Posted in Being Vulnerable

Dating me

I imagine dating me is like constantly changing lanes on the highway while watching a car crash.

I’m a zero to one hundred kind of gal.

What can I say?

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 20

Did I tell you I got a nutritional therapist?

I was afraid I was becoming addicted to sugar.

It runs in the family.

And I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be like my family.

I want to be better.

So I hired her.

And we took a deep dive into my family, into my trauma, and into why I sometimes emotionally eat.

And she started slow.

She suggested increasing my water intake.

And making healthy brownies instead of buying chocolate.

And that helped.

But that rejection the other day triggered another emotional response.

And the first day, I surprisingly didn’t eat my feelings.

I felt alright and I thought I talked it all through with my friend back home.

But then the weekend came.

And with it came the shopping, the distractions and the reach for old, happy memories.

And honestly I don’t feel shame about it.

Because I know why I did it.

I have pain inside me that needs to be seen.

I need to cry more and I’m really bad at making time to cry.

But I know I need to try because this pain has been with me for a decade now at least and I’m tired of getting so hurt when people don’t want to be my friend anymore.

It’s just getting ridiculous, you know?

Because I know my worth.

And I am a good friend.

And I am a good person.

So if I know this about myself, then I shouldn’t let these comments or actions stick to me.

I should treat them like rain on a duck’s back and just let it slide right off me.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 14

You wonder why I get them.

You don’t understand the ink.

Or the addiction.

So let me explain it for you.

This tattoo in the picture is for my Grammy.

She died in 2014.

It broke me.

I had never experienced loss in such a real way like that before.

I was 21.

Living a life for my dad.

A life of fear, resentment, and high expectation

But all of that changed with this phone call.

“Brooke, Grammy had a stroke at church. She’s in the hospital.”

I responded, “hmm”

“What do I say to that” I asked myself?

Because I couldn’t understand.

I just saw her three months ago.

She was outside raking the leaves.

She was fine then.

Yet now she was hanging by a thread in a hospital all the way in Texas while I was in California?

God just simply claimed her without warning?

I wasn’t given notice?

I felt like a computer giving the circle of death.

I could not compute.

So I put it in a box.

I stored those unprocessed feelings away and decided to continue with my studies.

Understand up until this point, no one important in my life had died before.

Also, I was mocked by my father at a young age for my emotion so I thought bottling it up was the way to live your life.

Fake it till you make it, they say.

So I faked it.

Until I got the next call.

She was dying.

“We’re about to pull the plug, Brooke. Any last words?”

Um how about, “Why did you kill my hero, God?”

Why did you kill the one spark of joy in our family?

She was raspberries in the summer.

And hummingbirds in spring.

She was joy.

And now she was dead.

So I did what any young adult would do.

I fucked the world.

I said, “Fuck religion. Fuck god. Fuck my studies.”

Nothing matters if he’ll just kill the most religious person in your life in fucking church for Christ sakes!

So I fucked everyone.

I swiped right all the way to hell.

I was numb to everything for a year after her death.

Yet somehow my friend Bryan pulled me out.

He took me on a walk and said, “This isn’t you.”

And by that point I knew he was right.

I couldn’t fuck the grief out of me.

I had to face it.

She was gone.

And it wasn’t god’s fault.

It was just life.

Life happens.

So 2014 became a milestone for me after that.

A milestone that says, life is precious.

Remember it.

And when I remember her, I think of hummingbirds.

So that’s why I get tattoos, mom.

Because I want to remember my trauma and salute it for its ability to change me.

I love you.

-B. Ray

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Journal 11

I get it now.

The drinking

The writing

The addiction

It feels good to write intoxicated.

I feel free

Uninhibited

And yet I’m lucky

I don’t have the addiction bug

Like my father

Like my brother

Like all the men in my family

Is it a man thing?

I don’t know

But I’m lucky

I know when to stop

Thank god

Or the devil

For skipping me

I appreciate it.