I Was a Stigma to Myself

All credit to Emotive Brand for the image.
So often I would sit and wail about "why"?
The frustration unending,
the obsession ongoing,
a gut wrenching demand to understand
that in itself
kept me from the knowledge,
the peace I sought.

Sick in the head druggie,
psychopath,
crazy as a shit house rat,
lunatic,
insane,
addict,
"something's wrong with that kid" -

Drug user stigma phrases shown on an image with a haloed syringe from the words.
All credit to Stonetree Harm Reduction for the image.

I tried to own those labels
make them something to be proud of.
I tried doing that,
by doing all the things
I imagined people with those labels would do.
I followed that up,
by demanding that I not be persecuted,
not be judged,
not be looked at differently,
though I had just behaved in a way that demanded all those things happen.

Now I come to terms,
sit with the idea of peace,
find pride not in my actions
but in the understanding
that awareness and acceptance bring.
To know that I am not an actor playing out roles,
that I lost myself,
but I am a survivor,
no longer needing to play the role
of victim or perpetrator anymore.

It's a small thing,
Which means so much to me.
To be able to introduce myself,
engage in a conversation,
with confidence.
Know that I accept who I am as a being,
that I no longer let labels
define who I choose to see myself as,
act as a script for my identity,
or be my scapegoats when I screw up.

That like so many others,
I am the hero
and the villain,
of my own story.
That my abnormal mental states,
my addictions,
all the resulting experiences,
are gifts to allow me opportunities,
to shine my brightest
against the backdrop of adversity,
and decide just how much of it there would be.

To know that there are others out there gleaming,
and if we encounter each other
it could be in the form of respect and love,
admiration for the battles fought,
no matter whether they were felt won or lost,
an opportunity to compare notes and grow.

I'm not ashamed of who I am,
or where I am today,
I am disappointed in many of my choices
but they have been mine to make,
and they were made.
I used to have a vision of the perfect person,
someone that I would measure myself to
and inevitably fall short.

Today I am me,
released on the world
perfectly defective,
beautifully abnormal,
gifted with challenge and capacity for growth.

All of it,
so that I have a chance to become
an oh so slowly evolving,
human being.




The Final Argument of Lovers

Fickle sentiments with rusted diamond edges,

he said she said metronome bullshit breaking waves,

dividing in measured wedges.

Diatribes and verbal lacerations,

hurt soaked souls harmonizing in

beatdown rhythms instead of conversations.

You don’t know the depths to which I’ve gone,

the lengths of patience for love

you feel mislead like this was a siren song.

The end is racing towards us brutal fast

the thought that hateful statements

might be the last interaction is the worst

a feeling like nails in spine

an unending panic attack.

Troubled Teen Industry

Sorry Mom Troubled Teen SmokingEverything is about finding your voice,
So here goes,
An attempt to tell a story.
One where the hero and heroine fall short in every category.
They were stripped away at tender ages,
Put in lowly spots,
Locked away in beautiful prisons,
Thrown away into lovely cages.
One was in country and one was out,
One had a religious theme,
The other mind breaking,
Brain scarring and fuck you over was what it was all about.
One chained you to beds with cuffs made of steel,
Let girls kick you in a nightshirt and watch you squeal.
The other was prided on group interaction,
Breaking each other down was the main attraction.
One praised God on a daily basis,
But both praised the dollar sign on a much larger dais.
With the coms blacked out and the parents away,
Most children celebrate,
Act diabolical,
Hell,
Those little fuckers might play.
We put our noses to the grind stone,
Got raped, molested, abused, brainwashed, conditioned, and then some.
Another day in the life,
Of a troubled teen school paradise.

Deceitful Beauty – still….

These lovely pictures were taken in Bahia de Kino. This Sonora, Mexico seaside community is home to some wonderful and amazing individuals, and once housed the  long term “troubled youth” program which so scarred those of us fortunate enough to be placed there. Long since closed, Positive Impact was such a credit to the international family of behavior modification programs popular at the time, there is a Facebook page dedicated to the “survivors” of the intense psychological and emotional torture enjoyed by the teens kept there.

While I’d like to think that I’ve completely forgiven my unknowing parents for the 1-year+ I spent there, the damage still lingers. To the now magically disappeared operator, from the bottom of my heart, “fuck you John Anderson.”