My Inner Child

Don't you see, don't you see that the charade is over? And all the "best
deceptions" and "clever cover story" awards go to you. So kiss me hard 'cause
this will be the last time that i let you.

I am in a relationship that is revising my entire understanding of trust and (dare I say it?) love. I tried to ignore it, avoid it, fight it, but i gave up on all that.

I decided to allow myself to see past those glaring mistakes that highlight the years since I first took the chance of putting myself in someone else's hands.

I was twelve. Twelve and lonely and shy and filled with self-disgust at my round flabby body. So, I pursued a fifteen-year-old boy until he realized he could do whatever he wanted with me. And he did. All over my mother's house. All over his mother's house. In the park in our low income housing development. On the sidewalk at four a.m.

But he never touched me in front of anyone else. No soft hand holding, no whispered I love yous, no arm slung casually around my shoulders. Rather, he stayed as far away from me as possible until there was no one around me and then he'd have sex with me.

I repeated this scenario until my junior year of high school with numerous boys and a few men. That year I had an epiphany that included sex with women, but didn't exclude sex with men. I even got myself into a relationship that I ruined by being unable to find my way out of the bag I'd wrapped myself in since twelve. So, I'd have casual encounters and serious encounters and claim love and feel pulled in a million directions at once.

In college I decided I didn't want intimacy at all. Too difficult. Too alienating. Too confusing. I just wanted sex and it was my goddess-given right to have it. This attitude lasted through college and grad school and landed me with an inability to see myself as capable of having a relationship. Especially one in which I was valued and respected as more than just someone to have sex with.

So here I am now. Struggling to not fuck this up by reverting to my comfortable promiscuity or safe sardonic wit. I'm trying to hold on to my identity while allowing that twelve-year-old me to come back out of hiding and bask in this sunny spot I've found.

It is warm and surreal here, but can I stand still long enough to enjoy it? Can I allow this glimmer to become a flood of fuzzy yellow happiness?

I must, if only for that twelve year old girl.

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Phoenix Falling

So many years later and our fists are still clenched, our hearts still caged behind fortresses of iron and steel.

What is it to love your sister? Is it not easier to hate? To hold on to the anger? To build shrines to sanctify your pain?

Sherman Alexie writes, "How do we forgive our fathers?" But I ask, how do we forgive our sisters? How do we bury the jealousy and agony and absolute distrust of those who should have been our allies? How does one walk away from it? How can one possibly establish a relationship that doesn't hold at its core the unbearable knowledge that betrayal comes from all angles, especially those closest to you?

Because betrayal, whether it comes with whispered words or pummeling fists, cuts a trench in your soul. To climb out of it, I must rise from our ashes. But first, I must learn how to burn us down.

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The Downward Spiral

I am fighting old demons. They start in my head and steadily work themselves throughout my body until my breathing is shallow and my hands shake.

During times like these, I wonder why I bother. I'm angry. Because I'm in debt. Because I'm in love. Because I'm out of control. I'm angry and I'm suffocating. I can't get things in my grasp and as hard as I try, things elude me.

Maybe I'm paranoid. Maybe there aren't masses of people waiting to watch me fall. It is very possible that I've created my own imminent failure from the constant loss I have learned to live with.

I'm supposed to be the strong one. The smart one. The one who is "going places." Instead, I feel eyes boring into me, ones that mock and cajole and scream You are not good enough. Not now. Not ever.

This must be how it is to drown.

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