Goats, Hijabs, and the Quest for Brakes

Back in March I wrote about my sexual assault and  my subsequent suicide attempt. I posted it on facebook, and then immediately took it down. I am a chicken in that way, I suppose.

However, I think even more than being afraid to tell my story and what happened, I have been presented an opportunity in the pause button. You see, I ran away from my experience, which I already established vis-a-vis my earlier post. The new thought is that I ran away from being vulnerable, being open about who I am, what happened, etc. (i.e. removing my post from facebook).

I started thinking about this idea of running away, and I realized a lot of how I think about my life and my problems is deeply rooted in this need to escape.

For example, during college, after the suicide attempt, I was lost and hollow, uncertain of where to go after college, what direction. I was job searching, and panicking that I made the wrong decision about not immediately pursuing grad school. I would get so panicked, one day I sort of woke up and found myself looking at google flights and in the process of booking a ticket to Washington State. I had gotten caught up in getting an internship on a goat farm outside of Seattle where I would have gotten $50 a week for some back breaking labor all for the sake of ‘experience’. What the actual hell?!? I literally was so into this idea (this fantasy) that I had been in contact with the lady who owned the goat farm, and had secured the internship. But before the whole goat farm scenario, I was going to join the Peace Corps and move to Ghana. I had a second interview with the Peace Corps before I slammed the brakes. I can go on and on and on with the examples.

I was looking in the mirror and I saw a face full of denial, because I honestly hadn’t even rationalized what I was doing.

Unfortunately, even after college, the suicide attempt, moving back home, getting my dream job and feeling more accomplished and everything, I still find myself falling into that same headspace.

Just a few months ago I found myself extremely upset at work, I was having a series of tough days that turned into a series of tough weeks, and I did the same thing. I found myself looking at plane tickets for Marrakech, rationalizing that I could find a job and just move away, cut ties with everyone, just sort of melt from existence. I looked into how to get citizenship in Italy, Ireland, and France.  I thought a lot about going to sleep and just hibernating.

Moral of the story is, I run away in my brain. A lot.

If you have ever met me, you will know that I am a big fan of books, movies, and TV shows. I get incredibly emotionally involved in them all, and at times they sort of consume me.

When reflecting on my behavior, it becomes sort of evident that I run away into those too. I watch things that bring me comfort, that I love, and I escape into. At the real height of my depression, I sometimes would not leave my bed and just stay and watch things all day. The same thing sometimes, repeatedly. After it would be over, I would still find myself playing out the stories in my head.

I have a repetitive problem with running away.

To come back to my suicide attempt- I am hesitant to call it that anymore. Don’t get me wrong, call an ace a spade; I took a whole bottle of Tylenol PM, drank a whole bottle of wine, and chugged half a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. Clearly I was not exactly embracing living. But I don’t think that night was entirely grounded in the explicit notion of wanting to kill myself.

I think more than anything, I wanted to just not exist anymore, I wanted to run away from life. Of course, running away from life is kind of difficult unless you cease to exist, hence the aforementioned attempt to slide out of this universe.

In my heart of hearts, I think I have to be honest and admit I have a problem with running away and escapism.

And that is something that is scary because I haven’t really dealt with that. But, I am cautiously excited that I figured that out for myself, because as a healing, evolving, ever changing person, self-reflection and inner character growth are essential for living life on this earth to the fullest, and I definitely want to try to live as my most genuine self.

It is super hard, but I am going to keep struggling to it, being grateful that when I find myself shopping for hijab’s in order to move to the Maldives I am able to distinguish between what is ‘wanderlust’ and what is ‘I-want-to-run-the-hell-away” and stop myself before committing to something stupid. And I definitely have to give myself a high five for that.

 

 

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A Poem I Wrote When I Was a Whiny Girl

The bearer of this all is who I am

I take people’s sorrow, their pain, their pride

And I swallow it up and keep it inside.

 

“You’re so loving, Lauren”

“You’re so special, Lauren”

“You’re so loved, Lauren”

 

Yet I am always apart,

Just as certainly by my own making

as the empty fumes of words from sincerely naive mouths

 

I know I get aloof,

Anxiety ridden, it’s true

And yet I try to overcome this,

 

But yet it is as if I can only be

That girl who people want in their lives

For no particular reason other than she cares

 

I am selfish

I understand that

I want to be loved

 

Words Are Weapons

Words are like pin pricks on the skin,

pulling over and over again on sensitive flesh.

Instead of blood beading from the verbal thorns

tears roll down the emotionally wounded chest.

Your words carry a weight, they can define you,

confine you, or create someone fresh and new.

I wield words like a sword, careful not to slice too thick lest I maim your

heart and lacerate your soul.

I want to crush you because of your lack of words.

I give and I give just to pacify the cacophony of silence and things unsaid.

It’s madness, you make me sick,

sick in the heart and the head.

I want to tear you apart and build you again based on the things you’ve never said.

I’ve decided to destroy you.

My words act like a sweet poisonous kiss,

ready to wreck your heart and maim your chest.

But yet I stay silent. You aren’t dead to me yet but you will be soon

be.

Better yet, kill me instead.

Use your words voice,

it can only be a whisper

but it will still echo through my head like a damn roar.

Kill me, please. Say something.

Why Don’t You Just Leave? An Ode to those who shame survivors

Her face is crumbling,

Porcelain surely broken

Worn down by years of broken anthems

Her mismatched eyes gleaming in the witch light

Witch light

Whitch light

Which light

I haven’t got a clue

I am but a whisper as I hear thump thump,

It comes closer

Her heart pumping

As it comes from the blue

Her mismatched eyes seem to have become unglued

As the facts of her life seem to fly right before her

Like a child who has been fed too much food to swallow

She gags on this knowledge

This terrible forbidden fruit

The truth snuck up

It has eaten her to pieces.

She can’t not see it now

They say naivety is for those

Who do not have the grit

To see what their life has become.

Watch

As her porcelain face crumbles to pieces,

Her mismatched eyes have become unglued.

This Is A Poem About Time

Pernicious is the everlasting dream

That turns and twists and fails to become free

The white rabbit taunts me, running and sings:

“This is all just imaginary, see,

Infinity is just infinity

It’s human emotion and human greed.”

But sweetly the flowers with clarity,

Enlighten us passionately, no, pleads:

“As the sun sets, and the moon rises high,

So too we all must live, craving the light,

But ultimately we live to all die.”

Do not be afraid, this is not to fright

      This is not to despair, it is not coy.

      A life long to live is a life of joy.

Make Up Bag

I hide them in my makeup bag,

Which is a very appropriate place to me.

I feel like I am a train running off of its tracks,

Slowly, with time.

When I have good days, it’s harder for me to imagine the bad ones.

I am just weak, I am over-reacting, being dramatic.

But when I have the bad days,

It seems like it destroys every good day I have had before.

It feels like the bottom of a pit,

This black creature slowly devouring me,

But it isn’t black,

It’s definitely white

So white it’s sterile,

It hurts my eyes.

I feel what others feel,

I laugh when they laugh,

I cry when they cry

Why am I the one who feels like I am going to die.

Even this statement I wish to immediately retract,

But I force myself to reason that this is a feeling

That I have.

I feel defective

Like something is missing.

I cry for no reason without my permission

Is this what crazy is

I ask myself this while stroking the cuts on my arms and hips,

And one stupid one on my palm that stings as I write this

Cutting is for preteens and suicidal narcissists

Why do I do it after nearly 2 months without doing it

The feeling of it on my skin

Still brings this punishment that I inflict on myself,

Not for any reason but because I am angry

I am angry that I am weak

That I feel like a child

That I cry more than I smile

That I feel fat and ugly and stupid and worthless when I am none of this

So why do I keep doing this after those 2 months of abstaining from abusing

Myself

Guilt is like a tree it seems to me

It grows and gets taller and has symmetry

It grows proportionally with my anxiety and anxiousness

That I experience every time I walk out of my bedroom door

It’s hard to knock down a tree

It takes fire or an axe

None of which I seem to possess

So it grows.

Why am I so lonely and defective

Unable to connect with

Other people

Why do I feel pain and not love

Feel far away from those who matter most

I smile vacantly so they do not know

That my feelings lay so shallow

Despite their importance.

I crave touch but I find myself

Flinching from it

I want a hug but my hugs only touch so much

I want to be grabbed and squeezed and told it’s going to be okay

Because despite this sea of sadness I know I am going to be fine

I feel embarrassed by my weakness but I can get over this

I just want something to change

No one to notice

But some love would be nice

Something I can get into

I need to feel someone else’s skin so I don’t just keep memorizing the lines of my sins on my arms and my hips

Because cuts and contusions

Are symptoms of self-delusion

I need to feel skin unbroken from self-anger and hate

So I can remember what it feels like to be okay.

A Poem About an Old Love

I smell fresh like lavender and daisies.
That’s irrelevant. But I taste like fire.
Do you know what I always find crazy?
Maybe it’s the time of the year. Are you my liar?

Don’t scare me. You scare the shit out of me.
Your very breathing keeps me panicking.
Feel me. Taste me. Adore me. Love me. Scream.
It is so diabolical, wreaking-

Havoc like a dry warm wind on very cracked skin,
chafing until I feel the burn of love.
Or is it hate? This mistake is my sin,
Will I see the metaphorical dove?

Peace is all I ask. I don’t need your heart?
I love you so much, please do not hurt me.
Careful where you tread, because love does bite.
I hate you, I love you, don’t prove me right.