Broken Curse

It reverberated across the skies at the same time. The curse was broken. Officially entered when she was 10, after she had screamed from her heart until it ached, a vein coming up on her neck, and still nothing-nothing was heard, so she began stuffing herself with Oreo ice cream. Oreo ice cream worked so well that she couldn’t stop eating it. She wondered when she would ever stop, and she had learned to stare out the window now and go into another universe. All of the years, of trying to tell about her day had been useless. And it dawned on her now, she could tell her sister. That her sister was trying to be her mother all along. Maybe she should try that. Try telling her sister about her day. But by this time, this was the year her mother had sent her sister away. Nobody was to have nobody, but she was to have her lover. She would stare out the window and imagined a place, a world where she was loved. And that world never came for the longest time, and she continued to stare out the window and up and up with the Oreo ice cream. Until it made her sick. Sick to think about when it started. And there she was 10 in her school picture, brittle hair and no color to her cheeks and her mother didn’t even notice. So much frustration. Wanting to desperately to be loved. Wanting to authentically be loved. Wanting to be understood. Wanting to be allowed to be herself, without the evil witch stepping in and trying to thwart it-be very silent and careful before her-she will destroy anything in your life she can. She can take away anyone’s happiness.

But it was he who could break the spell. She cried. She cried to Kali. I have no more. Please, break the spell. I want to be heard and understood. And he looked at her and he saw:

Princess Leia hair under the monkey bars

Looking out the window at her sister

Felt her fear

Felt her tears on her father’s shoulder

And heard the car crash in the house

Her mother’s grey skin

And up and up

And the relief it gave

The being lost

The eyes shut

The last bit of pain leaving her body

And then they all felt it too-they saw her at last

But he was there to break the spell

He looked at her and picked her up and rocked her in his arms

 

Please free me.

How to make BPD fade away

I’ve spent a large amount of my life trying to learn to be okay inside-trying to rid myself of this painful itchy feeling, like if a jelly fish could give an emotional sting. Two years ago, I discovered that pain had a name and many things began to make sense. When I first went into therapy, there were many things I couldn’t face, and myself was chief among these things. Over time, things got easier and I felt this sense of self, this part of my soul that was rooted in the earth and shone up toward the sky. I felt a lot less like I could be blown away at any minute. But then there were cracks I couldn’t see. A relationship came and all of this hurt, pain, and anger bubbled forth from the cauldron. So I had to go back and try to figure myself out more, but I didn’t want to. I was tired of something always being wrong, tired of always working myself, tired of always trying to make things okay, and I was angry at how unfair BPD is. I’m alone because of it. I shake because of it. I have to hide so much because of it-behind this mask because my inner sadness is not acceptable in society. And the anger and the splitting-so often directed at my mother-much of it deservedly so. and yet as a mother she has loved so hard and  had her own demons to overcome. But my God, can she hurt me. I’ve spent so much of my life wanting her approval, and I keep moving further and further away from what we both would want from me. I don’t have the energy it takes-the enormous energy-the internal energy to create the external smile that throws me back into society and life again now. All I can do now is be.

My mother was the one who told me she thought I had BPD. She went over all my symptoms. She wanted me to know that I was sick and needed help. I researched and went to a therapist. She was right, and then I learned about how childhood trauma is the cause. And my trauma has always been so hard because my mother could do really cruel things-very critical, mocked me, either way too controlling or completely dismissive, full of rage and scary at times and then she was sorry, and wonderful, and sacrificed so much. I feel like an ingrate for being hurt. It was so confusing. But lately, I have been really angry with her. She’s the reason I have this shit. She’s caused a lot of pain. And it’s real and it’s my pain. She can’t take it way with an, “I’m sorry”  and invalidate, which is what she often did with most of my feelings.  I walked through a majority of adulthood having little confidence and not thinking what I wanted in life was important- that I was not important, that I was always just an extension of her and when my mother looked at me, mirrored to me what she thought of me-it was often a scowl.  I thought others thought this of me and it made me want to hide. So much shame of not being good enough. If I work really hard and am good enough…

And today, I read an article about how mothers with BPD pass it on to their children, and I realized in this great revelation that my mother has BPD. I thought of how she grew up. How she feels the same inadequacy as me. The pain she felt as a little girl. I remember her saying her mother only held her once-when she had an ear ache. My mother has realized she hurt me, not on purpose, just like how most of hurt each other, out of ignorance because we are stumbling around blindly in the dark. How my mom has tried so hard to make it up to me-but how resistant my heart is to letting love in and just how powerful the scars of childhood are. If I could hug and hold the little girl my mother was and praise her, because there are many, many things to praise her for, maybe she could hold me and see me for me, my own soul, that’s not just her extension, a person in my own right. This disorder. I would do anything to make it go away to not see things in this distorted way. It just seems that lately the more truth I discover, the more I see what is truly behind the curtain, that is makes me feel tired and powerless. All I can do now is hand this over to God and see what She does because it’s all I got now. I don’t want to have to be perfect to receive love. I need love now to wrap its arms around my imperfect self, my self who has tried but failed so many times, my self that’s having a hard time getting back up again.

When You Put It in the Ground, It Grows

Enough Words?

Don’t try to put out a fire

By throwing on more fire!

Don’t wash a wound with blood.

 

No matter how fast you run,

Your shadow more than keeps up.

Sometimes, it’s in front!

 

Only, full overhead sun

Diminishes your shadow.

 

But that shadow has been serving you!

What hurts you, blesses you.

Darkness is your candle.

Your boundaries are your quest.

 

I can explain this, but it would break

the glass cover on your heart,

and there’s no fixing that.

You must have shadow and the light source both.

Listen and lay your head under the tree of awe.

When from that tree, feathers and wings sprout

On you, be quieter than a dove.

Don’t open your mouth for even a cooooooooo.

 

When a frog slips into the water, the snake

cannot get it. Then the frog climbs back out,

and croaks, and the snake moves toward him again.

 

Even if the frog learned to hiss, still the snake

Would hear through the hiss the information

He needed, the frog voice underneath.

 

But if the frog could be completely silent,

Then the snake could go back to sleeping,

And the frog could reach the barley.

 

The soul lives there in the silent breath.

 

And that grain of barley is such that,

When you put it in the ground,

It grows.

 

Are these enough words, or shall I squeeze more juice from this?

Who am I, my friend? –Rumi

 

When I was young, my sister and I would go hiking behind the house. My grandmother gave my sister a necklace, and she buried it-gave it to God. We didn’t go to church, but she had such a strong need to relate to a higher power. And when I think of that house I grew up in, I see it from above, a bird’s eye view, and it’s always in summer. Green and lots of light. And I remember how when it rained at night, I could hear the sun come up on the leaves in the morning. A cascading rippling sound as they came alive. How I would climb up on the roof and look out and see how beautiful everything was.

We would hike those hills, and on two occasions, we hiked up to the highest point, even though, it contained many tall weeds up to our chests. We worried about all of the possible snakes in the grass but continued on, and when we got to the top… It was unreal. I wanted to jump off and go into nothing. But I couldn’t. But I wanted to-I felt unloved and wanted to go back, but I didn’t. And this impulse, I have felt it many times in my life. And at the top, you could see our house and all of the houses, and how everything that seemed like it stood alone and was hidden in these hollows, was clear on top of the mountain, everything was all part of one painting. Not hidden at all. You see it, you experience it, and it’s there. No hiding it. All of the years of covering it up, of layering it, so I didn’t have to look at it, so I could avoid the pain-and when I shut my eyes I also came blind to joy. Maybe I can turn it all into something beautiful. And I really believe the time is now.

 

I had two reoccurring dreams as a child. The first one is the most powerful I suppose. It deals with tiger lilies, and I like the name even more than the beauty of the flower. A lily is so feminine sounding and fragile, and a tiger is ferocious. And in our bedroom, there were two ferocious pictures. One hanging in front of each of our twin beds. A lion and a tiger. The tigers and tiger lilies. A flower that grows wild and that you can uproot and plant anywhere. The reoccurring dream came from a memory. At the bottom of the long and winding hill, my mother parked the car. I must have been around three. I watched Sesame Street and the Electric Company, so when she said she had to get some lilies, I thought frogs and lily pads. She must have said stay in the car. In my dream, the same happened, but I got out and walked across the road to the creek and peeked through the brush. I saw my mom leading other women, their skirts were pulled up in the water, and they gathered bloody lily pads and put them in the bags made from their held up skirts. She was a witch. She was evil. They would be stronger but wouldn’t be loved. And maybe it was the time. Men wanted to destroy us because we no longer could allow them to destroy us. The 80s came and more women’s rights. Period blood and the pill. The revolution. A new world entering even isolated places like where I was from. Lots of garbage came and diapers floating in the trees. We are raped. We are flogged. We are humiliated and stuck like the diapers in the tree. It feels sexual, and we’re reminded we’re trash. I am young when I imagine this. I am young when I feel this, and I’m frightened.

The other dream is me and two versions of my mother. I am on a landing and two of my mothers stand on either side of me on opposing staircases. One is angry and the other is sweet. Then the angry one acts sweet and the sweet one is angry with urgency. They tell me to choose one to come to, and they come closer and closer to me on the stairs. I have to choose to remain safe but don’t know, and I am sure I will choose the wrong one. I am stressed, and then I wake up.

 

Grace

My prayer for you

It may be a prayer for myself

I’ve flirted with that demon

Whereas you have almost completely succumbed

The pain led me to the tight rope

Where I dipped my foot on both sides

The sides of good and evil

I want to jump now and swim to the side of life

My spirit, my truth

And I want that for you too

Maybe if I think  of cradling you

I can cradle myself

I can give myself the proper nutrients to grow

I loved your soul, you know

It’s light so dimmed by the demon

Blind we’ve closed our eyes

Scared we’ve run from Love

And it’s pain

And it grabs us from behind

And demands we turn around and open our eyes

It’s always there around us

In either direction anyway

And I feel it in my chest

And our eyes meet

And you feel nothing? And perhaps never will.

And Grace

Grace is all we have

So I pray for you

And me too

And hope all of the things will happen for me

The way I prayed they would happen for you

There’s no time to wait for you to wake up

And if you fall asleep for good

If you never awaken

My soul will kiss you all over

It will reverberate in the wind

 

and rock you in the lullaby of

Grace

God’s Song

Years before I was created

She sat in the head of a a hollow

She would come to know well

It’s walled mountains she embraced

As no obstacle

Her black hair back in a bun

At eighteen, her first child held in her arms

In front of a backdrop

An Appalachian quilt

Her picture was taken

Years with no voice out

But God speaking within

So much came to you and happened through you

Because of your love

Your love gives me life now

The greatest storyteller of all time

Who only once drove a mile down a road that was

Once dirt

Then gravel

And paved after you died

How often you nourished and nurtured me

Softness and Light to combat

The Arrogance and Darkness

I brushed your hair before you left

And want for you to never die

Me too with a baby in our arms

With our eyes

And through our eyes

May God sing her song