Stuck in Between
As my view became clearer, I realized where I was. The dark ebony woodwork on the ceiling embedded with glittery tiles could only be a disastrous architectural choice unique to the one person who slept comfortably in front of me. What took a while to catch my eye was a movement next to the window. Summer had just begun; the light cold wind fluttered the grey curtains. After looking around, I moved closer towards the window only to pass through something that made me feel like being torn apart. I turned around to see the silhouette; a shadow that made its way to the bed. It stood next to the sleeping man; almost like it was hovering over him.
A criminal? A robber? A murderer? A psychopath? A ghost? Why here?
I had so many questions and so little answers. My screams seemed to go unheard and my presence was unnoticed. The shadow pulled back the hood revealing a familiar face, a hint of sadness mixed with the overwhelming desire to destroy whatever was in front of him. That was what I could make out of his expression.
I have to stop him. I have to stop him before he does anything foolish.
I immediately grabbed his hand, only to realize I couldn't touch him. I tried so many times but in vain. I turned around and hit the wall in frustration; the thud echoing through the room. I turned around at the rustling of the duvet.
What have I done? Elias, you should run for the window. Elias you should run!
I pushed him but in vain. Christopher, the man on the bed, sat up.
"I told you not to come here? You're making this difficult for the both of us!" Christopher spoke, a lot calmer than you would expect a person being threatened with a knife to their throat to be.
"You told me everything would be fine. It's not. I have nightmares", Elias said as he buried his face in Christopher's chest.
"Don't worry. I will sort everything out", he replied ruffling his hair.
There's no way Christopher and Elias...
I followed as the two immediately made their way out of the room. Christopher made sure the three doors in the living room were locked and opened the main door.
Christopher was a colleague of mine with an incomprehensible interest in my personal life.
The police officers stepped in, and shoved a warrant in Elias's face.
"You're under arrest on suspicion of murder and kidnapping", the officer said pulling out his handcuffs and walking to Elias.
No, not like this. It isn't over until...
I walked to the door to the basement and with whatever strength I had, I pushed it hard. The lock fell off, alerting the second officer, who held out his gun and rushed to the door. The other followed. I looked at the familiar environment, a faint smell of newly opened paint and grease covered the room. I moved to stand beside the commercial refridgerator in the corner. One of the officers was quick enough to catch up. They threw open the lid, pulling me out. This was why I was here. I have been here for way longer than just a few hours.
Elias was my lover.
"There's no pulse", the officer repeated over his walkie. Christopher had grabbed his hunting rifle from the garage and the officer had acted rather swiftly. He collapsed on the ground. Elias rushed to him. I glanced at the cold body on the floor one last time.
At least I was found.
“I never found a woman who could make me fall in love!” she overheard his conversation, drying a shot glass. The music is seeping in her ears but that —those words came through clear.
Her mind imagined him inside her. First, his fingers lodged into her soft pink squishy part.
Daily Eye Exercises
Use the eye to probe the terrain
until you see what is beyond
your direct eye level...
are you still on the eye level?...
seems like you need more work
before you surf onwards
into the vast Infinity Spectrum...
...rinse and repeat.
Use the eye now to dig through
the artificial artifice and the
these things never really existed
before you had seen them...
they are planted like a benign
in your mind, like a pair
of wax lips will
convince your mind that they
though that is
indeed far from the truth...
...rinse and repeat.
Use both eyes to glance that way
and this, and don’t,
I repeat DON’T
allow your eye to become a simple
gnat or of the insect variety,
like a mosquito or common
eyes can do so much,
but one must train each eye
so it doesn’t gloss over and become
a dead stem in our heads...
...otherwise why not just lop the
whole useless head off?...
Now use the eye to return
to your profound center...
...our eyes are always so busy,
but if we
close the veil of the eye-lid
a few times a day,
(become aware of our breathing)
and allow the eye to look
we will be blessed with creativity,
and an inward vision.
Now rinse and repeat...
rinse and retreat...
rinse and repeat...
rinse and take flight,
as the doves and crows
intertwine in a lovely
ying yang design,
so it is written and will
for now and for
however longer be.
Art by: Klaus Camarena Garcia
The Dark Ditch
I was crashing...
I was burning...
I was falling out of favor...
...I'm sure you know the feeling,
And if not than ask your neighbor.
All my breath was pushed out quick
Like I was a toothpaste tube...
Fuck if I could chase it back,
The vase I was had fell and cracked...
...Look at all the pretty pieces,
Laid out like a funny game!...
...There's plenty here for us to work with!...
Come and dance in the black rain!...
I was crashing...
I was burning...
I was falling out of favor...
...I'm sure you know the feeling,
And if not than ask your neighbor...
Everyone gets hurt, and falls,
But yet you act like your outside...
...What a silly way to be,
You take us all on your sick ride...
Everyone lays down
Just like a fawn
Ready to die...
...Time to grow some,
And get up...
Use the blood from where
Make a piece of living art...
...Don't remain in life's
The Places I Have Been...
You would better be to leave untread the places I have been...
I have walked the roads wrought with death
on all sides dinged with fetid gloom
and gallows whereupon men still hang
though their flesh be as liquid pools,
all hollowed pockets where birds have fed
and where dried bones glisten through.
I have felt the shrill and stinging whip of wind
which snaps cold across the barren path,
and drowned have I within the mists,
been bloodied in its covered holes and traps,
squirming with the worms that lie
shaded by the darkness and its crafts.
I have listened far beyond my bloated share
to blithe chatterings and honey-tongued advices
to poisoned words from the adder’s lair
where snares and lies are kept as prizes,
a gloating of teeth and knives and splinters
where wits crack and spin to sound wizened.
I have tasted the foul and festering rot of sores
which drunk men degust and die of later
and opened my mouth to brackish spirits
for sake of captive festivals worthy of my hate
then begged the searing pain of chastised lips
embers as wash and stain yet brand me not a traitor.
I have smelt the putrid singe of burning weeds
what with oaths and lusts were dunged
and fits from the odored past I suffer in me still
its shadows to my heart have often clung
and trailed upon my skin with burrows
as sin to sinners, to me as known by none.
I have known all these and more
Serrated arrows in my soul,
extricated bloody, agonizing one by one
a suffering to make me whole.
And yet the eternal cost which I have racked
by grace already paid in full.
You would better be to leave untread the places I have been...
I pray you never walk them as I did,
but find light and love and hope and mercy
on safer roads to tread.
when the words
finally leave you
give in completely
~ indulge me ~
allow my fragrance
to be the only
taste your mouth
you may start where you wish
don’t stop until
there is only
© ScriptedSilence. All rights reserved
I am about to tell you a bunch of True things at once.
It began at control. Control was the reason I began to calculate out the meals. It was the reason certain portions were very small and even skipped all together. In the brain there is a voice that says “You are strong for doing this, for limiting yourself. I am your best friend voice, and everyone asking you to eat more are the people that have been hurting you. They are jealous of you. They do not like you, even if they act like they do. Do what I say, you are strong this way.” I am not the only one who has had a voice like this. The people who want control are people who are very sensitive and very bright, and at once point in their life had Control taken away from them; the difficulty with being very sensitive and very bright is that the world is very rough sometimes, and being less bright is a smart way to avoid being hurt. This is why smallness is nice, you are a smaller target. I loved being very small. I hated being very small. People paid attention to how small I was, and that was nice; I was treated like the victim I was never allowed to be.
This true thing will be hard to understand: being skinny was a consequence of this control, not the reason. For several years I woke up in the morning and lifted my shirt to the mirror. This was how I knew if I was going to have a good day or a bad day. If I was smaller than the day before, the voice in my head said “I am very proud of you.” If I was bloated (which happens very much when you begin skipping meals), the voice in my head said, “You had one job. You work so hard, and you still betray me. This body is showing me that you’re a failure. You are a failure, and this is why you are unlovable. Who would love someone who works this hard, and still cannot even be skinny? No one you will see today loves you, even if they say they do. They are liars, and you are an awful person.” This is when the panic would arrive. This is when I stopped Thinking.
Here is another truth you may not understand: I needed another voice to fix this problem of nonThinking. This voice was of Lose Control. This was the voice that took care of me when I did not let other humans help me (because remember, during this illness, I do not think anybody can help me. I think the world likes to hurt me. I think everybody’s intention is to make me feel unworthy and small. I think people try to get close to me, only to enjoy leaving me.
This voice would shout over all the Unthinking (the panic of realizing I was a failure and should die). This voice would come in because I would begin to be scared of my feelings, they would grow to be bigger than I could handle, they would begin to take over my skull, and my heart, and I was going to explode from how big my fear and anger and desire to kill and die and crumble was. So this voice shouted the only thing that would stop all the Feeling: “EAT!”
This was very smart of my brain, if you think about it. Because eating is nice, I think. Especially when you are three days hungry, maybe three weeks hungry, maybe three months hungry, maybe three years. It does not matter: when you are hungry and a voice shouts “EAT!” you feel cared for, you feel saved, you have something to do with your hands (which you are scared of all of sudden; you are scared of your whole body all of a sudden; it is all filled up with Feelings that you do not like and you can feel them everywhere).
Here is a truth many people will not understand: it does not need to be pizza, and ice cream, and bread and chocolate. Those are just what the back of my head grabs because it has not had it in a very, very long time. Because the Control Voice was always saying “no,” and suddenly we have let go of all the rules. But it does not have to be those things. It is anything (it has been uncooked pasta, it has been raw kale, it has been frozen dumplings: it will take whatever is there and sometimes, if the Feelings are so big the entire world will explode if I do not eat at that exact moment, I will not wait to cook whatever I find) and this mind does not care who it belongs to. It is these moments that I do realize it is an illness, because a conscious version of myself respects other people’s possessions, other people’s purchased food. But when I am in this state, I do not care. I do not care because in this state, I am truly convinced I am going to die afterwards anyway.
Here is a truth that you may not understand: the eating was not the most important part. It was the eliminating of it. This is the part I will not go into detail with, and this is important to read: if you suffer from an addiction, never tell another person more than the Feelings you had, do not share your tricks out loud. All the tricks that I learned came from seeing it on television, googling it, or someone sharing it. Even if it is well-intentioned, never tell anyone how you accomplish these things, because sensitive and bright ears will pick up tricks and not even realize they did until later. For the sake of other people’s recovery, I will never share these things out loud, because they are not even the important part.
The important part is another Truth, which I found so fascinating when I learned it that I burst out into tears, and perhaps you will find it of use, too. When asked during a private session during my time at my recovery center if I “was ever angry”, I laughed. I said no, never, and anybody I knew would say the same. Then she asked if I was angry as a child, and I laughed again. I said yes, always, and anybody I knew me then would say the same. Then she said it would be very strange, then, if I stopped being angry all of a sudden. She said that anorexia was a lonely disorder, and that bulimia was a very angry, angry eating disorder, and asked if maybe I was participating in this whenever I experienced anger? I was shocked and nodded: yes, this could be true. Then she asked me a very interesting question: did I know that anger is a secondary emotion? I asked her what that meant. She said that anger is the messenger emotion of another a primary emotion; she said anger stems from sadness.
This all felt very real all of a sudden. Then, once more, she asked me a question: did I know, perhaps, that studies have found that the chemical being released in the brain while throwing up is the same chemical that is released while crying? This is when I began to sob in her office, and I did so for a very long time, because I became aware of what I was really doing all those times. I realized I had been trying to cry.
These truths may not make sense to you very much, because perhaps you would like more logic. Many people have thought that, because there is so much body and mind confusion, it must be about becoming beautiful and being seen as such. The body dysmorphia is apart of the bigger illness, which is that the body and the mind cannot separate from each other their experiences (if you can imagine sensitive and bright people, you can see how deeply they can catch this illness of information overload). For example: a stomach ache after eating meant I was a bad person, and therefore a disappointment to all who knew me. Feeling I was a disappointment to someone — for arriving late, for getting sick, for forgetting their birthday — gave me a stomach ache, and therefore, too, I became a bad person. And when I was a bad person, I would look in the mirror, and see a bad body. Seeing this bad body saved me from Feeling (remember I said my Feelings would be so big that I did not think I would survive feeling them?), so I would then turn to one of my voices instead: Control or Lose Control.
It was one or the other, then: I would not eat, not eat, not eat, and run and run and run… or eat, eat, eat, and let it all leave me, so I could pass out from exhaustion, and simulate my own death. These were Bad Body days, and they were numerous; but we also had Good Body days. The feeling of Good Body days were so celebrated because they were an exhilarating and liberating change from feeling ugly (deeply, in body and mind, which you cannot forget are the same thing during the Illness).
Here is a truth that you might find helpful: the Sufferers of this illness may appear to have huge egos because they are always examining themselves and have a hard time being there fully for others. I was told very often by close friends that I would only think of myself, that I was always looking in mirrors, that I was not listening to them when they spoke, and seemed to care what everyone else thought about me.
I would like to offer another perspective: these bright and sensitive people care so much about others, but have also been trained by circumstance that caring will also leave them in pain; that caring for others is necessary but also a terrifying burden, and will always result in their loss. The obsession with mirrors was because I needed to check if I was a good or bad person as often as I could; the inability to listen to my friends talking was because I was either fighting fatigue from not eating or because I was calculating out what I just had put in my mouth. People took personally what they did not understand; that I was in the middle of a very big internal battle, almost 95% of my waking moments. I would be excited when I saw Beauty on me; what seemed like a cry for attention to others was a cry of celebration for me. The loudness of my high was merely a short-lived celebrating with myself. “Look!” said Control voice. “You are my hero! Do everything you have ever dreamed of. You are finally enough.” I wanted to live in these moments forever. As long as I listened to Control Voice, I could.
Here is a truth we all know by now: life does not let anything stay the same. Something would change and my Control would change — this meant I would no longer be enough. When I was no longer enough, I was not worthy of all the things I ever dreamed of. I was again simply ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
Here is another truth: with all change is the chance for evolution. Over the years I began to get deeply tired of ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The more of humanity I met, the less I saw ‘good’ versus ‘bad’. The frustration with my disease (which ran on secrecy — it must, always, be a secret) began to grow and grow. When I was younger, I thought ‘I will stop when I want.’ Then I would cry because I said ‘I will never stop, this will be my whole life.’ But I was beginning to think, “I would like to stop.” And then one day it became, “I will not have a long life if I do this.” And finally I had a thought that combined them: “I would like to stop, and I would rather die trying to stop than live in this cage.”
Also, I was beginning to die each time. At the very beginning my insides were like elastic. I could get up and walk around normal like nothing happened. After some time, it became that I would need to lay down for a while. After some more time, I would need to sleep after. The time that scared me into stopping was the time I threw up and could not get out of bed for three days.
Here is a truth you may not understand: since my mind and body were intrinsically linked, it also meant that if I wanted my body to do something, my mind was always able to make it happen. This can be why sensitive and bright people with this illness can also look incredibly fit, and show no sign of suffering; we can build very fitness-orientated bodies because our brain command is strong.
This is why I was so scared when I could not get out of bed for three days: my brain command said “Get up!” and my body said “If you move, your throat will rip, your stomach will rip.” I laid in a fog for three days, confused and scared that my body was saying different things than my mind. I did not know myself. Sleep was the only way to stop this Big Terror, and yet there was one Very Big Truth that whispered while I was in this state, and one that I have not shared to anyone other than my sisters.
This very Big Truth was very clear, and it did not come to me as words, even though I say it “whispered.” What I mean is that it arrived whole, like a picture, but there was nothing to see. It was a fact that did not need to be proven, and it was not something I had made. It was simple, and it laid itself across all of my layers, and it came from neither my head, nor my body, but my Heart. This may confuse you, but I do not need you to understand. I am here to tell you many Truths at once.
I woke up knowing that if I did not promise to get better, I would lose everything. I woke up knowing that if I promised to get better, I would keep this promise and it was going to be a very painful process and I would learn incredible things and I would see the most beautiful things this world has to offer.
Here are several contradictory truths that all exist at once: recovery is a team effort, and only one person does it. My best friend responded to my confession of my eating disorder by immediately providing me a phone number for a recovery center, and asking me every day about it until I finally called them. She is the reason why I began recovery; her soft determination not to change the subject. If anyone ever wonders why I am a forever indebted to certain previous employers, it would be because I confessed to them what I was going through and they told me to quit my job and go straight into recovery, no matter the cost. If anyone every wonders why other friends transcend friendship and now belong in a realm of honorary family, it is because they called me daily for 3 months to ask “How was ‘camp’ today?”
I did not do this by myself, but I was the one who had to do the work of Opening, Letting Go, and Loving. It was terrifying confessing to others what I had been doing in secret — but this was a part of the promise I made, so I had to. It was difficult to tell others how I really felt — but it was a part of the promise I made, so I had to. It was impossibly out of character to treat myself like I mattered enough to invite people to learn to care for me — but it was a part of this promise I made, so I did.
Here is a Truth that you may not like if you are trying to Heal from something: you cannot keep secrets if you are in recovery. Secrets are a part of the Illness. My life began when I told people what I did physically, because then I was asked by professionals and smart, present friends what I was feeling emotionally. If there is any truth I hope you hear from all the many I give you at once, it is this:
My crippling pain was and is about the Fear of Being Misunderstood when I am rushed or pressured to explain myself (“Now!” I felt the world demanding, “explain how you are feeling this instant, and make sure it’s simple, because we don’t have time for the long, complex version!”).
My disorder is not the enemy; there is no enemy. Nor was my disorder my friend; it was never my friend. It was the piece of me that rose as protection when I had no training for how to Feel all my feelings safely. That is all. It is forgiven.
For me it is about that Big Truth voice, the one that whispers without being small; it is massive without getting in the way of seeing people or myself. It is the Big Truth that says “you are enough” before I even start to think. It allows my anger, and soothes it by saying “Okay.” It allows my sadness and then holds it by saying, “Okay.” It touches my sensitivity and my brightness and says, “Yes, this, too.” It touches my sensitivity and my darkness and says, “Yes, this, too.”
It was a grave mistake. The crew leader glanced at the words on the paper in his work gloved hands then up at the newly excavated holes in front of him. He turned the paper up-side-down and squinted.
“What’d you guys do?”
They shrugged. “What you told us?”
“Nah, this ain’t right.” An auto collision had taken the lives of a family. A young mother, loving husband and their beautiful toddler. A tragedy of winter weather reported on every local news station in the area complete with photos of the smiling family cuddling together just the day before.
“Nah, this ain’t right. The kid was supposed to be in the middle, the lady on the right and the guy on the left. You guys fucked it up.”
“Not if you stand looking this way.” The guy with the shovel scoping in dirt around the caskets suggested.
“Nah. The little one is over here and flowery casket supposed to be the one to the side and the bronze one is in the middle. It just ain’t right.”
“An hour from now we’ll have the dirt smoothed out and then once the sod goes down in a month or two...Hey, they are all together and tucked in snug. One stone...what’s the difference?” The young guy tired and cold explained, “That’s how I see it.”
The sun was setting purple in the west. The winds were picking up. More snow predicted that night. The crews’ breath freezing smokey white on their black hoodies. The heavy equipment already gone from the site. Driven back to the mintenance building hidden from view right before the interment. “They should have lined them up right at the ceremony.” The guy with the shovel mumbled still scraping and packing.
The crew leader scaned the scene. Looking north. Signs of the coming blizzard mounting. “Yeah, whatever. Get them covered up good. Pack it down tight..then let’s get back to the shed and get stuff ready. Looks like we’ve got some work ahead of us tomorrow with the other two funerals and all. Hell of a crash.”
The graves now almost covered. The men filling and tamping the ground firm. “Okay guys just get them finished up. Okay?”
The never-ending feast...
The beast within
way deep inside
my Dr. Jekyll
and Mr. Hyde
on what does
this beast feed
what does it crave
what does it need?
What is the ugly
dark thing I find
in the corners
of my mind
tickling the surface
of my dreams
nothing as it seems
the phantom of my nightmares
awake in a cold sweat
heart beating in my ears
no peace can I get.
Is it sickly
and wasting away
absent as the night
when dawns the day?
Or is it obese
from its gluttonous feed
on my bottomless need?