Posted in Reflections

Cat calling

The horns would honk

The whistles would blow

And the men would stare.

It started when I was fourteen

Walking down the street

in Sacramento.

I felt the attention.

Part of me liked it,

I’m not gonna lie.

But then part of me also felt scared

I was being sexualized and I didn’t even know what that meant.

But it kept happening.

I’d walk

And they’d drive by.

For years this went on

When I was a kid.

It was weird

But it became normal.

And now as a grown adult,

It stopped.

Which some would say, thank god.

But in my fucked up head

I’ve been conditioned to think

“Am I not beautiful anymore?”

Whick makes me wonder

How any woman survives puberty

Unblemished

When they’re taught as children

That only their looks are worth attention.

Instagram : @harleyray.blog

Posted in Relationships

Road trip thoughts

The thing I like the most about being in a “long term” relationship. Haha “long term”. It has been 2.5 years. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s all I got so fuck off. Anyways, the thing I like the most about it is the reliability. I have tested this through and through and I know without a doubt that this relationship is reliable.

We are two people who can sit in a car for five hours and say nothing to each other.

We are completely content with the silence.

We don’t rely on each other for entertainment. We just float in our own thoughts and once in a while touch each other’s knee for a love check-in.

It is pretty bad ass.

It’s not awkward or weird.

It’s still.

And as introverts, we thrive in the stillness.

And to be able to rely on the stillness with him is probably the best gift he could give me.

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

I escaped into your belonging

When I was a girl all I wanted to hear was, “I support you.”

I wanted to be trusted with my ideas.

I wanted to be heard.

Instead, I was silenced.

I was bullied.

He would talk over me.

Ignore me.

Mock me.

Then when I would start to crumble he would throw in a last jab,

“Why are you crying?”, he’d sneer.

The patronizing was the final straw.

I retreated.

I stopped trusting.

I stopped crying.

I built a wall around my heart because if I couldn’t trust family, who could I trust?

I couldn’t even trust me.

For years I was bullied along with my sister and mother.

I thought it was normal.

I even dated men who were bullies.

Because I thought that was all I was worth.

Until I met you.

And everything changed.

You were the light I needed.

You were this glimpse of another reality.

One full of joy and kindness.

Without insecurity.

Without pain.

So I jumped.

I escaped into your belonging.

But unfortunately, with my jump came my pain.

My trauma.

What I thought I escaped, I actually dragged with me.

And now you are seeing it unraveling and the girl who laughed at all your jokes is drowning with the sharks and you can’t throw a life raft.

I’m sorry, babe.

But these sharks are mine and I can’t keep being rescued.

I have to learn how to survive with them on my own.

I have to do the work.

And maybe one day, with enough love, my sharks can turn into dolphins.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Holding space for other’s pain

My sister emailed.

She is still in pain.

My choice to block her on every platform broke her heart.

She feels betrayed.

I know the feeling.

Because that’s why I blocked her.

I felt she took his side instead of mine and I was enraged.

After all this time, how could she?

But maybe I am mistaken.

Maybe I assumed incorrectly.

I tend to do that when I’m angry.

Assume the worst.

Blame everything on you

Because of course it’s not me.

So her email.

Her pain.

Feeling alone.

Again, I know the feeling.

When I moved from California to North Carolina when I was 23, I felt alone.

The only people I knew was

Me, myself and I.

And to top it off, my friend Teddy, who I was very close to at the time, stopped talking to me because his new girlfriend didn’t trust our friendship.

I don’t think he realized how painful that decision was for me.

I cried immediately when he told me we couldn’t talk anymore.

I sobbed realizing I was alone.

I was so utterly alone.

I had just moved across the country and I had no one.

All I had was my work.

And my mom.

I would call her everyday

During lunch.

Just because I needed to hear a familiar voice.

So I do understand my sister’s pain.

And I do understand I acted rashly in my anger.

And I apologized for what I did.

But I don’t expect it to go back to normal.

I’m not that naive.

I understand I cut a deep wound in her heart.

And since I have my own wounds, I know they don’t heal quickly or even smoothly for that matter.

I feel all I can do is just wait and hold space for her pain.

Because isn’t that what I would want if I were in her shoes?

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Being jobless

Man, what a ride.

I feel like I’ve experienced every emotion known to human kind.

I was first down.

Then further down.

I felt the instant tears of rejection on my face.

I could feel my heart seizing.

I couldn’t breathe.

I felt like they had broken up with me.

All I kept thinking was, josh was right.

I felt betrayed.

How could they do this to me?

I felt worthless.

And then in that moment I realized I finally could relate to others who lost their job.

Finally I could feel their tears.

Finally I could feel their fears.

I was one of them.

And it brought me such compassion.

And now a month later all I want to say is thank you.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to feel this pain.

For without it, how could I relate?

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

Affirmation #3

My courage is shelter.
I never thought about it before, but it makes sense.
My spirit seeks shelter in order to feel safe just as I seek shelter with Joshua in order to feel safe.
And I have discovered this is a universal truth.
We cannot grow into our full potential if we do not feel safe.
And yet safety is so over looked.
When I was a child, I always felt safe with my mother. She comforted me from nightmares. She ran the tub when I had late night accidents. She protected me from my dad’s rage. She did everything a good mom should.
But as I grew up, I pushed her away.
My teenage mind could not relate any longer. And I became secretive and manipulative. Until one day I met a boy. A boy I loved. A boy I felt safe with. A boy who was kind and gentle.
And I grew with him.
I started telling him my pain and he would tell me his. And we would cry together. And I started to believe I was not alone in my suffering as his dad was abusive too.
So that was the beginning of finding my courage, but that courage took feeling safe first.
Which is why safety or shelter should not be over looked.

It is vital to our growth.
And sometimes it takes others to remind us we are brave.
And that is okay too.

Posted in My Poetry

Morning giggles

I see words like morsels

Little nibble nibbles

I taste their colors

Their exotic tendencies

They try to play coy with me

Because they know I can’t resist

But what can I say?

I’m a hungry writer looking for her next bite.

Because momma’s gotta eat.

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

I am part of all. I belong.

I am part of the human race and therefore I should defend and love all humans. However, the second part, “I belong” is a harder one to feel. But Brene Brown said it perfectly in an interview when she said, “At the end of the day, I belong to me. ” What she meant by this, is at the end of the day, you have to stay true to you.

And it is so fascinating how alot of us share this feeling and think we are alone in it. When in actuality, ALOT OF US feel it, which means there is community in feeling like we don’t belong.

But the beautiful thing is that once we talk about it with each other, we blow that fucking lie right open. Because we do belong! We may not belong in our biological family or school or church or city, but we belong to the world. And isn’t that greater? Isn’t that more beautiful? Isn’t that more powerful?

We belong to the world, the human race and ultimately ourselves.

And we are not alone.

Posted in Victory Over Verbal Abuse

I’m a writer too.

I remember when I was a girl, I use to play in the mud. I would grab it slowly and let it drip.

Drip.

Drip.

Until it built a piled city on my leg.

And I would repeat this

Again

Again

So focused and clear with my intention.

I wanted to create.

I wanted to play.

But you took this away.

You said my play was just a hobby.

You said no one would pay me to play.

And so I listened.

And with a tuck of my hand, I shoved my play into my pocket.

I didn’t know then, that you were scared.

Scared I wouldn’t graduate.

Scared I wouldn’t find a job.

Scared I’d turn out like “them”.

I didn’t know then, that what you were making me do was live the life you failed to.

Posted in Being Vulnerable

Dandelions

Your are not entitled to happiness.
If you felt happy at every moment of the day, how the hell would you be able to relate to people? You need pain in your life so that you can relate to others. Without it, you’re just a big ball of fluff with no sustenance.
In essence, you’d be a dandelion.