Do You Love Your Brother?

                 He was my everything. I followed him around like a shadow. He colored my world. I remember being so small that the only thing I saw was the lumpy sculpture of the grey-beige carpet. Seeing lego blocks scattered, assuming no order- except the order his hands placed them in. Deepest brown eyes. Happy eyes that loved me.

                 Time passes, now I stand. Lines on the kitchen wall, his lines higher. His hands stronger. His laugh: magic. We shared tub time, I wanted a dingle too. Like his. I wasn’t made right. No more baths. I make a mess, he is blamed. His eyes don’t shine as much.

                    Mommy is gone now, work calls her late at night, all night. Dad is tired, busy, tired. He is there for me, ever watching, my big brother. Hand burnt on fried bologna, his eyes are angry. I ruined his time with his friends. Now I am “little sister”, said like swear word. Gets his first dirtbike, takes me for rides. Races-I cheer. Gets run over-I cry. Dad hits him-I cry. Mom hits him- I cry: “don’t hit my brother”. I cry.

                      I am taller, boobs now. Molested by old man, he won’t talk to me now. Lose my virginity, he won’t talk to me now. Screwing his friends, he won’t talk to me now. He stands up for me when I am mistreated- I stay with the boyfriend, he won’t talk to me now. I do drugs with his friends, he won’t talk to me now. I am school whore… he won’t talk to me ever. He leaves me. I don’t cry anymore. Moves away. I don’t cry anymore. Just do more drugs.

                        I leave home, leave state, leave reality, leave parents, try to leave addiction. Travel 2000 miles. Come home, steal money, go to grandma’s steal money. get job, steal money. Dad retires, steal his money. Parents send me to rehab- big waste of money, detox, money, rehab, money. He does not talk anymore. I meet convict, habit-offender. He tells me not to go. I don’t listen, I go. Get beaten, get stabbed, get shot at- can’t go home: he was right. How can I admit, he was right?  I suffer, pay my penance. Bad husband goes to prison. I come back  to family- he talks to me now.  I adore him again.

                        I get sober, get saved, all love, no hate. He gives me job, so now we talk. I tell him about my love for God, Something changes: he doesn’t talk anymore,  his wife:doesn’t talk anymore,  my nephew doesnt talk anymore. My Mom loves God, tells him. Something changes: he doesn’t talk to her anymore. She gets sick, he doesn’t come, doesn’t talk anymore. I love her, stay with her, she dies. He doesn’t come, he doesn’t talk, he doesn’t mourn, he doesn’t help, he doesn’t love. I cry.

                         Our father was mean, now he is sick, he doesn’t talk, doesn’t call. I need help, beg for help. he says no, never.  He doesn’t talk, doesn’t come, doesn’t love. I cry. Daddy has 6 months, I am here, in pain, sad, alone. He and his wife and his child, don’t talk.  I call, I beg. He doesn’t call, he doesn’t come, he doesn’t help. Dad doesn’t cry, not anymore. Neither do I, not anymore. He doesn’t either.   Or does he?

                            I hurt, I cry, I am angry, I am sad. But I remember when I loved. I remember when I cried, I remember when I hugged his lanky, dark haired, dark eyed beautiful self. When his eyes protected me. When I cried,”don’t hit my brother.” I cry, and love him, 

                                  now.

The Mirror

my heart looks for you

under handmade afghans…

in the kitchen…

in your seat.

always smoking your

deadly viceroy.

little did i know

they would steal you away.

your son wanted you to

do what you could not:

quit.

so he cut you loose

from his twisted heart.

but not me

i bound you to me

with chains of

suffocating

the mirror...
the mirror…

love.

if i hear your voice

it’s because i speak you,

i move you,

i do you.

it’s how i keep you alive.

“mother, how could you leave me?”

staring back from the glass

you are not really gone.

i am.

Whirlwind Wednesday

I enjoy alliteration, as you can see in much of my writing. Using words that all start with the same letter: Misty mountain’s mystical majesty, alone, alive, above the silver sea…  That is an excerpt of a poem I wrote in 7th grade. It was lost in the move from the northeast to Florida, an entire box of all my journals, poetry and artwork up to that year, 1983.

I stopped searching for it long before the call came from the moving company, asking if we had lost a box after that trip. Of course we had lost a box, but Father took the call, oblivious to the missing silver ware, a wooden carved hippo from Africa, and a plaster bust of a beautiful male negro, as well as the cardboard box of all my writing.

Writng poetry, drawing, journaling became an outlet for my isolation. I reached out with pencil and pen to an imaginary person who was always present for me- not waving me away, or shushing me because her favorite program was on. The recipient of my artistic efforts loved me, would never laugh, and especially would not compare my art to their own that they had done when they were my age.(And done better, of course…) No, my friend was so trustworthy, I could let my fancies fly out of me onto page after page. No subject too shocking for her to read, and only love in return. The person I imagined really saw me.

I think that she (my reader) is probably kind of like another personality, or something. When the greatest traumas in my life have occured, the healing comes from my written words -blood spilling onto paper, tears saturating the pages. I used to always write in my bed, falling asleep on the notebook, waking with writing instruments imprinted in my flesh like sheet wrinkles. I have not been able to see where I end ( and where “reader” begins) a couple of times in the past years-  since my mother’s death. I used to think my “reader” was her, but she is not.

There were times over the years that my poems are prayers, my journal trying to plead unto the face of God. Maybe He would see my pain, see the real me inside who did not commit crimes, did not like to hurt people. In my journal there are entrys that end with an Amen. Now, years after I began writing I believe He not only reads my diary, but also my heart. My blue heart. Tired of the fight at times (like now),  late at night when the wet overcoat of pain slips on.

Then there are times when my voice calls out to Dear Reader to soar with me- to a paradise of hopes, color, light and strength. To fly over oceans of deep velvet blue, the stars reflecting as if candles were glowing under the water. I see these things in my mind, these  places I’ve been.  Once I was stolen away in a boxcar from Tuscon to Yuma, with the wild mountain brush flying  by as I watched: The canyons, deep clefts and crags in the rock, where all my gunfighters hid out in my dreams. I was one, I was that free spirit, and with my pen and paper I will always be.

Come fly with me!!Dream Of Freedom, c.1986S.T.martin

Long day, well lived?

I am really tired tonight, but I doubt that sleep will come. it rarely does when I am manic. And right now, I am. Very. I have been up since early this morning, my day spent in a whirlwind of caring for everything and everyone but myself. I feel like I am doing the things I want to do, I feel better if every surface around me is clean, neat, sparkling. I feel good if my hands, face, teeth are clean… sparkling. Tonight it was the dogs, even though my back was screaming, I felt good… they are now clean, sparkling.
I am in blazing needles of agony at this moment, my bones cry out to be stretched out- but I want my new blog to be just right, pretty, well written…sparkling.
I have made the comment before- to myself mostly- everyone else brushes it off as a joke- that it is EXHAUSTING to be me. I suppose they haven’t experienced being Bipolar. I love my mania, then I have myself. I try so hard to keep the crash at bay, wishing my frenzy would really work this time… maybe if I just run fast enough, the depression won’t catch me.

But it always does… maybe not today?
I will try to lie down now, some poison medicine to make me rest…I know I must take it, so my muscles can heal, but my mind fights at the very vessel that carries it around! Oh my…

baring it all…

I have been keeping a journal since 1976, but I’m a little behind the curve on blogging. I am not quite sure how to do this, or how it will turn out. However, I love to learn, and understand that I will make mistakes in the process. I’m not sure that everyone feels this way,
I see many people in the news who have trouble admitting they were wrong. So much trouble that they have to resort to shooting someone, or injuring someone to prove their rightness. When I was in high school in the late 70’s, in a large suburb, none of my peers ever thought about bringing weapons to school. And I was one of the “burnouts”, so I knew almost all the bad kids. If anyone had a weapon it was a pocket knife on a martial-arts type weapon. And these were never used to hurt anyone, just to show off with.
But I turned to drugs and alcohol, and I also turned violent. When I left public school and my addiction progressed, I took pleasure in fighting. I enjoyed being mean to people who were different than myself. I was ignorant and cruel, and predjudiced because it was popular with the gang I hung out with. But inside my gut, I was sick of myself. I had an inner voice that was telling me to stop hating, to stop doing immoral things. Over the years I squashed this voice, I drown it own, I drank it into silence. I tried suicide more than once to shut the voice up completely, but I was (thankfully) unsuccessful.

To help you to understand who I am, and how I became this person, I would like to share various life-shaping incidents with you. I want to try, through sharing my experiences, to help you readers identify and shape your own life’s journey, and to do this with less fear. I do not want to preach, and I absolutely do not suggest or recommend any sort of health treatment, or suggest how one should live. I do want to entertain, to excite, to rouse you with my writing. I hope I do not bring back sad memories to anyone, but in this blog I will share my experiences with the loss of loved ones, so please be forewarned. I will also talk about my experiences with Addiction, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Cancer and Dementia, as well as other illnesses. I always want to share HOPE with you. I hope you choose to read my work, and I hope my writing brings you pleasure. Read on!!

One summer day, while attending a picnic that my Dad’s company had hosted, I watched my “then” boyfriend get mean-drunk. He began to stumble around, and to say bad things to me about my family, so I convinced him to leave. On the way home , he became more and more verbally abusive, until I asked him to just drop me off at my house. He veered up to the curb in front of my house and then sped off before I could get out. We had taken some LSD before the party but it had not been an enjoyable trip, now I was just exhausted. I begged him to stop the car, and when he did not-I just opened the door and jumped out.
The pavement came up fast and hard to connect with my head, and I was unconscious for a few moments. When I came to all the neighbors had surrounded me , and had carried my back to my house. I still remembering the boyfriend standing in the background saying,” She just jumped out! I don’t know why she jumped out!”
They laid me on the couch in the living room while my father got the story straight. My boyfriend kept trying to get in the front door, and my dad kept shouting at him to leave. Finally, the boyfriend, in his drunken insanity turned to my father and said, ” Mr. Kikonizzy- you are a real @#&$ head!” Well, that was all it took. My short, stocky Sicilian father blew up to the size of Arnold Schwartzenegger, and bodily lifted up the idiot and threw him approximately six feet across the yard! I was never so proud of my dad.

I wound up breaking up with that fellow, but the incident was a catalyst for change in that I was questioned about drug use at the emergency room that night, and I finally told my Mom the truth about my drug use. She was flabbergasted to find that, at 15 years old, I was a regular pot smoker, alcoholic, and had tried or regularly used cocaine, speed, crystal meth, LSD, mescaline, Quaaludes and ant other drug that had been offered to me. I did not confide in her at that time to the gang rape or physical and sexual abuse I had suffered since I was 13.( She was shocked and saddened enough, I could not confess to any more.)

We truly became friends after that, she opened up to me about her doubts and fears as a mother, and about her deteriorating relationship with my perpetually rotten father. We could see the outline of the bigger problems that had shaped our relationships, and meetings with a child psychologist began. I now had someone I could tell my fears to, and after I was done trying to shock her I started to hear the voice of my childhood self again. It was not very loud, but I knew that the real Kiko was still inside, wanting out.
This peaceful time was soon to end, but for the meantime I felt loved and safe… (to be continued…)