For what it’s worth

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For what it’s worth

I try very hard to bring positivity into my life.

I wrap it around me to keep the demons away.

My happiness and positivity are not easy or natural

But still I try.

And I rise

Above my pain, my anger, my disappointment, my disillusionment, and my fear.

But still they come.

Still they find me.

And there’s no real escape from them.

Every time I run, You somehow find me.

You‘ve been in me and still remain lodged up there somewhere.

You are the nightmare I cannot stop reliving.

You are the darkness I desperately try to burn away.

You are my deepest darkest fear. My boogieman.

You are my Hell.

But I refuse to despair.

And I refuse to boil up with anger.

I cannot change history or change you,

but I can change how I deal with what you’ve done and deal with me.

I can focus on me and love me.

I can and will heal from this,

and I hope that one day you might realize the damage and pain you’ve inflicted.

One day, I pray that you do change and heal too.

❤ life as an agoraphobe

Artwork from Linda Lucia Santana & Linda Coghetto

1lucia-9

For those interested this is a piece that is in conversation with a previous piece: Tremble but do not crumble, Dear the night that scarred me, and  Las palabras silenciosas para mi angelitx caídx

 

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Las palabras silenciosas para mi angelitx caídx

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Las palabras silenciosas para mi angelitx caídx

Mi angelitx caídx,
Veniste a la casa cambiadx.
No sonrías ni comías ni dormías como deberías
Pero no sabia como alcanzarte.
Amarte nunca fue fácil.
No tenia la lengua ni el valor para enfrentar la verdad.
Pensé que podrás luchar contra todo,
Tu pasión y fortaleza era única
Nunca necesitabas nada ni nadie
Creciste tan independiente con un mundo mágico en tu mente que te nos quito
Siempre estabas millones de millas lejos de mí
en espíritu y físicamente
Así es como podres te crecer con tanto amor y alegría.
Así es como creciste a ser Tani nuestrx angelitx y guerrerx valiente.
Nunca se nos occurio que a lo mejor eras todavía niñx
O eso pensamos hasta ese día que casi te perdemos

Pero disculpame por no poder protegerte del mundo.
Perdoname por nunca enseñarte que cruel el mundo puede ser
Perdoname por no preparate para el dolor y la traición.
Disculpame por ser tan optimista
Pero más que nada ayúdame en restaurarte.

Demuestrame que no te falle en algo
Grita, Pelea, y crece como yo sé que puedas.
Sacúdete y preparate para volar otra vez más.
Tu eres nuestro todo.
Eres nuestro sueño hecho realidad,
Nuestrx pedacitx del cielo,
Y nuestra esperanza.

Nuestra historia y la tuyx siempre continué en ti.
Nada ni nadie podrá pararte porque eres más de la suma de tus experiencias.
Así como te creciste del suelo, vas a crecer de esto mi angelitx.
Vuela y mejora el mundo poco a poco.

lucia-coghetto

❤ life as an agoraphobe

Artwork from Linda Coghetto

 

For Safety & Sanity’s sake

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For Safety & Sanity’s sake

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In times of war, we hide and protect our weak.

Every woman, child, sick, and elderly person is locked away until the sun may shine once more.

A flower lie in wake of war,

It is wrapped away from harm’s way

Behind a wall of stone and distance

It teeters between withering away and prospering,

So isolated from reality, it remains

Infinitely confused and unsure of its fate and future

But still it grows, blossoms, and beams with hope, love, and naivete.

It galvanizes a nation and a cause’s every being.

“As long as you bloom, I can and shall fight for your safety and prosperity”

But even the strongest, most sound, most defined, and most solidified barriers cannot keep pain from oozing in.

Nothing is truly impenetrable

It’s just a shame I had to learn that the hard way.

But mistakes once made, shall not go unlearned.

 

As soldiers do in war, I give your my Achilles’s heel.

Boxed away and entrusted to you, my heart shall lie in a bed of ivory and gold

to admire and access

but safe from me and from attack.

I have at last learned:

I fall too easily, too sincerely, and too quickly.

I trust too many and welcome in all the wrong people.

I devote my life to those I love, (and while I love that about myself),

I recognize that it has left gaping holes that no amount of love can fill.

I desire and deserve more than that, so until that time comes,

until I meet someone worthy of all my love to give,

I trust you alone to protect and care for my heart.

Hold it dear, feed it daily, and help me help myself.

Some wild things are better kept in reins.

❤ life as an agoraphobe

Art work by Tyra Wm (https://tyrawm.carbonmade.com/)

 

Why the need to publicize?

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Why the need to publicize?

Why Why Why you ask me.

Because in silence,

we die and corrode.

Alone, and out of sight,

we die inside.

One rise, one fall.

If my words can be taken with any weight,

they might make an impact.

They speak on behalf of myself and my truth and mean the world to me,

but if I can even reach ONE other person,

I’ve touched the world.

I’ve created a dialogue of connection.

And by doing that, a whole other universe of possibility for connection has erupted out of ONE small act.

It’s not really mine anymore,

and there’s a beauty and sadness in that.

Ni aqui ni alla

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Ni aqui ni alla:

Me ves como una y otra

pero nunca como yo.

Piensas que podras entender me,

pero nunca tratas.

Hablas y hablas oras y oras “conmigo”

pero nunca podras entenderme a mi fondo.

Try and try as you may,

My very existence confounds you.

I baffle you.

And that bothers and unnerves you to your core.

Que yo–

Una extraña, marciana, pobre sucia, y ingrata

podra levantarse y intimidarte.

Que yo “chiquita” “jovencita”, y “bonita”,

Me atrevo a retarTE

“Como me atrebo! “ me dicen cuando

Tu eres

Gigante, poderoso, y “sagrado”

But my days of comforting and consoling your ego

Are done.

Terminados, finito.

No debere llorar ni darte tiempo

pero me tengo que hacer

MUY CLARA:

No somos amigos, ni comadres, ni “best friends”.

If I make you uncomfortable,

Whether because of my race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illnesses, or because of my personality,

Salve me y at ti el tiempo y déjame ir.

I am not your manic pixie doll,

nor your “woke” best friend,

nor your “representative PoC”.

Be honest and recognize we’ve both outgrown each other

Y reconoce que es mejor asi.

How to apologize more effectively and truthfully/wholeheartedly

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How to apologize more effectively and truthfully/wholeheartedly

It’s never easy to recognize when one is wrong. Our society prioritizes and rewards us when we’re right making it that much harder for us to accept when we are wrong. But we can and are often wrong, and we can’t ignore that. When you say or do something that offends or hurts someone, you are in the wrong. You should apologize and open up that discussion of what’s really going on. It can be terrifying to accept or face someone when you’ve wronged them. From personal experience, I avoid and run away from someone when I think they’re mad at me or upset with me for something I did because I fear the confrontation and eventual fall out. But avoiding the problem only makes it worse. So to help myself and others in learning how to apologize more effectively and truthfully/wholeheartedly,  here are some rules to help guide you when you’ve wronged someone and are trying to work towards reparations or amending that relationship:

  • Don’t make excuses. Own up to what you did and its impact even if that was not your intention.
  • Don’t try to rationalize or argue your way out of this. Truly listen to what the other person is saying without arguing back or commenting.
  • Do not gaslight people! Value and legitimize what the other person is saying without trying to convince them that they are wrong and misunderstood the situation. Their perspective matters and is valid, so respect it and do not try to rewrite their experience. If you think something else went down, speak from your perspective not from a factual standpoint or a “right” standpoint.  
  • APOLOGIZE! You hurt someone and you need to acknowledge that.
  • Do not expect an apology will make everything better. This is just the first step.
  • Work to think of changes you can do to avoid hurting people again.
  • Set up a call out method or system in place for calling people (including yourself) out when they (and/or you) say or do something hurtful and problematic.
  • Really try to minimize the time between when something hurtful takes place and when you talk to someone about it (whether it’s calling them out or apologizing for the act). The shorter that time lapse, the stronger the cognitive association between act and impact. The more time that passes, the less clear and less relative the two become.
  • Begin to plan how to repair this relationship: have to regain trust, solidify connection, and work through truly understanding one’s actions and their impact.
  • Reflect on your own dealing with the situation and separate your acts from your sense of self. You are not inherently a bad person for saying or doing something that hurt someone else. Your actions or words need to be addressed and adjusted but your worth as a person should not fluctuate because of this. Do not correlate criticism or feedback of your actions or words with your self worth.

Personally, this is last one is always hard for me because I jump to think “I am bad”,” I am a screw up”, and ” I continuously let people down because there’s something wrong with me”. This makes it hard for me to recognize when I’ve wronged someone else because then I feel like have to defend my self worth by defending my actions or reasoning behind my actions even when I know I’m wrong. Recently, my sister called me out on a string of events where I let her down. I knew I’d let her down and should have done better, but I avoided her for months because I feared her words and my reaction to them. Additionally, I fear what this means and where to go from here. When I wrong others, I assume that I am wrong as a person and that others should not and will not want to engage with me anymore. So, rather than face and accept that I’ve wronged them and need to work to repair this damage done, I run away and hope to never have to deal with my wrongful doing.

Regardless though, when you wrong someone it does not have to be the end of the road. People mess up, people let each other down, and people also grow and learn from their actions. When you wrong another that does not have to end there, you can and should apologize then work to change and grow from that. You are malleable and ever changing, so learn to accept when you’re wrong and be prepared to do some critical work to change your behavior.

Dear my hurt,

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Dear my hurt,

You might not understand or fully be able to unpack everything, but please know that you are of utmost important to me, (pain). You get me to move and not move, you look out for me, and you scare me. As a result, you have left a lasting impact on me that I’m still experiencing. I see the epigenetic legacy of pain and violence that liter my family’s past and seep into my own life, and I work to unpack, heal, and unlearn those patterns. I recognize that this is a work in process that requires a lot of time, effort, and work, but I also refuse to let it “be okay” because violence should never be okay. Yes, I’ve been hurt and my ancestors and friends have been hurt, but reciprocating pain and violence is not challenging or changing anything. Just because someone else hurts you or acts violently towards you does not justify you to enact violence and cause them pain. If someone punches you does not give you the right and justification to punch them right back. It’s not an issue of being moral, it’s a fundamental understanding, empathy, and love for a fellow beings life and quality of life.

Recently, I’ve come to realized how troubling violence is for me. I strive not to enact it on others or myself, but two recent events have made me realize I still need to grow in this aspect a lot. After being with the someone for some time now, I’ve recently realized how normalized violence is in our relationship when they hit me a little harder than usual, and they didn’t apologize immediately. The hit was not terribly painful, but it’s blow left a deep sense of hurt at my core.They tried to reason that I was going to hurt them or that I had in the past, and I found myself looking more and more like my parents, my grand father who beat my grandmother, and the countless others in my life and in the lives of my loved ones that have accepted and internalized violence. Have I truly taken up my oppressors’ tools to continue the cycle? Fundamentally, the answer is yes, and that reality greatly disturbs me.

The truth is that I’ve internalized my own pain, so much so, that I’m replicating my oppressors’ cycle of violence. I normalize in how my friends and I “drag” each other around, in how I play fight with my boo thang of the moment, in how I say something hurtful without thinking it through, and in how I am violent towards myself. And while all these have varying degrees of severity and impact, none of them are all that great and are definitely not okay. All of these acts normalize pain and undermine the shared life essence of each one of us. It decenters and corrupts the essence of life by commodifying and devaluing life itself. It’s okay if your best friend says mean things to you because they still love you, it’s okay that your partner digs their nails into your skin sometimes because they don’t mean to hurt you only “play”, it’s okay if you harm yourself because you aren’t dying or trying to kill yourself. None of these are okay, and in no way is violence ever okay. So, I’m going to stop play fighting, verbally dragging friends, and saying harmful things without thinking of their true impact. I am done inviting others to hurt me and done hurting others because this is still participation in a cycle of violence. I refuse to let my trauma and legacy of pain harden me, therefore, I will continue to love and give myself fully to those I love and care for. It may be hard to do so since violence is so second nature to me now, but putting in that extra effort and strain to do so is worth destroying and unlearning a harmful cycle of behavior. I strive to celebrate and center the life that flows through me, my family, my friends, and my fellow beings. Here’s a short poem that further defines and celebrates the Mayan’s conceptions of the significance of life (essence), community, and humanity as a whole.

IN LAK’ECH

Tú eres mi otro yo.

You are my other me.

Si te hago daño a ti,

If I do harm to you,

Me hago daño a mi mismo.

I do harm to myself.

Si te amo y respeto,

If I love and respect you,

Me amo y respeto yo.

I love and respect myself.

(“Pensamiento Serpentino”, Luis Alvarez)

Thank you for reading,

❤ life as an agoraphobe