ten things.

hi, friends. i’m here again.

i never wanted to leave. every year when my payment renewed for this site, i thought, “another year. when will i write again? will it be worth reading? was anything i wrote before worth reading, or was i just self-absorbed? my diary is enough. i write in my diary. i don’t need to write where people will see.”

i still don’t know what i have to say here. i’m just trying to break the dam.

so let me start with a writing prompt. this is from laura tremaine of 10thingstotellyou. her prompt this month is “ten pieces of unsolicited advice.”

my ten pieces of unsolicited advice:

  1. read. books.
    listening to them counts. articles, tweets, and podcasts are not books. read books.
  2. take pictures of things that mean something to you.
  3. keep a diary of sorts.
    if you’re not a ~diary person~ then just use your notes app. type out the things that stay in your mind.
  4. work on your inner self.
  5. make lists of your boundaries and standards for relationships. update it, but make no exceptions.
  6. cry.
  7. do things alone, even if all you can think is how much you wish you weren’t doing them alone.
  8. make your spaces homey. this is more important the less you like where you are.
  9. love.
  10. your period can never ruin black underwear, and black is always sexy.


february 15, 2021.

i haven’t written here in years. i can’t begin to sum up how life has changed since then.

and how in so many intimate ways, it hasn’t.

i live in wyoming now. until this week, it’s been an unsettlingly mild winter here. i’m sitting on my purple velvet couch with a fireplace playing on the tv and spotify going on my little retro-looking boom box in the bedroom. i have peppermint tea and luxurious pajamas. it’s -14ºf outside with a feels-like temp of -35. wyoming is so rugged and brutal, and i connect with its bitter rawness somewhere deep. i don’t know if this is my forever-home, but i tell everybody it is.

for the last seven years, i’ve felt so full of things to say that it all just jams the drain and nothing gets out. and over and over, i think i convey myself clearly, and learn that i haven’t. so i took a chance with that twice in the last two weeks. i got the words out. a friend told me, “good job on communicating and opening up!!!” because he knew how hard and conflicting it was for me. but my body reacted with shivering and sobbing both times from the unfamiliarity of being so forthright and vulnerable. people who have known me for years don’t know just how nostalgic, sentimental, and downright mushy i am. so i showed everybody this week by sharing a lot of sappy and romantic and poetic posts i had saved on instagram. i used valentine’s day as an excuse to do it; i could go back to keeping that side secreted away. i don’t think i’m supposed to.

i have fought everything. i fought myself. i ran

until i ran out of run.

now i’m standing here.


for what happens next.


bad dreams.

september 19, 2013.

it was about my bad dreams.

i woke up scared and sad.

i just didn’t have anything to say, nor did i need to.

“what’s going on?”

“bad dreams.”

“no, what’s REALLY going on?”

“bad dreams.”

“vanessa,” slightly disapproving tone.

silence. i don’t know what to say. i don’t know what he wants me to say. i told the truth; it wasn’t enough?

“okay,” he gets up and walks away in a manner i perceive as angry at me.

i don’t know what to say. i don’t know what to do. i am trapped inside myself with wordless feelings. it is not that i am struggling to express myself. it is that i have nothing to express.

EXPRESS SOMETHING, is what he wants.

i try to speak. my words aren’t right. he doesn’t like the words i say. better not to speak.

“if this is the way you’re going to be, you can’t come with me.”

i don’t want to “be” this way.

i don’t want to “be” this way.


why is it not okay that i don’t have words to share. why does he need me to words.





alternate trains of thought between, “keep the crying quiet so he doesn’t hear and think you’re doing it for attention,” and, “I HAVE THE RIGHT TO CRY AS I NEED TO NO MATTER WHO THINKS WHAT OF IT.”

the house is empty. i take three benadryls and think it will be good to be sitting on the patio when he comes back. he won’t see me. there will be no questions i cannot answer.

i don’t make it outside before he comes home.


shut down.

stand still so he doesn’t see you.

“you can’t come with me because i’ll just be trying to figure out what’s wrong with you the whole time, and i can’t think about it.”

nothing is wrong with me.

i had bad dreams.

“out of sight, out of mind,” is what i heard. a faint voice tells me, “that’s not what he meant.”

don’t tell him that’s what you heard. he’ll be angry. all the things he’s done for you. you know he thinks of you when you’re not around. don’t tell him it sounds that way. he’ll say you’re making this all about you; that it has nothing to do with you; that it’s just him and this especially painful tattoo he’s going to get done today.

is he right? probably.

but so am i. how can we both be right?

don’t say anything.

stand still and be quiet. if he doesn’t see you he won’t think of you.

“i have to take you to the hospital.”

i refuse. what were the words i said? i don’t know.

“i’m canceling my tattoo.”

i object. i don’t remember what i said.

“okay, fine. i can’t do this. i have my phone on. you tell me when it’s okay to come home.”

why is it my responsibility? i didn’t ask him to leave. i didn’t want him to leave, except to get his tattoo. why is it on my shoulders when he is allowed home? i don’t want that burden.

“i had bad dreams.”

“okay, i get that, but this isn’t normal.”

i don’t understand the things he’s adding on. i don’t understand why or when this stopped being about my dreams.

why does he need me to words.

i can’t words.

sometimes i’m just inside with the feelings or the memories. my mouth won’t come open. my voice won’t project.

“i can’t hear you,” he says from six feet away.

THEN COME CLOSER, my brain screams inside my head.

he doesn’t come closer. can i fault him? he can’t hear my brain. i don’t know why he doesn’t come closer, though.

i don’t know what happened today. i still can’t speak.