Spine twisted into knots I curled up on my bare mattress trying to breathe thinking two thoughts at the same time: I can’t breathe and you’re going to survive this. The “this” I meant was not just that moment but this entire year…two years of losing finding and refining who it is that I know myself to be. 

It has been present with me lately that I’ve experienced two of the most difficult experiences women, sadly, far too often experience: rape and miscarriage. I must say I was much more equipped to handle the rape…even though I have anxiety attacks, carry a constant fear, have flashbacks, etc. If I had to rank them, the rape was easier. 

When I think about the day I found out, it takes my breath away. That’s how I felt. When I found out in one day I was both pregnant and not…I hit the floor. I felt like the world just collapsed around me and all the stars went out. I remember the feeling of isolation because I was alone and the only person I knew for 500 miles in any direction, was the father. I was devastated. And it is only just recently that I am able to openly admit that. Talking, literally talking about it is something I have yet to conquer. To be honest, I am not sure that it’s a mountain I even want to climb. Perhaps on this one my inner work is sufficient. Not every trial is for public consumption. Some things are allowed to just be mine. 

So when my therapist asked me to explain what feeling “raw” felt I told him like your body was inside out. But really it’s more like your body is covered in healing but exposed burns; the pink tenderness of vulnerable flesh. Praying to God no one bump into you, and your body unable to discriminate between loving touch and sadistic influence. It all hurts. 

The only thing that helps is time and armor. Telling myself that it’s okay to need the armor of medication. The armor of solitude. The armor of silence. The armor of friendship. The armor of family. The armor of kind thoughts. Whatever it is I need, it is okay that I give it to myself in order to dress my wounds and heal. 

Mr. And Mrs. Gray 

I am not as full of sadness as my pinterest pins would lead you to believe. Nor is my heart as broken. Still, though, there is truth that lies in the lyrics of songs buried between the words there in the pauses and sharp inhales. The remembrance of pain pushing through the breath and emanating off the tongue into beautiful audible tears streaming down a soft cheek. 

It will never make sense to me why it isn’t or wasn’t or couldn’t be. Why what was broken can’t be fixed but I only know that it can’t. I’ve learned that lesson over and over again. The loss of a soft smile. The loss of a heartbeat. The last of relief that follows an exhale, all unrecoverable. And this…it feels so close. I want to push it out into orbit and never hear from it again. 

Fear is a curious thing isn’t it? Sometimes it makes us impetuous and reckless and others stoic and paralyzed. I think about how I react to fear. But quickly push the idea out of my head. When was the last time I was afraid?  When was the last time I wasn’t? Maybe in ignorance there there is peace. Or perhaps it was a politeness than never need be addressed, whichever it was it gave me rest. 

Because of that I’ve wondered and was asked would it take another decade to allow someone so deep so close so In that they could quiet my storms. No, it wouldn’t take a decade. No, I never want anyone that close again. No, I don’t mean that…except a very large part of me does. 

Await and jumping at every sound, undermedicated for my circumstance yet overmedicated for my liking. Everything sits at opposite ends of the see-saw. Sick and well. Single or taken. Mr. And Mrs. Black and white. I’d give an awful whole lot to just wade in gray for a while and not be set on fire for doing so. 

Don’t you wish it was okay to just not know?

Petition to the Universe VIII: keep me through grief 

Dear God, 

Every part of me is in pain. My physical body remains scarred and healing not just from its past violations, but from ongoing deficiencies. My mental anguish keeps a tight grip on my spine keeping me bent, back to the sun. Oh how I crave my face bathed in light! Spiritually, I remain faithful. I trust in your timing and believe without hesitation that all I’ve come to lose had to be lost in service of my evolution. I trust always in your purpose for my life. 

God I wish I had the same unwavering faith in myself. 


I haven’t wanted to write lately, mostly because I was tired of writing about the same things. Financial woes and a struggle to make ends meet. Met with the underwhelming response to my “Go Fund Me” when it took so much of me to ask in such a public way. I wonder for a split-second what the lesson was and then I quickly move on. I don’t care, I’m never doing it again. I can admit that my stubbornness comes from a place of hurt. Second, my anxiety and depression are still very much an issue for me. Sad that it took a pill and about two hours of prep to go to a dear friend’s going away party, and then having to leave early. I tried to forgive myself Reminding myself that my right now is not my forever. Still, I thought, I fucking hate this feeling and I’m starting to get really restless with myself being such an under-performer. Again, not the best lesson or place to be in. Then after a particularly inspired conversation with my mom I decided to reach out to P2AD and ask for a conversation. Not an “us” conversation but mainly to apologize and acknowledge the very different place we were in and make a bid to wipe the slate clean with forgiveness. He saw the message right after I sent it, no response. I try not to hold that against him because I understand life is busy and our present time is not always our time to be most present. I try to mentally prepare myself for the answer of silence and for having to do the work of forgiveness in solitary for my own peace of mind. Simultaneously, I know that there are only so many heart breaks a girl can take. That would surely be the last time I ever reached out to him again. Despite love and despite feelings. I would sooner ignore my heart and my intuition for self-preservation. While I still believe myself to be stronger than heartbreak, I also made this rule this weekend that I was simply not going to tolerate making people important to me who did not show the same priority to our relationship. That admission calms any rage I may have otherwise allowed my ego access to. Throughout this entire ordeal I feel my central struggle has been to recognize myself in the midst of so many other people and things telling me who I am (was). And when I do find myself within the chaos, to hold on to her for dear life. When I have a grip on who I am, I feel at peace. Even within my own warring body. And if I make a decision with her hand in mine, the I can withstand the embarrassment, or the sadness, or the anger, or the rejection, or the solitude. Because My actions were never about the product, they were about the process. And maybe this entire time is about getting me to a place of clarity with my soul’s own wants will and desires.  Really thing only things she asks of me are quiet, kindness, patience, and expression. I can give her that.


Ours is an old one, deep and open for most of our lives. Absence begins the healing process but your hand on mine sends a scalpel straight through my skin as if it were white hot light cutting through the frozen deep. And it hurts so good I wish the pain of you was constant. Days gone by you’ll never forget and I can never share salt the wound. All that I wanted was to be there for you and for you to let me. Here holding my breath I spill it out in words to a void because to you they fall on deaf ears.

Hurt in such a way I’ll always be afflicted. And over time a battle scar of us. Dressed in pride and swollen with ego. We aren’t there any more, in the hurt. But the freshness of the memory remains. It knocks me to my knees and claims my strength.
Id do it all over again.


I never much dreamed of settling down. Wings over roots was always my preference. I had a conversation with a student today as I waited for my car retrieval from valet. She was very pretty, a senior majoring in both English and Spanish. When I asked her what she wanted to be she said an arty conscious warrior mom. I liked her immediately. She said she was debating between applying to graduate school or buying a plane ticket and just traveling for a year, living abroad in some Spanish speaking country. I encouraged her to go. I told her graduate school would always be there and it would be all the better with a few years of life experience. I told her the world was dying to be explored and now was the time she had to be selfish, young, wild, and free. She could do anything she wanted to do, so buy the ticket. Follow your heart and trust yourself. I hope she listens.  I hope she goes.

And just as I told her to follow her heart, I’m noticing what my own is communicating to me. I’m craving roots. Five years ago all I wanted was to see the world. And though there are still many adventures to take, and I will take them, it has become of equal importance to me to love where I come home to. I have always know San Diego was not my forever place. What I didn’t know was that Atlanta would be. I’ve begun to picture my home. And…it doesn’t scare me to consider that this home I would have would just be mine. No roommates. No partner. Just me. 

  It’s exciting to picture my living room with my soft sectional and large chairs perfect for curling up. Peonies and fashion on my coffee table. Vintage art and magazine covers mixed with photographs of friends and family. An office where I keep oil pastels, charcoal, my laptop in a chair with a blanket and a bookcase with only the books I simply cannot live without. Kate Spade quotes and diplomas framed. A bedroom with my California king bed, the one thing SoCal I will never shake. My hand carved Chilean rosary hanging above and a shelf of pictures, and trinkets to jog my memory should I ever forget. A guest room for when my sisters spend the night. Oh and my favorite thing, a kitchen where I will cook beautiful meals for people I love. There I will pour the wine, season the chicken, chop the vegetables, steep the tea, soothe the soul and double the laughter. It will be the heart of my home. 


And if it never comes to pass that I share the place I call home, I want to be okay with that. I am not building it “so they come”. He comes. I am building it for myself because I am here and I’m ready for something that’s mine. 

Another face of depression

…very sharply it struck me that each time in my life when I’d experienced depression, it was when my life had gotten off track and I had deviated too far away from my Self. Depression wasn’t the cause, it was the consequence. And if I allowed it to be, it would serve as an opportunity to go totally insular and, for lack of a better phrase, get my shit together. 

I was doing a lot of things that I didn’t want to do. Not only that, I was devoting a lot of resources to doing them. But what depression does is it puts you in survival mode. And when you only have a little, you’re a bit more cognizant of how you ration. This time is hell, but maybe it’s a gift. What are the things worth getting out of bed for? Who are the people worthy of my truth? Where are the places I can go to rejuvenate and put my soul at ease?   

It’s hard not to feel…like I should know better. Like I should’ve seen the warning signs. Like I should have listened to my guy back in June. Or May. Or February…but what I have is this moment right now, what am I going to do with it? For right this moment I’m going to continue laying in bed, in the dark, and crying. I won’t silence myself when I feel a physical jolt of discomfort with having to talk or engage with others. I won’t stop my tears, if they feel like dancing. I won’t feel guilty for indulging in solitude. I am giving in to everything depression wants right now. Quiet. Isolation. Darkness. Cleansing. Peace. And when I announce that to my body, my heart slows to a rhythm I recognize. If my sadness is pervasive, what happens if I roll out a red carpet for it? What happens if I proclaim with conviction that I am sad, I’m out of balance, I’m mentally unwell but I am working on it, I’m giving myself time, and I’m going to be okay? Even if I don’t know when. Even if I don’t know how…

The freedom in even writing that splintered a dam within me. That is the kind of radical freedom I was missing, I was denying myself. And I don’t want to fight it…Zachary was right. There’s an opportunity to grow and to learn here and I’m going to take it. 

It seems I am someone who requires, or has previously required extremes. I needed to tiptoe around self-destruction in order to understand self worth and value. It tells me that I’m otherwise too desensitized. I’d lost touch…but I recognize this as a chance to fix it. Depression is my wildfire. But scorched earth isn’t permanently barren. Nature has a way of restoring balance. And so this is my restoration. Maybe that’s the other face of depression. 

The Only

I have two sisters, but so much of me can be explained when it’s discovered that I spent many years as an only child. Even though I’ve had my sisters for over half my life at this point, there is still so much of me that was solidified in those first 12-13 years of life as an only. 

I saw the worried look on my therapist’s face when I asserted to him that my “plan” for the weekend was to not do anything with anyone. He doesn’t know me or understand my context. Depression or not, I was sorely in need of time to myself to reset and recharge. Quite frankly, I’d exhausted myself by being social and pretending or maybe trying to fake it til I made it to happy. 

I got into the shower today and tried to name it. Wanting it to be anything but depression. Even though I knew exactly what it was. This sadness I said out loud to my own ears is gripping and pervasive. Unsure of how to maneuver through my university to take care of a few things without being too seen, I said very little to anyone. Until I saw Zachary…who, I think, knew. He’s magic like that. I told him very briefly what was going on. He asked me if I’d considered giving into it? I told him I should because clearly it was going to win anyway. 

Solitude and even depression, he said, it teaches us something. Even in the week since I called attention to my own severe unraveling, I’d learned a great deal. I learned that I was ready to go home and not fleeing or running but because I need family near me and it’s time. I learned a great deal about relationships…how expectations can set up great disappointments. I learned about acceptance and forgiveness, of others and myself. And while the lessons aren’t complete, I’m beginning. That in the face of a darkness who has a vice grip on your spine is enough for me to trust that “giving into it” may not be a bad idea. 

So right now I’m laying in darkness. No music no television no one else but me and the whir of my fans.  I am actively avoiding my roommate, nothing personal, but I just so need this time to be. And I realized also that I was starting to resent situations that asked me to be anything other than what I was, which was sad. Being sad alone for me is okay, but with others it becomes a burden. I don’t feel the weight of my grey when I am alone. So I am keeping to myself. 

I still don’t want to get dressed. I still don’t want to talk. I could not be more over sunshine and warm days. I wish it would rain for a million different reasons. I still want to cut off all my hair, I cannot promise that I won’t. I am taking it hour by hour. 

When you’re an only, you get to be selfish without being called selfish. You get to be a loner. You get to be autonomous and who cares if you’re moody or don’t want to wear pants? There is no audience to play to…and that’s your preference. 

So I’m having a tea party for my depression and I. It’s more Morticia Addams than Emily Post, and that’s okay. There is an opportunity to learn something I’m missing…I’ve been missing. 

Maybe the first lesson is to not try to be something I’m not. Maybe the second is to accept my mess. Maybe the third is to listen to my life when it speaks, even when I don’t like the song. 


Sometimes the only thing you can be certain of is that you are not yet ready to give up, and sometimes that one thing saves your life.

I spent a lot of my week and weekend in relative silence.I’d reached the tipping point for my own emotional well-being and had officially entered “not-okay” so I was desperate to hear instructions on how to at least get back to the border. What rang most prominently in my mind was a conversation I had with Rose this summer where I told her everything I’d been going through this year. From my story she told her own about harvesting grapes for wine. I am paraphrasing but here is what she shared with me:

Environmental factors matter a great deal in the ripening of grapes. If, for example, a grape does not get enough or gets too much light or warmth from the sun, causes the fruit to go into “survival mode” and thus has an effect on the grape. Sometimes the effect is that grapes do not fully mature and balance sweetness with acidity and they can be too much of one or the other. So the product is much more concentrated.  Similarly, as our environmental factors around us grow extreme, we, too, go into survival mode. This can greatly influence our ability to balance and can cause a sort of concentration of our own product.

Her story resonated with me because I explained to her that due to my own turmoil, I was no longer able to devote much attention, if any, to those things that did not have some sort of energetic return. I saw it as a welcomed consequence of being low-on-fuel. It is interesting to see where you invest when you only have a little, in both a figurative and literal sense.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 12.21.36 PMSo this weekend, I was faced with evaluating my investments. Some are still up in the air, some remain protected and important, and others are in flux. What I have become more clear on is what I can and cannot continue to invest in. In another conversation with Rose she mentioned our similarity in controlling the energy in a room for our own survival. Again paraphrasing…”We” she explained, “use dress as a means to harness attention and it is our way of feeling less scattered or pulled or bombarded with energy because our appearance was crafted with an intention for who would be in the room.” I had never considered this before and still find it quite a brilliant analysis of how the emotionally sensitive survive social scenarios. Yet, everything about it made and makes so much sense. By any means necessary we, and the emotionally sensitive in particular, must protect our vitality.

It is what much of my current turmoil boiled down to and it is perhaps what my break down called to my immediate attention. I had not been protecting my energy. I had allowed my emotions and thoughts about myself as a result of my sexual assault begin to redefine who I believed myself to be. I was devoting too much time to others without allowing for or properly asserting my need for reciprocal nurturing. I was allowing my emotions to rule me, dictating my thoughts and actions. I was becoming sedentary, mean, and withdrawn as a result of the stories I was choosing to believe. I was staying in a job I knew no longer serviced me, I was stunting my own creative growth and all of it collectively threw me into a wall at 100 miles per hour.

We are not out of the woods yet, but in the wake of the crash I am looking around and trying to make sense of what happened. Last night I laid in bed and began speaking to the light at the end of the tunnel. I allowed myself to imagine the process of my dissertation work from the call to participate to the defense and walking across the stage. I let the joy of fortitude to fill my body. I imagined accepting a job offer that excited me and had promise for growth innovation and challenge. I assured myself that I was qualified for the position and let the pride of accomplishment to fill my body. I imagined relationships both platonic and romantic where each party took responsibility for his or her own actions and role in the partnership. I allowed myself to assert that I was worth more than silence or the skilled incompetent belief that “not-being-good-at-emotion” was reason enough to avoid it. I allowed the richness of love given and love returned to fill my body.

When I woke up I did so with a recollection of my conversation with myself. I did not have access to the endings yet, but I insisted to myself that they were possible and that I was worth trying for them. And I am.


It sounds dramatic to say last night was the first time I really missed my last relationship. In many ways it is untrue, in many ways it is absolute. Losing the little piece of heaven that would have been ours didn’t make me miss it. That time was the only other time in recent past where I remember hurting this much. Then, I was grateful for the solitude. Especially since it was a secret I kept from him for many years. Shielding him from the hurt I felt and relieving him of the responsibility for in any way comforting the woman who had just walked away from him, cutting our red ribbon. 

Last night as I lay crying and feeling the sort of sadness that can only be described in shades of grey I had one pervasive thought: I wasn’t supposed to be out here alone, I was supposed to be out here with you. Down came yet another flood gate and seemingly I cried myself to sleep and awoke with the headache to prove it. I wasn’t angry with him. I wasn’t even angry at myself, I was angry I was alone. I feel like my tears fall invisible and into a void. It’s as if no one wants to look directly at me for fear they might have to assume some responsibility for my healing. I don’t want anyone to fix me. I just want someone to be there. Here. 

I was having a discussion about death with a therapist whose population is hospice patients. She said sometimes all people want in the end is a witness, that in and of itself is powerful. I explained to her it was the only substantial reason I could think of to get married. But I suppose even in partnerships, people feel my kind of loneliness. Some venture to say it’s even lonelier to be bound and still feel alone. Though I think either way is pretty terrible.