alone

growing

apart

adds infection

to wound

letting go

roughs up soft

edges

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jack in the box

 

 

door slammed shut

keep out sign hanging on the door knob

 

panic lives in her chest

winding the jack in the box

anxiety jumps with its

white clown face – screaming

pounding and pounding

stealing another 24 hours

 

messy bed and unwashed sheets

are left,

twisting and turning around daytime

hair falling out

unwashed face

unbrushed teeth

the rotting of woman

 

her knuckles start to yellow

and her heart hardens

sagging bags under eyes

droop like grandma’s skin

 

the dark creases of loneliness

stiffening the body

wide awake with the night

holding hands with one another

skipping over cracks in the sidewalk

nails painted black

chipped and scratched

 

her toes get caught in the traps

left out for squirming mice

the tight pinch of reality is just a slap across the face

the handprint screaming red over her right cheek

shapeshifter (poem)

 

 

you sharpened

your words with

      a knife

dug deep into me

 

the bathtub,

fills with my

blood

clogs the drain

 

I drown in  

 your dirty hands

your rough and

 sharp touch

 

you scrape off my tears

off with your

rusty   finger nails

bruising the bags

under my eyes

medicated

On destruction

 

you carved your initials

into my chapped lips

Stripped me down to

You’re deathly standard.

what goes unexplained

 

 

It’s a better story if i talk about

Finding flowers in open wounds

If i say it’s alright

If i tell you that i’m better now

That i can see the different

shades of morning again

Like i used to

Or if i talk about the spinning head demons

Running circles but there isnt really anything

Poetic about this pain

I cant make this a pretty ending.

A fire cant burn forever

The flames begin as bright rage

a train wreck of rushing water

through broken windpipes and

out of tune voice boxes/

an endless series of darts thrown

head on

a fistful of promises and crushed violets

an exposed wire

knotting my arms into concrete

force of bitter beginnings

 

but you know what they say

a fire cant burn forever

Alyssa’s Story

 At birth is when things in my life began to shape. I was born 3 months early, weighing 1lb and 10oz. Doctors told my parents that I had a 40% chance of life expectancy and if I survive, I’d basically be a vegetable but God worked in my life right from that moment.

My family and I weren’t Christians, we didn’t even discuss religion, we lived life as people do. At the age of 3 my parents divorced and my mom decided we move to where we live now. Growing up my mom invested a lot into me and my siblings. She did the best she knew to do. My childhood was pretty good without my biological dad.
In 6th grade is when my worst and best decisions were made pre-Mercy. I accepted Christ at 12 years old but I also started cutting. I use cutting as a way to cope. In school I was always made fun of and picked on. I was always compared to my sister and very different from her so I would be made fun of for being different and in special classes. Through the dysfunction in my family and having relationships with them along with peers I came to a mindset of not caring about anything. I loved myself and hung around others who were picked on.

In 7th grade I developed an eating disorder and wasn’t attending church at all. I had no information or knowing about eating disorders, I was never introduced to them so I didn’t think anything was wrong or harmful.

In 9th grade I became a majorette and let my struggles take on what they wanted of me as I became in denial. My coach quickly noticed the eating disorder and had lots of concern. She would tell my mom and I’d be questioned but I would deny it since I didn’t know anything was wrong. I started getting involved on Facebook which resulted in me connecting with others that dealt with suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, cutting, etc. The people I came into contact with were very unsafe and unhealthy but I felt comfortable in being open, I felt understood and not alone. This got me into more harm and I would expose suicidal tendencies on my page to the point of cops showing up at my house and sending me to the hospital. The counselor I started seeing prior to this event admitted me into a mental health ward where I only received poor treatment and upon release, things only escalated to a worse lifestyle. After I was discharged I was offered to attend church with my close cousin at Grace Community Church. I was starting to hangout with people I had met at church and an adult ministry group and things got better until those friendships turned into being rescue-type relationships. I would go to them only for attention. I put them under a lot of worry. Those relationships eventually fell. I wasn’t sure who I was and I lost desire to do anything other than cope in negative ways. In the midst of all of this, I was captivated by rejection which caused the fear of forming socialization and isolation seemed comfortable and beneficial. The stronghold of rejection filled me with lies I believed and set my identity on. I believed people would enter my life just to hurt me. The hate I felt from others brought me to self-hate and torture. At this time in my life I got into alcohol and marijuana. One night I was hanging out with a friend and her older brother. I remember the night very blurrily. I was numb and couldn’t move and kept going in and out of consciousness. The next thing I knew I was in a dark room with only a bit of light enough to see that he was molesting me. After this occurred I thought I could forget about it if I just tried to pretend it didn’t happen. Keeping the secret in gave me shame and I dealt with the pain by inflicting harm on myself more.

Throughout the rest of highschool I continued my self-destruction and let people treat my badly because it’s what I convinced myself I deserved. I graduated highschool and stuck with all of my ways of coping to where it nearly took my life. I would go to parties and would go as far as staying nights in random buildings with friends and strangers just to get high and drunk. The last party I went to I was locked into the bathroom with several sharp objects scattered in a tub next to me while in a bad mental state along with being intoxicated. When I’d escape, the group of people there would grab me and pass me down the line of each person as they told me to kill myself and throw me right back in and lock the door. Thankfully I got through with no self-harm or any other hurt done physically. Soon after this I started going back to church and gained healthy relationships but I was still tangled into cutting and the eating disorder.

I got back onto Facebook and went through tons of bullying and terrible threats on there but I also got in touch with Mercy Ministries graduates that sent me a video from BarlowGirl where I seen the ad to Mercy Ministries. I decided to look at the website and was encouraged by several people from church to apply. I made the decision between Mercy and RHEMA Bible College by telling the Lord that He had to provide for the one He wanted me to choose.

Within the few months of having severe anorexia along with purging and laxative abuse I decided to apply. In the application process, I met my favorite worship leader Kari Jobe and she prayed over me to be accepted into the program.

In January of 2014 as I was going through bloodwork and other appointments to complete the application, I was diagnosed as underweight and with Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. This took a hold on my that I needed Mercy more than anything. I entered Mercy on February 6th and the beginning was a difficult time. I didn’t realize how sick and malnourished I was physically along with spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

The days of stomach pain from required shakes, tears each meal and severe anxiety because I couldn’t work out became completely worth it.
My journey at Mercy has brought me more transformation than I ever thought possible. My body and lungs are stronger than ever, I am able to fill myself with truth and replace the old lies and have joy in nourishment. At Mercy I learned that rejection from others isn’t a reflection of my self-worth. My restoration is in the new being God has made me. I discovered the freedom of staying forward and not turning back just because someone around me has. Their behaviors don’t force me to resort to old ones.

Mercy has also brought transformation and restoration within my family. The staff loved me in ways that nobody ever has and they’ve helped me gain a true life that God’s intended for me. This program has been safe and the Lord worked through the staff and poured into me a new creation. I am saved by grace and God but also by Mercy Ministries.

SHIANNA’S STORY

POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING: NO NUMBERS USED 

When I was little I was compared to my baby sister. Before bath time we would see who has the bigger tummy. I was smart and I watched my dad eat and are like him. Not too long after that I broke my ankle. I became couch bound. The pounds packed on. When I was in 6th grade I was XX pounds I was obese for my age. I was bullied at school and bullied at home by my parents. Slowly without realizing it, I started to lose weight. By 7th grade I cut down a lot of what I eat. By 7th grade my friends taught me to just drink water and chew gum for breakfast. I started not eating lunch. By 8th grade I stopped eating lunch and only eating before practice. I got down to XX when I knew it was Ana or swimming. I quit swimming and said it was to focus on my grades. I entered 9th grade around XX and then it went down hill I stop eating completely . I got down to XX,then I learned that bulimia mixed in with Anorexia..my lowest was XX.

On my 16th birthday I ate so much and got sick not just food I threw up but blood. The next day I was in a coma state. I knew I had to stop. I use to purge in my sleep. Finally I started recovering on my own I would eat and then have fun burning it off. Then I was hospitalized. It reset me. By this time I was about XX. When I was released I binged everyday. I relapsed a lot. My depression got very bad and I went to partial. They saved my life that’s also where I learned to eat right. Soon I got out of there and I became healthy. I wasn’t active anymore because my body is worn from the extreme dieting. I would only eat berries and walk miles in sweat pants and a sweat shirt in the summer to burn it off. So I started ganging weight again slowly. Slowly I got up to XX and kept slowly going up. I made it a year without Anorexia  I realized I was happier before and felt more alive before I recovered. I relapsed. I am still struggling with my eating disorder and it is something that I will have to continue to work on.