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LaFayette Oct 2019
It’s really strange to pay you
To find out who I am in this head
Maybe I should just talk to a mirror
It would at least be cheaper

I came in to talk about suicide
And now we are all over the place
Now I have PTSD and a divorce
But at least I know why I’m crazy

What do you mean I’m not ready
To run out and find another wife?
I don’t see how too few months
Means I’m too messed up to love

Actually, you are probably right
I probably just need to find a lay
Be honest and forthright about me
But get the hell out of there after

Thanks for the session
It was certainly enlightening
I’m no less crazy then before
But now at least I know it
La Girasol May 2019
It was as if everything exploded and then froze in a thousand pieces in the air.

The frozen pieces stayed there, while my screams did not.

They tore through the night and only the stars could hear me as I mourned, "I'm dying, I'm dying, I'm dying".

The pieces stayed in the air for months, looming overhead.

Until today.

They are mirror shards. And they are piercing me, they are piercing me, they are piercing me.

The unexpected villain. The fickle sin. The heaping grief.

There is blood everything. And I am weeping, I am weeping, I am weeping.
I seek
And wonder
At the withheld
And intricate
Fabric of things,
The joyous tundra
That fills my soul
With ice
And promise of spring.
Where is joy
When dark seems absolute
And the chasm threatens
To swallow whole
The entirety of me?
Come close enough
To feel the aura bloom
And the vibes
Of triumph
Yearning to break
From the temptation
Of destruction
I so often find
Sharon Talbot Oct 2018
Welcome to your first session
Of couples’ therapy.
Before we begin conversation,
I would like to share something with you.
New research has found that, in therapy,
A client’s motivation is the most important factor.
Here is one article about it. I have copies for you.
I devised an exercise to increase your motivation.
This is, motivation about what you want to have
…again, as a couple…what you used to have.
Though there are two of you, I will say "her"
in order to keep things flowing
and for other reasons we can discuss.
Please make your selves comfortable.
Relax your muscles, starting with your toes
And working your way up.
(Yes I know it’s funny…but it works)
Focus on your breathing—in and out.
Not big breaths, but calm, even, shallow breaths,
That create stillness. Drive away intruding thoughts
And focus on the present, on being relaxed.
Are you calm? Are you in the moment? Good!
Now…I want you to imagine an ordinary day.
Picture yourself coming home from work, or
Some other place. See the road as you drive.
You don’t judge it but merely notice it.
Look at the buildings and trees as you drive past them.
Is everything the same as always? Good.

It’s an ordinary day. A day in your life.
The sun is in the sky, the grass is green
And all is as it should be. You feel content.
Keep breathing. Relax if you have tensed up.
Now picture yourself arriving home.
What do you do? Where do you enter your house?
What do you say or do inside?
Now, imagine that there is no one answering your “Hello”.
What do you feel? Remember how you feel when
Your wife or husband said, “Hello” or “Hi” back to you,
Even if it was casual or not very loving.
You are home now and it seems there is no one there.
What do you feel? Are you worried? Angry? Suspicious?
What do you do next? Hang up your coat, put down your bags.
Maybe you have groceries and you go to the kitchen.
Take a deep breath and relax. It’s just like any other day,
You think.

Now imagine entering the kitchen  finding her there
Motionless on the floor. Do you find this bizarre?
What do you feel when you see her?
Imagine that you run to her, heart in your feet,
Maybe your head spinning and adrenaline
Is keeping you conscious.
Imagine reaching down,
Calling her name, shaking her
But she doesn’t move. What do you feel?
Her skin is gray, her lips blue.
You don’t even feel for a pulse because
You know…she is gone. It seems that
Time stretches out like a long road
With a fatal car wreck on it.
Now comes the sick whirling inside,
The lightheaded improbability,
Do you deny what you see, what you know:
She is gone, but you fight against it.
Would you call for help? Perhaps you
Reach out to family, to a daughter or son,
As if they will know more than you
About what to do.
What do you tell them?
They arrive and enter that same world
Of stunned, disbelieving chaos.

When paramedics and maybe police arrive,
They are businesslike, quick: they’ve seen this before.
They are of little help to you
Except to examine “the body”.
Are their questions ones you can’t answer
Without indescribable pain?
Or do you not hear them at all?
Take a moment to imagine what you feel.

And as they take the body away.
You may watch the woman you love
Being zipped up into a bag,
Of perhaps someone had the sense
To put you in a soft chair like a baby,
To guard you from that sight
And speak softly, knowing
That your mind is barely there..
As you sit there, perhaps sipping alcohol,
Or maybe taking a sedative.
Things happen around you.
Are you a paralyzed fish in
A glaucous aquarium?
Or do you rave against the unreality
Of this thing?

Perhaps more relatives or neighbors arrive and hover.
You watch them cry and maybe
You think they have the right to grieve
More than you, for this was their mother
Or daughter and in the chaos,
Your love for her is ignored by all
Except you.
What are you feeling now?
Do you watch the show
Vaguely, remembering
Instead the things you wanted to tell her
But never said,
The places you said you would go
But never went,
Or worse, the hurts you inflicted
But never healed?
Imagine what this would be like.
You might cry yourself to sleep this night,
Or lie there, still numb, saying over and over,
“This isn’t happening.”

Now imagine the funeral;
Are you dressed in black
And do you do what your family does
On these days?
Did you see her again and say good-bye?
Or did you have the casket closed,
So as not to look at her like that?
Perhaps she was cremated
And when you arrive
At the cemetery, there is just
A small, stone box, a pretty one,
Like the one she had for her jewelry.
And it all floods back:
A scene of her, sitting at a mirror,
Putting earrings on and combing her hair.

How does it feel to know that
You will never see her again
In this life?
You know what is next—
The solemn procession
The loved ones weeping
Or standing stone still
And little ones, confused.
The words are read out by
Someone—a religious leader
Or just a funeral director.
Does it matter? Do you listen?
Sometimes the funeral is hardest,
Or for some, the easiest part;
It is scripted and you can walk through
The rituals, the reading of expected prayers.

You are silent on the ride home,
Feeling strange in the comfort
Of a limousine—so foreign yet sterile.
You watch the others’ vacant faces to see
What they feel, hoping for a clue
About what to say.
But nothing comes. Not even after
You are home, looking at the unaccustomed crowd.
Why are they here, chatting, eating, getting drunk
When you just want to be alone?
People say things but you hear vague words
From another language that you've forgot.
Some people even laugh or giggle;
Do you want to slap them?
Or are you grateful for the distraction?

Finally, as the morning wears down into
A cold afternoon, the black-dressed figures
Start to disappear. Some just touch you,
While others wrap you in their arms
And you don’t know why.
Some family members mills around,
Fussing over details big and small.
Some are things that she used to do
And you ignored them. Now
You wish you had watched her
Put food away, or fold things—perhaps
You would even offer to help.
You would do anything now…
And you would give anything
To see her move, smile, even to herself.
You would smile at her and say, “I love you!”
for no reason.

Now listen to your own voice
Saying that you need her.
But that is all done.
Perhaps you spend a night
With someone in the house,
Who stays to watch you.
After all, you have put on a show
So they won’t worry too much.
And on the second day,
Nothing seems real.
You are not the type who talks
About anything deep.
Yet maybe you feel sick
And would talk if you could.
Do you keep thinking she will
Suddenly walk in?
This is very common.

Hours groan past, elongated.
Sometimes, throughout the day
There are shocks to your system,
Electric shocks of reality.
You see her body again,
Or the coffin, the stillness of death
That is incomprehensible.
Sunset comes like an anodyne,
You think...
Night will blanket the loss.
But when your loved one or your neighbor
Leaves at last.
You are not glad to be alone,
As you used to be, sometimes,
When the expectations
Of marriage annoyed you.
When to be alone was a relief.

And now that feeling is alien.
You want nothing more
Than to spend the evening with her,
Sitting together on the couch,
Watching a favorite show
Or talking of interesting things.
Yet even those ideas are painful now.
She is not here and never will be again.
Slowly, reality seeps in, like rain
Into the soil around a tree
Or the dirt on her grave…
You sink into the seat, melting
Under the weight of grief.
The house seems to echo with her
Voice and you keep thinking
She calls to you as she used.
And you hear yourself
Snap at her, annoyed,
As you so often were.
Why was that? You don’t know now.
You were selfish, distant…
So many times, but why?

If she were alive now,
What would you say or do,
To show her you love her?
There is a ticking clock somewhere
And you can’t remember its place.
The house echoes again,
Not with her voice,
But with the long, empty sound
Of despair.
This is an experiment, a session of guided imagery rather than a lecture.
Matthew Sutton Sep 2018
breathing techniques cannot salvage my mentality
dry - cold - gales whisking shards of icicles
jet stream frozen oxygen into my pink lungs
and as nature’s razors draw red blood
my capacity for speaking matches the bleeding
of a headspace drowning in black ink
The quills of my fingertips have been continuously dipped
Into the reservoir of dye crested by the hole in my head
a yellow sun rises anew day to cast light on these visions
a red rose withers on concrete of unwalked opportunity
a orange three-pronged leaf exists in this dissension
ambition will either
flourish to match a perpetuating green
decompose to return compost the dirt of earth
gabriela Jul 2018
I started going to counseling this week
because my plants started dying

the roots are all rotted
and the leaves are just slowly eating away at themselves

maybe my roots are rotten too
and I need to fix them before I start eating myself up
Jas Apr 2018

Run, run, destruction awaits,
From divinity devils fall,
Atop one’s head indeed,
Absorbed with ease,
The angels swarm about the knees,
Pulling, pulling
At gravity.
It’s shaking me,
I haven’t seen much of what’s been pulling me,
Trying and fighting for this grip not to defeat me,
Wondering how it got inside of me,
Bottling, waiting for it to start changing me,
And I don’t know –
Tell me what you see inside of me,
Is it you?
Some kind of pain from what you’ve been through?
Say it,
How do I take up designation apart from you?
Share with me,
What am I supposed to do?
It’s a risk,
Struggling to find the courage to try and fix it,
To lose touch with myself and scare away the damaged bits.
What am I besides the things I’ve been through?
Or can I be more than just capacity,
I guess I never identified my own identity,
I sit on the shelf and wait for you to label me,
Price check, I guess I’m assigned my own value,
Put me up for sale instead cause no one wants to bargain me
On my behalf –
Sorry, let me bow and apologize for not helping
I am trying to find something, it’s rising to the surface of
What you said,
What he did,
Ordering and sorting through your mistakes,
Which is something I never got to make and now I’m learning,
Compared to better cause I wasn’t perfected,
Choking on my DNA cause I despise the taste of it – but wait
Isn’t that a reflection of you?
Isn’t what you made me into a small part of you?
Ruined and battered and ***** and always flavorless
I’m sorry, Mama
I know you want to eradicate this
But for myself I need to deliver this message
I wanted the chance to be a creator, too
I wanted the chance to walk in my own shoes
And now I have –
I’m trying to set myself on my own path
Free of you –
Surpassing the limits of what you allowed me to do,
And I’ll never be free
Cause the part of me that you reached,
Will always have you there
The infection you are heals in to my scar, you’re tissue
Fabricated into the realm of my love so I’ll never be rid of you,
But soon enough
I’ll learn how to paint over you,
So I can mend
And others will recognize you as something that can be breached, too.
Christina Hale Mar 2018
I cannot sit still, I cannot stop thinking
My body is fidgety, just picture me anxious
Butch finally called me back
Despite my lack
Of effort to meet her the first time she called
On the day of meeting her and all the gay community, she or her confidence did not seem flawed
I wanted to turn around, I wanted flee, I was so nervous, but to my surprise
The gay community was so warm and welcoming and butch’s firm handshake, poise, and intense glare had me hypnotized

Butch called and now I am in this room getting counseling and all my emotions are coming out
And now I’m feeling confused about school, friends, my sexuality, I don’t know who I am, I am having doubts
Butch better have a good solution for all these emotions she is making me spew out
Because now I’m feeling awful and I am having doubts, yeah I’m having some doubts

So it’s really hard for me to open up and talk because I’m so shy
But butch was nice and all, around her I felt comfortable, I never felt compromised
Butch is like my knight in shining armor or angel in disguise
If she wasn’t so much older than me, I would advert these eyes
So by the end of the session I’m feeling a little better
I have to give it up to butch, she is rather caring and cleaver

Butch called and now I am in this room with her behind a closed door
And I don’t feel so anxious anymore
I’m opening up and all my emotions are coming out
I’m slowly finding out who I am, I’m not having any more doubts
Butch called, butch called
And now I don’t feel so flawed
Butch helped all these emotions come to surface, helped them all come out
And now I feel I can handle anything, school, friends, my sexuality, I know who I am, I am no longer having doubts
Lacey Clark Mar 2018
My therapist recently asked me "have you ever tried mindfulness?"
I laughed a bit, thinking of the week-long mindfulness camp I attended for suicidal adolescents. I went twice.
This peaceful brain training is essentially giving us a sanctuary to retreat when the world is too loud.
We would eat skittles and describe their flavor and textures. We would focus on our breaths. Make beaded art. Tell collaborative stories. Follow guided meditations laying on unfamiliar gym floors, giggling a bit as we soared through clouds.
I remembered my dedication to mindfulness and the rich peace I felt from finding the present moment.
Now that my anxiety followed me into adulthood, I was willing to revisit. It's kind of a stupid challenge since the present is always here... and yet, it's still a challenge.
I look out my dusty, sun filled window decorated with three vases of dry arrangements. My mind starts to posture into how warm and antique this image feels. My eyes well up with tears as I hear birds sing and trees sway.
A story of my development through mindfulness and what it looks like as an adult.
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