Born Crazy: A Video Poem

You’re crazy.”

How often have you heard this phrase thrown around, either flippantly, in jest or to victim blame someone who has overcome or is recovering from abuse?

I heard this often as a post-cult teenager and well into my adult years. While I was actually dealing with the behavioral aftermath of being an extremely abused child, instead of receiving support, caring and nurturing I was told that I was crazy. When a child is told enough times that they’re mind is insane, we begin to believe it.

This poetry piece is from my spoken word album, Dusted Shelves, which is available on Amazon in paperback and c.d. Written in 2013, it is a representation of a life by which I was conditioned to believe that I was crazy.

Some abuse survivor work is considered to be dark and oddly psychotic. This piece would fall under that theme.

**Trigger Warning for those who are sensitive to these themes**

Born Crazy

When Writing Out Trauma Is Crippling

A wise person once said, “There are three things you should never share; your relationship, your finances and your next move.”

It has become a mantra for my life.   Years of being both vulnerable and held back at the wrong times have left me speculating my own judgment.  Being alone is safer, away from the possibility of re-victimization.

I learned harsh lessons as I grew up. With no boundaries to define danger or relationships I was tossed out of a childhood that had been riddled with abuse straight into the very society I had been trained to fear, hate and one day even war against in the name of God.

With blinders on, I ran towards everything I’d been taught was sin.  I bathed in it.  I dove inside of it like it was a swimming pool.  I became prey, a seal pup in an ocean full of sharks.

A couple of nights ago, while working on “Rise of Sila“, the sequel to “Cult Child“, I had to write a trauma memory.  I had to get into the details of it, part of them being a time my sister wore long sleeves to hide the bruises her rapist left on her upper arms.    When I was finished with the section, nausea swept through me quickly, suddenly and filled my mouth with water to the point I had to curl up on my bed and do focus breathing until it passed.

Fuck.”  I thought.  “It’s starting.”

This is what happened while I was writing “Cult Child“.  The trauma surfaced in waves, and with it came years of sporadic vomiting, night terrors, migraines, days in bed weeping, high peaks of anxiety and agoraphobia and a lot of deep isolation.

I smiled in selfies to post on the Internet. I spun on the positivity pole as if I was the poster child of survival, and I hid the reality of how crippling writing trauma is for me.

I thought I would feel some kind of relief after getting “Cult Child” out.   Yet, I didn’t.  I felt incredibly proud of myself that I had accomplished the project.  I also felt an extreme exhaustion that still lingers as I continue on.   I feel weakened.  I feel that I have only spilled out a sliver of the truth about the reality that was my childhood.

Last night I had a dream which rocked me. When I woke up this morning, the emotions of the dream came hazily with it bringing short, flash images of children milling about, a lot of confusion and an inability to grasp the rest of the images.  There are no worse dreams for me to have, than the ones which involve children.  They take the longest to shake from my eyes and the hardest to re-balance my heart from.   [Click here to visit my Dreamscape category where I document them.]

I am pushing myself, because this story must be told.  It has to be left behind so my sons and lineage will have documentation of their ancestral life.  I have to tell the truth for myself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, after I am finished, there will be some reprieve.

But, right now, in this moment, I just feel like avoiding.

A Startling Recovery

Yesterday while heading home from an appointment, my head was swirling. Things are changing in my life so quickly, and not all of it is “bad”, per say. It’s just that change in general takes some time for me to balance into.

I’m a planner.
I like lists.
I need schedules and reminders.

These changes happening are not allowing for any of that. I am forced into a space of waiting things out without any surety of what the future holds.

Back to yesterday. Moderate freak out. My mind went into victim mentality immediately. Shut down. It sounds something like this:

“Fuck it. I am exhausted. My emotional body can’t take another blow or another surfing wave.”. and on and on letting myself just feel the emotion of it all.

Then I spiraled down into thoughts of why really, I’ve pretty much accomplished what I’ve come to do. “I’ll be famous when I’m dead.” grandious kind of thoughts.

Critical thinking (I call her Knowing) stepped in. She whispered in my left ear as she always does.

“Come on, Ven. Gratitude.”

And so it was that I found myself verbally, out loud, listing all of the things and people I am blessed to have in my life.

By the time I arrived home, my emotions had made a startlingly quick recovery.

I ended up soending the evening finishing posts to submit as a guest blogger for two blogs. AND I worked on a painting that I have not touched in over a year.

I believe in two parts of therapy with fervor:

Gratitude
Creativity

Today I woke up feeling charged and focused, knowing that the next couple of months will be a great emerging; morphing more into my future.

http://venniekocsis.com
“Cult Child” – the novel
“Becoming Gratitude” – the journal
“Dusted Shelves” – the poetry

All Of This Is Just a Hologram

Endings become beginnings sometimes, and frankly, it doesn’t always feel good. No. It feels like being a valuable crystal ball, dropped and shattered, then listening to the one who drops me saying,

“Ah. It’s just stuff.”

Yanno what?

My heart isn’t monetary. I’m not just stuff.

“Well, I paid you back.” does not erase the abandonment, because my emotional well being doesn’t compute out as dollar bills. I’m not a soul stripper. Lines on an accounting spreadsheet do not equate to heartbeats.

You have thrust me back into the wake of my mother’s mind control, choosing me for rescue when you needed me, then throwing me away to return back to your abusive Handler. I am sitting here in the dining room of the tabernacle, again, and you are my robotic mother, a puppet choosing to ignore me because that is God’s will.

You find a million reasons to make villians out of anyone who reminds you of what you should face in yourself. You’ve done the same as Mama did, without a care of your aftermath. What a selfish and self-righteous act, but as I always do; I bounce back.

There’s a pattern in this process of disregard, greed and apathy. It manifests as suffering; the wicked dying slow deaths of cancer and pain. Some call it karma. I say it’s self manifestation.

I am ignored just like Mama chose to do to me, justified inside because I am sin and everything that makes the world bad, harlot and whore, tainted child not good enough for the righteous ones standing on the pedestal of hypocritical judgment.

Yet, still I win, because sister, I am free, and as much as I struggle; as often as I stumble, I am my own now. I answer to no man or woman. I am free to be who I want to be. I am not bound to any one else’s opinion of me. And yes, for me, THAT, is ultimate freedom.

I never belonged to a group, as lonely as it got at times. It just never felt right to be inside of one. I’ve become at peace with it now; being the worst of the bunch; not fitting into the image of your pinned down scarves hiding the beauty you cant see in yourself, and the denial that your existence is sub-human to his.

You chose the cult of an isolated marriage riddled with religious gossip, drama, angst and pain. It must all feel familiar. I used to understand. Manipulation began at seven. Pain numbed by eight and the rest just a silent hoping that the truth doesn’t have to exist. That’s how you’ve always handled it.

I grew up in handkerchiefs and bonnets hiding my baby face from long hours working in sun drenched fields. I need my hair to flow free and not let my mistakes own me. We will always be Celie and Nettie, but this time, Nettie walks away on her own, because finery becomes more important than family. And Celie continues her rising because if there’s one thing I know, its thriving inside the layers of surviving.

I will not hide myself away; not like you. I am not worthless. I cannot be bought, and that makes me priceless. We are the remnants of what was done to us, and this time, I won’t deny the depth of the loss you have created. I will ride it to the moon, become cloud and mist because all of this is just a hologram.

Stream Of Consciousness 6.5|15

What kept you silent, mother? Was it the denial of the screams echoing down the hallway every time the abusers’ belts landed a blow to me? Did your heart really belong to their ministry? There are secrets that you shared without even speaking. Infectious connections I’m quickly uncovering. You are all earth and upturned stone.

What will remain when the truth is regained; when we find out what is left behind? We were test subjects for the mind.

I’m staring them in their faces, mama. They are victim blaming and apathetic. Were they not this pathetic to you? Where did you ever see truth in such blatant illusion? What depth there must have been to your confusion.

I’m strong. Throwing bricks. The layers are thick, but we’ll get to the heart of this sickness. Control and Ego. It’s all gotta go.

They run rabid like dogs feeding off the hearts of innocent survivors; grab your pocketbook, write a check, this one needs therapy again. It’s a racket from start to finish; one claiming extremist; the other peace. All ritualistic and damaging, both are the same, just presented in different packaging.

We discovered each other, mother. Did you ever expect that? We are here tracing our steps back. What we are finding is spellbinding, a circle of explicit deviance wrapped in a bow of reverence and deliverance.

Yet, none can save the soul but the one who owns it. There is no atonement for their deeds. They hope and wish but the truth is, what awaits them after death… is nothingness. You went back to the gray and so will they, pompous court jesters with wounds that fester deeper than ours.

But they don’t wear their scars as proud. They don’t shout as loud. They drop names and hope for fame; score coin without shame at the expense of the wounded. It is a circus of psychology and ideology. They dont see us following behind, warriors prepared to reveal their crimes.

Meanwhile, we are freely thinking and unleashing an unearthing. We are re-birthing ways brand new, and these unchivalrous tyrants aren’t sure just what to do. Their masks have fallen. Truth is calling, and their exuses have become useless.

And so we dig into the deepest parts of it, because this pit’s not bottomless and we arent the type to quit.