Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sweet Sixteen.

I guess I felt robbed.
I mean, turning 16 is a huge deal,
Or maybe I just wanted it to be.

I look back on it now,
and I wish it would have been a regular night.
I wish she wouldn't have been her,
I wish she wouldn't have tried to be sweet. 
She could have just been one...
but being both was too much for me.

Mom was going to stop by for just a second,
long enough to wish me "Happy Birthday,"
watch me open the presents she got me,
and see me off on my very first date. 

She was late. 

And high as a kite.

I sat at the table and opened each gift,
becoming more and more angry with each tear of the paper.
Why had she gotten me everything I asked for?
How had she found this limited edition album?
What kind of game was this?

She sat across from me,
with a goofy drunken smile-
knowing that she had given me the perfect birthday.

I stared at her,
as tears welled up in my eyes 
I clenched my jaw and through my teeth said
"this isn't fair."

Helping her into the passenger seat of her car,
I buckled her seat belt, 
double checked to make sure she was completely in,
then slammed her door as hard as I could. 

As I drove her home-
my knuckles whitened from clenching the wheel,
Mom began to cry. 
She sobbed that she thought she got me what I wanted.
She cried apologies for not being enough.
She tearfully questioned my reaction.

I concentrated on the snowy roads.

Pulling into her driveway,
the tires spun on the thick ice. 
I turned off the car,
helped Mom out of the car and into the house,
still not saying a word.
Walking into the kitchen
I stood at the counter,
feeling my heart pound harder and harder
as I stared at the open prescription bottles on the stove.
I refused to cry.
I refused to yell.
I swallowed the anger.
I ignored the pain.
I waved goodbye,
and walked out the door.

I walked home in the snow storm,
feeling the tears nearly freeze on my face.
I stopped and punched a snow bank
 I guess to somehow to tell the universe
That I knew my mom had tried,
 but that she somehow had missed the point.

Friday, September 5, 2014


            More than anything, it’s the not knowing that eats at me.  Not knowing what she actually said, what I actually said, verses what I desperately hope we said to each other. Not knowing what happened. And now… not knowing what to do.
It was a Thursday evening when I found my mother lifeless on her bed. She was pale, ice cold, and bruised. I stood in her room screaming and shaking her bed for what felt like hours, turned out to only be about 15 minutes. Eventually I called 911, and they urged me to “not touch ‘the body’” and to “immediately go outside.”  Scared and confused I still managed to be offended at how impersonal the dispatcher was when referring to my mother. I hung up the phone and quickly tucked my mother in, trying to make her look more “presentable” for the strangers in uniform that were now on their way.
            I went outside and paced in front of the house crying and screaming, waiting for the police to show up. My cries were louder as I passed my mother’s window, knowing that I was still secretly hoping to wake her, that possibly she had only been in a deep sleep. Eventually the first policeman showed up. Grabbing his hand as we walked back into the house to show him where my mother was. As we walked back out of the house, I turned to the officer and whispered “she’s my only mom.”
            Eventually family slowly began to show up and congregated on the front lawn. I was able to stand and walk around occasionally, but for the most part, I just stayed crumpled on the lawn outside of my mother’s window. As I laid there in silence, listening to my family frantically make arrangements with the mortician, and the police declare that there was no foul play, I tried to remember each detail of my last night with my mother, which had only  been two days prior.
            This is where the first wave of unknown began. I sat up and continued crying, but now hysterically. I couldn’t remember if when I had said goodbye, I had also said “I love you.” My chest got tight, I was shaking, my body felt stiff and weak at the same time; all I could say was “I don’t know what I told her.”
            The funeral came and went; it was lovely, emotional, and very pink. She would have adored it.
            Roughly a month after the burial, I received a package in the mail containing my mother’s autopsy report. I was finally going to know why she didn’t wake up. I was finally going to know why she left without saying goodbye. So much was going to be resolved. My grieving was now going to have direction.
Cause of Death: Undetermined.
There’s my second wave of unknown. She wasn’t a picture of health, but she shouldn’t have died, not yet. So what was it? What did they miss? How do I move on from something I have no answer to? How am I supposed to act normal and under control when I have a heart palpitation? What if she died from heart failure? Or a brain aneurysm, she had headaches all the time. But they checked all that. Everything came up clean. I get nervous about the sniffles, and petrified by the stomach flu. I’ve become my family doctor’s healthiest frequent flyer, and my therapist’s most self aware hypochondriac.
And finally the third wave, being a single female in her mid twenties, with no parents, depressed, and scared. It’s been four years since I checked my mother’s frozen wrist for a pulse, and I still don’t know what to do without her. I panic during break ups, who am I supposed to call? I cry when I get a raise, who is going to care? I walk into classes pretending to have picked a major, when I really have no idea who or what I am.
It’s the not knowing that eats at me. It encompasses every fear I have since I lost her: Did she know I loved her? What happened? And what if I can’t do all this without a mom? There are so many things in this world that each of us will have questions about that will never get fully answered. There are times when these answers feel like they hold the key to our happiness, our direction, or our closure. I guess this is where growing up comes into play… the day that we realize the answers will never come, and we will simply have to live without.

Profile pictures.

I mean...
he did always want a brunette, 
and not just that,
but so many other things that weren't me.

I had never been with someone,
whose shame was so visible
Not a guilt ridden shame,
but an actual embarrassment of me.

Now so quickly he's doing it all,
all the things I wished he'd do with me,
We were both so scared,
Him to commit
Me... that he'd walk away.

I wonder if she knows everything,
I wonder why I did.

Clean Getaway.

There is just so much out there,
so many songs,
and books,
all dedicated to this one topic...


Searching for it.
Finding it.
Having it.
Losing it.
Missing it.
Moving on.

No matter who you are,
you're affected, majorly by this...
...this idea...
...this feeling...
...this desire...
...this need...

I've genuinely been in love.
Truly honestly wholey
mind body spirit and soul
been in love.

a few times.

And I hope I never do it again.

you see,
I never move on.

 I've loved 2 men.

1 is married.
1 is in a relationship.

My heart aches for both of them.

In the purest way possible...
I'm happy for them I suppose,
I'm happy they're happy.
That's what love is right?

...I just wanted them to be happy...
...with me...

I've gotten really good at numbing myself though,
like most of us do.
I'm great with first dates,
I seem very dedicated to school and studying,
I've even convinced myself I'm moving soon.

I guess that's my clean getaway.
....good for me....

Monday, June 23, 2014

All Me.

We'll sit in his office,  
my therapist of course, 
Talking of all the things you've done,
and what it's made me become.

On a morning we're apart,
You over here, and me there.
At home, you fulfilling your itch
the doc, tying my last stitch

They gather to watch me drown
your innocents that you've proclaimed
has only left me to blame.

We've all watched me lose my mind,
you helped it first hand,
You did your best, but I was lost
Lets end now and cut your costs.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


At age 11, 
sleepless nights had become a regular occurrence.
So, my mom wasn't surprised when she heard a knock on her door at 1 am.
She was surprised when I opened the door and made eye contact with her.

I hadn't started crying yet,
I knew it was coming though. 
I had been pacing the hallway outside her door for a while,
debating on whether to wake her,
or simply try and go back to bed.

Finally I paused in front of her door,
took a deep breath, 
and tried to think of what I was going to say.
I still had no idea what to say.
I couldn't find the words to express what I was feeling,
I just knew it was intense.
I reached my hand up and knocked slowly, but heavily on her door.

A sleepy
"Come in"
I opened the door,
right as she reached over to turn on her lamp.
I took a step forward into her room,
still desperately searching for the right words.

As I walked in and stood at the base of her bed,
I locked eyes with her
and stopped breathing.
This was absolutely terrifying.
And I know she saw the horror in my eyes
as she lunged forward at me screaming my name.

I tried desperately to remember how to make my lungs move,
I tried to contract or loosen my throat.
My body began to get weak and stiff at the same time
  my mom grabbed my shoulders and shook me.

My lungs finally inhaled like I had been drowning
and my body nearly went limp onto the bed.
My mom helped me lie down
and asked, understandably panicked
"What was that?"
I looked at her
honestly surprised that I wasn't crying
and said 
"I forgot how to breath"

I fell asleep within minutes of laying next to her.
As bad as our relationship was,
I usually fell asleep quickly when near her.

The next morning,
neither of us talked about what had happened.
Actually... we didn't even talk.
I think it freaked both of us out
She watched her daughter physically manifest emotions she couldn't express in words,
her daughter who had always used words,
now, it seemed, didn't have them.
I got ready for school,
and to my surprise when I came up stairs,
she still wasn't ready,
but on the phone.
I knew she was talking about me.
About her crazy emotional daughter.
I remember the air of shame that felt almost palpable.

She took me to school.
Dropped me off.
Still not saying anything.

School was ok.
School was never good, 
you needed to be smart for it to be good.

My teacher slipped me a note to stay in during recess,
this was a normal thing,
So I didn't think much of it.
I knew I was about a million assignments behind.
I figured I was just being disciplined.
Again... not unusual. 
The bell rang for recess,
and everyone went outside,
except me.
I watched my friends eagerly grab stuff to play with,
I watched with gut wrenching envy as I saw my classmates smiling and laughing.

My teacher,
Mrs. Hansen,
asked me to come over to her desk.

I walked over to her,
thinking about the smiles and laughter,
and that in comparison to my night the night before.
Mrs. Hansen looks at me,
and with a concerned look she says
"Your mom told me you forgot how to breathe last night?"
I nodded.
She asked for an explanation.
I shrugged.
She asked again.
I shrugged again.

At an obvious loss she looked down at her hands,
that I was already watching intensely,
We stood there in silence,
as she played with her wedding ring,
and I listened to the laughter and squeals of my classmates at recess. 
 She quietly said
"Hillary, I'm worried"
I shrugged and softly said
"I think I'm tired"
She exhaled, almost in an agitated way and began to say
"yeah, your mom has said you don't sleep well at night,
you should really think about..."
I cut her off,
sternly looking her in the eyes,
"No. I. Am. Tired."

I sat down and started crying.
she put her hand softly on my arm,
I looked back in her eyes and through trying to hold back my sobs
and whispered
"I'm just so tired. when does it stop?"

That was the first time I realized what that engulfing emotion was.
And the first time I recognized pity in someones eyes.
And when I realized there was no answer to
"when does it stop?"

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Dating at my age in Utah is humbling.

Not humbling in the sense that I'm sure you're thinking though.
No, I don't have much shame for being single.
I know I'm "still so young."
I know there's "no rush"
It'll happen when it will happen and that's cool with me.

(look at me... accepting God's timing.)

It's humbling in the sense that most guys I date 
are late twenties,  early thirties
 by the second or third, sometimes even the first date
 it gets brought up that recently, 
they "dodged a bullet"

This means that they were serious with a girl,
something happened,
and she went "crazy"

Whether he needed space and she broke down,
Or in a fight she acted "dramatic,"
Or worse,
she was damaged from her past and was still dealing with it.

but man.
did he dodge that bullet.
it was a narrow miss,
and she could have destroyed his life,
But luckily, he made it out!

I. hate. this. conversation.

This conversation is gut wrenching to me.
Not because I don't agree with the guy,
it probably wasn't a good relationship,
but I have been a bullet too. 

I listen to them describe these horrendous sences. 
  These acts of complete hysteria,
and I calmly listen and think,
"Have we dated? I've done all of that"

Ex boyfriends have "dodged" me. 
 I've cried in desperation as someone has needed space.
I've gotten mean in fights.
and we all know I'm still walking around with pain from my past.

I guess I shouldn't care,
and yet I cringe at the idea of my ex's talking about me like that.
I showed them that side of me
because at one point I felt safe with them,
I trusted them,
some I even loved. 

But them seeing me at my worst,
or simply my lowest,
now turns me into a thing that kills?

I struggle hearing guys talk about the 
"red flags"
of their past relationships.

Why are tears warning signs?
Why are disagreements scary?
How are you dealing with your past so well?

 Why is being what I am,
and feeling what I do,
why/how does that turn me into an object (or bullet) at the mercy of circumstance (or gun),
set, aimed, and only purpose is to destroy?

Better word choice gentlemen.