UR in Ruin

You’re in ruin.
Not from your doing.
Rejected, brokenhearted, beaten, betrayed
By brutal behavior–reckless and unstaid.

You don’t deserve that.

Rise from your ash.
Emerge from the crash.
Carefully remove the plunged-in knife.
Take control of your internal life.

No one else can.

Dig out the buried artifact
What was your heart, not just an act.
Discover the soul of who you are.
Soon you’ll erase that fading scar.

I believe in you.

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Therapy

Toes on the beach
Leaves me speechless
Lost in time
Clouds on the climb
Sky is reachless

Mind in the sand
Gives me bedrock
Found on the wave
Pain in the grave
Peace and joy in wedlock

Heart on the ocean
Takes my sorrow
Seeks a new story
Bottomless quarry
Mining the treasure of tomorrow

Tough as Nails

Here’s an old inking of nails that I did in drawing class at college. They were galvanized nails on a strip. I hate drawing, but I love to ink.


Drag those nails
Across my back.
Pound them in.
I can take your attack.

When you are done,
I’ll treat the pain.
I’ll save the nails
For a day with rain.

Later on, you’ll see.
Those nails? I use.
To build my empire.
Your abuse–my muse.

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.

Country Roads, Don’t Take Me Home

I spent my youth
Away from Home.
Wishing my friends
Were sisters of my own.

I didn’t like family.
Dangerous love.
Beat up and tortured,
Push comes to shove.

We lived in the country,
Away from town.
If there are no neighbors,
Does abuse make a sound?

My heart goes back
To that scary place.
And my throat gets tight
At memories I chase.

It wasn’t all bad.
I remember some good.
Days spent hiding,
Deep in the woods.

Green creek banks
And rich, black dirt.
Flowers and water
To wash away the hurt.

But no amount
Of River or Plain
Can wash away
That mountain of Pain.

So many nights
Unable to dream.
Flashbacks fire
And tears begin to stream.

Scars that shine
In the cracked moonlight.
Open them again
Without a fight.

In my mind, I walk
With shoe-less feet
To my childhood house,
Down that lonely street.

I reach the drive.
Kick the stones.
Look at the mess.
Hate my bones.

Turn around, get out.
Don’t look back.
This is your chance
To bury the black.

Run! Run down
To the end of the road.
Stop. Take a breath.
There’s time to go slow.

I walk through the night
Away from the past.
I can see the dawn
Coming up at last.

This isn’t a race.
There’s no finish line.
Each step is important.
This path is mine.

Lonely (Apologies to Daffodils)

This is an imitation poem of Wordsworth’s I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud. Same amount of syllables in each line and follows the a-b-a-b-c-c pattern in the stanzas. I started this poem in a college creative writing class in 1995 (it had a different direction then, I was too young to finish). Gah! So long ago.


I was wrapped lonely in a shroud.
This veil of silence sealed my thoughts.
When all at once, I lived out loud.
Finally cut my tangled knots.
I’m free to swim and find my way.
Searching for a glimmering ray.

Under the ocean, lost in waves,
Grabbing for air in panicked gasps.
Rolling around this sea of graves,
Spitting out endless, hardened rasps.
Tossed upon the rocky-black storm,
Nothing but pain to keep me warm.

Break the surface-a flood of light.
Nothing familiar, no one near.
Erupt to shore like birds in flight.
Collapse in the sand without fear.
I made it–not just to survive–
To taste the world and come alive.

Plant my flag and settle the hurt.
Find the shells that echo my heart.
Wash away all the grit and dirt.
Burning the past is oh-so smart.
Now all the ties lies have come undone.
No race un-run; no war un-won.

Hammered Dog Doo

I went in for gallbladder removal and EGD on Thursday of last week. I just have to say that gallbladder pain is the worst pain I’ve ever had. And I gave birth the old-fashioned way.

The thing about natural childbirth (or any birthing event, C-section) though is this. Even though your ripped and torn, bleeding and bruised, banged up, sore and hamburglarized–some sort of magic manic-euphoria sets in and you don’t feel pain like a normal person. It’s as if the pain gets blurred. Dulled by the giddy feelings of falling in love with your baby. You can just basically forget you have legs or a babymaker for hours at a time.

So, if they would have swaddled my little gallbladder sac like a precious newborn, I might have made it through okay. But that didn’t happen. That sack of marbles got tossed on the bio-waste heap with all the other dysfunctional organs time and junk food has stolen from my body.

But I did figure out the source of my nausea. I’ve been oh-so nauseous for days! Before GB removal and after. Just before the new year, I went into the ER for stomach pain. They pumped me full of dilaudid. The nurse said, “They typically give that to trauma patients, so you’re lucky!” After 24 hours of pain meds though, I didn’t feel lucky. I just felt sick as a dog. That stuff made me so nauseated! Never again. They had to administer the pain med with anti-naus meds to not make me more sick??! No!

You should also know, I hate taking pills. I hate it. I hate taking heart meds, pain meds, weight loss meds, any meds. I grew up in a household where you suffered through your pain. And that made me tough. Occasionally, I would get some aspirin or cold medicine, but for the most part, I was allowed to just sleep it off. Let my nose run. Hack up a lung. Let the fever break. Let the earache ooze. Let the scrape breathe! And, for the most part, I did okay. Never really needed more than that. I would’ve liked more than that sometimes I guess, but I didn’t need it.

I had measles, chickenpox, mumps, whatever. I only had shots once. I have had shingles. Twice! And I just rode it out. This is a way of life. This is a philosophy. Let your body do what it needs to do. I’ve always been interested in alternative medicine. I don’t smoke pot, but I’m sure pot is better at pain management than oxy. Why don’t we have something natural instead of synthetic? And I know pot doesn’t make you nauseous. Quite the opposite.

Only until I entered the modern healthcare system at 39 with heart failure, did I need meds. I needed meds before that for my heart, but I ignored it. So this modern approach to pain management is new to me. I think I’m addicted to oxycodone. I am not taking any more as of this morning. I think it’s partly causing my nausea and even though I’m still in pain, I’m done! I’d rather be sore than sick to my stomach. I can handle anything except nausea.

Oxy can cause nausea. Itching. Stomach irritation. Vomiting. Ulcers! Great med to give someone who just had their stomach diced up like a tomato. But I don’t think anyone expected me to still be on oxy. But they’ve been doling it out like M&Ms. The gallbladder complication really threw a wrench into my recovery. So. Cold turkey. I’m basically giving up heroin lite. Oxy is an opiate. Same class as heroin. AND I’m so done.

This morning I feel clear. Sore, but on the mend. I don’t need pain meds, I can muddle through without. Our bodies send us messages all the time and we should listen, not mute. I shouldn’t just take oxy because it’s sitting there in the cabinet. I shouldn’t just take it until they run out. I’m in charge. I should go easy until I heal and be a little sore. Or alot sore.

I’m adding back my meds that I know were safe before weight loss surgery, then I’m adding the new ones one at a time. I gotta get straight. I was taking stomach ulcer meds to try and keep up with what the oxy was doing to my gut. No thanks. But you don’t always realize what’s happening with taking so many meds. How they interact and what they’re even made of. Oxy is an acid. Not good for sensitive new tummies. You simply take what the doctor hands you. When you’re sick, you can’t do the research of a pharmacist from your recovery bed.

At some point I didn’t realize that my post-op weight loss surgery pain had migrated to opiate addiction. I was muting my messages. Plus, to suffer gallbladder stones on top of it, that was sending mixed signals for sure. I’m glad to be on the other side of it. I’m glad to take control right now. I still hurt, but nothing I can’t handle. Time to be tough.

I was praying so much this past weekend. Praying to make it through. Praying for the nausea to leave. Praying for healing. Praying for an ulcer-free stomach. Praying for the back pain from yanking out my GB to go. And I think I just got my answer. Thank you, Lord.

Current weight=402.2

I went up with surgery which is expected. I was up to 409 when I came home after being down to 397.8 before surgery. So I get to break 400 twice I guess? 🙂 They pumped me full of IV juices, so that’s one of the reasons I went up. Oh well. 402 is not bad! Onward and downward!