I was flipping through the pages of my Agora history book when I heard a loud bang coming from inside my closet. I hesitantly got up from my queen size bed, walked over to the closet door and started to turn the doorknob. BANG! The closet door flew open, and I flew back into a pile of dirty clothes mixed with some raggedy stuffed animals.
“What the f–” Before I could finish my thought, standing in front of me was dark colored mist, floating effortlessly in the air. I pushed myself backwards, as far as I could, to get away from it. The feeling inside my stomach was the same feeling that I felt years prior when my grandmother had passed away. I felt frozen and numb.
As I am standing up to run towards the only exit, the mist starts to move faster and circles around me, forming what looks like a black veil or shield surrounding my body. I started to feel cold and fatigued. I could hardly keep my eyes open.
I wake up in a stupor. I am laying down in my bed like I had never moved in the first place. I rub my hand on my head as it feels like I was whacked with a baseball bat. The first thought I have is Where did the mist go? Am I safe? What was that?
I look over at the closet door, which is halfway open, and feel some relief. My cat, Nacho, likes to sneak into the closet when I am asleep, to dream his little dreams while feeling safe from the outside world. I wish I could crawl into a dark and tiny space when I did not want to talk or be bothered with the mundane tasks of everyday life.
My head hits the pillow again and I sigh. I must have been dreaming, I think. I look around the room some more. Plastered on the dark burgundy walls are various concert posters that I have collected over the past decade. My floor is barely visible besides the cluttered papers, CDs, dirty clothes, and dirty dishes that have made friends with it. My dresser that I inherited from my aunt stands almost six feet tall and is made of Cyprus wood. My matching nightstands cuddle my queen size bed in between them and in turn, make me feel safe and protected.
I live in a small town in Agora, the second to last planet that is home to the human species. Lining our streets are Blue Trees, which are native to Agora. The branches of the tree dip low enough for toddlers to pick blue tree berries from. The leaves are a golden color that glistens when the sun hits them. I always thought the leaves looked as if someone had gone over them with a few coats of Mod Podge Gloss. Unlike it was years ago on Earth, the grass here is light purple or light pink depending on the weather. Along with the trees, food carts owned by poor farmers are lining the streets. I try to buy from at least a few a week. Some of Agora’s native foods are Pumbruck, Gleads, and Brines. Pumbruck is a dish of white rice and spicy beans mixed in with Googaloo sauce, a flavorless concoction that provides the customer with short term energy. Gleads are energy balls made up of crushed nuts, caramel, protein powder and banana. Brines are like what we would call french fries on Earth. Instead of being long and skinny, the potatoes are formed into a square-like shape and mixed with carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. These are my favorite out of all three. Dad says that’sbecause centuries ago, our ancestors used to hail from a place called Ireland, where potatoes were in abundance and prepared many ways.
I place my hand on my stomach just in time to feel and hear it rumble. Thinking of all of this food has made me hungry. Even though I have convinced myself that I was dreaming, I slowly walk over to the closet door, afraid that once more, this mysterious mist will appear.
“Nacho! Are you in there?” I pull the door open a smidge and he comes bolting out the closet like a cheetah on the hunt. He runs over to his cat tree, which is identical to the Tower located in our downtown. He scratches it furiously and climbs up to the highest point, sits down, and stares at me. Just as I am about to ask him what he is so happy about, another loud bang shatters my left earlobe, and I am once again forced backwards onto the pile of my clothes.
Again, floating in front of me, is the dark mist that I thought I had dreamed up. The mist was now resembling what looked like stars mixed in with the dark night sky. Instead of placing itself over me like a veil, it started to grow bigger and bigger, until it formed slowly into the shape of what looked like, a person.
“Wh–What do you want?” My voice shakes as I speak up.
The human shape reaches a hand out to me. I am too afraid to take it. As fast as that fear crosses my mind, the shape turns from a dark color, into a form of light. Its brightness is so bright that I am unable to open my eyes to look at it. The light feels hot to the touch, and it feels impossible to move. As the light dimmed and I was able to open my eyes, I tried to focus.
In front of me now is not a mist, nor a human form. It is my grandmother. My grandmother has come back from the dead.
the arch of my back
your hands on my hips
the closeness is unfamiliar yet welcome
come even closer
let’s explore this bliss
together while intertwined
Lying next to you is a gift.
Yet, I am afraid of the closeness.
It prompts me to feel.
Every time I feel, it hurts like a thousand swords plunging into my abdomen.
I try to remember.
Lying next to you is a gift.
Over the last year, after losing my Mom and my two cats all within the year of one another, I have had nightly nightmares that have me re-live the worst times in my life thus far.
My dreams consist of seeing my mom pass away, become sick, or injure herself.
Last night, she choked and had a seizure in front of me.
My dreams consist of nightmare scenarios: being stuck in the ocean, shark attacks, losing friends and loved ones, falling from high altitudes, plane crashes…..
Last night, I fell through the sky, off of a skyscraper, and I felt it. I felt the roller-coaster feeling for a long time.
Will I ever recover? Will these ever go away?
I’m stuck in my trauma, awake and asleep.
I am sorry you felt the need to binge tv shows nightly and eat fast food to soothe yourself.
You stopped seeing friends except on the weekend when you would get wasted.
I am sorry you slept with numerous men who did not care about you.
(Remember the one who slept with you, took your cigarettes and then left and never talked to you again? Shout out to Kyle from Longmeadow, Mass. You reignited my trauma, yet I feel sorry for you. I saw those sadness in your eyes. I hope you are ok.)
I am sorry you let your mother, who loved you and who you loved very much, to control your emotions like a light switch….so badly that self harm and disordered eating became a part of your life.
I am NOT sorry for these experiences. They taught me lessons.
I am sorry for the hurt they caused my sensitive soul though.
Now, we will heal, but it’s up to me when.
I don’t know.
I am unsure if I will live through these addictions. The addictions of life. These addictions keep me going, keep me living, keep me surviving. The happy moments I have had these past years has been manufactured by a chemical substance. How will I ever be able to experience something that instantaneous happiness that GREAT again?
What is it like waking up under no influence of a pill, an herb, or a toxin? What is it like waking up like when I was a little girl?
The little girl before trauma. The little girl who wanted her bottle, her blanket, her Baka. The little girl who was robbed of her childhood and yet forgives those who robbed it from her.
Oh, that little Kayla was such a sweet soul. She had no hate in her body. She had love. The hate came later on disguised as rage. Rage against being forced to grow up without feeling completely nurtured.
Sadly, I do not see waking up as my natural self ever again in my lifetime.
meet me on the moon when we pass
blankets of stars; overcast
I have been trying to get off of the fake love of my life, cannabis concentrate, for the last few years.
I have worked with substance abuse teams, therapists and group sessions.
I am now in an intensive DBT program at this place I’ve received all of my care. In order to be in the program, it is required you see one out of three of their doctors.
I’ve been seeing Dr. I* for over a year. Overall our relationship was cordial. She has a heavy accent and sometimes I can’t follow along with what she is saying, and I end up letting it brush by because, well, I have social anxiety.
Today, I came into the session planning to inquire why she dropped by antidepressant dose in half overnight, and maybe that is why I am struggling weaning off of 1gram of cannabis concentrate.
My partner was sitting next to me when after I approached the subject and let her know my feelings politely, Dr.I basically said “we have tried everything and at this point we are back at square one.”
Square one? I’ve been busting my ass getting clean. I gave up nicotine and alcohol! Why does she just seem to always tell me, “you just need to stop.”
That doesn’t work. Period.
To Be Continued.
“I do not sleep because I am not only afraid of the monsters at my door, but also of the monsters my own mind can conjure. The ones that live within.”Samantha Shannon, The Priory of the Orange Tree