psychiatrist

paper walls

smell of cat urine

on saltines

nature scenes

white pills, pink pills

orange cylinder capped white

rattles.

rain, inside me.

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reflect

my green eyes searched the rectangular reflection hanging on the back of my parent’s bedroom door.  from hair to heel, I ripped myself apart like a leopard does prey, comparing myself to asparagus thin, pristine women on glossy magazine covers from the grocery store. that 2D woman, posed alluringly with little clothing, told me how to look. her motionless, plump, red lips spoke to me an ideal and an only—that I could look like her, or be ugly. my acne, pointy nose, fat on my thighs, drew the conclusion: I was not good enough. no matter how much foundation I caked on, or how long I spent frying my hair with a straight iron, I couldn’t cross the chasm of beauty. I saw what i wasn’t. steady corrosion eroded me into a thin blanket of apologies. I collapsed.

waking up in a thicket of emerald ferns feathering a forest floor…was not what I expected. roots poked out of the earth like half bridge knobs. ancient bark soared tall, seen it all—laughter and tears, death and love. people who pined, searching their lifetime, the world over, for peace. that sometimes dull, sometimes screaming desire. starving, pain. universal earth ache. throbbing to be noticed, asking “do you love me?”

the dancing leaves and towering trees spoke testament: cosmic turmoil contained in every flesh tent. I knew it well. craving but never relieved. burning for more; born with flames tickling my  heart. a “do you love me?” echoed through the forest, through my lifetime. men came and went. one stayed for life. still I hungered. I searched—under clouds and stones, behind trunks and waterfalls, in human hands. nothing. who could whole this furious, yearning hole?!

a mere shadow of life, I crumpled under the tree canopy.

a crimson droplet cascaded through the leaves, dripped on my nose, drew my eyes up. life rain, love reigning. God sacrificed Himself, bloodied, beaten, killed by those He formed and desired. life for life. this God took my place, created a way for my wayward heart to be welcomed home! oh what LOVE! how could it be? tentative and aware of my stains, I timidly crouched under a fern. hiding. wishing. wondering. he beckoned me. me?? incredulous, i stayed hidden. already seen, fully known, yet totally loved. how?! such outrageous love seemed unreal.

yet, the love soaked me, sang my missing note, completed my puzzle. i was inside out, upside down, undone in the presence of soul saturating desire so passionate and sacrificing. I knew: I am LOVED. drawn out of hiding, led into light. that second of rapturous delight transformed me. forever clean. thank you Jesus.

woke up new on the shag carpet bedroom floor. once puddle but now sunrise, I beamed. a cross hammered hand reached down for me. set me free, loved me from scalding burns and tornado turns to healing and a whole heart.

looking into that same mirror, I reflect the forest. the soft ferns and gentle breeze found in my hair and graceful nose. Love found me.

mental ride, part 3

two paramedics wheeled me to the tall grey mental hospital. blurry paperwork, scribbled signature, an indefinite smile on my face. checked in, locked down.

another patient confronted me; I acted back. bubbly nurse lady escorted me to the quiet room, bolting the door shut. small chamber with padded walls and lone bed. kneeling, I cried  for love. my stomach folded and my mind raced figure eights through quick sand, oasis, ocean, and space. it travelled at record speeds, incomprehensible and lost. a realm unknown to man, I forged new frontiers—insanity disguised as genius, brain deceiving itself. my slow body slumped on the floor.

 

woe when my brain and body eventually matched up.

mashed potatoes

meatloaf

chocolate milk

hairnet lunch lady smiled

scooped carrots

man tranquilized mid-meal

again.

 I observed outside world through window dotted with tint. a foot clinic. roads. trees. birds dancing midsky. mountains crisp against dull blue backdrop. 

after each meal, we walked the unit. digging a trench in the linoleum floor, the other patients and I circled the ward. beautiful nature scenes, oversized and framed, lined the outside of the narrow hallway. the wall pattern: door door waterfall door door forest door door mossy rocks door flowers door door pond. My mind escaped the trapped place, traipsed out into the brilliant scenes. fields and flowers, passing hours upon hours in the desolate plain. waiting for it to rain. or snow, some form of precipitation. I wanted participation in the bright symphony outdoors. my soul choked in the hallway. desert spread through my throat. seven days enclosed in stained off-white hospital walls, my brain’s off switch slowly flipping to on. I missed fresh air the most.

like a cat trapped in carrier, I clawed, silently asking how do I get out of here?

I scrawled notes with the golf pencil and tiny notebook provided:

charge nurse: Charolette

Med nurse: ?

take meds

ask Tim for help

schedule on wall

follow schedule

take showers

I found my brain in the water. the scalding drops seared my shoulders crimson. I scrubbed my scalp for the second time that day. the warm sensation soothed a body disconnected from brain, brought mind down from spaceship ride, touching to earth with a soft pouft.