Sunday, June 29, 2008

Experience has taught me.

I used to think that if someone took the time to get to know me, they couldn't help but fall in love with me. I believed that there was something inside of me worth loving, no matter what my size. And I thought there was a beauty in my face and voice worth finding, worth holding. I assumed that some man would love to look in my eyes, would want to touch my hair, would want to explore what it meant to be together with me.

I don't think that anymore.

I write bad poetry that makes me feel good.

What I want from you:

You said,
“What do you want from me?”
last Tuesday, after midnight
I didn’t answer you
what do you say to that?
But I’ve had some time to think

I want you free time,
not even all of it
maybe just most of it
we can spend all day doing nothing together

I want your stray thoughts
they should be all for me
not just occasionally
definitely constantly
I want you obsessed with the idea of me

And all your daydreams
should be of you and me
doing “couple things”
making promises
build an imaginary house for us to live in

Give me your future
I’ll plan your destiny
fill every day with me
it will be bright and clean
I claim every tomorrow until one of us forgets to breathe

I want your hands
all over me
or simply clasped in mine
they should belong to me
I will memorize the lines across your fingertips

I want your good intentions
I want your grumpy face
I want your joys and disappointments and secret hopes
I want your babies
I want to see what you are like when you are 83

You said,
“What do you want from me?”
last Tuesday, after midnight
I didn’t answer you
What am I supposed to say?
You don’t want what I want anyway

Monday, June 23, 2008

More complaining from the new, depressed Sarah Jo

I know all I do is complain anymore, but I dont know what else to do. I can talk about all my happy things with other people, but discussing the fact that I'm still miserable and impatient isn't really exciting for anyone. Everytime someone asks me how I am, I just want to tell them that I am one step away from falling apart. But thats not a topic for casual conversation. It reminds me of my customers when I ask them how they are and they say something like, "I'm so bloated, you know how it is." Uh, no I don't and I would rather not know anymore. So instead of sharing it, I write it here.

I don't think my poor mom can handle any more of my tears. She would fix it if she could, but there is nothing she can do but wait with me. It seems everyday is ticking by without my permission. Why should the calendar move when my life has stopped? I am being dragged forward to a future I do not want. If I knew that I would be stuck in this body, just like this, for the rest of my life, I don't know what else I have to look forward to. It would be a miserable, uncomfortable future. I would lumber through, trying unsuccessfully to lose weight and maintain happiness until I died of some co-morbidity, alone. Excellent.

SO, this is what I'm thinking about when I gaze off into space. It is nothing you want to hear about.

Sarah Jo

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I have to tell someone.

I wake up to screaming. 4A.M. Chris and Amber were staying at a friends house but must be home now because the screaming is Chris. It's right outside my bedroom door. I flail around in the darkness for my glasses, the light, the deadbolt. I open the door to see Chris turn the corner on his way down the stairs. The baby is screaming in his arms. Anger is in his face.

In the bathroom, Mom is slumped over the toilet, leaning against the wall next to it with her legs limp in front of her. She sways and mumbles. I ask her whats wrong. Nothing, she says. I ask her what drug she is on. Nothing, she mumbles. The screaming starts again, this time from downstairs. I ask mom to get up off the toilet. She sways. I ask mom to get up off the toilet. She mumbles. I beg mom to get up, come downstairs. What is she on? Whats wrong with her? Why is Chris yelling? PLEASE get up.

Finally, finally she stumbles to her feet. She clutches the walls for support. Her feet are akward down the stairs. I stay behind her because I can't catch her if she falls. In the living room, Amber and Kiersten cling to each other on the love seat. They are both staring into the kitchen. Chris is still screaming. He says: Do you even know who I am? Wake up! You have to wake up, John. Do you know who I am? Get up! DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

I make it around the corner. Dad is cross legged on the kitchen floor. The barstool is on its side. His wallet is on the counter, contents spilled in all directions. His eyes are unfocused as he bats weakly at Chris' hands. He stares at the floor, closing his eyes again. Chris yells. I tell him to stop. Why is he so upset? Yelling doesn't help the situation. Why is he SO upset?

He came home to find Dad passed out on the kitchen floor. It looked like he fell off the barstool and stayed there on the ground. The back door was open, screen door locked. Chis couldn't get in. He saw Dad on the floor. Banged on the door. Screamed. No response. Chris broke the screen door to get in. Dad was still breathing. He decided to leave Dad on the kitchen floor, let him wake up that way to see what he had done to himself, but the baby was crying.

In my parents room, Kiersten is alone on the bed, waking up. At her feet, there is a tray of food, the remnants of a TV dinner. A plate. A cup. A knife. Kiersten is alone on the bed near a knife and Dad is too far gone to wake up even when his head hits the floor. That is why Chris is so upset. After that, he ran upstairs to find Mom pinned in the space between the toilet and the wall. She was stuck and struggling to come awake because of the yelling.

As he tells me this, Dad begins to realize where he is. He starts yelling back at Chris. He stands up. That tray is now on the counter and Dad tries to grab it, to throw. Mom is screaming. Chris is struggling against my Dad. Amber paces with Kiersten behind me, looking for the phone to call the police. Dad breaks free. He cant get to the tray so he throws the fan. The metal face comes off the front of the fan and the blades thunk rythmically against the metal face. They are still screaming and pushing. Amber still can't find the phone. I run upstairs for mine.

I don't want to call the police. I dont have anymore money to bail Dad out of jail. If he is in jail, he can't work. I can't support the family on my own. I hesitate. Chris has a warrent out for his arrest. Something about the Dog and the kennal he says. I'm sure they would arrest all three of them anyway. Chris has been smoking pot. Mom and Dad are clearly on something.

Downstairs again, Dad is trying to get out the back door. He wants to drive away. I'm scared. I beg Chris to stop screaming at him. Stop provoking him. Leave the room. Go sit down. Go calm the baby. I talk to Dad, he screams at me. I beg him to go to bed, we'll talk about it in the morning. He screams and screams. In the morning, I say, when everyone is awake, we'll talk about whatever is bothering you. Lay down. Go to sleep. Please.

Mom is in the living room trying to get the baby. She starts screaming at Amber. I tell her to go to bed. She can't, she says, Daddy is leaving. No, not leaving, I say, going to bed. Go to bed too. I push her towards the bedroom. I speak in low tones. I agree with everything she says. Anything to get her into the bed.

They are both in the bed now. Dad turns out the light. Mom is sitting up, wobbling again with a ciggerette in her hand. She puts in the ashtray. I close the door. Five minutes later, I go back in. She didnt lay down, she just fell over on top of Dad. I think they'll stay like that for awhile. I take the ashtray and the lighter. I don't want fires tonight.

Chris, Amber, Kiersten and I sit in the living room waiting for our pulses to slow. I think of the song, "Never Going Back to Okay." Eventaully, I decide to go upstairs, but I jump at every sound. It's just the TV. Its just my jewelry falling over from the slamming door. Its just the candle jar falling off the table because of the fan. Its just Kiersten waking up again. Its just the fridge kicking on.

I tell Chris about the song. "Yeah, we're never going back to okay. We're never going back to easy. We're never going back to the way it was." He says it was never okay. It was never easy. I tell him it was, once. Doesnt he remeber being okay? He says we just didn't know we weren't okay. We didnt have anything to compare it to. He's right, of coure. I remember now. More fights. More broken glasses. Police. Homelessness. Fear. I remember these things now. Back and back until there is nothing else to remember. I had hoped Kiersten wouldn't have nights like these to remember.

6AM now. I think of a different song. Julia Nunes. "I'm waking up, to see the sun. Its a light that lets me know a new day's begun. I can leave behind the terrors of my unconcious mind to the sunshine." But its not the terrors of my uncouncious mind keeping me awake tonight. These are real terrors that don't dissapear with the light. They don't fade under scrutiny like so many nightmares.

Already though, the terror of the moment is fading. I tell myself it wasn't so bad. It wasn't so bad. It could have been worse. Its over now. It won't happen again. It wasn't so bad.

We're never going back to okay.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Things I keep doing.

I keep asking myself, Why can't I have it? Have I done something wrong? Am I flawed in some way that deserves punishment? Have I not tried hard enough? Am I not prepared enough?

I keep thinking that if I cry enough, it will stop hurting so much. Like when you feel sick and then feel better after throwing up. Surely I could eventually cry enough tears that the hurt would evaporate from my cheeks. But it doesn't.

I keep waiting for something to change, for today to be better than yesterday, but I'm still always on the edge of tears. I've tried to shut down the non-essential parts of me, shoring up the core so I can survive because this doesn't feel like waiting, it feels like the end. I can't see the future, I only see today.

I keep trying to find other things to look forward to but they are tainted with dissapointment and fear. When school starts in August will there be another classroom with desks too small for me? When I go to the bahamas will I be too worried about how I look in my bathing suit to enjoy the beauty of the ocean? When I graduate, will I move out or stay here waiting, waiting, waiting for something that may never happen?

I keep looking for the part of me that broke so I can try to fix it. I've always been so strong; what happened to me?

I keep praying to a God I'm losing faith in.

I keep looking to the sun for comfort.

I keep pretending that I'm okay because so many people expect me to be.

I keep pushing myself a little further away from those people that expect me to be okay. If they can't understand me now, they will never, never understand.

I keep holding on to the belief that it gets better because that's all I've had my whole life, the broken mantra "It get's better." But it just gets different kinds of worse all the time and after everything I've been though, after everything I've experienced I've let this one thing hurt more than anything and I don't know how to stop it and I can't figure out how to make it better.

Friday, June 06, 2008

And that's what's right with me.

This evening I cooked steaks on the grill with my family.
I planned a cruise to the bahamas with three girls who knew me before I knew who I was.
It was a beautiful, beautiful day.
I have loads of time for reading.
My food is now secure in a freezer that locks.
The baby started calling me "Ra Ra" and seems excited each time she sees me.
After three years, I still like my job.
I graduate in December.
Even though I must wait, gastric bypass surgery will eventually happen.
I have friends who are concerned enough about me to notice I'm not happy, even when I try to pretend otherwise.
Said friends seem to like me even when I'm grumpy. Go figure.
Bella and Edward do eventually end up together, no matter how much book two hurts.
Kaitlyn and I are writing a book and I don't care what happens to it because I so love to write.
Its summer and I therefore have no homework.
My financial aid package covered tuition, and then three more dollars on top of that.
I did by some pretty new clothes.
So you think you can dance is on.
I discovered that I'm a nerdfighter and am therefore not made of cells, tissues, and organs. I am actually completely composed of awesome.
"In your pants" may just be funnier than "Thats what she said." Maybe.
No matter how much I weigh, how much money I make, or how many countries I've seen, I am a person worthy of being loved.
Nearly twenty-two years now and I still think there is a man out there that one day decide he would like to spend the rest of his life with me.
Fruit Punch flavored Crytal Light IS better than Kool-Aid (And I've got a whole box!)
P.F. Changs is like, right down the highway.
I live in a country where food, clean water, electricity, jobs, transportation, housing, health-care, and air conditioning are not only readily available, but actually taken for granted.
My car starts everytime I turn the key, and it takes me where I need to go.
When customers yell at me, my co-workers sneak me sympathy looks and we complain to each other later.
I can still keep thinking of good things, even when I hurt more than I've ever hurt before.
Letters, white space, and punctation create a whole world for me to play in.
I've never kissed, which means I didn't waste it on that guy in eight grade who would have kissed me.
My laundry is all clean and my room smells SO good.
I survived every worst day of my life. There will be more, and I'll survive those too.
I am an impatient, demanding, selfish, blunt, uncompassionate human being and somehow people keep choosing to spend time with me.

So I'm going to try to stop focusing on whats wrong with me and start focusing on whats right with me.

Probably a repitition of things past:

I know I've said it before, and I may even have used the same words but: I still miss you. I keep thinking about the way it was before things changed when you were something I could always count on. Now, even when we are in the same room the girl that wears your face is no longer you. What happened to that girl I loved? I loved you even when you hated yourself and now I can't find you anymore. I try. I try. I try. But you don't return my phone calls or emails or invitations. Sometimes I try to wait you out, to see how many days I should wait before you break down for missing me so much and just call ME for once, but its been nearly two years and you haven't called me. Everything that happens in your life I hear about from your family members. They keep expecting us to be best friends again, but now

Now I'm not that girl I was when I was your best friend. Something inside me broke and I can't find my way back to it again. I don't know how to get back to okay. So now I wonder if you'll see the stranger in my eyes next time you look at me, or if you will simply look right through me like you have been.

I still miss you. Sometimes I wish so much for you to just get on my nerves. Remember we used to spend so much time together that we couldn't stand each other? I miss that. I miss you. I don't know if I'll ever find you again or if I'll ever stop missing you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

As long as I don't think about it, it doesnt hurt. (I can't stop thinking about it.)