9/10 Showers

The scorching hot water drizzled down my nude body. My sensitive skin would soon be covered in red spots. My mind wasn’t focused on the steam, but on myself. I grabbed the loofa and scrubbed my temporary tattoo off. I watched as small black speckles swirled down the drain. Memories of my childhood came over me. Sitting as far away from the drain because I felt like monsters would grab me. My innocence was so pure. It was thrown down the drain by those monsters I used to be afraid of. I should’ve sat closer to the drain. There are a lot more monsters outside of this bathroom. It’s a really cruel world. I let the water touch my face as the soap starts to run down my nipples. I felt a sudden coldness. I looked outside the window and saw the stars. I saw the unknown. Oblivion. I saw my grandma. I closed the window and bit my lip. “Without you here I am nothing”… Grace Vanderwaal, what a beautiful thing. I thought of my boy. I haven’t seen him for a while. School, work, my business, my mental health, so many barriers between us. I miss him. His soft skin against mine and his warmth. He makes me feel safe in those arms of his. I let go of my lip and let the water run down my back. Goosebumps begin to form on my body. Ever inch of my naked body is now covered in bumps. The same bumps that my boy gives me when he whispers, “I love you” in my ear. My tears race the drops from the shower head. Down my cheeks… Why is there so much hate in this god damn world. A narcissistic leader making a platform of his own image. White and privileged. Anger is now pounding in my arms. I rest my head on the shower wall. Mi raza quiere un futuro. WHY DON’T YOU LEAVE OUR IMMIGRANTS ALONE. I remember seeing a hate group with signs that read, “deport deport deport”. My insides were hotter than the water. I feel so belittled. I want to help. How do I help. I’m little but I have a big voice. How do I help those who are to afraid to speak up? So many emotions are upon me. I turn off the shower. I wrap a towel around my body. I stare at myself in the mirror. Priveldeged. Chicana. Latina. Brown. American. US Citizen. Immigrant parents. Middle child. Strong. Warrior. Leader. Fighter. Protector. I dry myself off and remember an important saying…

They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.

– Mexican Proverbs

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Our Minds

People will claim that guns and knives are deadly but they aren’t. Our minds are. They drive us to lift these not so deadly weapons. We have a brain and we don’t even know everything about it just like the ocean. Imagine you can breathe under water and someone puts you in the middle of the ocean hundreds of feet below surface (lets pretend your head won’t blow off either due to sea levels). It can be a very dark and scary place. Wait… am I talking about our minds or the ocean?

I am in a current battle against the devious anxiety. It’s looking pretty good for me, if I do say so myself. But, I was once millions of feet under land in a dark place. Unidentified Sharks would come out of no where and make me feel helpless. Unidentified sharks would soon become identified as suicide and depression. I felt as if I was drowning and I couldn’t breathe every minute of everyday. I learned how to navigate myself in the ocean and I was now in control. I became one with the ocean. I became one with my body. My soft skin, my 10 fingers, my big thighs, the stitches on my belly, the scars on my wrists, my long hair, my small lips, this is who I was. I was floating on water as the waves took me to shore. I put my faith in the moon that would attract these waves. I put my faith in God who would get me out of my head. Touch your body and admire your characteristics in the mirror. Become one with yourself.

You are in control. There’s only one spirit in that body of yours so don’t tell me that your going to let that brain of yours boss you around. If you want to stop the anxiety attack you are breathing make your brain fuck off and concentrate on your breathing. Take control of the wheel and realize where you are. I am in my bedroom trying to calm down. Most importantly, you are in that body. YOU are in control. Anxiety WILL take advantage of you when you are at your weakest. It feeds off stress and fear. Hold your head up high and become one with your body. Rub your arms and feel that you are causing movement. You are controlling your hand to rub your arm. Not anxiety, but you. Move your fingers around. Who is making them move? YOU. YOU. YOU. You are in control.

During my anxiety attacks I become little within my own body. I become a visitor rather than a host. I get shut out and I can’t control my breathing or my thoughts. It’s as if my mind takes over. But NO. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Never. Take control of yourself. Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 8 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds. If you can control your breathing then guess what sweetheart? You can control that anxiety attack of yours. You might feel helpless and scared in the moment but nothing will happen to you. Think about the previous times that you have had an anxiety attack. Did you die? Obviously not if you are having another one. The fact that you survived to go through another anxiety attack makes you a bad bitch. The strength it takes to get through one of those is so inspiring. In those few seconds to hours where you become helpless to your own body are the most scariest. May you become strong enough to kick anxiety’s ass. You. Your friend. Your mom. Your dog. Me. Anyone. Nobody deserves to have this parasite we call anxiety in our brain.

Stop taking so many daily visits into that mind of yours. It’s dark and scary. Nothing is worth worrying about to the point where you give yourself a mental health problem, I promise. Breathe. Take a trip to the beach and walk the shore. Reassure yourself that whatever it is you are worrying about isn’t worth a lifetime of fear.

If you are in a battle with anxiety like I am, I hope you realize that, that place where your soul comes home, well that’s your body. That’s yours and nobody else’s. You are in control of every movement and word you speak, just as you are of every thought. Get out of your head and just take big inhale of air. I hope that one day you are able to say that you made anxiety afraid of you, so they decided to dip. I hope you take control of your body.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

– John 14:27

Anxiety: A War

It’s dark. My body is warm. There is no visible movement in the bedroom except for my roaming thoughts. Is my family still proud of me? Am I better off dead? Am I wasting more money than I am actually making on Etsy? Should I eat today? Did I take my medication? Am I pregnant? Who would miss me if I disappeared? Why are you so ugly?  Theres’s a sudden knock, it’s anxiety. She’s on the “do not open under any circumstance” list. She still managed to break in. The bitch has no manners. She attacks unexpectedly. Well not so unexpectedly, she’s known for damaging people. She’s known for hurting me. Every inch of my body is now ice cold. I am shaking. I can’t breathe. I begin to find myself on a boat in the ocean of my own tears. The only issue is that I am not in control. She is. We’ve tipped over multiple times now. Depression sneaked up on me. He was swimming around in my tears, when he smelled anxiety. He has a hold of my head. I thought he didn’t exist anymore. I thought he was extinct. I’m screaming for help, but my mouth isn’t moving. Why isn’t anybody helping? I’m in the darkness. I’m drowning. “HELP?!”

It’s done. My gears have been shifted. This is no longer Irma. My attitude? My sense of humor? My sarcasm? My hatred? My passion? My motivations? My smile? Wrong. Anxiety’s attitude. Anxiety’s sense of humor. Anxiety’s lack of sarcasm. Anxiety’s raving hatred. Anxiety’s passion. Anxiety’s cruel motivations. Anxiety’s frown. This is her body. She is feeding off of my thoughts. If you see here on the streets, give her a piece of your mind. She hates that. I love that.

I’m slowly killing her with Sertraline. I’m will gain back all control. Going to the movies at 9am on a Tuesday? Sure. Driving to Davis at 8pm alone? Why not? Staying home alone at 2am? Fuck it, I can do it. I’m in control. I put locks on my door. I have body guards at each of my sides. Fuck you anxiety. You can play with my head all you want, but there’s something I have that you don’t. A heart. It beats every hour, every second, every minute, every millisecond… FOR ME. She has my back. She has shown me every reason to make you extinct. My family. My boyfriend. My friends. My dog. My neighbor. The stranger walking down the street who always greets me. And for someone who never comes to my mind. Me. This is a battle I am going to fight for myself. She deserves it. She’s been forced to walk through hell holding anxiety’s hand. It nearly killed me. She messed with the wrong girl. She forgot about my heart. She forgot that because of my heart, I feel. So it’s go time. You want a fight, bring it.

No more being afraid of the dark.

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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

– Proverbs 4:23

Dear San Francisco

I hope you don’t get to nervous and start shaking when I come and spend the next four years with you. I come from a small city where the only shaking that happens is due to the cold rainy weather on a summer day. It’s quite confusing and you won’t understand and that’s because you’re from the bay. Just be good to me, I’ve been through a lot and I bet you have to. I am going to be independent and not have my parents around, so please have some breezy hugs aligned with boat rides to Alcatraz for me. You are full of pride and hey, so am I. I will be planting my roots into your land and embarking my presence. I promise you that I will explore every beautiful inch of your land, from your mountains to your oceans, to your bridges. I’ll be good to you if you’re good to me. 

Sincerely,

A future friend.

The Death of the Sparkling Mind

The death of my sparkling  mind was quite sad,

Everyone liked it and didn’t think it was all that bad.

I stopped seeing the world in color,

And didn’t crave my ambition to discover.

Everything began to turn black and white,

Oh how I wish there was some sunlight.

My mood began to turn dull,

And I began to get known as cruel.

I was known as the biggest bitch,

That everyone wanted to throw into a ditch.

The nimbostratus clouds are forming around my brain,

And my thoughts are being flushed down the drain.

Death is begging you for quite some things,

To die and cut off your wings.

My negative attitude was a symptom,

And I was just another victim.

The screaming of terror of my tears,

Was the only sound that came out of me for years.

I locked myself in the shadows of the dark,

And that’s when I realized I was nothing more but a spark.

My mind was hidden,

And when I finally found it, it read “forbidden”.

So now I walk the endless streets,

As nothing more than just an athlete.

You can say that this is the end,

But you could be next my friend.

 

My Legs

The death of my legs was quite sad, even though everyone doesn’t think it’s all that bad.

They think it’s good that I won’t have to attend track practice,

And that now I can get plenty of sleep on my mattress.

My legs are now all bruised up,

Oh how I resent being a grownup.

My coach thinks I’m irresponsible,

But how is that even possible?

I look at my legs and see the disappointments it’s bringing into my life,

I wish I could just slice them off with a knife.

Maybe then I could at least receive some grief,

because my legs have been stolen by a thief.

The Track With Wings

My grandma gained her wings about 10 years ago and since then life has just been a wilted rose… beautifully dead. I didn’t get to build a strong relationship with her due to the long distance that was between us. I can’t tell you what her favorite candy was or what her favorite color was, but I can tell you that she was an angel on earth. She was absolutely beautiful. She’s gone but I see so much of her in my mother. I didn’t get to know her like I wanted to until last year in track. She was whispering my name behind the track, she knew I was a runner, she knew that if I ran I would be able to fly with her for a good 14 minutes at every meet. Olivia Torres, wanted me to meet her at the end of every race, she wanted to catch me.

The gun shot when off and my adrenaline came on. Every inch of my body was tingling with anxiety and excitement. First lap down. Second lap down. Negative thoughts began to attack my brain like a thunderstorm attacking a sunny day. I began to slow down and my teammate slowly began to drift away. I was alone. I closed my eyes and begged God to let me have my grandma with me just for the next 6 laps. I was running with my two hands as fists but I opened one up just slightly due to my sweat. I felt my grandma holding my hand. I got this rush that made me feel more alive than ever. I looked up to the sky and I felt a breeze and a feeling of reassurance that made me know she was here. She is no longer thousands of miles away from because she is running this race with me. You can’t see her when i’m running, but i’m finishing every race because of her. I am sprinting in, because she is helping me. I feel closer to her… more than I ever did when she was alive. Being on that track is more than just racing, it’s a time to show my grandma what I have in me. I ran a race without her just recently, I wanted her to know that I can do this on my own. I am slowly growing my wings and I will soon reunite with her again. I will cross those gates of heaven like I have been with every race and I will leap into her arms and tell her thank you.

Dear Past Irma,

“All I ever do now is stare at my reflection and wonder why I was born far from perfection. My mental appearance is so beautiful if only my physical appearance wasn’t so dreadful. I want to go somewhere but be nowhere at the same time. The walls of my bedroom can no longer keep me closed away from reality. The walls that are disguised as my inner conscious to prevent my past from recognizing my future. I need to get out of here. I have to escape my thoughts from taking over my actions. The light of my computer screen can no longer be my source of sun light. I need to get out of here and do something with my life. All these boys and girls have it all planned out with their sport scholarships and me well I am just playing dumb on this sinking ship. Spending most nights processing what I did to deserve all of this and I remember that I brought it upon myself. Truth is i’m scared of letting go and putting myself out there. Stabbed and wounded so many times by those whom I thought loved me, I have used these walls to prevent them from ever coming back. I have so many expectations to meet but you see I am so far from them i’ll just stand back and press delete.”

This is what my past self would have said to myself when dealing with my problems, but now I admire all my toxins. I am so much more than what everyone has to say about me, I am a warrior. My life is this battlefield with people shooting at me from every possible corner, but i am no longer a foreigner. I know my way around and I promise myself that I will be put first before anybody. Irma, you are beautiful and confident, not dreadful and most certainly no accident. Take a step back and breathe this isn’t another death trap nor a sheathe. I am with you so take my hand and relax as we take on our new journey filled with sensations of climax.

Dear Brother,

Once I leave to college, will my brother finally be thankful for me?

For my existence is more than what he thinks? Whoopee.

How his clothes doesn’t just magically wash itself,

nor is there little elf’s.

Would he now notice that his room doesn’t just enchantingly become clean,

by the way next time throw out your chow mein.

Who will drive you places when our beloved parents are now at work?

Nobody will and now you have no choice but to do homework.

Although I dislike you for never thanking me,

I will always love you and that is a guarantee.

No matter the distance or the uncleanness,

I will always be here for you and your ugliness.

I Am

Yo soy Irma (ear-ma),
not Irma (erm-a).
Cansada de escuchar personas pronunciar mi nombre mal,
y forzada con estar bien con eso:
I am Irma living in a world where people can’t even pronounce my name correctly,
being forced to be okay with it.
Being called rude, for correcting people on how
they pronounce my name,
yet I am encouraged to be original.
If Pancho Villa was in my position,
he would have shot them like there was no tomorrow.
Living in a rather prejudice community, where every gringo
believes that every Mexican in eye sight jumped the border.
My father lost himself in the American Dream,
he was blinded by the money that he needed, the money for my premature sister.
My beautiful mother roamed the desert,
and hid from cops, just like Gregorio Cortez.
My mother jumped the border to come get
a sense of the American Dream.
I shed tears knowing that my family is separated by a wall.
I say take down the borders that separate us all,
let us all learn about the Aztecs civilization, three finger jack,
Joaquin Murrieta the man who saved a lot of people dying
because of poverty.
In Mexico, church is worshiped as a holy figure,
and the government as the most satanic thing ever.
Los Cristeros, fought hard for us to have faith in
our own real leader, God.
In church we value our land, for it was once almost taken away
during the Revolution.
I value the Indian Mestizo that I see everyday in the mirror.
I am a Mexican girl living in the U.S
Planting my roots into soil that doesn’t fit who I am.
My roots will forever hold a taste of my querido Mexico,
but for now..
I am a Mexican girl living the “American Dream”.