I Know You Want This For Life


I can’t fully process how I feel about coming back tomorrow. I feel like I’m just gonna hit the ground and crash through everything without feeling it. Is that even possible? It has to be. It’s gonna feel like when the airplane lands.

I didn’t even know the severity of my abandonment issues until today but I know now and I know that is the thing that explains everything about me, every single thing. Everything in my life and everything I’ve been afraid of and everything I’ve done has always been about this one thing.



In some horrible and off nostalgic way, I’m gonna miss this place, the winding roads at night, the trees I’ve fantasized about hitting, where the only things to do are exchange existential agonies with the dude working the Himalaya at Fun World who dares you to scream as loud as you can while he keeps the ride going because nobody else is in line and walk down dark roads leading nowhere and drive to the mattress store just to ride the elevators and go to IHOP because it might as well be the club just because it’s still open at 9 p.m. and the mattress store just closed.


I need to orchestrate a master plan to freak my roommate the fuck out because this may be my only chance. I was gonna spare her before, but she’s way too happy-go-lucky. I already have the plan where I change all our light bulbs to disco lights, but that’s not enough. I want to adopt this whole persona. Maybe I’ll wear a Halloween costume every day or put pictures of Jim Jones on the wall.




I’m trying to immunize myself to this fucking song.


I know none of this will last forever. I’m gonna un-become and become myself again. Everything I have now will die.


It has to. I want to die with it.


(Just in case anyone cares, I burned those plastic flowers to the ground) (Two of your bracelets, too) (I missed you once but I’m over the whole world) (I’m getting pretty good at this)



Our Hierarchy of Characters

Everyone’s been given a pretty transparent code name.

Exhibit A: Xia:


Every action and reaction comes from feelings of abandonment forged in childhood. No, it’s not the kind of abandonment that’s obvious. You were taught to withhold, but withholding only makes you more needy.


You clung to any affection shown you, because you were so fucking deprived of everything on the planet, and when you found a chance at even deeper affection, even more attention, you jumped ship. You didn’t proceed with caution. You just wanted to feel loved, you didn’t think about the consequences or take apart whether the way things happened was even natural or if these words even met up halfway with actions. It was all you needed. You’re the type to put all your eggs in one basket. Well, I don’t blame you for letting yourself be treated badly in the face of wanting affection that you’ve never felt for your whole life. And it doesn’t surprise me, that you would be so naïve, you wouldn’t give anything a second thought, you wouldn’t really think about who you were getting into bed with so long as they claimed to love you. So what if they were a little aggressive, pushy, didn’t really consider or care about your feelings, so what if you never told them they made you cry so hard some nights, the kind of crying only falling into sleep can subside, so what? So what if there was this inherent distance, if they still called you “my love” and invited you to parties after their best friend suggested it? Does it matter? You just wanted to feel loved, by anyone. You’d let them drag you to hell as long as they held your hand too. And later, you were so deprived for so long that you strung everyone along, and it felt so good, all of the attention, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, girl, even though that’s the only way you get what you want, and you ended up finding out that it wasn’t at all your philosophy that was wrong, you’re just too much of an idealist.


You’re so forgiving, you’re too empathetic, you turn your anger back into guilt, Satan could fool you into pity. If God is love, then you’re God.


Sometimes, you can be vengeful. Most of the time, you feel too guilty to move. It eats you up inside even though you have no reason to feel that way. It’s not your fault. You didn’t do this to yourself, but it’s always with you. This feeling of guilt is your prison.


All of the outside controls over you from a young age cause you to turn inward for relief. Can’t make sense of anything because it all contradicts each other. Illusion of helplessness. Core insecurity. Will never outgrow it. Probably a borderline. Intense and overwhelming feelings of grief, unbridled rage, guilt, love, fear, regret, longing, the whole ordeal, really. Can’t make sense. Trying to find yourself reflected anywhere else, trying to get answers. Trying to see yourself in similar situations that don’t belong to you, that will never belong to you. Why won’t you turn inward for this. You’re obsessed with building your own fantasy.

((Exhibit when outside controls turn you inward, then slowly outward))


Exhibit B: Izabel: You’ve been alone for so long, but you’re different now. You’ve found your own ways out, and you’ve detached. You’ve gotten cold. You silently comply, and silently rebel. You don’t cry so easily anymore. You are not your living situation. You deny yourself. You are Judas denying Jesus, and Jesus kisses you on the mouth, but you tell Jesus, “I’m not yours,” “You can’t have me,” “This is my home but I am not my living situation, Jesus,” “I am not your disciple, I will not pass on your doctrine.” I don’t believe in it. I am building my own life and I am nothing like you. The girl who wrote in her diary about you-know-what-don’t-dare-say-it and how much it scared her, who panicked when her best friend read it, who cried when you pretended you weren’t her friend anymore? That’s not me. We are out of touch. The things that have happened to me don’t define me. I can’t empathize with you anymore. 

((Exhibit when outside controls turn you outward))


Exhibit C: Natalie: Sensitive but shallow. Turning outward for relief from insecurity. I’m just a step away. Needy, just wants nice things and attention and to feel like people care about her, but they won’t, because she’s so pouty and so needy. I think you’re the girl I’m looking for. Not me, because there’s so much in my head, not Izabel, because she is not a tragic figure. Natalie is the part of me that makes sense. You have a terrible childhood, you feel so alone, so scared, so unloved, you spend the rest of your life trying to make up for that lack of love, you become so dependent on your one-night stands that don’t bring you any of that, you try to make people care about you, but you’re selfish, greedy, the only person who cares about you is the girl you haven’t spoken to in ten years, give or take, because she knows what it’s like to be you, but she’s too scared to make herself admit she’s as needy as you, as lonely, so she isolates herself mostly, she doesn’t give herself the chance to be rejected like you do, because you’re smart, Natalie, you know that people won’t turn you down, you know they won’t say no when you show up at their door, you’re needy girl, you’re girl who needs to be loved but doesn’t know how to love herself because she’s never felt it, you know just how to use people, you know people are good at heart even if they judge you, you know if nothing else, you’ll have their pity, you know you’ll get what you need but no matter what you get, you don’t stop needing it.

I want so badly to love you. I want to give you all the attention you deserve even if other people don’t think you deserve it, you do, I’ll let you manipulate me because I understand, in my heart I really understand. Natalie, I think you might be either the type of person to cling to someone, anyone who shows you the slightest bit of affection, but if the tide turned the other way, you might be the person who can’t commit, the person who doesn’t believe anyone could ever love her so she doesn’t give herself the chance, the person who throws people away before they can make you feel the same way. I think you might be the type of person who rejects people the way you reject yourself and the way you’ve been rejected. I think you get too scared to see things as romantic, everything is lack luster, or maybe you do see them as romantic, all the time, and then you’re hurt.

So Natalie, I think I’ve been becoming you. Needy, promiscuous, manipulative, attention-seeking, making herself the martyr, making herself the victim, easily hurt, sensitive, you don’t protect yourself by playing dead, you protect yourself by making yourself the victim, you turn a kick in the teeth into a game of murder, when you’re being choked, you hold your breath, it wasn’t long enough or tight enough, but you are on the floor, and you are sobbing, and you are pretending you can’t breathe, and you are pretending you are more hurt than you are so they’ll leave you alone. 

Natalie, I think you and q would be good for each other. You’re both so needy that you take advantage of people, except in different ways. You pretend to be so sweet. 

((Exhibit when outside controls turn you outward))


Exhibit D: Caeli: I feel like you must know your worth, because you made the move, but you’re insecure in ways I’m not. Are we reversed? Is your outside my inside and your inside my outside? 

Exhibit E: King Tarquin: Affection deprived but entitled. Oh, I can’t address you directly. You guilt other people into caring for you, but the truth is, no amount of guilting, can make anyone care for you. And I don’t care for you. I don’t care for you, because you never cared for me. I knew the danger. I could feel it. You were so attractive to someone trying so desperately to destroy herself, to live anything, to make herself feel anything. She took the opportunity. She seized the day. 

Exhibit F: O.G.: If you can’t be loved, you will be feared. You think force is the only way. You take extreme measures to secure your power, but the second someone shows you the slightest bit of affection, you melt to pieces and abandon the whole ordeal. 

Exhibit F: Creepy Crawler: The ways people and situations have succeeded at controlling you has made you controlling to the point of everyone breaking in your wake. You’re subject to fits of extreme rage and hysteria, but on the other side, you’re kind and you’re loving, and it’s this ambiguity that fills me up with insurmountable guilt at the slightest rebellion. That, and everything else. You definitely have some form of interpersonal OCD. You’re manipulative, but you deny it, you deny lying, you love accusing me of betrayal, you’re subject to exploding, you contrast it all with your sweetness, with your need to be immediately forgiven. You don’t understand the word “no.” It doesn’t exist for you and you always press on. That’s how you get hurt. I can’t save you from that. You’re so critical of me, you must not realize I learned everything from you. We’re similar. We feel everything just as intensely. You turn outward. I have nowhere to turn but inward. 

Exhibit G: Animal: I can’t read you, but you must be a sadist for the things you do. You’re impatient and you like to be in control. You are made of so much distance that you might as well be air. You completely lack empathy. All you do is echo your empty dogma. I don’t know where you got it from, but you’re a hypocrite and you don’t live it. You must have felt out of control with all the moving around. You must be a reflection of your father. There must be a lot I don’t know about him. You must be all these things, but when you move through the shadows, I forget everything you’ve done. 

Exhibit F: The Devil: I feel like you abandoned me. There should have been someone looking out when I was too young to be able to do anything and it should have been you. You certainly had the intuition for it. You fucking coward. You’re obsessed with making yourself the victim and taking no responsibility. 

Exhibit G: Hailey: Desperation makes you violent. You’ll kill all my enemies for me, but you’ll probably kill me too, so what’s the use, you’re so loyal it’s staggering, but it turns to possession before it cools. You’re scathingly jealous, more scathing than how sharp your nails are. They could be knives. 

Exhibit H: Kaj: You’re assertive and not passive, but only to your own extent. You probably don’t see all this with the same eyes as I see it. I saw the after-effects when you were younger, our matched reactions, I saw all of it, but they’re gone. Where did they go? I think you just don’t remember it how I remember it. If that’s not true, then maybe you’ve just let it go. I don’t know which is harder to accept. 

Exhibit I: Red: You’re still trying to make up for the way you were neglected by your parents, so you’re over-affectionate with everyone you encounter. Think it makes you a saint or something. You think a lot of yourself on the surface, but deep down, you’re so insecure. I know because you won’t stop flirting with me even though you’re married and parking in dark and empty parking lots with me so you can kiss me on the cheek after twenty minutes while playing the same song over and over, like I didn’t notice, and I can go home later on while that moment burns me out for the next twenty hours and that song makes me want to retch when it comes on at some stupid school assembly the next day (and forever after) and I withdraw into air again for no reason. God, why am I so sensitive? I know you’d never try anything. You have some nerve, though. 

Exhibit J: Gem: I was friends with you because I thought it would be easy, because I knew you wouldn’t try to get too close to me when you can’t even get close to yourself, but it wasn’t easy, it just made me feel perpetually closed and that can’t have been good for me, sometimes the easy choices are the destructive ones. I know I didn’t give you much in return, but I don’t give unless I am reciprocating. You are so insecure you become mute and you disappear. 

Exhibit K: Heathen: You are so cruel with almost everyone but you know where your loyalties lie. For that I can even admire you, even if it baffles me.

Exhibit L: Boo: Everyone is so afraid of you, but everything going around in the neighborhood is a lie. At least the parts about you being evil. I’d stab them with scissors, too. I know your heart is good.

Exhibit 0: The Flat Character: Reserved and withholding and sensitive but NOTHING, You are the personification of resting PTSD face aka freshman year me. I am working on your labyrinth, I cross my heart.


Bright Stupid Confetti. Eternity bores me. never wanted it.

I (6.4.17)

It’s (not really that) late and I feel so isolated. I graduated two nights ago. I’ve been so in sync lately and I can’t stand this, not for extended periods of time. I’ll break like worse than glass. Not sure what that could be. Guess we’ll find out eventually. 


He keeps (…) on his stupid whims, like what, as a power move? And it works. I feel so out of control. I do and he reminds me of that all the time, how out of control I really am, but that’s not really what I’m afraid of.


I am not afraid of the dark. I am afraid of the light.


All this repression here has stunted me. The imprisonment and the abuse. I am so terrified, so terrified of my own light. I’ve been seeing it more and more, but there is so much that has been repressed; the person I always thought I would be when I was little is coming through, but there are so many inhibitions and so many ways they taunt me back into my cage, where everything is awful and familiar.


I feel like I’m being pulled by a thread. Day in, day out. You know just which one to pull and the whole tower falls down.

It’s like the opposite of Jenga. A real clever game. 


Our relationship is both nuclear and constant. Everything is so gray. Everything I feel so intensely at night fades by day.

VII (6.26.17)

The authorities have got me again.

Eireann, I wish I could be as brave as you. Or, I wish that sometimes, and then I realize it’s not cowardice that’s keeping me here, but loyalty. I can’t stop being loyal to people even if they don’t deserve it.

But I’m sure cowardice is a factor. Sometimes when you’ve been told ‘no’ enough times, you’re just forced into a corner and you don’t try to back out of it again. Learned helplessness. The answer is always ‘no.’ You were too young and too small and too weak to fight the hand pushing you back there every time, once, when you still tried, when you first learned, maybe you could fight it now, but you’ll never know, because the older version of you is older, and stronger, and bigger, but you feel the same and this never stops. 


We haven’t been so alone in so long. I know it’s just the stress talking when you talk, but I am a human being, and not a mirror. 


I am at least happy I’ll get to be with my brother. At least we’ll be together. I remember, in September, how cast off I felt from the whole world and he was the only redeemable person to me.


On second thought, I do wish Colin and I could have had a proper goodbye. I feel like it’s one of those things that could be good if I didn’t keep avoiding it. 


Eireann, you told me you feel like a stagnant pond. Do you want to know how I feel? I feel like an ancient race held for centuries in chains. I feel like I’ve been in a concentration camp. I feel like I have all this inside me, wanting, hungering to be free, mentally, but if I were to be released, I would not physically have it in me, I’ve been starving for too long, my family has been disenfranchised for generations, I cannot release what’s inside of me, because my body is too burned and shriveled to run, if I were to be a free woman tomorrow, I would not know where to go, my legs could not carry me, and it’s not because I’m afraid anymore, I am not afraid of having power, I want it, I want it so badly, but if I had it, I would not know how to wield it. If I were a free woman tomorrow, Eireann, the oppressors would still tell me I can’t go to their schools or drink at their bars or play with their kids. 

I’ve stayed in my cage too long. 

Eireann, you are so gray and I admire you and I don’t feel that way about practically anybody.


I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t say no to her, because that was the plot, and I don’t fuck with the plot. So why did I? why am I fucking with it now? That’s a good question. The answer is, this is the plot now, and I don’t fuck with the plot.


Sometimes I feel invincible. Sometimes, I feel so fragile.


Sun: I hate that when you suffer, you think you don’t deserve it. When I suffer, it’s everything.


You are constantly in my head. An idea I can’t let go of. It’s weird having almost everything be lit up and have one area in my head just stay dark. But that is true, you were the first chance I saw to light it up, so I went for it, and you did this strange unearthly thing where you RECIPROCATED and now look at where we are.


You let me put my hand over your mouth and I love it. 


There are so many ways this story could go. I just can’t think of the discovery that should come from it in a way that makes sense to me. (…) I think it needs to be ambiguous to the end. That doesn’t mean I can’t make it powerful if it’s gray.


There is so much I keep hidden from myself. When I do recall those things, I am in no state to make them permanent and bring them to light.

1967 tim rose