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Kelsey Sep 2013
Coping with fear?
Anxiety. Kitten Therapy.
Coping with anger?
Anger management.
Coping with happiness?
Sharing. Fangirling.
Coping with sadness?
Crying.
Coping with being me?
A mess. I can't cope. I'm almost at the breaking point.
How much longer God?
It's been my whole life, I've never been truly happy.
Please help me.
elle jaxsun Jul 2018
the mist from my dope
coping mechanism
tickles my nose and my lips

the corners of my mouth
pulled upward as my eyes
turn to slits

i sink into the couch

cuddle my dog

ahhh, i ******* love this
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Charlotte Lawson Jul 2013
coping is not living
but surviving
you do not live in a world
where coping
is a "good" thing
coping means you struggle
struggling means you
hurt
hurt means that
everyday you wake up
just wanting
to go back to
sleep
forever
Courtney O Sep 2019
Coping is just a solution
you do what you can not what you must
and there's nothing but higher purpose as must
no rules in the land of lust
it's a hard decision to know such
how to put it so I can understand?

Coping is finding a way
then finding you've gone astray
Coping is the key and the lock
Coping it's just the way heart works

But there's something higher,
you will find it like it or not.
The time I coped, I was living good,
on my own. Hands below my *******,
you on the phone.

Beautiful mistake!
Of the planned move - beware
But how to do it, when everything else
fails
when contraries meet

No rules for life, so you get lost some time.
You can trace yourself back. Get found,
so you can be lost again. Wonder, revel.

What I feel for you - something I can't describe
I want the bed with you - I always did want that
But I am afraid the demons are howling again
Using the word love as a threat
This is not love, won't be fooled this time
No big adventure without ditching something
I ditch you pain, I ditch you unhealthy attachment,
I ditch you love, because you tore down my guts

The world has opened its jaws
not to swallow me but to let me gently in
it's showing its teeth, saying "Girl, you can look,
enjoy this"
(Enjoy my sharpness, how I slice you open
but
A butterfly in every ****, an ecstasy
even when you're about to drown)
A gift from above - did I work for it?
The world is smiling at me
It always did, it always did
And the road might be bumpy
And awhile I might have to solve it
But I am on my road
towards
Somewhere better than where I come from.
nabi 나비 Nov 2016
There are ways of coping with depression
Some people go with medicine
Others go with hobbies or distractions
Then there are the few that try things that might help, like candles or food
I go with the hobbies and distractions route
When I get sad, I will write a poem
When I get lonely, I will skype a friend
When I am frozen, I will listen to music
And I know sometimes I should accept the fact I get depressed
And I should go to a therapist and that I will always have this
But I would rather find personal tricks
To help cope with this
Than take medicine to make me happy
Nothing against people who do, thats your own opinion
I personally just want to have my own ways of coping
Whether it be music or friends or books
That works for me
That is my way of coping with depression
Susan Hunt Oct 2009
JACOB’S LADDER (Written by Susan J. Hunt 09-29-09)

I’ve been told I have no coping skills
More than a few times. It’s the same old line.
Then what the hell am I doing here?
I’ve survived up to this time.

A big fat zero, the test spits out.
Yep, that’s me no coping skills, probably ready to ****.
I have nothing to help me become my best.
Honesty is an asset, but doesn’t appear so from the tests

So sometimes, I have to lie. I don’t like to, but I must.
Otherwise they’ll t to run at me with a restraining jacket
Before I jump out a two-story building and land in the brush.

I’m very quick and wily.
That’s got to count for something.
I break no bones and run away.
All are amazed at my escape.

That’s what I’ve learned as coping skills.
I drink and do other sins, but I would never ****
Even to my detriment, I just don’t have that will

I’m not crazy. I’m not insane. I just see things differently.
I’m not Sybil or Ted Bundy, I just have issues within me
The fact is, I see more harm, I carry it inside of me

I’m working on my coping skills
and my social skills as well.
I’m working on them the best I can.
So far, it’s gone not so well

You couldn’t tell how sick I am
as we cross the street and pass.
Not that I would harm you,
I would offer you my flask.

My sensitive nature is on overload
I see every misdeed
Not that it matters much,
I’m too involved with me.

There must be a way to crawl out of this pit
I need a Jacob’s ladder.
May I become more alive and aware
Of how I can sincerely, matter.
Alyssa Mar 2014
ocd
I am in a constant battle for control.
I am hard to deal with
because my therapist says
OCD will not rest
OCD does not care what time it is
OCD does not care where you are
OCD does not care who is watching.
Usually when I obsess over things
I see my life falling to shambles
I see people not loving me anymore
I see germs sneaking into my skin.
When my uncle, my aunt, and my friend all died
in a matter of three months,
i performed rituals every hour on the hour
sometimes even more.
My therapist says this will not go away.
My therapist says to come see her so we can try to cope with this.
My therapist does not understand that WE are not coping.
I am coping
not her
not anyone else
me.
My therapist is a sick person
she is still recovering from alcoholism
so how can she help me
if all she sees is a bottle of bourbon when she looks at me.
I am not a bottle of bourbon
I am a bottle of OCD and depression and anxiety
I am a bottle of drugs and alcohol and death
I am a bottle being smashed over your head
I am not coping
I am drowning
And people have stopped loving me
And my life is falling into shambles
And I think I may be getting sick
so what the **** are these rituals even doing for me
anyway.
I have stopped taking medication because
wanting to die has become habitual
and I fear that will become a ritual too.
If I die
all people will talk about is how much they loved me
even if they didn't.
If I die,
there will be no room to have my life fall to pieces
because I will be in peace.
If I die,
I cannot get sick because the soil
will be taking care of my body but
who will perform my rituals
once I'm gone?
I apologize for this
Dorothy A Jun 2012
With great recollection, there were a few things in life that Ivy Jankauskas would always remember—always.

She would never forget where she was when 9/11 happened; she was in her algebra class, doodling a picture on a piece of notebook paper of her dog, Zoey—bored out of her mind by Mr. Zabbo’s lecture—when she first heard the shocking news. Certainly, she could remember when she first properly fell in love; she was fresh into college when she knew that she loved Trevor Littlefield—the day after they agreed to get back together, right after the day they decided to split up—after she finally realized that she really loved him, much more than she ever, really, consciously thought. She would forever remember when her parents first took her to Disneyland; she was seven and got her picture taken with Snow White and Mickey Mouse, and she instantly decided that she wanted to become a professional Tinkerbelle when she grew up.

And, like it or not, she could remember her very first kiss. She had just turned five, and it was at her birthday party. How could she ever forget those silly paper hats, and all her little playmates wearing them? They were a good sized group of children, mostly from the neighborhood and her kindergarten class, which watched her open present after present. Ivy remembered her cherry cake, with white frosting, and the stain she had when she dropped a piece on her pretty, new dress that her mother had bought her just for the occasion.  

It was later that day, behind her garage, that Gordon Zachary Durand, the Third, a boy her same age, planted one on her. It was a strange sensation, she recalled—icky, wet and sloppy, and Gordon nearly missed her mouth. Not expecting it, Ivy made a face, puckering up her lips—but not for another kiss—as if she had just ****** on a spoiled lemon. Ever since then, it was the beginning of the dislike she had for Gordon Zachary Durand, the Third. She didn’t exactly know why—there was just something about him that bugged her from then on.

There grew to be several reasons why Ivy knew that Gordon was a ****, something she first sensed at her birthday party behind the garage. Since about third grade, children picked on Ivy’s name, teasing her by calling her “Poison Ivy”.  And the one who seemed to be the loudest and most obnoxious of the name callers, chiming in with the other bullies, was Gordon Zachary Durand, the Third.  Ivy was proud of her name up until then, but the taunts made her self conscious. Her mother told her to be proud of her name, for it was unique and different, as she was unique and an individual. Still, Ivy felt uncomfortable with her name for quite a while. Only in adulthood, did she feel somewhat better about it.

A bit of a tomboy back then in school, she would have loved to punch Gordon right in the nose. If only she could get away with it! What a joke! Who would name their child Gordon anyway? She had thought it was far worse than hers.

So to counter his verbal assaults to her name, Ivy called Gordon, “Flash Gordon”, after the science fiction hero from TV and the comics. But Gordon was no hero to her. He was more of a villain, creepy, vile, and just plain mean!

Soon, new name of him caught on, and other kids were joining her. She had a smug sense of satisfaction that Gordon grew furious of the title, for it stuck to him like glue.

Gordon’s family lived right around the block, just minutes away from where Ivy lived. Ivy’s mom, Gail, and Gordon’s mom, Lucy, both went to the same Lithuanian club, and both encouraged their children to take up Lithuanian folk dancing. Ivy remembered she was eight-years-old when she began dancing. It was three years of Hell, she had thought, wearing those costumes, with long, flowery skirts, frilly blouses, aprons, caps and laced vests, and performing for all the parents and families in attendance. Worst of all, she often had to dance with Gordon, and he was one of only three boys that was dragged into taking up folk dancing by their mothers. Probably all of those boys went into it kicking and screaming, so Ivy had thought.

Many years have came and gone since those days. Ivy was now a lovely, young woman, tall and dark blonde, and with a Master’s degree in sociology, working as a social worker in the prison system. Ivy’s parents would never have imagined that she would work in a field, in such places, but she found it quite rewarding, helping those who often wished for or were in need of redemption.    

When Ivy came over to visit her mom one day, her mother had told her some news. “Gordon Durand’s mother passed away”, Gail announced. It was quite disturbing.

“What? When?” Ivy replied, her face full of shock.

“Well, it must have been a few days ago. I saw the obituary in the paper, and a couple of people from the Lithuanian club called me to tell me. The funeral will be Friday. Why, I didn’t even know she was sick! She must have hid from just about everyone. If only I knew, I would have gone to see her and make sure she know I cared”.

It had been a long time since Ivy saw Gordon, ever since high school. Now, they were both twenty-six-years-old. It never occurred to her to ever think of Gordon, to have him fixed in her mind like a fond memory from the past.

“Could of, would of, should of—don’t beat yourself up, Mom” Ivy told her "I guess I should go pay my respects”. But Ivy was not sure if she really should do it, or really if she wanted to do it. “Mrs. Durand was a nice lady. Sometimes, it is the nice ones that die young. What did she die of anyway?”

Ivy’s mom was pouring herself and her daughter a cup of coffee. “I believe it was leukemia. In the obituary, it asks for donations to be made to the Leukemia Society of America”.

Ivy shook her head in disbelief.  As she was sitting down with her mother at the kitchen table, drinking her coffee, her mom shocked her even more. Gail said, “Only twenty-six, same as you, and now Gordon has no mother or father! How tragic to lose your parents at such a young age! It breaks my heart to think of him without his parents, even though he is a grown up man now!”

“What?!” Ivy shouted in disbelief. “When did Gordon’s dad die?!”

Gail sipped on her coffee mug. “Oh, a few years ago, I believe. Time sure flies, so maybe it was longer than I think”. Gail had a far away look on her face like she was earnestly calculating the time in her mind.

“He died? You never told me that! How come you never told me?”

Under normal circumstances, the thought of Gordon Zachary Durand, the Third, would almost want to make Ivy cringe. But now Ivy was feeling very sad for him.  

“I did!” Gail defended herself. “You just don’t remember, or you weren’t listening. I am sure I told you!”

Gail was a round faced woman, with light, crystal blue eyes that always seemed warm in spite of their icy color. Ivy was quite close to her mother, her parents’ only child. She was grateful that her dad, Max, was still around, too, unlike the thought of Gordon’s dad dying. She felt that she could not have asked for better parents. They loved her and built her up to be who she was, and she felt that they could be proud of how she turned out, not the stereotypically spoiled, only child, not entitled to have everything, but one who was willing to do her share in life.  

“I would have remembered, Mom!” Ivy insisted. “I would remember a thing like that! What happened to him? Did you go to the funeral home?”

“I think he had a heart attack”, Gail replied, tapping her finger on her temple to indicate that she remembered. “I did go…oh, wait a minute. You were in Europe with your friends. It was the year after you graduated from high school, I believe. You couldn’t possibly have gone to the funeral home at that time”.

Since Gail did not want to go to Daytona Beach, in Florida, for her senior trip, her parents saved up the money for her to go to Germany and Italy. Ivy wasn’t into being a bikini clad sun goddess, nor was she thrilled by the rowdy behavior of crowds of *** craved teens—a choice that her parents were quite grateful that she chose, level headed as she was.

Since she was a little girl, Ivy dreamed of going to Europe. Her parents, both grandchildren of Lithuanian immigrants, would have loved for her to go to Lithuania, but Ivy and two of her friends had found a safe, escorted trip to go elsewhere,  on to where Ivy always dreamed of going—to see the Sistine Chapel and to visit her pen pal of eleven years, Ursula Friedrich, in Munich.  

Now, Ivy was available to visit the funeral home for Gordon’s mother, and she had decided to go with her mother. Not seeing Gordon in years, Ivy had her misgivings, not knowing what to expect when encountering him. Perhaps, he would be different now, but maybe he would prove to be quite the ****.

As she came, she noticed Gordon’s sister, Deirdre, and she gave her a hug. “I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. She was so nice”, Ivy told Deirdre. She felt uncomfortable talking to Deirdre, for she did not know what to say other than the usual, I am sorry for your loss. It was “sympathy card” talk, and Ivy felt like she was quoting something contrived from a Hallmark store.    

Deirdre was two years older than Gordon. She slightly smiled at Ivy and sighed. She must have said just about the same thing all day long, “It is good of you to come. Thank you for your kind support. Mom would appreciate it”.

Ivy looked around the room. There were many flowers, in vases and baskets, and people surrounding the casket. Ivy could not see Mrs. Durand in the coffin, for people were in the way, her mother included. She was glad she couldn’t see the body from her view.

Funeral homes gave her the creeps, ever since she was thirteen years old and her grandmother died, her father’s mother, and she had to stay at the funeral home all day long. Even a whiff of some, certain flowers was not pleasant to smell. They reminded her of being at a place like this, certainly not evoking thoughts of joy.          

Ivy looked around the room. “Where is Gordon?” she asked Deirdre.

Deirdre sighed again. “Gordon cannot handle death very well”, she admitted. “Go outside and look. He has been hanging around the building outside, getting some fresh air and insisting he needs a big break from all this.”

Ivy shook her head and smirked. “That sounds like Gordon, I must say”  

“Yeah”, Deirdre agreed, as she looked like Gordon’s help to her was a lost cause. “And he’s leaving me to do all the important work—talking to people who come in while he goes away and escapes from reality”.

Ivy went outside to search for Gordon. Sure enough, she found him by the side of the building, under a broad, shady tree. He was having a cigarette, standing all by himself, when he saw her approach.

Gordon looked the same—wavy brown hair and freckles, but much more grown up and sophisticated, his suit jacked off and his tie loosened up. Ivy knew that he always hated wearing ties. She knew that when both her mom and his mom convinced them to go out with each other—a huge twist of their arms—to the Fall Fest Dance in ninth grade and in junior high school. Gordon’s mom bribed him to go with her by promising to double his allowance for the month, and Ivy actually had a silly crush on Gordon’s cousin, Ben, hoping that she might get to talk to him if she went with Gordon to the dance.

Ivy glanced at Gordon’s cigarette, and he noticed. “Been trying to quit”, Gordon told her as she approached. He dropped it on the sidewalk and stepped on it to put it out. His face was somber as he added without any emotion, as if parroting his own voice, “Ivy Jankauskas—how the hell have you been?” It sounded like he had just seen her in a matter of months instead of years.

Well, at least he had no problem identifying her or remembering her name. She must not have changed that drastically—and hopefully for the better.

Ivy stood there before him, as he looked her down from head to toe. Same old Gordon! She thought he was probably giving her “the inspection”. She thought he almost looked handsome in his brown suit vest and pants—almost—with a sharp look of sophistication that Gordon probably wasn’t accustomed to. Surely, Ivy had no real respect for him.

“I’m well”, she responded. “But the question is more like…how are you doing?” Ivy studied Gordon’s blank expression. “No—really. I’d like to know how you are coping”.

Gordon stood there looking at the ground, his hands in his pants pockets, like he never heard her. “Come on. Let’s go for a walk”

“Here? Now?”

“Just a short work, around the block”, he told her. He already started walking, and Ivy contemplated what to do before she decided to follow up with him to join him.

They walked together in silence for a while. From anyone passing by, they surely would have looked like a couple, a well-paired couple that truly enjoyed each other’s company. Ivy could not believe she was actually walking with him. Gordon Zachary Durand, the Third? Of all people!

“You haven’t answered my question”, Ivy said. “How are you coping? You know I really liked your mom a lot. She always was pleasant to me”.

She wanted to add, “Unlike you”, but it certainly was not the right time or the right place. She felt a twinge of guilt for thinking such a thing. Under more pleasant circumstances, she would have jabbed him a little. That was just how they always communicated, not necessarily in a mean-spirited way, but in a brotherly and sisterly way that involved plenty of teasing.

Gordon thought a moment before he answered. “Yeah, it’s hard. But what can I do? I lost my dad. I lost my mom. Period. End of discussion. I’m too old to be an orphan…but I kind of feel like one anyhow. That’s my answer, in a nutshell”.

“And I wish I knew about your dad”, Ivy said, with a great tone of remorse. “I was in Europe at the time, and I couldn’t have possibly gone to the funeral”.

“Europe? Wow! Aren’t you the jet setter? Who else gets to do that kind of stuff but you, Ivy?”

Now that was the Gordon she always knew! It did not take long for the true Gordon to come forth and show himself.

“No! I don’t have all kinds of money!” she quickly defended herself. “I actually helped pay for some of that trip by working all summer after we graduated from high school. Plus, it was the trip of a lifetime. I may never get the chance to go again on a trip like that again”.  

Ivy was a bit perturbed that Gordon seemed to imply that she was pampered by her parents. He accused her of that before, just because she was an only child.

Autumn was approaching, but summer was still in the air. It was Ivy’s favorite time of year, with the late summer and early autumn, all at the same time.  The trees were just starting to turn colors, but the sun felt nice and warm upon her as Ivy walked along. It was surely an Indian summer day, one that wouldn’t last forever. She wore a light sweater over her sleeveless, cotton dress, and took it off to experience more of the sun.

“It has been ages since I’ve seen you”, Gordon admitted. “Since high school. So what became of you? Did you ever go to college?”

“I did and I work as a social worker…I work in various prisons”

Gordon laughed out loud, and Ivy gave him a stern look. “What’s so funny?” she demanded.

“I just can’t picture you going in the slammer, even if you aren’t wearing an orange suit”, he said in between laughing. He looked at Ivy, and she had quite a frown on her face. He changed his tune. “I was only joking, Ivy. I think you’d probably do good work at your job”.  

“And where do you work?” she asked, a devilish expression on her face. “At the circus?”

Ivy caught herself becoming snarky to Gordon. It did not take long. She opened her mouth to apologize, but Gordon, sensing her need to be sorry, stopped her.

Laughing even more, he said, “Good one! You are sharp and fast on your feet! You always have been! I work for an insurance agency. I work for Triple A”.

“Oh, really? Do you like your job?” Ivy asked. Her interest was genuine.

“It pays the bills. But, hey! I am going back to college in January. I just have an Associate’s degree right now. I am not sure what I want to take up, but I want to go back and at least get a Bachelor’s”.

“That’s great!” Ivy exclaimed. “I think you should keep on learning and keep on moving forward. That is a great goa
The word “identity” has two different meanings:
1. The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
2. A close similarity or affinity.
I would like to focus on the first meaning.
My identity is based on who I am as a person.
It’s based on the things I do and don’t like.
My identity is based on the clothes I wear.
My identity is based on the way I choose to talk.
My identity is based on my thoughts and opinions.
My identity isn’t based on my Autism or Anxiety.
Some people say they’re identity is their Autism.
And if they’re happy with that, that’s great.
But I was just recently diagnosed with Autism.
And while I have had it my entire life.
I didn’t know anything about it.
I did, however, know that I had anxiety issues.
I’ve had anxiety for a long time, and it’s bad.
I can recognize when an attack is gonna happen.
This isn’t always the case, but a lot of the time, it is.
I know what helps me when I have an anxiety attack.
I have an understanding of what I can and can't handle.
My Autism, on the other hand, is still a mystery to me.
I know that it affects the way I think and learn.
I know it’s the reason for why I am sensitive to temperature.
I know it’s why so had such a hard time in school.
But I refuse to say that my Autism and anxiety identify me as a person.
I have known my personality way long never than both my Autism and anxiety combined.
This isn’t true for everyone, but it is for me.
This is the way I choose to approach my Autism and anxiety.
I’m Autistic, and I’m not ashamed of it.
I have anxiety, and I’m working ******* it.
But I’m not Autism, and I’m not Anxiety.
I’m me.
And I will always stand by this train of thought.
I know that there are times when my interests become my coping skills.
But when I’m not anxious, then they are just my interests.
When I’m having an anxiety attack, then they are the skills I need in order to function.
Right now, this isn’t a coping skill.
My writing this, isn’t a form of therapy.
This is an interest of mine.
I love to write, and was thinking about this, so I decided to speak my mind.
I’m happy to say I’m happy right now.
I don’t feel a bit of stress, and if I do, then one of my interests will be used to help me through it.
Until then, I’m just doing what makes me happy.
And I’m happy that I know myself well to recognize this.
You don’t have to agree with me on anything I just said.
I just ask that you respect that these are my opinions.
I’m an individual who just happens to have Autism and anxiety.
Alright, that’s all I got, I’ve just been in a writing mood over the last few days.
E Lynch May 2018
It arrives,
Unnoticed, unannounced.

Quiet,
At first.

Slow,
Seeping, dripping.

I put it down to a few stressful weeks.
I carry on.

It unpacks,
Worries, anxieties.

Gently,
For now,

Tiptoes,
Whispers, creaks.

‘It will leave soon’ I think ‘It always does.’
I keep going.

It settles in,
Getting comfortable.

Getting louder,
And louder.

Banging thoughts,
Insomnia.

‘Please don’t be happening again’.
I shuffle along my daily routine.

Claws in,
Insidious.

Screaming,
24/7.

Shame, worthlessness,
Hurt.

‘Please go away’.
I’m barely coping.

Growing roots,
Into my brain and heart.

Blossoming pain,
With every beat.

Emptiness, loneliness,
Abandonment.

Silence, Stillness,
‘I can’t move, I can’t cope.’
Diversity of motivation among self-harming individuals

An estimated one in twelve teenagers has committed self-harm. Of those many will continue self-injuring into young adult hood. Yet older adults are not immune to committing this act. In 2003-2004 adults age 25-44 were responsible for nearly fifty percent of reported/discovered self-harm cases.  There are many reasons that people self-harm. These reasons may include self-harming as a survival mechanism, self-harm as an outer expression of inner emotional turmoil, and self-harm as a means to exercise control over one’s environment.
Contrary to popular thought, only one in ten people who make the decision to self-harm are suicidal. The majority of people who cause injury to themselves willfully have a wish to avoid killing themselves. The act of self-harm is developed as a “technique” to cope and survive the afflictions of life. How can we know that this is the reasoning or thought behind the action of self-harm? “Cutters” typically reason out the least amount of damage that will “remedy” the stress intensive situation that they find themselves in, and exercise an enormous amount of restraint in inflicting only a measured amount of damage. Cutters’ common logic is that through this expression of injury, further damage to their selves may be headed off. --------, a former cutter, attests to the reality of this when he says, “Every time that I touched a blade to my skin, I would resist making a larger cut, a deeper wound. Every time that I hurt myself, I did so only in response to what drove me over the edge; Each time the amount of physical damage that I did was the very least that I could muster. I fought to do the least damage I could, no matter how intense the pain that I felt became.” He sums it up rather nicely.
Secondly, self-harm is used as an outward expression of deeper, more complex emotional and psychological phenomena. It is not a diagnosis; it is a symptom. It is a symptom of a struggle that is inherited by victims of abuse, those who lose a loved one, or experience other traumatic events during their childhood. These groups are far more likely to indulge in self-harm. One study conducted by Boudewyn and Liem found that of those college students that reported a history of self-harm, fifty two percent had been sexually abused as a child. Those that self-harm do not simply cut to cut, burn to burn, or mutilate to mutilate. There is a deeper motivation. This motivation is commonly emotional. These motivational emotions are often the results of tragic or traumatic life experiences. It is seldom that a cutter’s motivation is a want for attention.  In fact, most cutters are chameleons.
Self- harm is used as a tool to exercise control in a chaotic environment over which one would not otherwise have any means to control. Among chaos and turmoil such as the loss of a parent or close friend, relational betrayal, divorce of one’s parents, or consistent, one time, or sporadic physical, emotional, or ****** abuse an individual is radically more likely to engage in self-harm. Outside reasoning on this is only speculative. For this reason it is valuable to look at the action from the perspective of those who commit it. Cody, the same individual mentioned earlier says something else that lines up with this common scholarly opinion. He says “I remember the very first time I cut myself intentionally. I was in the ninth grade, in the school bathroom. I had just experienced what I saw as betrayal by my best friend of about ten years. I felt like I lost him. I felt like things were spinning out of control, and I couldn’t control the way I felt about it all. The only way I could feel that control was with something sharp in my hand.” This is characteristic not only of ----- but also of many other cutters.
Cutters are not (necessarily) crazy. On the surface it may appear that cutting goes against the ingrained survival and self-preservation instincts in human beings. This is actually the opposite of the truth. Many who cut feel that if they don’t inflict smaller harm to themselves that they may indeed fall to suicide. They feel that by letting out their pain in increments, and escaping in fragments, that they can slay the thoughts of suicide and urges to escape that they carry. When at the edges of rational, some instincts may take different forms. What may seem counter intuitive – an act of self-harm – becomes the definition of an instinct that it seems to defy. The desire to survive becomes so strong that it is necessary to inflict pain. This is not uncommon to survival situations. For example, the movie 127 Hours reenacts the experience of a man trapped under a boulder in a beautiful and secluded gorge. He cut off his own arm with a dull multi-tool in order to escape death. That act is the epitome of self-harm as a survival instinct.
Cutting could lead to a series of events that tailspin out of control. Loss of control could take the form of the spiral of therapies and prescriptions that would follow if it were discovered that one were cutting , or it could be the accidental slip of a blade gone too far. It could end in hospitalization. It could even end in death. However, those individuals who choose to cut, as long as sober, take precautions to avoid discovery or more injury than is intended. They are meticulous, careful even. They reason out how, where, and when they can cut “safely”. They are very much in control over the act, when they feel they cannot be in control of anything else.
It may rationally appear that pain is pain. That it would make no difference whether out or inward, because whatever its state, the pain is still owned by the individual. However, emotions are often harder to process than physical events. A burning rage, hate or guilt may well be harder to cope with than a burn to one’s arm, leg, or hand. An emotional cut to the bone may be less painful than a physical one. It may be said that the act does not transform the pain, but multiplies it. This in essence may be true, but one form of pain allows a man to ignore another. A pinch may allow a man to ignore the emotional pain of a nightmare. A small cut may allow ignorance of the bigger cut on one’s spirit or psyche.
There are widely varying and increasingly complex variations of motivation and cause of self-harm. They may include, but are absolutely and in no way limited to: self-harm as a coping or survival mechanism, self-harm as a tool to exercise control over one’s increasingly chaotic environment, and self-harm as an outer expression of inner emotional turmoil. To believe that cutting is simple is to nearly deny it altogether. Its essence is complicated. Stereotyping self-harm or self-harmers may well lead to opinions that will ostracize or further encourage the occurrence of self-harm.  Since the motivation and causes of self-harm are undeniably complex, to attempt to brush this under a rock would be to diminish its importance, and to deny healing to those who need to understand it.
MonkeyZazu Dec 2015
Naked branches
now scratch
cold wind

Leaves fell
and with them
his coping
mechanism

Within
with him
thoughts stay
no longer swaying
away
Fay Slimm Jul 2016
Coping.

A shadow, poised where the blow is to fall
transports and transforms
in its turning
as shot hits, making wife widow who learns
by authentic letter
but starts hopeful pretense.

A dream believed whole is but a fragment
transfixed and transient
in its racing
away from such real where tragedy faces
grave's mocking indifference
to wedlock's stark finish.

A battle-torn soul coping alone with grief
transacts and transmits
in its mourning
devotional vows should report prove false
yet she, believing he lives
weeps while cursing war's evil.
Richie Vincent Nov 2016
I am awake at midnight every night picking feathers from the wings of all the angels I have stolen,
I am being unhinged by the minute,
I am let loose, I am livid,
I am the Christ conscious abandoned,
I am losing time and I am losing friends

The ends of the earth are making a home in my garden and the molten flowers are seeping into my veins and will soon make me combust so I need to say what I need to say and make it quick before I run out of time

"We can no longer go on like this"
She is screaming at him and he is hearing nothing besides the rustling of the wind at his window

I am speeding down the highway with three cigarettes smoked one after the other and turning up my radio so loud that God is speaking to me through heaven's  radio waves

WE WILL GET THERE AND WE WILL SUFFER,
WE WILL GET THERE AND WE WILL SUFFER

Sulfur and cyanide and angel dust and complexes,
I am a ******* lunatic and I am being strung out over coffee tables and bathroom stalls,
I am a thread being pulled into hell,
I am unraveling before the ones who came before me and I am giving them hell,
I am finally understanding the difference between letting go and holding too close,
My bones yearn for something stronger than themselves,
I am absolutely destroying myself but I would not want this any other way, I can promise you that

A poet writes about wanting to escape to a world that's less crowded than his head,
A painter paints visions of a world he wishes he could own but will never get the chance to

Bukowski wrote about people finally looking like flowers at last but never was able to see the beauty in himself,
Van Gogh painted flowers that are now in museums but he used that same paint to try to poison himself

I am staying up until the sun comes out because I am no longer comfortable in the daylight

I am not killing myself, but I am suffering

This is a way of coping

This is a way of coping

It is like a ****** of crows flying to a corpse to eat their dinner,
They feast on sadness and heartbreak and they need to get their money's worth while they still can, I get that,
What hurts the most is that it is inevitable that they will come,
Regardless of anything, the crows will come and they will pick apart the bones as if the bones never belonged to anyone or anything before they arrived,
It's a cruel world and I guess things just have to be this way

"You just don't have to be so ******* soft about everything!"
He's screaming at her for the fifth time this week because she's decided that being alone is a hell of a lot scarier than being with someone who hurts you, even if they hurt you a lot

It is not my fault that I am like this,
It is not my fault that I am not hefty enough to hold this weight,
It is not my fault that fires start in my bones and heat my mind up so much that it starts to overheat and stop working,
It is not my fault that I stopped working,
It is not my fault that I cannot forgive myself for the things I did not do

A ****** of crows fly together and create a black cloud of desperation,
It's been a few weeks since I haven't seen any clouds and I've gotten drunk more times than I can count and I've smoked more cigarettes than there are trees,
I'm so sorry but they are gutting me from head to toe, the crows, the crows are eating everything I've made for myself up to this point like it's some kind of ******* waste,
Like everything I've made of myself from then until now, wiped out like it never happened,
Progress completely lost,
All sense of accomplishment gone,
This always happens

I'm sick and tired of telling myself that it isn't okay to tell myself that I love myself,
I'm hanging on here by the skin of my teeth and the tar in my lungs and it's lonely here, it's really, really lonely here

I say sorry a lot, but I'm not sorry about this, this, I'm so ******* sick of this,
I want this to go away,
I want them to go away,
The crows,
I want them to go away

I'm getting through this whether I want to or not, with or without anyone's help, I just have to keep reminding myself that these crows will never pick all of the meat away but they sure as hell will get as much as they can while they still have the chance

I should do the same
Seth Keplinger Jul 2018
I keep pretending I'm alone.
Even after losing my seat
to her new prince.

it's spellbinding,  
enough to make the ole' dog wince.

I still love the sad songs
her puppy dog eyes dispense.
it was never her truth, per usual;
per his glimpse,
into the future of my demise.
I pretend to appreciate the gent in the white coat.
A self diagnosis wouldn't compromise
my vulnerability.  
Don't, she won't, undermine my competency
it lends itself to my daily routine,
I self prescribe- a precisely perplexing potency
abide, at least you tried
an unprecedented golden rule.
This wasn't premeditated,
nor an act of repetition.
We've been classically conditioned, so
I implore and drool.  

I keep pretending it's a new found happiness.
it's for the canaries,
the relievers
and deveivers.
I believe it's for the ignorant
the boring -
the people with white picket fences
and golden retrievers.
Beware of the conformist
they who did well on geometry tests
their smile so luminous  
like diamonds between her *******.


I'm a brittle leaf in autumns first frost
hanging on the edge of winters righteous freeze.
the shackled, the .22,
let it be me.  
I'm a warning sign, Cuba 1963;

I can barely sleep as it is
from this dusty room
I garner for clues inauspiciously
the obtuse path back to the life i once lived,
obstructed by the 4 seasons, for reasons, the 4 walls,
the 4 grains in this whiskey.

Life outside of her box is a bargain.
Before the flies, where my heart lies;
her highfalutin jargon.
Coping with this void gives me nightmares.
joe shakes my daydreams
they fall from my dilated pupils
and anxiously I begin to slur.
I wish he'd stop cutting his pen through the air,
reminds me of my geometry teacher,
lecturing vicariously through a sorcerer
maybe the boring one's preacher?
everyone in this coffee house likes to stare.
Damian Murphy May 2015
Fed up with your lot?
Focus on what you have got;
Not what you have not

Through trouble and strife
Find the good things in your life;
Concentrate on those.

How strong we can be
Only in adversity  
Can we truly see
Three shorts combined
Daniel Mashburn Feb 2015
So tell me what you think of when your whole world collapses, leaves you brokenhearted and it leaves you worthless, breathless.

So tell me how you're coping. Keeping copacetic. When at first you walked on water, and now you're just submerged.

And if you fear your self destruction. Can I tell you I fear mine?
Johnny Raven May 2013
The rain washed a little of the grey away

Away with some of the disappointment and the turgid

Turgid feelings of abandonment and conflict

Conflict and all the other 'ents' washed away today  

Today with most of the negative things I had to say

Say anything to me now, I finally had my dream

Dream discovered, an attempt, recovered

Recovered if all dedication and zeal coalesce

Coalesce into the rebirth of my hopes and dreams

Dreams, or am I dreaming of my 'bailey wick,' handing

Handing out wishing stars

Stars falling like a gentle soothing sleeping rain

Rain Washed A Little of the Grey Away, no longer insane.

Insane no longer at least not today coping coping

Coping in order not to run rabbit run away


*- Johnny Raven
         © 2010
brandon nagley Jun 2015
Coping skills thou sayeth?
Ha!!!

She is mine coping mechanism!!
She mine muse!
Logan Robertson Jan 2019
Every so often children throwing tantrums
Catch parent faces, bracing fallen sourness
Where outlines wrinkle rosy outlook sadly
Raisins having pits

Logan Robertson

1/16/2019
Read CC's blog at Poetry Soup, describing  sapphic stanza with a jux. I found that form interesting, spent hours marveling and researching. I attempted my first one. Not sure if this is correct-11/11/11/5. In this poem I wrote of a parent coping with a child's misbehavior. The effect of such leaving a wrinkled image much like a raisen on the parents face with the juxtaposition at the end of the poem, which is a play on words, too, raisens/raising.
Arcassin B Jul 2015
By Arcassin Burnham


Competing with another human being
It's not me,
It's really personal
With all the hearts on my sleeves,
I am not a god or anything
You don't believe,
But I get senses of beauty
When I go to the beach,
(I swear I have trouble Coping)

My glorious days will always
Be my defeats,
Trying to relive and laugh with pride
No empathy,
You could try to push buttons but
I never will redeem,
To have a better life I swear
Is faded in a dream,
(I swear I have trouble Coping).
18 Part 3
Kunbi Feb 2020
You told me yourself that “little things to you matter”
Being around you I’ve unconsciously adapted that feeling when it comes to you.
You say these things and the side of my brain that usually never gets what it wants is being feed.
Building emotions on the words you say
Building emotions on originally empty words
You don’t do drugs but you parade it around an addict .
You are very aware I’m trying to dispose of my feelings for you.
Seeing you the way you see me
But you make it difficult every time you call out with “psst”
I don’t want to lose you, that is one awful big mistake.
I hope you get past your shyness and let me in
Or maybe... maybe you are just afraid you might lose me when you really open up on how you really feel.
I really wish you’ll stop playing games even when deep down I feel you enjoy it.
So talk to me or make my coping mechanism easy for me
Pal


                                        ♚
                                Kunbi_dia
Honestly I don't know
Fox Apr 2014
Why is hellopoetry.com black and white? I've always wondered about this... why my colorful photographs are required to travel back in time. How does this effect the poetry in any way, shape, or form? But I understand the wisdom of this design now. And it sets a great metaphor for all of the people of the pen involved in this truly noble motion, this secret society for people with passion, talent, and troubled minds and souls. Hello Poetry is black and white not because it has to be monochromatic and modern, but because us poets fill these pages with enough inovativeness and color already with our words, ideas, thoughts, songs, senryus, ballads, heartbreaks, insecurities, that adding literal color to this website would be overwhelming. These soft undertones of gray, black, and white may be considered drab and depressing to some, but to us poets it represents timelessness. And this is probably why we are all here. Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly publishing poems. Because we all know we are not going to live forever, and we are so entirely insignificant in the broad scheme of things and of the universe itself, that it is a bit comforting and helpful to have this coping mechanism or soft blankie to calm our fears, that this literature we write, however insignificant it may be, is absolutley permanent. And that maybe someday it will be remembered so a small bit of us may live on. Tom Riddle knew the needs and wants of man kind before anybody else realized it. Maybe he was just trying to cope with the fact that he is insignificant. These poems are all our Horcruxes so *viveamus per camenam nostram.
^^^let us live through our poetry
Austin Heath Apr 2014
The sad part is that most of us, writers,
are almost ashamed to say it out loud.
We do it like a bad habit we can't escape.
****** junkies with the leash around our necks.
Treat it like a disfigurement; our
malignant entries spread like cancer from
under our pathetic, hypocritical hands.
We're sad.
Depressed.
"Heart broken".
Angst ridden.
Jaded.
Coping.
Coping.
Learning to cope,
but often failing.
Stepping on each other;
a sea of cadavers with
no bottom, surface, or center.
Full of brilliance/ brighter than the sun.
Collectively, we are a diamond made from ****.
A uselessly expensive commercial good,
nonetheless.
The next Bukowski will be a child molester,
or a sociopathic spree killer. Too bad
no one wants to be the great writer of course.
What greater shame could there be?
What bigger embarrassment could exist?
What insult and tragedy is more than being
a writer?
NitaAnn Sep 2014
Is way of expressing the pain that
I seem not to be able to talk about.
It is how I cope with feeling numb.
It is how I cope when I have so many emotions
I can't even begin to name them.

I self injure to hide the pain I feel.
I self injure and nobody knows but me.
I am me I can not change that
Right now self injury is a coping skill.

I am trying to find new coping skills to learn how to deal with things.
I can sometimes make those other skills work for me,
but on a day like today it seems to be the one reliable thing
that I know will help me get through the rest of the day.
Kaitlin Collide Sep 2013
Smoke the **** so my problems go away
Or at least get hidden underneath the haze
When it comes to coping methods is this okay?
Is it okay? Is it okay?
Wrote this last year until I realized that no, it's not okay for me. Some people can do that but that is not productive for my life personally.
Theia Gwen Feb 2014
She reads
                                          And she sleeps
                                                      Way too much
                                                            ­           It's her coping defence
                                                                ­               When nothing else will suffice
                                                         ­               She needs to get away
                                                       Without actually leaving
                                             Because she's too scared
                                   And too tired
                                            To leave her bed
                                                      So she cracks open a book
                                                            ­     To escape somewhere far away
                                                            ­             And she'll sob for the characters
                                                      ­                       Whose brokenness resembles hers
                                                            ­                                   And then she'll sleep
                                                           ­                                   And have sweet dreams
                                                          ­              Of realities that are not her own
                                                       Because pretending is so much easier
                                                 Than facing reality
                             So she'll sleep and dream
          And secretly wish she won't wake up
So she can finally escape
Renee Danielle Dec 2015
my roommate likes to play dress up.
sometimes, she will look just like me;
other times, she looks like fragmented bits
of my worst weeks thrown together
in old calendars I've tried to lose.

you tell me this is a cry for help,
but "help" is a foreign word
that will always sound funny
coming from my lips.
keeping myself together
is a language I never learned to speak.

a merry-go-round of feeling bad
about feeling bad
about feeling bad.
I can't remember the opposite of sick.
my stomach is hurting
and my head is spinning
from all of these circles.

I've been avoiding my reflection
because I'm afraid she'll be disappointed
to see what I've made out of her.
I don't want to keep running from people
who once loved me.
River Raras Jan 2014
Don't worry.

I'm here to tell you what you need to hear.
And it's not what you thought you would hear,
And it might not be what you deserve to hear.

Don't worry, it's me.
You don't know me well, but
You should know that I am kind.
I am gentle, and I think about you in that fashion.
My thoughts are not barbed wire,
Nor clear sky.

When I think of you, I think this:

You are foolish.
But so was I,
For years
For the same reasons as you.

And nothing can judge you
But the years,
And the years are nothing if not judgment's mirror.

Lonely years.
I would write poems of hate.
I tattooed my life onto the skin of so many notebooks.
Letters only exist on paper--
How badly I wished my depressing poems would be emblazoned proudly on my soul for all to read.
How cold I felt when I realized nobody wanted to get close enough to see them.

The only tattoos my mind bore
Were freezing outlines of emotions
None of which could burn hot enough to melt the ice they were etched into.

Then something magical:
Neurons. Synapses.
I realized that my mind is not a metaphor.
My mind is not a tangled mess of hyperboles and adjectives.

My mind is not poetry, and life is not scripted.
Nobody's brain is made of prose,
Much as some would like to believe.
Depression is not more noble because it is written well.
And if you have written it, believe me when I say that the way it flows when it is read aloud makes no difference either.

Do you understand?
Here it is, simply:
Step back if you find yourself a step too far into the world of the over dramatized.
Burn your depressed poetry.
It serves no purpose but to remind you of the state you are in.
It dwells in your long-gone years without thought of any future unless that future is your past relived until your future's end.

Poetry is not a coping method.
Poetry is an excuse to linger,
And "coping" is a very poetic way to euphemise that fact.
I have found this out the wrong way.
Poetry is as addictive as alcohol, as drugs, as depression.
They all go together well.
And they don't like to let go once they've started to hold hands.

What I'm saying isn't "stop writing."
What I'm saying is that if poetry is an excuse to linger, you have a choice.
What i'm saying is I hope you choose to linger on joy before you dwell in sorrow.
Because the longer you stay somewhere,
The more it feels like home.


Try to grasp the idea of just stopping,
Letting every idea go
And leaving.
And not coming back for a long time.
And doing it right now.

Realize:
1. The longer you stay sealed inside your mind, the longer you'll have to live with only words as company.
2. Words make terrible company when they're written in sadness.
3. The stars don't give a **** about words anyway.

Be like the stars.

Be with your friends. Make yourself laugh. It'll be hard at first. Then it will be easier. Then other people will be able to make you laugh too.



And one last thing to you specifically,
To you, the person reading this,
The person wondering silently,
The person I've been writing to this whole time--

Realize:
I don't know you.
But I love you.

This is not a joke or a ploy.

I love you.

Somewhere out there, there is somebody that loves you, and it is me and I am not afraid of it.
Find me,
And I will love you openly.
Because if you have the strength to find someone you don't know, you have the strength to find yourself too.
And then you won't need a stranger's love anyway.
RCraig David Apr 2013
From my "Bestifreadaloud" series about a girl that got away that Spring because I waited too long.

Part 1 The Past
A case made now faded of a simple place, a time, a space,
a perfect moment let pass in haste.
Clasped in clashes,
brash in passion,
rose from ashes,
desire fires every second's essence as it passes,
a ton amasses.
Fast bloom,
Blast!! Boom!!
The past relapses.
Notably lesser song notes float hopeful, emotional ends and remember whens.
Sent us spinning, then spin adrift again.
Sprung in spring, we fell,
Some are reasons to recall.
Summer's season breaks, we fall.
Flocks fly down and fallen callings fade to Winter's south.
How fate related still debated.
Re-Sprung the next Spring' rise, chance misses fate this date.
I weighed and debated and waited too late

PART 2
Still all these years alone, the "one", the "purpose" unsought.
Capturing thoughts,
The ones I caught and tossed,
Things I was taught and lost.
Proof framed and embossed for a cost.
Coping through the unabashed hopes to one day cash in on all this stashed trash I clash with.
"Smash it?" ...the thought crossed.  

Unimpressed by my evidence of self-less requests,
pursuit of self-evident truth proves a most ruthless abuse.
Even less are my skewed protests for “selfish quests" at the behest of the very strangers I sought to impress.
I digress.

The years compound, bossed around, kicked down but soundly employed,
I turn cold, blaming Freud for defining my non-violent, intolerance threshold on page 23 of some textbook I should have resold.
I go silent. Grow old.
"While your whining and shunning your shinning,
They're sinning and winning." Bad timing.

Girls come, go and follow this shallow, hollow fellow on the run.
While preyed upon...I paid a ton. I play.
The sum never more than the cost of rented fun.
Without insight but consent forthright,
my 30 years of intent were spent in a fortnight.
Still bent on shedding every pound of one first-moment's ton I lost not won.
Can't buy happy for less than the cost of your one-ness.
While prayed upon...paid a Son, they say.

part 3

Ohh the wait....
Ohh the weight...
My set-adrift-soul's mending depends solely on tossing
lost cause cost-spending into thrift.
Well it's a beginning.
All the amassed notes, quotes, boat-floaters,
and sailboat hopes spun in one 1-ton loss moment sprung that one Spring.

Now and again, it creeps in,
like slowly growing stinging nettles around a squelched,
once steaming scorched dream kettle.
Still stays packed away in my heart's darkest parts.
Blurred by time and place,
this burning, misplaced furnace space lays in wait.

Such compiled cold-case denial files from other life trials, lay piled in haste on my proverbial, "less pressing" messy desk of "not ready to face."
Too scared or daring to date, try to relate or contemplate
how to best equate this great weight.
Wait?... Wait.
Elation brewing from pursuing future fruition or ensuing
pure ruin gates these fates from moving, year-to-date.
For the sake of trying or dying forsaken,
another day awake is another day gained or taken.

I found her again,
the town's she's in
but she is taken and then
She learns of my wait, it's weight, my fate, she's shaken,
another ton amasses again. I pretend.
Lay down.
Drown the score of sounds surrounding.
Furthermore, slow the pulse-pounding abounding your core.
Fill your breath.
What is less is gone, tomorrow more.  

by R. Craig David-Copyright 2012
Phoebe Mar 2014
I read online about a coping technique:
When you're stressed, bite gently on your knuckles.

My knuckles are now so bruised and swollen it hurts to move my hand.
softcomponent May 2014
Betwixt of any sense beyond experiment, I sat on the bed between shifts and out-whipped the bag of Concerta given to me by Matt, o'timey hard-worker-soft-souled Matt, who felt, perhaps, that I had a legitimate reason to explore this legal avenue of pharmaceutical mind-manipulation for reasons he would rather fathom in retrospect. I popped a single pill, and voilà, the legal-cocainnabinoid began to flow between my red and white blood-cells playing cops and robbers.

It is when I feel nostalgic that I feel the need to write. I remembered, at work, with all those strange everyone-elses faces gliding past (and myself annoyed at the general lack of positive reception "Hello there!" "h .. i ." is one sour-looking businessmans sultry whispered reply.. once, a woman told me 'look, I know that you are told to say hello at the door to everyone who enters, but I don't like it. I just want to shop in peace, and no, I don't need any help' and without case to what my managers could say, I somewhat-hissed-back, "if you don't want to be greeted, then perhaps you shouldn't walk into big private corporate establishments to find the books you're looking for," and she shrugged and muttered some ****-talk under her breath and glided upstairs to find a copy of Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Machiavelli's The Prince to validate her bitter attitude, I bet, the sour witch), my time spent living in that backwater Esso suburb of Port Coquitlam back in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street was still a hungry potential, not yet bogged down in procrastinates over herbal teas and talk of chakras and enlightenment and how the typical Wall Street businessman probably never had a real ****** and hence had never truly satisfied the energies now burnt-to-crisps inside his Root Chakra or whathaveyou, where I believed I would find a better, more interesting world further from the musty-smallness of forest-drenched rain-drenched Powell River, only to discover I may be right outside my front door, but that's EXACTLY where I was, no further than right outside my front door.. I mean, for Goddaskes, I was born in Vancouver, this isn't a culturally-shocking move to New Delhi or Kathmandu--- and so on and so forth is how I once berated myself thru constant cycling thoughts of no-escape, I, a little walking hell of devils-advice and panic disorder-- the Great Big Port City of George Vancouver only succeeding in further overwhelming my already delicate attempt at false optimism thru self-voided Buddhist smalltalk as I travelled from bookstore to bookstore reading Alan Watts in shady attempts to save-myself but only digging my walking grave even deeper into the soil of feared-insanity.

Port Coquitlam itself was a small-town wearing a business suit and holding hands with an angry father forcing him to college for computer networking as it's the most economically viable market at hand.. at first, I did not see this. I saw my idolized imaginings of Vancouver (never Port Coquitlam), the shining water-reflected skyline of my past and present legacies, where my father once snorted ******* with a bohemian group of someones, and my mother tried LSD just to prove to her friends how bad it was (and lo and behold, what a terrible time she had!), all this Otherness, Strangeness, yet still Connected-- an Otherness with which I was taken, left to whisper into empty Campbell's cans so-as to speak with the city from a distance, two children growing older together 'til my inevitable return and our agreement to share costs on rent.

I returned, as planned. I returned, and found that old-best-friend hating the Homeless and loving the Rich-- spending time with the Peppy Plutocracy whilst enslaving the Middle Classes (first Letter Capitals to Assist YOU in Grasping my Anger with All Five Thumbs) and the horrors I saw in my already delicate state, all the starving addictives slouching-inching down the sides of ***** old walls, the only thing missing a smear of blood to follow their corpseish collapse, all just footnotes to history, footnotes to wealth and progress-reality, all footnotes with no shoes O my God O my Goodness and O Canada, Our Home and Native Land!

It hurt like it did, but I felt powerless and gaited. Felt like it were just as well me (*** it just as well is), I, in Vancouver.. *Great Big Port City of George Vancouver
.. saw the end-stretching-cold-legs of Nietzsche's Dead God.. those in cutthroat-black-suits armed with calculators and wives could afford private jets and yearly trips 'round our globular strangeness whilst others had to beg and berate and debate and break-down to get a crummy old bagel and a past-due mostly-empty jug of old milk and perhaps a 'side of fries with that order.'

What crushed me so much about this playing a Witness to God's Death (or, not so much a 'witness' as a relative asked to the morgue to identify the body) was my intuitive grasp that this is the poverty of the First World.. this is not as bad as it gets and on a scale of 1 to 10 this would only be a 3.. all the poor and displaced of Eastern Europe.. Moldovan families indifferent to the whims and what's taken.. someone called me a Socialist and said I would later grow out of it as 'reality' angled its rearing-ugly head to chop me smithereens like it did so mercilessly to the Poor and Irrelevant.. I looked at them and still look at people like them and think 'that is evil unsure of itself.. that is evil unaware... that is evil and evil is  evil to watch..' the Evil Act being the use of Money to purchase the world, demanding us all to pay royalties (mass royalties) for the privilege of life so afforded by them.. (the Sons and Daughters of God first stabbing their father then stabbing themselves then locking away and ignoring their young brother with cerebral palsy '*** he could never be armed with a calculator, nor wife)..

I learned, thru practice, to cope with these evils as laws-for-now. Coping did not mean tolerance, nor did coping mean agreement.. I had charged at life expecting hugs and bottles.. what I got was hugs and bottles.. all while I watched over the shoulder of whoever embraced me and saw young-others doing the same, where are the hugs and bottles..? they sank into the nether as the crowd ebbed past, ignoring the cries of pleading love, pleading love over time so traumatised as to distort this love (so inherent and implied in the Heart) into confusion, confusion into loss, and loss into hatred.. as the crowd ebbed past, the crowd ebbed past..

After 3 and a half months, I moved back home to Powell River.. the soggy ol' calm of what I already knew.. the warm arms of the rest, the warm arms of water-reflected sunsets.. and I got my hugs and bottles.

but was this really a happy ending?
NitaAnn Aug 2013
YOU MUST ELIMINATE THE FOLLOWING BEHAVIORS:
cutting,
boozing,
denial,
self-blame,
excessive spending....

I am taking away all of your maladaptive coping skills...
if you need them, they will be in either my purse or the refrigerator
neither of which you are allowed to prowl without my permission,
which of course you do not have.....
And what will we be replacing them with?
Oh -I'm glad you asked, Crazybrain!

We are replacing them with the following:
Radical acceptance
Wisemind
Half smile
Oh, you could exercise too,
if you want: fat-***!
Just deal with it!


I personally think it's stupid to take away a person's crutches in life and expect them to deal effectively for more than a couple of days without a mental meltdown!
Because then you get to live in hell until you can learn to short-circuit the brain's automatic responses that you developed  because of a lifetime of f@#kedupness.

DUMB!*   I'm just sayin'   *D~U~M~B!
As a uniform, he always wore
the grey ironmonger's coat
immaculately pressed and bore
clipped hair neat as well as a
close shave.

Mr. Cornthwaite (all of us
minions called him only Mr.)
was no "Do It 'Cos I Say So" boss
but with patience would teach
and preach retail folklore:

Cooks' staples stored well inside
our mini-market shop advanced
for its 50s' existence; shelf-stacking
to re-arrange for early use-by at the
front; fast-moving lines checked
hourly if not sooner; trusted staff
becoming the Tasting Squad for
new fresh produce being considered
for supply - The Cornflake (never
uttered in his hearing) circulating
to ensure not only that his ever-clear
commands were reflected in full shelves
but also that staff were coping not
rushed or overwhelmed.

The best Warrant Officer cares
just as much commands as
my de-mobbed Warrant Officer
father used to tell me when I asked.

(c) C J Heyworth
Two pieces of advice I received when much younger have had a huge influence on how I have lived:
Dad's observation that forming people into a team is just as much about care for them as it is about command, and my grammar school headmaster's certainty that our education in his school was intended to turn us into NCOs who actually make the world work satisfactorily.

Stanley Cornthwaite was shop manager of Booth's 1950s' Blackpool mini-market which stretched from the Promenade back to The Strand, and sold far more varieties of the groceries, meats, breads and cakes than many of its competitors.  
Working there during several school holidays when I was a very impressionable 13/14 year-old was my first significant work experience, showed me that I would not go into retail, but was very pleasant and informative for most of the time.
I'm unsurprised that Booth's has grown and grown, and now has several high-quality, medium-size mini-markets across the North West.  It is not at all a Pile'em High & Sell'em Cheap company.
Lost Aug 2018
sometimes i cut paper
instead of my skin

other times i punch walls
just to feel something
in my balled up fists

my knuckles look different now
but i feel the same

so i keep cutting paper
until the next time i break
Trigger Warning: Description of self harm
anna Mar 2019
Raindrops splattered across the squeaky window as Lily slipped into a world entirely her own. She found out that the slightly dilapidated beige sofa can provide an alarmingly pacifying dark fortress.
It was the storm in her living room which led her to this point.

Her mother was a peculiar human in the aspect of coping methods. Most would turn to alcohol, but Lily's mother turned to books.

One would think a child of such age possessed great privilege, having such a mosaic of resources on literature, words, and literacy.

Every morning, Lily's mother would slip into a world entirely her own. Some days, her face would hold the cover of a Patrick O'Brian and other sleepy days would entail a bit of nineteenth-century British novels. Whatever the cover, the woman's disposition was also affected.

"Lily, listen to this- doesn't it sound blue?" The woman hoarded phrases from each book, and soon, Lily's mother was an endless world of words. Her mother's affinity for quotes turned into a tasteful obsession. Lily was naive to the abnormalities in associating words with colors; such as ‘nebulous' with orange, and 'surreptitious' with purple. To her, language was rich in color and feeling.

One might also surmise a girl with such enlightenment would take after her progenitor. Lily did not. Though, she was above her class in reading comprehension and competency, the very thought of books sent flashes of buried grudges.

"Everyone needs a therapist. The poor girl's been through so much," they say. 'They' being the individuals at church. After service, the doors would open. Lily would do everything in her power to weave around the sea of meaty vociferous faces. She didn't need their pity. Nothing happened.

'Nothing' meaning... perhaps a little something. Her father died. This, (Lily suspected) was the cause of her mother's book addiction. It must be peculiar for the spectator witnessing the situation from above. As we've stated before: most turn to alcohol.

Years elapsed in which an occurrence she termed, "The Rebellion," began her mother’s book exodus. She was never truly present and Lily desired for her to see the world as it was now- not in a novel or in the pages of fantasy.

The piano rang throughout the room every morning and every night for about an hour. Lily often turned to classical Vivaldi, Yiruma, or a dash of Paganini piano covers. She drank music like a shriveled sponge. Of course, her hobbies would be as far away from books as possible since she believed them to be an obligatory evil.

Tunes danced across her soul like the ghost of a memory almost arising. The voice of a piano carried bursts of purples, yellows, and reds. White and black keys proved unchanging and reliable. Lily latched to the idea.

"I'm going to play her out." The mourning doves cooed in the almost-vacant neighborhood, while two girls of the same height and age were ensconced under a magnolia tree near the street, their legs crisscrossed on grass.

"Too much piano?" Haley asked, plucking a dandelion from its roots while squeezing milky sap from the stalk with her fingernails.

"No, I want to." Lily answered.

A thought crossed her mind. Each book infested mother with unique feelings. Then, Lily deduced there is no such thing as too much piano.











It was quiet in the house as Lily had no siblings and the book-trace rendered mother speechless. Tape recorder near the piano, and fingers at the keys, she began playing au fait on her version of Vivaldi's Spring Season. She kept the imagery of wedding cake and rings in her mind. She introduced the song to her hands by means of segmented versions, leading towards the final masterpiece. Her aural senses acute, listening for the best complimentary notes. Soon, her fingers had written poetry. She liked to think that her left and right hand owned different stories to perform, yet once they met on-stage, they heightened the essence of each other's tales.

Lily played verses countless times until she was out of breath. If someone told her piano was a sport, Lily would concur.












The final piece was recorded on an 'old-fashioned' tape. Heart pounding, she tiptoed upstairs to her mother's hiding place.

"...a thin place where tissue paper separates the material from the spiritual.." the woman greeted Lily. She never looked up from her book.

"Listen, it's white,” the woman voiced hazily. Lily shoved the tape in her face. The mother’s hand reached out from behind the book, feeling the air before finally resting her hand on the plastic rectangle, sliding it into the player

and the music journeyed to her ears.

"Hmmm..." she said. And then all was quiet.










"I've got her." Lily declared in the convenience store on a rainy day.

"With a cake?"

"It was her wedding song. You know- the one playing while the bride walks in."

"What'd she say?"

"Nothing."

"Why can't you just wake her up with some coffee?" Haley suggested as a golden aurora arose from behind the clouds.

Most of Lily’s playing sessions caused her to neglect her own physical well-being. So she rinsed a dusty plastic cup from the cupboard and filled it with water. M&Ms were food Lily associated with her sessions and she couldn't play without developing that deep-rooted Pavlovian response. Finally, in an attempt to be healthier, a plastic water cup was to her right, and M&Ms in a bag were to her left on the piano seat.

But first, a small kick in her belly drove her to a slight guilt. See, she believed in music the way some do religion, and thus, she did what others do when confronted with a critical moment in life.

"I'll bring her out," she began, "and I'll play for the rest of my life. If I can't, I'll give up music forever." She placed her fingers on the keys, completing the oath. And this occurred only because she was twelve and incredulously naïve in the field of religious traditions, that she didn't know that most oaths offered to a deity of higher power involved some form of great sacrifice for a desired result. This meant that her risk was greater than others, as it meant winning or losing it all.

Lily drew a deep breath, filling her nose with the memories of coffee. She began playing. An odd little tune traveling from her brain to the keys before her.










"Remember me, when we lived far away, down in the lonely lighthouse..." her mother chanted and Lily only half listening as she painted the cover of a CD containing her finished piano piece: Coffee.

"The sea air- spill in that lighthouse. The comfort we felt in that lighthouse." Her mother continued absorbing the ink on the pages, "Remember me, when I flew away with that chilling, cold sea breeze..."

Lily clicked the clear cover shut, handing it to the "Collective Works of Julie G." Once again, a wandering hand shot out from behind the cover, searching for the CD. Her mother did not look up.

"Music or an experiment?" she asked

"We'll see." Lily answered.

Her mother raised the CD to her player and inserted the disk, pressing play. Her wandering hand felt a small cup of coffee and as the music played, she sipped it slowly- quite peculiar. Her eyes looking up from the pages as though she were staring at something far away and her face, rubescent.

"Where did you learn to play that?" she said, leaning back and closing her eyes.








Haley and Lily entered a quintessential music store. Guitars lined the walls and classic vinyls were stacked on shelves. Small sleek keyboards welcomed guests as they stepped inside, synchronous to the resonance of a sharp bell.

Lily sped towards the CD section nestled near the corner in the store, while Haley flipped through the pages of violin classics.

"Lily, you're missing something." Haley noted from across the room, flippantly exasperated.

"Coffee didn't work." Lily replied in despair. "I thought I had her, but I didn’t."

Haley walked back towards her friend, new sheet music in hand, "Everyone's heart breaks a little differently and that means every cure must be unique. But there's something we all need- to feel safe. You did that for her."

"Then why is she still gone?"

"Because In order to return, she needs to remember what she lost and she needs to want it again... hold on." Haley held out a piano book in her hands. It was a neat white book with dark blue ink. Lily furrowed her brows.

"Just read it, Lily." Haley urged in the most loving way possible.









She still refused to use the book, diverging more from Haley’s instruction, cajoling her mother by use of classical music, modern music, and healing music. But nothing resolved and it seemed as though her oath to the Greater Deity would not fall in her favor.


It took a graying day for Lily to dig in her backpack and pull out the vile book. Inside revealed crisp white music sheets.

She itched to throw it away, however, something caught her eyes:

Kiss the Rain.

Lily stopped and stared out the window, inhaling to smell petrichor.

"Well, okay then." she reasoned. She pulled out  the piano bench and began finding the first few notes. The rest fell into sight reading. Just as the rain trickled down the living room window, the music trickled into the home's inhabitants' ears. Rain engulfed her soul.

The piece finished with a light touch on the last note. It resounded through the cozy expanse.









"I have something for you, mom." Lily proclaimed, placing the CD in her mother's hand, which then traveled to the player.

The woman failed to look up from her book, only staring into the distant pages as the notes tapped inside her ears. Ever so slightly, her eyes began to close and Lily could see the notes dancing behind eyelids.

"It feels like... rain." she commented. And as the last tickling touch of the last raindrop echoed through the dark room, her mother looked up, smiling at the sound, and her eyes met her daughter's.

"Why, Lily," she said, her voice laced with surprise, "look how you've grown.”
Short story!!
its a daily struggle
you don't wake up one day
and the pain is gone
you have to fight it away
every single time you breathe
and whilst doing that,
you also have to smile
because you can't let people know
just how helpless you are
you can't let people realize
that you're weak
because they'll use it against you
they always do
so you put on a brave face
and mock your own pain
in the hopes that it will throw them off
the scent of your bleeding body
and the truth is, in all honesty,
you need so much more help
that you let people understand.
you're taking painkillers
when your body doesn't hurt
which is ironic, because i suppose this means
you're sicker than you thought.

— The End —