Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ingrid Michaelson and Love Songs

Every love song I listen to, all I do is think of you,
And I'm scared I might never hear a love song again.
All the music I loved doesn't seem so bright,
Rhythms and tunes no longer make me feel alright,
And it is all because of you.
But the roads lead you to mountains that were too high to climb,
And so your promises are broken, and I claim to be fine,
But here I am in tears again because a song said "you and I",
And I have to rewrite my future dreams in a sadder note this time.
I wanted to prove the whole world wrong when I was with you,
Everyone who said it'd fail, because we were too:
Too far apart, too different hearts, all the things that didn't fit,
But I guess they were right, so pour salt on my wounds.
I still claim you broke up with me because I feel it as the truth,
Because I can't wait forever and you were the one who turned it loose,
And when I gave you options, to maybe change the goal posts,
You still said no, you still let it go.
So while she claims I cornered you, I think we both know the truth.
You needed to be cornered so you'd say what you meant,
That we were better off as friends.
Well maybe for you, but not for me.
But love isn't selfish, I've said it before,
And writing this poem is something I abhor,
Because the last thing I want is for you to feel guilt,
When it is my daily partner and has been for years.
But I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do,
When every love song I hear makes me think of you.
I can't even listen to some of my favorite songs,
Because the relationship, but not the love, is long gone.
So here I am crying because of a love song I liked,
Not even a favorite, and I'm not alright,
And "Maybe"s too hopeful, so I avoid the topics of heartbreak,
Trust me, my anthem isn't in these words, not anymore.
So why, then, are you the only one that understands
I need some space, I need a helping hand?
This time when you can't give it, when I'm all alone,
I have to some how figure out life again on my own.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

My favorite Bible verse. It is written in the Bible; it is so important, it is so key, that it is written again in the Book of Mormon under Moroni 7:45.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."
BoM Verse:
"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

Small differences, subtle differences, but this is one time where small differences don't change the meaning.

Charity is the pure love of Christ.

Love is the best thing in this world.

This is the strongest support in the order of sexuality, the way we love and who we love.

To love fully, to love purely, is to be Christlike. A mother's love, a father's love.

Please do not feel ashamed for your love. Not for love.

Not for that emotion which would have sacrifice and compromise and understanding and generosity. Not when those things are so entwined with love that love is nothing if not patient, if not kind, if not eternal.

Love is the least shameful thing on this Earth and it is the source of all the good, the best.

My favorite Bible verse, above all others. Because love, love is the greatest thing humans can possess.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Good Kid

I was the good kid.

My worst year I was in third grade. I told a teacher, direct quote, "You deserve to go to heck." I was upset, I lashed out.
I told two boys I would call birds down to peck their eyes out with my flute. They were threatening to shoot up the school.

Those two boys reached the TA first, the TA who didn't like me. They believed every word those two said.
My parents believed me, because I admitted to the flute. The school did not.

They got off scot-free.

I yelled at someone, fought with someone, to stop them from bullying someone else. A verbal fight in the fifth grade. The PE teacher, whom I liked and who liked me, told me to not do that, to just let it pass, that it wasn't worth it.

They say, "no good deed goes unpunished".

I am the rock, the shield, the person who is always there. It took this year for me to stop being afraid that, like so many others, I would be taken for granted. Because I had been before.

It is a moment of heart-stopping panic when I admit I'm not okay. Half of me believes they won't do anything, won't believe me, and is relieved for it. Most of the other half hopes that is the case. Every time, a small sliver breathes just a little better because love, instead of indifference,  is given.

Being good, being kind, being compassionate isn't all bad. It is lonely and hard, but there's good things too. If I messed up I could get away with it. I was never asked for a hall pass; they always assumed I had permission.

(One time I smiled at her, the woman who never smiled, even with adults, and she smiled back)

Be the better person. You make your day. In elementary school I was taught that people are mean, hurt others, because they are hurting. I keep that in mind, always. I always give people the benefit of the doubt.

It is hard. It hurts. I wish, I wish, I could just be angry, feel these negative emotions directed at someone who isn't me.

But I care, far too much, about people for that. So I take a deep breath.

I keep being kind. I keep being good. No matter how much it hurts.


The thing I regret the most... Well, there's several things.

Not standing my ground in seventh grade, when it had to be a unanimous decision. I was right and knew I was, but eventually gave in.

Not standing my ground when an adult (or two adults) and three peers crowded around me, one placing her arms on my shoulders and forcing me to the BB gun range set up, forcing me to do something I wasn't ready for. Go figure, I'm now scared of guns (yet anti-gun-control. Hm.)

Not telling the truth when the lies someone else told were believed, because it would take too much effort.

Saying no.

Saying no sooner.

That is where my biggest regrets lie.

In going to girl's camp for four years instead of two, in letting people convince me to do things I didn't want to do.

I don't regret refusing to learn how to whittle. I wasn't ready. Later, years later, I picked up a small multi-tool pocket knife that has my name on it. I love this knife. I was ready when I was sixteen, not when I was twelve. I wish I had been ready sooner, but I don't regret it.

I regret all the times I said "yes" the most, when all I wanted to say was "no". These things haunt me.
More than everything else.

Learn from my mistakes. Say no. Put your feet down.

At nineteen years old I am learning how to assert myself. Because asserting myself meant conflict, meant distress. If I went along with it it would still hurt, but less so.

Going to the gun range, willingly, terrified me. It hurt, it was scary, and I trusted the people around me.
I wanted to shoot a gun, I wanted to try it out, but it wasn't the noise; it was memories of a twelve year old kid being forced into doing something she didn't want to do, just once but once was enough.
(And, in part, by someone with fly-away shells, but I ducked behind an adult there with me and I was okay, away from the source, and the woman with the gun smiled and apologized even though the ear plugs made it so none of us could hear each other.)

It feels weird to say I was traumatized. I don't have PTSD, I don't have triggers or flashbacks. Many of my habits can be attributed to anxiety instead.
But I don't like guns.

I don't trust myself to be right. I defer, I step back, instead of fighting.

Dear God, I fought. I fought, once, and I was met with silence. In elementary school I was the good kid.
I got punished. I was the one who was talked to, every time I stood up for myself.

I don't regret standing up for myself.

I regret not doing it more.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I do not wish
for this eternal,

So though I have tools
and medication
you must understand:
all the tools and treatments
in all the world
cannot stop bad days
bad weeks
bad months
...bad years.

Each tool,
each treatment,
each proper medication
chips away at it.

But it is using
a plastic knife
to cut down a redwood,
a metal spoon
to carve out a mountain.

So please believe me,
I am trying,
but it is very hard,
and sometimes,
I will have bad days
bad weeks
bad months.

Fight or Flight

So I'm on my way to work.

I'm at Nine Mile Station waiting for the bus and there's about five people with clipboards asking people "Are you registered to vote?"

Normally, I'd be happy to talk with them, but I'm on the bus schedule that's half an hour later than my normal because I missed the bus by being ten feet away from the bus stop when it came. This threw my mood off.

So all five of them, in turn, ask the question. The first one I just furiously shake my head at and walk briskly away from. The second one I manage to say "yes" before I have to move away (he cuts me off and doesn't let me get past him until I manage to give my very panicked answer, which lets him know something is wrong and he finally lets me pass).

The third I straight-up run from, and same with the fourth.

Flight or fight has kicked in and now I'm flinching, jumping, cringing away from everyone who gets too close. The fifth attempts to ask me anyway and I nearly run out in front of a car because I'm panicking and can't think straight.

People, if someone is flinching, hyperventilating, and seems jumpy, do not approach them unless it is to ask "hey, do you need help calming down?"

Because I'm finally on the bus and my fight or flight is gone but I still feel anxious and exposed despite positioning myself to minimize that feeling.

And now I'm scared something is going to go wrong, too, because anxiety is a little bitch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shake Your Head No, Nod Your Head Yes

I feel like this is needed at the moment.

For those of you not in the know, we have no working air conditioning while it is hella hot and my boyfriend broke up with me. That should catch you up on my current life status and why I'm writing this.

(Also, hi! Been a while, Blogger.)

So. If you haven't gotten the advice "don't ask questions that aren't yes or no to someone having a panic attack", you've know gotten that advice.

Let me talk about what a panic attack feels like.

I have fallen overboard off a ship. It is raining and the waves are rough. I can only catch a little air; my lungs are filling with water. I have to fight against a heavy weight I can't get rid of, all to just stay afloat and breathe.

Someone picks up a life preserver.

They ask me to solve x squared plus 8 equals three fourths x plus 24 minus the square root of x for x.

That is the equivalent of being asked "What do you need me to do?"

Someone gets rid of all the life preservers and yells at me to solve the equation for their math homework.

That is the equivalent of being asked, "What's wrong?"

Someone throws me a life preserver and pulls me in. They aren't strong enough to bring me over the side of the boat, but they are enough to help me stay afloat.

That is being asked, "Do you need me to breathe with you?" or "Do you want to hold my hand?" or "Would you like me to take you someplace quiet?"

At the end of the day, I manage to get myself back on the boat. It either exhausts me and leaves me unable to function for a while, or I can manage to continue whatever thing I'm doing.
That's the difference between getting a life preserver and doing math for one.

I don't know how it feels for other people, but that is how it feels for me.

Depression, too, is best treated with yes or no questions.
I have used the ice motif for depression before. I am under the ice.

Someone holds on to me. They ask, "Do you want me to stay?" and listen to my answer.

Someone grabs at me wildly, making it worse. They ask, "I know you're depressed but can't you just try and think differently?"

Someone holds on to me, but they shake me around and really do nothing at all. They ask, "Why are you depressed?" trying to find the source without finding it ridiculous.

When I am in that state of misery, I do not have air and energy to waste in giving a complicated answer to your complicated question. It is hard enough to simply say "yes" or "no".
Help me, don't hinder me.

And for Pete's sake when I don't want to talk about something, talking about it obsessively is going to make me miserable and unable to maintain a mood that isn't suicidal.