I Am The Troll

Please do not tell me I am not who I am,

Though my worth has dwindled

From the girl I have been.

Heavy winds free my soul,

Sweep me up into your storm.

Self awareness formed this bridge,

And now I pay the toll.

To know oneself truly,

Cuts deep into shallow skin,

Fresh blood pools in waves,

Crashing and burning deep within.

Who am I, I now ask,

The naysayer who tore me in half,

The disbeliever who crushed my spirit,

The false friend who would not hear it.

Those around me,

Who pocket my blame,

In a coat, on a rainy day,

Disappear behind glass windows

Of the house I call my home.

In my home, which I call safe.

Spiteful souls, there are none.

But as a I gaze into the mirror,

And look upon my broken face,

I see the truth reflecting back,

Behind the barrel of a gun.

-N.B.

Who We Were

Sometimes its a song, spinning my mind in circles

Of what we had, 

Of who we were,

Of how it was. 

In these rose colored glasses,

I see only the good.

The two of us laughing in the streets,

Forgetting our way, our path, our reasons.

Rain soaked us through to the bone, but carefree we ran.

Paper bag, not on head, 

Because that pie was more important,

Handmade in the city that made us.

That wove us,

Together, like two separate strings of yarn,

You blue and me pink. 

The two of us sinking into the sandy deep,

Sunset over the horizon,

I cover my face with yours, just before

That high rushes me towards the water.

And you laugh, your face splashed with smiles. 

Its just a smile,

Thoughts of us bring to my reminiscent face,

Filling me with glee, as I delight in our  memories

In the way it was.

And in these moments, I forget the way it is. 

I forget the struggles that this dream has cost us.

I forget the goals we wrote,

With fast pens and slow hands. 

My mind forgets it all, 

But my heart remembers how it was. 

In that life, we had no reasons, no consequences.

We lived in the now, and oh,

How, 

We lived. 

-N.B.

Frozen

Last year, I began seeing a psychologist. She helped me work through many of my fears, anxieties and a harsh reality that began changing my family dynamic. When she asked me what word could describe how I felt when the stressful events would happen, I could only think of one word. Frozen. I felt frozen. I was frozen when I comforted my mom. Hearing her fraught with stress and belittled to tears, because my dad had had another episode. When my brothers didn’t believe me, when I told them that our dad was changing. Every difficult conversation I had with my father. Every fight we had when I didn’t understand what he was going through.

It was an emotionally draining year, but finally we got my dad to a doctor and found out that he was in the early stages of dementia. The paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, irrational fears and forgetfulness all fit under one explanatory umbrella. As I learned more about the disease, it started to make sense to me.

Now that he’s on medication, things are better. But they aren’t perfect. He still has episodes, just not as often. When they do happen, I feel the same way. I feel numb to the chaos. It takes me a while to thaw out my emotions and be productive.

Writing has been my savior. Writing has helped me cope when things got tough. As I am writing this now, I feel anxious. I worry about all of the worst possible outcomes. What if someone in my family sees this? What if I am saying more than I should? But another part of me wants to share, because I am not so naive as to believe that I am the only child of a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is more than just forgetting. It is the decline of cognitive functioning. It is the loss of reason, critical thinking skills and, for my dad, it created a paranoid and irrational personality he struggles to work through.

As a society, I don’t think we talk about mental illness enough. I wish I had understood more before this happened. I wish my father’s generation was taught more too. Maybe then he wouldn’t think of mental illness as a taboo subject. Maybe then he would be open to talking about his anxieties or even willing to admit he has them.

As for me, I know that the first step in working through mental obstacles, is admitting you have them. I wrote this poem to express how I feel when it seems as though the world is closing in on me. I wrote it to admit my weaknesses and help myself work through them. I hope that this means something to someone else too. I hope it helps someone see that although, yes, this poem is dark, it isn’t meant to be negative. It is meant to be expressive. It is meant to be the beginning of getting better.

Frozen

Hands of ice.

My frail body draws blood to its core.

My eyes, they see nothing

My ears, they hear no more.

My mind is but a captive,

To a cold, creeping icy lure.

Feet dug in snow,

Icicles in my joints, solidified from fear

Locking in my knees,

Liquid blood conversion,

Throughout my veins to my arteries.

I move no more,

Slowly, I feel no more.

My body a still, floating boat,

Without an oar.

Heart of ice.

I am trapped in this blizzard ensuing.

With no escape in sight.

Without the warmth of the golden sun,

To feed my soul and arm my fight

Against the cold, cruel war

Within me brewing.

I once lived in peace,

With careless ease.

But I now lie frozen.

A prisoner of anxiety.

-N.B.