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I use to think, to believe, that pain was the foundation

that happiness and flowers were a fairy tale;

Words I read on a page, that made no sense

trapping me in a whirlwind of pain.

As I grew and began to see the world anew

I realized your sickness, your disease

Alcohol, a vice to others

the voice whispering in your ear.

You hurt me, your inability to see

alcohol was your mistress but what the fuck about me?

Deadened to expectations, accepting only what I could see

my lip curls now in disdain, as I realize;

A man you were not, a father you could never be

a childhood destroyed,

never once an apology.

I spit on you,

your sacred memory.

I hope you burn in hell

accompanied by the demons

who damned you in life.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

Aug 1/12

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He was everyone’s best friend

yet a horrid husband and father.

Demons cried, piercing his pain

until alcohol was the only game.

Destroyed two lives;

thought it was a game,

died before retribution could be handed down.

He cared for others but not his own flesh and blood

demanding that we love.

Damned to the Underworld,

demons gobble his pain.

I can hear your cries, your pleads for help

but all I can feel is my pain.


©Jay-lyn Doerksen

July 31/17


My Darkest Hour

I woke up at 7ish this morning, the one day that I can sleep in without worries. Today is the day T comes back to me at 4 so I have all day to just luxuriate in my decadence. Yes there is laundry to do and beds to be made, but I can have a little lie in. But no. So I took a half an ativan so I could go back to sleep. I was not ready, prepared or even had enough mental stability to face my day.

I cried for over an hour when I went to bed last night. Before that I had been texting and chatting with friends and my support group was circling their wagons to protect me. But none of them were here when I turned the lights off. When I climbed into bed and every sharp edged word spoken to me began to gouge its way into my confidence, my self-worth. The sobs did not wait, they erupted over me, spilling from my eyes like white water when you are rafting. I could not breath. Lucky worried, kept head butting me and curling up against me purring desperately to calm me. Thomas snuggled into the back of my legs, his paws draped over my thighs his version of a hug.

It was a black hour. It was the blackest hour that I have faced in my life.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I have always clawed my way back from whatever hell it is that I find myself in. I never doubted my belief in myself that I am a good person, that I care for others, that I put others before myself. Yet last night I doubted. I wondered if all along I have deluded myself and that in reality I am selfish and horrible. That my version of reality is so strongly distorted from how others see it that I wonder, am I even sane?

I looked at the time, I looked at my phone. And I wondered who can I call? Who at 12:30 a.m. is going to be okay if I call them sobbing because I have no more belief, I have no more strength, I just need someone to say it will be okay. Better not call mom because a) she is in her 70’s and a phone call that late means someone is dead, and b) my brother would kill me. Everyone else is asleep and I am so afraid to reach out and disturb anyone because I just cannot. I cannot put my woes, my worries on anyone else.

I finally called one friend who answered on the first ring. Who assured me that it was okay to call. And as I sobbed, blowing my nose in his ear, gasping for breath as each fresh wave of revulsion rolls over me, he tells me it will be okay. That there are people who love me and who cherish me and will protect me. He tells me that the shadows dancing with glee along the wall and above my head, they will vanish as the sunlight returns. He talked for an hour while I listened. I am sure that there were some mumbled incoherent denials of my goodness and worth. The cats sat on either side of me purring and snuggling in. My face and nose hurt from crying but eventually  I calmed down. Eventually I no longer felt that I was a disaster.

My dreams were ugly and distorted. Full of vengeance and venom and darkness. I didn’t sleep without worry I did not sleep without cares. What I found in my dreams were a reflection of self, crowned with Medusa’s snakes hissing and snarling and excluding myself from others. I saw myself as the outsider with no one to turn to. I muttered and tossed in my sleep.

Last night was the darkest hour of my life. I felt sadness that I had never felt before. I felt so worthless that not even the beauty found in my poetry, in my son, was able to make things better. I have come through to the other side. I am shivering. I am scared. I am doubting myself so much I am not sure that I can even face people. But I will. And I will carry on. Because this is only one day, only one night and I have so many more.

More where laughter and love, where wine and good food, where friends and family intermingle, those are the days I have coming to me. One day I will look back. One day I will say yes, that was my bleakest moment. And I will stand to greet the rising sun because it is me who matters……it is how I feel about myself that matters……not the perception that one has of me based on only one side.


Morty The Face of My Depression

I am deep in the midst of a cycle of depression. It is dark, it is all consuming. I feel as though I spend my days wading through water, not really there. It physically hurts to smile and I am freezing. All I want to do is sleep. I eat just enough so that my stomach does not rumble. And I stare mindlessly at the television not even seeing what is there unable to enjoy reading.

I cry for no reason. And I do not need one that is what depression does. I had to explain to my two bosses at work what is going on with me. I mean, I have a hangdog expression on my face, I often emerge from my office with red eyes…..obviously there is a problem. But how do you explain to someone what it feels like to be depressed. To live with depression. So I came up with a character and I gave him a name and a look.

My depression is named Morty. Morty is an asshole. He is the uninvited uncle that moves in and never ever leaves. He may go visit another family member once in awhile but for the most part he resides with me. He is short and rotund, with greasy black hair and a handlebar mustache.  He is aggressive and snappy, his voice is harsh and grating. He dresses in a mix of leisure suits from the ’70’s to the ’90’s wife beaters. His jeans never really quite fit.

Morty when he arrives is careful. He is on his best behaviour for awhile so you never really realize the insults, the taunting, the words running on a loop……you are worthless…..you don’t know how to be a mother……you are going to get fired…..you are so stupid…..you are…..you are…….and suddenly he is right in my face.

And that is another aspect of my depression. See I get to feeling really good and I can push Morty away. I can shut him up, relegate him to the small attic room. The one that gets so humid in the summer the boards swell.  In the winter he huddles next to the chimney eking his warmth from there.  And I imagine Morty is gone. I have conquered him and I stop taking my meds.

It doesn’t happen right away. This last time was a year and a half before I was hit. And I woke up and realized that Morty had somehow escaped. Now this venomous glutton sits on my chest and his claws are buried deep within me. And I start screaming. Only you would never know that I am screaming because I do not make a sound. But they reverberate in my head.

This time is not as bad as my last crash three years ago. I could not even look after my son. I was wrapped in grey wool and I slept my days away. I watched him play with tears running down my cheeks because I was so sad. I could not explain it to him. But a break through came the day I got dressed before I took him down to the bus rather than my pj’s. So I know that it will come with this cycle as well.

Morty has me in his clutches right now and it is painful. I am back on my medication and the amount of crying I have done since Sunday is slowly lessening. It will take time for me to get to exactly where I need to be. I do know though that I will be fortifying the room that I am locking Morty up in this time so that the chances of further escape will be slim. I know they will happen and deal with them when they do.

The Face Depression Wears

So today is Let’s talk about Mental Illness day.

While I appreciate the notion every day is a day to discuss Mental Illness.

I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, major depression, ptsd, bi-polar 2 and holy fuck I am just cray cray.

I struggle sometimes daily but I can go months without feeling anything but good.

Than come those days where I sob into my pillow because everyone hates me and despite my talent I am not writing. I struggle with feeling like I am the world’s worst mother. That I am not a good friend, a good girl friend, a good daughter or sister. I writhe with disgust at my inability to not cope without having a drink. I look in the mirror and cannot stand the image that looks back at me. I have my ups and by god I have my downs. I cry and I bitch and I huddle beneath the blankets because there I find comfort. There I find security.

This is the face that depression wears in my life.