Lost Letters

As I was going through some boxes that have been packed up for some time, I came across a bundle of letters. There were nine of them. They were all dated throughout the year of 1993.

I had just left college in Tennessee and moved to Washington State. I was in a foreign culture and in varying states of emotional trauma. I was pregnant with my youngest son and had a four year old child to care for. I felt alone and scared. Morning sickness was rocking my body. I was in deep need of support. The life I had imagined I was moving to was not as I had pictured.

I sat cross legged on my bed the other night, excited to read the letters. I couldn’t remember their context so they were new to me. During that time was the first that my sister and I had been separated by miles, since we’d left the cult. She was now married and off living her life.

I must have been writing to her about the despair I was in, based on her responses. The first couple of letters from her contained the average “Hi! How are you doing? I am fine.” generic theme.

Then I read on and became internally disturbed. My first irritation rose at her continual referring to my unborn child as “Shanaynay“, due to he/she (the gender of my infant unknown then) is a multicultural child. Every letter had the same line in it at some point.

So how’s Shanaynay doing?”

I cringed every time I read it.

I opened the sixth letter.

Hey Bitch! Relationship this! Relationship that! Don’t you have anything else to write about other than your fucking relationship?”

No, I thought. I didn’t. I was alone in a strange city. I had left my whole life, family and friends in Tennessee. I was in cultural trauma. I was having panic attacks. I was arguing with my partner. Things weren’t as they were supposed to be. I was rocked to my core. I had no one to talk to except her.

Letter eight made me wince even more. It bothered me when she called my unborn child Shanaynay. This reference felt intentional and racist.  I had obviously expressed this to her at one point.

So how’s Shanaynay? (Does that still bother you?)

I sat reading all of the different jobs her husband was going to have.
Refinery. We’ll be in the money!”

Job after job, fake happiness after fake happiness, to the point that she had to continually say it in the midst of my own churning hurtful life.
I am so happy with my husband.”

I sat with the letters in my lap. Twenty five years would pass by. She would call me panicked, vomiting out the years of verbal abuse she had taken from him. She would leave and go back. She would ghost everyone who ever fought for her. She would do it in the same coldness from which she had written these letters.

I sat on my bed realizing why I had held my family at bay in those later years, always feeling different, set apart, standing in the shadows of my own broken heart. She had chosen the other spectrum; the one filled with things that make people feel they have worth, and I chose to face the hurt.

I am wistful for dreams we had of lounging on beaches with drinks. I hurt for the cruel words thrown out in spite and the loss of a sibling who is still alive.

I have come to live in acceptance. I keep my spirit attached to my tribe, growing, healing and expanding. Yet, when she drifts my mind, I wince a bit. The cult broke her into pieces, and she walks behind a mask, unable to gather the shreds of her own greatness.

And I hope. I always hope, that she will return to who she was before they stripped us and tore our family apart.

Streams Of Consciousness | 6.25.15

I am here weightless. Ear tuned to every sound. The fireworks are starting. A week filled with the explosions of war. I despise the celebration of generations who’ve been traumatized by genocide. Headphones. I’m trying to stabilize.

Can I float off away from this place yet? Work to do, but goddamn, I’m tired. Inside. Down in the caves where the seaweed waves in water. She, there, that siren; she is tired inside her liquid soul.

Outside, my body pushes. My face smiles, forced because maybe if I push at it fiercely it turns into the real real. The sounds of fans whirring above me. It’s heated evenings with the shades pulled up to catch the breezes.

Life moves on. Can’t do shit to change that except to feel it all. Face forward. Eyes on the prize, girl, eyes on the prize. Actualize. My destiny has arrived.

Which looks like….

A settled sunset in a camp chair around a beach bonfire,

A triumphant glow in the eyes of a child who has escaped the pain and healed,

A human holding accountability softly in their palms saying, “I fucked this up. I deserve to carry this, not you.”

An acceptance,
A sag of the shoulders and
A rest before the next climb.

They say don’t expect too much from people. It gives way to disappointment. I say that goes along with all the other ways a victim is left to carry the blame. No. The shame belongs solely to the asshole who throws away lives without a care. Don’t blame us.

Here is YOUR Diagnoses:

Apathy, Chronic
Envy, Unresolved
Greed, Chronic Satiation, Level OCD
Selfishness, Harmful Ideation

Everything with you motherfuckers is about money. It temporarily numbs the pain like drugs, and when that plug is pulled, what’s left but the abscess to drain endless,

Your chosen mental madness,
Your fucking sadness,
The voices in your head
Telling you that you ain’t shit;
I know all about it.
I used to be a pro
At telling myself no,
Instead of attending
To my precious soul.

Thinking about it makes my stomach sick. I’d rather live a thousand lives of loneliness than ever give in to anyone again.

I say yes to this right here; the silence; the peace; the ability to freely be me. And fuck the gurus and the controllers, the betrayals and the disloyal. It’s a journey of suffering embraced like a blanket and the shit ain’t mine this time. I get to leave it all behind.

So, I am weightless on this bed. Thinking about communion style wafers of white chocolate and laughter that fled at the sight of action and accountability, because standing on your own two feet ain’t never been a strength when you care more about Vera Wang than your own ability to become better and change.

Lying and manipulation is the crutch of your existence,

And me? I’m just weightless. I’m just feeling, dealing and healing. Because that’s what I do. Live my truth. Even if the self hating critics keep the rest of you in prison, I have escaped to never, ever return to that gate even if it grows flowers;

Unless I have a mallet
To knock down the malice.