soul mirror — survivor road

he gazed at his reflection the visage of death hanging over his image empty of worth depression so heavy his body ached with the weight desire to reach out to touch another and be touched in return dominated his existence he touched up each crevice with makeup and gold but nothing could hide the scars […]

soul mirror — survivor road

partials — survivor road

when you know only pieces and scattered at that of a time when things didn’t go so right and then later in life when your guard isn’t up another piece falls into the light and those horrible thoughts from your imagination don’t even come close to what’s real you have to sit back and wonder […]

partials — survivor road

on the precipice

survivor road

he stepped carefully
eyes locked on the other side
to the far side of the narrow ledge
it took all his willpower
to not look down
to not lose himself
in the black abyss
that swirled beneath him
ebony water that waited
for him to slip
then to engulf him in death

another step
arms out
watch the balance
don’t look down
just a little further

progress was slow
against the storm
that tore at his skin
and the wind
that threatened to lift
and throw him
if he could only reach…

get in this house right now young man
it is pouring outside
you’re getting drenched

the boy looked across at his mother
standing on the porch
holding the door open

giggling he jumped
from the fence rail
splashing into the puddle
before running
top speed
into the house
and out of the rain

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as time goes by

Thanks for sharing Marcus

survivor road

too many years chasing rainbows
searching for the pot of gold
answers to the riddles
and the lies that i’ve been told

one after another
people let me down
until my cries of anguish
are the one remaining sound

gloom hangs heavy like a shroud
stealing away my breath
it’s hard to find joy in life
when all I see is death

the child within has pulled away
he lies curled in a ball
unable to find the strength to stand
unwilling to try at all

i have never been one to just give up
to turn away – and yet
after years of trying to remember
i want now to forget

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Second Chances – Chapter 8

Thanks Marcus for sharing Chapter 8 with us.

survivor road

fairly productive weekend.  got a couple small chapters reworked into one that I think is better length.  guess the proof will be in the reading.  at any rate, hope it’s enjoyable.  I think I’m actually starting to get back in the swing of writing.  or at least – REwriting…

8 ~ Subject to Change ~

Jared’s car sat in my drive.  I had not yet left the passenger seat; my last quickly gulped whiskey was starting to burn its way through my system, leaving me somewhat sluggish.  Jared had turned in his seat and was studying me, a gentle look in his eyes.

“Are you ok?  You’re looking flushed.  Thanks again for coming, Paul.  It was nice checking the place out with a friend.”

I stretched languidly, unbuckling my seat belt.  “I had a good time, Jer.  It’s a nice enough place, though might be nicer once the newness wears…

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Second Chances – Chapter 7

survivor road

another relatively short chapter.  someday maybe I’ll manage to balance out my chapter lengths better … more “growing” as an author, I suppose.

7 ~ Charlie’s ~

I stood at the mirror and wondered about the man I was seeing.  Six-foot one, dark hair starting to show grey, brown eyes, and build not too shabby, considering my age and lack of discipline in diet and exercise.  A tan western shirt over blue jeans and black boots, I shuddered for a moment, hearing Annie’s voice, quoting a country favorite as memories flooded in.

“Why’d you come in here lookin’ like that?”

I turned and smiled.  “Too much?”

“Not for here, but I’m not sure I want to take you out in public.”

“Do I look that bad?”  I turned and posed for her, smiling.

“You look that good, love.  If we didn’t have to meet Kathy and Sean I’d take you…

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Second Chances – Chapter 6

Marcus shares Chapter Six from Second Chances. Have a great day.

survivor road

well, if the previous chapter was light on rewrites – this on certainly is not.  UGH – I hate chapters like this – where it feels like there should be more but my brain says there’s too much already.  do I believe myself of my muses?  if I upset them – will they desert me?  ah well – maybe a compromise.  I can’t find anything else “wrong” with it – so here it comes………

6 ~ Back In The Dating Pool ~

True to my word, I called Cheryl the following Monday after work, and we set a date.  That Thursday evening found us sitting beside each other at Gundrie’s, a favorite restaurant for both of us.  Many clandestine meetings had happened here in years past, but the night felt new, different, and alive.  Cheryl was in a deep blue dress, her ears sparkled with tender dangles, outshined only by…

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Second Chances – Chapter 5

Thank you Marcus for sharing with us. M

survivor road

not much of a rewrite here – I must have been more coherent while cranking out the first draft.  takes us a little further into Paul’s makeup – hopefully makes him more ‘real’ to the reader…

5 ~ The Price of a Song ~

It took a few more weeks before Saturdays at the club became a natural part of my week.  I looked forward to the time with Jared, but it was the work out and swim time that truly began the trek toward ‘normality’ for me.  My best friend had a sense of humor that shone like a beacon through the fog of my life, lifting my spirits and guiding me to safe harbor through the shoals of isolation I had surrounded myself with.  So when the phone rang one Friday evening in late April, I figured he was simply he was checking in before our normal Saturday…

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Second Chances – Chapter 4

survivor road

already getting difficult to keep posting.  every fiber in me says this is a worthless venture and I need to just give up.  I used to think New Years was the worst time of year – I’m beginning to think any time where I’m dealing with the past is a LOUSY time of year ;(

anyhoo – chapter 4:

4 ~ Things Best Forgotten ~

“Damn, I don’t believe I grabbed this.”  I sat down on the bench in front of my locker, staring at the swim suit in my hand.

“What’s wrong?”  Jared glanced at me while sliding himself into his suit.  “Looks like perfectly good speedo to me.”

“It is, I suppose.  But I hadn’t planned on bringing a speedo in the first place and in the second place this is the one Annie got me … a few years ago.  Personally, I’ve never figured why since I…

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Second Chances – Chapter 2

Thank you Marcus for sharing with us. Have a great day.

survivor road

not completely sold on the start of this chapter as it relates to the close of the previous one.  should I better specify the later day or is it clear enough by their activity?  not sure.  guess I’ll see if anyone has qualms about how it starts (or anything else, for that matter…)  AND I think it needs a better title, but then – I’m never happy with my own work…

2 ~ Gym Life ~

It only took ninety minutes before I was a jumbled mass of tired, aching muscles.  I finished with the stair climber and headed across the room to find Jared at the free weights bench.  He had stripped off his shirt, sweat glistened like dew on his chest and abs.  I admired his regulated breathing, the pulse of his arm muscles as he raised and lowered the bar.  The man had always taken good care…

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Second Chances – Prologue

Thank you Marcus for sharing your book, I know the followers will love it. M

survivor road

— the prologue of my book ‘Second Chances’.  hope it reads well, I’ve revamped it a couple times – I think it flows now, though it still feels like it’s missing something at the end … I just can’t figure out what.

~ Prologue ~

Annie and I had been married twenty-seven years, three months, twelve days, and fifteen hours.  Then, one cold, misty evening, just after sundown, a dead truck driver shattered my very reason for living.

Yes, dead truck driver, at least that’s what the coroner’s office reported.  Driving down Central Avenue, the business loop through town,  fifty-six year-old Jarl Kipelsky had a fatal heart attack.  Without a driver, his semi crossed the meridian and collided head-on with a forest-green Saturn Astra, driven by the love of my life as she was headed home from the market.

They told me her death was instantaneous – that she didn’t suffer.  As if that bit of useless information…

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busy, busy, busy

survivor road

summer should be a time of fun and relaxation.
summer is when everyone at works takes their vacations, causing those of us who remain to work twice (thrice?) as hard for no extra compensation.  yes, i have vacation time available, and yes, i get to take it.  doesn’t help the rest of the time when i’m here.

depression runs rampant this time of year.  i don’t like the heat – i don’t like the humidity.  i will be happy when the temperature starts dropping.

on the “brighter side of life” – my book has made it thru editing and is now in page layout.  things do move forward.

right now, i’m holding on for the seventeenth of September – for my “vacation” (read time at home doing chores)

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another Monday song

survivor road

“Monday, Monday” … “Rainy Days And Mondays” … “Blue Monday” … “Maniac Monday” … “Monday Morning” … and the list goes on.

you would think in a list this long i wouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that fit today. but there isn’t one. no song about the terrors of the night before – the dreams morphed to nightmares in an unending spiral. spinning faster and faster until the climactic end where i die.

except i don’t die. i never die. that would be too easy.

and if one more person tells me to “just get over it” … i may have to break a life-long habit of non-violence and actually strike out.

yeah – like that would happen.

i just don’t want to be here anymore. i have a book being published in the next 4 months (or so) and even that isn’t enough to lift me out…

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history’s loop — survivor road

for all the right reasons he reached out for all the wrong reasons i lashed out with the best of intentions he tried to understand with the worst of intentions i refused to listen with heartfelt compassion he waited with anger and fury i ignored with careful consideration he thought things through with malicious subconscious […]

via history’s loop — survivor road


hurry, hurry, hurry. step right up … — survivor road

It should not be surprising that I find time is moving faster every day. People start believing (secretly) time is moving fast shortly after they hit 30. After 40 they will admit it. At 50 they will fear it. At 60 … well, 60 is still pretty new to me, but I’d say this is […]

via hurry, hurry, hurry. step right up … — survivor road

what a weird morning

Thank you Marcus, it’s a blessed day in my mind. I hope you feel the love around you. We never stopped believing in you! Hugs & Balloons.

survivor road

A ‘standard’ night.  Fall asleep only to be thrown out of bed by night terrors.  Except last night was different.  I didn’t lose control.  I didn’t drink.  And I didn’t call 911.  I suffered through it.  Yeah – it was hell.  But I WENT THRU IT.  And lived.

This morning is slightly off-kilter.  It’s like my world has been flipped upside down, except that it’s finally right-side up.

I’m not going to try to make sense.  And I’m a little worried about celebrating too much and jinxing myself … but the fact remains.

I faced a demon and lived to tell of it.  Without outside help or self-medication.

Strange day indeed.

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Marcus thank you for sharing this post. Have a great day!!!! Filled with balloons.

survivor road

brotherly love
into cruelty and rape

sisterly affection
into humiliation and pain

school friends
into bullies and shaming

all my life
good has been twisted to bad
until i no longer trust
an offer of help or companionship

my dreams
twist into nightmares
that leave me exhausted
and alone

my world
is white twisted black
or black twisted white
there are no greys
any hope for color
lost in the agony of truth

joy twists to sorrow
and laughter to tears
trust is lost
in the tangles
of my undying past

and my soul remains

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night terrors 101

survivor road

nightmares invade my sleep
and i am once again
five years old
covers are ripped
from my frightened frame
and i shiver
though not from cold

my clothes are torn from me
and i lay still
desperately seeking
the portal of my mind
that shall take me away
until this is over

but in my sleep
there is no safe place
and i relive his brutality
until i awake
screaming for it to stop

and then i weep

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for what it’s worth

Thanks for sharing Marcus. I know your book will help people and be successful. Take care. Melinda

survivor road

looks like i’m going ahead on the “self-published” route with CFP (Christian Faith Publishing) to finish this novel and call it complete.

gonna cost a bit – but who knows – people MIGHT enjoy it …

i just hope i’m not leaving myself open to a lot of hurt and disappointment

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is there?

survivor road

heavy, aching arms move
enough to fall on the arms of my chair

leaden fingers search out the keys
this is taking forever
as i spend more time correcting errors
than actually recording my thoughts

i am so tired
i’m not sure sometimes
how i get to work

walking down the hall
i trip over my own feet
or fall into the wall out of sheer fatigue

my eyes are dry
from lack of sleep

i tell myself if i keep pushing
maybe i’ll reach the place
where i simply collapse
unable to go further
and slip into the bliss
of unconciousness

i have no desire to “end it all”
or to harm myself
it would take too much effort
and i don’t possess the strength or drive

but if someone came to me
offering me a choice of life or no
though my hope
is some inner strength

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Wonder Years

survivor road

Our early teens were wondrous years
Exploration, education, and fun
Whether on horseback in the forest thick
Or fishing near Old Cavern’s Run

And though it hurt when others picked their fights
At least there was us two
Together it seemed to ease the pain
That the guys would put us through

I remember still the times we shAred
In laughter or quiet dreams
It seemed when we were side by side
Our souls where whole and free

Then something changed, as they often do
And you felt a need to belong
To the “in crowd”, the “popular”, those in power
You said it would make you strong

And as you changed personality
Degrading and crawling to their delight
I watched as you drifted further away
Until you were beyond my sight

And when you emerged on the other side
I could not recognize your face
You seemed a different…

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the inheritance

Thank you Marcus for sharing your story with us. You’re stronger than you know. 🙂 and balloons.

survivor road

breeding hate
in its fiercest form
so many acts
deeds done
or things said
starting the seedlings
that slowly entwine my heart
carrying the genetic material
that makes me one of his
his semblance molded into me completely
is what I hate, that which is most shameful

a happening……?

or something within me?

the final breeding ground
for all the betrayal
lack of care
spiteful cruelty
yet there is one thing
most hated
most despised
and most shameful
and every morning
I deal with it anew
as I stand at the mirror
torn between
shaving his face

and slitting his throat

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and the world turns

survivor road

becomes shadow
and shadow
becomes night
until my soul is swallowed
in darkness

every tick of the clock
each moment in time
adds to the weight
that bears down
on my spirit

there are no stars
to dot the sky
no presence to hint
at life
only the relentless
absence of light

my tears are gone
i can shed no more
for there is no purpose
and no relief

the pain is real
the agony suffocates
and annihilates my heart
until i crumble and fall
a lifeless husk

and the world turns

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innocence lost (from my book ‘fragments of me’)

survivor road

echoes of yesterday
mix with vibrations of tomorrow
bringing about the cacophony of today

and in the middle stands the child
hands over his ears

lips parted
in a silent cry
never to be heard

both past and present
sweet and bitter
weave at his feet

and in the chaos of the moment
the innocence is lost to guile
and childhood to Pandemonium


he weeps alone

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Happy Birthday 2018

Thank you Marcus for sharing with us. M

survivor road

so … another year.

the “super moon” hangs in the sky
large and ominous
mocking my existence
daring me to justify
being in its space

every tick of the clock
reminds me
i grow older
more alone
more destitute

after forty-four years
i would think
old memories
would finally die
and leave me

but they are
my one “friend”
true and loyal
ever at my side
reminding me
just how destitute
i truly am

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how loud can you scream

survivor road

i’ve been told my voice carries well.  i suppose that’s just a polite way of saying i’m loud.  that’s ok, i know it’s true – whispering has never come natural to me.  perhaps it’s because as a child i learned first hand just how scary, just how painful secrets can be.  not to say i can’t speak quietly; i just have to work at it.  even my normal speaking voice is metered out; every bit of attention is given to ensure i am not blaring.

yet, even with the tone and strength of my voice, i cannot truly yell.  yes, i can call out to someone, for example, at the park or across a crowded room, but the ability to truly scream is beyond me.  a therapist told me once if i was unable to scream, i probably need to.  i’ve beat pillows and thrown things in private sessions and…

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Thank you Marcus. Have a great day. M

survivor road


There it is. After years of dealing with it – someone has finally given me a name for it.

Cherophobia – fear of happiness, is an attitude towards happiness in which individuals may deliberately avoid experiences that invoke positive emotions or happiness.

“deliberately avoid experiences that invoke positive emotions or happiness”

I knew it wasn’t crowds.  It’s not the business of getting in the car and going somewhere.


… it only gives opportunity to being let down …

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in the morning shadows

Thanks for sharing Marcus, you are stronger than you know. M

survivor road

in the morning shadows
fear extends its claws
and holds me tight
in agony

in the morning shadows
cold descends within
striking bone and sinew
with harsh accuracy

in the morning shadows
panic creeps and slides
taking me unaware
and unprotected

in the morning shadows
memories glide without effort
unbidden and unwanted
until I am awash in turmoil

in the morning shadows
i am defenseless
a child without armor
lost and alone

and i weep
in mourning shadows

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survivor road

will I be loved
for who I am
the good, bad, and indifferent
my writing and compositions
words and melody alike

will I be seen
and heard
recognized as intelligent
(even handsome?)

will someone
accept all that is here
help me forget the past
and live for a future
filled with love and promise

I suppose then
I love who I am
and who I can be
see the good
accept the talent
desire the man
lost in this shell of flesh
waiting on death

so then


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when life becomes worth living

We’re so happy Marcus found a doctor to help with his pain. M

survivor road

i don’t want anyone to get the impression the my life is perfect.  far from it.  but pain is no longer a motivator to give up.  the new prescription of  extended release oxymorphone is actually working.  My pain, though not “gone” – is typically a level 1 or 2 on the infamous 1-to-10 scale.  i’m sleeping again.  say the doctor yesterday and he said i almost looked happy.

sleep is a wonderful thing.  i recommend everyone give it a try.

of course, i’m still jumping through hoops here at work getting authorized to be on a narcotic medication while at work.  i suppose that’s what i get for working at a hospital.

but for all intents and purposes – i am pain free.  or close enough to call it pain free.  and for the days of “break through pain” – i have percocet standing by waiting to help me out.

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struck down … again

survivor road

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to stand back up after being knocked down.

My boss has this thing during staff meetings – everyone has to give a “happy thought”; something they’re happy about that day.

Well, with my depression, i don’t always have one and i refuse to say something lame like “I’m glad I’m alive” (doubly since some days i’m NOT).

My boss dinged me on this during my performance review a couple months ago.  Then this morning, he starts the meeting with his “happy moment”.    And with this big grin he says “And we’ll start with Marc”.

Well today i don’t have a “happy thought”, and i say i don’t.  So he says i can leave the meeting and return to my desk because he only wants people willing to participate.  He humiliates me in front of my co-workers because i won’t bow and kiss his…  well anyway.

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riding the medication roller coaster

You share a frustration so many of us struggle with.

survivor road

Start with percocet.
Stay there for a few weeks.
Increase dose and frequency.
Ride the slow climb up, up, up …
Then dive for the bottom
Where, after four months
They decide you are becoming addicted
And it’s time to drop the med.

That’s ok – there are others – long acting ones

Morphine — allergic

Fentanyl — allergic

honestly there’s a couple others I can’t remember …

New slope – opana (oxymorphone)
Start this next weekend.

Hopefully I can exit this ride with this latest med…

I’m running low on the percocet.

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used – ta – could

survivor road

there was a time
i could pretend
it was the way
things should be
big brother
teaching me
how it was
to be all growed up

i got to hang out
with him and his friends
and maybe be rewarded
with ice cream
or candy
if i didn’t scream
or cry

and that’s how big-brother-love was

after the first time
when i was beat
by our father
when i tried to tell

big boys don’t tattle

it’s weird
but as painful
as horrible as things were
i knew what to expect

any more
i’m lucky if i know
what day it is
and there really isn’t
much to look forward to

i miss the days
that i use-ta-could
accept …


pretend to accept

my life

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that’s just the way it is

survivor road

so i saw the surgeon on my shoulder.  he agreed the bone that was “fixed” after the auto accident in 2003 is now again out of place.  he said he’s surprised they didn’t tell me at the time of the surgery that it happened often.  but now?  now there’s nothing they can do.  if they tried to once-again fasten the bone down in place, there’s a chance it could cause a break in either the bone or my clavicle.

so the prognoses?  chronic pain – level 8-10 – for the rest of my life.

these are the days i am SO glad i got that DNR signed.

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the sweet fragrance of fear

survivor road

in the shadows

ominous and dark
his hands clenching
at his sides

his presence as potent
as the scent of burnt tar
on a summer afternoon

i sit up in my bed
tears streaming
down my face
while my mind remains lost
in the past
crouched in the corner
of the dark, dank basement

i know what he wants
my body hurts
the memories of his abuse
forever frozen
in my muslces

i want so much
to be free –
free of him
of his touch
of his power
of his presence in my mind

keep me safe
i am unable
to protect myself
any longer

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fragmented history

survivor road

It was in my third year
she abused me
And in therapy we’re finding
pieces of three

Two more years she would have me
don’t know how I survived
As I have discovered
pieces of five

We then moved to a new city
a new home – a new state
And for three years my brother
gave me pieces of eight

For two more years torture
from him and his friends
But she left and got married
at least one part did end

… somewhere deep in my mind there hide
pieces of ten

From eleven to fourteen
no memories exist
So here – no new pieces
have been found to resist

Yet I wonder and worry
we’ve unearthed something new
And my world – once more shaken
by pieces
of two

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survivor road

when you know only pieces
and scattered at that
of a time when things didn’t go so right

and then later in life
when your guard isn’t up
another piece falls into the light

and those horrible thoughts
from your imagination
don’t even come close to what’s real

you have to sit back
and wonder a bit
was it worth all the effort to feel

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grievances over grief … or the lack thereof

survivor road

i’m starting to get flack from my siblings over my not attending my eldest sister’s memorial next month.  i don’t know why anyone is surprised – i haven’t communicated with any of them since the sperm-donor’s funeral.

she was perpetrator numero uno.  the one that so shattered my defences and my self image that i was easy prey for all that followed.

there is a post ‘dedicated’ to her here:  a sister’s love

i refuse to feel guilty.  i refuse to be manipulated yet once more for her sake, much less by any of them.  it was not MY doing.  i was innocent then, i am innocent now.

so why do i have this nagging fear i will drive out there in four weeks?

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the best kind of news

survivor road

what with “fake news” and “alternate facts” – I thought I’d take us back a bit to an older phrase…

no news is good news

if there was ever a more ambiguous statement – I’m not sure what.  Taking it to task, I try emphasis in different points

NO news is good news

ok – so, there is no such thing as “good news”.  To be honest, this is where I live most of my life.  Any news I hear, especially if it somehow impacts me – you can just be that it is NOT “good news”.  Plain and simple – NO news is good news.

no news is good news

I suppose this is akin to “if the dragon is asleep, there are no worries in the village” – which is my boss’s way of dealing with things.  If he’s not complaining, then everything is fine and I’m doing…

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and the beat(ing) goes on…

survivor road


It’s been over 50 years since I crouched behind the boxes in that dark, dank basement, shivering as much from fear as from cold.  Curled into as small a place as I could, wishing to be even smaller, hoping against hope that this time he wouldn’t find me.

But he did.  He always did.  And the punishment for running and hiding would be far worse than use usual treatment, but there was no fighting that need, that all-consuming need to escape.  And that was only heightened when his friends were involved.

I can still hear their taunts, their horrible laughter as they humiliated me, teased and tortured me.  I can feel the rough, decaying concrete on my palms and knees as I crawled away after they were done.  Finding a corner to curl into, drag my clothes back on over bruises and scrapes.

And now, a…

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the curse of the self-defeating prophet

survivor road

for as long as i can remember, i have self-sabotaged.  start a project and make it fail.  or just fail to finish.  anything that can prove my lack of worth.

it cropped up a few months ago on; a site for aspiring authors.  members there share their work and comment/critique each other’s work.  i had a few finished books, several poems, and was getting nice reviews.  too nice.  i couldn’t handle it so i pulled all my files and left the site.

my latest observation is here – my blog.

ever since being asked to share my posts on another website i have suffered from an ever-decreasing motivation to write.  what possible value could anything i write have for anyone?  there is no way i can say anything that will help anyone else.  after all, i can’t even help myself.

so if you’re one of the people who have…

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my recent visit to hell

survivor road

saturday night.  actually i guess sunday morning – 2am.  get up for my usual middle-of-the-night run to the bathroom, return and start to lie down when it hits.  i’m not sure how even to describe it.

i’ve had panic attacks before, that’s not what this was.  this was fear.  unadulturated fear.  of myself.  i knew i was going to harm myself.  i knew it as sure as i knew my own name.  and i was petrified.  i couldn’t close my eyes.  i couldn’t relax out of the terror of what i might do to myself.

i paced the floor.  i prayed.  i cried.  i died a thousand deaths trying to escape this new demon.  i called a hotline and talked to someone for an hour, finally calming to the point of being rational and understanding i was still in control and i did not have to hurt myself.

i fell…

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