Act like a lady.

lady
When I was a young girl living in Mexico City, I remember my abuelita, whom I called mother, would say to me, often after talking too much or too loud:
“Act like a lady.
Remember, a woman should smell like flowers or freshly baked bread.
A woman should smell like oranges.
Remember, it isn’t enough to talk like a lady. Or walk a lady. Or smell like a lady. Or dress like a lady.
You must act like a lady if you want to find a good husband to take care of you.”
Twelve years later, I am walking under the starless skies of Mexico City, twenty four,
unmarried, traveling alone, holding a cigarette in between my fingers.
I have a pint of tequila hidden in the secret pocket of my overalls,
I take sips from it when I think no one is looking.
The peach fuss on my back shining through, illuminated by the streetlights.
The peach fuss which I refuse to remove with wax for any man.
The musician smiles at me as I drop a gold coin into his guitar case,
his eyes fixed on my exposed flesh.
I smile back, and shake my head because he doesn’t stand a chance.
He will never know what my tongue tastes like.
He will never know that I won that golden coin, along with exactly $500 pesos,
from the pompous boy from the Czech Republic,
after beating him three times at Gin Rumi.
This self-proclaimed gypsy boy told me that I tasted like the oranges
from his childhood home.
He drunkenly unhooked my bra with one hand and pulled me closer
to him, as if it were possible to be closer while sharing a twin mattress.
He covered my mouth to silence my moans
which made me want to yell out even louder.
So I did, waking the British man, sleeping in the bunk above mine,
who I didn’t really like anyway.
I blow out a large pink bubble from my mouth and spit out the flavorless gum.
I spit on the cobblestone streets, I leave my mark.
I am here, I exist. I will not be lost in between pages or history books.
or forgotten on dusty shelves of abandoned libraries.
I didn’t have time to shower in the hostel this morning
so I am wearing yesterday’s clothes,
stained with rum, stained with the blood of my wounded knee.
This time I grab a spliff from my cigarette pack and
I  light it with my complimentary matches.
I finish the last of my tequila and belch so loud
that the even birds are startled,
with their feathers ruffled, they fly far away.
I yell into the streets at 4am. I yell like a lady.
I yell so loud I wake up the man sleeping on the bench,
covered with yesterday’s news and today’s regrets.
I walk like a woman.
I smell like a woman.
I talk like a woman.
And I act like a woman.
I have a lot of opinions, and I do not smell of flowers or fleshly baked bread.
I speak my mind in in a world ran by men,
and I would rather survive than act like a lady.
There is no time to iron my baby blue dress.
There is no time when every man I meet wants to swallow me whole.
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human(kind)

One day, I will feel safe enough to expose
all the nooks and crannies, and the books.
And the daddy issues,
all the soaked tissues surrounding my bed.
Daddy maybe you loved me a little too much,
Daddy you only loved me when my skirt was rising up my thighs.
When I cried myself to sleep after a beating you loved me.
Said you were sorry every time.
I’m sorry too.
Humans are creatures of habit and
much like Pavlov’s dog,
I’ve been conditioned to believe that
men only love me when they’re fucking me.
Fucking with me.
So I let them fuck me.
Because of all the daddy issues,
and the soaked tissues surrounding my bed.
One day, my sturdy walls will crumble…
You’ll finally see through the laughs and the photographs.
As I hug the circumference of my body,
hunched over on the kitchen floor,
shoulders violently shaking,
mascara running down my cheekbones.
I bet I’ve never looked so human before.
And those nooks and crannies, and the books.
And all the poetry I write, will speak for me when I cannot.

Self love at Kaseman Psychiatric Hospital April 2018

Been having a hard time accepting my mental health diagnosis. I know it lives inside me and will follow me the rest of my life, but coming to terms with that hasn’t been easy for me. Chemical imbalances. Manic episodes. Depressive episodes. Food problems. Me problems. Simple problems. Problems I don’t quite understand. Problems I understand but cannot yet stomach. Having a mental health diagnosis and going into the psych ward when you’re diagnosis takes over are categorized differently by our society. Most people say they support people with mental health diagnosis until they come in contact with the negative aspects of it. Soon they tell you “why don’t you try to get out of bed” or my personal favorite “maybe if you become less self absorbed you can see that you don’t have it so bad”. Humans don’t like feeling uncomfortable, and when mental health issues begin to act up, they can no longer be supportive of it, because they do not truly understand it. Feeling at peace today after regaining some control, my sadness is still there, but it’s much more manageable. Going into the psychiatric hospital for 5 long days gave me some perspective and humbled me. I cannot call the experience pleasant or unpleasant, but I know that it is what I needed. Being kind to myself is a struggle, but fuck I’m trying. I am still me and I am still here.

nacida libre

2

I’m not saying  I wanted to die. I’m not saying  I wanted to live. I was feeling so low coming home to no one after an amazing trip. I bought a bag of dope, cooked a shot, nothing out of the ordinary. I felt empty but I couldn’t stop crying. I cooked up a second shot, this one was significantly larger and more potent than my usual dosage. I managed to quiet down my sobbing and tied up my left arm and hit a vein. I’m not saying I wanted to die. I’m not saying I wanted to live. I felt indifferent about my existence, but mostly I wanted to escape for a few hours.  I got up from my bed and tried to reach the rubbing alcohol sitting on my desk to clean my syringe. A habit of mine. I’m anal about clean needles cause my father is HIV positive. I know it seems like a silly thing to do for someone who feels indifferent about living, I have many rituals, and most of those don’t make sense. I don’t think they have to.

I was so high I didn’t make it to my bed, I sat on the floor of my bedroom and became mesmerized with the floral patterns on my walls. They weren’t there before and they certainty were not moving. Maybe it was the dope. Maybe it was the lack of sleep. “Easy, Lucky, Free.”

I woke up the next morning with my ears ringing and an uncomfortable numbness especially present in my hands and feet. I could hardly hear. I was terrified because I didn’t know what was happening to me. Lucas called and I yelled at him through the receiver. He arrived at my home twenty minutes later. He explained I had a mild overdose and that I should have my hearing back soon. He made me tea and gave me water. He fed me. Sunday morning, when my hearing finally came back, I didn’t feel so indifferent about my mortality. There are far too many people to meet and places to see. Being me isn’t easy, but I would never want to be anyone else.

 

1

RULES

  1. No food or drinks, except water before 10am and after 6pm.
  2. Drink two glasses of water before a meal, one glass after a meal.
  3. Chew each bite 37 times each.
  4. Drink one glass of water every hour to keep full.
  5. Drink green tea with no sugar to repress appetite.
  6. Chew on ice or sugar free gum when hungry.
  7. Brush teeth often to keep from eating.
  8. Use smaller plates and utensils, use darker color plates.
  9. Make a list of bad and safe foods, only eat safe foods.
  10. Weigh yourself every day.
  11. Keep a weigh and food log and carry it with you.
  12. DO NOT EAT IT IF YOU DO NOT KNOW EXACT CALORIES.

I found this in a journal that I kept last summer and spring, along with a detailed food log and a copy of my calendar, showing both miles ran every day and foods consumed with amount and category (starch, protein, complex/simple carb).

No wonder I passed out while running in the middle of summer. I am posting this because my eating disorder is active again, and even though I am going to therapy once a week, I can’t stop obsessing.

Dealing with repressed memories of trauma has me going back to unhealthy coping mechanisms. I self harmed for the first time in several years, and I’m shooting up again. I’m ashamed to wear short sleeves and skirts because there are deep cuts on my wrists and track marks on my arms, there are bruises and cuts on my legs.

This isn’t a cry for help. I am doing everything  I can to get better. I go therapy for all of mental health issues, I am religiously taking my 225mg dose of Effexor err day.

The art is going well and I’ve been watching amazing films. Going to Mexico in a couple of weeks, maybe the sunshine will save me. Or I’ll drown myself in a pool of tequila or a salty ocean. Doesn’t that sound lovely? It will be nice to forget who I have to be in real life for ten days.

Girl, In Progress~ Triggering Narrative~

Background noise buried inside.

I awake from a daydream, rhythmically tapping my foot.

Exposure therapy, I’ve read about it, sounds unpleasant.

I don’t quite like the sound of it.

But I am tired of the nightmares.

Fragments of tender legs, gray school uniform with knee high white socks.

You know? The ones with the white bow in the front.

The hand of a child does not belong in familial crevices of pale flesh

they lay, tucked away out of reach for a reason. I thought…

It burns, it hurts, but I like the ache.

Drenched in sweat, strands of hair sticking to the back of my neck.

The faint taste of his favorite whiskey floods my taste buds.

And my very first secret was born that night.

The smell of shame lingers, something I learned before I mastered

the art of conversation.

The mind remembers smells before words.

And it still hurts, but I like the ache, I like the ache and it isn’t my fault.