PTSD (poem)

Poetry

Experienced death but inexplicably living,

Pandora’s horrors felt all at once.

Masked delusions for protection absent,

No rosy lenses to watch film noir.


Body betrays you and invites in demons,

Terror sweats from every pore.

Pain and agony in every nerve fiber,

Proof of life is absence of death’s peace.


War cries and weapons waging,

Survival close to a sword’s edge.

Become dangerous or be killed by others,

Enemies cloaked in innocuous disguises.


Taming every system in revolt,

Untangle wires looking like hay.

Bang pushed to the end of the universe,

Come home to live in the self we created.

Waves (poem)

Poetry

Waves of depression break,

At the shores of my conscious awareness.

Oceanic mysteries drift,

Carried along by currents.


Flooding a desert reveals,

Sentiment’s intrinsic value.

Formerly disciplined by absence,

Returned to feel its presence.


Acute pain with decay,

Left to rot and fester.

Breathe in and choke on sunshine,

Learn to radiate like the stars.


Push it out and pull it in,

Cosmic light pulsing brightly.

Darkness swallowing the universe,

Become a beacon riding the waves.

Twin (poem)

Poetry

My twin star won’t guide me home,
Rotational energy throws us off-balance.
Stolen glances in a crowd betray interest,
But the bustling movement pulls us away.

Crushed with the burden of being the only,
Knowing you exist is enough to soothe me.
Soften my shell on a boulder in a forest,
Reluctant kisses leave shadows on my lips.

Sharing a mind and all its illnesses,
Amplify our energy beyond its threshold.
Unravel each other’s hurts like bandages,
Scarred and wounded bodies to inspect.

Stars paired with planets,
Split the galaxy into territories.
Radio waves pick up signals,
But my gravity won’t be distorted.

Virgin (poem)

Poetry

Anticipation sends shivers,
Fated moment has arrived.
Foreign feelings to consider,
Hoping it wasn’t lies.

Uncertain of progression,
Waiting for a sign.
Impressionable susceptibility,
Playbook getting written.

Blanks beg to be filled,
Information awaiting.
Answered questions to share,
Or buried deep as a secret.

Kiss and don’t tell,
Be gentle in the night.
Set the tone for forever,
In a moment’s burning light.

Prey (poem)

Poetry

I froze because,
I wasn’t yet ready to kill.
I was ready to die,
But I survived.

Animals need their instinct,
Death is always visible.
Anxious and urgent,
Morose and depressed.

Smell danger in the air,
Learn the scent of predators.
I was living in their dens,
They’ve learned to follow me too.

Tracking and evasion,
I know both their ways.
Hunt me and be hunted,
Ambush and strike from a distance.

Letter to Another Survivor (essay)

Prose

On October 6, 2018, I wrote a thank-you email to Christine Blasey Ford for her congressional testimony. I shared intimate, vulnerable details of my life because I thought she could understand as another survivor. I share it with you all in the hopes that you can have greater empathy for us as survivors and victims.

Dear Professor Blasey Ford,

As a concerned American and fellow survivor of sexual violence, I followed Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process through the news with a good deal of interest. I thought your testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was brave and inspiring. From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to thank you. Even though he was ultimately confirmed, your efforts meant the world to me and to survivors across the country.

His confirmation to the Supreme Court is particularly painful for me, given that I attended law school in pursuit of my belief in government institutions to create and maintain justice. Perhaps I was too naive. Perhaps not. But I know that the Senate did not give you justice with their vote today. The FBI did not do you justice with its limited and cursory investigation. And the White House did not seek justice for you with its partisan trickery and manipulations.

Disappointment is not new for me. Yet I continue to weep when such news reaches me. My father sexually abused me throughout my childhood, starting from when I was just two or three years old. When I attempted suicide during my second year of law school and sought help from Harvard (we were entitled to 10 free mental health sessions per year as students), I was told that since I was off-campus for an externship program (for which I was receiving school credit), they would not provide any resources to me. 

On my own, I exerted great efforts to transform my life and to treat myself with care and kindness, including changing my inner dialogue with myself (no tolerance for diminishing self-talk, reasoning through my beliefs, delving deeper into philosophy to structure a more positive worldview) and developing healthy habits (curbing alcohol consumption, limiting processed food intake, incorporating exercise, using stretching/mindfulness/essential oils to reduce stress, embracing arts/crafts, picking up the violin again). During this time, my dissociation was extremely difficult to manage, and I endured periods of numbness when I felt incapable of connecting to any emotion. For the first time in my life, I felt genuinely concerned that I could lose touch entirely with reality, and had nightmares reflecting that anxiety. During my third year of law school, I went into the health center to be assessed for ADHD. I got a neuropsych test that confirmed my suspicion of inattentive-type ADHD, but not before the prescriber, Dr. David Abramson, attempted to block me from getting help. 

During my last semester, I started dating Dr. Jon Einarsson (ob/gyn surgeon at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, professor at Harvard Medical School). He came to visit me December 2-3, 2017, when he transmitted chlamydia and garderella vaginalis to me. After examining our text communications and writing down all of our experiences together, I determined that he is a psychopath, and that the STI transmissions were premeditated, deliberate, and malicious.

In the aftermath of that sexual battery, I have been diagnosed with PTSD and fibromyalgia. I had to take a leave from work– a pastime that was a source of great fulfillment in my life. All of this to say that I know what it feels like to be abandoned; to appeal to power only to have your cries for help fall on deaf ears. I just want you to know that you are not alone, that you’ve never been alone. I and countless others stand with you.

Wishing you strength and love,

Ally

Chains (poem)

Poetry

Delicate filigree,
Dainty little thing.
Shine for others,
But weigh down the wearer.

Concentrated mass,
Density pulling downward.
Sinking into hell,
Looking like an angel.

Commercializing pain,
Constructing injuries for attention.
Ride the waves of trauma,
On the backs of true survivors.

Wear your burdens proudly,
Jewels burn into flesh.
Fingernails like diamonds,
Slicing up the fakers.

Halloween (poem)

Poetry

Feeling delightfully creepy,
The monster within me prowls.
My demons breathe crisp fall air,
Cleansing lungs of brimstone and ash.

Wild feral children,
Seek treats from friendly strangers.
Pitiable abandoned creatures,
Single night to experience care.

Either fearing death or craving it,
Life gets cast upon us as a curse.
History carved on a graveyard’s stone,
Remember the pain that binds us.

Season of endings and imminent demise,
Transient ghouls travelling like pilgrims.
Crunching bones and skulls with eyes,
Peer into the depths of my morbid soul.

Cheat (short story)

Prose

His girlfriend was out of town traveling for work, so he decided to ask a different woman out on a date. He invited her over and pretended that he lived there alone. He explained that his “friend”, a successful tattoo artist, owned the place and let him stay there.

He could never afford to live in a place like that on his own, so he needed to have a plausible explanation. Plus, the space was filled with her art and books; it’s not like he could just erase her presence just because she was in a different state.

In his spare time, he liked to tinker with bikes. He showed his date pictures of beautiful landscapes that he encountered on his bike rides. He offered to take her there. “I have a bike that could fit you,” he said, thinking of his girlfriend’s bike. Her eyes lit up in delight, and he felt some unexpected guilt. Her guile and sincerity moved him.

He had sex with her anyway, and he was a perfect gentleman as he walked her to the train station the next morning. She kissed him on the lips and told him she’d see him later. He told her goodbye, her name leaving a residual sweetness on his tongue. As his eyes lingered over her departing figure, he knew he would never see her again.

Youth (poem)

Poetry

Grown up too quick,
Adulthood presses from every angle.
Body twisting around the truth,
Rigid and unyielding until its reveal.

Cursed in the shape of a tree,
Crooked and wailing into the darkness.
Frozen at the core of its trunk,
Yet rustling its leaves to communicate.

Gone too fast and never recovered,
Never well while still escaping truth.
Learned first-hand but stubbornly forgotten,
Fitting in with prescribed narratives set.

Before closeness with corruption,
Touching palms with decay and pain.
Discover novel wonders abounding,
Walk through portals to fresh possibilities.