One of my NAPOWRIMO pieces was picked up for publication!! It’s called Day Drink and it was published at The Flexible Persona. You can read it at this link.
I don’t understand politics. But I don’t think this is completely political: the Nazis lost. The Confederacy lost. These are both facts, and you cannot wield either flag and consider yourself an American. Fuck Donald Trump’s condemnation of “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” There is only one side. But what scares me about what is happening in Charlottesville, with the Nazis, the KKK, the white supremacists, is that those men, with their torches and their hate, will go home to their families after this. They’ll kiss their wives. They’ll wash the dirt off their hands in their sinks. They’ll go on and live their lives. They’ll eat in their kitchens. They’ll sleep soundly in their beds, believing they’ve accomplished something good. They’ll raise their children; they’ll share their beliefs with their children. They will also go back to their jobs after this; these men are not wearing hoods because they are confident in the fact that they will still have jobs once this is all over. I keep seeing posts on Facebook of some of the faces from the photographs from the rally with the caption: “Are you my employer? I was at a Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA” and that’s great, that’s great, but here’s the thing: I believe that a majority of these men will not face repercussions from their employers after this rally. They’re not afraid. And why should they be? With a president in the White House that cannot outright condemn a Nazi rally, there’s no reason for them to fear consequences for their actions. You have to wonder if, if Trump had not been elected, this rally would have even taken place. The white supremacists have become emboldened – we’ve given them a government that will not raise a fist against them. And that is frightening.
On October 8th, 2016, I was sexually assaulted. I was raped. I’m not here to talk about that, though, not really. So I’ll skate through the details: I internalized the hell out of what happened, blamed myself, didn’t press charges on my attacker (a fellow student at my university), refused to talk about it, fell into a deep, isolation-induced depression, went home, and almost dropped out of school. I stayed home for a week in the middle of the semester, around the time of Halloween. I didn’t drop out, though, and I’m flourishing today, but it was a close call.
At the time, my sister, Kylie, was living away from home at a therapeutic boarding school in West Virginia. She had no idea what was going on, really, and I didn’t know what my parents were telling her about my situation. Communication with my sister was tough during the time she was in West Virginia because the only way to contact her was through letters. I sent her a bunch, and I only received a few back – very sporadically.
Fast forward to yesterday. Kylie is home from her therapeutic boarding school, permanently. I’m home from college for the summer. While unpacking her things, Kylie found a letter she had written to me and never sent. She gave it to me a few days ago, and I just got to opening it. It’s marked November 1st, which was around the time I had decided not to drop out of school after all. She wrote:
“I heard school is stressing you out. I get that, school + being away from home is hard but I know you can and will do great. I’m really proud of you for going back.”
I bawled my fucking eyes out, man. Happy tears. I had to go run into her room and give her a hug. My sister didn’t even know what was really going on, but she believed in me so hard. Oh man. I love my sister so much, and I’m so glad to have her on my team.
I’m going to save this letter for the rest of my life.
I hope those of you reading this have a wonderful day.
“stop romanticizing things that hurt”
The following is a rant-introduction draft that I’m working on for my memoir project. It still needs some work, obviously, but it’s a valuable start.
Putting a teenager in a psychiatric hospital is, in a word, problematic. I’ve heard accusations that claim it’s not real life; it’s easy to fix problems in a controlled environment, but that it’s not representative of what those problems look like outside of a hospital setting. I’m here today because, as it turns out, it’s not so easy to fix something a delicate as your mind, even in a controlled setting. And, let me tell you, there are very few things that are “controlled” in an adolescent unit.
I, for one, needed the break from real life. And if I needed it, I’m not the only one. But it wasn’t the first choice. Aside from drastic events such as virtually out-of-nowhere suicide attempts, hospitalization should be the last resort. By the time I got to the hospital, I felt like I had exhausted my capacity for life. I was a freshman in high school and had been battling untreated, misdiagnosed mental illness for years.
I’d like to tell you that I entered the white walls of the hospital and things were instantly washed clean, but if that were true, I wouldn’t have spent months of my time in and out of lock-up, in outpatient therapy groups, and in one-on-one therapy after I finally reached the point where I no longer needed inpatient intervention. If everything had been washed clean, I wouldn’t be writing all of this out for you.
None of this is glamorous. Facts are facts: I was so down for so long that I wanted to be dead. None of this is quirky, or cute. The media tends to do this to stories of mental illness, but there is nothing desirable or romantic about hospital gowns and not being allowed to shave your legs and waking up at eight in the morning to stand in line for some pills. There’s nothing hauntingly beautiful about deciding that you have nothing left to offer this world. Don’t make this into something it’s not.
My first actually finished zine is on my Issuu account. You can click this link to view it! It’s a love letter in the form of a ransom note.
Sit back, ’cause I’m gonna tell you a story about one of my recent online experiences. Before I start, though, I want to be clear in that I’m not particularly grossed out or annoyed by this – I just think it’s funny as hell.
So I’m sitting on Tumblr (shameless plug – follow me at kaitlyncrow.tumblr.com for a pictorial version of my life) one night, uploading pictures and minding my own business, when I notice a message notification from a blog that I don’t follow. So, I click on the URL to see who this person is, and it’s a blog of really artistic, carnal, monochromatic porn. So I’m like thinking it’s just some horny guy and I shouldn’t engage. I continue with my adventuring.
But I’m one of those people that can’t stand unread notifications. So, naturally, I click on the message.
It’s a woman! She introduces herself as Liz and she’s wondering how I’m doing. She even accompanies the message with a picture of her face.
So we get to talking about meaningless stuff like the books we’re reading and our hobbies. She starts slipping in a lot of comments like “you’re gorgeous btw!” and stuff, so I’m starting to think that something is definitely up. My guard is up but I continue the conversation. But then she asks me if I’m a student, and I’m like “yes” and then she’s like “great! I’m an accountant and my hubby is an attorney.” So now I relax, because she’s married, right?
She asks if I’m dating anyone, and I tell her about my boyfriend and she’s like “that’s so cool.” And she starts talking about the adventures her and her husband go on and even sends me pictures of them doing outdoorsy things. She asks me if my boyfriend and I are adventurous, and I’m like “yeah!” because, I don’t know, it’s kind of lame to say you and your boyfriend don’t go on adventures.
Anyways, then she goes “are you bisexual?” Since it’s no secret that I am, I’m like “yeah, but the farthest I’ve gone with a girl is making out.”
“let me change that?”
which is a line I’ve heard from teenage guys when I would tell them I wasn’t seeing anyone but never from a grown ass woman. Regardless, I’m like, “no, when I’m with someone I’m only with them.”
Now I’m thinking she’ll stop messaging me because I turned her down.
“I see. Would your boyfriend ever like to play?”
And I’m like WHAAAAAAAT? Kaitlyn does not like to SHARE. So I told her that. She stopped messaging me soon after.
TL;DR – my jealous ass was hilariously propositioned for a threesome by a strange, married woman on the internet
I finished my freshman year of college on May 9th. I made Dean’s List, which was pretty amazing – nobody who knows what they’re talking about has ever told me that I’m GOOD at school before, so that felt good.
Currently, I’m waiting to hear back on several poetry submissions and one submission of flash fiction. In the meantime, I’m working on a chapbook of love poems. I’ve never been able to write quality love poems, so this is exciting to me.
Also, I’m still doing school online! I’m currently taking a prerequisite Spanish 102 course and a gen-ed course called Contemporary Social Problems (SOCL 102). After SOCL 102, I’ll be taking Enviromental Science and the World History: 1500’s – now. It’s kind of dumb, but these classes get me out of bed in the morning.
Lastly, my family is moving! In 6 days, I’ll have left behind being a resident of Northern Virginia and will begin living in Midlothian. Pretty cool.
Those are my endeavors. Here’s a excerpt from a poem I wrote today called “The B Side”
I’m no longer in mint condition
because someone took me out of my box
and played with me,