Monday, January 28, 2013

Aftermath Present

I've done some crazy things in desperation—
Told strangers by voice mail I wanted to marry them—
But I never did anything quite like this,
Your doubled-down Gaslight Nurse Ratched by proxy,
A letter to my parents how you think there's something wrong with me
(Or The HR Move as it is known more formally).

Such a neat parlor trick makes my job rather easy
‘Cos it hips everyone you’re now indeed bat-shit crazy,
But a part of me still wonders why you’d reach out this way
(Instead of answering my letters, say, with more than innocuous notes
To buy more time for your ransom post), thinking it would float
If you pretend that I'm the one who filed for divorce, that my actions
Through insinuation's twist would show need of your supervision.
Well I've learned a thing or two about the affliction game;
I’m aware, for example, the difference between eccentric and insane
Is the hair.

And all is fair in love and hair, but there were signs of this in hindsight,
Like when my mother quipped I was the starter child
They should have thrown right back;
I should have known you’d take to that
Like yeast takes to sugar
Creating diagnoses for your cure.

And it’s not like this hasn't happened before;
Like the time you created the deception
Of wanting to go to the couples counselor
So you could have your very own psychiatric intervention
With terms you’d learned like “dissociation disorder”
The S word, “schizophrenia,“ “borderline personality.”
I’m mightily glad paranoia wasn't thrown into the hopper
For I saw at that moment conspiracy around me everywhere.
The people I tell this to, their jaws drop and eyes water,
They can’t believe I didn't leave you and sue the therapist then and there,
But you always stayed so calm and cool, you always held your ground
No matter how I frowned or made the articulation of violations sound
Of boundaries, love and professional ethics that went down,
Your mind was always clear, your heart was always good
And all you ever really said by way of apology
Was that you were understood so poorly.

You are dangerous, my love,
Is this not enough to shame you?

Or the time you kicked me out of bed for good because I needed "therapy"
But once again the therapist said that's not the way it works, this remedy,
You’re supposed to learn to talk together, but you felt so "unsafe" near me
Such a plan was a “deal-breaker” for you, we had separate work to do
And I was not allowed to know of yours except some self-serving clues,
Just as you must stay informed at every turn of all of mine.
It was a lovely scheme, coerced therapy for the blood line,
My son and my daughter, most of my family,
With no commission at all for your trouble of suggestion
As long as your hand could stir up the slurry
Without actually spending a dime or entering a session.
And what a detective of DSM-5
As you went through drawers, emails, closets to find
Anything to make me a sinner
Which was anything that made me alive
To possibilities other than your medicine
That was always pending, still in R&D, forever undefined.
You shared some parts of psychic charts
Of how I chopped off your head in other lifetimes
Or my unconscious mind-set of abusive catastophizing
So that any correctly conditioned behavior on my part
Could be dismissed by your confidential report
Just as any expression of love no matter how sincere
Could come with an agenda, a hidden malodor
Of the dark toxic sludge at the center.

This was all one big secret—
Should I be afraid that it isn't anymore?

It was not 'til I discovered, house empty of your things,
You'd left for me like untied apron strings
A dossier carefully packaged and placed, your contortions
Of my loving heart in guilt-based, web-paste apportions,
The horn of your final diagnosis, with eager underlines
Of all the psychotic symptoms you saw in me, defined
On the side in neat and helpful annotation,
I as always the vampire and you the heroine
(Even this verse is a worse addiction of course than heroin).

You've trained me so your notes now promise nothing but it's up to me,
Words on accusatory edges, heart on arm's length sleeve.


When I put my career on hold to save your life
After you'd successfully refused as my dependent wife
To move with me to my new job in Arizona for a long, hostile year
And ended up too sick and helpless to remain angry or bitter,
You claimed your friends were outraged that you picked me up at all
From the airport. This was abuse, you said of me, plain and simple.
I cried how much of a heel I was, even though by then the news had hit
You were moving back to Arizona and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

So it was that everything you did that didn't feel right
Became my fault.

Now I see it’s not your pepper spray that made me giddy
And I guess I wasn't fazed the times you tased me
For trying to occupy my own reality,
‘Cos when I sacrificed for you my sanity
It was all in the “why is she doing it?” my pin-point deadly
Weakest link: the lure of getting in your head.

From there it was only a step I knew
To owning all you say and do
And that there was no pleasing you
So my days were all apologized through
For the me I saw inside your eyes
That never measured up to actual size;
I almost wanted it enough
To answer all your broken cries,
I almost to the end believed
That all you said about me weren't lies.

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