Poetry: Caught Between

I wrote this 2001 when I took a break from writing angry breakup poetry-lol. As an immigrant that grew up here, I’ve struggled with my identity for most of my life. Issues with identity are also another trait of BPD. I think this was a time in my life when I was especially reflecting on this part of my identity because I was become aware that men were fetishizing me.

me in 2001 around the time I wrote this poem

Caught between two worlds
what am I made up of more
hopefully I won’t ever have to choose
sometimes I wish to just cut loose

Too Latina for the American side
Too Americanizada for the Latino side
So what is the politically correct term for someone like me?
Not American, not born here
Not fully Latina either
for I lack that latin allure

So I’ll call myself one of a kind
a girl with much Latin beauty and an American mind
like a delicious half and half cream
whose taste is an amazing mixed dream

Poesia: El Pasado

Escribi este poema en Marzo de 2003 cuando estuve visitando Hawaii y pensaba en mi pasado.

A veces es asi

Estoy en el mismo lugar

donde era una adolecente inmadura,

Impulsiva, e insegura

pero ahora soy otra

Una que piensa antes de arriesgar

una que mirar antes de pisar

Una que trata de olvidar

Antes de contemplar todo 

lo que no fue de su vida

My Almost Love Affair with Death **trigger for SI**

I don’t remember the first time I had suicidal ideation but I remember the first and only time I made an attempt to end my life. It was the morning of December 5th of 2016. It’s hard to remember the exact events of that day but I do remember the triggers before that day which led me down that dark path. Some people might think that by writing about this I’m sharing too much of my personal life but I stopped caring about other people’s opinions this year. While it is hard for me to revisit that day and tell my story; it is important for me to share my story in hopes that someone somewhere struggling doesn’t feel so alone or that loved ones look for signs if someone near them is in trouble. Talking about suicide and its possible causes is an important conversation to have that should be normalize. 

To friends, family, and coworkers, I’ve always tried to maintain this image of having an almost perfect life of suburban bliss. Relatives from Peru, the country I immigrated from have told me that I’m the American Dream. Looking at my social media, this image is perfectly crafted with pictures of me with my family and friends.I specialize in posting those candid family shots at some event in town #momlife, me  with friends downtown #girlsnightout,  and me at work #bestjobever. You get the point. I’ve crafted this image of being this perfectly put together woman who has it all and does great at balancing all of the expectations and responsibilities thrusted upon her by society. People close to me call me strong, amazing, and awesome. They see this confident woman that manages to handle life and almost every obstacle thrown at her with grace. I remember being 17 after announcing my unplanned pregnancy to friends and one of them telling me, “ I can’t believe how calm you are and how well you’re handling it, I would be freaking out”.I smiled at her and told her, “Well, it’s done now. I just have to deal with it the best way I can”. Even at the tender age of 17, it was ingrained in me to suppress my emotions and show others this facade of being a strong woman. Needless to say, there’s always been a lot of pressure on me to maintain this image. This pressure almost killed me. 

#girlsnight
#family time
#momlife
#worklife

In the winter of 2016, my life looked perfect from the outside. I worked from home as a Bilingual Child Support Agent making more money than ever, I’m married to a doting husband, I have 3 wonderful and amazing sons. I even lived in a quaint but nice 3 bedroom house on a street named Candy Ct in a relatively quiet neighborhood. And don’t forget, I still had time to have the occasional girls night. So hashtag perfect life right? What people didn’t know at the time was the following:

My oldest son, who was a senior in high school at the time and an excellent student, was struggling with one of his classes and I was starting to get calls and emails from the school about it.#failingasmom

I realized my marriage was unsalvageable and there was nothing either of us could do to save it. #mymarriageisafailure

-I was gaining weight because I was stress eating. #lowselfesteem

I hated my job as a Child Support Agent and it was taking a major toll on my mental health. I did not handle being yelled at all day with clients well.#Ifuckinghatemyjob

Also, the political climate was changing for the worst for immigrants and people of color after Trump was elected. #fuckAmerica

And, I was binge drinking at night with my prescribed xanax to deal with all of it. I was also taking Lexapro in the mornings. #selfmedicatingtocope

In November of that year, I was starting to fall into the pit of despair that is depression and while I knew it was happening; I was in denial. I had been here before having PPD with all four of my pregnancies. I kept telling myself that I could keep a handle on it, I didn’t have the time or the luxury of having a mental breakdown. Even though I was making more at my new job, we were still a low income family since I was the only main provider. I had no family to call on or fall back at all if I was to go to a psychiatric institution. Plus, my children needed their mother to be there for them. So I tried to bury any feelings of despair deep within me with the help of alcohol and Xanax.

After weeks of feeling this way, on Sunday, December 4th, I felt a new low that night. I don’t know why  I  didn’t reach out to friends. I had isolated myself from everyone in a lot of ways. I kept in contact with people close to me but it’s easy to keep a facade of being “okay” when I’m not. I’ve been doing it since I can remember. Gotta love that Quiet BPD. I remember feeling like a complete failure because I was raised by my mother to always be strong or at least keep that façade of strength on the surface to show everyone that you’re not weak or crazy. There had been a couple of “weak women” with mental illness in my mother’s family who were looked down upon because of this. I grew up with this stigma that those with mental illness were “weak” or “not right in the head”. Also, I felt very privileged compared to my mother and aunts who came to this country and had way more hardships than I ever did. I remember thinking that night how nice it would be nice to fall asleep and never wake up. Waking up meant facing my reality that I was a failure at everything in my life that defined me: a mother, a wife, and a worker. The next morning, I woke up around 6:30 am and I felt numb and dead inside. I didn’t want to face my depressing and horrible reality and I made a decision. There was no point in living if I was a failure at everything. Feeling like a failure is worse than death to me.  I texted my supervisor and told her I was sick and couldn’t sign in to work, I wrote love letters to my sons, my husband, my parents, and my closest friends trying to explain what I was doing, and I got the coffee from the kitchen counter that my husband had prepared for me and took the xanax bottle that was on the kitchen table to my son’s bedroom where I had been working at. I sat down on the recliner in that room and swallowed each of the 15 pills one at a time. I remember that right after, I got a call from my oldest son’s counselor concerned about him. I vaguely remember the conversation. Right after, something in me made me send a text to my friend Janet from college that lived 10 minutes from me. I honestly don’t remember what I texted her, all I know is that I finally fell asleep. I was woken up from my sleep as my husband shook my shoulders, he  was telling me something and I vaguely remember that it had to do with my friend calling him. He wanted me to go to the living room but my legs felt like lead. So he half carried me to the couch in the living room and forced me to drink coffee. I fell asleep shortly after. I remember waking up and talking to my husband but I can’t remember what I said, all I know is that we both made a decision that I needed to quit my job and that afternoon, I emailed my two weeks notice letter to my supervisor. And my friend Janet came in the afternoon and took me to a Mexican restaurant to eat tacos, my favorite comfort food and we talked for a long time about what had happened. I also remember my friend Janet talking to my husband about me. Since I was a legal resident permanent alien at the time, going to a psychiatric hospital was not an option for me. The application for citizenship specifically asks about whether you have been in a psychiatric hospital. Me, my friend, and husband knew that I couldn’t take a chance on my future petition of naturalization being denied. You see, that famous poem on the Statue of Liberty by  Emma Lazarus “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” is really a lie in this case. What America really wants are these almost perfect and model immigrants but that’s another blog post

 After this happened, I fell into a deep depression. It didn’t help that I had also withdrawn from my mental health meds without the advice of my doctor. If it wasn’t for the fact that I kept a journal after this event, I wouldn’t know half of what happened during  what happened during that time. I call this time period of my life, “The Great Depression” of 2016 and 2017 that lasted until November of 2017. During “the Great Depression”, I kept my journal religiously, and I gave myself a month before looking for another job, and reached out to a former coworker and friend who referred me to her ex husband for marriage counseling. I also completed and filed my paperwork for naturalization. I also eventually found a job with the school district as a parapro. I even got a tattoo of semi-colon in February to remind myself that my story isn’t over.  Even during the great depression, I still tried to be as productive as possible. I also kept this list with me-It was a list of important events (birthday, anniversaries, graduation) that I needed to be alive for. I also kept a list of reasons why I needed to be alive (my kids, parents, husband, friends).  I kept these lists with me at all times because that’s how bad my depression was at the time. It was a really dark period of my life.

I reflect on this 5 years later and I feel like this was a lifetime ago. Since that time, I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’m also on three different kinds of mental health meds and am going to therapy. Depression still visits me from time to time, especially when life gets overwhelming or something drastic happens in my life but I have way better skills to cope with it now and not let it get to an extremely bad place again. I would never tell anyone that I’m cured of depression because that would be a lie but I will say I’m much, much better at not letting it take over my life like it has in the past. Writing my story and sharing it with world may seem excessive to some but I’m sharing my story in the hopes that someone reading this comes to an understanding that people that die by suicide or attempt it are not selfish or cowards; we are people that feel this immense and excruciating pain and we want to escape from it by any means necessary. I also write my story in hopes that if there is someone out there struggling with suicidal ideation and depression; I want them to know that they are not alone and it is possible to get to a better place  #youareworthit. 

me in November of 2021 with another fighter, Frida Kahlo

Here are a few helpful links related to this story:

Suicide Prevention:

Therapist locator: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists

Depression and Suicidal Ideation:

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

Bipolar 2: 

https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-2-disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237

Quiet BPD: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/quiet-bpd

Poesía: Parar de Amarte

Escribí este poema en el 2003 acerca de Lucas. La nostalgia de el me visitaba frecuentemente y eso me inspiraba bastante.

Cuantos años pasaran
Para pararte de amar
Cuantos labios besare
Para sacarte de mi mente
Cuantos pensamientos más tendré de ti
Hasta poder olvidarme de ti
Cuando se me quitara este deseo
De querer vivir contigo en un sueño
Cuando parare
De quererte ver

Poetry: Pretty Princess

me in 2018

I wrote this poem in 2019 while going through a deep depression and reflecting on my crazy year of 2018. I put myself in a place where I was constantly objectified by men and even my friends. It felt good since at that time I felt the high of unhealthy validation for a while but then it got tiring.

Princess 

They call me 

They treat me as such

A Princess

Stuck in a tower

Of a dead end life

A Princess

Objectified 

By everyone 

From strange men

To 

So called good friends

A princess 

Everyone wants to

Save, compliment, or fuck 

But rarely love

Pretty princess

Trapped within 

The walls of a sexist society

Poesia: Gracias

Este poema lo escribí en el 2000. Estaba loca por alguien que me hacía sentir todo.

💘💘💘

Gracias por las noches apasionadas
Que me has brindado
Gracias por tu sonrisa
y esa boca que me vuelve loca
Esas manos que me hacen
Derretir como el sol al hielo
Gracias por llegar a mi vida
Aunque sea por un momento
Gracias por estar aquí

Reflection: My Relationship with Poetry

it’s like that

Poetry is and always has been a big part of my life. Poetry is everywhere . Poetry is in the lyrics I sing, it’s in the love I make, it’s in the beauty of nature, and even in the grief I feel. Since as long as I can remember, I’ve used poetry to process my feelings.

At first, it was me finding comfort in song lyrics when sadness or anxiety hit me even as a young child. I remember being 5 and belting out the heartbreaking lyrics to Juan Gabriel’s song “Querida: or the romantic lyrics Daniela Romo’s “De Mi Enamorate”. When I came to the United States in the 80s, I learned English at school but also through song lyrics. I remember at 6 or 7 singing the lyrics to George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” or Rick Astley’s “Together Forever”.
Around 6th grade when I started getting crushes on boys that never gave me the time of day, I would alternate between being angry and singing salty songs like “Someday” by Mariah Carey or singing and crying to Boyz II Men’s “End of
The Road”. Yes, I’ve been super dramatic and emotional since I can remember. Haha.

Here is a short playlist of these songs:

Poetry Feels like

And then came the age of the internet when poetry became accessible to me with just a few clicks. I remember being ghosted by this ex when I was 15 and finding this poetry forum with poems full of teenage angst, anger and sadness. It was incredible to me that there were other people feeling how I felt. Yes, some of these poems could be called cringy and corny – but it got me through what I thought was the worst heartbreak I was experiencing at that time. Here are a few of those poems

I Want to Know by Cammi Thorn
Ride by Unknown Poet
Check Please by Unknown Poet


Around this time my mom noticed my new fondness for poetry and introduced me to the love poetry of the Spanish poet Gustavo Becquer and I swooned. This is my favorite poem of his:

Asomaba a sus ojos una lágrima, y a mi labio una frase de...
Rima XXX by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer

Eventually I started writing poetry to process my feelings and this is one of the first ones I wrote inspired by what else-a breakup. Haha.

Jaded me at 15

In some of my blog posts, I’ve said that I shouldn’t have written poems about so and so and should have gone to therapy; and while that may be true, poetry was also a type of therapy for me. Whether it was writing salty and angry poems or processing feelings of infatuation or existential dread; poetry has been one of the few constants in my life

In my 20s, I discovered Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” and Sylvia’s Plath “To a Jilted Lover” and my love for poetry became even stronger.

Phenomenal Woman - Maya Angelou Photograph by Maria Angelica Maira
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
To A Jilted Lover by Sylvia Plath - To A Jilted Lover Poem
To A Jilted Lover by Sylvia Plath

At that time, I also found the courage to join the literary club in college and start reading my own poetry in front of my peers. I call it brave because poets that share their poems, whether it be through open mic night, social media, a blog, or a book are sharing an intimate part of themselves with the world. They’re sharing their vulnerability, their grief, and sometimes even their most private thoughts. It’s brave to do this in a world that shouts at you to “fuck feelings “or tries to tone down the many emotions we as humans feel as we go through this beautiful and complicated thing called life. Sharing your poetry can feeling like opening and inviting the world to your innermost and private thoughts.

For me, poetry is part of how I process life. Sharing my poetry through my blog or at open mic sometimes feels like the last step in healing from trauma. I told my therapist that sharing my poetry through my blog feels cathartic because afterwards it feels like I’m completely done with revisiting a traumatic event. I’ve also received comments from people that they’re related to my poetry because of something similar they’ve felt or have gone through and that’s the other reason I share my poetry. IF even one person can relate to any of my poems and it makes them not feel so alone then I’ve done my job as a poet.

My Pathetic Little Beast

Poem: The Objectification of Eliza

I wrote this in 2019 when I was reflecting about the way men have often objectified in a way that they almost always seem to just want the fun and sexy part of me but seem to often have problems seeing the rest of me. I’ve almost always felt like I’ve been good enough to be their lover but never good enough to be introduced to their mother. Do I still feel this way? I honestly don’t know. I like the attention and validation I get from men because of my looks but sometimes it feels so hollow.

Often men want this girl…the ones that’s always down for a “good” time
BUT run away from this one….the other girl …the vulnerable one that has a realness hard to accept

Tell me I’m pretty, tell me I’m sexy

Tell me I’m beautiful

Objectify me, fuck me, 

Forget about me

And then

Try to come back to me

And when I deny

your lust filled request,

Put me down, threaten me

Try to hurt me-

Your words mean nothing to me

You’re not the first 

But will be the last

Who tries to destroy me

You’re not the first 

But will be the last 

Who treats me like a doll

to fuck at your convenience

You’re not the first

But will be the last

That tells me I’m not good enough

Tell me you miss, tell me you want me

Tell me you’re sorry

Be persistent in your quest

In trying to get me in your bed

with empty promises

about how this time it will be different

Sorry to my past, my present, and

future lovers-

I am pass being the girl

that’s just used for fun-

I am pass being the lover

you never introduce to your mother

I’d rather live in a world 

of solitude and calm

than to once again fall

into the objectification trap 

Poesia: Falsa Esperanza

Escribí este poema en Diciembre del 2002 acerca de John. Estaba tan decepcionada de el. Fue difícil dejarlo ir.

Pero fue lindo

Yo tenía la esperanza
Que tu eras el hombre
Que yo tanto esperaba
Pero después de ver
la fea manera que me trataste
Ahora me doy cuenta
En realidad los que tu piensas
Que no mas fui
Cualquier otra para ti
No fui algo especial
Nunca te iba a importar
Y ahora me quedo sola
Y estas lagrimas
que se convierten en un mar

Poesia: Algo Pasajero

Escribi este poema en Diciembre del 2002 porque estaba amarga y triste que los hombres siempre me tratan como un juguete.

Asi me siento a veces

Los hombres me miran
y yo sé que ven
Nada más que ese algo pasajero
Que nunca de amor se atrevería hablar
Pero ya me canse
De la manera que me ven
Porque yo soy más
que un cuerpo en sus camas
Porque yo tengo sentimientos
Y quisiera algo verdadero a mi lado
Porque ya no quiero ser
Nada más que una de sus muchas amantes
Porque algún día quisiera tener
Un verdadera hombre
Que me vea mas allá
Que una de sus muchas faldas
Y va a querer saber quien soy en realidad
Para empezar a amarme!

Poetry: Mistake

I wrote this in December of 2002 after I had a one night stand with this dude I met in a bar and he didn’t tell me he was married. I found out a few days later when a coworker told me. I felt shame, guilt, and like a dirty whore for what happened even thought I knew that this time I was an unwilling homewrecker. It was rough.

deserved an award for biggest douchebag

This was a mistake
I wish I could unmake
I didn’t mean to kiss you
And I didn’t mean for us to screw
But the alcohol got to my head
That somehow led me to your bed
And now you have to understand
Our destiny has been written in the sand
You will never be the man I dream of
Who will deserve the best of my love
So now it’s about time
for you to open your eyes
What happened between you and I
Was chemistry I could no longer deny
So stop trying to interrupt my life
And just go back to your wife

Poetry: The Ending

I wrote this about John in 2002 when he ghosted me. I really liked him so I was really sad. Feelings of worthlessness came up and it was hard to not feel so shitty.

exactly

Our love has ended I know
There’s nothing more to say
To make you stay
We were too different, you said
I guess I was just too damn naive
To think someone like you
Could fall in love with an ordinary girl like me

Playlist: ANGRY AF

Today is National Getting Over It day and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it than by sharing my ANGRY AF playlist. A huge part for me getting over something tragic in my life is to get angry. And when I get angry, it’s almost like a volcano eruption. This is actually pretty healthy for me because I’ve felt that at times, anger has saved me from feeling all of my sadness at once which for me can get really overwhelming right away. I can even say that Anger has probably saved me from spiraling into an abyss of sadness that would be hard to crawl out of. In other words, anger has helped me survive whatever trauma has come my way. I used to be so ashamed of being angry because of how it would turn me into the most self absorbed and reactive person. I don’t feel that way anymore because I’ve learned how to better manage my anger. Instead of drinking or hooking with random dudes because I’m angry; I exercise or write while I listen to music. Most of the songs in this list are geared more towards someone going through a breakup because that is when my anger comes out the most. Thanks, BPD. Lol. In bold are my favorite songs from this list. 

Lyrics from Olivia Rodrigo, Fall Out Boy, Matchbox Twenty, and Taking Back Sunday

For the Brokenhearted: I’m ANGRY AF Edition (the only where you scream out the lyrics):

  1. FUCK YOU, GOODBYE-The Kid LAROI , Machine Gun Kelly
  2. abcdefu-Gayle
  3. SELFISH-The Kid LAROI
  4. SAME ENERGY- The Kid Laroi
  5. good 4 u-Olivia Rodrigo
  6. Cute Without the “E” (Cut from the Team)-Taking Back Sunday
  7. Sugar, We’re Going Down-Fall Out Boy
  8. Tell that Mick He Just Made My List of Things To Do Today-Fall Out Boy
  9. The Patron Saint of Liars and Fakes-Fall Out Boy
  10. traitor-Olivia Rodrigo
  11. Better Than Revenge -Taylor Swift
  12. Push-Matchbox Twenty
  13. You Oughta Know-Alanis Morissette
  14. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-Taylor Swift
  15. Stronger Than Me-Amy Winehouse
  16. Priest-Julia Michaels
  17. Sorry-Beyonce
  18. Death by a Thousand Cuts-Taylor Swift
  19. Closure-Taylor Swift
  20. Look What You Made Me Do-Taylor Swift
  21. Your Name Hurts-Hailee Steinfeld
  22. Great Romances of the 20th Century-Taking Back Sunday
  23. Lying Is The Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Her Clothes Off- Panic! At the Disco
  24. BEST FOR ME-The Kid LAROI
  25. I Bet You Think About Me-Taylor Swift
  26. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things-Taylor Swift
  27. Head Club-Taking Back Sunday
  28. Screaming Infidelities-Dashboard Confessional
  29. Ignore Me-Betty
  30. Sue Me-Sabrina Carpenter

Below are links to the playlist for your listening pleasure:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Hg8JGwHHy2b230WuCFdTF?si=qRqMZm3qQLKh7S-JhNIHPw&utm_source=copy-link

Poem: Strength

I wrote this poem in January of 2020. Maybe I was mad at the patriarchy or just feeling weighed down by the expectations that society has on women. I know that for me, it has been a huge burden at times to constantly keep up an appearance that I am put together balanced woman even if I am falling apart.

me in January of 2020

The strength we have to carry as women

  is obscene

Endless expectations weigh on us

   generation after generation

We are buried in the burdens 

  that society has placed on us 

  since before we are born

Be sexy but don’t show your body

Be smart but your opinion is not wanted

Be motherly and nurturing

  but still a productive member of society

It is a never ending nightmare 

 to try to reach 

  the ridiculous standards

 of beauty, wealth, and motherhood

Some of us seem to do it with grace

Some of us are barely hanging on by a thread

Quite a few of us would rather die 

  than continue with the facade of the myth

  of the balanced and beautiful woman