Poem: Unmystified

I hoped that trip to save my faith.

I thought giving my everything would renew my beliefs.

I thought hearing the stories of god’s power would hold me to the throne.

I thought I would witness miracles.

I thought my god would move mountains.

But at every turn I saw his weakness,

And his pride,

And his lack of concern.

I saw his people alone and abandoned.

Myself included.

And if it is human responsibility to bring heaven to earth

Then what is god doing.

I thought my questions would be answered

And they were.

But god did not answer them.

Poem: We, the Rapists (trigger warning)

Rape,
The fair and just punishment
For being.

A righteous consequence

For those short skirts
And that drunk blood
And being out late
And letting me pay
And being alone
And the friendzone
And the needs of
Your fellow man.

What I see belongs to me.

And if you show too much
I’ll touch.
If you show too little
I’ll touch.
If you’re too loud
If you’re too quiet
If you’re too young
Or too old

If you don’t say no
I’ll touch.
I’ll touch.
I’ll touch.

What I see belongs to me.

These your repercussions for
Wanting too much
Trying to be equal
Ignoring my advances
Denying my rights.

Tame the bitch
Remind her

“I am man.”

Let us poke and prod the daughters
Of our families and friends.

“Not all men,”

But with stats like 1 in 6,
there must be more than 1 man.

Is it shame that ties our tongues
Or guilt that makes us scream?

If he is guilty, why not I?
What I did was worse than he,
but I’m a good guy,
So that can’t be.

I didn’t know it was rape
I didn’t bother asking.

I didn’t know it was assault
I just wanted to get lucky.

I didn’t know it was molestation.
Her eyes were shut, so she must want it.

I didn’t know it wasn’t wanted
she was too drunk to speak up.

She made me wait so long
she owed me so.

She said we’d have sex long ago
But didn’t want to too many times.

Her words were hushed
No “no” was mentioned, though
I admit her knees were stiff
And womanhood was tight.
I thought that just meant she liked it

We laughed and drank stiff tequila
Until she passed out in my car
When she woke with my head between her legs.
I thought that’s what she wanted.

She tried to pull away but
God it felt so good, So
I held on a little tighter ‘til
I was good and ready to let go.

It’s not my fault,
They’ll tell you so.
We’ll blame it on my alcohol
Or hurl guilt onto the media
Or maybe I’ll just curse the porn
Filling up my browser history.

Protect our sons
And fuck our daughters.
Don’t let lying whores
Ruin the lives of growing boys.

We all make mistakes
Let us forgive
And be damned to
Any consequence.

My body is a right and privilege,
And all yours belong to me.
I’d never say that aloud,
But my action declare that belief.

My needs are all your problems.
And my ego, your damnation.
It’s not dark corners
you need fear, my loves.

It’s me and my good intentions,
it’s nice guys and blurred lines.

Poem: Indulge

Not running away from the pain
is the bravest thing I’ve ever done–
Choosing against addiction
Choosing against obsession
Choosing against rage
Choosing against self-destruction.

It seems obvious,
but when faced with the unthinkable,
it’s the embrace of an escape,
the whisper on my shoulder,
the promise of forgetfulness,
and this ledge I come back to
again and again.

But as I stare into
the abyss of fake freedom,
I have chosen again
and again to walk away–
To charge into my darkness
To face the throes of my secrets
To conquer my own demons.

Numbness is the promise
to which I say “no.”
And it is the hardest and
most courageous word I’ve yet used.

To simply sit with my heartache,
and remind myself to just
keep fighting,
keep hoping,
keep loving,
keep talking,
keep writing,
and to always

keep going.

Poem: Infinite Soul

It was a hot summer day in a small room in my even smaller town when I first understood that I did not belong to myself, that my body was not my own, and that I was inherently limited. Fifteen of us middle schoolers and our group leader sat in a circle, fidgeting in white fold-up chairs. The air hung heavy with premature body heat and Axe spray so strong a cloud loomed over our heads.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “My body is a temple,” says the Lord. And my youth pastor.

Our group leader plowed through an impassioned speech, beating this idea into the core of my being. And so, I believed.

With each action on this earth and impurity I committed, a stone was removed from my house of the Lord, leaving me more and more unwhole and unholy. And soon enough, everything I did and everyone I spoke to and every placed I went made little bits of me fall like a trail leading to an archeological destination.

Explorers came to my desolate building, seeking evidence that I once existed. They brushed away at the dirt and grime, rejoicing at the miniscule pieces still left to discover.

After twenty-two years on earth, I was hallow. I was finite—a shell and a limited soul. I took too many stones given to too many people and placed in too many homes. Those stones represented a name and when I had no stones left to give, I was forced to steal from the people I loved to give away to another. Love gives while supplies last, and when supplies ran out, I became used and damaged goods to my newcomers.

I sat at my computer at twenty-two, staring into the abyss of an endless Internet when a phrase once again passed before me. “My body is a temple.” There it was again, but new words formed after this dead horse, “But I am the god for whom it is devoted.” This unknown author pierced the deepest part of me, and new seeds were sown, watered over the next years by chance meetings and prophetic words. I reaped a new conscience, unblinded by previous misinformation.

Soon, I learned that my body belongs to me and I adorn her however I please. My temple isn’t set in stone. My existence isn’t limited by four walls and a carcass only meant to dissipate and die.

Love does not pick at the parts of who I am. Love becomes.

I become. I am infinite.

Every day with every interaction, I expand like the grass and the trees covering a fertile Earth. I discover new clay and form new stones and create new buildings. Little by little, I grow. I create love and give it as desired. I am reincarnated and multiplied. I transform and evolve.

My body isn’t a temple. It’s a city.

The Creature

A lot of people don’t understand Depression. Maybe they’ve felt it before but mistook it for Sadness, or maybe they thought they were depressed but really just sad.

Here, I want to offer my own definition. I guess that’s kind of what I want this blog to be about. For those who understand, I’m here to be your sounding board. If you don’t understand but you know or love someone who suffers, let me offer a new perspective. (I’m not a doctor, so I’m only speaking for myself)

When you’re depressed, it’s hard not to always feel like the poison in the water hole. It’s hard to ignore that ever present voice in your head that says, “You did it again: you ruined everything.” The Voice even ruins the good things people do or say, by reminding you how terrible you are and how undeserving.

I’d say that’s the difference between Depression and Sadness: Sadness grips you and brings you to your knees, but once you relish in all that makes you feel, Sadness lets go. On the other hand, Depression is the lover that grips you tight and waltzes you away into a flurry of unwanted thoughts and uncontrollable feelings. It’s like a bird squawking in your ear every few minutes. It’s this presence that clutches your soul and makes everything feel difficult. Everything sounds exhausting when you’re depressed and everything is work, even the things you love and sometimes even the people. Depression is like this monster that kind of just eats you from the inside out until you become the monster and don’t even recognize yourself.

When I say uncontrollable feelings, I mean completely unwarranted and unwanted waves of anger, bitterness, jealousy, hatred, fear, worry, and sadness. Everything that happens in the day elicits these responses that leave me feeling helpless, like a prisoner to my own mind and emotions. And then there are the waves of numbness. Those are the worst because the apathy and lack of feeling comes from nowhere. Sometimes, I feel this apathy towards things or people that I once felt so deeply for and about. I think it’s from this fear of all the work and energy it takes to feel and be passionate about anything, so even my deepest passions turn to dust in the face of Depression.

It’s also guilt. A lot of guilt and a lot shame—a never ending cycle that usually ends with me paralyzed in my bed, afraid to move or speak because it might lead to something else I’ll regret or hurting someone else I love.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to Depression:

ONE. Selfishness is the cause of Depression. It’s a constant looking in that causes people to become this hopeless blob. While I warrant this has merit, it sure as hell doesn’t suggest a cure either. It’s hard to be selfless when you can’t even get out of bed. Sometimes, this sentiment just leads to more guilt.

TWO. You’ve got to be selfish. If you’re constantly “pouring from an empty cup,” you’ll never get better. Be selfish, so you can be selfless later.

I think both are right to a certain extent, but in moderation and balance. The hardest part is learning the healthy balance between self-love and doing things to help you get better, and actually falling deeper into the all-consuming world view of poor me. 

I’m not really sure what causes Depression. I wish there was a clear answer: like make sure to eat your vegetables and don’t drink blue Kool-Aid and have lots of friends and good family, then you won’t catch Depression. God, I wish it were that easy. All I know is that when I was twelve, I woke up one day with this weight over me, like wearing a heavy cloak I couldn’t take off. I remember that first bout so clearly. In a jewelry box in the closet of my apartment, there are twelve letters written to God. It was 2004. How guilty I felt then, and now. As a little girl, I shouldn’t have had a reason to be depressed, not really. I had a family that loved me and food and shelter and clothes (though no sense of style sadly). I didn’t know why I was so tired. I didn’t know why I was so sad. I didn’t know why dying sounded so sweet. I didn’t understand. I was only a kid.

There are things I didn’t know then and still don’t know why now. Why Depression chose me, I’ll never know. If you’ve suffered through Depression for any length of time, you’ll sympathize.

I am often told: “It gets better.” It’s such a sweet thought. If you’re anything like me though, this sentiment will frustrate the hell out of you (as most supposedly reassuring clichés are prone to do. I’ll write a lot about how much I hate these types of sayings). Try feeling the same way for ten or more years. That little flicker of hope snuffs out quickly, and when the light at the end of the tunnel goes black, being told to hope for the sake of hoping doesn’t seem good enough anymore.

I’m not trying to offer excuses for my behavior; I know there are parts I am responsible for. I just want to help people understand where I’m coming from, and the why to the questions I still cannot answer. I know that I am difficult, and not from a self-pitying stand point but from self-awareness. I want so badly to love the people in my life the way they deserve. I want to be there for them. I want to laugh and have fun and be present wherever I am. I dearly love the people in my life, but I will be the first to admit that I cannot always communicate and show my love for them. I require a lot of patience and comfort. For now, I think that’s okay. But my hope this year is that the tides will change.

This year I want to be better. I want to love others in return better. I want to live better. I want to work better. I want better.

In the meantime, this is how I keep myself going, how I keep fighting for the life I want to have. On the bad days, I remind myself:

This feeling will pass.

I can do this because I am brave. I am brilliant. I am beautiful.

I will get better, because “it” might not. But I can, and that’s all I want anyway.

 

Joy and happiness friends,
With love,

Kariana

 

 

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Eating Shit (Some real, raw, and possibly offensive honesty by yours truly)

As this horrible, no good, very bad  year finally comes to an end, I thought I’d make my position clear: I no longer consider myself a Christian.

So why did I stop believing?

It was for selfish reasons mostly–things I wouldn’t or couldn’t give to god, guilt I refuse to feel, dreams I refuse to give up, and an earthly home I desperately long for. There are many things I’m supposed to want as a “Christian Girl” that I don’t and can’t want. And then there are the things I want that I’m not supposed to want.

I choose my dreams, my hopes, my home, my sex and sexuality, and my humanity over a god who stayed silent–a god whose only mouth-piece seemed to me like the words of love painted with the blood of hate.

Shrugging off the veil of my religion was a relief bound in a bittersweet sigh.  It was not an easy decision, and there are moments I mourn all I once held true. But in the first moments of my disbelief, the first thing I noticed was the silence of my guilt. I am free. And for once, being lost isn’t a negative but a chance for adventure and discovery.

At the end of the day, however, I’m just tired of all the hate that comes from religious and nonreligious alike. I’m tired of the way we wake up in the morning and eat our own shit because we think we have to. I’m tired of the ways beliefs and politics pull us apart and make our Shit a livelihood.

The Shit we eat is full of bits of obligation and tradition, flecked with expectations and disappointments, hunks of fear and manipulation. But I promise, in the Shit we eat, you’ll never find humility or honesty or individuality. Every shit looks the same, and I see it all around us. It’s underfoot, it’s in our heads, it’s in our Bibles and textbooks, it’s in our constitutions and our handbooks. It’s in our peace, and it’s in our wars. It is both left and right. The Shit abounds, and the only escape is to stop feeding on the hate and judgement that points fingers and evades blame. It’s the Shit that renders us cowards in the face of anyone who looks different, speaks different, thinks different, believes different, worships different, and loves different.

We eat the same Shit, so we can fit in because on Earth, there is no greater curse than being different, and I am sick of it.