i look into your face
there is no trace
in your eyes
and i don’t know
what gets me worse,
that you don’t know me
or how cliche
that first stanza sounds
getting right down to
the meat of the matter
we are living our lives
full of parting shots
no conversations had,
words left dangling,
as if a complete exchange
i don’t know…
glb /// “…something”
like honey dripped from a cherry
to your tongue you bring a
sweetness to the world that I
have never tasted before
you twist and turn with every
drip of lust wrenched from
your lips as you spin like a
dervish in celebration and
anticipation of our nuptials
come here to me and let
me lift the veil, we know
better than the flowing
pearlescent frock you wear,
which we will enforce
as soon as I can get you alone
for now we’ll tow the
traditional line, if I can keep
myself away, on this altar,
vows said, you have kissed
me to attention and I am
prepared to march on
that alabaster keep
glb /// “a wedding song (non-traditional)”
Thinking on it, my brain says, “you got out of that pretty easily”. Then I get standoffish (to my own mind) “what the hell are you talking about?” Surely, he couldn’t be talking about cancer. We* chose invasive surgery over chemo and even with the enormous physical cost to me, all the margins were clean and I did not need to have chemo or radiation treatments. I just needed to heal. It was only a short while before I could get back to work, and another before I resumed somewhat normal daily activities.
I know that my experience has been different than many, many others. I consider myself extremely fortunate. But, my opinion is completely different than that . I got through it, yes. I’m still alive today, yes. I still have pain in the area of the surgery. I think what I “suffer form” now is remorse that I beat that thing, and in a smaller amount of time.
After that period of recovery I started treatment for depression. It was 19 years later that I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder (BPD). So, I am frequently pushing it around my head. Did the cancer cause BPD? There is, of course, not any way to know. There have been some experiences in my life that make me think that BPD has likely been with me for a long time. I know that the diagnosis was later in life for me. There are, however, some things that happened in the years leading up to the diagnosis that might be seen as evidence of BPD. So here’s the question I’ve been asking for a while.
Can a trauma cause BPD, or any other disorder or mental issue?
*We is actually my father. He’s the one who, while I was under, communicated with the surgeon and decided to go the aggressive route. Keep going until the margins are clean. Virtually ensuring that chemo and radiation would not be necessary.
I am raked across the pit, but I’m not burning. This fire has gone out, no one has tended to it for a long while. I am left to grapple with the hardened logs where my fire used to exist. They only scrape and char with every hand hold I try to get. Barking out the dust with every breath, stretching and straining against the dark. I can see where I need to go, it’s getting there that provides the pain.
I seem to find myself here, or someplace close to here when it happens. I seem to find a way out every time. It’s different every time. But I don’t expect to win, every time, any hope I have is dashed against something ominous. I can’t tell myself that it will pass, that only serves to make it worse, longer or darker or both.
So, I wait. I weather and wait. Learning more every time. Not quite getting it, until I do. And that is where everything comes together or comes apart.
Now I am just rambling and wavering and I should stop.
It’s just not as easy as “pulling yourself up and soldiering on”
It’s not about excuses. No doubt, I struggle, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. There are things I can point to, of course. But given all the experience I’ve had, I find myself worried at times. I don’t always recognize what’s going on, especially where Bipolar depression is involved. I’m not trying to define what it is. I’m just hoping to understand what it is in me. I can say that I feel as if I am surviving but I can also say that I wish surviving was better than it is.
turning rhymes into prose, old thoughts and dreams
deconstructed and rebuilt, to please the only ear that
can stand to hear them after all this time alone
untangling stanzas and couplets while rearranging
shelves full of notebooks, elbow deep in words about
love and lust and betrayal, epiphanies wink out when
compared with the truth
roping it all in with a lasso made of twine, there is no
way to corral the hopes in this pen, galloping off
with ideas that were not quite concrete, leaving behind
hand prints that set too fast
longing to get feelings into a form that means something
to someone in some part of the world, traveling the thin
line between appreciation and disparagement, flicking the
pages over the horizon, blurring with the lines in the ledger
stars on the water show the way home, darkness slides slowly
across the tablet, leaving creation to touch and feel,
concepts bloom, pushing perceptions through the
barrier between thought and truth
glb /// “between thought and truth”
originally published 08/04/2019