Tag Archives: lost

Time of Waiting in Amsterdam

I can only say I have waited for you
through western nights
at bus stops
in lanes
by canals
on airfields
and the gallows of tears

And then you came
through the forlorn cities of Europe
I recognized you
I set out the table for you
with wine with bread with mercy
but imperturbably you turned your back
you detached your sex, laid it down on the table
and without speaking a word
with your own smile
abandoned the world

—  by Ingrid Jonker

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No, I Do Not Have Proof.

I do not have proof.

But, I know it happened. I know because I remember. I know because I was there. 

I was six going on seven. I remember what time of year it was—summer—and I remember it was at a party or maybe it was a picnic. I remember it happened in my own backyard behind my house.

It happened with people laughing and talking and drinking in the distance—not watching, but right under their noses. It happened in the woods, in broad daylight.

I remember it was quick. I remember his mouth coming down on mine, how he grabbed and squeezed my little girl face. I remember being pinned against a large rock. I remember his hand, how he put my small hand beneath his big one and worked himself over. How he shoved his big fingers up inside me and told me I would like what we were doing a lot more when I was older.

I remember running away and hiding in my bedroom. I remember that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get enough air, and I wanted to vomit, so I did, right in my mouth—the taste sharp and sour when I swallowed it back down.

I remember how terrified I felt. I remember being mute, unable to speak, holding my words hostage inside my belly, a belly filled with bile. I remember I had no idea what the f*ck just happened to me. Or why it happened.

Because I was six.

I remember the pain between my legs—but no, I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t remember his name. I’m sorry I don’t have the proof you are looking for, but does it count—is my story “credible”—if I tell you about the blood? Because I remember the blood. I’m sorry I didn’t save my underwear. And I’m sorry I don’t remember what time it was, but I remember his bad breath and his curled, wet lips.

Does it count if I remember this? Will you believe it happened if I told you exactly what he said? How he snarled and told me he would kill me if I said anything to anyone? How he called me a f*cking brat as I ran away from him? Does any of that count as proof?

I’m sorry I didn’t talk about it. To anyone. What I told my mother that day was I had a stomachache. That I didn’t feel good. I didn’t talk about it that day or at all until I was 45 years old. I still don’t talk about it.

Tell me, was I supposed to keep my underwear locked in a box, tucked away like a keepsake so I could pull it out in the future to prosecute my attacker, someone I knew, someone who would deny my story, call it crazy, call me crazy, and tell everyone I was lying?

Was I supposed to ask someone how to spell his name so I could write it down on a piece of paper? A piece of paper I could put inside the box, pinned to my underwear? Tell me, what was the best way for a six-year-old to handle the situation?

I can tell you how I suppressed it, though. How I buried the memory. How I held it down, muffled it so that it wouldn’t kill me. How it tried to kill me for years and years, and how I fought with it—my demon memory. How I carried it around inside my body. How I ate and ate and tried to stuff it down in order to control it.

And how it just kept coming back up again. How it still does.

If a branch fell on a woman walking alone in the woods, and she told you about it 32 years later, would you believe her? Maybe you would because she could point to a scar on her arm if she had one. If she had a scar, one that you could see, she could call it proof.

7.6 billion people inhabit the planet. Roughly half are women. One in four women and girls have been or will be sexually assaulted, which is close to one billion women. 

When will one billion women be enough proof?

We don’t carry proof around in our purses waiting for just the right moment to “ruin” our attacker’s life. We carry it in our hearts and in our heads.

Our assaults come along for the ride in every relationship we ever have. We carry them on our hips and in our bellies when we turn to food to cope. We carry them in pill containers and wine bottles. They sit next to us in AA meetings. They’re tucked into the folds of our divorce papers.

We carry them like rocks in a sock and we wield them as weapons with our sudden bursts of pent up anger and unexplained rage.

We are labeled moody and troubled and bitchy and unpredictable. We put our proof in a bag and we drag it to our therapy sessions where it sits on the floor, heavy, next to our feet. We pass it down to our children, our daughters—like toxic heirlooms.

Our dysfunction, our depression, our damage are the gifts that keep on giving.

Don’t talk to me or any other survivor of sexual assault about proof. The proof is often invisible, but we are not. We are right under your noses.

A proof is in the moment that haunts us forever, the thing we cannot forget.

We do not “have” proof, we are the proof. Because we were there one billion times over.

AUTHOR: KIMBERLY VALZANIA

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10 Good Reasons Not to Contact your Ex.

I know how it goes. I have been there, and I will probably be there again.

You’re sitting around, usually at night, and you’re alone.

Earlier that day, maybe something reminded you of them—a song popped up on a playlist, a girl in line at Target looked like her, a mutual friend brought up his name. Being reminded of your ex can happen in a million different ways, and when it happens we can’t stop thinking about them: the good times we shared, the amazing sex, all the things we should have done, everything that still remains unsaid.

It can be easy to fool ourselves into thinking that maybe they were “the one” and they got away.

That’s when we take to social media to find them again and see what they’re doing, or if they’re single, or if the new partner is hotter than we are (they always are). We may still cherish their number in our phones, or start poring over old texts and emails, looking for a sign that there’s still some kind of a connection.

Next, it’s tempting to re-initiate contact with them. Tempting probably isn’t even a strong enough word. This is closer to how an addict in recovery feels. You want the old high back. Like when you first met. So what to do? Call, text, email, Facebook message, comment on one of their Instagram pictures?

None of the above.

I say leave it alone, because realistically it’s rare that a relationship can be rekindled successfully. So here are my 10 good reasons not to contact your ex:

Pride.

When my ex fiancé dumped me, I made a vow never to contact him again because I didn’t want to be the pleading, pathetic, crazy-looking ex. I’d lost a lot with that relationship, but the one thing I knew I could keep was my dignity, and in the midst of a really bad time, that felt good.

We don’t always need “closure” for everything,

and chances are we aren’t really going to get it. The need for whatever closure is, is actually a need to control our circumstances. Accept that we have no control, and live in peace. Allow the distance and separation to heal old wounds, rather than reopening them under the guise of seeking “closure.”

The past no longer exists.

It’s gone. We’ve already lived those moments and replaying them in our heads isn’t healthy or realistic. Don’t dwell on what lies behind you and don’t try to manipulate a future that is based on past expectations. Keep moving forward one present moment at a time. Let life unfold as it will and be pleasantly surprised.

They are exes for a reason.

Chances are, there were plenty of valid reasons why the relationship ended, and most likely, all of those reasons are still there. People rarely change as much as we want or need them to. I realize this sounds cynical, but it’s unfortunately true and it’s better to play it safe and stay away rather than reopen that Pandora’s box of dysfunction.

Resist the urge to write yourself in as the hero of your own tragic love story.

The plots of most romantic comedies involve star-crossed lovers who are continually prevented from being together for a variety of ridiculous reasons, until the end of the story when they finally realize they are meant to be. There is usually a big, climactic declaration of love that takes place at an airport at the last minute before someone is about to leave forever as if phones and emails don’t exist. Good for entertainment, totally ridiculous for real-life, healthy relationships. You are not living in a movie, so stop acting as if you are.

It’s okay to let go.

Period. Think of how light and free you will be. The feeling of finally being over something is ecstasy. Celebrate the miracles yet to come.

We always view the past through a lens of idealism.

We tend to remember the good stuff, and dismiss our ex’s irritating, annoying, or just plain awful qualities. Hindsight has a way of softening things. Try to be realistic about how much of a jerk you thought he was while you were a couple. Think about some of her truly unacceptable behaviors. Don’t get mixed up in that again.

Our exes aren’t really our soulmates.

I don’t really believe in the fairy-tale idea that we have one true love. I think we have several potential soul mates and in a lifetime we can have a lot of different kinds of romantic experiences. The soul mate myth holds us back and keeps us from having a more open mind and open heart about other people and other types of love that are waiting for us to enjoy and learn from.

This is usually more about our own egos than it is about loving someone else.

When we feel compelled to reach out to an old flame, before we act impulsively, it’s a good idea to look at what may be the real underlying cause of our urge. Are we feeling insecure, disappointed, or sad about something? Do we think that maybe this person can help us feel better about ourselves or validated in some way? We likely miss the comfort and familiarity of an old relationship. Do we just want to see if we still “have it” or do we potentially like the sense of power we may be able to yield over our ex’s attraction for us?

Someone is probably going to get disappointed.

Case in point, that time my favorite ex contacted me, for God knows what reason, and I got all excited and thought he was going to profess undying love for me, but instead he asked me if I wanted to have dinner with him and his new girlfriend the next time he was in town, which is absolutely not my idea of a fun-filled evening. It’s possible that we may contact our ex out of curiosity, or friendliness, or to apologize, without seeking to reconcile a relationship with them. But what if they’ve been hoping all along to hear from us and to be with us again? It is unkind to potentially mess with someone’s head this way. On the other hand, what if we are getting back in touch because we are still looking for a relationship, only to find that they are no longer interested? We should try to spare ourselves that suffering too.

When we once had a connection with someone it can be difficult to extinguish that spark, even if it existed more in our imagination than in reality. But it’s important to evolve bravely rather than cling stubbornly to past relationships. Let them be completed, and move on rather than trying to go back and contact ex-loves.

~by Victoria Fedden

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I am, I am, I am.

“I wonder why I don’t go to bed and go to sleep. But then it would be tomorrow, so I decide that no matter how tired, no matter how incoherent I am, I can skip on hour more of sleep and live.” 
― Sylvia Plath

I can’t bring in words how deep this quote from Sylvia Plath resonate with me. I know it all too well, the fear of missing out__ what exactly? For there is nothing a lot going on out there in the night unless you’re one of those people who love to party till___. Yet, that nagging feeling persists, that I supposed to be doing___ what____ instead of engaging with some useless occupation like sleep. When I’m feeling drowsy due to the lack of sleep, still I fight it, scared that something wonderful will happen while I’m dozing off, that I’m going to waste time by going to bed, and time is precious and fleeting I supposed to be using it to do something remarkable, important, lasting… and what is exactly that? I have no idea. All I know is I want to go somewhere, anywhere, see new things watch people visit new places do exciting things, anything as long as it makes me feel brand new and alive and elated and fuelled inspired content and for the moment happy. Am I crazy? Probably so. But so what?

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April Love

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot

Why it reminds me of a May-December love affair? Or a gigolo manipulating and conning older women for personal gain? Or the grandmother of D. who fell in love with her nurse and holds onto her unshakable faith in his innocence and integrity even after he was convicted and found guilty of cheating his patients out of their money and valuables. Or my mother falling head over heels with one of my boyfriends she was inconsolable and remained in bed for three weeks on ends when he and I broke up. She refused to cook since then till the day she died. Funny people.

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My Home Found A New Owner

He was the man I loved for so many years. He held up my universe inside his pocket and picked up the stars so he could light up my night. I wanted to believe that he loved me too. Because he said so, in whispers, in screams, in his sleep, in his songs, in his eyes. For so many years, I let him invade my heart. He let me love him in my own selfish ways. We have so many misunderstandings we took a few days to settle and solve. And we have past mistakes that came up whenever we argue. He barely understood my own language but he studied it so he could see which part of me was vulnerable to hold.

If we are going to talk about endings, then probably that thing has been overused and was scratched too hard I felt numb. We broke up and we got back again. We stopped yet we started again. We paused yet we decided to keep going.

Yet, all endings always had its own severe ending. The one that makes you realize that it won’t come back. The one that makes you ache for silence because you know he won’t reach out. The ending that we all fear.

But I tried to move out and tried new places, without him. Without his shadow. Without his smile and grips and his voice that calms me down. I tried moving out and started collecting scattered dust until I could have my new universe again. I searched for him in someone else’s eyes and voice. I looked for him in someone else’s skin and smell. But I realized he was the only one. He was one of a kind that no matter how many times he hurts me, I could still take it. No matter how many times he forced me to leave, I’d still run as fast as I could in his snap of wave and flash of a smile.

I realized he never holds my universe rather he became my universe. That every time I hear the words love and pain, his face will appear crystallized.

Yet he found his new world.
He found it in you.
Now that you’re with him, you got to understand that he’s unpredictable and changes so often. But as long you could stay, please do.

I might be the girl he had as his dreams form. I might be the girl he got to watch his all-time favorite movies and the first who heard the songs he wrote as he strummed his guitar. I might be his first love as what he called it but you’re with him now.

And you will have him in ways I could never have. I am now a part of the past that will one day be forgotten.

Yet here you are, the one he sees spending the future with and the rest of his life with. The woman he sees growing a family with and pajama cuddles and morning coffees and the hand he’ll hold while traveling the world. The woman he sees sharing the same water bottle and beer-stained kisses, and teases under blankets or the hair he’ll play in his finger and the head that rests upon his chest when you sleep.

And he still has me,
more like a memory,
a past,
a lesson,
a told story,
an ending example.

But he has you,
more like a dream,
a vision of wedding aisle,
a wedding dress,
a mother to his children,
a body he comes home for,
a rocking chair,
a future.

He looks at you
the same way

I see him.

So please,
take care of him.

-Mica Meñez 

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Among My Souvenirs

There’s nothing left for me
Of days that used to be
They’re just a memory
Among my souvenirs
Some letters sad and blue
A photograph or two
I see a rose from you
Among my souvenirs
A few more tokens rest
Within my treasure chest
And, though they do their best
To give me consolation
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs.
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Between A Rock And A hard Place

“It can be difficult to leave a long-term relationship, even when our inner-wisdom tells us it’s time to let go. At this point, we can choose let go and endure the intense pain of leaving behind the familiar to make way for a new chapter in our life. Or we can stay and suffer a low-grade pain that slowly eats away at our heart and soul, like emotional cancer. Until we wake up, one day and realize, we are buried so deep in the dysfunction of the relationship that we scarcely remember who we were and what we wanted and needed to be.”

― Jaeda DeWalt

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110+ Pain of Depression

1. “Depression is a battle between a body that fights with all its might to survive and a mind that wants to die.”

2. “People ask me what depression is like. I tell them it’s a lot like walking down a dark hallway, never really knowing when the light turn goes on.”

3. “Remember this: You weren’t put here to be depressed. To feel guilty, ashamed, unworthy or condemned. You were put here to be victorious.”

4. “I honestly don’t know what I want in life. I don’t even know what I want right now. All I know is that it hurts so much inside, and it’s eating me alive. One day, there won’t be anything left of me.”

5. “I honestly don’t like getting close to people. In my mind, they’re just going to walk out of my life anyway no matter how close we were.”

6. “Depression is an overwhelming feeling of numbness, and the endless desire for something – anything – to take you from one day to the next.”

7. “I smile to make everyone’s day, but the truth is that I’m crying on the inside.”

8. “I hate feeling like I’m here, but I’m really not; like someone cares, but they really don’t; like I belong anywhere but here.”

9. “Sometimes, you just need that one person to tell you that you aren’t as bad as you think you are.”

10. “Depression makes you feel like you want to just disappear from the world, but in reality, all you truly want is to be found.”

11. “I really wish that I could go back to a time when I would smile, and it didn’t take every fiber of my being to do it.”

12. “In my mind, depression is comparing your current reality to a fantasy about how you think your life should really be.”

13. “Sometimes, you just don’t know the true weight of what you’re carrying until the day you feel its release.”

14. “I just don’t want to hurt anymore. Is that so much to ask?”

15. “The very worst kind of sadness is the kind that doesn’t have an explanation.”

16. “When words can’t express the pain you’re feeling, you cry. That’s the heart’s way of expressing the pain.”

17. “You never want people to see you cry because you want to be strong. But you hate how nobody seems to notice that you’re completely broken and torn apart inside.”

18. “It’s hard to answer the question “what’s wrong?” when nothing is right.”

19. “Depression is that feeling when you’re not really sad – you just feel empty inside.”

20. “That’s the scary thing about depression: humans can survive just about anything as long as we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But depression is sneaky and it continues to build up each day. Ultimately, it becomes impossible to see the light. The fog is like being trapped in a cage without a key.”

31. “Depression is like drowning and you can see everyone around you breathing.”

32. “I’m really tired of feeling hopeless and worthless. But above everything else, I’m just tired of being so tired.”

33. “My fingers text “I’m good”. My lips say “I’m okay”. My heart says “I’m shattered to pieces”.”

34. “Sometimes it’s better to be alone. That way, no one can hurt me.”

35. “I already know what it feels like to give up. Now, I want to see what it feels like not to.”

36. “Don’t ever allow your loneliness and pain to drive you into the arms of someone you know you shouldn’t be with.”

37. “I really want to be happy, but there’s something inside me that screams “you don’t deserve it!””

38. “This life was given to you because you’re strong enough to live it.”

39. “Flowers always grow back – even if someone stomps on them. So will I.”

40. “She’s just like the moon – part of her has always hidden away.”

41. “Sometimes, the sadness makes it hard to breathe. It gets hard to talk about your demons when they’re sitting on your lungs.”

42. “Depression, panic attacks and anxiety are not signs of being weak. They are signs that a person has been too strong for too long.”

43. “I am my own worst enemy. I’m the one who beats me up. I am the one who creates the monsters. I am the one who strips away my own confidence.”

44. “The bravest, strongest thing I ever did was continue on with my life even though I wanted to die.”

45. “I am stronger because I had to be. I am smarter because I’ve made mistakes. I am happier because I’ve been sad. I am wiser now because I’ve learned.”

46. “Depression is almost like a reverse nightmare. Instead of waking up from a nightmare and feeling relieved, I woke up into a nightmare.”

47. “I keep things inside because that’s the safest place to hide.”

48. “They never told me that monsters don’t actually sleep under your bed; they live in your mind.”

49. “How did I go from being a happy, care-free, laughing six-year-old to this?”

50. “Depression has a way of sneaking up on me when I think I’m flying high. It clips my wing, but not both because I will not let it take over every single piece of me.”

51. “I’m only now just learning how to smile. It’s really not as easy as it sounds.”

52. “I’m heartbroken and sad. I’m hurt and depressed. All I want to do is cry, but I don’t want to let this ruin my life.”

53. “Pain is emotional. Depression and fear are always in company with chronic hurting.”

61. “I think it’s time to stop keeping track of all my mistakes, and just forgive myself.”

62. “I don’t mind being alone. It’s the loneliness that I hate.”

63. “I hate it when I get flashbacks of things I don’t want to remember.”

64. “Sometimes, this overwhelming feeling of sadness just washes over me out of nowhere. I get upset and I feel discouraged. I feel sad, hurt and hopeless. I feel numb to the world.”

65. “People always comment on how sad and tired I look. Of course, I look sad and tired. I am sad and tired.”

66. “Why does it always seem like it’s raining down on me?”

67. “I think I’m just afraid to be happy. Every time I get too happy, something bad happens.”

68. “This is my heart. Do you know where I can get it fixed?”

69. “Please stop asking if I’m okay. I’m really tired of lying.”

70. “Do you ever feel like the people of the world just forget you exist and still have feelings?”

71. “Someday, this pain will all make sense to you.”

72. “I’m pretty sure that no one else could ever criticize me as viciously as I criticize myself.”

73. “I feel like everyone else is busy living their lives while I’m stuck here inside of this hole I can’t climb out of.”

74. “My past is constantly haunting me, and I just can’t seem to figure out how to let it go.”

75. “I feel completely lost in my own mind. I bottle up my emotions until I burst. It’s a vicious cycle.”

76. “She could never really tell who would leave or stay, so she just pushed everyone away. It was much easier that way.”

77. “Although things may seem like they’re falling apart, they may actually be just falling into place.”

78. “Everyone is searching for that one person whose demons play nice with theirs.”

79. “The scars may have healed, but that doesn’t mean that the pain has.”

80. “To heal a wound, you have to stop touching it.”

81. “How do you run away from – escape – your own mind?”

82. “I can’t sleep at night. I can’t wake up in the morning either.”

83. “My life is a constant battle between wanting to be left alone, but not wanting to feel lonely.”

84. “When you’re depressed, sleep isn’t just sleeping; it’s an escape.”

85. “Sometimes, I’m really afraid to open up to my friends about my anxiety and sadness because they’ll think I’m just looking for attention.”

86. “Don’t think for a second that my bad days are a sign of weakness. Those are the days that I’m actually fighting the hardest.”

87. “I’ve reached a point where everything is incredibly overwhelming. Even the smallest of tasks make me feel like breaking down and crying my eyes out. It’s all just too much to bear right now.”

88. “I feel like, secretly, everyone around me hates me.”

89. “I always feel like everyone is prettier, funnier, skinnier, better than me.”

90. “Oh, there’s a hell. Trust me – I’ve been there.”

91. “You may smile, but you really want to cry. You may talk, but you really want to be silent. You pretend that you’re happy, but you really aren’t.”

92. “When you’re depressed, you just keep going and going until you finally crash and break down about anything and everything.”

93. “Depression is a kind of tired that no amount of sleep in the world can fix.”

94. “I’m really not sure if I’m depressed. I mean, I’m not really sad. But late at night when I’m alone, I just forget how to feel.”

95. “There are some days when I feel like I’m on top of the world. And then the next day, it’s falling down all around me.”

96. “I keep all the hurt and pain inside because I would rather have it destroy me than everyone else around me.”

97. “I think people really have a hard time understanding how stressful it can be to try and explain all the things going on in your head when you can’t even understand it yourself.”

98. “There are times when I feel like I’m getting better. I’ll eat normally. I’ll laugh more and talk more. I’ll sleep better. But then it’s like something happens – like a switch turns off in my mind. And all of sudden, I’m left with just the darkness of my mind.”

99. “You can’t change the things that are going on around you until you change the things that are going on within you.”

100. “I am just not me anymore. And that scares me.”

101. “I just never get my hopes up. That way, I can never be let down.”

102. “I’ve had people tell me that my depression is all in my head. But why would I ever want to feel this way?”

103. “When you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and keep holding on.”

104. “Sometimes, it’s the one person who tries to make everyone else happy that is the loneliest of all.”

105. “The strongest people in the world are not the ones who win battles in front of us, but the ones who win the battles we know nothing about.”

106. “You know that moment when you can physically feel the pain in your chest when something breaks your heart?”

107. “I think most people don’t realize that there are a lot of people out there who expend a tremendous amount of energy just trying to be normal.”

108. “I tend to be silent when I’m really screaming inside.”

109. “I knew who I was this morning, but since then, I’ve changed a few times.”

110. “Every person has their own secret sorrows that they hide from the world. Oftentimes, we call people cold when they’re just sad.”

111. “When I feel anxious, it’s because I’m living in the future. When I feel depressed, it’s because I’m still living in the past.”

112. “I’ve finally realized that I just have to accept things the way they are. Life gets much easier when you do this.”

113. “There are times when I just want to run away and see if anyone misses me.”

114. “I always compare myself to every person I see, and I lose every single time.”

115. “I know first-hand what it’s like to be completely terrified of your own mind.”

116. “Each day, you wake up just to fight the same demons that left you feeling utterly exhausted the day before.”

117. “Please – do not mock or poke fun at a pain that you’ve never personally endured.”

~via Awesoroo by David Gorkonel

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Aftermath

It took me three years to divorce him. I had to relinquish everything for him to sign. It was two years before I learnt to trust myself again. And another two before I dared trust anyone else. I still have trust issues… I still have nightmares… still run to the basin to wash myself… still check the bolt on every door…still jump out of my skin every time I hear a sound I don’t recognize… still sleep with a big knife under my pillow… I keep telling myself I’ve done the right thing and kudos to myself for having the courage to stand and fight back and eventually leave. Now all I have to do is believe I am safe.

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