Jacob’s Ladder

“The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won’t let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they’re not punishing you, they’re freeing your soul. If you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth.”

Jacob’s Ladder, Meister Eckhart. https://youtu.be/yt3Ny_BG3yQ

The Golden Boy

Scion, old money

Finds me on a couch, says we

Should eat at the school

Of culinary

Arts nearby. No longer mad

At me; my anger

Evaporated.

I am having cocktails for

Breakfast again. The

Mirror shows my face,

Sun burnt. We chat about crowds,

Anxiety and

Vaccines, descending

By elevator through the

Thronging masses. He

Sees my face under

The mask, and he is friendly

This time, we are friends.

It’s Not Your Fault

I failed my board exam. I had spent months studying, and done everything I thought I could and I should. I bombed it.

I have to retake it in June, and hope to still graduate residency in time. I’m really upset about it.

I pray that it’s a glitch, a electronic error on the part of the testing administrator, and this will all be a bad dream. But it brings me back to dark places.

I’ve spent the past few months writing reflective journal entries about my life. I am starting to recognize how many harmful patterns in my life are the result of what I went through as a kid, terrified and humiliated and neglected, beaten by my brother and verbally abused and sometimes physically abused by my dad, neglected by my mom, and made to watch her have sex when she and her boyfriend were drunk, and all the kids were in one hotel room together.

I was starting to heal, as difficult as it all was. Now I’m questioning myself all over again. And I have to go back into study mode, where I have to sit at a computer all day, mentally roasting myself while trying to stay focused.

I thought I had gotten to a place where I could get back to my writing, creative and spiritual interests, and move past all the hurt and shame and pain of the past. But it’s still here, and I have to live in that pit for another three months.

I’m reminded of this gut wrenching scene, Matt Damon and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting: https://youtu.be/ZQht2yOX9Js

For all the internalizers out there, the ones who always had to be strong, smile and say that nothing was wrong, they were fine and didn’t need anything. For those who saw what no one else saw, and bore what no one should bear. For the lonely and the devastated, for all who suffer in silence when they want to scream. For the marks that don’t show and the wounds that won’t heal.

Being an abused and neglected kid, you never leave the pit. It stays in you. I relate to this sequence from Tom Kong’s Mister Miracle, because I always want someone to see the good in me, accept the hurt I’ve felt, and help me to move through it. I have to become that person for myself. I have to hug that boy, and tell him he’s loved and wanted and doesn’t have to prove anything.

Space Monkey

They all revise my

History as if they were

Always on my side,

But I remember

What I really am to them:

A space monkey, the

One they pinned their dreams

On, kept in a cage, fed drugs,

Forgot on weekends.

Strapped in a tube and

Shot into space. They don’t know

How cold it is here.

Their show of support

Rings hollow as I labor

To save a world

Not my own, drifting

Further from who I am and

My still beating heart.

A space monkey... | Monkey in space, Astronaut artwork, Monkey art