Monday, June 27, 2011

Wounded Mind, Fractured Brain

What did you say?

Don't take it personally.

Hhmm, I thought to myself for a moment in silence.  I started to say something but I stopped myself.  I felt like it would be a moot point because I had already taken in personally, I just did not want to explain any further.

I just cannot take all the yelling.  I was yelled and screamed at as a kid, so its difficult for me.

Just scream back!

I stared for a longer amount of time.  I am not comfortable yelling at  anyone, let alone a complete stranger.  I said that I had to go, got on my bike, turned my Sony music player on and road off.  I just could not handle it a minute longer.  My head was throbbing and my nerves were shot. Even being on my bike didn't seem to calm me down.

When I got back home I curled up in bed and closed my eyes.  I had taken one of my pills because I could not take my brain, it was in so much pain.  Flashbacks were not even flashbacks. It was ribbons of film ripping out of the reels and cutting itself on my brain matter.  As I could here it go, "Click, click, click," like an old movie house when the film needs to be changed and it has run completely out of the projector. 

I laid there until I fell asleep and dreamt of the nightmare of my life.  I woke in a panic, gasping for air and thinking I was still where I had just been.  Thank god I wasn't, I was at home again.  I had made it back to the house without blacking out. 

I have blacked out twice in the past two months.  This is an experience that is not a pleasant one.  I don't know if you are knowledgeable on what happens, but it is just miserable as an adult.  You literally do not remember a thing.  Both times I woke up throwing-up. 

My mind has been so badly wounded but yesterday my brain fractured.  It is like falling off a bicycle and re-breaking your leg.  It broke in a weird way, pulled the brain tissue out and splat the memories poured out into the rest of my mind. 

I began to think about the fact that people who have had knee replacement, hip replacement or just broke a bone in their arm or leg are treated so much more humanely than those of us with broken brains.  I mean, if you are limping and somebody asks whats wrong and you reply,

Oh, I broke my leg last year and it is really bothering me today.

I'm sorry, that must have been so painful, how did you do it?

I was riding my bike and a car hit me when they ran a red light on Divisadero and O'Farrel Streets.

Oh my God! That is awful.  Did you have to have surgery?

No, it was a compound fracture.

No wonder you are in so much pain, there is a storm coming in off, I heard it is going to rain.

Yea, it seems to get worse when the storms hit.

I read its the rain that really cause breaks to hurt.

Maybe your right, because after the rain finally comes it seem to  get better, maybe its when the barometer drops.

Probably, I hope you feel better.

Thanks,  I'm sure I will.

Whats your name?


My name is Annie.
It is nice to meet you.

I'm sure we will talk soon, especially since we seem to be in the same Chef's Class.

Yea, your right, talk to you soon.

A friendship begins all because somebody noticed someone limping in from outside into a classroom.  Which is pretty cool, it was a conversation starter, a way to meet someone new that you did not know and in all reality might develop a friendship with or more.  In our case, our minds have been fractured or at the very least, very badly wounded.  Sometimes we look sad or despondent, we might look relatively normal, even be smiling but the pain inside is always there for us because we cannot seem to get through it.  It just hurts, sometimes it hurts really bad and sometimes it just there but either way we have a fracture of the mind.  It doesn't mean that we have split personality, we just are wounded people that nobody ever seems to see.  We don't limp, we cry, we don't complain, we are silent, we don't look for sympathy, we would rather forget and even with all of that we still get accused of looking for pity or for someone just to say, "I'm sorry for your life."

The thing is our injury is no different than a broken bone.  When the rain comes it usually has a different name, in my case, it is when the night comes.  As the afternoon wanes and night approaches the same thing that happened to James with his broken leg happens to me, I am in pain. I limp differently, I get quiet and begin to stare off in the distance.  My mind goes to places that are not in my control.  I start night dreaming and I am not asleep yet.  I begin to become anxious about the fact I will have to go to sleep soon, I start pacing and getting up and down.  It is very obvious something is wrong, it seems to be written all over my face.

In the past people have asked me what is wrong,

Are you O.k.

Yes, I'm fine.

You don't look O.k. you are kind of white, do you need a drink of water? Whats going on?

Oh, its nothing really, I had a troublesome childhood and I get a little nervous as the sun goes down.

Hhmm, Oh, I better find a seat.

I am making this scenario up and just presenting a theory of why it is so difficult for us to get better.  I am not sure what experience you have had with other people but mine has been the moment somebody finds out that I have had a troublesome youth I am told,

"Well there are people with worse lives, I'm sure." 

And that happens before they even know what has happened to me.  Or, my other favorite,

"Well you should think about today and the fact you are not a child anymore." "Where does your family live?"

Regardless we all know that nobody wants to know if you have had a problem with your childhood.  But like a broken bone, we too need some healing and are healing should involve meeting strangers that can be sympathetic without being obnoxious  with pity which most of us really don't want anyway. We don't want your pity it just makes us feel worse for even mentioning the reason that we have turned this lovely ashen color.  Just like you pull muscles and ligaments with a break, we pull the same things in our brain when we are injured with your words.

Don't take it personally, its just the way he is.

I hate that saying because I do take it personally and why are we the ones that should be quiet and not the ones that others say, "Don't take it personally, they rage, its just the way they are."  No, in our case we must be the perfect host and hostess for society, at all costs, which is always the toll that we pay for ourselves. We shouldn't have to pay for you too. I think that yesterday a person fractured and old break in my mind with his words, (Imagining it is like a break in your arm, a hairline fracture) the way he walked, all the screaming, with the yelling and with the lack of empathy towards a very badly hurt human being.  He broke open what had healed shut so long ago. The memories are now the reality with all of the pieces back in place in my mind of a very particular time in my life.  I have never been able to figure it out.  It just broke and as my mind began to see what it was with such clarity, I began to realize that people don't want us to get better and get through the trauma, they just want us to get over it, forgetting what has happened to us.  A big difference, don't you think?  Why would people, strangers if you will want such a thing from us?  Are we really that much work to be around?  Normally we, as a collective are extremely hard workers and in general very quiet, so that can't be it.  What is it?  Are they afraid that they will have to get real in there life and hear a real story of abuse?  Not just one on T.V. that you can donate to a foundation and make yourself feel better, almost as if you had done something for somebody?

Are we just a story or are we just material for the next horror movie or next weeks T.V. news brief on abuse and torture as a child? How do you survive the pain?  Are we only an hour long Dr Phil or Oprah Show. Are we the movie "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." based on a real person that you never meet because she is dead?  Are we the news caption on NBC next weeks morning show. Are we the mini-series that ABC is promoting for bigger ratings to sell more time share on the station.  Are we just the example of what is never real and you only see on the television or the big screen?  Are we nothing in comparison to you? Can we not be alive? Or are we only good enough to be gossiped about and feel sorry for if we happen to be dead at the point our story is told?

Wounded mind, fractured brain, that is me today.  Keep saying the things that you are saying and my clarity will deepen within the confines of my mind, making the memories the reality that you will have to read.

The tragedy is that its all good for you if there is a screen between us.  I make great dinner conversation,  I make a great movie as long as I die in the end, I am fantastic gossip for those that love to spread the news of a troubled life, I make a great good-will story for somebody donating money to prevent suicide, I make Cocktail Parties more interesting when my mother attends, I make a great everything as long as I remain unseen or dead.  But the reality of having to look at one us makes you feel uncomfortable because you are embarrassed about us in person, we evoke that reaction.  So, the one thing that I really wanted in my life, which was to not be embarrassed all the time by what has happened to me, will never come to be.  All because you cannot bare to see the tragic life of a person that is still alive and fighting like hell to get through this all with you.  We bother you that much, but you bother me more, I'm not capable of being anyone but myself and I seem to bring you the horror of the reality that some kids live through the drownings, the beatings, the drugs given to them in their bottles, some kids make it, we survive to watch the trials of mothers like Casey Anthony, live on CNN.  Just think, if her kid had made it, just like me, you wouldn't being having a trial with her mother, you would be turning your back and saying, "Some people have worse lives than you do, just get over it."

Some of us have those worse lives, some of us are me. I wrote this two years ago, when I first began to express on paper my pain, my wounded mind had begun to fracture.  Breaking away the walls that kept this all so neat tidy for you, not for me.  So that I could walk freely amongst you in society while never disturbing your mind, your brain or your life.  How apropo this poem ends up to be today.


Prepared for this since I was Five.
See not my face, my eyes don't lie.
In time, through grace, in space, in sine.
Know where, know place, I do not waste.
Don't help, don't stare, don't scream, don't share!
Despair of mine is no disgrace.
Just a time, in such thin space.

Hello, it's Me

I'm in my Head,
but I'm not dead.
What comes instead may cause you dread.
Move on, move out, don't run about.
The stream of words you bleed are out.
Not red, not green, not blue, know doubt,
It's not the money when I shout.

Hello, it's ME
It's ME,
You see?

The sky goes dark when you remark,
the hatred must! hit its mark.
No eyes you need, I bring you Heed!
Go blind, go hate, but don't be late.
For I am here and very near.
the fear that comes into my feet,
will carry me across, it's neat.
The cost is high,
so please, don't sigh.

Hello, It's me,
it's me,
do you see?



(Wouldn't it just be a funny kind of revenge if every poem I have written on this blog works into something I am writing presently and can be better understood than when the poem is standing alone. Just like the last three have shown to be.  Strangely odd don't you think?)