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you may punish me

fear release

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TRICK ME AND CONVINCE ME LIES ARE TRUE ALL YOU WANT MAKE ME FEEL SMALL AND UGLY AND ANXIOUS CONTROL ME JAM A SCREWDRIVER IN MY IGNITION AND REV THE ENGINE WITH THE EBRAKE ON ALL FUCKING DAY LONG CONVINCE ME AT BIRTH THAT YOU ARE GOD AND AS I GET OLDER MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WILL BE LIVING ON THE STREETS IF I DONT TREAT YOU LIKE GOD TELL ME JOKES LIKE THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF HOMELESS KIDS – HUSTLERS AND DEAD KIDS AND THEN TELL ME I DONT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO HUSTLE BREAK MY LEGS IN THE CHARNEL GROUNDS AND LEAVE ME FOR DEAD MAKE ME FEEL RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PAIN AND THEN TELL ME HOW YOUR PAIN IS DEBILITATING MAKE ME PLIÉ AND SAUTÉ FOR YOUR FRIENDS

SEW YOUR CONFLICTING AND IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS INTO THE HEM OF EVERY JUMPER AND JACKET

TELL ME IM A BURDEN MAKE ME DO CHORES AND HUFF AND PUFF WHEN THE BASEBOARDS ARENT PERFECT LET MY TRY AT FOUR AND FIVE MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE IM PURPOSELY MAKING LIFE MORE DIFFICULT FOR YOU RAGE ON ME WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING PROVOKE ME IN THE CAR AT THE DINNER TABLE WALKING ONTO THE CN TOWER ELEVATOR LOCK ME IN THE BATHROOM WITH YOU FOR THE AFTERNOON WITH A RAZOR BLADE PRESSED TO YOUR SKIN TELL YOUR HUSBAND YOURE REALLY GOING TO DO IT THIS TIME AS HE TRIES TO OPEN THE LOCKED DOOR AND WHEN HE SAYS HE DOESNT GIVE A SHIT TELL HIM YOULL KILL HIS PRECIOUS DAUGHTER MAKE ME FEEL SAFE ONLY WHEN WE ARE IN PUBLIC BECAUSE YOU CAN MYSTERIOUSLY CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS AND CHOICES WHEN OTHER ADULTS ARE WATCHING BUY ME TAP SHOES AND THEN THROW ME OFF A CRUISE SHIP VISIT ME IN THE HOSPITAL AND IGNORE ALL OF MY SUFFERING BECAUSE YOURE BLINDED BY ENVY WHEN I ASK YOU TO BUY ME A NEW PAIR OF JEANS IN A SMALLER SIZE TELL MY AUNTS AND COUSINS THAT YOURE WORRIED ABOUT ME SIX MONTHS BEFORE YOU KICK ME OUT OF YOUR HOME BECAUSE WE JUST DONT GET ALONG ANYMORE MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF MY INSECURITIES TO MANIPULATE ME AND PROVOKE ME IN FRONT OF FAMILY AND DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO DISCREDIT ME TELL ME IN THE EIGHTIES THAT YOUD RATHER BE DEAD THAN PICK UP ONE MORE TOY OR LISTEN TO ONE MORE ARGUMENT KICK ME WHEN IM DOWN STEAL MY VOICE LOCK ME OUT OF MY OWN APARTMENT CRASH ME INTO A WALL DRIVE ME OFF A CLIFF INTO THE OCEAN ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY FOR MY WHOLE LIFE JUST BECAUSE ITS FUN FOR YOU

PUNCH ME IN THE HEAD WHILE IM SLEEPING KICK ME OUT OF BED WITH YOUR ARMS AND LEGS RECORD ME SNORING AND PLAY IT AT THANKSGIVING DINNER STORE YOUR ANGER INSIDE MY BELLY SIT BACK AND LAUGH AS YOU WATCH ME GET SO UPSET IN YOUR PLACE WHEN A FRIEND THREATENS TO EXPOSE YOU TAKE EVERYTHING I EVER TOLD YOU IN CONFIDENCE AND TWIST IT AND USE IT TO MAKE ME LOOK LIKE IM THE ONE WHO LIKES TO HURT PEOPLE TELL ME NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME POUR WATER ON THE STEPS IN FEBRUARY WATCH ME FALL AND LAUGH SO LOUD THE NEIGHBOURS CAN HEAR MAKE ME BELIEVE IM NOTHING BECAUSE YOU HATE YOURSELF AND YOU CANT HANDLE ANYONE YOUVE GIVEN CLOUT TO EVEN BEING PERCEIVED AS MAYBE BETTER THAN YOU AT ONE THING EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAIL ME INTO BECOMING YOUR GIRLFRIEND BY TELLING ME AFTER BEING BEST FRIENDS WHO SPENT EVERY DAY TOGETHER FOR A YEAR THAT IF I DONT SAY YES YOU WILL NOT BE MY FRIEND ANYMORE PROVOKE ME WITH AN INSULT YOU KNOW HURTS ME NO MATTER HOW CHILL I AM TO PROVE TO OUR FRIENDS THAT YOU ARE BETTER CHEAT ON ME BUT TELL EVERYONE A FRIEND IS IMMATURE WHEN HE GETS CAUGHT CHEATING ON HIS GIRLFRIEND TEACH MY DAUGHTER TO TURN AWAY FROM ME AND TELL ME I AM DISGUSTING WHEN I START SMOKING AGAIN TEACH HER I HAVE NO VALUE AS A HUMAN BECAUSE I HAVE A BIRTHMARK ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF MY FACE TELL ME IM BEING DRAMATIC SAY NOTHING WHEN I ASK YOU TO TELL ME YOU LOVE ME WITHHOLD SEX TO PUNISH ME TELL ME TO RELAX COME HOME ‘LATE FROM WORK’ A LOT LIE TO OUR FRIENDS TELL THEM THAT I DID EVERY HORRIBLE THING YOU DID TO ME TEXT ME ON BOXING DAY TO LET ME KNOW I SHOULD HAVE KILLED MYSELF BECAUSE NOBODY WOULD CARE IF I WAS DEAD EVEN THOUGH I NEVER TOLD YOU I WAS FEELING SUICIDAL TELL THE POLICE I KILLED SOMEONE KNOWING I DIDNT BECAUSE YOU KNOW MY MOTHER WAS KILLED BY HER FATHER AND YOU KNOW AN INVESTIGATION WILL UNEARTH TERRIFYING MEMORIES AND FEELINGS IVE BEEN “RUNNING FROM” FOR MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS TELL ME IM A CUNT WHEN YOU ASK ME TO MEET FOR DROP OFF FIVE HOURS EARLY IGNORE MY CALLS WHEN YOU JUST DONT SHOW UP ONE SUNDAY BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO PUNISH ME TELL ME YOU WISH I HAD DIED INSTEAD OF YOUR MOM BLAME ME FOR EVERYTHING YOU HATE ABOUT YOUR 9-5 JOB BREAK INTO MY DREAMS AND FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME BUT TELL ME IM ACTING CHILDISH WHEN I TRY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT WHY I CANNOT GET ALONG WITH MY PARENTS TAKE ME TO COURT BECAUSE YOURE INSULTED SOMEONE AS UGLY AND FAT AND WORTHLESS AS ME LEFT TELL PEOPLE I WONT LET YOU SPEND TIME WITH YOUR DAUGHTER EVEN AFTER YOUR LAWYER FIRES YOU BECAUSE SHE FOUND OUT YOU DONT WANT MORE TIME WITH YOUR DAUGHTER BUT YOU DO WANT AN AGREEMENT THAT MAKES IT LOOK LIKE YOU WILL SPEND MORE THAN THREE DAYS WITH YOUR CHILD IN THE SUMMER OUTSIDE OF TWO WEEKENDS A MONTH REFUSE TO GO TO MARITAL COUNSELLING EVEN THOUGH I BEG YOU SPEND FIVE YEARS IN OUR TWENTIES EVADING A DECISION ABOUT MARRIAGE BECAUSE YOU DONT BELIEVE IN IT BUT THEN YOURE NOT SURE BUT THEN MAYBE YOU DO WANT TO GET MARRIED BUT THEN YOURE NOT SURE AGAIN IF YOU BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE ITS JUST A PIECE OF PAPER WHATS THE DIFFERENCE ALLOW ME TO SUPPORT YOU FOR NINE YEARS AS YOU PURSUE YOUR DREAM BUT EXPECT ME TO WORK THROUGH HEART PROBLEMS AND SEVERE DEPRESSION EVEN WHEN YOU FINALLY GET A STEADY PAYCHEQUE TELL PEOPLE IM A GOLD DIGGER TELL OUR DAUGHTER IM A BAD MOM BECAUSE I CANT AFFORD A CAR SHIFT INTO REVERSE AND TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE BRAKE WHEN IM STANDING BEHIND YOUR CAR

I MAY STAY DOWN I MAY HIDE AND MY LEGS MAY CRUMPLE I MAY PULL OFF THE HIGHWAY I MAY SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE TOO AFRAID OF PEOPLE TO BE WILLING TO TRY TO LOVE AND BE LOVED AGAIN

BUT I WILL NOT BREAK AND IM NOT THE ONE YOU HAVE TO FACE WHEN ITS TIME TO ACCOUNT FOR YOUR CHOICES

YOU MAY BEND MY WILL AND THREATEN ME YOU MAY HIDE IN MY LIGHT AND MANIPULATE ME INTO PROTECTING YOU BEFORE I KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING YOU MAY SYPHON MY LIGHT AND TELL EVERYONE ITS YOURS AND YOU MAY EVEN CONVINCE ME BUT YOU CAN NEVER BEND GODS WILL AND YOU CAN NEVER THREATEN GOD AND YOU CAN NEVER STEAL FROM GOD AND YOU CAN NEVER TRICK GOD

AND REGARDLESS OF HOW YOUVE USED ME AND TRAINED ME TO BEHAVE, I AM NOT NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN JESUS OR ANY OTHER INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, SO I WILL NOT BE STANDING BESIDE YOU WHEN YOUR JUDGEMENT DAY COMES

Jo’s Ocean Heart

a rough excerpt from a WIP

Once upon a time, a princess was born to a toad and his wife.

The baby was pure love, made with a heart to love even the most disgusting creatures.

Josephine grew comfortable with her dad’s freakish differences, but she never stopped being disappointed in and afraid of his violent outbursts, his intense anger, his verbal attacks, or any of his other violence.

She had to adapt at a very young age in order to survive. She had to become extraordinarily sensitive to the toad’s moods, needs, and signs of an upcoming violent outburst to feel safe as an infant.

Her heart, which was as big and deep as the ocean, could emit powerful healing waves that knocked the scary anger down onto its knees – but only if the anger was caught before it had become too consuming.

Before she could walk, Jo was sending powerful healing waves to her toad dad, so that his anger wouldn’t have a chance to take over.

The toad had no idea what was happening at first. Mostly because he was either drunk or high whenever he was home. But also because he had himself been forced to adapt to unfavourable conditions in his youth, and he didn’t have an ocean heart.

One day, when Jo was about six, her toad dad came home after being away all night and his wife made him promise he would quit drinking. She said that was the last DUI or she would take the kids and leave.

Jo was listening at the door. She could tell that her toad dad didn’t care right then if his nagging wife left with the children. He just wanted to drink himself to death.

The princess was upset. Part of her was mad at her mom for not knowing the toad man well enough to help him want to quit drinking. Another part of her was mad at her mom for being too focused on herself to even see toad man. There was a part of her that was mad at her dad, but she had hidden that part away years before when she discovered that being angry at him came with the consequence of having him turn his anger directly on her, turned up to full blast.

Jo thought it was hypocritical that toad man kept drinking even though he had no respect for his own dad for being a drunk and losing their family home when his mom was in the hospital for a year with tuberculosis.

Then something weird happened. Jo’s mom blurted out that toad man was a hypocrite for drinking while hating his dad for being a drunk.

Jo was very scared when she heard that. She couldn’t stop shaking. She was afraid for her mom, not knowing how toad man would react to being hit with such a powerful insult. It was something that penetrated his stony heart. Or so Jo believed when she was six.

There was a lot of yelling, but Jo couldn’t hear any bodies being thrown into the metal filing cabinet or any wet raspy gasps for air.

And then there was silence.

Jo held her breath, waiting, listening.

It felt like the silence was never going to end.

In that absence of noise, guilt grew up from her belly in seaweed strips and reached to entangle her heart.

Jo suddenly understood that somehow she had opened up her dad’s vault in a way that her mom wasn’t able, and that somehow that knowledge had been transmitted to her mom, who then used it to hurt her dad.

In that moment of realization, the door to her parents’ bedroom opened and her dad walked out with a duffel bag over his shoulder. He walked down the stairs and out the door.

Toad man had left the bedroom door open. Jo looked inside. Her mom was in bed with the blankets tucked around her.

Jo saw by the bright red numbers on her dad’s alarm clock that it was almost lunch time. She went downstairs to the kitchen to make a sandwich for herself and her sister, who was in the living room watching Sesame Street.

As she took the bologna from the fridge, she replayed the events of the morning in her mind.

Her gaze turned to the courtyard between their house and the apartment building, which she could see through the kitchen window. Jo had seen her mom stare out that window so many times. She found no comfort in it. It just made her want to run outside and stay there until the streetlights came on.

But as she was looking out the window, she realized that she had not sent any healing waves from her heart.

She felt the guilt seaweed grow up into her lungs. Jo was ashamed for withholding her love – a love that she believed from past experiences would have been able to keep her dad’s anger in check.

back to you

I miss you, God

Holy God,

thank You for allowing us to come boldly to Your throne as we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Thank You for welcoming us at Your throne. I want to sit here at Your feet and worship You and drink in Your presence.

I feel like I’ve lost touch with you, even though I’ve been reading the word and praying each day. I pray all day every day.

But I’ve been missing a closeness with You that I have enjoyed in the past. I don’t like feeling far from You.

Help me draw near to You. Help me prioritize, organize and balance my activities and studies and prayer life so that I have the time, wisdom, faith energy and dedication that I need to come back to You as You will.

Abba Father, I’ve felt stressed and busy. This busyness has crept into my life. I think I’ve been trying to keep up with people who don’t have CPTSD, and I’m starting to recognize that I need to do certain things differently.

There’s quite a lot of healing, body work, thought processing and changing that needs to be done on a daily basis in order to walk grounded in this world, because of the effects of trauma I have experienced.

I need help finding the perfect routine for me that includes prayer, bible study and healing.

Jesus, can you take over this process for me, please? Help me allow Holy Spirit to fill me and teach me with the wisdom of Abba Father.

Help me take it one step at a time. My heart tumbles ahead and I end up doing too many things at once.

Show me how to slow down and still get everything done that You will me to do.

Please give me a clear supernatural understanding of Your will for my priorities and the direction of my studies.

I know You want me to read the bible from Genesis to Revelation. I’ve tried twice this year and then I start to read the bible out of order.

There are times I feel Holy Spirit putting a certain book on my heart and I will read that instead of continuing with the canonical order. I think I’m afraid to miss Your guidance if I don’t read a passage put on my heart, and then I don’t want to read it out of context.

The result is that I’ve read a large chunk of the bible, but I haven’t read through from start to finish, and I really want to do this but I need Your help.

I confess, God, I’ve been trying to do all of this alone and I confess that what I’ve tried hasn’t worked. I confess I need Your help.

Thank You for always being here with me, for watching over me and my family, and for leading me down the path You will me to walk.

In Christ,

Jenn

last letter

i’m taken care of

A few years ago, when a man I loved was leaving me, a feeling came through so strongly that I thought it was coming from someone I spoke with daily face to face at the time. (It was a long distance relationship.)

what came through was that he would feel better letting go if I had a man in my life to take care of me.

I was thinking about that yesterday, and I wrote a letter about that…

When you met me, I was holding my breath and lying face down in the mud. I was staying down.

How do you think I’ve been standing since you left all those years ago?

You saw the way I fell down again

You saw the way I raged at my scraped knees and rubbery thighs

You saw me when I was a hollow

You saw me before I wanted to live

After you left, things got worse, not better

Do you think I found some secret to faking my way through?

Do you think what you gave me all those years ago has sustained me?

Because what you gave me set me on a path of destruction

My whole life fell apart

(I’m grateful for this because I needed my life to fall apart so I could find God)

And without God, I would have grown weaker, not stronger

There are some things people aren’t made to withstand

What I’ve been through in the last four years was it for me

Before God, I would have self destructed

Before God, I would never have found a solid and sustaining will to live in the middle of my suffering

I’m only here today because of Him

He will take care of me through everything

There’s not much I can believe in these days

That’s just the cost of living through what I’ve lived through

But I do believe in God

And I believe He’s always got me

I believe He is my way back to okay

He will reach down when I fall

He will meet me where I am when I’m confused

He will follow me into the pits of hell if I somehow get tricked into walking that way

I will never be alone again

But sometimes I will feel alone

And that’s okay

It doesn’t hurt as much as it did when you knew me

God is able to protect and guide me

He is the creator of the universe and even when it looks like He’s not winning, He is

I know God loves me and is taking care of me because I have a personal relationship with Him now through His son Jesus

It’s not all blind faith

I feel Him with me and it’s different than anything I’ve ever felt

God has worked with me to help me trust Him – only something God can do

He has changed my life into something I could never imagine

No, He doesn’t take my pain away, but He holds me through the suffering

He gives the best guidance – He knows everything that has ever happened, everything that is happening now and everything that ever will

His will for me and for everyone is good

He is perfect love

I’m taken care of, I promise.

It’s not possible to have more than this