In The Dark

Author note:  This is not a story.  It’s bit of memoir.  

Context:  I wrote this in November, 2012, the year after my sister died.  The file name is nanowrimo2012.rtf.  I must have been trying to do Nanowrimo that year.  I have no memory of having written this.  I rediscovered it years after I wrote it and then could not remember which file it had been in.  Finally I found it again.  

I don’t know what the first line means.  If it was part of a story I didn’t write or if it was meant to go with the rest of the essay.

This essay is depression, self hate, dysphoria, and grief.  It’s a snapshot of who I was at that time.  Part of who I am now.  I’ve grown as a person but I recognize myself in these words.


In the dark we traveled to far away lands.

Th buzzing angry hurt feeling doesn’t stop.  I can ignore it for a time but it’s always there.  Waiting for my distractions to end, for my mind to blank so it can fill the void.  I feel as though I will never be rid of it.  The bones in my hands and arms ache from despair.  Breathing is tiresome, moving my body exhausting, and thinking almost impossible.

I have no future.  Nothing waits for me.  This trial, this ordeal known as life has no end for me.  There is no win condition no goal to strive for.  Just death.  Maybe now, maybe later.  I’m so tired of life.  I wish to rest forever.

I dreamt of my sister.  We were looking for somewhere to talk in private.  There was a chapel or rectory.  We went inside and we talked.  She talked mostly.  Ordinary shit that had no real consequence but it was nice to talk to her.  I miss her so much.  I’ve been thinking about her more lately.  Remember in “The Body” when Buffy imagines she revives her mother and the paramedics come and they have a “gosh that was close” moment in the hospital.  Yesterday I thought what if my sister hadn’t died and I could see it and feel it and goddess it was wonderful.  It only lasted a second or two and then I was back here alone wishing for death or relief.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a world that didn’t hate me.  I don’t suffer as much as others because I keep a low profile, I don’t push too hard against the bars.  Sometimes I just wish I could be normal.  That I was thin and cis and the right kind of beautiful.  Sometimes I think I could starve myself and lose weight.  I would never really be thin but I could be less fat.  I could be closer to acceptable.

Most of the time, when I’m alone, I don’t think about being trans.  I just exist as myself and that’s fine.  When I have to go out, be around people, I have to think about how they see me.  How they gender me.

A couple of days ago, I woke up feeling like shit.  I cried lying in bed before even getting up.  Crying helped.  It emptied me of feeling left me a husk that I could order around.  I took some pain relievers and caffeine (together they work as a crude antidepressant).  I made tea and made lunch and twitched from the caffeine but felt okish.  On the walk to work I started to feel better than just ok, almost good.  Then I got to the mall and saw a few women and remembered I will never be able to just be me.  It will always be a struggle for me to be seen as a woman.

My Mind is a Labyrinth

My memories are a labyrinth
Winding corridors
Secret doors
Dead ends and pitfalls

These are the first lines in a recent poem I wrote called My Memories.  The poem is not very good.  I shied away from what I really wanted to say.

My mind is a Labyrinth
Winding corridors
Dead ends and pitfalls
The monster is my memories.

Lately I find my mind twisting and turning back on itself.  Linking memory to memory in a winding path that leads me back to my sister’s death.  Even this post is another trip through the labyrinth with the same destination.

The path is well worn
Leading from room to room
Each one a tableau,
A story leading me deeper.

When she died, I spiraled into depression.  The same kind of depression I feel now.  Maybe that is why I keep returning to those memories.  Maybe they resonate with the same emotional chord.  I feel closer to her death than I have in years.  I can’t claim to have completely healed from her death, I still have days that my memories reach for her only to find her gone, but the blow of remembering she is gone has lessened.

Deeper to the center
The center where the monster lives
The Monster I created from memories
The Memories I wished to forget.

I remember too much to tell in this space but mostly I remember sitting in the hallway of the hospital.  Family had gathered in the hallway because this was the last time we would be able to see her, the last chance we had to say goodbye.  It all happened so quick.  Less than a day.  I remember the end of the hallway was a big window.  I remember wanting to throw myself through that window to escape from having to wait for her to die.

I can’t forget these memories
They loom over my mind
I wish I could forget them
But if I could I wouldn’t.

My sister’s death caused me much pain.  I became more depressed than I had ever been before.  I reached the breaking point where I sought out help from my local county health services.  I was denied.  I quit my job.  I felt completely lost.

My memories are a Monster.
Not evil, Not malicious,
Just painful.
We make monsters of things we don’t want to see.

But then, things began to change.  I found some new friends.  I found a new job.  I found acceptance from the people around me.  My sister’s death didn’t directly lead me to any of these things but it was part of the journey.  My life has not been smooth sailing since then.  There are ups and downs.  Her death was a major down in my life and while I wish it had never happened; I would never want to forget that it did.

I didn’t want to write this poem and mini-memoir.  I needed to write this.  I needed to work through these feelings and to not shy away from these memories.  I’m not cured of my depression but I feel like I’ve found a new path through the labyrinth.



Site Update/Writer Update

So, I know that my depression worsens after summer.  I had hoped writing and posting stories every week would build momentum enough to carry my through to November when it gets really busy at my retail job.  I had planned on taking like half of November and December off from posting stories for the holidays.  But here I am in September(not even officially fall) and I can’t focus, I’m having trouble sleeping, I’m getting migraines at a higher rate(this is due to the weather not depression but it isn’t helping).

Basically I can’t keep up with the pace I set for myself during the summer.

So I’m going to try halving my output for September and October.  Instead of three stories every week(twelve a month), I’m going to post three stories every other week(six a month).

In November, my output might drop to zero because of the holiday rush and stay that way until January when regular posting will most likely resume.  That might be a good time devote to editing some stories into a small ebook.  I’ve been meaning to do that but writing the weekly stories has been the priority up til now.

I know it may seem like a sudden change but this is something I’ve dealt with for years.  I didn’t know how my plans for posting stories regularly would be effected by my seasonal depression.  This is still the first year of what I plan to be a life long endeavor.  This year I have to slow down in the fall and probably stop during the winter.  Next year might be the same or it might be better.

Author update

So I have been feeling depressed lately.  It’s been interfering with my ability to write so I took the last week off from posting new stories/poems.  Because Patrons get new stories a week early my week off will happen on my site next week.  The next chapter of Lisa’s Story will be posted Monday but there will be no stories on Wednesday and Friday.

I’m still kinda depressed but the week off has helped. Regular posting will resume the following week.