works with me to minimize the risk of decompensation so that I can continue benefitting the organization and remain successfully employed.
  3. I want to work for a place that acknowledges my struggle and sees that my intention is to do a good job always.  I don’t want to work for an employer that feels my accommodations request is to get special treatment or have an excuse to do less work. I am a conscientious worker and my intentions have come into question when I was trying to get accommodations in place. My only intention was to remain successfully employed benefitting the organization.
  4. I want to work for an organization that is versed in the Americans with Disabilities Act where they enjoy and value helping those with disabilities remain employed.

On a personal note, it is important for me to find an employment opportunity that will compliment my illness. I have been working primarily in healthcare and that is already a busy, stressful environment. If I am able to work again, it has to be flexible to accommodate my issues in self pacing. I am either lighting speed fast or at home nursing a migraine. My goal will be to explore opportunities that make sense with the illness I live with every day.

I hope this post helps some of you still working and struggling. Maybe you can share in the comments section your experience and what has helped you. I still feel our world has a long way to appropriately accommodating those who are struggling. It takes education and awareness to cultivate sensitivity in the workplace. Mental illness is highly stigmatized and many myths must be debunked for progress to truly occur. I’ve always wanted to work in advocacy and education regarding these issues. I believe everyone who wants to work should have the right to do so, with the support provided to ensure success. Working is such a part of one’s identity and I support anyone who is doing their best to work while living with a mental illness. It is an arena that has immense potential to help restore and remediate one’s health if the process is supported.

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Does “Love Conquer All”?

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“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return”.

Eden Ahbez, “Nature Boy” (song, recorded by Nat King Cole)

I’ve spent my life savings trying to find love, only to become emotionally depleted, bankrupt. If I am honest, I fear that I will never trust again. I have difficulty trusting others when so many have let me down, devaluing and discarding me. I have difficulty trusting myself when I’ve often overstayed my welcome, stripped of dignity and self worth. Oh, how I have loathed myself for fighting solo; Screaming expletives into the dark, throwing punches to my face, with no one there to buffer my fall. I fell alone and I fell hard, over and over and over again.

Those I loved were home, sleeping soundly, their phone silenced, with so much space & distance always growing between us. The distance, infinite, and the destiny unattainable. I could not penetrate their thorny walls no matter the method employed. I only grew embittered, despondent, and even wrathful, at times. Your inability to love me must mean I am unlovable on some level.  Your inability to forgive, rendered me unforgivable. And so I would sit, spending days, weeks, and months running inventory in my mind, meticulously adding up the crimes committed trying to determine if the sentencing had been fair, or did some injustice occur. Even if so, I would never abandon those who I loved. I naively believed that “Love Conquers All”.  I’ve learned through suffering, it does not.

I have been playing solitaire for too long, dancing madly in the darkness, shouting obscenities into vacuous spaces.  I’ve been imploring the darkness to befriend me and have been jolted by the reverberations of my own voice, circling me in laughter and loneliness.  I look around and I see there is no one here.  My mad screams unable to reach you due to the growing vastness created by your endless preoccupation.  It was you that cut off our connection and denied our potential, resulting in disillusionment.  It has left me in constant confusion, scratching my head, wrestling with my own reality.

How does one love so intensely with raw emotion, only to be separated by an ocean a day later?  How does one grow up side by side only to abandon you when confronted over their mistakes?  You point fingers and cast blame for my angry words that have spilled from my mouth in response to your abusive ways.  I have never stonewalled, gaslighted, shift-blamed, or discarded you. Even so, I am the one not sleeping as I plunge into the madness, searching for the reality we shared.  I am sure it exists somewhere, and so I sit, still searching for answers even after you left me long ago. How could it be so easy for you?

And so, I have suffered greatly under the abuse of a Narcissist.  Well, actually two narcissists.  And, it will be my greatest life work to unravel what has been screwed on so tightly and reinforced by their abusive ways.  And yet, I still love both of them, even as they walked out of my life, cutting me along the way.  I cut back in anger, in love, and in desperation. I thought they loved me. I thought they could truly never leave and I played right along, dancing in the fire with them. But, I was different, my intentions were PURE and I truly thought they couldn’t leave. I thought this foolishly because I felt if I couldn’t leave, they couldn’t either. I thought they loved me. I naively believed that “Love Conquers All”. And, it doesn’t.

And, now, I am to blame, for playing their foolish games. I am no match for someone who is able to walk away. They must have never loved me in the first place.

I am still going to believe that “Love Conquers All”, that is, if it actually is love and not ego. I still will have difficulty trusting, but I won’t have difficulty loving. I proved my capacity for love by still loving the two that left, even as they walked away. I’m capable of love. And in my pain, this brings a smile.

My Desolate Sea

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My Desolate Sea

It’s difficult to say

No one loves me,

Enough to stay.

Trouble finds me

Surrounds me

Binds me,

Never minding me.

I want nothing more

than to be set free

From those who

misunderstand me,

From those unwilling,

To see me.

Distance grows greater,

With each passing storm,

I’m stripped to nothingness,

It’s been my norm.

It’s been too heavy

When life is so short

When passing through,

It’s me, they’ll abort.

The relentless ocean

Raises its floor

With sand and grit

It snarls and spits,

Foaming once more

Soaking and drowning me,

Dragging me to the shore.

Day by Day,

It’s been impossible to stay.

Each of us, not wanting it this way.

The ransom not to pay

For the lives who have no say.

After all, it’s just another day.

Too much, Too much

As I can see,

The devastation, the destruction,

But, can they see me?

Intolerable Grief

Difficult to bear

I stand there,

I stand there.

Standing in solitude

In treacherous tide

I’ve stood waiting 

For you to take my side,

The ocean grows weary,

The storm sighs, settles down

I catch my breath, nearly

And Another begins to crown.

I stand shouting

With all my might

With words, With love

I stand firm, and fight.

Perhaps it’s not seen as right.

Perhaps, it’s always seen as fight,

With angry words, fists and bite,

Again abandoned in spite.

I get dragged

Ruthlessly to sea,

While others on shore,

Stand pointing at me.

Cackling, laughing, at me.

But never, running after me.

To value me.

In the aftermath

It’s always me

Left alone

In this desolate Sea.

In this desperate sea.

That abandons me.

I stand alone defending me,

Validating me,

Pleading to be set free,

Hoping this is not my eternity,

To remain, here, in this desolate sea.

In this desperate sea.

This poem describes some of the relationships currently in my life.  I have felt abandoned by some in my family as well as my ex fiancé who I believe may be a narcissist.  It has been difficult to remain in relationships where I have felt not visible or valued, at times.  And so, I am working on distancing myself from those in my life who treat me poorly and those that enable the poor treatment.

It is hard work to leave someone you love, but I feel it is my only path to healing.  I hope one day to be truly loved, valued, and fought for.  I hope one day to escape my “desolate and desperate” sea.  It is my work to do so.  It is my intention to one day be fully loved and valued.  And so, I am learning to value and love myself so that I will not settle and I will be ready for an amazing, healthy love when it comes.  I am currently not dating or searching for anyone as I realize I have a lot of healing to do first.  I am working on loving myself.  This will open me up to limitless possibilities and opportunities.  My day will come in time.  I’ve always said I would rather have quality over quantity any day.  I’ll wait for the caviar and decadent dark chocolate truffles.  It’s going to be so worth it in the end.

Happy Birthday to You, The Gift is Mine

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Narc Love

I stood naked.



You told me

What I wanted to hear.

Called me beautiful.

Saying: I love you.

Then, you left.

Called me crazy,

Used my secrets Against me,

Accepted no responsibility.

This, when just a week ago,

You slept beside me, inside me,


I love you.

I was reminded of you last night. I was up late, looking through a decade of old photos on my computer. A picture of you in your military uniform captured me, I had a hard time looking away, so I stared at it for awhile, with intensity and interest. These were the eyes I would lose myself in, the same ones that could make time stand still and everything else fall into the background. They were the ones that penetrated my walls enough to peer inside and scan my internal landscape of intimate vulnerabilities, desires, and fears. Your eyes had a language of their own and I trusted them, inviting them to sit with me in my most sacred places, sharing a world with them that I had never travelled before. So many intoxicating and exciting places we visited. For me, it was something incredibly special, so beautiful and unique, that words could never paint the picture of us. The painting that only you and I shared. It was, at times, other worldly and blissful. And yet, it was too good to be true.

I fell through a burning ring of fire” staring into your eyes.

You eyes were deceiving me the entire time. Full of lies, they studied my internal landscape to rape and pillage the fertile soil, determined to leave it dry and barren. Only then, would your ego be satisfied enough to leave me, discarded and devastated.

And so, late last night, I was surprised and delighted to remember that it was your birthday. It has been two years since we last slept side by side, stuck in an abusive cycle of your gaslighting and lies. It was difficult leaving you initially because you had convinced me that I was the problem in the relationship. Your erratic behavior of pulling me in and discarding me, kept me dizzy and in constant confusion and anxiety. You kept crashing into my life with such intensity, only to withdraw quickly and silently, stonewalling me for weeks, ignoring texts and refusing requests to talk. It was maddening and I eventually left.

I still longed for our connection, to look into your eyes, and escape into perfect bliss.  In ways, I hoped you would agree to therapy as I implored you to do so.  But, days and weeks and soon months went by and if you contacted me it was only to flirt or invite me down to sleep with you.  And this was when you were dating someone else.  I saw this behavior as distasteful and demeaning to the woman you were romancing at the time.  Those brief interactions only served to distance me farther from you, eventually allowing complete freedom from the reign you had in my life for an entire decade!

And so, today, I wish you a “Happy Birthday”, but the gift, baby, is all mine. Two full years of self-discovery and forgiveness. Two years of regaining my dignity. I’m healing and changing while you stay caged in your crappy games, hurting those “you love”.  And now, I see those eyes as distant, cold, hollow. I have always held out hope on some level that perhaps you did really love me. But, the larger part of my spirit knows now that you were not capable of loving me at the time, if ever. The many times I left messages or e-mails only for you to not respond. I now see your stare as icy cold, even menacing. There were times when we were together that I watched you turn stone cold, distant. I didn’t recognize you.

And so, today I celebrate two years free from our cycle of despair. And, as you have your cake and ice cream today, I’m three hours away celebrating my recovery of narcissistic abuse. It’s been a time of perpetual gifts, both big and small. I’ve learned to love myself and put me first, in the center of my plate. Our relationship helped to carve out my self-esteem, in a painstakingly, beautiful manner. So the ending of us, was really the beginning of something truly remarkable and beautiful for me. When I thought my world had fallen apart, in losing you, it actually was unraveling in order to be put together in the most exquisite and miraculous way.  I rose from the flames, reborn, like the phoenix and am infinitely proud of rising after such a disastrous fall.  So….. Happy Birthday to you and Happy “Rebirth”day to me.  Looks like we both have something to celebrate!

Raindrops: Poems Inspired by Rain

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Over the years, I’ve written quite a few poems inspired by rain. Rainy days often can provide the perfect backdrop for writing as its difficult to get out and do your normal routine.  It’s easier to cuddle up with a blanket and hot cup of tea and read a book or put pen to paper and write. Sometimes a steady, soaking rain that lasts all day will nearly put me in a trance, a completely different state of mind, where my thoughts are more fluid and distant. The following poems were written during times when I was swept away by the rain in thoughts or feelings and wanted to capture where I had landed.

Thirsty for More


Swelling in the Sky.





Drop, Drop, Drop.

And I can’t stop,



Thirsty for more.

While the puddles swell,

And the rain swiftly flows

To the gutter.

Where it disappears.

Underneath the city.

I walk above,

On washed up streets.

One lone beat.

And there is none for me,

Always wanting.

I wrote this many years ago.  I believe this was written during a time when I was longing for connection, more than likely with a partner, and felt lonely.  The raindrops symbolized my feeling that connection and relationships were plentiful and yet, I felt I was missing many opportunities again and again as the “rain flowed to the gutter”, disappearing from view.  The rain had stirred my imagination and served as a method for processing my pain during a lonely time in my life.



Blessed Rain.


Stripped naked,

Bathing, in the water.

My strands of hair, wet.

Lying in the wet grass.

The green, wet blades of grass.

The scent of a fresh Spring rain.

The scent of honeysuckle.

Lying naked in the grass.

Exposed, for every soul to see.

My impurities, leaving me.

Naked now, baring my soul,

For the world to know,

Of me.

For the world to see me.

With nothing to hide.

Rain, falling from the sky.

Covering me, lightly.

Kissing me.

Making me free.


Blessed Rain.


This was another poem written years ago during a downpour. This poem displays my connection to nature and the healing properties it holds for me.  Being naked and exposed without shame, symbolized a time in my life when I was discovering my true essence and was growing in confidence, becoming ok with myself. The rain symbolizes a cleanse of any and all negativity and fear I was holding on to and a desire to just be me, unapologetic and fearless.  The rain was the medium through which I was shedding parts of my cocoon and was eager for flight.

Rain Drops

Have you ever sat and watch the rain drops beat upon the window shield?

Each drop, some separating, others combing, quiver and break loose.

They seem to be in a race, against time, against humanity.

They reach their destination, only to realize that they do not exist.

I wrote this many moons ago when I was 17 years old.  It was inspired from a road trip in the rain that I had taken with my Mom.  I remember looking out the car window and noticing the rain drops.  The drops reminded me of people, in a hurry, running to and fro, sometimes alone or together.  Like the raindrops on the windshield, people also have an expiration date.  It sounds a bit morbid, but it is more about the race that we often find ourselves in and how we forget to slow down sometimes to hang a little longer in the spaces where we are at, engaged fully in the present moment.

Thanks for reading, I believe we will get some much needed rain next week.  If I am lucky, I’ll get a poem or two out of it!!

The Endless Pursuit of Preoccupation

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I’ve spent years fruitlessly searching for something more, often by engaging in tumultuous relationships, reckless endeavors, and high intensity jobs.  These spaces were fraught with tension, intrigue, drama, and suspense and would hold my attention for a time.

Looking back, one of my unhealthy preoccupations was my gross investment in loved ones who were “drowning”, often in abusive relationships and/or struggling with addiction.  Their struggle was severe, often involving episodes of incarceration, potential homelessness, and hospitalization.  I would throw my entire being into “saving another” and would rage and wound after being rejected after multiple attempts of confrontation.  I became more invested in their healing process than they were.   I wanted them well and “awake”, able and willing to connect, and eventually I realized my preoccupation was limiting my own growth and healing.  I learned that my quest to connect, over time, trapped me in a cycle of disillusionment and disconnection.  In my effort to reach people, I had cut myself off and my world closed in on me as I became more obsessed to reach those who had value to me. Depression and despair set in and I grew bitter, alone, and often suicidal.  My value was placed on a select few that I felt had abandoned me, if not, even abandoned themselves.

In this space: I sat, I slept, and I sulked.  Those struggling continued to struggle.  Those sleeping continued to sleep.  And, I, lamented and grieved.

It was during this painful time in my life, that I became aware of two conflicting spaces, one of endless preoccupation, and one of stillness.  I was familiar with preoccupation, busying my mind with anything but the deafening silence of solitude. Preoccupation lead me into places of intensity: tumultuous relationships, gambling, and chaos.  I refer to chaos as the endless opportunities in my life that existed to engage in gossip and drama regarding other people’s pain.  It was an addiction in and of itself, often latching on, attempting to bring about change in a complex and chaotic situation where those struggling were not entirely invested in healing.  I wore their pain like a corset and went on a mission to rattle them to the point of waking.  To this day, it has failed and left me rejected and devalued, struggling to pick up the pieces while the bombs keep dropping in the background.  There seemed to be no safe shelter from it.  I had to walk away from those that had already left me, complacent with the dissolve of our relationship and the perpetual destruction in their lives.  After years of exhaustion and loneliness, I knew it was time to visit the other side, stillness.  I wondered what I could gain from being still, no longer running endlessly, could I even stop and what would happen if I did?  This place of stillness is still somewhat foreign to me.

And so, this brings me to where I am at presently in my life. Exploring the space of stillness, checking in, recognizing the urge to move, but not doing so.  Often if I felt an urge, I acted on it in some way.  So, sitting here, still, is a new practice for me. Some may call it meditation or mindfulness and those are two ways to “tune in” instead of turning to mindless preoccupation where intent is often muted,  undiscovered.

In this space, I am learning that I have often ran from the pain of rejection and loneliness in my life.  Oddly enough, I would run right back into a situation where I didn’t have the opportunity to connect.  In fact, gambling and hopeless relationships served to further alienate me from myself and others.  It limited my ability to connect.  When I gambled, I was detached, sitting in front of a machine, with absolutely no opportunity for true connection.  I look around now and notice the level of disconnection that occurs when people are in pain. To be fair, some amount of preoccupation is needed as it would be impossible to be “on” and “connected” all the time.  And preoccupation can be achieved in healthy ways where people are connecting.  I am primarily concerned with the amount of unhealthy preoccupation that I have participated in to dull the pain in my life.

Sitting still has made me aware of why I am running so much in my life.  A few weeks ago, I was taking a bath.  I love a hot bath and it is a great place to “be still”.  I asked myself why is it I don’t feel loved?  Why am I jealous sometimes of others and long to feel special?  Why am I chasing after people and situations that never give back, where I am neglected and rejected?  Why?  Now, in the past, I would become immediately preoccupied.  I did not want to sit with my pain.  But, from this simple exchange, came a voice, an answer.  I was missing my “father”.  I never knew my biological father and I wasn’t close to my step-dad.  Growing up, I was jealous and sad of the other girls I saw who would run up, jumping into their Dad’s lap.  I was fortunate to have some time with my Grandfather who did bestow fatherly love on me, but my grandparents lived in another state and that love I experienced was limited to the times we were physically together.  So, all of these feelings of sadness & jealousy that I figured were character flaws actually came from a real place.  This opened up the door for compassion.  How could I be mad at a little girl who longed to be held by her father?  This helped to create softness in place of the “armor” I had created in self loathing and fear.  Had I not sat in the stillness and asked, I may have missed this discovery, this puzzle piece of my landscape.

We have a choice every day to “wake up” or remain sleeping.  If you find that you are endlessly running and are exhausted from endeavors that don’t provide any return, but drain you, it may be time to consider the stillness.  What greater endeavor than to connect to yourself and enrich your life while developing compassion towards yourself and others.  This has been a gift.  And I have a lot more “sitting” to do as I’m used to the endless pursuit of preoccupation.