Fat

Lost my inflatable armor.
Nothing but skin and bones.
Nothing to protect me now
When they start throwing their stones.

I finally dropped my baggage.
I’m certainly much more thin.
The only problem now?
Unfortunately, so’s my skin.

I built that big wall high.
Tall enough for you.
Only a few who really knew
Could see the courtyard view.

Fat feelings of disappointment
In how I was rejected.
Only accepted when
I embraced what they expected.

I remember who you are.
I never will forget.
Those who leave a scar,
Those who owe a debt.

You pay me back
By feigning love.
One thumb up
From that little white glove.

This may surprise you,
I always deserved your like.
You were hateful and mean,
Only now does sympathy strike.

Outside? I may look tough.
Wrinkly, worn and old.
But this is recycled flesh.
Inside? I’m a newborn soul.

To those few who bothered to know,
They who loved me without fear,
I couldn’t have made it alone alive.
So. Thank you. I’m still here.

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Haters Gon’ Hate

It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back. So shake it out.–Florence and the Machine

Haters gon’ hate, hate, hate, hate, hate…Shake it off. Shake it off. Ah, ah.–Taylor Swift

Thank you, Taylor.


Feeling a bit uneasy this morning, which is rare these days, but not extinct. Mainly because I thought of one particular hater from just last year.

Just before my weight loss surgery, I announced on Facebook my intention to get gastric bypass. Everyone supported me. Some even wondered why I had waited so long to go for it.

My yearly struggle to drop pounds for my heart health concerned many. Since May 2012, I had been seriously, aggressively trying to get healthy. I was diagnosed with heart failure in August 2012. I had a slew of friends and family encouraging me to work out and eat right. Everyone accepted me for me: what I looked like, how much I weighed. I never felt pressured to undergo surgery. Especially those closest to me accepted me–my husband and my daughter. I felt safe.

So when I finally decided on weight loss surgery, it was my decision. No one prompted me to get it. It was a choice 11 years in the making. I had considered some form of weight loss surgery since 2005.

Things conspired to put off the surgery. Insurance coverage. Being a mom. Going back to school. Many things. But last year, it was finally right. And then one person challenged me.

This person was also extremely overweight. Super morbidly obese. She was a self-proclaimed fat advocate.

Everyone should accept all fat people, no matter what. Doctors should never treat anyone for obesity or blame symptoms on obesity. Fat people have rights.

I had started down this path years earlier. (Of course fat people have rights. Not debating that.) I even wrote a play about it. Won an award for that play. Synopsis: working through all of my eating disorder issues, I’m fat. If you have a problem with my being fat, get the f— over it! But that was not the solution. For me. This was not my path for long.

This person even saw my play. That’s how we met.

She knew about my heart failure. In fact, we were supposed to meet the Tuesday after I went into the hospital. We had made plans earlier in the month and just before our friend date, I wind up in the ER. So obvs, I didn’t keep our meeting. I’m glad.

When I announced my gastric bypass, she came out strongly against it. She was the only one.

She told me to wait. Try other things. Try different foods. Accept myself and fight for my rights with doctors and others. Did she not follow me on Facebook?

I had been actively posting for 5 or more years about my weight loss/gain, thyroid cancer, heart failure, un-diagnose-able gastro-gall bladder pain, arthritis, diet, exercise, health trouble/struggle.

Where has this bitch been?? I asked myself. Sorry. LOL But really.

I tried to reason with her. Explain. Counter. Inform. Be patient. Be neutral. Ignore. But she hounded me.

“Don’t do it!” was her repeated harp.

I finally blocked her. I had to move forward without her negativity. I knew the decision for weight loss surgery was a serious one, but right for me. It was time. And I didn’t need someone telling me otherwise. Doubting me. Doubting my ability to make an informed decision or to calculate risk. It was well beyond time for surgical intervention.

Sometimes, you just have to shake it off. Shake off doubt. Shake off negativity. Shuffle off people, attitudes and bad energy just to move forward on your own path.

I am so thankful for my surgery. So very blessed to have my life back. Able to ride, swim, live, serve, love. WORK! Not be a drain on my family, friends or society. I’m at 309.6 as of yesterday. That’s 147 lbs since surgery. 204 lbs since heart failure in 2012. I am confident, if I hadn’t had surgery, I’d be dead in the next 5 years. Absolutely.

So who on Earth would want to kill me? Deny me my life? Encourage me to accept less than a healthy, full life to appease their own view of fairness or health? Not a friend. I can tell you that.

Get behind me, Devil. I won’t give in to fear. I won’t give in to hate. No more doubt, negativity, criticism. I won’t give in to dwelling on past hurt or slights either. I’ve got too much living to do. Watch me dance.

 

Doxxed

You want to wave your Nazi flag?
You want to scream “Nigger” and “Fag”?
You were taught to fear the Jew.
Prepare to be brought into full ugly view.
Prepare to be doxxed.

You should have somewhere learned
Grace and freedom is not burned.
Someone should have taught you love, not fear.
Someone should have made that clear.
Prepare to be schooled.

You want to privately hate.
You want to march and congregate.
But you don’t want anyone IRL to know.
You don’t want your bigotry to show.
Prepare to be fired.

It’s not okay to hide behind
A blazing torch of hatred blind.
You want to stand up for your rights?
But you want privilege for Only Whites.
Prepare to be rode out of town on a rail!

Tarred and feathered online.
Exposed as a racist for all time.
We don’t cotton to your kind.
A safe harbor you will not find.

Prepare to be doxxed. Exposed. Fired. Rejected.
I would never share your information, but I will remember your face.
Americans, don’t let it happen again.

Troublesome

Cities on fire,
Sliding into the sea.
Countries bleeding
From Killing spree.

Forests catch flame.
Humans to blame.
Cars take aim.
Hate makes claim.

To every place your attention settles,
The world will so finely, kindly remind–
No matter where you travel,
Your searching eyes will Chaos find.

Students shot.
Violence wrought.
Journalists caught.
Fraught, taut, distraught.

Children attacked.
Homes blown apart.
Families destroyed.
Bombed-out, cut-up heart.

Crumpled on the ground,
Freedom is downed.
Goodness unfound.
Wicked abound.

With absolute certainty,
One thing I know,
Resilience from tragedy
Is something you grow.

Plant your feet.
Shout from the street.
Pull down the sheet.
Bring love where hate and evil meet.

If your crops are burnt?
If your shores are black?
If your bodies are dying?
We can’t go back.

We can only move forward with knowledge and the rejection of evil. We can no longer passively ignore the bullies of the world. To stay silent is to participate.

Rage Against

Dylan wrote about the dying of the light.
Rage against fading sight.
Don’t gently go into the night.
Keep those fires burning bright.
Right to the end.

And I say rage again.

Rage again at hatred’s wave.
Rage again at a black man’s grave.
Rage again at racist rave.
Rage again at the killing of brave.
To-bloody-day.

It’s not too late to turn around.
Our love isn’t buried in the cold, hard ground.
As humans, as Americans, as Christians–we’re bound
To breathe back life to Liberty drowned.
Now.

No man has a right to steal.
Our freedom under heavy boot heel.
I’d rather die than ever kneel
To pay for a politician’s shady deal.
You’re dying for money.

No man has a right to kill.
And Washington isn’t going to foot the bill.
This is no longer an exercise or drill.
This is the sound of the People’s will.
No more!

Rage against this political machine.
To do nothing is supporting the obscene.
It’s time for us to intervene!
Remember the words from 1634 Racine,
Malone (The Untouchables) asks,
“What are you prepared to do?”

knee-deep

This is not the surface of Mars. But I wish it was. A sci-fi Bradbury story and not my life.


Scared and Scarred
I am 6. Tender. Overly sensitive. Idealistic. In the living room watching TV (listening to my parents scream).
My father is chasing my mother from the bedroom to the living room. She sits on the sofa by the window. He grabs her leg and drags her from the cushion. Her pants rip and she awkwardly falls to the floor, pinned between the sofa and coffee table.
My brother jumps up and tangles himself with my father. My brother is 17 and a full-grown male. He might be one inch taller than my father. He weighs less, but not by much and has anger and youth on his side. They wrestle and fall into a window. The glass breaks and the fighting continues. They push each other away and stand panting and snarling, waiting for each other to make a move.
My brother walks out of the house into the yard and my father follows. They exchange violent words and my father threatens to stab my brother. He holds his hand in his pocket, standing at a distance from my brother, claiming to have a knife.
I will cut your gizzards out.
One of the many delusional things my father utters. It makes little sense. He is embarrassingly profane and foaming at the mouth. He taunts my brother to attack again. I can’t remember how it’s resolved.
Sometime later, I crawl up on the sofa to look at the broken window and wonder why our afternoon was disturbed. I cut my knee with a shard of broken glass hidden in the cushion. I still have the scar today. It looks like a soggy piece of puffed rice
cereal landed on my knee and stuck.

The cut was deep. Huge beads of blood. The emotional hurt was even deeper.


Complex PTSD is real. This memory was written in present tense to show how real memories can seem. You can relive some trauma at the slightest trigger: smell (cigarette smoke), action (washing hands), word (gizzards), threat (humiliation), similar circumstance (injustice). Reliving some nightmare from the past isn’t easy. In fact, it’s soul crushing. Mind melting. Scariest thing a person ever has to do–walk into the past like a darkened, grimy hallway of a forgotten house of pain. With no skills, lights or way to defend yourself. Anyone with C-PTSD does not want to be permanently haunted with ghosts. But the mind can’t erase severe hurt. It tries, but those imprints have power. Evict those ghosts with the Holy Spirit and this link: Self-Help Strategies for PTSD Visit this site as well: AnxietyBC

And get help. Talk to someone. Anyone.
This weekend I realized–I am serving my past, not my professed master Jesus. I am serving horrible memories and failing as a wife. I don’t want this. My past is not something to cling to in the storm. Jesus is.

Rain

Dark clouds
Gather behind me,
Whisper about my life.

Untrue words
Rip like lightning,
Burning up my sky.

Hateful shame
Drops like rain
Aiming for my mind.

Enemy voices
Peal and roll
Thunder across with lies.

Good thing I brought my umbrella.

Loving-Kindness

According to Wikipedia‘s article regarding loving-kindness in Judaism:

Loving-kindness is used as an English translation for the Hebrew word חסד (chesed). This term is used often in the book of Psalms, and refers to acts of kindness, motivated by love. It is used primarily in reference to God, rather than people. One example is found in Psalm 107, where verse 43 reads:

“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the LORD.” [11]

The term is also used in Pirkei Avot, with the quote “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of loving-kindness.”


I’m not a very kind person sometimes. I am downright irascible (easily angered).

I love the word irascible. It reminds me of a word that Mark Twain would utter about Pap.

I love words. No matter their meaning, good or bad. Especially when they perfectly define an attitude, feeling or experience.

I mumbled yesterday morning about applying my makeup for an interview. “Best apply a modicum of makeup, so as not to look a fright.”

Who talks like that? I do. Mostly. Enough to confuse and irritate the natives. Much to the cringe and chagrin of my associates.

“Who are you?” question my befuddled, and mildly-impressed, acquaintances.

A writer.

But I found another person who loves words and their sounds as much as I do and I married him. And together we sound like a ridiculous Noel Coward play. But some people like that.

As much as I love words, I don’t love people. I am not full of loving-kindness. I cling to loving-kindness with desperate fingers, but cannot claim it. I want to love others but I so often fail. Strange. Because I think, at the core, writers do love people. Maybe from afar? I have to love people to love words because the words are describing the lovely people. What the people are doing, where they are going, how they are loving or not loving.

Maybe I should write about animals. LOL

Loving-kindness, as a theory, is often a writer’s goal. How often they achieve loving-kindness IRL is a Hemingwayan mystery. We write about the ideal, but do we live it? I don’t usually. But, in my writing and in life, I strive for it. Is that enough though?

I do tend to write about my successes of loving-kindness and not my failures. I try to be fair in that, but writing can often be the Facebook of experience. We only see the shining examples of behavior and not the gritty underbelly of daily meanderings.

Well, in the interest of writing fair, I fail at loving others, especially my husband, on almost a daily basis. That’s the truth. I snap and snip at the slightest pressure, but mainly because…no. I won’t make excuses.

I can be a ripe jerk.

I’m an alligator. Waiting. And if you trip? I attack.

If you trigger my snap warning, I’ll eat you alive. Once an alligator bites, he can’t let go. Even if he wanted to. And why would he want to? Those jaws are locked. And loaded. Clamps down on your neck, thrashes around, and down you go. Drowned. Ground into a fine hamburger. If you whimper, complain, or try to negotiate? It’ll just take longer.

I don’t want to be an alligator. But when you grow up in a swamp, do you have a choice?

I’m evolving. At least I feel guilty about it now.

I have brilliant moments of loving-kindness shine through and save me. For others and from others. But maybe that’s most people’s experience. Those are the moments we live for. And when there’s not enough of those moments, sometimes, what we die for.

In a world of growing hate and difference of opinion, we most certainly need loving-kindness. Certainly. But if I can’t succeed in my own daily life, what hope does the world have?

We’re evolving. Let’s drain the swamp and love others. Simply and completely.

I can’t eat another alligator. Someone I recognize as being my kind. So we just have to look for the human. How can you hate someone who looks and acts and thinks like you? We all have eyeballs. We all have fur. We all have 2 arms, 2 legs, a brain and a heart. Usually. 🙂

With all my anger, flaws and ugliness, I still want to be loved. So I need to love. Even unlovables in their anger, flaws and ugliness. And do so out of kindness. It requires vulnerability and humility. Being open and humble.

Who are you?

Stormy Romance

This is a photo collage that I did for college. It’s several photos that I took of a supercell thunderstorm and pieced them together in Photoshop for a surrealistic project. The middle reminds me of a face. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. 🙂


If you’re frightened by storms,
You won’t last long.
But if you love dark clouds,
Then I will sing your song.

There is beauty in these skies.
Thrill in this lightning bolt.
You will always be amazed
By the power that I hold.

I’m like a bomb of drama.
You never know when I will drop.
My winds are for the fearless
Never begging me to stop.

I don’t mean to take
All your precious-proud intention.
I simply require
Your complete and focused attention.

Duck and cover.
Pray and wait.
Don’t assume
That this is hate.

Can you blame a thing like nature
For doing what it’s taught?
This storm’s path for wrath
Is what Force has thoughtlessly wrought.

If I ever loved you,
It’s because you could withstand
The worst I had to throw at you.
You took it like a man.

Don’t worry, it’s almost over.
Then I will have passed.
At least you’ll have the story
Of the storm that didn’t last.

Would you invite the devil over for tea?

I wouldn’t sit down
And have a simple snack
With Devil or demon.
You’d have to watch your back.

Would you talk to Satan?
Would you want to hear his side?
Would you trust his story?
For centuries, he’s lied.

I wouldn’t sit with Satan.
I wouldn’t believe a word.
He wants me to fall with him.
Bring down this broken bird.

Most people wouldn’t eat or drink
With a red-faced, horn-graced beast.
But do you invite this angel
Frequently to your feast?

If you:
Complain
Grumble
Covet
Lust
Envy
Gossip
Lie
Hurt
Hate?

You’re dining with the devil.

If you long for what your neighbor has
And don’t appreciate your mess?
Then Satan has had his way
And he has been your guest.

If you lie about who you are
To have another follow?
Then Satan has gladly baked the cake
That you so greedily swallow.

If you hurt or hate,
Live to watch another trip?
Then ol’ Guess Who is pouring
From the cup you eagerly sip.

You deny your frequent visitor.
You deny he even exists.
But he continues to come to tea
Because your negativity persists.

stop