Poetry: My Happiest Moments

I wrote this poem in February of 2022.

I’m 18 and walking across the football stadium to receive my diploma
the one I almost didn’t get, my parents and I breathe a sigh of relief

I’m 24 and I hold my baby boy in my arms, it’s love at first sight
he’s the best birthday present and I’m humbled

I’m 28 and I’m graduating from college,it’s been a an arduous journey to get here
but I make it and my dad cries and tells me how proud he is of me

I’m 30 and holding my third baby boy, he’s my rainbow after the worst storm
everyone in my family holds him and there is an overflow of love

I’m 36 and my oldest son is walking across the gymnasion to receive his diploma
I cry with elation and pride, my heart is filled with pride and joy for him

Play-Transition: Scene One

Characters: RON- age 67
CHLOE-age 24
LANDON-age 36

Scene 1

Setting

Ron’s Apartment, there are piles of stuff everywhere, picture frames hanging on the wall. Ron is sitting on the couch chewing beef jerky watching the TV. There is a knock on the door. It is his daughter Chloe . It’s about 3 PM and Ron is still in his pajamas. Ron, disgruntled, gets up to answer the door. Chloe is carrying a bunch of groceries in her hand.

RON:( opens door) Whadda ya want?
CHLOE: Oh geesh! Is that any way to greet your loving daughter ?
RON: Eh, you were interrupting me doing something important.
CHLOE: Sure, sure… now could you help me out wit one of of these bags before one of my arms falls off.
RON: (he takes one of the bags) Eh-I don’t know why you need to buy all of this stuff.
CHLOE: You mean your medicines, food, basic necessities for you to survive on. A basic ( CHLOE almost trips on a miscellaneous food wrapping) thank you would suffice. I told you to clean up some yesterday-you know the landlord—
RON: Landlord, shmanlord, She always threatens the same crap. “I will throw you out if you don’t clean. All bark, no bite. The old biddy shouldn’t care about what I do in the comfort of my own home as long as I pay her rent.
CHLOE: (starts to sit down-removing several car magazines) I wouldn’t be so sure of this. You know she has handed management over to her son. Do you really need all of these issues of Car and Ride magazines?
RON: Bug off! Will you? Nobody asks you to come over!
CHLOE: Dad (CHLOE goes to RON to put her hand on RON’s shoulder) It’s been over six months since mom died, perhaps-

RON shoos CHLOE’s hand away

RON: I don’t want to talk about it. It’s none of your damn business!
CHLOE: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…it’s just—
RON: Nothing. You are worrying about nothing.

There is an awkward moment of silence as RON has his back to CHLOE. CHLOE is trying to come up with something to say.

CHLOE: I guess I should go (CHLOE starts to get up tentatively) I have another errand to run.
RON: Good. I wouldn’t want your old man getting in the way of you doing anything important.
CHLOE: God! I just wish you wouldn’t be so…
RON: So what?
CHLOE: Nothing. I’ll leave you to your “important” tv watching.

CHLOE skips swiftly to the door

CHLOE: Bye dad.

RON goes back to sitting on the couch with a blank look on his face and stares at the TV.

Poesía: Soy

Escribí este poema en Diciembre del 2021.

Soy todo y nada

Soy la sangre de mis antepasados
Colonizadores e indígenas
y pues por estoy llena
de una ambigüedad
de moralidad
Y pues por eso tengo
la tez blanca con cabello negro y crespo

Soy la sangre de mis abuelos y abuelas
y pues por eso estoy
llena de frialdad
y tambien tengo
un calor único

Soy la sangre mis padres
Y por eso soy
débil y fuerte
Y callada con mal genio

Poetry: I Was Never the Marrying Kind

I wrote this in December of 2021.

I’m grateful for every past version of myself …

I was never the marrying kind
Don’t know why I forced myself into that line
Maybe because of society’s expectations
I made marriage my destination
But it wasn’t really who I ever was
Forever is not meant to be in my book of love
But still I tried for seven years
And by year 7, I ran into my biggest fear
I felt trapped in a cage of my own making
Happiness, contentment, and authenticity I was faking
But it was never truly me
Living this suburban reality
And one day I wanted to sleep forever
My mind collapsed from society’s pressure
to continue this facade of being the perfect wife
With my perfectly imperfect life
My authenticity I had to put aside
I’m a wife and mother of three
There’s no such thing as being free
But these were the lies I told myself
The critic in me I learned to quell
I learned I could be a mother but not a wife
My husband took our relationship’s demise in stride
There would no more anniversaries
We were done with self imposed forgeries
And a new chapter started with us
One full of laughter, friendship and familial love

Poetry: The Modern Southern Woman

I wrote this in 2016.

me in 2016 when I wrote this poem

Faulkner wrote about her ancestors
She stood like a pillar of strength between her mother and daughter
She stood strong as both of them held her arms that were their life jackets
as they drowned in endless sorrows
Tears silently fell from her face as her father laid in his closed home
And the reverend went on about him being in a better place
And her strength did not falter,
She let her loved ones hold on tight while she tried to blink away tears ,
She swallowed her pain and absorbed the pain from those around her
She wasn’t just strong for her mother and daughter,
but she was a goddess of strength among the mere mortals
around her that wept

Poetry: Countries

I wrote this poem in 2016 when I was reflecting on how different my children were. At the time, my middle son was going through a difficult time and it was hard to deal with.

my 3 sons in July of 2021

Living with my three children

Is like living in three different countries

My oldest would be Singapore

With strict rules and laws, 

He hates flaws in himself 

And others and is unforgiving

It’s challenging to live in 

Singapore

My middle child would be a war torn ridden country 

Like Syria

That’s currently filled with constant chaos,

He is trying to find himself in a place 

He feels unwanted and lost

It is an unpredictable struggle

To reside in Syria

My youngest child would 

Be an established and friendly country like Spain

He is vibrant, laid back yet energetic 

Occasionally you hear about political protests 

That reminds me of his occasional tantrums when

His life feels unjust

It is almost a predictable and easy existence to 

Live in Spain 

Poem: My Sleeping Poem **trigger warning**

I wrote this poem in December of 2016 after my almost love affair with death on December 5th. It’s strange how aside from my journal entries from that month, I hardly remember that month. I just remember feeling so broken inside and like a failure after that happened that it was so hard to get up every morning. I do know that writing saved me during that time because I started journaling way more consistently. I would learn years later after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder that up to 10 percent of people with BPD die by suicide. Five years later, I’m glad that I had people by my side that prevented me from becoming one in ten. I’m glad that afterwards, I was able to slowly come back from this even if I was mostly depressed the year after and it was a fight to get up every single day.

For more information about the high risk of BPD and Suicide, here is a link from Psychology Today with info about it:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201512/the-destructive-power-borderline-personality-disorder

me and one of my best friends in December 2016

I wanted to sleep

Sleep beckoned me

Like a magical place

Where I could forget

Forget-

The burdens and responsibilities

Forget-

The performance reviews, the report cards, the bills

Forget- 

The husband, the kids, the friends

I wanted to sleep

So I planned my journey there

Call in sick, act natural,

Take the bottle of xanax

I wrote love letters 

To my children, my husband, and friends

Just in case I fell in a forever dream

I wanted to sleep

Selfishly, without interruptions 

I wanted to sleep

So I didn’t have to think 

About my mediocre and suburban reality

My lost dreams of greatness

My wastefulness on this earth

I wanted to sleep

But I was interrupted

By my husband shaking me

Halfway carrying me 

To the couch, forcing coffee

Down my throat

I wanted to sleep 

But I had to wake up

And endure the reality of life

Poetry: Unhappiness

I wrote this poem in fall of 2005 when I was feeling overwhelmed by my responsibilities of being a mother, a girlfriend, a student and a worker. As usual at that time, I took on too much and was trying to be everything to everyone. One trait of BPD that I’ve carried throughout the years is over extending myself sometimes to my detriment in order to make other people happy.

Me with my middle child circa late 2005

Feelings I can’t turn off

Quickly come in droves

Don’t know what to do 

My options are few

Do I follow my gut?

And get away from this rut

Or do i stay here ?

And become what I fear;

A woman that settles

And lets others meddle 

A woman with no mind

And with everything, she is fine

But can I turn off the real me?

And stay so unhappy

Poetry: The Difference

I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

me and my oldest in 1999 when I was 18

Late nights at the club

Drunk and dancing-you

Singing lullabies

Until he fell asleep-I

Getting ass from 

an unknown stranger-you

Looking for monsters under the bed

and wishing them away-I

Waking up in an unknown place

With a helluva hangover-you

Waking up from little hands 

Shaking my shoulders-I

You and I=me

Me =two different truths

About the way your childhood

 Was seen

Poetry Review: Visceral

Visceral by Melia Cogan

The debut collection of poems Visceral from Melia Cogan is appropriately named since it will make you feel a multitude of intense emotions internally. As a person that feels intense emotions, I loved this book. The book is divided into 3 sections titled Love, Rage, and Death. Reading this book felt like going through a roller coaster of emotions-from sexy to anger to sadness. Personally, for me, this is a good thing. I resonate with poetry that makes me feel my emotions.  I picked my favorite poem from each section. This was hard since all the poetry in this collection is amazing. 

The first section Love captures the magical feeling of what it’s like to be in love, make love, and be loved. Her poems in this section makes even the most jaded of us feel like there is a world where love is possible. The first poem “Daemon-Lover” leaves you breathless with the raw emotion and sensuality felt throughout the poem.  The second stanza is fire as it states, “With a spirit strong as seventy/As his throbbing passion sears me/ With its ‘blind encompassing throbbing power ”(Cogan, 22-25)   It makes you feel like you are witnessing passion on display. You might have to take a cold shower after reading this poem. The other poems in this section not only capture the passion of being in love but also the complexity of other feelings that come with it. 

The next section of the book is Rage, and you feel the anger and rage within this section. 

My favorite poem in this section is Women’s Inheritance which captures the essence of what’s like being a woman in the 21st century. It addresses the misogyny that our modern patriarchal society continues to administer to women. The poem also conveys the disappointment that women feel after being used and discarded nonchalantly by men. The sixth stanza captures this feeling as it states, “Finally, you who I love with my whole self / Could not display this mythical manly bravery/ To tell me the truth/ Why not?” (Cogan, 30-33).  The other poems in this section captures the anger felt with different experiences in life ranging from expectations in relationships to abandonment issues. Cogan expresses a raw truth about anger that most people are afraid to express and that is a kind of bravery you don’t see often. 

The last section is Death and I’ll just say that you should have a box of tissues by your side because it will probably make you cry. In this section, Cogan is versatile in exploring the theme of death. In this section, my favorite poem is Remember Me for the Birthdays which is how the poet wants to be remembered by her loved ones. The eleventh stanza conveys this as it states, “Remember how I filled you with the urge/to push forward and explore/To engage life, expanding in all good directions” (Cogan, 37-40). Cogan is skillful at portraying grief in a conscientious manner that’s both thoughtful and respectful. 

Melia Cogan brings a raw vulnerability and talent to her debut collection. I highly recommend this poetry collection if you are looking for a versatile collection that explores the depth of the human experience. I’m excited to read and review her next poetry book, Love Pangs. Below are the links for both Visceral and Love Pangs

Visceral: https://www.amazon.com/Visceral-Melia-Cogan/dp/B0915DH7W4

Love Pangs: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Pangs-Melia-Cogan/dp/B09PHJXX19

Poetry: Did I Ask For Your Advice?

I wrote this poem is creative writing class in 2006. It’s some kind of form poetry but can’t remember what it is.

me around the time I wrote this poem

Did I ask for your advice?

Father and mother

You are not that wise

So I told a few lies

I didn’t mean to hurt her

Did I ask for your advice?

I had to break mine and her ties

Any words, please don’t offer

You are not that wise

I’m a man of twenty-five

Don’t treat me like a youngster

Did I ask for your advice?

Please don’t give me those eyes

And pretend to be higher

You are not that wise

Stop it with your sighs,

My dear mother and father

Did I ask for your advice?

You are not that wise!

Poetry: She Flew

I wrote this poem in 2006 when my mother-in-law passed away. She was an incredibly kind and lovely person.

She flew one afternoon without warning

leaving us in a state of grief and mourning

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

And now everyone left behind

Has rivers running from their eyes

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

Regrets and remorse

Has become our two worlds

Why did she have to fly ?

Was it really her time?

No fancy words could ever express

How it feels to lose your best

Why did she have to fly?

Was it really her time?

A New Diagnosis: BPD

Me at 16

It was April of 1996 and I had just broken up with my boyfriend of 3 months after he had grown distant from me. I was in a world of despair and teenage angst and longed to no longer exist. I was feeling this rush of intense sadness as I was walking home from school. I looked at the cars on the street and thought about how easy it would be to end my sadness if I got run over by one. As I was alone in my thoughts, I stopped paying attention as I crossed the street and wasn’t aware that a car was coming. It stopped within inches of hitting me and the driver honked at me and yelled at me. I continued to walk in shock of what had just happened. I didn’t know then but I would be walking into many more BPD episodes like this one.

Fast forward to the summer of 2021 and I’m 40, the mother of 3 kids, work 2 jobs, and have a complicated love life. I decide to go back to therapy due to some recent trauma and driving anxiety. I do a 3 hour assessment and when the feedback comes back, it’s there on my concept map: I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I expected the driving phobia but the new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder was definitely unexpected.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

According to Mayo Clinic, “Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a mental health disorder that impacts the way you think and feel about yourself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life. It includes self-image issues, difficulty managing emotions and behavior, and a pattern of unstable relationships.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • An intense fear of abandonment, even going to extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships, such as idealizing someone one moment and then suddenly believing the person doesn’t care enough or is cruel
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values, and seeing yourself as bad or as if you don’t exist at all
  • Periods of stress-related paranoia and loss of contact with reality, lasting from a few minutes to a few hours
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, spending sprees, binge eating or drug abuse, or sabotaging success by suddenly quitting a good job or ending a positive relationship
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Wide mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days, which can include intense happiness, irritability, shame or anxiety
  • Ongoing feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, such as frequently losing your temper, being sarcastic or bitter, or having physical fights

Causes for Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental health disorders among family members.
  • Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly.

Risk Factors include:

  • Hereditary predisposition. You may be at a higher risk if a close relative — your mother, father, brother or sister — has the same or a similar disorder.
  • Stressful childhood. Many people with the disorder report being sexually or physically abused or neglected during childhood. Some people have lost or were separated from a parent or close caregiver when they were young or had parents or caregivers with substance misuse or other mental health issues. Others have been exposed to hostile conflict and unstable family relationships.

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

Learning about this disorder has been overwhelming and also life changing. Some of my friends didn’t think it was possible for me to have BPD because I’m too nice. I was also kind of in denial at first until I did the research and thought damn, my life finally makes sense to me. I’ve been coping with intense emotions since I could remember and have a pattern of risky and impulsive behavior and sometimes self sabotaging my own success and romantic relationships. One minute my mood can shift from happy and joyful to full on anger and sadness if I am triggered by feelings of rejection, abandonment, being criticized or judged. I also have a tendency to villainize people if I feel threatened by them. Also, when I feel like my life is “too normal” or “too boring”, I seek out an adrenaline rush and create chaos.

Throughout the years, I’ve leaned some healthy coping mechanisms like journaling, writing poetry or blogging, exercising, mediocre dancing and singing. I’ve also had some unhealthy mechanism like drinking, binge shopping, binge eating, having sex for only validation purposes. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better with time because I’ve become more self aware of myself and my need to survive not only for my myself but also for my kids.

I’m hopeful that with this new diagnosis of BPD and therapy, I’ve have way better coping mechanisms to become a better version of myself. I’m hopeful that going on this new journey, I’ll not only be surviving but I’ll be thriving. I also hope that I heal the girl in the picture above who was a teenager trying to find love for within the arms of a any dude because she didn’t know how to love herself.