Marriage and Mental Illness

“”With shining eyes & hearts filled with promise, we spoke those words “for better or worse” Yet even as we took those vows, we stood as two neophytes, unaware of the great darkness looming around us, soon to be unleashed – challenging all we believed and affecting all we held sacred.””

rebekah duffus

Mental Illness and Marriage . Is it worth the efforts & extremes in emotion? Can such a union be rewarding and functional? Is there a hope for long-lasting happiness in such relationships ? Many questions surround the partnering. of two people – even when there is no known debility in either party. Thus we enter a realm in which the topic is current yet the dialogue is clouded by lack of insight and ignorance. As with any intelligent dialogue, one must define the principle terms. Thus we begin by solidifying our concept of the standard of “relationship” and continue then to determine a common ground regarding the definition of that ‘undiscovered country’ that is mental illness.

As this discourse seeks to understand marriages in which one party has a mental illness diagnosis, let’s begin with the relationship. How do we define marriage? It would be difficult to find a human being unfamiliar with marriage for it is a fundamental social construct and serves as a social union or legal contract between two adults. It has been said that marriage is one of the most important of all known social institutions. The longevity of the institution of marriage historically is a reflection of its multifaceted role in human society. Certainly marriage and personal commitment is – in one form or another – the most enduring of human bonds. Humans seek to form recognized bonds for many reasons: these reasons cover everything from legal, social, reproductive and emotional to economic, spiritual, and religious. Within the boundaries of a committed relationship much can be accomplished. Partners can build a nuclear strength which can support a whole world of possibilities in joint endeavor. There is a physical safety known when one is accompanied. Pooling of resources benefits both parties. Across the board, two adults bound in common cause are more successful than each alone. Longevity studies support that married adults live longer lives than those who are unmarried. Reading through the literature, the numbers vary depending on who is spinning the statistics. These claims are not restricted to male/female relationships; adults with a partner are Not Alone. This is basis for all the claims. People with a partner have a sounding board, a companion, a hand to hold… someone to ask how they’re feeling, and to remind them to drink their orange juice. THIS is the non-statistical truth and it is not simply anecdotal.

A marriage holds no promise that both partners will maintain their well being. The standard vows of marriage which include the words “in sickness and in health” were first published in English in the prayer book of 1549, based on earlier Latin texts of the medieval period. Such terms have been at the heart of the social ‘partnering’ institution for over 500 years. Obviously it was known that the status of a partner was not guaranteed. Thus the contract carried a ‘disclaimer’ & bound those within the contract to remain united whether health was maintained or illness descended.

What is “illness” then? What do we define as a sickness when it is not caused by an obvious wound or process known to us ?

From the earliest records, we learn that “deviant” behavior, unexplained afflictions, indeed even still births, menstrual maladies, rashes and phobias have been considered supernatural and a reflection of the battle between good and evil. When confronted with the unexplainable humans have historically (and even into the present day) deferred to the explanation that “”evil is afoot””.

In the Bible’s Old Testament and the Jewish Torah, evil spirits and divine punishment were considered causes of disorders of all types. Reward and Punishment have always been dual themes in the stories of mankind and we see such used throughout history in an explanatory role. From the earliest recordings those who behaved erratically were considered to be ‘oppressed’ or ‘possessed” by evil, or more distinctly by demons. Demonic forces are considered to be the ambassadors of the penultimate figure of Evil, Satan. These people, behaving in a manner inconsistent with the norm were ostracized, banished from the community lest they bring some evil into the midst of the ‘faithful.’. Consider the man who lived among the tombs . (Mark 5:1-20 KJV) He had been exiled by his peers for his behavior; he was stronger than any of the other men and practiced self harm. He is the first to state that he contained within himself a legion, or many different personalities. He was seen as “”sick”” in so far as the text proclaims he was “”healed”” Yet the knowledge of and understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder & self harm as a symptom lay some two thousand years ahead. Here we see the perfect example of the attitudes & mores of the evolving Common Era. All was seen as a “‘fight for mans’ soul.”” .

A brief overview of historical psychology will give us a context for the concept of ‘ mental illness’ . The earliest known records of mental illness coincide with the earliest documented knowledge of psychology as it affects human behavior and its relation to perceived “illness.” Awareness, the “knowing “ and treating being two different things, the development of an insight into the truth of such illness, the causes and possible treatments is an ongoing process. Even now. practitioners are adding empirical data to an ever evolving panoply of knowledge. The conversation is righteous, the advance is steady, the summit is yet unseen.

In the 5th and 4th centuries BCE Hippocrates, in his Aphorisms, characterized all “fears and despondencies (if they last a long time) as being symptomatic of melancholia. Thus the concept of “depression” described as a distinct disease with particular mental and physical symptoms enters into the medical conversation. There is no mention of therapeutic actions or activities.

Dating back to 1900 BCE in ancient Egypt, the first descriptions of hysteria were found recorded on the Kahun Papyri.[3] In this culture, the womb was thought capable of affecting much of the rest of the body. [4] Moving forward in time, the consensus did not change, only the treatment. The term “hysteria” was thus applied to women who displayed excessive emotion- these women were met with the standard therapies of the 19th century- institutionalization and radical hysterectomy. A sad thing to see so little progress made in 4000 years .

Lunatic is an antiquated term with which nearly all are familiar, The term refers to a person who is seen as mentally ill, dangerous, foolish,[1][2] or crazy, thus exhibiting ‘lunacy’. The word derives from lunaticus meaning “of the moon” or “moonstruck”.[3][4][5]. The folk tales of men who were transformed by the full moon, becoming “werewolves” bear a striking resemblance of an archaic and fearful populace with no concept of psychological disorders . What one does not understand must be feared . Surely a supernatural agency was at work.

The history of the concept of “psychosis” can be traced from the time it was coined in 1845 . Originally, psychosis included the category of mental handicap, as well as certain other serious mental disorders but within a year of such appearing in the medical literature the term and concept of psychosis had become synonymous with the two terms “psychopathy” and “psychoneurosis.”. The term thus became synonymous with the concept of mental illness.

French psychiatrist Jean-Pierre Falret published an article in 1851 describing what he called “la folie circulaire,” which translates to circular insanity. The article details people switching through severe depression and manic excitement, and is considered to be the first documented diagnosis of bipolar disorder

The first, formal description of schizophrenia as a mental illness was made in 1887 by Dr. Emile Kraepelin. He used the term “dementia praecox” to describe the symptoms now known as schizophrenia. Dementia praecox means “early dementia” and as schizophrenia typically presents in early adulthood, it is easy to see how early psychiatry practitioners saw the onset of symptoms as a devolution rather than a evolution or beginning.

Borderline Personality Disorder first appeared in DSM-III ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders) as a bona fide psychiatric diagnosis in 1980.

Obviously the understanding & treatment of mental illness has but a small wealth of knowledge compared to the institution of marriage.

It is a long held belief that a marriage/committed relationship has the capacity and tendency to stabilize a mentally ill patient who is cooperative with ongoing therapeutic intervention. Marriage has long been considered a stabilizing force in general, providing structure to help eliminate an endless scope of unsettled behavior. Structure then is the common denominator and for the mentally ill patient seeking stability, structure is key. Patients who maintain a relationship are more likely to continue with their medication, maintain social structure and overall rate higher quality of life than those without partners

Can those with mental illness diagnosis find healthy love ? Codependency often develops from dysfunction in a loving relationship. This applies to all relationships, regardless of extenuating diagnoses. Often in any maladaptive unions see the evolution of symbiotic relationship where one member is dysfunctional and one attempts to balance this with the full care and organization of the family unit.. It is not uncommon for a mentally “healthy “ companion to make many plans away from and in the home to impose structure and control, to avoid conflict. to maintain an environment which will not exacerbate a partner’s symptoms and to distract one’s self in general. Isolation is an oft seen response : Self preservation is vital and not always a conscious stance. Union is what is being attempted consciously while the subconscious seeks to disengage.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from mental illness have a higher rate of divorce. One study that was conducted in 2011 actually put that divorce rate increase at between 20 to 80 percent. The multi-national study was conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, While divorce is detachment in the extreme this separation of selves is very common; one need not file legal documents to ‘divorce’ affection and attention from a spouse who is perhaps very much loved but with whom a peaceful coexistence seems impossible.

Living with a mentally ill spouse disrupts all levels of function. Yet to leave a spouse/companion who is suffering with a mental illness is a complex & disruptive step to take. Leaving a mentally ill partner to survive on their own, without spousal emotional and physical support is seen in society as weak. Self Preservation is not always appreciated . He/she who leaves can be harshly judged by others and indeed by themselves, adding to the sense of failure. Therein lies the disparity, the “”Catch-22”.

Stigma is attached to the couple in which one person is managing and one is faltering physically or mentally. Yet stigma is also attached to a healthy spouse who separates from one suffering from illness: Both dialogues need to be shut down. Stigma keeps everyone ‘sick’. The best outcome relies on psychosocial support and therapeutic relationship between two committed individuals with one common goal. Also all should see the necessity of open conversation with peer groups regarding the misconceptions of a psychiatric diagnosis. In this manner family, friends and spouses/companions become a part of the patient’s overall wellness. Hiding one’s diagnosis leads to further dysfunction. Nothing undermines self worth quite like the feeling of shame. The words must be spoken. The terms must not be avoided or whispered of as if scandalous. A spouse would not hesitate to say “my wife broke her leg.” The day must come when it raises no eyebrows to say “my wife is bipolar.” This simple example is representative of how far are society has yet to evolve in the ·destigmatization of illness of the mind.

Writing this, I am a woman diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 1, and Borderline Personality. My journey has been one of such trial and significance that I am prompted here to write of the struggle, triumphs and defeats from an intellectual and academic standpoint rather than an emotional point of view. My hope is to add to the conversation valuable experience to further destigmatization and be an example of survival. I have been married to the same man for 35 years enjoying a committed bond in a decidedly tumultuous life. What then have I found personally as the mentally ill spouse in a long term relationship ? My husband and I have been together since 1983. We married in 1986. Our union was formed when we were in our 20s myself exhibiting full mania beneath the guise of ‘party girl’ . Pregnancy and subsequent childbirth brought a long period of stability, during which time our children were born and we experienced a normalcy and prosperity which unfortunately devolved into a period of self destructive mania, major physical illness followed by a heavily medicated fugue persisting approximately 15 years.

What happened to the marriage during this time? My husband stepped in and became both mother and father to our children. He managed all the finances and kept our mutually held properties in order. He has supported my recovery. This is a best case scenario and one for which I am eternally grateful. His love and commitment is a life preserver tossed to one flailing in a cold dispassionate sea. Surely I am one of the most blessed women on the planet. Often I feel I do not deserve his commitment as I have been something of a disaster for at least a third (if not half) of our married life. Yet he will say “You have always been like this. I fell in love with You, I love you. You are not your diagnosis.” During the worst times he would sleep in another bedroom and we rarely spent time together. While this was seen and felt keenly as abandonment, it was the only way he could maintain control of the home and be a valid support to the children.

For me a physician has played a key role in my journey but finding a physician who would be a ‘health partner’ was one of my life’s greatest challenges. Self-advocacy is paramount; when my hope was waning, a partner who supported the endeavor made it possible to continue rather than simply lie down and concede that mental illness had won.

It is true that the overt manifestations of mental illness may be difficult to recognize: patients often minimize symptoms and hide disturbances out of a fear of stigmatization and shame . Being willing to work through the tedious protracted process of determining the best medications can be daunting and discouraging. Many patients have doubts regarding their diagnosis and often feel conflicted. Family and social support can be lacking . A thousand different causes, concerns and emotions litter the path to stability. Not in the least, it can be the rapid pace of clinics which give patients 15 minutes in which to address their needs; physicians have been, in my experience unwilling to veer off the path of physiology into the tangle of psychiatric disorders. Managing a patient on mood-stabilizers can be tedious. If a simpler course can ”take the edge off” it is most certainly sought. Often a patient must exhibit significant psychopathy, risking their own well-being and that of others before someone seriously considers the diagnosis of mental illness. Years of stability are lost when a patient’s mental illness go untreated. It was my experience that I had to beg to be referred to a psychiatrist. My family doctor who had become my doctor during my stable period thought my behavior and indications were exaggerated. . Even when I was in his office, battling mania, tearful in my instability and spiraling lack of control, he said “Oh, you’re not bipolar. I’ve never seen any indication of that.” I was ‘maintained’ on alprazolam, a benzodiazepine for ”anxiety” and Paxil for ”depression’. For years, I swung beneath the two extremes of mania and depression, completely disheartened by my own behavior and presenting a puzzle of frustration to my family. I had no advocate save myself – a self of which I had poor concept, a self I doubted, loathed and mistrusted.

Often a family doctor will refer a patient to a ‘psychologist’ operating under the flawed assumption that the patient is in need of some talk therapy to sort things out. While in no way are the skills of a psychologist as a LSW (licensed social worker) disdained, or scorned, those with psychiatric disorders are often kept from a truly therapeutic avenue by presumptive and short sighted referrals to providers whose expertise is ill suited. My family doctor referred me to one such ‘therapist.’. This social worker was well known in the community. Our first session, he asked if I planned on losing any weight and used a light bar (a kind of new fangled pocket watch) for me to follow with my eyes in order to become calm. His therapy involved suggestions as to how I could change in order to make my family happier . Repeatedly he suggested I would feel better if I would wear more colorful clothes. Eventually our sessions devolved into talk (his talk) in which he spent the 40 minutes sharing frustrations of marriage,, asking medically oriented questions (I am a Registered Nurse) and telling ‘war stories” regarding some of his more interesting cases. When my mania began to be more acutely manifest this psychologist said “I’m not taking care of this kind of crazy.”. Subsequently he released me from his care saying “I lose money ever time you walk through the door . Your insurance does not cover my full fee.”

A desire for ‘real help’ necessitated my leaving the care of my family physician, finding a new doctor and then pleading for a referral. Multiple requests were met with skepticism and inaction. Once my husband stepped in and stood by my side I found my new doctors were much more attentive. Corroboration proved extremely vital in my ‘being heard’, It is a sad footnote that my voice on its own was not enough to evoke action. A psychiatrist took my treatment to a level of ”being believed”. No more patting my hand and handing me a prescription for a mild antidepressant. Finding the right medication, indeed staying committed and compliant through the maze of pharmaceuticals has taken 13 months and counting. Support form my spouse kept me vigilant; my thinking patterns are changing thus my behavior is changing. “”Can you tell a difference?”” This is a conversation my husband and I have frequently. Having such an honest sounding board has helped me trust my perceptions. Huge changes begin as small nudges. Self doubt once plagued my thought patterns. An honest companion has reinforced my behavior by validating my perception that indeed changes for the better were happening. My marriage has become once again a joint effort. I trust this partnership as it has remained consistent through time. I cannot stress how vital a role both my partner and my medication play in this effort toward stability. It is vital for me to continue with both in order to stay on track. It has been said that “we are the source of all our dismay” and while I do not feel responsible for my psychiatric diagnosis, I do feel it is my responsibility to maintain my awareness and stick to a therapeutic care plan.

Finding this care plan has taken years; many succumb to the discouragement, the disheartening sense of hope fading. Days turn to weeks turn to months – mental illness, a lack of proper, available therapies, a lack of support and understanding and a sense of profound shame can lead to one’s submission. Giving up hope in the face of such a complex challenge is sadly a common theme. The presence of a partner can change absolutely everything. Hope is reflected in their eyes. Love can quiet many storms. No, a partner cannot heal the illness but a partner can provide that spark of self-care and self esteem which, though rudimentary and flawed, give me the confidence to say “as long as there is breath in me, indeed there is hope.” Through my bond with my partner and the evidence of true love in the form of caring and advocacy, I daily rise with a desire to continue the journey toward stability. Living with a psychiatric diagnosis is not easy, but it IS possible when the diagnosis is balanced by a care plan. and a willing supportive companion. How did I become so fortunate and so unfortunate at the same time ? Living with a dual psychiatric diagnosis is difficult and complex. To be married to a partner who has never let me go is what makes such a life worth living.

find comfort there in lightning strikes

spring to summer finds some days

which deep in clouded slumber lay :

distant rumbles speak my name, bring

petrichor, the scent of rain

shaking off those dust dry days

the first drops fall here unrestrained

that lovely scent of heat cooled proof.

to feel such then my soul is moved

echoes stir deep in my bones

– dancing trees, a storm unfolds :

raise now chills from head to toe- feel the storm’s inherent soul

such winds the body animate – energetic mind states make

seasons of the spirit, soothing . no hand can stop the storm from moving

– when thunder rolls & lightning strikes

woes and worries well are wiped

from mind and spirit thought has fled

the storm sings there above my head

and in this maelstrom cured

of all I have endured

the noise of humans innundates

the storm does not discriminate – and Me, this me

o’rwhelmed with life

finds comfort there

in lightning strikes


Everywhere you turn the yammering about happiness blares into our lives via marketing: commercials, billboards, diet & exercise, books..“Drive this car! Buy this! We deliver ! Wear this ! Eat this ! We all want you to be Happy! I can make you Happy!” “LIVE YOUR HAPPIEST LIFE”

What IS Happy then ? Can material possessions distract us sufficiently to mimic ‘happiness’?
“”Happy “” is not sustainable. Science confirms this. The neurotransmitters of happiness rise, peak & then recede in natural rhythm. The blood chemistry of happiness, when pushed to remain constant becomes excitation, agitation and ultimately desensitization. The Effort of “Staying Happy ” exposes us to too much light , too many voices and objects, words, deals, conflicting opinions and way way way too many options. Having & pondering too many choices and too many things become chaos: Overstimulation. The psyche disconnects as a safety precaution lest we burn out all our wiring. . We become numb to all that which surrounds us. The human mind literally takes away the normal release of “happy” endorphins when we are stimulated by all the Things which only fill up our spaces but not our lives.

Forced gaiety; a driving need to validate Good Life with Continuous Happiness is not Sane. “I should be happy” tells us there is something wrong with US. We begin blaming ourselves for our seeming unhappiness rather than recognizing the cacophony as the source of dismay. Humans pretending or trying to appear happy seem to wear glued on smiles. See them clearly, for they are akin to fear — a token of the security we seek, to keep the Wolf of Life from darkening our door.

Understand this — human life needs sorrow. We need to be scared sometimes. We need to lose things we love and know how it feels to be last, forgotten, cold, wet dirty & alone.

How good the bread fed to the Hungry!!

Forever treasure that which brings you away from sorrow & hunger; never take it for granted. We who have been ignored will not ignore others. We will Share – ourselves, our bread… our acceptance.

Safety is not a given, no matter how many doors we put between ourselves & ‘real life’ Safety is in the knowledge that we are prepared for whatever life brings. We do not need to hide then, no. How would we gain strength in hiding, in pretending we are Happy & Safe while doubting our ability to carry a load? ….

Today can be the day we let go of the concept of eternal happiness and claim balance. Waiting creates an awareness of how special that for which we wait can be. Waiting builds patience and gracefulness. Not being first in line becomes not an irritant but simply a fact..As a human, we can dispense with the attitude of “me first” and know that others are deserving of a place at the front. Generosity brings a satisfaction that Things cannot. The simplest acts & the most plain actions become as gifts.
Enough is known in its clarity… for enough is Luxury.

the dreams & their ends

warming slowly Earth as mentor

Seek reclamation, the Season, Late Winter :

Trees bare of finery, yet to be filled and hoarfrost to wake to

The Mother’s Breath Chilled :

Sepia Toned, when alone I’ll recall

other Springs, other times :

born pristine, redefined

each Season & Deed leaves a trace

on my skin.

heart bears emotion – the dreams & their ends

day passes night, oft these markings do fade

yet I am a map of my own circles, made :

awaken. returning to day rise again

whatever the weather, endeavor, begin –

my body attests, scars never gone

Telling where I have been and how far & how long.

all words are just noise when there’s nothing to say

Here in Late Winter, I am longing to Wake

Brilliant, Peckish, Fervent, Damned


bones, my mineral

and flesh

today the frame in flame attest

lo, these stones shall carry me

long long roads til I am free :

then my trusted Carrier shall lie down:

they may bury Her :

i hope they do not box Her in :

i’d like my bones to feel the wind

& know the world through which I ran

Brilliant, Peckish, Fervent, Damned

the height of me, the depth, the roots

I would know in Death the Truth

to finally rest and know reprieve –

in time my bones shall be relieved

Ah, such peace past ego’s strife

and all those tangles known in life

there is another plane, you know and surely there tis where I’ll go

as nectar drop by drop to blend

with middle air, the Seraphim

these voices have been calling me to join them in eternity

to wreath the Earth as energy

Behold, me from such blindness see –

whatever pettiness did reign

shall be erased and n’er regained for there are higher places known

and when I pass, that’s where I’ll go.

call me then in Nighttime, sweet

manifest there ’round your feet

the roses of the fond parade

for of such magick we are made

continue on continuing – we are more than simply things

here with form so briefly wed what miracle such pain to shed

the Mystery, my single light

raised, released

to endless flight

this brings me comfort in the night my bones

at rest awhile . in dreamstate, angels file by &

watch me as I sleep

very soon we all shall meet and answers known, eternity

artwork featured : A. Blucha

touch, not talk therapy

the world which we perceive is but a metaphor & glimpse

around us swirls the firmament

Aura radiant & sound

you are the calm within the storm The Lost & then The Found

Spiraling the Alchemy .Ongoing Force of Chemistry

all at one time happening, the Moon reflecting light

you are Rain, the Sky the Sea

all Chaos & all Ecstasy

Rise. and dive, transcend In ye

fear no more the dread abyss

Within Us Life Dwells ….All …of It

reign now feather friction here

help me define my skin

lest my o’rthinking

Take the form of endings Grim

Can I remain yet flee myself . ??

who can do this ? no one else

Let Me be still ,in Science

trust the Physics

of me Wise

a tonic for the raging flight which thinks too much and All The Time.

Some antidote some sacred chime

calm my angst & flailing Mind

((cameron gray artwork))

the essence of dreams

Here, let me stay

In the Dark with my kind

Do not wake me, I pray

The World of light blinds

darkness is freedom

And to wake is to be

body bound

stricture held

dotted lines drive through hell

no freedom, day living

Night whispers

“Be Still -they’re All sound asleep

at the Wheel…& mone of them

know how to FEEL”

Shadow shall teach me -a choice to be Seen

stillness, reflection

the essence of Dreams

© rduffus

Katia Chausheva  Artwork

sorrow’s child

deeply moved by sad sad songs
 we to some hand would  cling
Sorrow's Child
dark wide wings
born and fused in suffering
 tearful born 
 from doom sprung, we
grown strong but  from such seeds 
torn in sacrifice, we bleed 

the runt is seen before all else 
 refused, neglected..  such  perceives
and always to our bosom raise 
 the suffering,
 the weak  to save
to  pluck from a most certain grave
n'er  dwelling  on that which  thrives 
fine their fair path here in  Life
sturdy,  quick of limb to stand
no mishaps of the damned when held in the palm of 
Our Earth's stoic 
the languishing  we carry 
long after they have passed
feeling them :  
yet holding not
 would be saviors 
empty hands of loss

long we wallow  heart & mind  
not of that when found made right
but that which we perceive as wrong
 their end a true  fault of our own
 unable to  succeed
 and stay the hand of entropy . 
small flame gutters, and does not   thrive
each loss which mirrors
our own lives 

such struggle to embrace the light
a sense of gain, 
endeavors  right
dwell not in sorrow to emulate
  survival of such

yearn - ongoing
 sing the song
each day's endeavor strength prolong
guided to the bud & flow
 not the fallen trees
 to see  the blooming first 
pray, not the entropy

trust lies sleeping

you will recall her skin
moonlight  pale
unmarked - all the wounds were still inside
hidden away
 and her cries true 
spoke of pleasure to such ears as provided 
 oh some lost language 
 praising a suspension of the  burden called self 

she smelled of resin and Dentyne 
chipped nail polish and a
broken heart. and now you know
her wary eyes miss nothing
she turned her foot onto its side
muddying  the little clasp on the strap 
such twilight zone inside which 
you meet her
still bearing a resemblance to some innocence, she
& you.  just a shade of jaded 

trembling resembles love 
reaffirm her now
insistent tongue head cradled by fragrant thighs
shaking she surges against you 
some force which would with yours collide 
some rogue wave stirred from the deep 
which cannot be  denied

 what thoughts then

in chill morning, coffee steaming
see how trust lies sleeping
there in your bed,

some devil in hell

do not name my crutches
i need them more than I will show
my vices, oh goddam you
count the drinks : the world should KNOW. my weaknesses, my flaws - my worst
awakened now from morphine's curse
Decades spent on one sad verse
the rebound screeches tis dystopia reeling

No , do not itemize my props
which remind me of my name .
the search for self, to not give up .
To name them all here drop by drop so
tauntingly is to make of my efforts
a mockery
finding myself on this 'other side'
How dare you my valiance deride
....wherever you've been - that's your tale to tell -
how dare you come into my fragile heaven
& equate me to a devil in hell.

within a wavelength

the negative space, the Yin of Yang
the Light's Proof of Being 
whispering to our silent selves of our form in matter 
: envisioned - reassured : 
Darkness we create simply by being within a wavelength
spectrum to our small and complex human eye revealed 
Our Hydrogen Sun  
Fusion and Photons 

 stand now being with our soul 
 seeking along the path of 
neurons firing,  a Glow 
which burns wavering
Insistent in the dimming Twilight 
you become in Night the
brightest thing
 farthest from the Sun

bleeding, bled

so much your touch 
we two do love
bound in bleeding, bled
all the times you gentle touched my head
heart a'beating
world retreating
wanting You so much
and More
insane, in pain - together borne
acknowledged in joined suffering
some theme to hold us
With this Breath
against me move
for all the evil and the good
sticky, stains and scars we've made
sacrifice on altar placed
We Plead
to please somehow
Some god of pain
life and death do dip & mix
dance on the edge
a precipice
the urgency of chilling flesh yearn again to bear & feel
pain you've given and revealed
fear shy eyes rise
meet your gaze,
sparked sight
surge life, sigh
in space - without doors
nor conscious pride
Beget to forge the path & piqued
breathe upon your skin
Let Me
so I may know some
to find in us relief

vibrant we are wed

never 'mere' human   : for we are borne 
within the Tide of all that ls
not separate to our sphere, spinning
specific  to the flow 
vibrant  we are 
  to light
 and toward it  ever raised
the wave length rippling  motion -
  bears us forward, we are
Some Tsunami,
  Matter gaining momentum 
Gravity & Radiant Heat 
 joined en masse to the very beating heart 
of the Cosmos 


artwork 'rising' by Meugnin 

meet beneath the sky opaque

You are a gem, beginning, end
The misty middle of the month
Becoming : chill & moist the dusk arising
:As my graceful heart's comprising :
elemental Effervescense :
warms with glow true Incandescense
Soul rewards remain : the Evening speaks your name
we meet beneath the sky opaque
The beauty truly wistful,
irresistible for me & Always changing, thus so brief
our affair with matter dear
: Will tomorrow meet me here ?
Bless'd heart, consistent Be;
calm your mind Insistent meet
your Soul Beside the Sea
or simply upon concrete Thrones
: Into the sky soul spirits known :
the Earth & air are there, you see...
the Elements complete
to this deep truth cling to keep
Myself & effort well, persistent
Nurture that which strong can grow
If I am not resistant :
so I speak to Sky & Wind
"Tomorrow, we shall meet again'
keep then promises self made
grow More Wise, maintain the Spell
within this Life, may all be well

music from the distance calls

forswear all misdeeds of your youth
accept the sequitur of truth
Upon a shelf nay would ye sit
join the fray -
be part of it

Life well lived is life embraced
.all facets, joy to wrenching pain
gullible the sheltered, green
Not fit for life's oft painful theme

Who I was before, I'd leave
a tribute, strength which did not flee
and shreds remain of dignity,
rejoice ! a well aged self decree

Flaws then fade as commonplace ;
rapturous the rousing pace.
see how doubt does fall behind.
revel in this state of mind
Burning Will returns, aye, shines :
Wake!! ye stalled, by past defined
detach from all that’s failed.
accept it to prevail

a tune does Rise and lyric fall & music from far distance calls.
stand then - dance ye calm and slow
feel how best intentions grow .
a wise desire to forego
sorrow grown inherent
release them, bio parents
-----manipulating cows and bulls
who threw their young unto the wolves

in this day aroused come, stay
forge glories here in mortal days
supporting wisdom, bearing stains
your sacrifices not in vain

whatever paths are long to tread
each night pause, safely in your bed
to sleep and wake, attend the day
for all along with longing paid
make the way now - trails blaze
the winding path shall not enslave
we walk each other home peace made
accept the final truth, the grave

ye who true some savior sought
dread alarm now just a clock
behold! ye ragged psychonaut
tall to stand & pond'ring
Chaotic wandering finished
your soul is undiminished

that which in the rear view is
small and smaller gone, well rid
focus now this day to live
impassioned purpose gracious give
choose this now and starting there
no burden of self loathing bear
through the brimstone crawled, emerged
righteousness a herald earned
look not back and fret upon
that which passed -
let it be gone

promises kept by the moon

we are within, this day
the New Moon Lunation 
and as the Moon, 
we step into a 
place of privacy
less reflecting of the light around us,
the nourishing nurturing 
light of  wellness
to shine upon
 our most vital foundations . 
 these are the hours 
reserved for the 
unhurried motions  of
cleansing, nourishing,
 a return to the luxury 
of self focus, 
supportive of & acknowledging 
our most basic needs, 
a promise reinforced to ourselves 
& our beloveds..... 
a renewal of a commitment
 to the fundamentals which
through the rest of the 
Moon's Phases shall 
remain strong
for our respectful attendance
 to such now, 
in these
Dark Moon Days 

bed linens fresh for the revitalizing sleep 
we seek -calming the chaos 
which flows oft turbulent around 
 by soothing 
and supporting the soul within

your sphere is a sacred space .
 all those whom you love dwell therein .
 the New Moon is a time to cast off tethers, t
tie off loose ends, rinse the cups
 a circle of protection 
sweep once again around 
each room . 
shut down outside projects for these are
Inside Times

Of course the world demands much of us
 & has no qualms regarding 
personal space nor spiritual retreat . 
often we cannot fully withdraw from obligations - 
but when it IS possible, 
when the Moon is Dark
we can and should turn off the phone,  
warm up the stove
fix a dinner from scratch . 
reserve unhurried  time for personal cleansing
 & know this is a time which will benefit your life...
 for you are reinforcing the  bonds
 of your most well self
reaffirming a commitment
 to your own self care;
nourishing your body, calming your mind
restoring a sense of singular purpose in your spaces
for an uncluttered space is a space 
which fosters
a calm mind

Bless our kindred the Moon
while She is Dark, She is still Herself, unchanged
retiring behind the Earth,
 hidden from the Sun
She passes in shadow through
 Her own time of Privacy yet emerges 
from shadow as whole
 & in rhythms which are, to us...
  Promises Kept

Gaze into the Foreshadow

Whatever consciousness

Know we ride The in-between

A place where the past & the future collide

in One Awareness

You can travel far along either side

of this “Happening Now”

You can Gaze into the Foreshadow

You can reach into”What Was” with dexterity

Run along your Ley Line

You are the Ghost in the Machine

Where some god touches & Moves the Earth

Within You , some filament of Dust

Continuous renewal

To slough off matter Such as Skin

Through this New Moon Becoming

I would be Happening

image : rucha date, photography

aether of all tomorrows

Upon the precipice of

.What Was & still Within It

We inhale the Aether

of all Tomorrows

Fierce little Conflagrations

Striving, Valiant

Within some magic sheath Of Skin, Fire Racing

We are Built of the Bones of All Yesterdays

& Flow as vital conduit

Future & Past meet Within you

Ghost in the Machine

tom bagshaw art

hypodermic noose

certainly certified I am a maniac

whatever color be the doors I want them painted black

whomever i have been I’ve lost and god i want me back

starts slow & low, then a simmer

boiling over burns beginners

mega genius crazy brain

this lotto has a winner

my bed and sleep the only things I ever want for dinner

rapid fire pew pew zing

obtrusive thoughts unbeckoned think

morbid prophet watches all the time

Telling me how soon I’m gonna die

a bag of meat and dark regret

Took off all my wedding rings and

Haven’t found them yet

doc say “whoa babes you need Mo’ meds”

beat that shitstorm right out Yo head

logorrhea monologue

thank the cosmos for my dogs

wine and benzos good not great

vaseline and carrot cake

handguns asking to be used

would scatter me unglued, contused

been like this My Whole Damn Life no assist from jesus christ

dry heave shrieking sacrifice

and when I launch I don’t think twice

with my morals in my pocket there is no such thing as vice

I’ll chase you out onto the rocks

Banshee Chaos Psychonaut

blatant Comorbidity before I leave i would be free

How ever many pills that takes

Frenzy cannot be embraced

hugs and drugs a dwelling place

you know ALL Sanity’s at stake

When I find my rings Uncork it

Brain as Rare as Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid

Disassociated in the garden of Eden

“Wild Lady : Hey ! stop look, ! you bleeding”

wake up shifting damn i scare me

know no virgins by the name of mary

Look at Me ! Meeseeks a Theme

I’m titrating the in-between

windup’s quick slick out of my mind

become the Bitch who’s much maligned

of course its true oh boy I deserve it

lost my Fucks

drift in & swerve it

fast like amtrak passenger train

flying through the hinterlands

on fire, that’s my brain

a lonely cipher hard to read

textbook drenched psychopathy

might be taking you too deep

ending it is Not my Goal

i’ve bled enough on floors and doors

splattered all the walls

beveled hypodermic noose

expediated fall

hope you came into this crime scene toting luminal

the weather man he promises calm after the squall and science is the only god I trust now after all

Let it be Over

I never leave anything behind . I am so filled with my story
I have forgotten how to live, returning to the
Enormity of my Trauma, vowing to
When the truest meaning is that
All is Chaos .
None are Immune
I want to be somehow
Glorified in my
And I won’t
Let it be Over
Trauma turned me into
The Sufferer
Sacrifice . Martyr
Some morbid dignity of
And b/c of my scars,
I am somehow justified
I do not want to be the eternal
Wounded Heart of the Virgin
There must be More
Than that Role 

swallowed by eternity

so much importance i demand
In the function of my hands : yet unknown bones
have come to rest beneath
the hallowed land they’re pressed

breathe in vast the oxygen
Now in mortal time to stand :
naught alone but woven through
with all that animus can prove

depths and heights are yours you know
living in brief mortal flow
there is no heaven nor a hell
except the ones in which we dwell
the ones constructed by our deeds
the animus
we surely feed

spin on Earth, and let us sing
perhaps this life means not one thing
and busy we with Meaning Making miss
Subtle themes, ours for the taking

touch the lives
which near you move
know you’ve nothing here to prove
you vibrate now such
meant for others, not for thee

The soul of all shall call – combined
ever varied n’er declined
that which You Give You Sure Receive
all swallowed by

lest we hunger

Chronicles of Mania

not a very private struggle, my path to some redemption recently diagnosed Borderline after being diagnosed with anxiety disorder/anorexia/depression/mania/disassociative disorder/PTSD

i wish to be an advocate for all the complex passionate raving, 110% people

/who are trying to live sane lives and finding it beyond a challenge


grateful me, for my intellect.

and whatever human support i still have from others

it is easy to distance yourself from me, I know. chaos on two feet. I can only escape myself through sleep. oh, so many substances have been given over the years. prescribed

self medication, hiding/isolating reducing contact so I don’t

freak ppl out and get all geared up, as is my deal.

alcohol and drugs add fuel to my mania,

they do not slow it down.

focus and purpose take that chaotic energy & funnel it into amazing things,

I am a human megaphone, I am pulling myself from the ditch


is vital. i want ppl to understand, i do because

it is lonely hiding my main truth,

it is frustrating &empty

I am working with a new psych doctor

and I am determined to find myself before I am gone

i know it is hard to like me, I am not a likable person, i am no longer fun.

i have plowed through every status of human indignity.

so I know that even when I am doing not so good

i am doing better.

but better for me is still wild for others

the struggle is real, the planes which exist in my mind are true,

they are abstract & relevant and when I am there, others do not understand where I have gone.

an eccentric nerd who fell

and I am climbing ,,

trying to find myself again,

ppl cannot help but wonder of me

& always after meeting me say “wow, she is really strange””

i am. but I am honest

and will give you 100%

or nothing at all.

i develop aversions, i have pathologic avoidance, I hide

or I rocket off & leave chaos in my wake

i didn’t ask to be this way, I wish to be a woman of great grace

& charm. i am a fire alarm.

i am a protagonist & shaker upper .

agitation when my zeal has no focal point –

the doctor is medicating me, of course

Lamictal is FDA approved

as an anticonvulsant & an antipsychotic

used to control ‘brain on fire’ … mania

i hope to find peace before i am gone

but this road began when I was 2 or 3,

I remember it all

the tiny person with angst so severe she couldn’t even pee.

” jesus died for me? i must be terrible, a horror.

i haven’t done anything at all but i must have?

what a road on which to place someone so deeply feeling.

i have resentment as to how i was ‘managed’ as a child & teen .

I have resentment toward those who wound me up and then left me,

pulled the rug out, gave me no direction,

gave me ultimatums when all I needed was love & care.

those who left me. those who let me flounder,

untested, unprepared,

it is a memory of much piteous woe

and i was passed around from taker to taker,

losing every shred of dignity,

every shred of me. all by the time I was 21.

i thought of suicide last night, not a new thought, no.

there are many days i think of ending things,

i imagine it all gone, finally quiet, finally resolved, no more blame,

no more remorse; just gone

my dogs would not understand, my people would.

although I am screaming for help,

those within arms reach

do not comfort, they isolate.

there is so much comfort

needed but it is awkward for everyone

b/c i am unpredictable.

and clingy, needy toward any love, i know.

and so i turn to xanax and the bed and wine and canines,

my solace and the beating of hearts

the literature posits that those with Borderline Mania do not or cannot

form healthy relationships

anyone who thought they were my friend .. has found that i am something of a bitch,

an asshole. a needy asshole

, i don’t know why,

do i have no words for love ?

the four humans who care about me

are not near me, perhaps that’s why they remain somewhat healthy, these relationships.

anyone who spends time day after day with me is fed up, exhausted, no longer carrying a zeal for my wellness.

avoidance is how they survive.

not the dogs, no. they bring out the very very best in me. but everyone else, hey. i get it.

i am forever sorry. so sorry

i wish to be focused but I am fragmented & on fire, racing off at high speeds

thinking of two hundred things at once.

there have been situations in my life where that applied

tears and emotions well inside even now, for I was there.

I Was There

and now I am not.

yes, I am partially responsible for my sickness,

my disease

Focused mania had exhausted me,

without the balance of real rest.

I sought it, I took time off,

sincerely trying to give myself the gift of peace;

the pedal had been to the metal for so many years, i finally seized,

my body made me stop. and stop I did, for fifteen long years

42 months now opiate free. but still without a defined self image

still riding the tachometer

on the Red.

still too many neural explosions

in my head. perhaps I should be institutionalized,

I don’t think so but who knows?

i cannot focus on getting better b/c I don’t know where to go.

 Zugezogen Maskulin artwork

out to the edge with her, yes

unsure if you wish her to stay or to go
perhaps you should run
while there’s time
this creature could twist you up
offer forbidden cups
trip you and ride you and
howl at the moon
few have the energy, nay –
the defense
and if you choose stay
it’s one hundred percent – ride with the
wild you see torn from ubiquity
Shivers, transcendence
& fear
a fine bite of adrenaline

danger can pique
the stoniest soul
abandon all pretext & hedonist be
walk out to the edge with her, yes
and be free

She is still the Sea

She is in One Body but
She is Many
She is Always Shifting
An Army, Legion
When she was very young
A Revival Preacher in a Tent
Did set upon casting out
Her Demons
Much wailing & passionate Glossolalia
Sweat, Hands, motions

She is still the Sea
Behold the conflagration
that is Me

to say you’re sorry ad infinitum

Chronicles of Borderline 

 I learned to hide when I was tiny. it is my first memory, hiding from my parent’s violent arguments/fights.
i have hidden from myself most recently, hidden from stimulation, hidden from anything that would excite me….for I can’t stop myself once stirred up. it will end in three days or when I roll the car into a ditch.
those with BPD have a life expectancy reduced by 15 years or more in some cases, as early death is the wall many hit when mania is dug in good & won’t let go.
so the
good news is I am still alive
the sad sad news is that I have not been properly diagnosed until the year 2020. and I will be 58.
i have lived with this all these years & just now, JUST NOW
finding a reason for all my excesses & violent reactions, anger, flat out disassociation & ongoing manic episodes
i am so sorry my family has had to deal with this & not understand why.
I am so sad that my family has not received the proper mothering/wife-ing.
i am so sorry I have hidden myself in opiates alcohol and sleep/darkness just to prevent stimulation
to which I react in an inappropriate volume,
i am a human megaphone.
i have had two psychotic breaks. i am unsure of my own definition, other than I have been blessed with a keen mind & an understanding of physics and biology.
i hear the breathing in the dark. i am a diagnostician.
but I am also flammable and highly dangerous.
i do not blame those who have
moved away from me.
i am not meant to be face to face, I guess. I know I am meant to be on the top of a hill, on a soap box, on a platform, somewhere where everyone can see for surely everyone will hear.
i cannot reclaim the past, i can only function in the present.
some relationships are damaged beyond repair.
perhaps they are all stained.
i want the pain of this to stop but i have come so far from those balls to the walls drug addled days
committing acts just to see how far I could play out the line, and indeed, with intelligence….the loopholes have always been mine to find.
i have been so hard on my body, I have put double miles on me, I’ve lived five lives so far.
please let me be calm, Lamictal. please help me not explode. please let my creativity happen again, i feel as if I am dry as a bone and have nothing left to give.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder is not always easy. BPD is rarely diagnosed on its own, but often in conjunction with co-occurring disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, an eating disorder, or substance abuse. Your family member or loved one with BPD may be extremely sensitive, so small things can often trigger intense reactions. Once upset, borderline people are often unable to think straight or calm themselves in a healthy way. They may say hurtful things or act out in dangerous or inappropriate ways. This emotional volatility can cause turmoil in their relationships and stress for family members, partners, and friends.

bam ! pow ! let’s go !

bam ! pow ! let’s go !
shut the fuck up.

what I have to say is of the greatest import !!!!!!
listen. you must listen. i will guide this conversation.
everything i need to say is to be listened to with all seriousness. i will teach you things whether you like it or not.
no small talk. do it now !!
you will listen, i will out talk you, we will not speak together at the same time, I will shout you. down.
the strongest input has to come from me
for me to feel i can trust it.
i do not follow the directions of others.  rarely.
i make my own directions,  i do.
choreography .
…….but when I cannot, i disassociate. i try to stay together;   use every                energy mode of behavior to try to insure it….yet life is outside of my control . ultimately
i drink in an effort to control myself further…
to control my mood when i cannot control what is happening when I am untethered, i drink & smoke a ton in a kind of dissociative sacrifice to chaos.  it does not feel good anymore.

      Over Reaction  Hyperreflexia  a quick hard jabbing reflex, without grace or flow. chaotically justified, Sincere . to every impulse reacting, too much, too often. 

i see it now, though I do not know “why”
other than this is one facet of my self.
insight into my Protagonist & Borderline Personality
hope for calm again. calm ageing

i wish I would run a ton.
running can be mood altering & also somewhat self “destructive’ as in it can hurt.
this is the direction my shit needs to take

i am a human megaphone.
i am tired of me, exhausted.
really need help. getting help. need peace.

sex. medicine.  sushi. 

conversations are too much noise
so to cope i have been the one to out talk everyone so i can orchestrate the flow of conversation . i am just aware of this.
i can hear traffic three blocks away and the crackling of drying ear wax very very close to my brain.
my brain sees the digital clock light through my closed eyes
i feel vibrations, from everything. everywhere.
trucks passing on the street vibrate the whole house just enough to feel . i hear the breath of the dogs. and the sound of my own central nervous system.
((hearing breath & movement in the dark is a gift I gave to my nursing career. i can know many things without turning on the light. i listened to the breathing of my patients without disturbing them. I can be silent….. but to be with a room of many voices, i seek to be the theme . the choreography is instinctual. but not always polite
i am exposed !!!!!
, more a manipulator than a nice guy
but no, I will not accept this
i facilitate conversations and group efforts.  i am meant for many people all at once
one on one I am overwhelming to talk to.
my mood is different from word to word, i can go zero to 60 in 0.2 seconds.
i apologize for being loud when loud is not warranted.
i sing when i need to focus my activity. i guess many humans have done this throughout time. it is an instinct. in an effort to not be assaulted by chaos, i attempt to coordinate the
creatures around me. and I need many creatures around me, coordinated, to feel myself. to know who my best self is. to highlight the theme of me, more than anything,
b/c I am every theme, a human megaphone
a force of nature, walking into a room.
when I was my best self, I could choreograph group efforts. perhaps it is my best worst trait b/c i do want to survive, and I want you to survive too. at the root of it all, i am not an asshole
i do not wish to destroy.
 i lost myself. i did. and so much of  it was My Mind. i lost my mind. my choreography. my coordination with my world.  the inability to secure Myself led to self destructive behavior . or maybe i just fell off the edge…..  being capable of great things I did
self destruct  Greatly .  certainly as thoroughly  as I had conquered academia, motherhood, home ownership,
i sought medical help, but i had to beg for it, literally over & over. ( there will be some talk about doctors and doctors .  an expose ) you must be your own advocate if you require specialized anything.  sex. medicine.  sushi.
Psychiatry is for people like me who can’t control harmful aspects of themselves. ..harmful to relationships, harmful to the body and the heart,
my body is getting too old for my mania
i will be a self destructive fulfillment of prophesy
eventually . i want to stop compromising my
wellbeing in psychosis.
yes i am on meds.  yes. yes.  my husband has been my
wrangler, my protector. he loves me, he said… that’s why he has
done everything for me when i needed him to.
hiding in the dark taught me to listen hiding in the dark roused my sadism.  i learned to be supremely passive aggressive without even knowing the word.
my father was an easily enraged man. my mother loved to enrage him. she couldn’t help herself.  they would become violent quickly in a tiny girl’s eyes, esp one who can feel everything.  i would run into the night and hide.  i would listen to the unmistakable sounds of glass breaking and angry loud voices.  slaps.  a body falling to the floor in a wooden frame house has a particular vibratory sound.
eventually the fight would wear itself down.
with sex?  with what, I will never know.  perhaps my father left, he would have had to, my mother would never stop.
i would hear her calling me.  i knew i was well hidden.  i would not respond.  i made her suffer for scaring me, i knew that even then.
the night became for me a safe place.  and i learned to watch my parent’s eyes.  i could see their moods shifting.  the tone,


cover me
shield mine eyes, oh !
the light becomes terrible, too much
too bright
voice echoes bounce around me
as if I am some orbiting satellite :
static and weak signals flood me for I am a
all colors, all vibrations – scents
far off trains, coming rain “
shifts in the wind
they all find me –
as in tide rising
i am but one human, hearing and seeing
what is meant for
it makes me weak in my knees
this world and all Her Humans
added to Her Own Earthquakes
Shake Downs & Drenching Rains
the Natural passage of the journey
me, a small thing
and the Earth, the Wind and the Sea
so vast around me
this life
has enough to say to me
mine own lifetime
and mine own thoughts, thinking
my own family, my own
car there, which will not start
or will carry me just as fast as I ask
which can be
far too fast, you know.
this i would escape, all this excess
and know the peace of darkness
away from any projected
oh, to close it down is such peace
and also in my sleep
i am relieved
of even me

right before our eyes

rich & deep . our lives, evolving
right before our eyes
seeking substance in all things :
to understand both joy & pain
pick up & begin again ~
~~ creating a Life
of Great Meaning :
to live among promises keeping
to grow with integrity
deep as a dream
Wisdoms are spoken & all Good Life springs ~
~to have found such direction, life’s gracious acceptance
Our Journey is thus surely spurred
By a gift which is
too big for words
in arms can’t be held, tis Too Wide
Tis Love and in all Love Abides

the voices of the Seraphim

bones, my mineral
and flesh
you haven’t seen the last of me yet
and lo, my frame will carry me
long long roads
until I am free : then my trusted
Carrier shall lie down
they may bury Her : i hope they do not
pen Her in : I hope my bones
could feel the wind & know
the world through which I ran
Brilliant, Peckish, Fervent,
the height of me, the depth, the roots
I would know in Death the Truth

ah, to rest and know reprieve
in time my bones shall be relieved
Ah, such peace
finally free of ego’s strife
all the tangles known in life
there is another plane, you know and surely there
tis where I’ll go
as nectar drop by drop to blend
with middle air,
the Seraphim
these voices have been calling me
to join them in eternity
to wreath the Earth as
Behold, the blind shall
surely See
whatever pettiness did reign
shall be erased and n’er regained
for there are higher places
and when I pass, that’s where I’ll go.

call me then in Nighttime, sweet
manifest there ’round your feet
the roses of the fond parade
of much magick we are made
continue on
we are more than simply Men
we’re here with form so briefly wed
behold the Mystery
of body’s death
releasing us to endless flight
this brings me comfort day & night


“all in good fun” he said
and we wrestled & fucked on the bed
somehow he got into my head,
‘neath my skin
by accident he got too close,
now he’s In
he has me
body & soul
a thrall
and I cannot turn back
i am lost
after all


emerge into what was for it is catching up with tomorrow

all in a circle we’re spinning

no one is losing, nor winning

but we collide, we do in tragic ways

these are powder keg like days

opposing forces physics slams

and humans do not understand

flow is needed lest chaos reign and tear

all  Hope from Us


avoid the Sun

and I would exit melancholy, i would
break me free
seems so long the song’s been playing
in a minor key
shadows have so suited me
i have become one of them
a lurker  in my Life of  run away avoid the Sun

Universe of Chaos,
such life flows in varied hue
all these dream states I have sought
to consciousness accrue
darken sojourns from the form
which I seek lest I’m subsumed
by oh so great a tragic fate –
there, look, I’ve built my tomb
Life a Gift
Not Finished
look how long all has endured
acknowledge, me the entropy
but meet it with renewal
organs know regeneration
may the Soul proclaim new rules

in all her reckless courage

yet she tempted fate, she did
she knew the rhymes, and riddles
heat her like a griddle, she’d sizzle aye,
she’d spit
and that is not the half of it, she’ll burn you
not from spite but just the glory of her might –

pursuant of
all shadowed flights, she’s willing &
she knows
she will cause the wind to blow,
she has no fear.
for she has known this place
& farther on
& persevered
she cannot promise safety
but she will bravely
in all her reckless courage she will
guide you with her

i am one

portals to Hell oft plain &
no surprise the Lot of us
barrel right through
distracted, of course
we’ll meet our true nature
in there
humiliation, pain & deep woe
lie in wait there in Hell
one we create, our abyss…
unaware of the Life which we blithely dismiss
exit is never the thought of that day
when we step into something
we think that we know
‘of course I can handle this,!!
whoops ! here we go””
oh, bid me strength on this day
for tomorrow may
offer escape which would lead me
to sorrow, I’m often remiss
with the depth of the thought
all the times I’ve been caught
dangling there on an edge
about to go in
o’r my head
true. sometimes these portals can lead me to heaven
i’m not always so sharp with the cues I am given
what seems to be good for me
can be overdone
and if ever one lost all control
I am one.

( artwork Lua Ocana)

Mephistopheles knows Everything

Mephistopheles Nods
a small smile plays at the corner of his mouth
he watches as I wrap myself about
the very digit of destruction
refusing all  ‘instruction’
morph into my own Beast
feeding only me
give myself to everything
without conscience, darkness heed
a true iron constitution crawls
out upon the bank
smoldering from brimstone
nothing left to fake
perhaps  it happens,
all one gush and
there isn’t a true bottom
though I’ve been there sure enough
death itself may be a great relief
for I’ve had to live with every minute
of the nightmare which is Me
Mephistopheles just grins
tis the business he is in : he knows
excuses & laments
he nudges us to faltering
perhaps he’s
Heaven Sent
many have no idea
the potential that they carry : they
play some ball & read some books
puberty & marry
They skim the surface of abyss
like fatty lipids, barely dip
then there are we others
sink we molten
complex, dense
oh, you’ve no idea
my friend
 convolutions & pretense
 dirty little secrets which become a life’s landscape
Mephistopheles I know,
he didn’t have to lure me, nay
i’m here
and here i’ll likely stay
No Fear
for I have Been the Thing
 Knowing’s giv’n my soul wings
the body wants, the body needs
its path already known, decreed.
we live, we die
so goes the deal
—it’s up to us how much we feel
i will explore all variant of pain
through love or vice
all tragedy a deeper hue
a wicked, spreading stain
New Lows
embraced & understood
there is in fact no bad nor good
you know
just depths & heights to which we go
those who be heroic saints
also carry wicked taint
our limit wide,   so far
Mephistopheles Knows

that funky sweet spot

that’s what we do, we roll :
awake, aware for some of it
turning always, moving
going everywhere
back to right here
all we wish for
Not Distant
only far away in your mind
you have everything, Everything
right here & now
in a circle, you must readjust yourself
within the circle of time
along s the
Ley Lines
some contentment find
you are never ahead or left behind
misdirected surely, all inside our minds
all of us and everything
turning in a circle, spinning
the Earth, she holds us all, she’s winning
oft neglected, but bound to Last Resurgent
Living Ball of Vast Miracles
known to Eternal Beings
bring Epiphany such simplicity
to know, Divine
turning ever turning
all is Happening :
with it Roll
find that funky sweet spot in your Soul
it is the crux of all which circles
never to grow Old


truthfully unsure of where I wish to be
or what I want at all.
never thought I’d care again
yet here I am,
i think i can
right tenuous, this ‘here’
this fragility i fear
I may just blow away, for moods cannot be trusted.
variant, variable
sometimes I climb
oft times i fall the hem, the rim
encrusted with
dead souls of others clamoring for space
reduced enough to eat my dust
behold the human race

promise of escape

Hung on bones the flesh she carries
on to destiny
she tarries in the lands of woe – she knows
of nowhere else to go
into hands once deft, such needs beget the fruit
proceeds of
she sees the world with
jaded eyes
a heart which knew fulfillment once
& scampered off for
turbulence & broken trust
now gathered by her door
long & lonely bones they move
and whisper infamy
she carries all the past
in sleep & deep sedation, dreams
dreams beget long lost sensation offering relief,
Unrecognized this day and place
thus to
gladly roam in
night, and someday death
a wingéd thing will softly call her home

rub your fool nose

Plotted, your course .in the time of Her Maidenhood
One Ship to sure sail
Made to Bring Woe
but no wind . no sails. no
Escaping Travails
dropped & forgotten – left cold
Sins of Omission, sure Listen
My Friend
The Whistle & Steam of
Unlimited Ends
Outlasting you All
Here she comes
To rub your fool nose in your
hubris undone
You thought it a fine fit
in tinsel fake orbit
Sure blinded you’ll be. And unglued; haunted by all those you blithely misused
finally consumed by her Light
She will cancel you out in
the breath of the Night

light between my sleeps

awakened from the nightscape
& sweet refuge of our dreams : behold the day
it wends its way
as it’s always been
tho quick to shadow I’d return
the bliss I know in sleep : i am so called now
by Sun to Rise
ai! ai!
be seen!
i would me then as guardians
before me in all time
grow swift alert & fill a need
be the stopgap, in between
ease the blows of tragic life
for others to whom Pain is New
feed the hungry : console the woeful
best that I can do
for waking is a gift itself
how few I’ve left to me!
i would ride them valiant
each Light Space between my Sleeps
thus my dreams become escape the best that life can know
bounding, bruised
but well enthused
toward my Dreams I go
i hope some night far far from now
transition such as this
to join my sweet dark ever dream
and pass from all to bliss
such death would be a tenderness
chaos finally stilled
I Shall KNow This Peacefulness oh yes
by god I will.

bacteria & buttermilk

“I have had ALL the bugs. Whachoo know ‘bout bugs ? – i’ve spent my life runnin away from creepers. strange aviator glasses . Mosquitoes, fleas, flies, ticks, lice, bed bugs. mildew, mold – stasis. decay . All manner of effluvia. a bit of butter in the buttermilk .”


Commit or Cower : self sabotage in the guise of self preservation

What denotes safety to body and soul? After struggling to the surface, this stubborn pilgrim could envision no other place she’d ever wish to be . Having pursued & achieved the enormous goals of breaking the control of Morphine and addressing untreated mental illness , landing on two feet seems to sanctify the landing zone. Every survival instinct is roused when living draws her toward another space in which to continue the journey, an odyssey of both bitter loss & some sullied but staunch survival.

Change can beget fear . Those with complex traumatic stress d/o cower when asked to journey to places unknown. Survival dictates one stays in their Safe Place – once having found such, one clings to it with all their might . Away opens a seam in defenses. A breach could be catastrophic.

Leaving the “known” feels like cliff diving into an unseen Sea. . The hand which has so valiantly clung to the edge of promised sanity is not easily opened. Some yet unknown mix of love and strength is the only antidote. Fear sees coercion; suspicion threatens to gain mass & substance, becoming paranoia.

Trust does not come easy to the traumatized. The sense that a yawning chasm stands just outside the comfort zone causes a floodgate of adrenaline & cortisol to be released . The Prophet of Doom who voices in ongoing internal narrative hisses “STAY! STAY!”

How to Go, then? Such going requires Trust .. the words are easy to say but actual trust must move from word to deed or remain abstraction. Trust in the strength of mind and body, trust in granted renewal. This trust is made flesh when we move from Saying to Doing . Trust within a known environment. . .. a slow relaxing has been initiated. Finally ! A place of horror has become a place of some peace . And now to be bidden leave this haven ? How can one do the deeds while so afraid in heart & mind ?

Engagement with Life is filled with trepidation and self doubt. Yet here, now…. it is Go Time . Either commit or cower, little human. The next step in your rebirth awaits.

Leaving Home

Words are not emotion . Feelings are hard to verbalize . How can you love a place ? Like a face, aging does not the safety change, the trust & joy in returning.

Thirty years bonds one to the very floors and windows, DNA is woven into every corner ; memory & madness . Laughter, survival. Why would I ever wish to be away ? And yet, here we go, packing & purging at a record pace . Difficult to see it all dismantled & know time is short .

And I do not wish to go but the plans were long set in motion thus I am set in motion too.

What a sad farewell ; the canines buried there, the kitchen and the bed. All the neighbors I have loved and do love , the porch & the gardens, decades of energies dug into the Earth and sprouting after dormancy, undeterred – a sight & joy returning .

How can I go away forever? Well, I must . We are family after all, not to be separated ; not over a house or a region -love must abide

Jenga & Dumpster Fires

This is Not about being traumatized  : tis about  being  Free

An emotional mine field surrounds me – self made & poorly marked.   Blundering  into this danger zone  invites  a barrage  – you may be assigned the role of  torch  bearer in a bouncy house  filled with  highly flammable gasses.       Are you sure you want to stay ?    I mean, love is grand – but whoa !  That sticker shock !  

The ultimate rule of self preservation requires  the compassionate  soul to fade into the  wee hours.   The status of would be savior is, alas not worth the battering.    Loving one who refuses to abandon  high ground brings chaos and uncertainty to life.  .   Those who love rarely wish to be harmed and harm inflicted in the name of love is the dance of  the sadomasochistic.  

   Indeed, there will be  big emotions.  There may be blood spilled, for surely the tears have fallen;  apologies will pour forth,  prompted by the deeds of a  fractured  self .  There will be  very little peace;  that “bad hand” dealt  becomes a talisman-  a reason for bitterness, a conduit of loss.

Life is not a game of Texas Hold ‘Em – yet here I am, hanging on to that “bad hand” of  circumstance  & trauma .   But look, sorrowful  one!    Life calls  !  Behold a peaceful setting –  a game of Jenga stands, waiting to be played upon the broad and welcoming patio of a communal space.  The soft light and sweet music of a gentle afternoon  surrounds all.  The cards?  Yes, those cards.  They are not needed;  the wrong tools in  the wrong game.  But no one can convince  me otherwise & here I am dug in deep, alone-  shuffling., reshuffling.

How can any gentle  “game” be played when one  carries a neon flashing  mega-chip on a beleaguered  shoulder daring the world to knock it off & face the wrath of one pissed off  bitter trauma-flag waving Queen of Pain.      

                Of course the world keeps its distance .   Upwind of the  smoking funk of one mother of a dumpster fire is the only  wise place to stand .

Eggshells,  you know.  Walking on them.  A tiring & unrewarding dance ’round  about  something  which has    (or will)   detonate .  Self Pity shrapnel  shall  fly, propelled by the rage of the maladapted made material & designed to wound anyone who tries to help and steps too close . Blame colors every word & deed. To forgive would mean accepting responsibility for actions. “It’s not my fault!” echoes from every stone.

The burning  question here in the land of  sadness is “Can the Angry  Martyr find Love?”   And the answer is .. , ambiguous.    Those who have had a starring role  in a  drama of peril & pain erect  a wide perimeter & the space is heavily weaponized.  

Perhaps a hostage negotiator  with a trusty bullhorn  might call across the expanse, speaking calming logic with a carefully modulated voice. The negotiator asks me (yes, me) to release the hostage.   …. ( Clarity comes so slowly )  Why, the hostage is Me !   The woman I could  be  in a future heretofore in my mind blighted by deeply engrained fear stoked by the memory of   pain.  Any hope which remains is bound  in the tethers of codependence.   Trauma defines me – and my definition keeps all that pain alive. There is no hope of a future unless the captive is set free. 

Hunkered down in a dark space,  stroking  my indignation, I malign intervention.   Pray let me hear the words of  compassioned sanity;  Please, negotiator-  keep prodding  my anger with that gentle voice – yes, keep me listening for though your words may trigger my anger they also bring the beast into the light.  Such can  soften the heart hardened by fear.  The voice which outspeaks my own … which advocates for  inner peace, which coaxes my defiance  from standoff  to surrender – this is the voice I need.    Let me see maladaption in all its self preserving  strength – let such coping  be understood for then it shall be no longer necessary.    Encourage me to try,  to crawl hand over hand across my  burned bridge (one of so many) & find a solid patch of  Earth on which to change my course.  .

Deeply rooted bitterness  must be exhumed by the hand of the gardener .    When I carry my traumas and speak of nothing  else,  validation  of  my pain becomes my life’s  fruitful work.   The repeated  violation of my trust has   become my reason for excusing myself from my life & behaving badly .  I fling  my  resentment  toward the healthy, the stable, the unstained.   No, I cannot be loved in this State .  For surely I cannot give love when I have no regard, no hope, nay- no love for myself . 

Self Love.  How in the name of all the gods does the  embodiment  of  self loathing  become  ‘self care’ ?  How can the spotlight  be turned toward what is possible?   Even now I hear the  squealing  of rusted metal upon metal as I  use my now unfettered hand  to refocus  that spotlight – away from Me, My Pain and all  that  has Happened, to shine upon what is Happening and Will Happen.  The focus CAN shift.  Tis by my choice and by my hand yet the turning is so difficult, the parts of such having sat sad long days and seasons, blasted by the elements of loss,  slowly fixed into place.  No longer would I be as such;  I would know another life.  Though I have chosen to highlight the pain up until now, I would dwell in the penumbra and shine such light’s focus  on a hopeful future – a future which honors survival but no longer glorifies the past. Help !  Quick!  Find some WD40. !!!  Let this goal  continue in earnest,  the hostage  freed, the eggshells swept up.  That bad hand of cards, let it be folded.  Music from the distance calls – the Jenga tower awaits a new player.



We are back!!!

back in the saddle, back on the chain gang, back in black – here, here here. Now now now .


Stay Tuned . Way More than Verse

New Moon Wisdom

Just as the Moon, your greatest Magick will come in times of Darkness when you have no other choice than to Trust your own Strength . The Dark of the Moon is upon us; Her Face Obscured for Three Days as She Passes Through Earth’s Great Shadow

Yet she is whole and her paces are true

 :She guides us in the Rhythms of Insight for She Guides in Continuity : Long Eons before our Now and even Now without fail – may I give her Thanks as she teaches me to turn away from distraction and focus on myself, my Being, Inside, unadorned no spotlight or reflected cue….She brings me to myself again :She guides us in the Rhythms of Insight for She Guides in Continuity : Long Eons before our Now and even Now without fail – may I give her Thanks as she teaches me to turn away from distraction and focus on myself, my Being, Inside, unadorned no spotlight or reflected cue….She brings me to myself again

She has never failed to be where She in her paces has promised bringing me to Truth & Wisdom A Panacea for the Soul which with Love I myself Create———

blessings of the New Moon Becoming

sharpening focus on our Strengths

building the true confidence of one who is not alone seeking wisdom

nor alone in living through the dark times

the Moon teaches me all does pass -all darkness becomes light —All weaknesses can become as mighty Magickal Force

the sum of your will to persevere

blanketed thus upon all those who dwell in your sphere

strengthening is not a once in awhile thing

may you know great truths , yes & always they shall Guide You

as the Moon steps away & you provide

for a time the singular flame


The New Moon 13 March 2021 0323