Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 29

The words in my head, the voices, they were quiet at first. They blew through my mind like tumbleweeds on an almost windless night. They didn’t disrupt things.
        But then they grew louder and larger and started to damage my soul.
        They had to be given life, and by life, I mean voice. And that is why I write.
        Because the voices never die. Writing is a lonely profession, but the inside of a writer’s mind is filled with the most vivid colors, people with a million stories unto themselves; it’s the playground that never sleeps.
        But God, sometimes, I wish it would. This is what I was talking about earlier—the haunting and begging for attention, waking me in the middle of the night like a small child for a drink of water. The words are restless, and so I am restless.

        I breathe. Listen. And let you drink this healing balm from my aching hands.

The Door Girl, Part 28

Words are like flowers; when you put them together properly, you can create a masterpiece with them.
        I used them to escape the jail I had created for myself. I used them like a dying man pushes his morphine button. They were my escape—my pain killers, and I used them in large quantities.
        Bleeding to death by ink is a fantastic thing. The pain, the fear, the voices and the shadows where they lurk--it all gets washed away with a  pen in my hand.
        It was difficult to write on anything at the mental hospital because writing utensils were seen as weapons (again, understandable). So they gave me short, stubby pencils like you use at the library. But I took it anyway because it calmed me more than the Ativan I begged for.
        I wrote my way to crazy. And that is to say, I wrote my way to sanity. Yes, restored mental health. Which fully includes the crazy and the ugly. Those are the parts that make us beautiful and evolve in to more lovely human beings.

        I wrote until I realized that life is never as black and white as it looks on paper, even though I had hand-crafted every detail. For the first time, I realized that I was not invincible and I could not control my life. I had to surrender to something larger than myself.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 27

My mother was always hot and cold. Always a contradiction. Fire and ice. I blazed with her and froze to death with her, as long as I could stay close. We were a raging fire and a frozen marsh in the tundra, where it’s always too cold for anything to grow.
        That’s how my mother would remain for days, but all of a sudden, the clouds would lift and I would see the embers start to twinkle inside of her. The Magic Woman was coming to life. And she would be lit ablaze, everything around her smoky and on fire. She was lightning in a five-foot-two-inch body.

        And me, well…I just loved to watch her burn.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 26

I am ten-years old and our church is having a revival. I am in fifth grade. We watch videos of dead babies in the streets and people disappearing mid-walk with a friend. The song from the video is “You’ve been left behind.”
I get home from school and the house is empty. Logically, I know that my mother is at work, but all I can think about is that song. And I know that I have been left behind. That all the good people were taken, my mother along with them, and I did not make the cut.

My mother comes home and plops her purse down on the table. “Hey kiddo, good day?”
“Uh-huh,” I say, my heart beating a million miles a minute. “Hey ma?”
“Yes?”
“What if I don’t believe in God or any of that stuff they teach at church?” I ask her fearing for my life.
“Baby,” she says calmly, “you just gotta fake it till ya make it. That’s what you do in this life.”

And I did it well. Until, I didn’t.        

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 25

While I was in the hospital, Aunt Cassie came to visit me. My grandmother had since died. She said she had a note my mother had sent when I was in high school and she wanted me to have it. The letter read:
        Dear Cassie, You may hate me because I jumped ship. I left my child behind because I didn’t know how else to do it. Do you know what kind of people leave their children behind? No, it is not the selfish ones. It is the broken down and destitute.
        I couldn’t hurt my daughter anymore. I was who I was. I was a falling-apart parent. Do you know how difficult it is to give something you’ve never been given?
        So, I gave her a life without me. And even though it hurt her, I know it truly served her well. I taught her that life is not black and white. We live in shades of gray. Life is never what we think it will be or should be.
        I remember that little girl and how strong and brave she was. I am sure she has become the beautiful young woman I imagine. I know that she will have used the wild card I dealt her and use it to sky rocket.”

I took the letter and I shredded it in my shaking hands. Tears spilled down and I never knew a person could hold that much water inside.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 24

The thing about being in a psych ward is that you are all united in your suffering. It is for different reasons, but suffering is suffering, nonetheless.
        “Do you get a lot of people like me here?” I asked one of the nurses. She was slightly overweight and had quite a mean exterior.
        “People like what?” She asked gruffly.
        “Crazy people,” I answered, full of shame.
        “Honey,” she wrapped her arms around me, “you aren’t crazy. You’re just going through a tough time in your life and you needed to take a break. You’re one of the strong ones because you knew you needed it. Remember that.”

        I believe in kindness to strangers and that you get in what you put out. She squeezed me firmly and looked in to my eyes with such kindness, my heart knew that she had seen me and she knew me. And a hundred more like me who just needed a fucking break.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Door Girl, Part 23

This is a fictional piece blended with bits of life I've picked up along the way. I thank you for sharing in my words!
Sitting in a hard metal chair to fill out all of the forms, I stare at the glass and the metal sign affixed to it that reads, “Mental Ward.” And the only words in my head are, “Are you fucking happy now?” To everyone who had ever hurt me, pushed me, left me. There I was in a mental hospital.
        Did you know that you aren’t allowed to have plastic knives (understandable) or plastic forks in a mental ward? Do you know how hard it is to spread cream cheese on a bagel with a plastic spoon? I never did master the art. Thankfully, I wasn’t there long enough to figure it out.
        The people at the hospital were fascinating to me. Paul, for example, wore the same t-shirt every day with a Pokemon design on it. It was stained with ketchup and mustard all over it, but he wore it with pride. I commented on it one day and he told me that he had designed it himself.
        Then there was Gary who had one leg and was in a wheelchair. I got his plate and took him to his seat one day, without saying a word, without taking away his dignity. And Gary, who never said a word to anyone, nodded at me, straight-faced and I thought I was flying over the moon.
        I met a teenage homeschooler there who always kept to herself and was very pretty in a natural beauty sort of way. We smiled at each other half-heartedly in the hallways. She started sitting by me during meals. One day I asked her why she was there and she very bluntly confessed, “I tried to kill myself with a steak knife in front of my mother in the kitchen.” And my heart ached for her because I knew what it felt like to want to disappear.