The Lovers’ Noose… a poem

You took my hand, promised to never ever let it go.

Saying “Baby, let’s just take this nice and slow.”

Then you fastened the rope, hung the noose;

held me close.

With a twist and a tug; tied a knot—then you pulled.

Yeah, you pulled so tight ‘til I gave in.

‘Til I was yours.

Heart, body, and soul.

A clever rouse, I should have known.

I was right there. You were so close.

Now we’re enemies and adversaries; each other’s greatest foe.

Oh, how did I not see it, how could I not know?

With your sweet kisses and pretty words,

Reeling me in just to cast me right back.

Over and over again.

Then out of nowhere, not a word, you just turned.

But you never returned.

You dug the hurt even deeper, made it worse.

You preyed on all my deepest fears.

I swear I must have cried an ocean’s worth of tears.

For you.

And I still remember those moonlit nights.

I replay the images over in my mind.

Not often, but sometimes.

Tangled together, your body and mine.

Feelings and emotions, always felt but never spoken.

Alone in the dark, with no one to witness or see.

No one to hear or ask me why.

As I break the silence, close my eyes and cry.

I travel back in time.

I know the fury will come soon enough.

It always does.

Do you remember the broken glass?

The accusations you threw that I threw right back?

I do.

I remember all the lies,

The ones I couldn’t forget if I tried.

(And I really did try).

How you claimed your innocence in the public’s eye.

How you played that victim card of yours to the nines.

When you said the blame was all mine.

But you know, that’s just fine.

It’s your conscience on the line, not mine.

How it’s come to this, how it went that far, I’ll never know.

We said no strings, no hearts.

No falling in love.

But then I fell.

I fell so hard.

And it was good, ‘til it just felt so wrong.

‘Til all that mattered; who I’d be and who I was, was gone.

‘Til there was nothing about you left for me to love.

Finding comfort in the fact that it was over with and done.

That the storm and the worst had passed.

Even hurt like that…it doesn’t last.

‘Cause someday.

When you’re ready, when the time is right.

You’ll forgive, you’ll forget.

You’ll learn to trust again.

To live in the now, not then.

You’ll find someone new to love.

And you’ll box up the past.

Push it to some dark, deep place in the back of your mind.

To be forgotten for the rest of time.

Have no doubt, you’ll find your way.

You’ll find your purpose, your place.

Where you stand in the middle of it all.

I promise you will figure it all out, somebody, somehow.

You WILL find yourself.

Your heart will heal, your soul will mend,

The world will right itself again.

And as daunting as it will seem

(and it will for quite some time)

Just know.

You’ll get through the hell.

You’ll move on.

It may feel like you can’t, that you won’t.

Just breathe, just believe.

Just hold on, just be strong.

Be patient.

It just takes time.

Trust me.

You’ll survive.

-JLR-

9/12/2016

Advertisements

All For Nothing.

Nine years ago, I almost died.

At my own hand.


It’s not something that I talk about much. Or like to think about, for that matter. And there’s really only a handful of people in my life that know about it–that know all the horrific, gory details. Not that it’s something that I’ve ever tried to deliberately hide or anything…it’s just not the kind of thing you talk openly about or that comes up in casual conversation. You wouldn’t think that in this day and age that suicide would still be such a taboo topic for people…but the reality is that—unfortunately—it’s still very much so. First and foremost, there’s that stigma of shame that almost aways accompanies the individual that attempted to take their life. And I can tell you, having experienced it myself, that stigma and that shame…it’s damn near overwhelming. It took me a long time to get past that shame…years, in fact. For so long, I felt like I was drowning in it. I’ve never felt so alone in my life as I did during that time. So lost. For weeks and even months after it happened, I just felt like I was being judged all the time. It all started when I was still in the hospital, first with the emergency room doctor and the nurses and social workers, and again with the psychiatrist that I spoke with while they’d kept me in the psych ward for the mandatory 72 hours. My memories of that night are still a little hazy—I was drunk to oblivion, with a BAC so high, everyone said it was truly just amazing that I didn’t die from alcohol poisoning—but I do clearly recall the doctor waiting hours before stitching up my wrist. He wanted to give me “time to sober up”. I’m still not absolutely sure of his motive or reasoning behind that decision…I’ve always just assumed that he was—albeit in his twisted and medically unethical way—to teach me a lesson. I think he wanted me to be sober enough to fully comprehend the extent of my actions. Maybe he thought he was helping me in the long run, using my pain and suffering to physically remind me and thus ideally, prevent me from making the same mistakes or trying to hurt myself again. I would like to think that–as a medical doctor sworn to do no harm—that he was trying to help me and that he wasn’t being deliberately cruel or sadistic. Either way, his scare tactic did work…for the most part. I don’t think I fully realized how far I’d gone and what I’d done until that moment in the little consult room in the psych ward when the orthopedic surgeon examined and then informed me of the extensive nerve damage I’d done and that I needed to have immediate surgery. That’s when it really hit me: the guilt and the shame. I knew that I’d screwed up HUGELY and as such, I regretted my actions. Truly. Still, the regret was—IS–tricky. I know that what I did was wrong and it definitely wasn’t the healthiest/safest way to cope with the feelings that I’d been having at that time. I was going through a lot—a lot had happened and I was, admittedly, not in the right frame of mind when I made that decision to do what I did. I know that I hurt my family and those close who knew, and I know that I hurt myself. I’m not proud of that. But at the time, I was just trying to find an escape from all the chaos, in the only way I knew how…by hurting myself. I wasn’t thinking about anything or anyone else. I was just thinking of the pain and how alone I felt. I couldn’t talk to anyone without them trying to “fix” me and it just seemed easier to make it all go away, to go that far. I didn’t want to deal with anything. I just wanted to disappear…for good. As odd as it sounds, it was that attempt that saved my life. It really was a wake-up call and it made me realize and really take a closer look at what my life had become…and decide that rock-bottom wasn’t where I wanted to be for the rest of my life. As it turns out, I did learn a lesson from it. And it prompted me to change and to take back control over my life. So in that sense, I don’t regret the act. Without it, I don’t know what would have happened or what/who I’d become.


As I said, it took years, but I eventually stopped feeling ashamed of it. It happened, it was over and done with—I couldn’t change it. I knew I’d make a mistake and I accepted that, but I wasn’t going to let it or anyone define ME for it. No one’s perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Granted, mine nearly killed me, but the logic itself stands. I was only human. I’m not ashamed to talk about it—if people ask. I don’t try to justify or encourage suicide and/or self-harm—but I am an advocate for your life being YOUR LIFE and your body being YOUR BODY to do with it as you so choose. I mean, you don’t know what a person is going through. And you can’t judge someone for their decision when you don’t know the circumstances behind it. You can’t feel someone else’ pain or hopelessness. You can’t know that it’s a person’s only option, their only escape from a world that’s broken them so completely and devastatingly. Until you step into that person’s shoes and have stared down the barrel of a gun or held the smooth metal of a razorblade between your fingers—don’t you dare try to assume to understand. Suicide just isn’t that black and white. There’s so much grey area that people aren’t aware of and that don’t understand.


That feeling of absolute hopelessness—I haven’t felt it in so long. Until today. And that’s why I’m writing this. It’s been a horrible, brutal week for me. Starting Monday with an out-of-the blue email from the attorney in Tennessee informing me of his intention to withdraw from the case. Of course, I was floored and I contacted him back to find out what had happened—considering that as of not even 2 weeks ago, I was told that everything was fine and that the case was progressing as it should. He claimed he had been hired by my NY lawyer to file the necessary motion in Tennessee and that he hadn’t from the NY lawyer since their initial phone conference. Thus began the day-long hassle of trying to reach that NY lawyer myself, and his ultimate reassurance that everything was fine and it was all just routine litigation and not to worry about it. That was Monday. On Wednesday, after the scheduled phone conference between both lawyers, my NY attorney came back with a completely different story…this time saying the insurance had filed a motion to dismiss because they claim that my insurance policy didn’t have Uninsured Motorist Coverage for accidents that occur out of the state of New York in a state whose law doesn’t mandate their drives to have Uninsured Motorist coverage on their insurance. It’s a long story that I’ve literally been going at for days now and STILL don’t have any real answers, but the gist of it is that because the accident happened in Tennessee, which doesn’t have that mandate, my New York policy and UM coverage is essentially useless—despite the fact that had the accident had been my fault and the guy still uninsured, my insurance company would have paid him for 100 percent of his injuries and damages. It’s fucked up…to put it bluntly. I mean, you get car insurance and full coverage, get charged with these exorbitant premiums, just so that a situation like this DOESN’T happen, and then you have the very unfortunate of said accident happening in one of the like 4 states that doesn’t have a particular mandate, and your own insurance company screws you over the coals with fine print and litigation. I mean, what the hell is the point of having insurance if they aren’t going to honor the coverage you paid/are paying for. Its total bullshit is what it is.


To add fuel to the fire, I can’t even talk to or get any answers on all of this that I’ve been told because I’m not the lawyer. And my lawyer won’t send the insurance company the letter they need from him saying that he’s no longer my lawyer—which he’s essentially already said that there’s nothing else he can do for me, which in my book, is the equivalent to saying that he’s no longer on the case. I’d like to think that he’s trying to help me, but I’m not an idiot. He’s a lawyer. He’s in it for the money. And since he seems to think he might be able to get the insurance company to negotiate and payout their previous settlement off that I’d rejected months ago…of which, of course as my lawyer, he’d be automatically entitled to 33 percent of it. He wants the money, for sure he does. Does he deserve it—hell fucking no. He hasn’t done enough work to say so and certainly not enough to be entitled to a third of anything I may be offered. I mean, he hasn’t done shit. Well, except for get pissed at me for refusing the original settlement and demanding that he pursue the case to trial. I haven’t even heard of him since that, until this week after all this happened. He didn’t even tell me that they’d hired a Tennessee attorney to handle the case. I found out about that when his paralegal called asking me to sign a medical authorization form for them. He didn’t explain what the Tennessee case was for or what the lawyer was hired to do. And the Tennessee lawyer has a completely conflicting story to the one the NY attorney is now throwing out with. Basically, the TN lawyer is saying on thing and the NY lawyer another and I can’t confirm or deny what’s being said or what’s true because I’m not fucking allowed to talk to the insurance company. So basically, I’m screwed. I don’t even know what to do at this point, or what I can do. It sucks.


Honestly, I don’t even care. I’m just so sick and tired of it all. I literally came up to New York for nothing. I left Nashville, the place I call home, because that’s what the lawyer and my family insisted I needed to do—to seek treatment and get a lawyer. I’ve done all that, for 14 months, I’ve done it. And where did it get me? Absolutely fucking nowhere. The doctors, while they’ve confirmed this all being permanent now, haven’t been able to find a treatment that helps with the headaches. They’re at a loss for what to do and basically, I’m stuck just dealing with the damn things and oh well. And now this with the lawyers. I mean, what the fuck. And what really gets me is that it’s been 14 fucking months and this NY lawyer didn’t catch or find this supposed clause in the insurance policy that he’s had this entire time? Clearly someone wasn’t doing their job. I’m just now finding this out? It’s such fucking bullshit that it’s not even funny. It’s ridiculous. Because these lawyers didn’t do their job and because the insurance company has decided to be a sneaky, fucking asshole…I’m the one getting screwed. How is that fair? It’s not. At all. I never should have left Nashville. This was pointless and a waste of my life and I’m just so pissed that after all this hoop-jumping, it was all for nothing.


That having been said, I think the hopelessness is a little justified. I mean seriously…why me? Why does this shit keeping happening to me? I’ve paid my dues and then some, so why is the universe still trying to rape me sideways in this life thing? I don’t understand it. And to be honest, I’m tired of trying to find the answers and to understand. I don’t care anymore. I just want it all to go away. I want to disappear.


I mean, can you blame me?

-MJ-

You Only Wake Up When It’s Over.

VERSE:

It wasn’t one big blow that brought our love down
It was the hairline cracks that took it to the ground
Just kept creepin’ over time, spreadin’ like wildfire
It wasn’t one big blow that brought our love down

CHORUS:

Oh we didn’t wanna see
We didn’t wanna believe
The dream was gettin’ colder
Oh, we begged the truth to bend
It’s easier to pretend
Than to see it when you’re sober
You only wake up when it’s over
You only wake up when it’s over

VERSE:

There was so much ’bout you I didn’t realize
There was so much ’bout me I couldn’t recognize
You can only get a clear view, when it’s fadin’ in the rearview
There was so much ’bout you I didn’t realize

BRIDGE:

Oh we didn’t wanna see
We didn’t wanna believe
It’s easier to pretend
Than to see it when you’re sober

You only wake up when it’s over
You only wake up when it’s over…

(“Wake Up When It’s Over” – Michael Logen & Maren Morris)



**

Why, oh WHY, is it that it’s only in hindsight that we see all things in 20/20 perspective?

**

Why’d we first have to fall before we learned to stand? Why did there always have to be a lesson to be learned…why couldn’t things just be what they were? Simple. Easy. Uncomplicated. Why couldn’t it have just gone our way for once?

**

Why weren’t we satisfied until we’d broken and destroyed one another? Why did we toss around the words that cut the deepest? Why didn’t we take the high road and bow out gracefully? Left with our dignity? Why’d we let it go that far? Why didn’t we stop ourselves? Why’d we make excuses when we knew it was wrong? Why’d you get off so easy–how’d you, of all people, get to play the victim card? Why’d you have to go and make forgetting you easy but forgiving you  so damn hard? Why?

**



 

Truth Can’t Cure The Blind…

I stumbled upon these lyrics the other day in some fan-fiction online and needless to say, this track has been playing on repeat on my playlist ever since…  It’s a relatively old track (from 2011) aptly titled “Nineteen” from a wonderfully gifted artist by the name of Alex G. (**You can check out her YouTube channel here!**)

**



VERSE: I’m tired of playin’ the part / Of a little girl who can’t use her heart / I’m broken, torn and scarred / From all the poison you threw at us / But you won’t know, ’cause you can’t see / The tattered child you’ve made of me

**

CHORUS: You’ll follow me into my dreams / And spit your words so desperately / And I’ll wash my hands of this tragic mess / And truth can’t cure the blind, if they don’t care to see

**

VERSE: Nineteen years inside this flesh / I fought through pain / I’ve paid my dues / But that’s still not enough for you / So where do we go from here? / You won’t keep me trapped in my fears / You’re sinking in your selfishness / We’re tainted by words left unsaid

**

BRIDGE/CHORUS: Did you even notice the look in my eyes / When I spoke of him for the very first time / And do you remember when you were my age? / Do you remember at all? / Don’t follow me into my dreams / And spit your words so viciously / I’ll wash my hands of this tragic mess / But truth can’t cure the blind / Yeah, truth can’t cure the blind / I wish you’d change your mind / But you don’t care to see…



 **

So…September happens to be Suicide Awareness/Prevention month…a little piece of information that I’m fairly certain a good majority of people out there aren’t even aware of…thanks nearly in whole to society. It truly amazes me that in this day and age with the level and amount of transparency that’s out there, not to mention along with the staggering high suicide and self-harm numbers that seem to just be increasing at such an exponential rate each and every year that society still views these issues as sort of “taboo” topic–as in something not to be discussed or acknowledged or god forbid actually dealt with, but rather as a problem that is willfully and purposely ignored and “swept under the rug”, so to speak. We’ve barely even begun to reach the cusp of change in this–to accept and acknowledge that not only is depression a very real, very tangible thing, it’s also a growing epidemic that plagues and affects the lives of millions of people, each and every day.


And no one is immune. People will say that they are…and they might like to tell themselves that–or they might have to just to get though the day–but they’re lying to themselves when they do because no one is happy 24/7. No one. Even the happy-go-lucky-iest h/she has his/her bad days, low points, and rough patches. Life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. We all cry. We all get hurt. We’re all a little broken inside.


Some of us are just a little more broken than others.


And that’s okay.


It took me a long time to realize that. And it took me even longer to accept it. Like so many other survivors of suicide/self-harm, I lived in shame for a long time for what I’d done. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was so afraid of being judged, of what other people would say if they found out–how they’d look at me once they knew what I’d done. It’s strange, but it wasn’t so much their ridicule that I feared. Rather, it was their pity. I couldn’t bear the thought of people looking at me with pity in their eyes, feeling sorry for me…but most of all, I feared that look of them wanting to fix it–wanting to fix me. Especially when, little did they know, I was unfixable.


For years I held on to the same truth and told the same lie…that I didn’t mean to do it. That it was an accident. I was drunk. I wasn’t thinking clearly. You name it, I said it. But the truth is, I did want to die, I think. At least, a little part of me wanted to. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done what I did. Right? I mean, that’s the only logical explanation.


One thing people always ask is why. And honestly, there are so many things I could tell them. So many things I could say. I was young, dumb. Hell, I was only 20 years old. I was still just a kid in so many ways. And yeah, I was drunk–really, really drunk. I guess part of it was that I was tired of all the expectations of the people around me that I felt were weighing me down. Also, I was tired of all the secrets that I was keeping, hiding, and carrying around. Tired of pretending like I cared, when to be perfectly honest, at that particular point in my life, I couldn’t have given a damn. I really couldn’t.


Then there was my family. My crazy, dysfunctional, seriously screwed up–and that’s on a good day–family. I was sick of the fighting; the constant bickering and backstabbing and all-around one-upping. I was tired of being a girl from a broken home that didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of ever being mended, or god forbid ever changing. It’s hard to believe the great childhood I had—and it was a good one—when I think about what my teen years were like in that house. I don’t think I could ever justly describe it—the depths of such loneliness and despair; of feeling insignificant. Of feeling forgotten. I was in a new school. My sister was away at college. My mother was preoccupied with her “boyfriend of the moment” and had her hands full with my juvenile delinquent of a brother. And I was just there…feeling lost…trying to make sense of this new reality I’d just been thrust into. No one noticed me. For years, I hid an eating disorder from them. For years, I kept a secret cutting habit from them. Then came that horrible night, and that horrible Planned Parenthood visit. I was a mess.  And somehow they were blind to it all. And as if having your whole world turned upside-down and inside-out on you in such a way as that isn’t cruel enough, my brother—after stealing my journal and violating my privacy one night—decided to make it his mission to ensure that I never forgot that night or what happened. You have no idea what it’s like to be constantly reminded of the worst night of your life after it’s been twisted and manipulated to fit and be used in someone’s attack against you. And the fact that that someone is your brother—your own flesh and blood—not surprisingly, the betrayal from that cuts far deeper. I was tired of it—tired of having to stand there and take it; having to act unaffected and hold back the tears–at least until I’d made it out of eyesight and earshot of him. What’s worse is that my family did nothing. They didn’t make him leave. They didn’t make him stop. When he’d start, they’d just tell him to shut up or tell me to ignore him—like that was going to happen—and which of course, was easy for them to say seeing how they had no idea what it was that he was even harassing me about. Having to deal with that day in and day out for nearly 2 years—it shouldn’t come as a shock that he’d beaten me down. As much as I hate to admit it, that’s exactly what he’d done. He pushed me to the point where I couldn’t escape it—and was literally so desperate to that I didn’t care if I lived or died. So when he’d throw around phrases like “go kill yourself” or “no one would care if you’d died”… you start to believe it. And then you actually try to do it. And you don’t care.


Over the years, many have asked me that “numero uno” question: Do you regret it?


Not to sound “crazy” or anything—but I don’t think I do. At least, not entirely. I mean, I’ve had a long time to think about it. Eight years at the end of this month, to be exact. I know that the expected answer is to say “yes”. That I do regret it. That, if I could, I’d go back and do things differently. I know that’s what society is expecting me to say…but if I were to say so, then I’d be lying.


**

wrist scars suicide attempt on 10.31.2007 with semicolon

**


I used to be ashamed of this scar. I used to look at it and feel guilty—angry even—with myself for what I’d done. I’d hide it, cover it up with long sleeves, lie about where it came from when asked…because I thought I had to. Because that’s what society has conditioned us all to do—to look at things such as suicide, depression, mental illness, and self-harm as something to be ashamed of—when they aren’t that at all.


These scars I wear are not reminders that I was weak. They’re reminders of my strength. They are my battle scars. A reminder to myself of the journey I’ve taken to get to here, and all the lessons I’ve learned along the way. And boy, there have been many. My scars are my encouragement. When things get rough and life gets hard—when I start to think that things just can’t get any worse—I look at these scars and I’m reminded that oh yes, they can. I could be back there in that moment again, literally at rock bottom—be that girl from 8 years ago…hopeless with no fight or will to live left and no future.


I could go back…I just choose not to. Because I know that it gets better. Because I know that it’s worth it. And as crazy as it sounds, I think I had to go through what I did—had to do what I did—to really get that final push. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I’d be here today. I really don’t. And I’m glad I’m here. Where I am. I’m happy. Life is good.


I’m no longer ashamed. And neither should anyone else be of their scars. We all learn in our own different ways. Sometimes it takes coming really close to losing it all to realize everything you have, to see exactly how much worth you have. So, in honor of this month, I’m wearing my scars freely, for the world to see…


xoMESSIE

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: