When I got married at the very young age of 21, I meant every word in my vows. When we celebrated our 5th anniversary, I thought we might someday celebrate our 50th. Divorce was not a milestone either of us ever expected to reach. So when I moved out of the apartment my husband and I shared, it was confusing and traumatic and deeply painful for both of us. Only weeks later, I was in a serious car accident. Heading to a New Year’s Eve party along the oceanfront Pacific Coast Highway in LA, the car I was in slammed into the side of another car making a poorly-timed left turn across our lane. We were incredibly lucky: everyone was wearing their seat-belt, no one was intoxicated, no one was driving above the speed limit, and no one was seriously injured. Except me. Continue reading “Trying to Let it Out”
Transcript of my Moth Story Hour Submission, Subject: Vices
All my life I have been building: making plans, gaining knowledge, forming relationships, accumulating possessions. But for nine years there has been an insidious black mold in the foundation of my life’s structure that undermines everything I pile on top of it. My vice goes by a lot of names but you could call it perfectionism, insecurity, avoidance, addiction, an inability to cope.
For years, anything I didn’t like about myself or couldn’t handle got pushed down into a place where I wouldn’t have to deal with it. In time I created a “me” that was completely separate from the person I showed to the world. I had an entire hidden life.
I tried everything to cure myself of my problem: medication, therapy, rehab, self-interventions. Nothing fully eradicated it. And then, because I couldn’t fix it, I ignored it. But problems do not solve themselves and, untended, a cancer grows. Eventually it spread beyond containment.
When I told you that I was still sick,
and that I was going to get help,
we hugged and cried and you gave your support.
And while I was in treatment,
you sometimes inquired,
responding to my positive updates.
But after I left that place,
we never talked about it again.
You assumed the best and I let you
See, this problem thrives in darkness,
I hardly confront it with myself,
and even less with others.
I know it’s not that you didn’t care,
but the fact that you never asked,
If you had asked me straight
I might have lied,
but at least then you could say you tried.
There’s never time to ask the question
with one right answer,
the one that that you won’t hear.
And so it continued,
with you cloaked in wishful thinking,
and me hidden in my shame.
Until, once again, I intervened
tearing open that inner door
shining light on the destruction.
Its like I’ve always known,
that even with all the support in the world
this problem is mine alone to solve.