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Fluffy white clouds

In going through my files from… well, let us not talk about how old these are and how out of order my files are… I found this poem I wrote in 2006 for creative writing in high school. Making it a decade old. Shush. I’m not that old. ūüėČ

 

So I present…

 

Fluffy White Clouds

fluffy white clouds,
against crystal blue,
floating. falling. shapeless.
we try to make them
into something they are not
castles. bears. dragons.

against the emerald cushion,
prickly. rough. sticky.
I stare up at the sky,
fluffy white clouds,
against crystal blue.

life. beautiful. simple.
starting without a shape,
trying not to fit
into the mold,
we are given.
trying to make it,
into something it’s not.

like fluffy white clouds,
against crystal blue.
it can look like
whatever we want
we could be
famous. beautiful. brilliant.
it all depends on the angle
and how we look at it.

fluffy white clouds,
against crystal blue
is life really as simple as this?
being able to mold it into
what we desire, what we long for
what we hope for?

fluffy white clouds,
against crystal blue.
molded into what we want,
and becoming what we desire
in life.

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A letter to my younger self

Ten years ago today, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I’d rather not go into specifics because it’s still painful and this blog is public. But suffice it to say it was hard and forever changed my life.

Image is of me, roughly 10 years ago. I am sitting outside a brick building. My hair is in pigtails. I am wearing a pink Nike sweatshirt, jeans, and grey sneakers.

I wish that ten years ago, I could see where things would be today. I wish that I could have seen how different life would be. How in some ways, it would be so much better in ways I could have never hoped on dreamed. In other ways, it would be so much worse.

 

But my younger self was so naive and there was so much she didn’t know. She didn’t know that while she had few friends then, she would have so many more friends ten years later. And so, without further ado, here is a letter to 18 year old Nora.

Hi Angelique,

It’s Nora. It’s ten years later. I’m you. Yes, you are no longer really going by Angelique. It’s okay. You finally found a nickname you like and it has stuck! Isn’t that great that you have a nickname and friends to call you that?

Oh, friends. In a couple years from now, you’ll meet Beth and she’ll become one of the most important people in your world. She will die and you will be heartsick, but don’t let that stop you from loving and living. She is worth it, I promise. She’s worth every moment of that friendship. Cherish it more.

You’ll go to Australia. Yes, Australia! I know you never thought that would be possible. But you will! And you’ll do it alone and succeed.

You won’t graduate college. You’ll try and fail, try and withdraw, try and medically withdraw. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It’s okay that your life now isn’t what you pictured it would be back then. It’s okay that your life is something totally opposed to what you wanted it t be.

You learn to do a lot on your own. Your dad dies, your mom lives in FL, your brothers live in OH and FL. You do a lot on your own and you learn to rely more on friends. You learn that you don’t, truly, have to do everything on your own.

Your health declines. You get the alphabet soup for physical and mental health disorders. But that’s okay. You learn to advocate for yourself. You find friends who help advocate for you. You love deeply, trust deeply, and live freely. And even though your life looks nothing like you planned – after all, you planned for the alphabet soup to be after your last name and not a part of your medical chart, it’s still beautiful and wonderful.

You make some of the best friends you could have in the world. They live all over – New York, Georgia, PA, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, California. You find people who understand your weird self and share a love for Disney. PS, you become obsessed with Pokemon. Be aware.

But Angelique, your life gets so much better than you ever imagined it could be. So right now, enjoy being 18. Take the curve balls life throws at you. Because it’s going to get better. I promise.

Image is a photo of me, ten years later. I am standing outside and striking a pose. I am wearing a green sweater, a teal fluttery top, a blue, teal and purple tutu, and brown fleecey tights. I also have on silver shoes, a flowery/buttefly crown, and purple and green butterfly wings.

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My dad was an asshole, but then he died.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that my feelings are okay. That it is okay to feel angry, upset, grief, happiness, and everything all in once.

Just because he is dead, does not mean it is wrong for me to speak ill of him.

Just because he is dead, does not mean that I have to pretend that everything was peachy keen when he was alive.

Because that’s not the truth. It’s dangerous to have that mindset.

Now that he’s dead, I’m free.

It’s okay on this father’s day if you hate your dad. If you love him. Or fuck, even both.

It’s okay if you don’t want to call him.

It’s okay if you don’t want to send a card or get him a present.

It’s okay.

It’s okay if you long more than anything to be a father but you cannot or are not for whatever reason.

It’s okay.

Your feelings are still valid.

Your feelings are yours and yours alone.

Don’t let anyone tell you that they’r not okay or you have to do this or that or you’re a “bad daughter” or “bad son” or “bad child”. You aren’t.

And that’s okay.

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Journey from the past

I have a really old LiveJournal. It’s from back when you still have to be referred to join. I also have (multiple) really old Xangas. And a few open diary/teenopendiary which thank GOD do not exist anymore. This is kind of a trigger warning for child abuse, so, please tread carefully. This is mostly me doing some dumping of various sorts – I don’t know that I even expect anyone to read it. If you actually do, hugs and good thoughts are welcome. This was hard. If you want the good stuff, go to the end where I gave the asshole a piece of my mind.

Some of the stuff made me cry. Like, I actually wrote that? It’s out there? Parts of my childhood abuse are that well chronicled? Me talking about getting yelled at for making a mistake that caused my father to reboot the computer. I found this entry and I was so heartbroken at junior year, overdramatic me. This is from when I was 17.

“Got it? I quit life. I’m sick of it. I asked Dad to call the doctor, so
I can get my meds, right? He throws a fit, becaue he doesn’t think I
have a problem and need them..then asks if I think I do. Now, the ones
they had me on worked like CRAP. But now I don’t have any…and I’ve
noticed in the few weeks since I’ve been off…I’ve been more down.”

Why do I always have to suffer? And the other day, I just wanted my
daddy to notice me. I showed him my new pretty bracelet, but he was too
busy playing fucking neopets. Yes, I just cussed. Live with it. I was
so hurt, that a DAMN WEBSITE was more important then his own daughter.
It’s all he does! He literally RUNS down the isle at church as soon as
it’s done, and I have to struggle to keep up with him. Why does he go
so fast? Because he wants to come home and screw around on the computer
before work. We hurry to leave after Wednesdays. And I hate it. I wish
i’d NEVER told him about neopets, I’m sick of hearing him whine when I
get good stuff, and he doesn’t. I’m sick of him bragging when he does
good. I’m sick of it being the only thing we hvae in common to talk
about. I’M SICK OF IT. I made the biggest mistake of my LIFE when I
told him about that site. I just want to slap him and tell him it’s NOT
REAL, and that hey, I’m real. And all I wanted was some attention..for
him to notice the bracelet I’d spent time making, and I just wanted him
to acknowledge me. I just wanted him to see me. What the hell is he
going to do? I’m going to be GONE in a year and a half. And I can’t say
I’m upset about it. I’m looking foreward to it. I’m to the point where
the further away I get from home, the better.”

And yet, I was gone before that. Oh, I got emails. The blackmail emails. Cruel, cruel posts.

“This was the year that you were to get something (for Chirstmas) of your grandmother’s that she would have wanted you to have, but no. Jim and I will sell it. Also, my will said you were to get the imported china that dad brought back from Japan at then end of WW!!-but that is now changed. Jim and I will sell sell it.”

“Just to let you know-You and and your mother had many choices as to what to do. You both chose to take the road that would cost the most problems for me. Giving you the comuter finalizes my agreement with the police department. I am now forced to pay for slightly over year for something that I do not have, and all because of the phone call your mother made-instead of any other choices available. This whole thing was cost me dearly, $$ and more. But tell your mother that it is not it is not over until the fat lady sings, and she has not yet sung.” (What did I do? I turned him into the police for possessing child pornography. And by the way, my mother did not make the phone call. I. FUCKING. DID. And like 18 year old me was going to confront him!? I did do other things, douchebag. I went to my youth pastor and the senior pastor of the church, who tried to convince me not to turn his sorry ass in and instead ‘confront’ him. HELL NO).

I am sorry, but I am done. I have done everthing in my power to contine to communicate with you, but it is you, not me, who has shut off everything. Again, if you cannot communicate with me, I feel I have no other choice than to discontinue your insurance coverage.” Why did I shut off everything, oh yeah, you’re a fucking child abuser.

Oh, and then there is the time at age 20 I finally epically lost my shit at him and gave the asshat a piece of my mind. This is the email, and this is my response. The check was some insurance bullshit.

I cannot send a check out until next week, and WILL do so then.

Just to let you know, I do NOT remember any check for this amount, but to avoid problems, will send it anyway. I have asked, repeatedly, to see you, but get denied every time. You do not, and cannot possiblly have a Dr appointment every day. And, almost every mail I receive from you seems to be a request for money.

I don’t know what happened–it cannot be just what happened over the computer. You were my very best friend, and I felt, before you left here, I could confide in you just about anything. There are still things I wish I could talk to you about. But e-mails are not the place.

I love you very much, but things just can’t go on the way they are now.

I am asking you one more time–can I PLEASE just have a time when we can meet one on one–just for lunch? Any day–any time–up to your to set the time. I am still off on both Tues and Wen.

Dad”

“Thank you for sending the checks.

No, I do not have an appointment every day. However, since Mom is off on Tuesdays, I normally have them on Tuesdays. Wednesdays I’m in class all day. So neither day works for me, sorry. I barely have the strength lately to hang out with my friends, I’ve only seen one of my friends this entire summer. Between school, doctors, and homework (and getting ready to transfer next year) I doubt if I’ll even have time to hang out with them at that. I’m sorry. I also cannot make plans very far in advance, as I never know when I AM going to have an appointment. I am lucky enough to be able to attend class each week, nonetheless make outside plans.

“Best friend”, eh? You sure have funny ways of showing it.

You said in an earlier email I was not the daughter you knew. You are correct. I am not the daughter you knew. I am no longer your victim – I am no longer your punching bag to push around. I am no longer the person you forced me to be. I am stronger, I am wiser. You put your earthly possessions over me. Therefore, you lost me. It’s not my fault. YOU made the choices. YOU have to suffer the consequences.

While I lived with you, you never cared about how I was doing. You would throw fits when Mom asked you to take me to my doctor’s appointments. You didn’t care about my eighteenth or nineteenth birthdays. You’d whine and throw fits whenever I asked you to do anything for me. Why the change? Why do you care about my health now? You never gave a rat’s behind before. So why now? Why the sudden burst of compassion?

No. Things cannot go on the way they are now. I am sick of you pushing me around, trying to force me and guilt me into meeting with you. I’m sorry. I cannot. Besides, what would we talk about if we met for lunch? You only care about one person – you and what makes YOU look good. You’re not interested in my life. You never cared in the past. Why should you care now? Have you realized what you’ve lost? Have you realized what you’ve done?

I’m sorry if every email seems like a request for money. However, when you were married to my mother, all you cared about was HER money. All you care about is money, and making sure you have the money to buy your beer and your potato chips. You never cared if I had the money to buy my medications, the money to buy things I needed for school, the money to pay for gas to take me to my doctor’s appointments. You couldn’t be arsed to care. So why care now?

Yes. It is more than the computer. I’m glad you finally realized that. I have finally seen your true colours. It’s the way you treated my brothers. It’s the way you treated my mother while you were married to her. It’s the way you treated me. I am not your toy to play with. It’s your utter hypocrisy – acting one way in public, and another behind closed doors.

You truly don’t care about me. Case in point. When you were in a car accident, and unhurt, you got pissed at me because I didn’t say anything. I’m sorry if I hurt you in that, but you have hurt me in the same ways. I’ve told you I’ve been transferred by lifesquad from the doctor’s office to the hospital – nothing. I’ve told you of my multiple sprains – nothing.

You pay no attention to my emails. I told you in an email I’d sprained my ankle. Your reply? You wanted to take me to play mini golf, out to a movie, and a Chinese buffet. All of which is awfully hard to do with a sprained ankle.

You say I am not the daughter you knew. You are not the father I knew. The father I knew would never disrespect his mother. You know, my Christmas present in 2005? Where you told me you were going to sell something that Dixie would of wanted me to have? I thought you truly cared – but I guess I was wrong. Sometimes we are blinded by the people we care about the most, and the same is true of you. I realized that the “love” you claimed you had for me was just an act. You’d throw fits when I’d ask you to do simple things like take me into town to get my glasses. To get my TB test read. The father I thought I knew would never do that – and that is when I started seeing your true colours.

Whenever something goes wrong in your life, you expect me to show pity, compassion. Fine. I can understand that. However, when something goes wrong in my life – I get nothing. I’m not saying I want your sympathy, I’m not saying I want your pity. However, you can’t expect me to care if you don’t.

You have hurt me in more ways then you will ever realize. Not just by the computer, but by a combination of things. Your choices led us to where we are now. I’m sorry.”

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I remember when I was first officially diagnosed with depression. Now, it’s been a struggle since childhood but it all came crashing down when the police came to my school in November of 2001. That sounds way more overdramatic than it was.

It was, as I said, November of 2001. I was 14 years old. I lived with my emotionally abusive father. I attended a small (seriously small – 30 kids prek-11) private Christian school. I had just changed churches that summer. I didn’t have many friends. And that was when I immersed myself in message boards.

You see, it was a world where I was just a face behind a keyboard. It was a world where I could be myself. Without parents, without people judging me for being the kid with the speech impediment, the girl with braces. But I was foolish (or was I smart?) and gave out way too much personal information…

Which is how the police came to my school. I was suicidal. I wanted my life to be over. I was 14 years old. I had been abused by my father since I was four years old. And I was done. A concerned friend managed to track me down, hence the police showing up at my high school.

14 sucked. I started cutting that year. I started my medication roulette. I watched my world fall apart. And I’m still picking up those pieces. I’m still playing medication roulette. Yes, I’ve been trying to find an antidepressant that doesn’t make my life suck since I was FOURTEEN. I’ve been on every SSRI. I’ve been on SNRIs. I’ve been on atypical antidepressants. TCA anti depressants. IT. SUCKS.

I’m no longer suicidal – my last time was two years ago (another blog entry for that). I’m no longer cutting, that was four years ago. But I’m still crippled with depression. I’m still playing Medication Roulette. And I wonder if it’ll ever be¬†over.

Will it? I hope so.

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that’s where she lies, broken inside

I tear my heart open, I sew myself shut
My weakness is that I care too much
And my scars remind me that the past is real
I tear my heart open, just to feel 

To say things have been bad lately is an understand. A vast understatement. I am completely trapped by depression. Anxiety. My doctor had me do that PHQ-9 doohickey and my score landed in the severe category, vs the moderate it was before. Things are going poorly.

Everything is falling to shambles. I have so much that needs to be done. Cleaning. Phone calls. Emails. Important grown up stuff but it all falls to the wayside. The physical pain, the emotional pain, everything is too much. Everything hits too hard. I don’t even feel like myself anymore.

And I’m on the verge of failing.
The verge of falling apart.

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And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad

It’s been hard lately. That would be an understatement. A really, really big understatement.

My depression has been crippling lately. You see, I have to choose between the meds that make my pain just a bit better, just a bit more bearable, or the meds that help my depression. I cannot have both. So, I can either have the Luvox and lift my depression or I can have the Zanaflex and help my pain. Both? Nope. The side effect was terrifying – I couldn’t even walk across the room to feed my cat without collapsing.

My heart is a mess. That might be an understatement – “disgusting” might be a bit better. But I don’t have the energy to clean it. I don’t have the PCA yet. I don’t have the homemaker yet. I don’t have the help I so badly need yet. They’re “working on it”.

But it doesn’t help my depression to live in someplace like this. It doesn’t help my depression to know that I’m likely moving so. It doesn’t help my depression to know that things might get better, or they might get worse. I’m in limbo, and I don’t like it one bit.

And so, I sit here. “I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” Do I want to die? No. But at times I just want a break from this. To not have all this pain – both physical and mental. To just… be free, I guess.

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I am the luckiest… or am I?

Luck is such a subjective thing.

I have been told, multiple times by multiple people, that I’m lucky.
That I’m lucky to not have to work. To go to school. That I have all the free time I could want.
That I can just loaf around and play video games/read/watch whatever I want.
That I get in home services, like PCA and home help. That I’m possibly moving into assisted living (well, most likely and it’s about a 95% chance).
Lucky. Sure.

I spend every day of my life in pain. Every. Day. I cannot tell you what it’s like to not be in pain.
I throw up several times a week. My weight is now officially underweight. My body is falling more and more apart. I am sick all the time. My doctors express constant concern.
I am shuffled from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist.
I am lonely. So incredibly lonely.

I have lost friends over it. Because I can’t keep commitments. Because I “flake out”.
Because they don’t, or can’t, understand what it’s like.

I fight for my services. I fight for my medications.
I deal with providers who don’t give a shit and decide that I’m not worth seeing.
That I’m not worth working with.
That their needs are greater than mine, so they just don’t show up with no warning.

This is luck? This is being lucky?
This is what it’s all about?

I may be able to get my debt forgiven for student loans. Lucky there? A bit, maybe.
But it means I can’t go back to school. It means I won’t get a degree,¬†ever.
It means I’m trapped in the cycle of having no purpose.¬†

 

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Nothing (To My Father)

This is a poem I wrote senior year of high school. Now that my father has passed away, it’s even more interesting (to me, anyway) to read something I wrote nine years ago.

 

I reflect upon the past,
wondering if I knew the truth
or if I was fooled, and what I knew was
nothing.

What happened to make things change?
When did you quit loving me?
Did you ever truly love me, or am I
Nothing

Stop tormenting me!
Yet why should you love me?
Whatever did I do; am I just
nothing?

You used your tricks to harm me,
and wounded me by your words.
Some scars never heal,
Nothing

Your priorities were distorted
Alcohol was your idol,
I realized I was simply
nothing

I believe Family is the most important thing
You claimed it.
Yet your actions proved otherwise,
Nothing

The lies begins to come out,
I’m victim to your hypocrisy,
and fading into
nothing

As I learned the truth,
and free myself from your grasp
I realize that I was never
nothing

Starting live anew,
running free from the past
learning to live without you, no longer
Nothing

And in the end,
I realize at last
it is not I, but it is you who is
nothing.