I expect more from others because I am always willing to do that much for them.
when the layers subside
and the fortune is empty
the pigment of our days
will echo pure
and i will be nowhere
if not with you
I found my Jim Halpert.
I never criticize the lady walking down my street who yells at the sky and flips everyone off whom passes her by. I spend half of my day looking for that kind of courage; the kind of courage to release all the crazy. I spend the other half wondering why the hell we’re so angry all of the time.
Follow me :)
Oh. And I’m not deleting this blog. My new blog is for an exercise I’m trying out with poetry. It needed it’s own space. You’ll see.
and inside the glove compartment of the car, neatly folded and sealed in an envelope lies a destiny i never want to know. burn the fate that will haunt me until then. erase the pictures my imagination has begun to create. please don’t make me dig for your goodbyes. i won’t be strong enough.
An excerpt of a letter I recently wrote to Lindsay:
“Speaking of, I’ve decided that I’m going to try and put more of my faith and trust in the universe. Lately, I’ve found myself feeling a little more settled; like I actually have a place in the world. I know that it’s screwed us time and time again, the universe, but I need to be able to put my trust in something. If not god or love, I need to believe that this thing that we reside in will eventually spit out all of the good that I’ve put in. I want to have faith that people will do the right thing. And that’s so hard. I know that. When I look at my kids at work and I think about all of the bad things our people did to them, I hate the universe. But when I look at my co-workers and think about all of the things they’re doing to reverse that, and I think about you and all of the good things we did in Tanzania to make even one child’s life just a little bit better for a only a month, I’m in love with the universe. I’m conflicted, but unlike believing in god, I can actually see the effects of the universe, whether good or bad, and that makes this life just a little more manageable; to know that I, at least, have the power to do something about it and can encourage the rest of the universe to do the same. The universe may be big but it’s not as intangible as we think. The universe is just this massive blob of people just trying to live. And I feel like, yeah, it’s overwhelming and sometimes we feel like a minnow in an ocean of sea monsters, but it’s all we got. We are the universe, and I think we’re certainly something worth believing in.”
I read your blogs and I cry.
when i call my house and my aunt betty answers i know this means that my parents aren’t home. i hang up without saying anything.
I’ve been off from work for a week which is why I haven’t posted in awhile. I try not to use the computer so much while on vacation. Break was refreshing, and much needed. I went to The Keys for three days, Peanut Island for an afternoon with Rachel, and Ft. Lauderdale yesterday with some new friends. Now it’s Monday and I’m back in the office; womp. womp.
One of my favorite clients, D whom I think I’ve told you about, is back in the county. This is great news because now I will be able to see her and continue our creative writing sessions instead of keeping in touch via e-mail; woot. woot.
I watched 12 episodes of The Office tonight until I got to the one where Jim tells Pam he loves her and kisses her during the office casino party in the warehouse.
I am envious of Pam Beasley.
- have a tattoo
- and plan on getting another one
- have 5 piercings (or “holes in my body” as she likes to call them)
- smoke cigarettes when i drink (which if often)
- drink too much (the woman is a total wino— i will never understand this)
- roll my eyes
- say “whatever” when i know she’s right
- speak quickly and loudly
- drive 10 miles over the speed limit
- tell her to “float on” when she’s yelling about the empty roll of toilet paper i didn’t change in the bathroom
I DO NOT:
- go to church
- and when she guilts me into it, i wear jeans
- believe in God
- worry about every little thing
- keep my room cleaned
- say grace at the dinner table
- want to pursue a career in music
- think about the consequences of my actions
But she still loves me. And good thing, because I’d be lost without her.
I brought a perfectly clean dress to the dry cleaners last week just so I could chat with the owner. He started his own eco-green business and I think that’s so cool.
I have been tutoring J for two months. Today, he was sentenced to six years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
I have nothing else to say.
A month ago I had to call the police on my neighbor’s boyfriend. He was beating her up in the hallway while she banged on my door and begged for me to let her in. I stayed silent on the other side and quietly placed the 911 call. I helplessly watched her get beat up through the peek hole in my door.
She thought I was asleep.
This afternoon I am reading by the pool when I hear the gate to the club house open and close. I don’t notice that it’s my neighbor until she plops down on the lounge chair beside me and asks me if the pool is still as cold as it was yesterday. Until now, we had never spoken before. I mumble something about it still being chilly but I am distracted by her presence. I search her body for left over bruises and bumps but find nothing. While she’s babbling on about the weather I can’t help but see her face as it appeared through the narrow hole in my door as she plead for refuge from her boyfriend who is nothing but a coward. I nod and smile in her direction while trying to push the image of her face being slammed into the wall over and over and over again as the guilt washes over me like an afternoon rain storm does in the summertime.
She continues to make conversation because she has no idea that I am the neighbor that was too afraid to open the door. Afraid, still, that my face is screaming my secret, I put on my sun glasses and pretend to read.
Since that night, I have been pyschotic about locking my door. I leave sticky notes on the kitchen counter reminding my roommates to lock the door when they leave the apartment or before they turn down to go to bed. I even lock the door to the bathroom while I am taking a shower.
Who’s the coward now?
For months I had been meeting with a youth at Sandy Pines, a highly restrictive residential treatment center dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of children and adolescents ages five through seventeen. This youth, who we’ll call D for privacy purposes, liked to write in a journal. I met with her once a week where I challenged her to explore the realm of creative writing. We called it “tutoring” but our sessions were in no way run like a classroom. In fact, on D’s bad days, we often sat in silence. Sometimes she’d open up and sometimes she wouldn’t, but she knew that I was okay with either.
But as our time together increased, so did the strength in our circle of trust. We talked about our families, our relationships, and one day she even told me about her trauma. Of course, I had already known why she was confined to a place like Sandy Pines because I had access to her file. I knew that she had been raped by her older brother and kicked out of her house by her mother. Her entire life is neatly typed on Department letterhead. But what those case notes do not reveal are the emotions of her trauma. Her life, in fact, was not neat as it was tranposed onto paper and if her life was to be represented correctly that paper would be crumpled up and ironed out and crumpled up and ironed out over and over again until the corners of that paper began to deteriorate. The writing would be crossed off and blacked out with arrows and circles in red pen mapping out her existence and guiding her in the direction of failure.
Vita Nova does not let people fail, but the system does a damn good job at at trying to stop us.
After showing improvement in D’s behavior and the “okay” from her treatment team that said she was able to live in a less resrictive environment, D was ready leave Sandy Pines and move to another group home in the county. But the system, The Department of Children and Families of Palm Beach County, attempted to fail D. It closed it’s doors on her with the excuse that there were too many foster care youth and not enough beds. She would be transferred out of county to Coco Beach where D knew absolutely no one.
Now that circle of trust, the one that took years for her to develop was simply gone; her caseworker, her therapist, her friends at Sandy Pines, me, would kick her to the curb, just like everyone else she’s ever trusted has done.
But not for long. Not for me, anyway.
I contacted D’s new group home. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to physically visit her (Coco Beach is 2 hours away) but with technology, there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to continue our lessons over the internet. After speaking with D’s new therapist, getting “okays” by the department head, and a lot of pestering, D’s case manager finally agreed to setting D up with an e-mail account and allowing her 1 hour per week for internet use.
This is the first e-mail I received from D:
hi lauren i really miss you. i cant wait to see you again. I hate this place but not because of the people here or the girls. It’s mainly because im far away from home and i cant see my family. As you already know i hate school but i have been going. but i have been making alot of friends here the girls are “sweet” (LOL). Ms.shameka said your mostly welcome. but i hope that we can get alot of work done over the computer and hopefully in person. i hope your doing good! BUT you didnt get anymore tattoo’s! RIGHT?? i really miss doing poems with you and spending time with you. i have been typing them up on the computer though. Also i’ve began to type up my life story. i’s coming along great. Talk to you soon! BYE! (TEAR!)
Attached to the e-mail was a poem that D had written during her first week at her new placement. I don’t think I’m going to share it just yet, at least not without her consent. Her poetry is the emotion that feeds her recovery from her trauma; it’s not a case note that simply states the facts. Case notes are what you see on the 5 oclock news and read in the newspaper. You can listen to or read the facts, digest them, and move on. And that’s on purpose. For the same reasons the department looks at case notes instead of personal accounts when placing their youth, is why the media leaves out the stuff that makes it hard to swallow and walk away. Because if that were the case, if we all just listened to the youth instead of reading a piece of paper that held the power of their future, D wouldn’t have been moved out of county. But who has the time for that? No one. Our system doesn’t allow for individualized attention and decision making for our children.
And so as much as myself and the team at Vita Nova insist on doing all that we can to prevent our youth from failing, there will continue to be people who stand in our way. I know that reaching out to D through e-mail did not solve all of her life problems; her stigmas still stick and case notes still label her as a rape victim but I will not allow the system to stand in my way of trying. I will continue to be a positive piece of D’s puzzle to a better life, even if the only thing I can provide for her is a creative outlet for the left overs of her emotions.
Keeping in contact with D is my leap of faith.
I have a single incessant hair that resides between my chin and neck that will not disappeer no matter how many times I pluck. I am convinced I was a pubescent teenage boy in a past life.
“well last night the boy i was with was like, i really like that dress.so i told him i liked it becase it reminded me of fire works and then i proceeded to sing firework by katy perry and he did not know the song…”
My earliest human memory is, ironically enough, my “mirror stage.” I am sitting in my crib and looking into a mirror that is attached to a toy. When I remember this, I see the colors red and yellow and I can hear my mother singing in the background. I see my reflection.
Here’s some information about Lacan’s theory on the Mirror Stage (a spin-off of Freud’s theories on mental development) and the moment in which an infant recognizes that he/she is a separate entity from the world. I studied some of this in college; this question sparked some good ole’ Critical Theory with Professor Karl.