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You Swore! You Promised!

Spittle covers my dejected face

as I fall to my knees.

Tattered rags and dirt covered feet

attest to how far I have come.

I watch the disdain play a game

trying to hide and yet failing.

I watch those of your court pity me

but there is nothing I can do.

You swore that you would protect me!

You promised that you would love me!

And yet here I am, abased on the floor.

I hear the clack of heels as you walk away,

I hear the murmur of voices in my head,

in a flash with a blade of steel

I have ended your life.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

June 6/17

 

 

Exploited

I trusted you at a time when all deferred

holding your hand in a time of terror

as you did loudly proclaim

your sincere innocence.

I followed your lead, pushed them all away

locking myself away in the dark

isolated

weakened

and unsure.

Your words were like whips stinging

your lips stroked with velvet steel

your caresses desirous to me.

I lost myself within your reason

I lost myself within your greed

I lost myself within your desire

for it was how I had to pay.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

June 5/17

 

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Once upon a time,

I believed I was a princess

held captive in an ivory tower;

I must have been four or five.

There came a time when protection was rescinded

the mad King made his move

and no longer was I the pretty princess

I had become a child to mold.

My self loathing, my desire to hide

took me down roads no one should travel.

No woman should believe that her worth

is based upon sexuality.

I crept and crawled, pulling myself along

consecrated land

While the demons within wailed and fought

to be free.

I explode free from notions and conceptions

I retain the right to mold myself

to come back from the horror within.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

May 7/17

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Laying upon the rocky altar

bloody and in chains

Demons cluster at my feet

rejoicing in my pain.

They feed upon my despair, the words woven

they suckle deep at the deceptions I weave

Gorging upon my flesh, my soul

until bloated they fall aside,

To be replaced by some more.

I stare blankly at the mountain above

knowing not the damage done

for the demons have once more come.

And I fall into their dreams, their blatant bullshit

while their claws dig deep, making me wince.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

April 26/17

 

Amazing Day

I had a realization today. A rather awesome and fulfilling realization. I am happy and so much more stable than I was a mere eight weeks ago.

I had to work today.

Let me set the scene for you:

A grocery store.

The Saturday after being closed for Good Friday (in Canada Good Friday is a statutory holiday and businesses are closed. Restaurants, gas stations, small convenience stores can be open). As well it is not like there are not thirty million gatherings that are going to take place within the Good Friday to Easter Sunday days. And it isn’t as all those gatherings will not food because everyone will have brought something. And yet, when I opened the doors at 7 a.m. we had a steady stream of customers. At times the line ups were so long and tangled no one knew who was going where. Our customers were awesome, no one complained and we ran.

That being said, let us go back a few hours. I knew today was going to be insane so I had already decided to go into work a little early. Up at 5 at work by 5:40. Which was a good thing because the carts had all been moved from the lobby into the mall which meant I needed to move them back into the lobby. I looked at it shook my head and said to myself:

‘Jay-lyn Anne you can totally rock this.’

And I did.

Eight weeks ago, this would have killed me. I would have spun out, my brain frantically trying to shuffle the hundreds of things that I had to do within my allotted time period. I would have been near tears, while also raging and frothing at the mouth. Instead I looked around, counted the good things that happened this morning. Had an awesome sleep, bounced out of bed, the day was starting off warm and set to get warmer.  I hit all 6 green lights on the way to work and most importantly because I realized how far I have come.

Than my boss and I were talking. And as we walk away in opposite directions I turn around and call him back. Stamped my foot like a bloody pony to emphasize my point (do not even attempt to ask or understand because I don’t) and thanked him. I thanked him for not shunting me to the side and firing me. I thanked him for being brave enough to talk to me without really understanding. And he told me I was doing amazingly well. That staff had been commenting on how much happier I am. I thanked him for that too. And as we parted he said to me you are doing a great job keep it up.

I had customers today tell me that they always see me; moving at top speed and yet I always had a smile on my face and would stop for a chat. And how they appreciated that.

And I had another good thing to add to my list.

I love this feeling. I love having come through the shadows, of having allowed the demons that reside within so much control and I am the one now in control. I have no doubt that there may come a time when I have another depressive episode. But I will have this to look back on and I will know that happiness is possible. And I will fight and I will starve those demons of the fear and self worthlessness that they feed on, so my days become happier sooner.

 

Who I am

“You haven’t seen the raving me. The belligerent me that pushes the limits. The dark and despairing me that can’t stop crying. I don’t share those facets with people because look what happens when I do.”

I have been doing a lot of thinking and redefining myself this week. I am not only my illness, I am a wonderful vibrant woman with a lot to offer. But what exactly is that?

I do not know who I am. Who at the very core of me, is me. I have always been somebody;  child, daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother. Co-worker. Boss. Those are all designations that describe a being but they do not describe me.

The first time I should have been diagnosed with depression, in looking back with my great wisdom and knowledge of behavior, was in my early teen years. Oh the rage that I exhibited, the anger, the hatred, the words that streamed from my mouth ripping into the souls and hearts of those nearest to me. I indulged in self-destructive behavior, attempted suicide, not successfully nor even whole heartedly once my imagination kicked in. For in one moment I lay in a coffin looking up at the haggard and weeping features of my mom and my brother, and knew that I could never inflict that pain on them.

The demons that I fought throughout this time, while not the same demons others faced, were still just that. Demons that had some how found their way into my brain and their words were chillingly accurate with regards to how I felt. A failure, unworthy of love, so stupid, the ruiner of all that is good. I did not know than that it was a tape on a loop. Words spoken to me as a child that buried deep in my psyche would reappear when things got tough and I was unsure of my ability to handle the situations around me.

The second time was when I lost my daughter. I was five months pregnant. She was still born. I remember a lot of drugs, a doctor who wanted me to carry my child to term or rather until my body went into labor on its own. Despite the drugs I was coherent enough to tell that doctor that there was no way I was going to carry my dead child in my body awaiting nature’s course. No one knew what I was going through. I pulled into myself, slept twelve to thirteen hours a day, stayed up at night reading until my eyes burned. I was afraid to live, to be alive. I could not move forward nor was I willing to accept the help that others offered to me.

I wrapped myself in pain and misery. I refused to speak of her. I cried a myriad of tears for her and pushed my than companion away as he tried to comfort me. Again the words that cut flew from my mouth, darts finding the target and puncturing, tearing away the love and relationship we had.

My early twenties forward becomes a blur. I self-medicated, alcohol, drugs, men, anything that would fill the void that yawned within me. I looked everywhere for satisfaction, for fulfillment that can only be found when you look within. When you accept that those warts and funny bumps are all you, good, bad, facets of your being that become melded into the core essential being of self.

My thirties are a longer story. Marriage, a child, the first diagnosis of depression. Counselling and a better understanding of what was going on within my head. But even with medication it was not getting better. I was still seeking, still yearning for that elusive something.

Three years ago this summer I crashed. A variety of external circumstances colluded with my growing despair and belief that I could not do anything right, lead to a deep depression. I awoke one Saturday afternoon after a night of drinking and the blackness was there gathering around. I despised myself. I sat on the toilet, wrapped in a towel, shuddering sobs wracking my body and chanted over and over how I hated myself.

Monday I saw the doctor and was immediately placed on medication and sent off. Tuesday saw me unable to function. I had consumed muscle relaxants with my ativan and I could not even remember my name. How I got home I have no idea. Wednesday I was on leave. My than boss exacerbating the feelings of ruin and unworthiness.

It took two weeks for me to stop crying and sleeping all the time. My son worried nonstop about me. Trying desperately to make me feel better, to cheer me up. I would fall asleep on the couch at 7 p.m. and not awaken until 9 or 10 a.m. the next morning. I had no desire to eat. I took my pills, I counted the days and I began counselling. Slowly but surely, I began the road to recovery.

I faced some of those demons who had been getting a free ride all these years. I forgave and released the hold my father had on me. Even in death he was still whispering his vile words into my ears. I allowed myself the freedom, the ability to be angry with my mom for things that occurred and we did not speak for months. I needed time to grieve and heal. I began to realize that I was a good and decent person. That the looped tape and those others who tried so hard to put me in a box of their devising, it was alright to ignore them, to move forward and leave them behind.

So well was I doing that I stopped taking my medication in October of 2015, and for awhile there it was good. I was doing well. And than began that slow and inevitable dive into the waters of pain, fear, self medicating, the disbelief in self and worth drilling through the facade I had erected. And I fell. But that is okay. I had a safety net this time. I became aware of what I was doing, how I was sabotaging myself and I needed to stop. A visit to the doctor and the conclusion that this was to be the last time. No matter how great I feel, no matter how well the world connects around me, I must remain on my medication. I do not want to fall further, I do not want my son to feel as though he needs to be my caretaker.

This continues to be a journey of wonder and exploration. To finally see who I am. To see once the layers of all the characters that I am are peeled away; who I am at the core of my being. A writer, a dreamer, a prankster. A reader, a designer, a mother of one. The facets of me are varying and bright, dark and dangerous, and I look forward to seeing how they will all merge, becoming me. I await me, with hope and bated breath.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsheathe the Sword.

Am feeling rather out of sorts this weekend. Spent the majority of the day yesterday wallowing in my misery. One day I gave myself and than I must return to ‘normal’ for T’s sake. So I reached deep down inside me and pulled up the stability and ability that T needed from me. A few times I caught myself tearing up and T would say ‘but mom you promised that you would just be sad for one day.’ and that gave me the strength to keep moving forward from where I was.

Today was also the birthday party for K. His ninth and at the swimming pool. I thought that was a fantastic idea once I knew what was going on. And don’t think that M hadn’t text me with information about the party but I didn’t remember. So off we went and I left the cake for K at my place. M had no room in her freezer and as it was an ice cream cake, I kept it. I ran home to get the cake and returned.  Everything was perfectly fine.

And than we went into the pool area. And it was packed there; had to be a thousand people there. Not really but it felt like that. Eventually we found a table and sat down. I could not see T at all. So it began. Aside: I have an absolutely deep rooted fear of drowning. It makes no sense and I am an excellent swimmer.

At first I did not notice. But than I was bobbing up and down and weaving back and forth in a frantic need to see T. My heart began to race, I began shaking a little and than my lips began to pulsate. I could feel the blood pounding through them. One of my co-workers and M both noticed and they both helped me through.

M’s advice was to just stop it!

L helped talk me through it. And with  wryness I said  ‘and given all the people that are in this pool, I do not think that that would be an issue.’

I was able to keep an eye out and always find him. Than I could not find him and my eyes traveled over to the stairs to the water slide and there he is. Another absolute irrational fear is that I am afraid of heights and do not believe the railing is sufficient to keep T from leaping over. Never has he ever tried to do this and he is eight years old. But I am not rational and my emotions are on high alert. So I peeped from under eyelashes squinting so as not to freak myself out until he went down the slide and emerged unscathed and unaware of his mother’s fears.

We had all decided that 2:30 pm. was the pull out time for getting the boys out of the pool. So I stood up and began waving at T. And weaving back and forth trying to get his attention. I know that he looked at me like three times and chose to ignore me. Finally exasperated I joked that I should put on my mom voice and holler for T’s attention. M and L both laughed and responded with ‘Not only will the boys get out but you would be the cause of a mass exodus from the pool.’ Eventually one of the boys saw me and mentioned it to T. He got out of the pool and argued at first but like the good kid he is he went and got his buddies.

I’ve learned something from today’s episodes. I can see the humor in them even as I am having them. I have learned that others do want to know and understand so they can be helpful. I have learned that sometimes I just need M to give me her mom’s voice and the command to stop it. And I survived. All of it. And with each step forward, I understand more about myself and learn new techniques to cope.

I could let it control me but I chose to fight back. To wrest control back into my hands, my life. And I will. I know it has teeth and claws but I shall unsheathe the sword.