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Thank you schools for a great evening talking through and . You are Opening Doors for your pupils!




"NOTE TO SELF: At the end of this day, before you close your eyes, breathe deeply, appreciate where you are, and be grateful for what you have. All of it is a blessing. And nothing lasts forever." - Image:












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i will support and guard you with my life with hand across the chest i told my heart







i want to be just a dot in the dancing crowd a little note in drumming noise around



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favorite quotes from In Defense of Saccharin(e) by Leslie Jamison

“Perhaps I can never find so good a setting for my thoughts as I shall thus have taken them out of. The crystal never sparkles more brightly than in the cavern. The world have always loved best the fable with the moral.”

— Henry D. Thoreau, 28 Jan, 1852, Journals

hmm…


what should i do?

every atom in my body is dying

to touch you.

uncertainty takes refuge

on the edge of our promises

& i feel our companionship

overshadowing my objections.


how far can we go

before admitting we’ve lied?

how far do we fall

before acknowledging the scale

weighing our objections?


ifs, &s and buts wilter

into promises tucked gently

between moonlight &

shooting stars.


unfortunately, wishes mean nothing.

coming from you.

You’re just trying to get me closer to you

I have to stop you there

Cause it really isn’t fair

We’re just friends

If you weren’t aware

Think we shouldn’t walk together

I think you should go home

You should treat her better

Cause there’s no you and me

We’re just friends

I’m a Coca-Cola Addict

Send me to an oblivion

Sugar-pumped veins throbbing

To the tune of my empty brain

My thoughts are jacked—

Like you wouldn’t believe

With what my friends call

Crackhead energy


Thirty—

Sixty—

Three hundred milligrams—!

Of heart-palpitating caffeine

i walked back from your apartment on a friday night. you text me you can’t sleep until you know i’m home safe. i don’t know how to tell you that your arms are the only door i know how to open anymore. i wait for the train station as i hold back tears. the taste of my own sadness is so familiar to me nowadays— in one of the largest cities in the world, ive found that there’s enough people to swallow you whole. but after meeting you, i’ve realized it only takes one to devour you. and maybe you don’t mean to hurt me, maybe you are oblivious to the fact that i’m not like this with everybody. because i’d drop anything for you. i’m scared of how loyal i am to you, how willing i am to give you the shirt off my back when i’ve spent my whole life trying to find warmth. i walked back from your apartment on a friday night and i almost left without hugging you goodbye. you got annoyed at me over that, but i didn’t know how to tell you that if i held you i don’t think i’d remember how to let you go. i wait for the train as i hold back tears, and although the taste of my own sadness is as familiar as the crescent of your smile, tonight i’m also swallowing everything i can’t tell you. because how the can i tell you that i fall asleep to the sound of your voice in my mind? how do i tell you that when you touch me i can finally take a deep breath and my lungs have become so unaccustomed to fresh air? how do i say that you were right when you said the universe brought us together, that our fingers intertwining are equal parts romance and logic? how the fuck can i tell you that i’ve fallen for you when she’s already shattered you into pieces? the worst part is that i would give you the shirt off my back, bring you the sun and the moon and the music of your childhood, but it would never make a difference to you because i’m not her. i’m the sort of person you pray to get but she’s the one woman you’d do anything to keep, and there’s no way i could take her place. so i walk back from your apartment on a friday night as i remember your face, a mixture of heartbreak and a beauty so strong it breaks my heart. “you’re doing so good, don’t get into a relationship,” you tell me. “it’ll destroy you.” it’s been days and i still don’t know how to tell you that i’d rather be destroyed by a love ending than to be torn apart by one that never had the chance to begin. i wait for the train to go back home. even as i shed tears on the way home, i know id take the ride again in a heartbeat if you ever needed someone to catch you when you fall for her again. you text me you can’t sleep until you know i’m back at my apartment safely. i don’t know how to tell you that another woman already lives in the only place i could ever call home.

— i don’t know how to go home if you’re the only one i know (ap)

I’m scared that I’ll never get better.

I’ve been depressed since I was 8 years old and anxious for just about every year that I’ve lived. I’m scared that it’ll always be like this. I feel like I’m lost, outside of my body, and I’m scared that I’ll never find myself again.

I’m scared that I’ll never be happy again. Happiness is a privilege and I am jealous of those who get to experience it even if it’s just for a moment.

Everything seems so pointless. I feel like a waste of resources. I feel so useless, purposeless, unloved, unwanted. There’s really no point in me being here.

I’m constantly screaming for help, but I feel as though my cries only seem to fall upon deaf ears. No one cares. No one would care if I— I really want to, I really really do.

Someone please help me. Please rescue me from my mind.


Dear Diary - excerpt from 2013

n.j.

“You what?” 

“I’m being honest with you. I don’t keep secrets. This isn’t worth keeping hidden, anyways.” 

“Danze, how could you?”

“I’m sorry. It wasn’t a big deal, I just ran into Isa and–”

“Wait, what?” Hadryn looked livid. “Did I fucking hear you correctly? You had a drink, and the drink was with that woman?”

“It was rude to decline her invitation-”

“Rude my ass, Danze, you could have said you needed to get home, or have made small talk and left, but of fucking course–”

“Hadryn, we’ve been through this a billion times before. 

“Good God, will that woman never leave our life alone?” 

“I don’t want her to leave! We’re friends, Hadryn.” 

“Danze, I have no problem with you having friends, but that woman is absolutely not a friend.” She pointed out. “And your lifelong crush on her has not helped matters-”

Danze let out a groan. “I fucking knew this was coming.” He was exasperated with having the same goddamn argument over and over. 

“Oh for heaven’s sake, I married you, not her.”

Hadryn ignored his defense. “She has always been a bad influence. She enables you so you’ll get drunk and fucking give in to her fucking incessant flirting. What does she care that you used to be an alcoholic if she can get you to screw her?”

“I had one vodka tonic, hardly grounds for getting drunk.” He rolled his eyes. “And your cynical bullshit is getting to be too fucking much. I’ve had enough.” 

“We have a daughter.” Her voice quivered. 

“Your point being?” 

“I don’t want her to grow up seeing that fucking woman romancing her father. Or grow up without her father because that home wrecking bitch couldn’t–”

“You don’t give a damn about our daughter, Hadryn.”

“How can you say that?”

“You didn’t even want a child.” 

Well, we have one, don’t we? And I’m nothing but kind to her–”

“You’re as jealous of her as you are of Isa.” He spat. “You want to own me, possess me, keep me all to your goddamn self.”

There were tears in her eyes, so he knew he’d taken it a bit far. He felt sorry, but what he said wasn’t wrong. Isa might deserve Hadryn’s wrath, admittedly. Katya, their innocent daughter, and the light of his life, absolutely did not deserve a jealous mother. 

“How can you blame me? After the number of times I almost lost you? And how can you deflect from the real issue?” Her voice came out hoarse. 

“The way you treat our child?” He retorted coldly.

Your goddamn drinking problem.” Her breath was shaky now, she was barely keeping it together. “I’m not thrilled about Isa, but you drinking again is what worries me more–”

“I had one drink.”

It always starts with one.” She mocked. “If you care so much about our daughter, you’d never touch a drop of alcohol again, Danze.”

“I’ve given up alcohol. This was my first drink in years. Can you give up your fucking resentment?”

“God–I am not some monster.” She sat down and hid her face in her hands. “I’m trying my best.”

When her voice broke, a wave of compassion washed over him. He sat down beside her and took her hand. She leaned into him and felt his familiar scent overtake her. They sat quietly for a few minutes, and he stroked her hair to calm her down.

“Hey.” He looked into her eyes. “I’m sorry. For the drink. For Isa. For saying you’re not a good mother.”

She wiped her puffy eyes. “I let my jealousy get the best of me sometimes. I just picture–losing you–and I can’t bear it.”

You’re older then me by a year and I’m mesmerized by how sweet you are. Your personality brings me a smile and my stomach fills with this feeling of calmness when you speak to me.

It’s like I’ve known you my whole life. Laughing with you is one of those innocent moments I don’t get enough of and I don’t always know what I’m feeling but with you it’s happiness and excitement.

there’s more out there than acting like I’m in love and kissing guys that aren’t my type. It’s girls my age with cute smiles and pretty faces. Not men older than me by a bunch of years or boys who don’t know how to treat girls.

I begin to understand.  With no life spoiled, nor degradation lost. Voices in my head no longer speak the words.  Symbols & tones forming impressions in my head.

In my skull thrives a cave.  In back there’s a door.  Where all frequencies return.  Underneath a veil separating me from what’s become a hidden & turbulent life.  

Static effusions.  A conquerer of thresholds viewed & unseen.  Horizons spilling blood.  A gamut of sloughings that are stages in the Order of Becoming … I must be naked before entering the Circle of Mothers.  A spell conceived within the proximity of its power source.  

Cities rise & fall.  Stars collapse in the same manner.  Down to man’s own eclipse.    

Reflection of ignoble truths given clarity through reason.  Chaos collects itself to become the night sky. Myths are born in the same way.  On the backs of insects.  Electric energy forces brain-waves to collapse.  Death & spirit separate.  And while it burns they pray.

I embrace it instead.  Moving through the door that leads to the softest membrane.  Tiny worms feed off the thinnest trickle of my most sacred mind. A wounded landscape that’s only, at best, a sacrifice.  Still, rising to war with a fleeting but eternal presence …

Artwork By Alice Tetiana Itel Konokhova  

How will I know who you are if I am already in love with who I’ve made you up to be? Will I ever see you clearly? I think one has to know themself first. One must love oneself. And I do, only in the most egotistical ways and none of the ways which would truly benefit me. I am sharper than a knife, I am the smartest person in the room—yet my words always fail me, and in my mind the chorus begins: stupid, stupid, stupid. Why do I speak at all? I suppose that is the effect you have on me. You make me small. I am crushed down, under your thumb, and you don’t even notice. You don’t do it intentionally, and that is somehow far worse. Maybe you’re just a bad person. Maybe I’m just trying to come to terms with knowing you will never love me. I set myself on fire and watch myself burn—do I have your attention now?

strawberries (excerpt #151)

Katya was wary of Isa. She knew from a young age that her mother wasn’t particularly fond of the woman. She also knew that her father had once been involved with her. Naturally, Hadryn despised this fact. 

So when Isa came to visit, Katya knew it would be a long day. Her parents had already spent half the morning screaming at each other. Her mother’s resentment was venomous, her father’s cool defensiveness was astonishing. Together, their combined volatility was more than Katya could handle sometimes. 

In all fairness to them, she knew they would always stay together. No matter how many times her mother accused her father of secretly lusting after that woman, no matter how many times her father pointed out that he hadn’t married that woman in the end for a reason. And Katya knew (or perhaps naively believed) that no matter how many women flirted with her father, he would never leave them. He was loyal, and she knew he would do anything for her and her mother.

On the other hand, she understood her mother’s fuming jealousy, as toxic as it could be sometimes. Hadryn treated Danze’s love as if it were a well that would dry up one day. Any claim to the reserve was hers first, not even her daughter’s. Katya had an inkling that it irked her mother that she was a Daddy’s girl…because she took up so much of her father’s precious time. Precious time that Hadryn coveted. Katya  secretly suspected this was why she was an only child.

Katya didn’t hate her mother for this near-childish envy. She was more than aware that it had taken years for her mother and father to actually commit to a relationship. She was also aware that it had taken so long because of her father’s many problems. With other women, with drinking, with his family. 

One of these other women had been Isa. It was hardly fair that anyone compete with Isa, who looked and sounded like a pristine Barbie doll. Hadryn was classically beautiful, and looked far younger than the mothers of many of Katya’s friends. But it was easy to see why she felt so threatened by Isa. Katya loved her mother but there were times when even she had the shameful thought that Isa would have been a better mother. Less possessive of Danze, less controlling, more feminine in ways that mattered. Katya hated even thinking such a thing, but she couldn’t help herself when she was barely sure if her mother had wanted her in the first place. 

All apprehensions about her mother’s attitude aside, Katya still felt for her. Isa always fawned over Danze endlessly, and was more than obvious about her lasting affections for him. Danze even encouraged her flirtation subtly, to stoke the fire with her mother every so often. 

Theirs was, Katya had realized, a passionate but terribly dysfunctional relationship. Yet, wise beyond her years, she’d also realized that no set of parents was perfect. They were all fucked up in their own tragic way.