The Town I Grew Up From

What a now-defunct Walgreens taught me about living (originally posted on Medium.com) The town I grew up in has 28,625 people. It's a town my sister left, flying all the way across the country to find herself. (While I chose the more expensive route of hospital stays and therapy.) It's a town full of memories and pain, nostalgia and heartbreak. But mostly, it's full of family. Family...

the unbearable sadness of being

above me, my neighbor sings absent-mindedly while doing the dishes, her soothing voice draws out the tears I've been so eager to cry. this is not a perfect post, nor is it a happy one. this is a pain-channeling post, the kind that your therapist wants you to write. you've blocked out the emotional pain for so long. you've forgotten how to feel. this is the kind of post you write when the...

Ripple Effect

a very short story She didn’t believe in ghosts. At least not in the say ‘boo’, spirit without a body, walk through walls type way. She believed in flashbacks and nostalgia, that trauma could be passed down through generations. She saw her father’s father’s father every time her parents argued. Thuds and echoes of anger ricocheting off the walls, penetrating the door as she lay on...

How does one put themselves first anyway?

"Do you have any tattoos?" was not a question I expected to be asked in the Psych ER. But there I was--curled up on what Plato would refer to as a couch that's not ideal, with one of my friends next to me--so unprepared for the question that followed: "Do you have a boyfriend? Because I want to be yours." Apparently not having tattoos is not a prerequisite for love. I told him I'd think about it,...

Maybe home is more than just a place

Six months ago, I never thought I'd find myself here--in a room with white colored walls and a stippled ceiling, a place to call my own. "There's no place like home." Dorothy once said, as she tapped her ruby slippers Together one by one. "Home is where the heart is," They all say as if a heart can fill a place, take up Residence in a building full of feelings. Maybe home is more than just a...

How to survive a panic attack in three acts

Prologue:  On the bulletin board next to my desk is a handwritten checklist from my therapist: is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If no, let it go. .  .  . Act 1:  Hold an ice cube in your hand, squeeze it until all you can focus on is the pain shooting up your arm. Nobody found me there, sitting in the workroom, rocking back and forth. I was paralyzed by some unidentifiable fear, a...

I challenged her to write a post in which she doesn’t mention her past (stolen from my old blog)

I forgave myself today, kneeling at the altar. You can't move forward if you're angry at the past-- angry at yourself for things that are not your fault, for relapses you could've controlled if you had just. . . just . . . re  a   c  h  e   d   out, for relationships you purposefully sabotaged because you don't feel worth anything. Maybe forgiveness can't change the past, but maybe it...

Part 2- I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

"Honey, you ain't been to a funeral until you've been to one with 3 ex-wives," is not a sentence I'd ever thought I'd here in my life. But, here I was, in the trailer home of an 84-year-old woman who spoke "her damn mind." She was, of course, referring to her ex-husband number 2, who left her for one of her girlfriends they met in a Camping Club. "The girl didn't even like camping," she retorted,...

I’ll suffer, but at least I’ll have $40 in my pocket

Her name is Anne. I sit kiddy-corner from her in her trailer home's kitchen dining area. Beneath her purple glasses and her aquamarine knit sweater, her cloudy eyes shine. She has the classic, comforting old lady smell: mothballs and cats. There are books and cats everywhere--cat memorabilia and other mementos, that is. Her hands tell her story--worn and tired, but strong and willing to fight....