By: Alexia Jasmene
Unseen and covering every inch of me,
Feeling tight from the lack of flexibility,
Of trauma induced by another one’s words.
Building over time,
Feeling fresh with every sigh of too too much,
Wondering if this is the end where I am crushed.
Not knowing or forgetting they’re there,
To trick myself out of despair,
Only to find I’m still very much there,
A hole so deep that I can never climb free.
These scars that are invisible to you,
Are the realest thing to me.
Feeling shame and despair,
Loathing for my existence and every breath,
Feeling the most unlovable and unable to truly love,
I am trapped in this cycle
And I’m only now becoming aware.
Memories can’t be forgotten,
But they can be locked away,
Down in the depths of the darkest cave,
But they always resurface,
You can’t run away.
When dreams take you hostage,
And you can’t escape,
Bleeding into your day dreams,
You see a man,
With the most grimacing face.
His beard is wild like the deep woods of the night,
Dirty and yellow,
His teeth grin unsettling my mind.
I snap out of it,
Only to see his reflection in a dream next weeks time,
I wake with a sweat,
Wondering why I’m filled with dread.
Another weeks goes by,
Filled with unawareness of my scars,
Until I dream a dream where I can’t wake myself,
Even by harm.
I must track a depraved serial killer,
As my nine year old self,
I found him easy enough,
But was chased for lack of stealth.
I ran and I ran to my grandparents,
Where I grabbed two knives,
A cleaver and butcher’s tools,
Maybe these will suffice.
I hid in the bathroom,
Door locked and inside the tub,
He taunts, “here faggot, faggot, faggot.”
As I hold my breathe ready to launch.
Then he bursts through the door,
I launch in slow motion,
Digging my cleaver in his shoulder.
I stab and I stab and I stab until he moves no more.
My grandfather returns baffled,
So I show him what I had to do…
But there is a pool of blood,
No body to be found,
Only a trail from bathroom to basement,
Where there is a sound.
My grandfather grabs a gun,
I a knife,
The lights are dead,
But we descend in spite.
He appears behind my grandfather,
Rising like the boogeyman himself,
He’s massive in size,
The mad mountain man himself.
He knocks my grandfather out cold,
Then I pick up the gun,
He says, “You’re too chicken shit to pull that trigger fag…”
As I pull the trigger shooting him in the face,
Then unloading the gun and cutting off his head…
I wake sobbing, sweating, quaking like the dead,
Having the broken memories and feelings of that day,
That day a man whom I had to trust unloaded his lifetime of strife,
Upon a small girl who was already afraid and hiding.
The memories are broken,
But the feelings remain,
The body keeps the score,
And I had a reckoning to pay.
I played it down like it wasn’t so bad,
PTSD from only “verbal abuse” can’t be that hard,
But I failed to own how severe it really was,
That day that man stole my sense of self…
Since then I’ve felt shattered, broken, not enough,
That it was my fault for being a freak,
That I can’t stand to be myself.
So I hid,
Hid myself from myself,
Hid myself from the world,
Hid myself from the hurt,
It didn’t work…
I know now that I was aware I was a girl at 4,
But felt it not safe to tell a soul in that place,
That place where I was,
Hearing hate spewed casually over breakfast and hugs…
Not necessarily my family,
Though some was still there,
But the folx in the town,
Made me feel the first inklings of despair.
Eventually I felt I should tell my mom,
A brother and sister were on the way,
But then the mountain man hurt me,
In the worst kind of way.
After that I was numb at a funeral,
Only crying when I couldn’t cry for my departed aunt,
Then everything was fear for another 20 years,
Just trying to survive…
These memories and timeline came in pieces over time,
As I’ve faced my demons with love,
For protecting me from more harm.
Healing isn’t sequential,
In fact it doesn’t make rational sense,
That’s because I was threatened and living in my emotional mind,
Always on the defense.
I ran from myself,
Made myself busy beyond compare,
Even ran to China,
Where a brush with death momentarily broke the despair.
Eventually I continued to hide,
Fell in love with a girl,
Still hiding and surviving,
Until things broke beyond repair…
I almost took my own life,
But instead a friend listened and talked,
And I was able to confront who I really was,
I am a woman, who happens to be trans…
I tell all except my girlfriend,
Afraid of our fate,
It was unfair to her,
And self fulfilling in the end…
But I chose to live,
Chose to be myself,
Transitioned in China because that’s where there was the most help.
Poverty kept me there,
Another theme in my life,
But I grew into a woman,
Though I couldn’t see it in my own eyes…
I still saw the boy that was,
Feeling pangs of pain at my own reflection,
Where the pain could last days, weeks, months…
Not home in my body,
Still as I write this for you,
I am comfortably renting,
Doing the best I can do.
I’ve spent years seeking healing,
And though only recently found,
Relief in loving my trauma,
And my mental health all around.
Using serotonin, in a therapeutic way,
Facing my trauma in the most loving way,
I was able to start the process of healing and recalibrating,
My organism that has lived defensively for over 20 years…
A ceremony with the teacher plant,
Allowed me to let go
Of all the baggage I’d held onto
Being the worst emotional hoarder I know.
Now I am here before you,
With a new foundation and sense of self,
Earned and built through pain and tears,
And meeting myself where I am.
I hope these words speak to you,
To know it’s ok,
To face yourself with love,
And that you’re worth it everyday.
Some days are harder,
The scars still aching when change is on the wind,
But my invisible scars don’t have to be invisible,
And neither do yours.