Isn’t it obvious?

staringWhy can’t you tell that I’m lying?

Why can’t you hear it in my voice?

Don’t you hear the halting speech, the pauses…searching for the right word to convey the illusion of sanity?

Why can’t you see it in my eyes?

Don’t you notice that they rarely look at you while I speak? They dart around the room, looking for an anchor.

Why can’t you see my trembling hands?

Don’t you see them shredding the tissue in my lap? Flittering around, trying to convey something I can’t express in words.

How can you sit there and say “I’m pleased to see that you seem like you’re doing well.”

And why do I hide it from you?

Why do I go from “I’m struggling, I need help” to “Oh yes, I’m fine and don’t need another appointment right now” by the end of the session?

I will share my quilt

 

quilt
‘Contained’ Crazy Quilt at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Here, wrap yourself in my yesmetoo quilt made from words that pour out of my heart. Be comforted with the knowledge that you are not alone with whatever you feel. Burrow beneath the warmth from the surety that others have survived what you are experiencing.

Since I’ve started writing, I’ve learned that there are people all over the world that are very different from me yet we have shared experiences. The simple “Yes, me too!” comment is my favorite. After so many years of being told I’m crazy, stupid, or wrong, it’s comforting to know that there is at least one other person that knows exactly what I’m talking about.

So here, wrap yourself in my yesmetoo quilt whenever you need it.

You can’t hear my brain

ugly words

What do you have to be depressed about?

You have a wonderful husband.
My brain doesn’t feel his arms around me.

You live in a nice house.
My brain only see the dust.

You look younger than you really are.
My brain only sees ugliness.

You are so slim.
My brain sees a fat cow.

You have nice clothes.
My brain doesn’t care what I wear.

Why can’t you just smile and think happy thoughts?
Why can’t you hear my brain screaming?

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Luxury

A view of "Inca de Oro" (Inca gold) town (C) in the middle of the Atacama desert, near Copiapo city, north of Santiago, Chile

Luxury is unattainable.

I am a child, luxury is a hug from my mother.

I am a young girl, luxury is a Barbie Dreamhouse.

I am a teenager, luxury is acceptance.

I am a college student, luxury is self-respect.

I am a young mother, luxury is a loving partner.

I am a survivor of domestic violence, luxury is freedom from fear.

I am a person with mental illness, luxury is sanity.

I am a woman, luxury is self-love.

via Daily Prompt: Luxury

Unexpected wisdom

mother baking with daughterDuring the few times I allowed myself to think of a future as a parent, I never imagined that imparting wisdom derived from my experiences would include how to survive abuse. Nor did I picture myself and my future child having discussions about psychiatric medications.

My mother taught me how to sew intricate Vogue patterns, and then accessorize my outfits with the right shoes and jewelry. She instilled in me the importance of a Chanel black dress, and the need for it to be worn on the perfect body. In addition to an appreciation of the fine arts, I learned the appreciation of fine dining. But all her wisdom was not superficial, I went with her to meetings of the League of Women Voters and Another Mother for Peace.

Not once did we discuss how to cope with mental illness, either my own or that of others. She did not tell me that I was entitled to be treated with respect, nor did she instill in my psyche the importance of “No.” We talked about medicines for birth control, acne, and cramps. Frightening side effects of psychotropics were never brought up, I don’t even think there was a need for this sort of discussion at that time.

I had no idea parenting could be both heartbreaking and heart-enriching. Visiting my child in a psychiatric ward or talking about how to deal with a narcissist were not in any book on parenting. Yet here I am, about thirty years into this adventure, finding myself grateful that none of that came up during my upbringing. Would I have been scared off? Might I have chosen not to have children? I’d like to think that I would have been brave and willing to take on the challenge; but even though I wouldn’t give back my daughters, I’m not really sure I would have been strong enough to say “Yes, that’s something I’m sure I could handle.”