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there were words trapped inside me

I thought a lot about whether I should post this or not. I always have been a private person but there are parts of me that can no longer be private if I expect to get better. I won’t go into it too much but I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. Anxiety has just been a recent addition but I think it’s been a long time coming given the circumstances.

I’m living in an abusive household and before you tell me I should just leave, let me tell you that I’d love to. However I am currently unemployed and my anxiety and depression have made it hard for me to find a job. I’ve sent out applications, I’ve had a couple of interviews and every time I’m told I’m not what they’re looking for it gets a little harder to keep looking. My self-worth has suffered a little each time and I’ve gotten used to feeling tired so please, please don’t comment on this post or send me a message telling me it’s going to get better. I am sick of hearing that bullshit from people who don’t get it. I don’t want to hear that shit. If you haven’t suffered from any mental illnesses, if you’re completely typical in every way I don’t want to hear from you.

I have to deal with people like you all the fucking time and I am not in the mood to deal with it on a post like this.

So now that I’ve gotten most of that out of the way, I wrote this a little after I had a bit of a breakdown while writing a letter to a penpal. The letter will never be sent to them seeing as how I still stand by the idea of the letter that they deserve more than my self-depreciation. I had a nice long cry and somehow found myself reaching for a pen to write this down. I don’t know what it is. It could be a prose-poem, it could be simply prose. I’m not going to post this to my writing website so it goes here. Far from my regular readers on LJ but close enough that at the very least it isn’t completely private.


There were words trapped inside of me once. All of them were so eager to come out of me. There were so many worlds and people and ideas floating in my head.

They’re still there I think. Yes, they are. I remember their visits whenever a pleasant or inspiring moment has passed. They come rushing back in fill force, each one impatient to be written down.

But they aren’t written down anymore. They’re repeated over and over until they’re burned in my skull. That way I won’t forget the feeling of them and their taste as I whisper them aloud.

They’ll never make it to paper or to the screen. As soon as I sit down to try, the other words come back. The violent ones. The harsh yells of my father. The high pitch of my sister. The distinct off-handed comment a friend said years ago. They come back to haunt me instead.

And I know there are others who know this feeling, who share this similar experience of abuse or neglect (and it’s been so hard trying to acknowledge it as abuse, I’m so used to it that it just feels normal). I know I’m not fortunate enough to be the only one. There are others who may stumble upon this and think “I know what she’s talking about” “This is me right now or it was me last week.”

I know there are others but it’s so hard to reach out to them. I’ve gotten so used to dealing with this alone. And there will be people to offer their support or ideas of how to help.

It won’t work for long.

Because my father’s voice will always crowd around me, louder than all the others telling me that I’m a lazy parasite. My sister (and I know she’s just reacting to the abuse, I know that) will cal me a bitch and tell me I’m useless or annoying. Or my brother (he has a stronger will but it’s the echo of my father’s and he doesn’t understand that sometimes when I hear him early in the morning I panic because I think it’s my father yelling again) who will tell me I’m wrong over and over again. The friends who said I was probably dead (they were just playing around, I get that but it hurts to not know how to deal with this). They are always going to be louder and more frequent.

A writer is someone alone in a room.

That’s what I was told in my writing classes. But how can I be alone with all those voices? Those who support or hurt me––they’re all in my head. The teachers or professors all pressing their expectations of how amazing I’d be. “You’re going to go far.” or something to that extent.

It was meant to be kind, I think, but all it’s caused is fear and worry.

They don’t mesh with the negative words and they’re both so loud, each trying to win and rise over the other in that room where I’m meant to be alone.

I turn to music for distraction. I drown out all the voices. Even the ideas that are desperate to come out. I down them in an endless mantra of fiction in all sorts of languages because sticking to just one doesn’t work. My native tongue which betrays me with the reminder of loss (and fear because my father yells in Spanish and all the fights have been in Spanish and I don’t know how to deal with that yet). English with its smug arrogance (as it’s conquered my mind and become the only safety for me but has killed my ability to find peace with my roots). I need new dictions that buffer the voices and the memories.

I’m so used to being numb (have you ever felt so outside of yourself that you find that you’re judging not only your actions but the manner in which you do them?). I’m used to feeling no hunger (and when I do feel it the guilt of my father, sister or society comes in and I forget it). I’m so used to being tired (I’m losing hours of the day, not realizing I’ve spent four hours holding off a panic attack).

I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from this.

I don’t know if I want to.

My desires and plans for life. They feel so empty and gone.

But there’s a voice that’s slowly been filtering back in. I was surprised when I heard it the other night while I was mindlessly deleting emails.

A professor who asked so much from me for a semester. She was talking about a paper that was due and one of the assignments to help us write it had stood out to her. I spoke of my father and a memory I have struggled not to refer to. But I live in these memories, often rewinding them and cross-referencing them, trying to figure out where was the point that I realized I’d remember this forever? When did I decide that?

I wanted to forget and yet here it was in this paper and she was telling me it was everything I needed to write. This would give me the essay she was asking for. I had chosen this painting, I was perhaps unconscious of the meaning behind it but she could see the references and strings attached to each and she loved it.

Twice I almost came to tears during the one-on-one session. She was polite enough not to mention them but at the end she looked me in the eye and she said something to me.

Nothing about how it would get better or that the paper could wait. She didn’t offer me a hug or a tissue.

It’s the one act of support and kindness I have since cherished.

“You’re gonna be okay kid.”

I really hope so. It’d be nice, I think. To be okay.

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About ilcocoabean

Mexican-American. Bisexual. Atheist. Feminist. NYC Math Teacher. A writer, a fangirl, and a little illogical.

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