You may have to do it alone…

Sometimes many people may fail you. You get to the end and realize that all those people who say they miss you don’t seem to make much of an effort to call or come around. You feel that you never have enough of something for them.

People who want to be around you make an effort to do so.

You don’t have to give them directions to your house 27 times.

You don’t have to keep making appointments and vague plans that never come to fruition.

You don’t have to worry about getting the runaround.

You Cannot Expect People To Behave Honorably.   A few people will, and they will surprise and delight you.  The mistake good people make is going out into the world expecting that of people, and then getting let down and jaded again and again when it fails to materialize.

You have to set your expectations high, and your rules for letting other people get close to you even higher.

You may end up doing it alone.  Taking the cat to the vet alone.  Waiting for the cable guy alone.  You may not have that person that you trust to watch the house and not go through your underwear drawer.  You may not.

It may be tough. It may be hard.

But you can do it. And it will be okay.




What a woman hears

I work for one of the largest employers in my town.

I work with a lot of women.

I hear tales daily of crazy behavior.

Whatever gender you are– please don’t let crazy people into your life.  Please don’t let them into your life again once they are gone.  They don’t change.  They won’t change.

From gunshots into the ceiling to stealing all a woman’s makeup, I have heard it.

I’m sure this exists in all forms, but I’m speaking as a woman who hears women speak freely because I am also a woman.

Stop letting the crazy people in.


Stop believing the old lie that the only way to live is to be partnered with someone else.  If people think lesser of you for living alone, tell them to go fuck themselves.  You are worth more than the notion of being in a couple. Being in a marriage.  Being in a relationship.  Your safety is important. Your mental sanctity is important.   If someone doesn’t value you from the start, they never will.  If someone doesn’t care about the things important to you, you aren’t ever going to battle through that to them being a better person.

Think about your kids- if you already have them.  Think about your dreams for yourself.  your happiness.  Joy is sacred.  It has meaning and worth. The peace of your being has worth.

You deserve love.  You deserve worth.  You deserve to be cherished.  Even if you only cherish yourself.


You make me think of lame songs I’ve known all my life.

Sometimes I want to run in guns blazing like I did at that age.

Sometimes I want to save a day that isn’t mine to save.

You make me miss that cavalier part of me.




Eroded Parts

Some things in you don’t go all at once.  They disappear little by little, bit by bit.

Trust is something that is all but gone.

When I find a nugget of it, I protect it so fiercely.

What I do feel toward others is mostly just a CIA-level paranoia. And I have to not feel that in order to let my brain relax.  The trouble is that I can’t forget things.

Gifted, they said when I was a kid.  And I got stuck in a special class.

At my job it’s useful and at times a mildly amusing curiosity.  It has helped me pass tests.  It has helped me remember a vague reference I heard on a documentary five years ago and look it up in order to add scholarly bulk to papers nearly unheard of in undergraduate work.

But I can’t forget. Not even when I drink myself into oblivion. Nothing wipes away the erosion.

I had a dream last night where animals begged me for names and then proceeded to rather obviously lie to me.  So yes, I see it everywhere, even in a dream about a raccoon and some large rodent walking into a library.  My mind’s natural assumption is that they would lie, omit and tell incomplete tales.

I hug my relatives that have lied and manipulated and left things out, but I feel nothing toward them.  Like hugging one of those cardboard cutouts of a movie character or a sports star.

I think we teach people a lot of ways to effectively deal with things, but not about being stuck around liars.   Often in the workplace, you will (by those above you in management) be made to feel that the right thing to do is to diplomatically overlook obvious lies in order to further the job goals.

We want people to keep the peace, keep the boat from rocking.   If they don’t, who will sign off on that time report and who will come over for Thanksgiving?

Otherwise, we freeze it out and freeze them out. Create our spaces and walls of ice.  Hide money and resources from them.  Keep our free time to ourselves rather than get mixed up with them.

The problem is that when people lie, it is because they feel no obligation to be truthful to us.  And that hurts. It is a very deep cut that goes to the soul of our worth in that person’s eyes.  Your heart says, “The truth is, I wasn’t worth the truth.”

And it is harder and harder to lay down that inner part of you that is looking for a place to hide from it all.  That part can be ignited so easily.  A wrong look.  A sideways glance. A mistake.  You see nothing but gradients and shadows.  You become pleasantly surprised when the truth is there and someone doesn’t find some way to screw you over.   You weren’t expecting it.

There aren’t a lot of effective ways to just function. To let your brain rest. To let go.  We need to find better ways to call out those who harm. I know some ways that do work with some types, but for our own mental sanctity, we need to work on more.

Because … we ARE worth more. We DO deserve the truth.  We DO deserve honesty.   People who see otherwise are the problem, and they need to be made to understand that in a way that doesn’t make us, the truth -seekers and truth-knowers, into the ones who are told we are judgemental.  People who see otherwise are projecting their own lack of worth onto us.  And we don’t  need to allow that to happen or impede us.  We need better tools to address it.  To live with it without it taking over our minds, invading dreams about woodland creatures in libraries.  Mostly, we need more truth– but that isn’t going to happen.  To take from my evangelical upbringing, you are not able to “convict the spirit” if it is unwilling.

We have to find ways of letting the reality of that be and defending ourselves effectively and finding ways to call people out when we can.  Truth is a disinfectant.  We need to use it more often.

Solace, resolution.  They are beautiful ideas in stories, but may never happen in life.  Some will never change or be rehabilitated.

We have to find better ways to live with both outcomes.


My mother and my father both walked into my cousin’s house several months back.  My father noticed the crack pipe on the table.  My mother didn’t.   Some people don’t register their surroundings.   Obvious clues fail them.  They get lost in what they are thinking or the conversation and their minds don’t land on the solid reality around them.

I’ve known people who had friends that took so easily from them.  Houses robbed.  Money stolen.

We all have the experience at some point of someone we looked up to (perhaps even were told or expected to look up to) turning into dust before our eyes.   We think we are bruised, but life is making us a set of glasses, with which to see truth more clearly.  The aunt or uncle that we thought was wonderful we now see as irresponsible.  The wondering wayfarers of our family become jobless individuals that can’t keep it together.   The teen kids with the cool jackets just become people, ordinary and oh, very flawed.   This one had their kids taken by the state.  That one did a stint in rehab.  That one became a preacher and embezzled from the church’s building fund.

Life is full of hard realizations.  We are all on a journey of getting closer to the hard solid bedrock of reality.  Each hard truth chips away at us, not taking away from us, but cutting the gemstone into greater perfection.

Back in 2011, I read something online that changed my life.  It was a blog about the “Always Broken Goddess” on Elephant Journal (currently offline). In breaking, we become something more beautiful. We are more than the sum of our parts in that moment, even as we feel our discomfort in our disarray.

We are all breaking, all the time.

In the years since I’ve seen a lot of fire and pain. The kinds of things that make you feel like your guts are being removed.  There were times – a couple of years ago when instead of stumbling forward toward greater truth about the people I knew,  I was free falling toward its ground, spinning uncontrollably. It started with one little step forward, and there I went.

Today, for the first time in a long time, I thought of the Always Broken Goddess.  While I’m not really a believer, I believe in learning from the lessons life tries teach us.  That is often what gods and goddesses represent.  Lessons we can learn from our lives.

Have I finally stopped and emerged at the end? Can my feet finally feel the sand?  Am I finally where I was supposed to land?   Can I catch myself?

Our journey toward truth, toward a greater embrace of reality, is not one that ever stops.  But I hope, I hope that I can pause and enjoy the feel of the earth.

Save all the receipts

When I was small, I would watch you say something,

And then change the story and say something else again.

I heard you try to make me doubt the things I knew to be true.

Things I saw, things I heard, things I read, they were are all up for grabs.

Anything to fit the idea that served you best.

And I learned, bit by bit, not to trust anything.

And you kept me around people who each had the same plan.

I watched them be cruel and desperate.

Unconditional love was something I would never see or understand.

Every pattern created would break

Every tale would turn upside down

Every time was a time for doubt

Everyone could be an enemy

And you would act like it was all natural, normal

And I was wrong for not wanting the same things as you.

And I was wrong for not wanting the same people as you wanted for me.

People like you.

People who make the truth out of the wind instead of the facts and reality.


And I couldn’t dive into love with my whole heart

Always holding something back

Always unsure of myself

Always checking the story again

Always listening to the tone in the voice for a fraction of a change

Debating what that might mean

I see me at 13, 14, vomiting before a date

With a harmless young man

I see me at 15, telling the truth about you

No one believing me

I see your angry hating eyes

Looking back at me, knowing that I would be my own person someday

Hating that you couldn’t control all of me forever

Hating that you couldn’t make me be like you

Not understanding why I might want something more


I see you and all the stories that I heard

I see you and what I overheard about you

I see you what you won’t ever know about me


And now I still double check every word.

I still verify everything I hear.

I still hold part of myself back.

I still can’t dive headfirst into love.

I still check everything again and again.

I doubt the very ground I stand on, knowing one day it may too collapse.

I doubt the stars in the sky because they fall.

I doubt the moon and the sun, snow and the rain.

I save every email and haunt just the right places in case someone tries to contradict themselves.

I mount up proof and evidence just to feel safe.

Just to know for once, it’s not happening again.

Any bump in the road is a sign that the bridge is out ahead,

And that I am an idiot for trusting anything.

And I sit and pray that I’m not an idiot for trusting.

And I carve out my insides and grieve.

I don’t know how to dive into love.

I don’t know how to trust myself enough to trust someone else.


My heart is littered with the thousand times

That I didn’t realize what I was trying to heal

When I trusted wrong because I didn’t know any better

Or when I heard one wrong thing, and ran like a frightened witness

Or when I dated the ones that you liked that were always so fucked up because you don’t know how to like anyone worth a damn

Running and pushing away, like the mafia was after me

Knowing how to sneak out of the party quietly

I see my 20’s, my 30’s…a series of self-destruction

Wasted time wasted heart

Dating men that I couldn’t truly love

Keeping myself safe, never playing the fool


Where does it end?

When do I get enough security?

When I do save myself?

Where is the ladder?



No Safe Harbor

We are an unmoored generation.

We move.  We gypsy about.  We buy tiny houses and float from one hipster city neighborhood to another.  Never feeling quite right. Never embracing a sense of place.

I think we are looking for an emotional home.

The emotional safety supposedly proffered by families doesn’t happen in reality, only on television.

The emotional safety of friends in TV shows about young adults also fails us as we find friends taking advantage of our better natures, finances, and willingness to give of our time.

The emotional safety of religion and belief never existed, a fact that we know all too well as we see spiritual leaders take advantage of the weak and easily-convinced. We float in and among beliefs, nothing the weaknesses of each. We see incoherent verses with contradictions and science striking holes in tenets.  We float, and then fall squarely in the face of agnosticism and atheism, or we play-act at religion, not wanting to admit that we are agnostic or atheists even to ourselves out of fear of what that might mean.

We can’t have bars as homes—no “Cheers” type situation in a generation all-too-aware of the dangers of chronic alcohol abuse and with too little extra funds leftover to spend regularly on a happy hour.

We go to college and some of us take this on as a “home” for a while, and even afterward, but that fades with time and nostalgia wears into reality and we remember the things that weren’t so good in a new and different light.

We buy property and second-guess the decision. Sell, downsize, become more mobile. Minimize our belongings so we can make a quick escape from our work, our town, if we choose.

Relationships don’t clear up the matter either.  We know that people in the past were just as inconstant, and that nothing certifies a relationship as not having an expiration date, even if we do not wish it to.  We hear of the affairs grandpa had, or how grandma always pretended at the happy housewife even as she debated poisoning the tea.  We hear about how people made marriage and relationships “work” – but at a soul-removing or spirit-crushing cost to themselves.  We hear of people married several times. We hear of relationships lasting 30 years only to end when someone abruptly decides they have had enough.

We get into relationships and keep our separate apartment, keep a backup plan, keep a storage unit for “my” stuff.

We keep our eyes and ears peeled, knowing the smallest crack can shatter the windshield.

We have put up with people doing things, small things, starting slowly over time … just to make us be the bad guy and end it first because they didn’t want their own version of themselves to be besmirched.

We have had “nice guys” or “nice girls” turn out to be sociopaths.

We have taken running leaps at relationships, had them fail, and, in a fit of nostalgia, run at them again, years later.  Still failing to find the answer.  To find anything of value.

We buy pets.  Grieve like a banshee when they die. Because that is really all there is.

Or we overwork, allow ourselves to be underpaid, finding meaning where we can.  We delve into hobbies that promote social concepts we can’t get elsewhere… “Sisterhood,” “fellowship,” “bonding.”  Until we run out of funds or effort for them or the interest runs dry, and our souls feel raw and empty from the experience.

We are destined to die alone.  Because we know, deep down, everyone dies alone.  Even in a room full of people.  You live in your own head.  And that is all. You can see into no one else’s to verify what might be.

There is no emotional home.

There never was.