This is my response to prompt #10: One thing you could not give up
You might as well do radical lobotomy before you make me give up writing You’d be asking me to give up one of the things I most love– my creativity with poetry and prose brings me purpose and meaning on my good days and helps me stay alive on my bad days so if you ever ask me to give up my paper and pen Understand you’d be asking for my slow death
I wrote this in 2003 about Damon who I was seeing again.
Your strange ways confuse me One moment you hold me in your arms The next moment you want someone else in your arms Do you want to break our amorous ties? Was the love you professed another one of your lies?
From the ages of 18 to 23, I worked for a government agency as an interpreter. I was well-liked by many of my coworkers and my first supervisor was appreciative of me. I was very good at my job and even cross-trained in many other areas that didn’t “pertain to my job”. However, at that job, I was also bullied and discriminated against for being Latina. I was also slut-shamed by my second supervisor and coworkers the latter 2 years I was there. I don’t want to say I deserved being slut-shamed but I’ll just say that I trusted the wrong coworkers with my private life and they went on to gossip about me to everyone. It was also a very stressful environment because of the work I did and clients I had to interact with. My depression and anxiety went haywire. In 2003, I decided to enroll in my local community college and major in English. In 2004, I was trying to go to school full time, work full time, and deal with my child’s new autism diagnosis. I was breaking down mentally and something had to give so I quit this job. I was fucking done. And this poem was inspired by that moment. I thought I had processed this trauma until it came back up in therapy in the summer of 2021. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had suffered a deep racial trauma that impacted me and still triggered reactions in me. I was angry. There is actually way more to this story and one day I’ll share it when I’m ready.