You a City

I’m standing on the roof of a four-story building downtown in a city.  I’ve just taken Ecstasy.  I don’t feel ecstasy.  I feel what I learned later to be verging on psychotic, panic.  I’m going to jump off if someone doesn’t stop me, if someone doesn’t touch me.  These arms aren’t mine. The sky is clear.  Alisha spins and spins, her arms out “Amy, oh Amy I love you,” her red hair flashing.  I tell her she looks like Satan.   I feel like the roof is going to tilt and my body will let itself slide to its death.   I’m too embarrassed to speak, the stars pulsating in time with the veins in my temples.
It intensifies.  I feel the depth pressure when I look over the edge and then run back to the center and fold, wrapping my arms tight around my legs.  Alisha is sliding all over in smooth colors.  She’s scaring me.  I am a bottomless void.  Nothing can fill me.  I take and take and take until I reach near death, until my body cripples under the pressure, and once that passes, I take again.  Read More

I’m About to Get Personal Whoa Shit

Getting Intimate with You Guys.  Thanks for listening/reading:

Tonight I’m wondering about what love really is.  Did I have it?  Are there different kinds of love?  I’ve always avoided writing about love, because I have this outer shell that believes it’s ridiculous.  Hmmm.  I had someone.  A keeper.  I grew into loving him.  Is that really love?  It is a genuine kind.  But then there’s the love that strikes you dead in your tracks and makes you uncertain of yourself and your heart pounds.  I was thinking, with my fiance of nine years–we didn’t have really any intimacy.  I’m a virgin to it.  I don’t know how I’d react if I ever encountered such a thing.  I never let him in.  Why?  I’m listening to “Slow it Down” by the Lumineers over and over 

I feel naked what I’m aiming to write.  It’s so easy for me to write about mental illness and shit like Read More

Fragile Things


At some point everything becomes clear. That doesn’t necessarily mean a good clear, but fact is preferred over fiction when you’re locked up in a mental ward. Again. And it’s snowing out–and worse–it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re thirtieth birthday is coming and you’re little girl must be looking for you. It’s all you can do to decipher the shell-shocked woman looking back at you in the tin mirror bolted to the wall above your sink. Here you get your own sink because this time, this trip into the bin, they knew it was much more serious than they had originally thought, and your “security” is upgraded. You have a thought you would usually have–that the upgrade only makes you feel more nuts–but at this point, you don’t feel nuts. You are nuts. I say to myself ‘I’m clinically insane’ and for a moment I believe it’s something to smile about. When the leading psychiatrist told me on New Year’s Day morning that I was clinically psychotic and suffering from complex PTSD, I thought about my mind–clearly–for a second, and I imagined a blue and orange brain-scan image showing clouds of lesions.  Then I slipped back into the room , in and out of dissociating, and the yellow walls were much too close and I could Read More


When I used to watch her sleep, I’d tear up, so overwhelmingly grateful for her presence in my life.  Her freckles, her dimples, her tiny voice, her hushed lips and sleeping eyes, sweeping red lashes.  The furnace would kick in as the snow would fall and the wood floor would creak beneath me, watching the moon shine onto her blankets.  My how things have changed.  Now I fear I’m going to miss out on so much of her life.  I fear I’m going to die young.  I guess that’s a part of PTSD–sure you’re not going to make it.  I surrender who I’ve been and I bloom into a new woman because of her.  I’m not just a mama now, I’m alive and yet so sensitive.  The complications…I hear a little girl crying all the time.  I used to run for Emma when this happened, sure she was hurt, sure she needed me.  After awhile I learned these were hallucinations.  I was hallucinating now.  Does it end?  The girl crying is me somewhere inside, or at least a little girl I was.  I’ve split up.  And the guilt I feel for trying to be a good mom when I’m so ill, I think she deserves so much better.  What can I offer her when I am such a mess?  I want to give her the world.  Before i was sick I was giving her the world.  She is my everything, but I’ve come to depend to much on her life than mine, because I want to abandon mine.  I’m afraid of mine.

I think everything that happened happened because she was coming, she was my purpose, I had to work hard and feel the pain and ache and loss in order to truly appreciate that little heart and mind inside this child.  I waited for so long for her and I didn’t even know it.  I’d wait forever for her.  I’m surprised that she’s mine.  And I’m so terrified I’ll lose her.  She calls me “Mama” in her tiny voice.  Just Mama.  Unless she’s sarcastic.  Then it’s Amy.  She likes to get a rise outa me.

Now when I watch her sleep my thoughts are troubled.  I’m hyper-vigilent.  My mind doesn’t stop.  I worry about our future.  I worry about things all mothers worry about I suppose.  But I’m swirling in the fact that I can’t see a new psychotherapist because in this small town they’re not taking on any new patients and the next closest is an hour and a half away.  I’m also in the process of applying for disability.  And my ex-fiance is already engage after dating a girl long-distance for six months.  It took him seven years to propose to me.  And I worry, if her soon to be new stepmom is mentally healthy, will my girl like her more than me?  It sounds so stupid but I think it all the time.  And then I’m so angry when I feel this way.  And I’m angry at my real dad for drinking himself into the grave, doubting I was his.  I was never worth it to anyone, yet I know I’m worthy.  I do know that.  I have always felt I was and was smartly pissed at those that left me, worthless.  Yet maybe deep down I do feel worthless.  I assume my girl will like and need someone other than me because I’m …not enough.  I’ve always had trouble feeling that I’m enough.

Check Out Turtle Way: an Online Arts Journal on Mental Illness

I wanted to share with you all that I was fortunate enough to be published in Turtle Way, a literary art journal in support of those with mental illness.  My essay published in it (“The Silent Army”) can be found here.  Thanks, Turtle Way! The magazine is wonderful–real, raw emotion; a real glimpse into mental illness.  Well done.  (I’m quite taken with Bryan William Myers‘ poem “Unease“ and Doug Metz‘s “breakdown“–both taking my breath away, reminding me of those long days, those long, wretched nights, the dead dreams.  Beautiful.

Go Forward Already

Sometimes I wonder if even my writing about it all is another way, maybe healthier way, of dissociating from it. No. Because dissociation is a problem when we dissociate from our true selves, not circumstance or the bindings and abuses from others. The abuse, oddly, isn’t what’s been bothering me these past few …months? A year? It’s not my mother (I don’t think, because in spite of it all I love her deeply), it’s not my stepfather, it’s not the memories, its not the flashbacks or hypervigilence or the trauma from the psychosis itself. It’s ME.

I think I’ve come so far and then I wake up to rotten curtains on dirty windows and I want to see the snow coming down, yet it’s hard to get up–out of habit. I’ve let it all become HABIT. Not entirely but lots of it. I am afraid of myself most of the time. When I’m focused and rested and on top of the meds and in motion, then I feel like I’m on top of the world and I have it all, because I lost it all, and was given back something better. That’s so true.


When I feel my molecules start to scurry and ping off each other

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