a giant without you

& when i went to hug
him
i realized
i had grown larger
or had he
shrunk
or both
my thriving since
we fell apart
his diminishing
without me
he felt so
fragile
& i realized i felt
tremendous
indestructible
i have grown
into
a giant
without him.

day thirty-seven

& you find that
you have spent so long
pretending
as hard as you can
that everything
is okay
then comes the day
there is no reason
to pretend
anymore
& you are
flooded
with all those
feelings you kept at bay
& you realize
how fucking
miserable
you were
& how fucking
relieved
you are
to be done
with it.

i didn’t realize how much i hated the house i was living in until i moved out of it & into madness manor. it was always falling apart & we had to share it with hordes of rats.
& my landlords were slumlords only i didn’t realize because i was trying so hard to not fall apart & to be a good tenant so i wouldn’t have to worry about moving somewhere else.

funny how that works. what a person will endure to survive…only to realize how difficult the endurance was once it’s past. i have had plenty of relationships & jobs that fall into this category as well.
oh, and my childhood.

no more tears

driving home
with an eyelash in my eye
two hours
with an eyelash in my eye
wishing
a sad song
would play on the radio
because
for the life of me
i could not
make myself
cry.

unable to make myself cry and a surprising lack of sad songs on the radio made for a painful road trip. i’m not sure i know who i am if i am unable to cry at the drop of a hat? usually i can think about my childhood…my marriages…my loneliness…or the year of 2015, and i will start crying.
apparently now, there are times, when i am not completely tragic.

speaking of crying…happy mother’s day!

against the odds

when i was a kid
i couldn’t say my “s” sound
without sticking out my tongue
i was put into speech therapy
to remedy my lisp
& i remember clearly how proud
i was of myself
for not only learning to keep my tongue in my mouth
but also learning to do it while missing
my two front teeth
maybe even then
the universe was trying to teach me
something learned despite a setback, a handicap
something learned the hard way
is so much more
valuable.

here is my big epiphany of the week. i go to a chiropractor/energy worker almost once a week. in addition to having a much more aligned body, i have an epiphany almost every time i am lying there on the table. i totally recommend a good body worker for getting things moving.
this epiphany, this is a big one.

horse of a different color

i’m okay
written in the window of a haunted house
i’m okay
on a chalkboard during a zombie apocalypse
the boat sank; i’m okay
the train crashed; i’m okay
the volcano erupted; i’m okay
from rooftop to rooftop
from treetop to mountaintop
i’m okay
whether you are asking or not
i’m okay.

that’s a switch, right? i’m admitting that i am okay. and i have some warrior chick riding a panda. i want to start moving back towards comics. i think that’s where this image came from. when i go to illustrate a page, i empty my mind & wait. if nothing appears, i just start inking. however, many times, with enough meditation, i find the image i want–in this case–lady panda warrior.

(first page of a new journal)

holding space

i watched
as i could do nothing
except offer her a safe space
to fall apart
to hide from herself
& the world
i watched
& i realized
how far i had come
how far i had carried myself
& i wished
it was possible
to do the same
for her.

i was trying to illustrate how i am feeling. i am not sure it was successful. i wanted so much to help my sister in her mental break, but i’m not sure i did anything more than watch her tread water, barely keeping her head above….

the legend of mary jo

that i have not
punched anyone in the face
should prove what a hero
i am
that i haven’t
torn the throat of the world
out
with my teeth
should show
what a humanitarian i am.

i was playing off of the legend of billy jack…but seeing as my given name is actually mary jo….

this is the other end of the suicide scope it seems. homicide. for everyone giving me unsolicited advice as i try to find my way through…i have not brought injury on to any of them.
so throw me a fucking parade.

words of wisdom

bathe in the enlightenment
that is me
1.) don’t give a fuck
2.) burn it all down
3.) take the money & run

yes. this was my trying to help my sister be as wise as i am. okay, look at it again. look at it with the eyes of someone who has been destroyed by emotional abuse. hey. it gets me through, this attitude of mine, it keeps me alive…and right now i’m just trying to help her stay alive.

the deep end

told i could not swim & then
thrown into the deep end
my family of origin
all of us fucked up
in our won special way
all of us
thrown in the deep end
trying not to drown
& pushing each other under
i was finally getting my stroke down
making my own waves
when they grabbed me
by the knees
pushed me down
by the shoulders
pulled under
again

i have been struggling more than usual lately, trying to get my wonky head back on straight….
then my sister, with a history of mental illness, became despondent & suicidal and my being the only one living near her, put me in the position of rescuer & caretaker.
this is not not not a position i enjoy &, in fact, i begin to fall apart even more when put in this position.
so here i am
trying as hard as i can
to keep my head above water.

(at least i am able to be consistent in my metaphor…)

trust II

i was never taught
to believe in me
i was never taught
to have faith in myself
to trust
that i could
make the right decision
follow that right path…
funny thing
in all my efforts to follow
that path
i had forgotten that learned lack
of faith
that distrust in my own instinct…
but even forgotten
it popped up into my life
to fuck me
all over again.

so! recently i started the process of buying a house. it was in a flood here in the driftless when a dam broke in 2018. the boiler, hot water heater, & electrical system as well as walls & cabinets and most of the kitchen were destroyed in the flood–followed by the owner abandoning the property.

so, you know, deeply damaged, of course i fell in love with this two story, circa 1900 brick house. in all the damage i saw how i could make the house my own.

plus i am in a position to buy it outright.

my heart said, “yes yes yes!” but then the unsolicited advice from family & acquaintances started picking away at my poor (already compromised) brain.

that’s when i remembered my parents telling me “it’s a nice hobby, but what are you really going to do?” when i was a twelve year old artist/writer who had already won contests and just needed that support to believe in myself…which left me wondering for the next 36 years until i finally said, “no. seriously. i want to be an artist & a writer.”
fuck.
how do you learn to believe in yourself when taught not to believe in yourself?

i feel this house & i are meant to be…but i am struggling with believing in myself…which totally sucks.

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