Sunday, November 25, 2007

you said something

lost in translation I feel lazy and warm swimming through words and the humidity of today. Ive slept myself to death and in my dreams I wrestled with demons, kissed wet eye lashes, and sat in a room without an audience. a day is a day is a day. if I could stretch my skin taut to show you the tendons that move me, I would. if I could scratch my skin and bleed out truth or reveal to you who I really am in the quiet moments when you can't get inside of me, I would. if you were lying on the floor crying I would drink each tear so that they could become a part of me. I am hanging on by a loose thread.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

sometimes things happen and I can't force myself to understand it all, so I shut down and I wait quietly for the information inside of my head to sort itself out and become something like insight. sometimes that works for me, sometimes it doesn't.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


you cant convince a woman shes more than the sum total of her love.  thats all she thinks she has.  maybe it is, I dont know.  I like to think she has much more than that.
when we were young people thought we were twins but I studied her hands and feet and I compared them to my own and I tried to force a resemblence because I needed to feel likeness, but I couldnt.  her legs were smaller and leaner, the muscles in her thighs and calves more pronounced than mine.  her hair was darker and my caulick fought persistantly to keep me different.  I spent a lot of time trying to see myself in her skin.
brush your teeth next to me the smell of dial on my washed hands.  I will build a bed for you inside my heart and keep you there forever.  the palm frons on the walls next to the shower have become indelible landmarks and I will always think of you with them because you are home to me and these walls have never changed.
at night the street was quiet and I laid next to her in bed listening to her breathe, clutching the yellow silk of her blanket to my lips.  you always fall asleep first.  youre never afraid to let yourself go to become something else.  Ill be hanging on forever rubbing sores into my skin with your blanket while youre off somewhere far away.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

if you're subjected to a pin prick long enough the pain turns into numbness. when is enough enough?
enough was yesterday.
I hope you understand that.
but you don't know me. at all. so you could never understand what this means.
you are an abstract construct that doesn't make sense to me anymore. A part of me that has come and gone and sorry for you, the here and now is what is important. I have been hanging on for a long time. I have been vying to know you genuinely for a long time. I have been retracing steps from the past. and I am a fucking fool.
the here and now, the this very moment.
you are not congruent with my life. at all. and I am completely okay with that.

Friday, September 21, 2007

group processing

Today my professor said, "To self actualize is actually a privilege. We can't self actualize unless our basic needs are met." This goes back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We can't become whole, we can't fight our demons, we can't benefit from intrapsychic understanding if we are hungry or cold or unloved. We have a revolving door of clients because we expect them to sit in our chairs, feel comfortable with our halogen lamps and soothing pictures and framed motivational messages, but we return them to a world of injustice. Our clients cannot self actualize unless we tackle the environment from which they came. We have to fight for people to have equal access to opportunities. How fucking exciting to be a part of something potentially revolutionary.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

last night in my dream I went back to that house. I walked through the garage door and turned to my left when I got inside the foyer to look at the front door that no one ever used. The dark brown wood was painted white and I felt resentful that something that once felt so permanent and solid had changed after all of these years. I walked into the master bedroom into the bathroom where the brown frond wallpaper was still on the walls. In the formal living room I laid on the floor and pushed my fingers through the fibers of the carpet, which still smelled clean, the scent of something newly vacuumed. The kitchen was bare, the pantry was empty and the plates were missing, probably packed into boxes somewhere, but I didn't see any.

when we were little we played house dressed in grown up heels. we took care of babies and chores while our husbands were at work. I was the maid of honor in your wedding, but I didn't cry because I hadn't developed a sense of loss; I couldn't feel the weight of change wrestling my heart deeper into my chest. I simply stood next to you in my pretty dress while your dad gave you away and I watched you drive away in your brand new radioflyer.

the memories inside that house are fierce. I stood in the middle of everything watching the sun rise and set through the windows, watching the dust settle in the air, watching your father walk in and out of the back door with barbeque prongs in his hand. His face was taut with youth, his body long and lean. He didn't see me. I was completely invisible. if I could stop the cuckoo clock on the wall at this very second I would because this place feels so safe.

I feel a knot in my throat and I can't swallow anymore. I hate that I am haunted by this and you act like it didn't exist.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

you think you know the obvious

group therapy kicked my ass today.

I know that this isn’t a multicultural class and that most of this is better suited for a multicultural class. This reaction is basically an amendment to my previous reaction paper and I am writing this as it relates to my ability and desire to connect to clients, to better understand the circumstances of their lives. I am also writing this because I am trying to explore my reaction to The Color of Fear.
I am white, middle class, I have two parents, I have a support system of friends, I was educated in a private former military school, I was taught by white men with PhDs, my first cultural experience was attending a public university. I have just proved the point that I am a child of white privilege. This somehow feels like a revelation, like a new experience. I feel ignorant and ashamed because of that revelation.
How many times have I said, "Why can't we all be human;" how many times have I been hungry to ignore the issue of racism? Maybe it's because the topic feels foreign to me, painful to me, maybe I'm afraid of my own bigotry, maybe I'm afraid of making excuses for or justifying my whiteness. Maybe it's all of these things. I don't consciously mean, "Why can't we all be human; why can't we all live according to white values?" Maybe I'm asking the wrong fucking question at the end of the day. Maybe I should just be asking, "Why aren’t we all whole?"
When I did social work I think I wanted to push my clients to rise above mediocrity so badly that I was unintentionally attributing mediocrity to values and emotions and rituals and habits that were foreign to my own. Maybe mediocrity means something totally different to my clients living in the projects. I really wish I knew. I wish I could go back and talk to this one mother on my caseload. I wish I could listen to her story. I know that she didn't wake up one day, decide to have 8 kids, lose them all, move from home to home to home. Or maybe she did. And maybe that should be okay. But I suspect, no...I know....that she is hurting because of something(s). It’s a fucking pity that I was so busy appeasing the court, writing my JR’s, striving for legal sufficiency, smoothing out the red tape into perfectly straight lines that I didn’t have time to hear her story. The system is set up to rob you of time. The system makes it so that important stories go unheard and misunderstood. Funny the system is starkly white. I’ve known this from the beginning. It isn’t new information. Its just information I glossed over because I accept it as status quo, because it’s easy to. Because I’m white. Because I told myself I would fight the battle one day and that now wasn't the time because I wasn't ready. I didn't have enough letters behind my name or I wasn't articulate enough or I just didnt know where to start. I liked what you said today, "Sometimes you have to ditch bullets today to be able to fight the war tomorrow." Maybe that's what I was doing-ditching bullets. It still feels like shit.
I don’t know what it feels like to feel trapped, to feel like life is futile, to not have resources or support, to not have access to quality education. I am an asshole for thinking these things can be easily fixed or ignored, that the slate could be wiped clean and that we can all start over as equals. I really am an asshole for thinking that way. It makes me feel like I truly never heard a fucking word my clients and my kids were ever trying to say. I saw the evidence of inequality. I’ve read through legal documents and I’ve felt frustrated and pissed off because I knew that my clients didn’t understand legal jargon. Most of them could barely even read at all. I felt pissed off and frustrated that their court appointed attorneys never took the time to explain anything to them or to hear their stories, save for what could win their case in court. I wish I could change that. I watched my kids wear the same pair of socks for 3 months, I listened to a 16 year old tell me the ways she learned to stretch a bar of soap or a bottle of shampoo to last as long as possible, and I took all of these things to be conditions or elements of circumstances and I never went beyond the issue to consider these are circumstances that are controlled mostly by privileged white (men) people who have (nine times out of ten) never experienced any of these things. I went into court every week and when Judge Gooding would ask me if there’s anything this child needs, I could have said, “Yeah, a fucking voice, a goddamn chance.”
I don’t know that it’s possible for me to ever be completely aware of other cultures. I wonder if the first steps are to just be with someone else. I feel like I could trust the process. I feel like I could sit down and feel something intense and learn about myself and someone else through their struggle. What I really mean to say is that I feel lucky to be in a situation where I will constantly be learning and I will be constantly challenged to HEAR things that might initially be painful and uncomfortable to me. I really want to know everything. Moreover, I really want to understand everything. I want to feel it in my bones. I want to cry because of it. I want to change because of it. I want to be able to connect.