I’m not sure why I’m writing this here. Perhaps because ironically I can’t afford a therapist (despite being one) nor the right medical treatment (broken healthcare system). There are no treatments for Gastric Arrythmia. It feels VERY vulnerable to write but desperation does funny things. Namely the fragility of feeling like you are dying or want to die from suffering, knocking off usual filters. I’ve been badly let-down in the past by people I trusted, hence closing ranks over the years. Similarly I have good friends whom I trust & love. Illness can destroy every minute of your life even as you fight against letting it. Gastric Arrythmia in 2017 took 2 whole years of my life before spitting me out incomplete & broken. Since then I’ve had relapses but functioned. In terrible debt/lost job I worked 6/7 days a week to regain life. At times it was horrific. I never thought it would come back as virulent as 2 months ago when it did. Vomiting with highest intractable grade nausea 24/7, everything going through you, no medication; alternative or conventional that works even 10 percent, takes you to a brink you can’t believe. I have thought about dying every single day as a release. You find who cares about you when you get this sick. I can’t ask “why me?” I know so many others who equally suffer. I’m neither strong nor weak. I survive but barely. Eating is impossible, liquid diet, massive weight-loss. The thought of food a demon when extreme nausea is that unrelenting. Nothing works. Thousands spent. Savings obliterated. Jobs lost. Sanity tested. Reaching out for a therapist finding the system too expensive even for that. Losing your mind over-and-over. Isolation, financial ruin & mental. I don’t want pity I want answers. I want it to never return. EIGHT years of this fight but never believed it would return this bad. All caused from a virus in 2017. I don’t know if I will make it this time. I can’t live like this but I do hope it will lessen as it did before enough that I can keep going. My singular regret; not building a family of support for these horrific times. What good can I take from this experience? To help others. As I have always tried to. It’s all I have. I know how bad it can be. You are not alone. Friendship shouldn’t be rare. People shouldn’t be fair-weather. Good people should be the norm. Caring should be free. Selfish people seem to skate above suffering mocking the rest of us.

The girl who had been me

with clean hair, scrubbed face, no idea

mocks in memory these broken shards

in mirror reflection and lake’s succor

all words swallowed in whales wake

useless as hands on a dead person’s chest

will neither resuscitate nor console

those left to be torn in varied hells.

trauma is a vase of white peonies

filling quiet room with dying scent

always strongest at unraveled end

we all find ourselves there eventually

in the thicket of time run terrible thin

traversing regret and terror as

a scold of former indifference

hands raw from choking days

until they become months, years

evaporate against blue-faced tyrant

birthed one innocent day before

war declared herself regent.

some will say give up; drown

beside the loss of hope, an over

watered flower saturated by what nurtures

others speak of courage, strength, endurance

words that have no backbone

in the field where people lie

decomposing in stucco isolation.

I cannot help anyone

though more than anything it has been my wish

to salve the pain I know well and remove

one inch of it from another’s wreckage.

I cannot help myself

watching this body curl into unrecognizable shapes

a fit of suffering like the whiff of poison

quite without smell or taste.

I die standing without shoes

hair shorn and blistered scalp

a madwoman, apparition, poppet

sane as the water from your glass

still they’ll stain me all sorts

such is human penchant for judging

the ones who don’t make the cut.

terror isn’t a film, a book, a statehood

it’s the coil of incurable sickness

binding itself sudden and vicious

cobra and white teeth, dark moon, violet

eclipse regressing in bleed.

I have died in my mind a thousand times

to the drum of this fornicating torment

possessing no release, no answer, not even

the pure bliss of a ten minute pill

no no — hear me? — no no — hear nothing?

lost in scratched out words

regret in speaking at all

silence hangs her veil on every wall

desire once a rich limbed girl

dreaming of eating and kissing and sweat

of a fine languid day

now curled husk

buttoned up in penny coffin

goodbye need not be said

I am neither alive nor dead

such the wake and gorge

of illnesses’ little spoil.

the girl who had been me

stares vacant through silver solidity

where no reflection remains steady

only sound echoing weakly

the cry of someone needing needing needing

what they cannot ever ever


An end to pain

the pure filtered light again

sprung from a morning without

this penance claiming

all and all and all till naught.

13 Replies to “The unseeing eye of terror is a marble on the tongue of a devil”

  1. You are living a nightmare. I’m so sorry. I wish there was something you could do. I understand your feeling of what seems like hopelessness. I have no answers but I’m sending you a hug, just to let you know I’m thinking about you. I’m so so sorry this is happening to you.

  2. Clicking a star seems so trite, but also where could I possibly find adequate words? I can just say, I guess, that I find your writing beautiful, and with what you’re enduring, it’s a rather incredible thing to be able to do. Wishing there will come comfort and healing somehow.

  3. I have no magic to ease the pain
    far less to cure the malady
    no spare room to offer if a friend were to need
    but helpless as I may feel or be
    to make such practical difference
    love and friendship would be in vain
    if only the beautiful and pleasant were for sharing
    so I must read, must hear, must know
    not turn away
    though it mean heart break and grief
    And willingly pay the price of caring
    and wanting so much better for you dear one

    And the poem is darkly awesome

  4. In prayers that peace, rest, free from illness & pain will return ASAP for you.

    ” I don’t want pity I want answers. I want it to never return. EIGHT years of this fight but never believed it would return this bad. All caused from a virus in 2017. I don’t know if I will make it this time. I can’t live like this but I do hope it will lessen as it did before enough that I can keep going. My singular regret; not building a family of support for these horrific times.”

    Hang in there as best as you can. However you can, lady. 🙏🏾💙

  5. Thank you Andrew, you have always been such a kind and good person I admire you so much.

  6. Thank you Bob. It’s tested me. I often just don’t want to wake up because it’s Groundhog day every day from 3am and feels like a torture, I’m sure if they used a torture like this it would be the most effective one. I don’t pity myself I’m just angry that it returned and I can’t seem to cull it. I hope I will and having anyone who cares is a huge life line and one I appreciate more than I can articulate

  7. Tre, we’ve been friends for years & whilst we may not always be in touch I know you and your good heart & that you are always so caring of others & I feel very glad to have met you years ago. I hope I make it through this so one day I can hug you tightly and thank you properly for all the kindness you have bestowed on me & also that I can be there for you in equal measure.

  8. Thank you so much Stephanie, I know you are not trite and appreciate your kind words immensely. A friend of mine I met on WP died a few years ago and I ran out of words to comfort or use but she knew I was there and I cared. Sometimes that means everything and it’s all we have. Thank you.

  9. Thank you so much. I am fighting every day to not succumb to the hopelessness & fear. I so appreciate any kindness or just the thoughtfulness you have always given me. thank you very, very much.

  10. Inadequate as ever, I have no words. But this: I think of you daily, my friend. Wish I could send you strength and hope. And peace, and hugs. Lots of hugs.

  11. YOU couldn’t be inadequate if you tried my friend. NOT A CHANCE.

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