Coming of Age

Clumsy feet pad down the stairs;
three more to go.


A human-sized hole in the wall;
the human puzzle piece on the ground.
Garbled shouting,
pained, angry whimpering.

A tiny, confused creature,
watching from the fourth stair to the bottom.
The light in its eyes begins to fade for the first time.

Warm summer days,
clear, cool water.
Cheerful squeeing,
gentle laughter.

The howl of The Beast.

The air chills.
Time stops.
Water droplets grind to a halt mid-air.

Hushed, frantic calls for peace,
resentment for The Beast and his temper,
fear of being heard by those nearby.

An enraged roar bellows from The Beast,
spitting acid with each new outburst.

Cowering beside The Protector,
the now less-tiny creature peers into the abyss over the edge of the liquid sanctuary.

The sparkle in its leery eyes continues to wane.

Time resumes.

The cracking of wood,
the splatter of water,
heavy footfalls.

The fledgling adult crawls from its cave,
no longer the tiny creature standing on the fourth stair from the bottom.

but only until overwhelmed by the shrieking of The Protector and the howling of The Beast.
Once-clumsy feet sprint toward the battle ground.


Violent sound waves tear the room apart,
shred the flesh of the other,
barrel toward the creature itself.
They burrow into its ears,
barking paradoxical commands.

The frequencies penetrated the foundation of its being.
Cracks split the creature,
ebbing down to its core.
Fragments splintered away and fluttered into the void.

The last embers of light died,
the eyes of the creature now hollow and dark.

The fledgling was no longer a fledgling.
The creature had matured and earned its title—
The Fractured One.

Happy Anniversary, Love

You mean the world to me, and you are the best thing to have ever stumbled into my life

If I could go back to October of last year and change anything, it would only be that you met me in a better place than that I was in.

Otherwise, everything would remain the same.

I’ve told you a thousand times, and I’ll tell you a hundred thousand more—your existence has undoubtedly saved my life.

You’ve done one thing that nothing else on this Earth has ever done: You’ve shown me a future that I’m still a part of.

I’m not shitting you when I say nothing, either.

For the first time in years, there are times where I can wake up and think, “I’d like to live, kthx.” Not just, “Eh… whatever,” but actual desire to live.

Even when I struggle, still wishing I wouldn’t, I wake up with the thought that I have something—someone—to fight for, to look for, to look forward to being with.

For the first time in a long time, I can say that I’ve been truly happy.

Even when I’m borking out, manic or depressive, getting fucked without lube by new meds, CD episodes clusterfucking my CNS, I am still truly happy. Because of you.

You make me smile, laugh, speak, when I don’t think I can.

Last night, when Lorrie and Sunna were making a break for the window… or rather, Lorrie made it and Sunna was trying, I smiled.

Listening to you bitch them out in Dutch lessened the pressure in my chest and slowed my heart rate enough to keep my primary from throwing heart meds at me. It eased the anxiety/manic fuckery. It always does.

You taught me my first Dutch phrases, those that I could pronounce correctly even. You continue to teach me Dutch despite English being your first preference.  You answer my questions, laugh at the stupid shit Duolingo does (that likely isn’t funny, but I find hilarious).

You re-introduced me to my steam account, reminded me that video games are a distraction/relaxation method. You also introduced me to the other Eurofags. Those that were once “your friends”, became “our friends.”

Potet-o, Adam, Cait, Kat, Steven, Mandy, Matt, Niles, Raz, Tuci, Andy, Doge, Erkie (despite wanting to bitch-slap him half the time). I could go on…, but I’m a lazy fuck. 😀

You taught me how to mod, too. Sure, I had the management experience from Taco “Fuck That Place” Cabana, but there are a few skills that apply to online management-type shit that I didn’t have. I learned to be Hitler when necessary…, which is necessary more often than I initially thought. Wielding dat banhammer.

When you fell asleep last night, and I tabbed back over to Discord, I… wanted to cry when I saw you sleeping. A tad bit because I wish I were there, sleeping beside you, but primarily because… I don’t know how to explain it (I’m bad at emotions; you know that). It wasn’t out of sadness though. Happiness. Comfort, maybe? Seeing someone sleep, sleeping beside them, is seeing them, being with them, in one of their most vulnerable states. And I get to see that of you, as you do me.

Never have I been so attached to someone. Not even Danika. Never has six hours without someone’s presence been so excruciatingly painful. Never has a single person been enough to motivate me to change myself for the better. Never has anyone incited sexual attraction, made a sex drive an issue. Never has anyone motivated me to learn another language so intensely, instilled a strong desire to immigrate to a specific country just to be with them.

…Until I Met You, Anyway…

From the moment I met you, I was attracted to you.

Your personality, your morality, your sense of humor, your open-mindedness, your stubbornness, your willingness to take others as they are, your tendency to help others while shoving your own issues aside, your introspective ability (that does get you into trouble with yourself sometimes).

Then I saw your face.

And I fell even more in love with you.

I can’t forget the first time I saw you smile—the way your eyes smiled, too, sparkling under the glow of your monitors.

I can’t forget the first time I saw you laugh. I swear the sound carried across the Atlantic and drifted directly to my tiny student apartment.

I can’t forget the first time… you watched me fall apart. You stopped and picked up the pieces, ensuring that not a single sliver was left behind, before helping me force them back into (roughly) the same place.

“You picked up every shard of a broken woman…., and took every fragmented piece of her for who she was.”

And each time those pieces shattered further, you stopped to pick up the remains. You refuse to give up on those pieces, believing they’ll one day form a whole person again.

I’m so sorry for the venom, the tears, the caustic words spit in a biochemical whirlwind.
I’m sorry for being so much to handle at times,
for breaking so often,
for being so broken.
I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done to hurt you.

Just know that I don’t mean it. That sometimes, it comes out of the shitstorm that is my brain chemistry. That sometimes, I want to talk about something, but it just comes out in the wrong way, at the wrong time.

I make no excuses for my behavior…, but I acknowledge that my fragile psyche makes these things more likely to occur.

Ik hou zo veel van jou, mijn Nederlandse beertje.
Zo, zo veel.
Je bent mijn stralende licht in de duisternis.
Je altijd was,
en je zult altijd zijn.

(I tried; it’s intelligible, but wrong still. ._.’)

I know I don’t say any of this enough, and I’m sorry for that, too. Just know that it’s true.

~Je Kleine Vogeltje


A year ago today,
you coloured my world with your laughter.
You painted my soul a vibrant shade of red.
You scribbled in smiles, penciled in genuine happiness.
A year ago today,
you changed my life.

A year ago today,
you stole my heart,
refusing to give it back.
Though in return,
you gave me your’s.
No returns, love.
A year ago today,
you gave me life.

A year ago today,
you reshaped my shattered pieces,
gave them human form.
You painstakingly washed the blood and tears away,
then meticulously slid them into place.
A year ago today,
you gave me hope.

A year ago today,
I found my one in seven billion.
I met a man who saw in me what others did not—potential.
Your words lift my spirits.
Your smile brightens my world.
Your presence keeps my heart beating.
A year ago today,
you saved my life.

Thank You

Thank you for finding the strength in my weakness.
Where I can only hate myself,
you fight to reinforce my worth.

Thank you for struggling through my stubborn self-loathing.
When I can only make myself bleed,
you find bandages to bind the wounds.

Thank you for picking me up when I stumble and fall.
Where I fail to stand and move ahead,
you’re there to catch and nudge me forward.

Thank you for listening, even when I struggle to speak.
When I’ve lost my voice,
you sort through my tangled thoughts to find the message.

Thank you for being patient enough to out-stubborn me.
Where I refuse to speak,
you ask until you can drag it out of me…even when it takes hours.

Thank you for guiding me.
When others have left me in the dark,
you became my shining light.

Thank you for taking every fragmented piece of me for what it is.
Where others let the shards of my psyche fall away,
you stopped to pick them up.

Thank you for being you without falter.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.


Just as she accepted the warmth of the sun,
it set,
and she was left in the shadow of night.
She was alone,
but she always had been.
She merely deluded herself into thinking she wasn’t.

Left mute,
she could not call for help.
Left blind,
she could not seek out the flickers of light in the distance.
Left deafened,
she could not follow the calls of those naive enough to think she could be pieced back together.

Her companions were the demons that plagued her existence.
She could only stumble toward the whispers of the ghosts of her past,
drawing her deeper into the abyss.
She could only clamor after their lingering glow,
hoping to find her way out.
She would find her way out—by whatever means necessary.

She didn’t expect to see the next sunrise.
The sunrise was such a rare occurrence to begin with.

…Maybe… it was simply time for her to go.

…Maybe… the sun would rise more often in the next life.

…Maybe… she could find peace in the next life.

…Maybe… she could find herself again in the next life.

…Maybe… that was exactly where she belonged—in the next life.

Ten Days

Sixty-one days ago,
there was an explosion of excitement.
It stretched clear across the Atlantic from the US to the Netherlands.
It hasn’t waned.

in just ten days,
there will be another explosion of excitement.
This time,
we will be face-to-face.

I still remember the first time I saw your eyes light up,
catch the glow of your monitors and sparkle with amusement.
You were far too pleased with yourself,
watching me blush as you took advantage of the inner foreign language nerd.
Bastard (I know, I know; not born out of wedlock).

I still remember the first time I saw you laugh at the squeak and following, “Fuck off.”
You almost died.
…Though you did, and still do, generally do it to make me happy,
don’t lie and say it isn’t for your own amusement, too.

I still remember the first time I watched you squeak and swear with a gentle murmur of your first name,
a snap comment,
and a shit-eating grin on my face.
Though I, too, do it mostly because I love you,
I admit I find it highly amusing.

…I still remember the first time I saw you look at yourself and tear yourself to pieces.
I still remember the literal pain I felt as you simultaneously tore me apart,
stripping away every one of your strengths,
leaving behind only imperfections.

I still remember the first time I saw you roll your eyes at me as I did the same—
parsing the strengths from flaws,
tossing the strengths aside,
the mountain of failures, and imperfections remaining.
I still remember the first time I actually watched you call me a hypocrite,
spitting back that goddamn psych fact on perception.

We’re still a couple of hypocrites,
for multiple reasons.

No screens this time.

In ten days,
I will physically touch you,
tackle you to the ground in the middle of a busy airport,
kiss you,
and laugh as D yells, “FIFTY SHADES OF GAAAY,” so loud your family hears it back home.

In ten days,
I will drag your jet-lagged ass back to the car,
hand you an energy drink,
and grin.
“Wake up, klootzak. GMT -5. Only 14:00. We have shit to do.”

In ten days,
your American adventures will begin.

Buckle up, bitch.
D and I are driving—
you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Ik hou heel veel han jou, beertje.
I’ll see you soon. 

If Only I Had the Balls To Send This to You


I’m sorry I was pushed off onto you from the time I was just a baby. Being born of different fathers, our age difference of ten years made it easy for mom and dad to make me your responsibility.

You babysat from the time I was walking. Mom and dad, being nurses, got paid more for taking the graveyard shifts at the hospital. They took the extra money and gave you the baby at 6:00 P.M.; you gave me back at 6:00 A.M. when mom got home.

I ruined your teenage years. I’m sorry. It’s no wonder we were so terrible to each other for so long. You were angry and frustrated, and I retaliated. It wasn’t unjustified. I don’t hold a grudge, there’s nothing to forgive, and I love you for being mom when mom was gone.

You protected me from the fighting—scooped me up, ran into the nearest room, and kept me close while be both cried and shook until the yelling and sound of… whatever the fuck was breaking… stopped. You were a protector, a parent, where it wasn’t your place to be.

I was a little asshole, too. I wasn’t particularly appreciative of the things we did together, what you did with me, for me, when I stayed with you. I can’t ignore that fact. And I’m sorry for that, too. You loved me then, still love me now though despite being such a nuisance for so many years. A mother’s love, as cliche as it may be, is what I’d say you gave to me.

When you moved out, got a place of your own in the city, you saved me from spending nights alone in our parents’ house. I still believe some weird shit happened in there. I remember it clearly, and I know you do, too, even if you deny it 15 years later. You kept me from being alone and scared at 8/9/10 years old. Spending nights with you playing games, watching movies, play fighting… I can’t and won’t forget that. You had an apartment, and eventually a house, with your boyfriend at the time.

He was a brother to me. You two were together for six years; from 5-11 years old, you two were a second mother and father. I remember giggling, finding it funny when people asked, “How old is your daughter?” when you took me to the mall to see a movie, or took me to eat, or had to drag me along for grocery shopping or something. That only proves my point.

…I will never fault you for getting the hell out, moving to Texas from our home state, Missouri, to get away from the screaming, the emotional abuse, …sadly, what a bastard my “brother” had truly been, and a bastard your step-dad/my biological father is/”was”.

You never left me. You just did the smart thing and got out. I was 11 years old. That’s when I was alone in the house. Sure, I was afraid for the first couple of years, definitely developed a few unhealthy coping mechanisms in the meantime, but I grew to love the peace and quiet. I was highly displeased when dad was off work.

…Even when I called you, freaked the fuck out and alone in that house that did weird shit (day or night), you answered the phone. You sat and talked to me, calmed me down, as long as you could before you had to go to bed, do something with your now-husband, whatever.

Even 1,000 miles away…, you had not abandoned your mother-like duties to the literal baby sister you’d raised. You took me to theme parks, Disney on Ice, Laser Tag, bowling. You disciplined me when I deserved it. You apologized when you were wrong—something mom and dad never did. We did things like a family would—you, N, and I.

You tried to “police me” in terms to style and shit, like mom did. Again, trying to be a mom, even when it pissed me off. I never listened, just like I never listened to mom. “Pick your battles,” as you both said. …Though you like to pick more battles than mom did.

Now adults, we hang out, go to lunch, lounge around your house, do “adult-y” things. You have two kids. O is three, K a year on the 10th of July.

And yet…, I can still come to you for help, for advice, where I know mom would blow up, or get smug with “I-Told-You-So’s”; I know you’ll be there to lend an ear and give honest feedback.

…Sisi, I’ll never call you by your first name; it’s just weird. Maybe it’s fitting though. It’s a theme. You never call your mother by her first name. I couldn’t say your first name as a toddler, but… shit, I think “Sisi” stuck for a reason.

I’m sorry for being a little shit growing up. I’m sorry for saying the fucked up things I did as a teenager—for being so cold, not coming around when I should have, disappearing family the when we’d moved down here when I was 16, and never really truly returning. The mental disorders are no excuse for that.

You’ve always been a protector, loved me unconditionally, …been “mom” where our’s has failed. She’s not perfect, put up with a lot, taken a lot from dad, but you shielded me from what you could, when you could, from the both of them.

I hope you’ve forgiven me. I hope to god you can focus on our relationship now, at 22 and 32, as it’s much better than it’s been. If not, I hope I can do something to make it up to you. I hope you will someday


What Do You See Now?

What do you see in me?
Think about it.
Root it deep into your mind.
Have it?

Keep that in mind as I ask you this:

What do you see in me as I see what is not there?
As I watch objects morph into the unimaginable?
As I see people, auras, creatures…, monsters… slink around you,
genuinely frightened for your safety,
often unaware that these things are not truly there?

What do you see in me as I hear the sounds of the skeletons in my psyche’s closet?
The growls, groans, screeches of demons?
The banging of the fists of the abominations trapped inside my closet—my mind?
As I’m hunched over my desk,
hands over my ears,
tears in my eyes,
desperate to just make it fucking stop?

What do you see in me as I stumble through those days detached from our world,
entangled in the gnarled woodwork of my own?
As I glide hazy-eyed, affectless, with an inflectionless tone that typically carries more peaks and valleys than my mood cycles?
As I give laconic answers?
Or disjointed pieces of sentences being forced together from different puzzles entirely?

What will you see in me when I don’t remember any interaction we had during those days?
When I only see where the pages have been torn from the book of my life?
When I’m aware that those days happened, but have no written account as to what exactly?
When I have only photographic glimpses from damaged film and corrupted audio files?

What do you see in me when you hear the word, “antipsychotics?”
Do you think, “Psycho,” “Crazy bitch,” “Nut job?”
Or do you pity me?
‘Poor thing…,’ ‘To have to go through that…,’ ‘She’s so young…’?
Can you sympathize,
being one of the poor bastards having experienced the same thing,
your opinion likely unchanging?
Or, lacking similar experience, do you think nothing different,
whether it be positive or negative?

I can almost guarantee it isn’t option three.

If you somehow find out,
and it is,
…thank you…

I Just Want You to Understand, Mom.


“We’re medical people; we don’t understand all of that.”

The same response over and over when I try to tell you what it’s like to be rapid cycling bipolar I. To have Borderline Personality Disorder (that you denied for four years). To have a rare neurological disorder triggered by stress that even you doubted was real at one point. To have Generalized Anxiety Disorder despite having it yourself. To have been actively and passively suicidal since the age of 14, though I’m not now. You’ve even been telling me that I’ve been ADHD since the age of 13.

But if it doesn’t involve medication, you refuse to stop and listen.

“We’re medical people, your dad and I; we don’t understand all of the therapy and psychology stuff. We took that years ago in nursing school.”

Tch. Dad’s a recovering drug addict now. A changed man. Now an “expert in therapy” after a year in NA. He “knows everything”… and nothing at all.

You can’t stand to be around me for more than a couple of hours once or twice a week when I’m manic.

When I’m depressive.

When I’m in the middle of a conversion disorder episode—stuttering, the right side of my body dysfunctional, just losing chunks of time, having dissociative seizures, my vision tunneled, my hands not working well enough to even type.

When I’m having crippling anxiety attacks that leave me locked in my room, crying and shaking, or just shutting down completely and avoiding all work entirely.

I’m scared shitless, but you ghost on me because I’m “too stressful” to be around anymore with my mental health, my school stress, my work stress. All of my stress.

All of my past mental health issues have been too much, and you didn’t allow me to get the proper diagnoses to get proper treatment. “They’ll follow you for the rest of your life; they’ll label you. You’ll never be treated the same.” I finally told you to piss off and got diagnosed when my meds stopped working. Just depression was acceptable. You were diagnosed with depression; it’s okay to be clinically depressed. That’s “normal.”

You’d know about treating patients differently though. You do that to your own with psychiatric histories. Or you did, until karma bit you in the ass because your own kid was so borked in the head. You stayed with an abusive husband.

You’ve gotten meaner as you’ve gotten older, and the longer I’m around you, the meaner you get. I see you once or twice a week, sometimes every two…, three weeks. You’re sweet, loving. You tell me how much you miss me. You hop off my ass. You’re the “safe parent” I grew up with, even if you were meek and submissive back then. …Even if you’re defending dad now, comparing him and I despite him refusing to take responsibility for his behavior. Stockholm’s Syndrome. I swear.

Now, you just don’t listen. You don’t try to understand what I go through every day. The medication changes and side effects. The therapy. You know the medical bills because I’m still a student, on your insurance. You just don’t know what I deal with; you think you do.

“I’ve been doing that for years; buck up bucky. We’re all crazy. Just keep going.”

“Well, xxxx happened to me, and here I am.”

“You don’t have cancer; it could be worse. This won’t kill you.”

You have no idea. J literally saved my live. The friends I’ve made, all the way in Europe, thousands of miles away, have picked up your life. J, my Dutchie boyfriend, has been there for almost nine months now. He’s learned about every disorder, handled every manic episode when I become so erratic, so ragey, so spastic. HE takes care of me, from 5,000 miles away, where you can’t 30 minutes away.

Where are you? I appreciate the financial support; I need that despite hating the fact I rely on that through school. I don’t want it, but I have to have it. You’ve ghosted on me though when I’d needed you most.

Not that our household has ever been known for emotional support. Maybe that’s why I’m such an angry jackass now. At 22, an early-onset cynic.

I just want you to understand what I deal with on a daily basis.

You think you know. You don’t.

Tell me what it’s like to stop breathing normally, to wheeze and choke, just because psychological stress completely borks your Central Nervous System.

Tell me what it’s like to go without sleep for 61 hours, sleep for three, and go without for another 54 hours feeling completely refreshed. Snapping at friends, starting fights with your boyfriend over nothing… and fighting to control that manic brain but just losing the battle in the end.

Tell me what it’s like to vacillate between loving and hating your closest friends, reacting irrationally emotionally despite knowing it’s too much, to feel abandoned when you know damn well that person is still there (unlike you and dad)…

I could go on, but you’ve stopped listening a long time ago. I’m wasting my breath. I’ll be back for Sisi, Ollie, Kellan, Damon…, but when I’ve got my degrees, I’m out. Everything’s going well with J. I’m peacing out to the Netherlands. I’m staying. Don’t expect to hear much from me. I’ve tried to have functional relationships with you two.

I’m done. I can’t do it anymore.

I still love you, but you’re getting more and more toxic with age. For the sake of my mental health, I have to detach completely, and for good.


Would You Read This, Dad?


I’m wondering what’s going on in your head anymore. I’ve moved out for college. I don’t see you much. I’ve asked mom, but she doesn’t really know anymore either. You’re still married. It’ll be 24 years this year on October 1st, together for 25 or 26. You’re… different… now though.

As of January 2016, you’re clean. We never knew you had a problem, and it was never a specific substance, nor illegal substances. You experimented as a teenager, but many do. You were just an all-around asshole growing up.

Your brain has been fried by the drugs. You’re more inert than a noble gas. You don’t stand up for yourself much anymore when you were once an angry jackass with an explosive temper. You’re quiet, wandering around in the landscape of your own warped psyche, lost in thoughts of… only you know.

I want to know what you’re thinking. I want to know what I can do to make you proud. I want to know what I can do to MacGuyver some kind of relationship with you. What we had growing up was superficial and brittle; it fell apart over the years and has long fallen to dust and blown away in the wind.

As much as I tell myself I’m fucking done trying to rebuild a relationship with you, that mostly-dead, five-year-old Jessie is still alive. By some miracle, she’s managed a weak pulse. Seventeen years is a hell of a long time to keep breathing with no hope. …Maybe it’s because we’re so damn stubborn.

Mom once told me you were a different person before you two married, before I was born. …Did that man die because of me? Mom thought she was too old, but you wanted me. You were 25 and mom 36 when I was brought into this world. Was I mistake? Did you realize you’d fucked up when you looked at that black-haired little jelly bean wrapped in a Minnie Mouse blankie?

Most of me despises you for what you did to me, to Sisi. She’s your step-daughter, and you still managed to mess her up to some degree. What you did to mom, too. God, did you goof big time there. More so than me, and you borked me pretty bad, too.

That little girl though… She feels like she failed you. She hates herself for that. She feels like you hate her.

In the back of my mind, I can always hear, “I want my daddy back. Please, just tell me how to make it better. Daddy, what did I do wrong? I can fix it. Just tell me how. I promise I’ll make it better.”

It hurts 22-year-old me. I just want her to let go and die peacefully. …But she’s a bull-headed fool…, just like me.

..That five-year-old misses you, dad. She wants you to come back. She remembers the softball games, sitting in the truck and playing the Question Game, listening to songs that she plays in my mind on repeat, sitting at the ICU nurses’ station and you shooting packets of sugar at her with tourniquets or spraying her with foam hand sanitizer with your coworkers. You laughed. She did too. I can see the grin on her face even without closing my eyes at the memories.

She watched the concerts we went to when I was older. She liked that. She wants that back. It was fake, but it looked like it was real. She pretends it was real, and she wants it to be real if it comes back again.

Until she gets it through her thick skull that it’s just not happening, that I’ve tried time and time again, I’m forced to continue. She doesn’t understand that you’re not coming back—that the person you were before I was born is dead, and the blip of that man she saw one night before you got clean was merely a ghost of the past.

So here we go again. Round… tch, 500 (?):

How can I fix this? How can I get through that barrier and into your mind? How can I find you and truly talk to you? Find that common ground we once had? Get you to really talk to me again? How do I re-connect with you before it’s too late?