Predators prey

It wasn’t even dark
Laughter in the sky
And the blazing sunshine made it all too real.

The birds sang
And the full moon hung low in the sky
A pale shadow visiting from the night

He remembered asking about the man on the moon
And whether he would tan
In the glow of day.

Next door, children were laughing and playing
A shriek of delight
And a call for snacks and maybe candy!

The dust tickles his nose
He needs to scratch it so badly
But his arms are not his own

His arms are not his own
He has completely lost control
And innocence shreds like forgotten gift wrappings

Pain slices through the haze
He has forgotten his place
And now it all comes trickling back with accompanying horror

Screams and tears are silenced
Cotton absorbs more than moisture
Soaking up despair and shame and sharp screaming edges of revolted denial-

The shuddering of his frame
The inexplicable disconcerting break from freedom
Was it just moments ago he’d been clean?

Just moments ago, he’d  so easily given trust
To a warm smile hiding filthy lust
Led away from the direct protection of the sun.

He desperately wants to be the moon
Cold and frozen and so far away
No one could touch him there-

Water rushes in torrents from the faucet
He scrubs and scrubs but his body remains rife with soiled fingerprints
Polluted skin and dripping filth -how can he reach?
-How can he even bear to touch?
-How could he ever be clean?
-Would he ever be clean again?

Fury and agony
Dips his head into water
Thrashing and screaming “NO! NO! NO!”
At the rhythmic echo of foul penetration
The once precious mural is gone forever
And only shattered mirrors remain.

Disillusioned and dull, he finds himself rocking
Keening from within the bundle of cloth
How he would welcome the monsters beneath his bed
Welcome with open arms the terror of imagination
Rather than continue to remember the last hour
Why couldn’t it all have ended?

Abandoned.
Forsaken.
He knows what is right
He knows who should pay
But his voice was silenced
Since that day.

Boys aren’t victims
They don’t get touched
Or violated, that is a woman’s
Burden. It simply isn’t done.
It isn’t an action that could ever occur
Beneath the shining sun.

And so, the heavy mantle
Of injustice crushed his soul
Never again be held, never again to receive comfort
In loving arms, never again to feel
Safe and innocent
The predator has left his marks imprinted on his bones.

Ownership, the body is another object
The mind is another victim
Unkind and unflinching, it refreshes the past
Anew in every nightmare
How long shall he pray?
How long till he can escape?

He awakes on the platform
The rattle of the train
A desperate engine of velocity and locomotion
Steeling himself,
He shuts his eyes.
And steps into nothing.

Coffee #27 – Tend Your Lawn

Life and Lawns

Life stretches out like a property -a lawn- caged by time. The lawn ornaments are chosen with care, maintenance outlined on a regular schedule.

People come for barbecues, luncheons, dinner parties, afternoon drinks, siestas, playtime, playdates, morning coffee, and stargazing. Garbage gets tossed on the lawn, cans in the hedges, tissue among the flowers and plastic bags in the trees. The grass grows tall, the litter piles up, and weeds take over.

You’re responsible for your lawn. You are responsible for your life. Clean it, or don’t.

Continue reading Coffee #27 – Tend Your Lawn

Pondering Addiction

Addiction – compulsive substance use or consumption despite harmful consequences

So one day, puttering through life, a family member (or some other caring, influential person in your life) comes up and says “Hey, you’ve got a problem. You’re addicted.”

Then all the family members corners you and says things like:

– “You need help.”
– “You’re a [insert substance here] addict, and we want to help you get better.”
– “We love you, won’t you accept our help?”

And there I am, on the other side of the tv screen, munching late night snacks and shaking my head.

“Mmm, gurl, you really got a problem!” I pronounce around my second bowl of cereal that is rounding out my late night binge. “Wow, what a mess you are!”

I should have remembered the whole **”casting stones” concept [you know, don’t judge when you are guilty of similar “sins” or shortcomings. Tossing stones in a glass house, etc.].

The next day, it’s my family member coming up to me, saying, “Hey, you’ve got a problem. You’re addicted… to food!”

“What? No! I can stop at any time!” I say, clutching my half-gallon tub of ice-cream, which I was Not sharing by the way. “I’m just really hungry. I could stick to 3 healthy meals, no snacks, easy.”

And then, there are secret trips to the fridge at odd hours of the night. One sandwich, two sandwiches: three sandwiches, and a bowl of cereal. Five slices of cake. Half a pan of brownies.

ALL the ice cream.

Then come the hints.

“How much do you weigh?”

“Have you gained weight (again)?” -the again is implied.

“Stop judging me!” I retort. “Get off my case!”

Awareness

One day, the light dawns.

“Oh sh*t! I am fat!”

When I open the fridge, my mind whispers, “you’re fat”. Walk down the street, “you whale”. Sit at the table, “another serving for the fat one”.

My alter ego, the “fat one”, sputters, “well, at least I don’t do drugs!! It’s just food, I can quit at any time. I’m just hungry.”

But the thought weighs down like a burden. Fat, the concept/reality, holds me back.

“Wanna go for a walk?”

“No.” Because I’m fat and don’t want other people to see me.

“Wanna go swimming?”

“No.” Because my swimsuits don’t fit anymore, and the “fat-suits” are embarrassing.

“Wanna go to the gym?”

“No.” Because I’m embarrassed to be the only “whale” when everyone looks so fit. Because I don’t know how to use the machinery. 

Because there is always an excuse.

Depression

“I hate you, you fat tub of lard!!” I yell at the mirror. I feel sick, I revolt myself.

And I’m hungry.

“I just wanna die,” I moan around another mouthful of food. “So disgusting!”

The weight becomes suffocating. I avoid the mirror and the scale like the plague. I avoid the truth and hide behind my misery and self-loathing.

When I feel unhappy, food makes me feel better. I feel better.

Then later, I realise what I’ve done and I feel worse.

Then I eat again.

The cycle continues.

Rock bottom

The shades are drawn. I lie in bed and watch television. Food containers are scattered around like confetti after a wedding. Windows haven’t been opened in months (possibly years) and I don’t move unless necessary.

Clothes… fat clothes. The mandatory attire.

The voices of critique contain growing concern. “You need to lose weight! Are you exercising?”

“F**k off!” I reply, stomping from the kitchen, clutching my containers of food. My single comfort. I eat in bed and wrap the blankets around myself, hiding my rolls, and jiggle, and extraneous flesh.

I just can’t.

I can’t.

I can’t seem to stop.

In secret moments, of increasing frequency, I ponder why I’m alive, and why I’m still existing. Because I. Hate. Myself.

Turtles have shells. I am exposed in the light, so I shrink to the darkness. Counting down to an imminent end.

Food is my companion. Food is my tempter. Food is my cage.

Sink or swim

In moments of clarity, I ask for help. I want help.

Get these fleshy chains OFF OF ME!!

Start this diet, that diet, another diet. Starving so much I forget why I’m dieting to begin with. My desire to thin, transforms into a desire to consume plates of food and buffets of desserts.

I care. Then I don’t care.

Off the diet, the binge begins. Mindless, emotional consumption. And then I “awake” and I’m right back where I started.

“Why can’t I stop?” I cry, gasping over a distended belly filled with something, anything, everything in the fridge.

Hope and despair, a roller-coaster that doesn’t seem to end. It leaves me exhausted -and hungry.

Revelation

“I’m thirsty,” I announce, around my third plate of food during my fifth meal of the day.

I pause.

I’m thirsty, not hungry.

“Then why am I eating?”

When was the last time I ate because I was hungry? Did I even need to eat all? Was it simply out of habit?

Why didn’t I think of this before? Why didn’t I question…any of it?

Like, why am I always eating? What is real hunger, not habitual binging? How/why/when did this happen?

Why?

I felt sad. So I ate. Eating made me sad, so I ate some more. Transitioning into mindless consumption.

Oh sh*t.

I’m an idiot.

I’m an addict.

Mind over matter

Rome isn’t built in a day, same goes with changing a habit developed and nurtured over a lifetime. It starts with a resolution, and support. It starts with looking in the mirror and saying “I love you” instead of the opposite.

It starts with planning and thoughtfulness.

Because when you love someone, you plan for their happiness. So I plan for mine.

I focus on breaking the habits. I might go to the fridge, but the fridge has fruits and veggies. I might make brownies, but they are made with whole wheat flour, and bran, and xylitol, and pure cacao powder. I might eat three pieces of brownies, but I also eat fruit, and smoothies, and home-made vegetable juices. I focus on drinking more water, taking vitamins, and feeding myself the nutrients and minerals I need to be healthy.

I workout with friends. I go walking, bike riding, and try to find activities where I can move around. I walk to the store sometimes, instead of taking the bus.

I try. I’m not perfect. But I’m not giving up.

I feel good. The mirror reflects the same figure, but I have a different attitude. The soreness in my muscles from working out are badges of success.

I can’t wait to see how it goes, how I look after working out for a month. A year.

I’m looking to join a gym. I’m focusing on me, taking care of me, without distractions or disillusion.

I’m learning to love myself.

I have my support. I have someone to talk to about tips to improve my self, and improve my habits. Form new, better habits. I have a plan, which I follow and have accountability. I have found something that works for me.

Failing and Rising

I am human. Imperfect.

I accept that I may not be faithful.

But success is getting up one more time than the number of times I have fallen.

Mathematically translated:

~ let x = # times fallen
~ let y = # times getting up

My formula for success: y = x + 1

[Yes, I am a nerd. And proud of it.]

Because that line still swims through my head: “Why do we fall down? So we can get back up.”

Thanks Batman.

But, as my sibling reminds me, failure isn’t “falling off the wagon”.

Failure is giving up, no longer trying.

So I’m not failing, I may stumble, but I’m still walking, going strong.

And I’m alive.

~ Life ~ hope ~