Forgotten Hopes

Once, a long time ago, I wrote a poor version of this and put it up on my Wattpad account with this as a cover. I still like it somehow; that’s me, by the way.

She was fifteen when she first heard the song that changed her life and became path and direction of her journey. Music had been a distraction and a companion for most of her isolated childhood and youth. Being subject to emotional abuse, she had found somewhere safe to hide in her mind when music was playing. When silence reigned in her bedroom, thoughts threatened to destroy her fragile mind. Once in a while, her older sister took her to the city. They browsed stores for clothes and, her favourite part, for music. Their shopping spree always ended with an obligatory trip to the newsstand. Her sister bought the latest teen magazine, and she invested the last of her money in music magazines that came with free CDs.

On the bus home, both girls looked out of the window, trying to find ways to ignore what was awaiting them at home. The older one retreated to her own bedroom as soon as they walked through the door; the younger one was greeted with new chores that were added to her list and verbal abuse when she was not able to do the things she was commanded to do. She was not innocent though, she replied to every insult thrown at her with another insult. Inside, she broke apart, but she refused to show it to the outside. They would love to see her cry, and she was not willing to grant them this victory. Once done with everything, she too found her way to her sanctuary, where the first thing she did was putting on some music. But the music she listened to made her angry. Angrier than she already was. Her friends had suggested those bands, and for once, she had wanted to fit in, and something was appealing too, but she was beginning to see that those friends were morons who weren’t able to see past shallow lyrics and worshipped ugly minds and ideas. This was not her. She was too open-minded and free-spirited for this hate and ugliness. She had enough of those at home already, and she wanted more; needed more. Somehow she always knew that she deserved more.

She unpacked what she had bought, new CDs to put in the stand next to her stereo and listen to one after the other; a new black top with a large white and silvery bird, and the magazines from the newsstand. She wanted to give the new music on the free sampler attached to the magazine a listen first. Awaiting rejection, she knocked on her sister’s door to ask for the laptop they were sharing. With relief she saw that the older girl was not using it and with a warning to bring it back within an hour, she could take it. Once everything was plugged in and mounted, she was in for a surprise.

4 minutes and 42 seconds were about to change her life. The CD started on its own accord, and the first sounds she heard was an acoustic song by a band that was unknown to her. She didn’t know much about music, but she knew when she was touched by something good. She looked at the screen in front of her and was intrigued by the two men she saw with their guitars. One was sitting on a chair, strumming and singing; head slightly bowed. The other lay on the bed cradling his guitar like a lover; eyes closed. A myriad of emotions ran through her mind and body, too many emotions to place them and all she was capable of doing was sigh and smile. Wow! The song ended. The screen faded to black and she, she released another long breath. She was mesmerised by what she had heard and seen. Before the next song came on, she had to play this one again. The repeat button was the only option there was. This time, the smile was there from the beginning. As soon as the song had ended a second time, she knew she needed more; more of this beautiful and sad music. She was greedy, but this music, these lyrics, and the men somehow too, they had touched something deep inside her. Something was born and awoken in those few minutes of having listened to the song. In a frantic nearly obsessed way she browsed the internet to find out who this band was. They were brothers and part of a band. The clip of them in the hotel room was made to advertise their newest release. This British band had been around for a while, and she made a point to purchase as much of their back catalogue the next time she would go to her preferred record store. It was 1998; she was fifteen and deep inside, she knew that this band had just changed her entire life and thoughts.

She was twenty-six when an unexpected bout of depression hit her. It was the first time she felt helpless, hopeless, obsolete. Friends had long gone; only a couple had survived and morphed into adult friendships. Life had changed; she had moved on with a family of her own. She had a house, a husband, and two kids. Her mind had changed too; of course, it had, she was not a child anymore but an educated and intelligent woman. The music she listened to had changed, as well as the meaning it had in her life now. The band that had changed her life in her youth was still there and had stayed the same; more or less, releasing new music regularly.

It was 2009, and everything looked good on the outside; to some her life was perfect. But inside; inside everything was different; she had lost hope. She had forgotten how to have hope for a better future. She had no dreams, no goals, no future. She was existing, but not living. No one had ever promised anything to her. No one had ever punished her for dreaming. And yet, she was bruised by the daily struggles. Hurt by her own high expectations and standards; and yet she couldn’t change. She was powerless. Hope was lost.

She sat in front of the computer. It was silent in her room. Just she and her tormenting thoughts that became louder and more vicious with every passing sleepless night. She clicked YouTube links by the dozen to distract herself from the noise in her brain, but the music didn’t bring her peace anymore. The songs were filled with melancholy, and they all made her want to cry and hide from the world even more. Until seemingly out of nowhere, the song came on that had changed her life a decade ago appeared in a random playlist. The exact same version. With both men in a hotel room and the camera focusing on the guitarist who lay flat on his back playing the intro to the song. Forgotten Hopes.

The song that had changed so much such a long time ago was doing it again. She didn’t smile once when it played. She just watched. Frozen. Her mind was empty, devoid of thoughts. This hadn’t happened in a very long time. And when the screen faded to black to begin playing a new song, she paused the playlist and buried her face in her hands. She finally cried. She cried the tears she had kept in for years, and when she was all cried out, she felt freer than she had ever felt. Snot was running down her nose, and dark dots that used to be warm tears adorned her shirt, but it was okay. Her head hurt from the sudden release of those locked up emotions. But that too was okay. And once again, this song, this band that was ever-present in her life, had changed her train of thoughts. It was okay. It was okay, and everything would be okay. Music was healing her mind.

She was thirty-two in 2015, and after supporting one of the musicians of the band that had been her longtime companion in a crowd-funding campaign, she received a personalised song. It was the most unique gift she could ever receive. Forgotten Hopes, and it was sung just for her. It took her a couple of tries and a lot of headshaking and worrying, but in the end, she dared to send an email to the man whose lyrics had guided her through her life and whose words were inspiring her own creative mind. She thanked him and told him briefly how much she owed to him, his lyrics and his passion. He had touched her in all the right places, and now she wanted to touch him too. Give back a little. And by doing so, her life changed again. And maybe, his did too. For her, it was Important that he knew and understood that his presence on this earth had saved her, that it mattered. In her mind, every artist deserved to know that their light gave hope.

Forgotten Hopes. A vivid reminder to her to never lose hope.

Anathema – Forgotten Hopes

(partly autobiographical)

Friday 13th…

… and nothing happened. Well stuff did happen. Like colleagues at work ranting against me again for asking to use an hour of overtime. Or me just letting it slip. Or me buying an inflatable swimming pool for our garden. Or taking care of a little rabbit for a week. Or my sister being in hospital. Or my kids’ summer break starting today.

I still feel disconnected and sometimes when I take my phone, I don’t know what to do with it. There is no need to check statuses and posts… There is a lot less scrolling.

I did not work on the new book today, but I finally folded my son’s, my daughters’ and my own laundry. Took me several hours. I also cleaned the house. Things I just couldn’t do for weeks now.

I want to be a good mother to my children, but some days I wonder about it all. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t. I have a hard time talking about my self. We took pictures at work and I was taken aback with how much it shows that I am not well. My eyes, my mouth. I look sad.

There are moments when I don’t feel sad. There are moments when I feel like a million bucks. I am feeling all sorts of emotions washing over me, I am carefree and me. In that moment I am happy. And I live without regrets. But, what I am struggling with is giving most of what I have to offer and not having anything in return. Sometimes it only feels like nothing, but that feeling of nothing or rejection makes me doubt myself. I hate it when I am like this, because I know exactly how I am feeling, but I have no clue how to change it. I was looking into therapists. Truthfully? I can’t afford it. It is too expensive. Being healthy is one damn expensive thing.

Since I am not active on any other platform anymore, I am wondering if I should borrow Satursongday from Nate Maingard. I would post a song every Saturday. I am not sure if I will do that. Having the ideas and acting them out are two different things. And I often have ideas that will never see the light of day.

Light of day… It’s night and there is a chance of sleeping in tomorrow.

This post is uncoordinated. This is how I think. I think about one thing and somehow it is linked to another thing that I don’t mention and that thought that I am not expressing leads me to the one I am writing. It is hard to follow me to times. But to me, it makes perfect sense.

Either I am entering a manic phase or my onyx beads that I have been wearing on my wrist for two days straight are helping.

Goodnight

C

untitled flash fiction 20180701 or With you, I want to live

“Do you ever think about suicide? About ending it all? Just vanishing? Being gone? Not existing at all?” he asked, avoiding making eye-contact. He took a sip of his coffee and looked at the people on the other side of the street. She didn’t answer. She didn’t know how. “I do,” he continued. “I think about it. All the time. Not about death itself, but how to make it easier for those around. And I wonder what they will say and who will miss me.” Their eyes briefly met, before he averted his gaze and looked at the clouds in his coffee. “I would miss you,” she croaked, cleared her throat and repeated the same words in a steadier voice. “Why?” he whispered. “Why” was a question that often made his life unnecessarily hard. That three-letter word made him dread and anticipate answers, all at once. “Because the thought of not having you close to me breaks me inside. The void you would leave would swallow me.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He didn’t want to make a scene, but she had a thing with words; always finding the words that forced his emotions to explode. “If you were gone, I would probably follow you. There is nothing keeping me here. If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here,” she whispered sadly. He didn’t know how to react and how to respond. He just covered her hand with his trembling one. She looked at their hands, then she lifted her head to look into his face – into his eyes. “Please don’t leave me behind,” she begged. “Never,” he replied. “I love you too much.” She nodded, wiping the corner of her eye. A tear was threatening to ruin her makeup. Lately, she had thought about taking her own life a lot. She led a happy life, but something dark was clawing at her thoughts. Something devastating was fraying the edges of her fragile soul. Holding on was much more exhausting than she would have ever thought. Why was living and staying alive so easy for most people? Why was it so hard for her? And him too. “Let’s promise each other to stay alive together for as long as we can. There are reasons to stay alive, right? If I remind you of them, and you me, we will be okay.” On the other side of the street, a toddler was crying in his stroller. From her point of view, it looked as if he didn’t like being strapped tightly in the stroller without any means to break free. “Freedom is just an illusion. A creation of the mind. The emotional cage we are living in is a creation of the mind too. It either helps us to stay sane, or we will break and grow insane.” He tilted his head to the side and took a sip of his coffee. It was as if he was seeing her for the first time. He had been too busy with his own thoughts, missing that she was not alright either. “Depression is a selfish bastard,” he thought out loud, taking his hand back. “We should go,” she ignored his statement, got up from her chair and put her bag over her shoulder. He stood next to her, kissed her forehead and let his hand find hers. She looked up at him. The affection in her eyes made his heart race. “I love you,” he blurted out. He had never said the words before, but they had never been this true and important to share either. A genuine beaming smile appeared on her face. She didn’t reciprocate his words. She didn’t have to; he felt her love wafting off her skin. Being alive wasn’t so bad, if he was allowed to do it with her.

voices

It’s cold and I wrap my cardigan closer around my shivering form. Still, I don’t want to turn around and walk back home. I enjoy the peaceful quiet and loneliness that surrounds me. The wind blows, almost cutting my skin. I feel the cold sand sticking to the soles of my bare feet.

Nobody is at the beach. The sky looks grey, almost black and I know, that in a few minutes, it will open up and soak me in cold rain. I stop and turn to look out over the vast ocean. The waves are nothing more than white lines that crash eventually. The ocean looks threateningly big and violent, and once again, I feel small. Very small. Insignificant. Around me, everything seem to be big and meaningful. Me, I am a grain of sand. Not important at all. The realization hits me hard, making my eyes sting with unshed tears. I pretend, that it is the chilly air, but I know that I am lying to myself. It is not the first time that I am doing this.

He is back again. His voice in my head is back. Torturing me. Making my life hell.

There are days, when everything seems pointless to me. Every battle is lost, and I feel obsolete.

The lines between reality and the torment in my head blur, and I wonder how it would feel to drown. Not that I have any intention to walk towards the freezing swallowing ocean, but I wonder.

There are days, when I long to feel the serenity some people find at the beach. Finding inner peace and being able to keep that feeling inside, and letting go of everything else seems easy for many people. But not me. No, not for me. Nothing else matters anymore.

There are days, when it would be so much easier to simply give up. Listening to the voices in my head, obeying them, and fading away from the face of earth. Who would care anyway?

I shake my head, trying to make these thoughts stop from building toxic roots in my mind. Getting rid of that awful voice that is trying to pull me under proves to be impossible. I don’t want this. But it is stronger than me. He is stronger. A hole I fall in from time to time, orchestrated by his words. Manipulating me like a puppet on a string. Sometimes, it is so deep that there is almost no way to get out of the dark and lonely place again. Sometimes it’s not deep at all and the right scent, the right words, and the right notes can make me see the light again.

I struggle. An inner war is raging inside of me, when all I want to do is to strive for inner peace. It looks so easy for some. For me it’s a constant struggle.

The rain starts to fall. In a matter of minutes, I am soaked to the bone and frozen to the core of myself. I know, that I should move and go home. I know that I should put on my socks and shoes. But I can’t. I cannot move. Paralyzed. Something is holding me back. My hands fall down at my sides and I feel my shoulders slump. My head bends down and I fall down to my knees. My soaked cardigan is heavy on my skin. Pulling me down with an invisible, yet invincible weight on my shoulders. I bury my face in my hands. Accepting my defeat. Shivering in the cold, with my long wet hair pasted to my face. I cannot go on. I cannot keep fighting myself. I have to give in. I cave.

I give up.

For the first time in a long while, I am willing to give up and give in.

“Take me with you!” I yell into the cold and empty space. It is the last surge of energy before my inner self combusts. My heart burns with the emptiness inside. Ashes, are all that will be left within when all this is done.

I cower on the beach. Lonely and alone. Painfully aware of all of my flaws. Painfully aware, of the hole that is swallowing me. Too tired to fight. And why should I fight anyway? He doesn’t let me fight.

What is there left fighting for anyway?

This place holds no shelter for me anymore. I want to fade away and vanish. Too jaded to go on. Too hollow.

It’s like I am in a trance.

I hear a noise and startle. Thunder and lightening are keeping me company. I wake up from my trance, and see where I am; realize what I am doing. I’m trembling from the cold, and from the shock of my train of thoughts. A heavy smile creeps up on my face. She is here to save me.

It’s always like that.

Two personalities are residing inside of me. Fighting to get the reigns over me. One of them is overly optimistic, always positive and supportive. Always honest and chatty. The other one is a suicidal pessimist. One day, he is going to win. One day, she will not be there and win the internal battle at the last minute. I know it. It scares me. I know that he is stronger.

I get up and the sky clears up too. No more rain. The wind calms down. I am dripping wet. Sand is sticking to my clothes. But I survived the storm.

Finally, I move. I move towards home. Wherever that is.

“Home is were you hang yourself…

…some pictures on the wall”

I enter my home. It’s empty. Almost no furniture. No voices. Nothing. I can’t stand the quiet and so, my first move is to turn on the music. Loud. To drown out the last of his thoughts. The hardwood floor is wet from my clothes and I shed them. Struggling to get the wet cloths from my freezing skin.

I take a shower to wash away the morning and the cold. But his voice is persisting today. He wants to see me perished.

In the back, I hear her voice. She’s screaming loudly.

“This too shall pass.” I nod my head. She is right. Maybe. I sigh into the foggy steamed bathroom mirror. It’s going to be a long week. It’s going to be a daily fight. I wish I could hibernate. Let them fight it out and whoever wins can take over my body. Whoever wins gets to do whatever they want with me.

“Fight. You’re strong. Don’t let that bastard get to you.” Some days, I am a fighter.

“Give up. You can’t win anyway. I am stronger and you know it.” Some days, I submit and lose the battle in my head.

***
(Originally written in May 2014, slightly edited today.)

No words to say

They don’t see what I can’t tell, they can’t understand that I am not well.

Everything is perfectly fine, apart from me and my mind.

Another morning filled with silent tears, this is the worst in years.

I can’t go on and I can’t give up, but I need to make this stop.

It’s crippling me, breaking me into pieces; the overwhelmed feeling increases.

I know they love me, they see me, but even their love can’t free me.

How can they see what I don’t tell, and that I am living in my personal hell?

I dread the moment when i lose my strength and cave. Until now, I have been brave. For now, I safe. Please, keep me safe?

ramble_20180608

I spent more than 14 hours at work today. I was there at 7:30am and got home at around 10pm. From a professional point of view, my day was a success. I have been told many times that the kids love me – we had a party with the parents tonight, and had the opportunity to talk with many parents in a relaxed mood we had created at the nursery. I worked my ass off today, not sitting still and getting things done. (Even ripping my favourite jeans.) I was brave and smiled and made small-talk. A busy bee with a smile for every parent and every child.

The other part of me, the one I hid, was the part of me that was on the constant verge of crying. I wrote two posts this morning and was in a good mood, until suddenly I wasn’t anymore. And I don’t know what triggered it. I cried before I left the house this morning. And my mood did not improve. It was a challenge to be social today. But I think I did a good job hiding my inner turmoil.

I am tired. Not only from work, but from everything. I haven’t eaten properly in two weeks. I have some kind of stomach bug that won’t go away. I cannot eat any proper food without getting sick. It’s exhausting. I am living off soup and tea these days. It is annoying and I am constantly thinking of food. But I don’t dare eating out of fear to be sick again. It is a vicious circle. I don’t feel sick, but I can’t eat. (I lost 3kg… Lol… But as soon as I start eating again I will gain 6kg, lol)

I want to be a good person. I am a good person. But there is that voice in my head that keeps telling me that I am toxic. It tells me that I am a burden, and that it’s easier to ignore me than to be with me. And I hate that voice. I know it is wrong, but I cannot stop these thoughts. And because I am aware of this, it makes it even harder to believe that anyone should like me. Why should anyone like me?

Why should anyone read these posts? Why should anyone care about someone like me?

On a good day, I would say “because I am loveable. Because I am worth it.”

Today, I say “I don’t know. I can’t see a way out.”

Once again, I am writing impulsively. I cannot help it. It is who I am.

My thoughts run in circles. It could be so easy, but my damaged mind makes it so hard to be some times. And being is all there is.

Tell me to breath. Remind me to keep breathing.

Demons

I tried to kill my demons in different ways. I drank them to sleep. I cut them out of my skin. I drowned them out with loud music. I silenced them with words I read. Nothing helped. This demons are pestering little buggers. They will not leave. Once in a while their voices are quiet. But never for long. They like to torment me. Do you want to know what they say?

  • You’re ugly and fat
  • No one likes you
  • You want too much of everyone. No wonder they all run.
  • Untalented
  • Shut up, no one cares
  • Why should they?
  • Stop whining
  • You will never be good enough
  • You deserve this
  • Suck it up

This is just a sample, but these fuckers (“you swear too much”) never give up. There are days when I shrug it off, flip them off and go my own way. But doubt – man, doubt is a powerful thing. Once the seed is planted every good thing happening that very moment turns into something rotten. Why should anyone want to spend time with me? I should leave these people and their lives alone. And by spending time with me, I seldom mean real face to face encounters. Truth is, I dread meeting people. I hate to pick out clothes and shoes and do something with my hair. No matter what I am wearing, I am afraid too be judged. And after the judgment comes the rejection. At least that’s how my mind works. And I can’t handle rejection. I frightens me. It makes room for doubt. (Even the smallest and most unintentional form of of rejection does.) For the longest time, I thought I was alone in this. Maybe I was naive or something, but I couldn’t grasp the idea that other people are suffering too. I mean, apart from me, everyone is perfect. Their lives are perfect. It’s horse shit, of course, I know that. But that is not how my mind works. The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s my mind. Not seeing a tree while standing in a forest. That’s my mind too. And I hate to look vulnerable. I am already eccentric enough as it is. I keep my coffee in the fridge.

After I wrote that last sentence, a demon reared its head again. Why do you write stuff like this? No one will read it. You don’t matter. No one cares. Maybe that is true. Maybe no one cares, but maybe it makes people feel less alone. We all have our battles. Some days I wish I were a normal person. Some days I wish my mind wouldn’t play these tricks on me. Some days I wish I could see what other people see when they look at me. But it never happens. I have to deal with this. And I do it mostly on my own. I cannot find the words to speak about it. I cannot stand the look of pity in the people’s eyes who know. I cannot be a public failure. I cannot let them see… But I am here… Failing at life in plain sight. Failing. But also succeeding. And I have the scars to prove it. I have thousands of poems to prove it. I have laughing lines around my eyes to prove it. I am not failing every day. Some days, I am succeeding. Some days the demons are quiet. Those are the good days. They happen too. For no reason. Because I am learning that things happen for no reason. If I could only think less. Or maybe, keep thinking the same amount, but with more thoughts in favour of myself.

Because, truth be told, despite being trapped in a tunnel with only slight rays of light, I am an awesome woman. Maybe not awesome, but worthy. Worthy of time, understanding, and care.

Thank you

It’s going to be okay

Life’s a bitch, but it’s going to be okay.

My daughter had a nightmare about me dying. I tried to comfort her as best as I could, but there was a thought I couldn’t shake. I will die. Some day I will. And I cannot change it. And when she was finally asleep again, i felt guilty. So many times i thought about dying. I thought about ending my life. No – I will not kill myself, no need to worry. But I have these thoughts and I am aware that those are thoughts normal people don’t have. I cannot save my children from all the hurt that the world will inflict on them. It’s impossible. But I can try and not add to it. It pains me when my seven year old is bullied. It hurts that she didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to make me sad. It pains me when she tells me that she will come to me with everything that bothers her but that I can also come to her with the things that bother me.
Parenting is the best thing I do. It’s one of the few things I am sure of. But there is so much wrong with me that I worry that I will never be the parent they need or deserve. The world is crazy. And I am too.
And I am scared to share. I used to share a lot. But back then, people from my day to day life didn’t read anything I shared. And now I allowed some people in. And I feel ashamed and frightened to share who I really am. I hate this. And I want to scream “help”, but I can’t, and to be fair, I wouldn’t listen to anyone anyway. I need a hug from someone who isn’t a child. Who knew that being married also meant being lonely and longing for human connection.

Sinking

In my fragile state

I’m sinking.

No fight is left

No struggle worth it.

Sinking

Sinking

I asked to be saved

But no one heard

I demanded a rope

To pull myself out

But I couldn’t reach it.

I am sinking

Sinking

Thinking.

Overflowing numbness.

When I close my eyes,

I am vanished – gone

And no one knows I even existed.

Leaving no trace.