(DWI) Driving While Inspired

Years have passed and they are becoming bolder. Doubtful that they’ve realized it yet, but I’ve noticed them. A passing glance. A long stare. They’ve underestimated me… well, all of us. Why they have chosen to follow me? I have some educated guesses, but I do not want to make any conclusion without evidence.

My story does not matter. How I grew up is irrelevant. What matters is the present, the now. At least, that’s what I believe. I flew threw the ranks of my brethren because of my mentality. Hundreds, no… thousands of contracts completed by my hands. Dozens of new bloods, trained by my sweat. My initiates are the elite, nothing less. But through my skill, I have alarmed the enemy. Not just the victims of contracts, you see… but the ultimate enemy. The Reformers.

I shudder at the name. Fear? No, it isn’t fear. It’s the chill of excitement. The very same spine-tingling feeling that scatters up my back before the plunge. They have attempted to end us for a century, at least. But we have persevered and become stronger. Secret wars are fought behind the everyday humdrum that the general public seems so intoxicated by. Monotony is not in our nature as assassins, and they are definitely not in the nature of the Reformers.

Understand, we are the silent justice that keeps the tethers of society from fraying. Mysterious circumstances surrounding a death? Us. A famous criminal goes missing? Us. We are like a shadow, existing in the space between reality and fantasy.

But unlike a hundred or so years ago, when my ancestors created this force, there was little stopping them from achieving their tasks. DNA testing was non-existent. Social Media was not even a concept. The only thing that went ‘viral’ was actual viruses. They could kill with discretion and ease. Now, we must be more calculated, more careful, and more intelligent about our contracts. To me, those who are a part of the revolution now are much more skilled than those who came before us.

It was only natural for The Reformers to target us. Only because I am such a high-ranking member of my kin that I am their first prey. I have been underestimated all of my life, why stop now? I laugh at the thought of their plans, continuously foiled by my skill. Bodies discovered months after they dare to delve too close to me. Some, I let be. But when they risk contact with me, I must finish the job. Each one is the same, dumb and slow. It is not even fun anymore.

I admire the one who has been following me for the last seven days, three hours, and twenty seven minutes. Much bolder than the others, but louder than most. I’m toying with him, you see. I’m interested to see what he does. How does he go about killing his target? Perhaps I could learn a thing or two about their secret society.

This man is my age, but half the skill. And that is being generous. It was on my drive to work today that I finally met the boy. His hands shook, as he tried to conceal it. I notice everything. I always have and always will.

He sat up from the back seat, no telling how long he had been laying there. I could hear him breathing – mouth breather. Noted.

“If you want my opinion.” Pretty sure the poor boy jumped out of his skin when I spoke. “You should not enter my car until right before I close the door. That way you aren’t waiting all night.”

“I-I-I’m here to-” he stammered.

“Kill me,” I laughed. “Good luck with that. I doubt you’d be more successful than the ones before you. I’m sure you know about them?”

“No…”

“Oh boy,” I sighed. “They’re withholding information from you. What a shame… You were dead before you stepped in here. I see you don’t even have a weapon. Must’ve forgotten it, have you?”

He stopped, patted his pockets frantically, and then his face drained of all color. I tisked him.

“Not a very good Reformer, are you? Not that it matters. No one knows your name.”

We were at our destination by that point. The boy believed that I was going somewhere else, but I wanted to show him something. Bumpy, gravel roads were waiting us. The pasture smelled of death. I pulled out my handgun and pointed to the door and instructed him to get out. Know that my gun is only for show – I like to be much more… personal, but he didn’t know that.

“Where are we?” he gasped as the fog cleared somewhat and the bodies came into view.

“A recent site of our war,” I explained. “The war that has been for nothing. Only death pervades the years. Still, we fight.”

“I don’t understand -”

“Look kid,” I said. “I don’t want to kill you. You have done nothing wrong except choose the wrong side. History never remembers the losers.”

“How do you know we won’t win?”

“Because I know the skill of the Reformers, and the skill of my own people. They feed you lies about us and then expect you to be able to take one of us down. How do you hunt without knowing your prey?”

Again, he could not find an answer. I just nodded. My thoughts of murder started to arise. Adding him to the pile of bodies was one option, but turning him against The Reformers seemed more provocative.

“I’m going to do something that I have never before done.” I could see the lump in his throat when he swallowed. “I’m going to give you a choice.”

 

A Message to Writers

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When the world seems to crumble down around you, write.

When you feel that all motivation has left you, write.

When you wake up before the sun and you want to go back to sleep, write.

When you are up late and the stars are your only companion, write.

When you are stressed and when you are scared, write.

 

Trapped within your mind are infinite possibilities.

Worlds orbiting stars with life of its own.

Indescribable beauty that will only wither and die if unspoken.

Do not be afraid of your power, your ability.

Do not fear what makes you unique.

 

Write what makes you cringe,

Write what makes you sick to your stomach,

Write characters made from everything you want to be,

Write characters made from everything you are,

Write what makes your heart bleed.

 

You do not have to end every story with happiness,

For not every tale has a happy ending.

Just as in life, good does not always vanquish evil,

Heroes die a valiant death, fighting for what they believe in,

Never to see what they died for, crumble before their eyes.

Break the boundaries set by society and challenge their minds

Break the round hole that they force you to fit in.

Break the bonds of conventional writing and show them something new.

Break the words scrawled across notebooks for years,

Break the sentences, the chapters, break them to their rawest state.

 

But whatever you do, do not let them tell you to stop.

Do not let them tell you that you cannot do it, that it won’t make money.

Take their words and twist them into your stories,

Fight with them in a fantasy world and destroy them.

Just whatever you do, do not stop writing.

These are the things I no longer wish to understand.

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These are the things I no longer wish to understand.

Murder. The ease, for some people, to pull the trigger of a gun at an innocent victim. Sometimes, it’s worse. A cold expression on the face of a serial killer when recounting the grotesque details of each murder as if they were simply a tick-mark in a notebook. A simple disregard for a life.

Genocide. Manifest Destiny by a god or gods that deemed one people superior over others. Still, their god is ‘merciful’ they say. This imaginary being is somehow all good, but allows, nay, encourages the massacring over the earth. Sentient beings, slaying one another in the name of religion, politics, and misunderstandings.

Hatred. Assumptions made from doctored ‘research’. Opinions now held to the same standards as facts. Riots to preserve the ideology over science at the risk of violence. Petty differences blown out of proportion from the very same lack of knowledge that begets their ignorance in the first place. Encouragement from power to cause harm to others who do not conform to their beliefs. Fear of speaking out against the tightly-held beliefs of those in power for fear of harm or death.

Willful Ignorance. The cognizant choice to ignore facts, research, and data at the expense of challenging an ideology. Strong-held ‘beliefs’ that are so integrated into our being that our personality seems threatened if we simply adjust to new ideas. The personal attacks that some feel when presented with said facts and the verbal, sometimes physical, abuse that ensues. 

Silence. Stemming from fear, self-blame, victim-shaming – the eerie stillness that exists after abuse. Whether, physical, sexual, verbal, or psychological. Societal expectations for different sexes, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Words unspoken when dealing with mental health issues. Noiseless tears until they end by the smoking barrel of a gun or an empty bottle of pills. One less voice to speak.

Mental Health. Taboo thoughts directed at 1 in 4 people who will suffer in their lifetime. Comments that either fall on deaf ears, or exacerbate the problem. Victims believing that they are truly alone because of these remarks. Insurance companies only covering 12 visits to a professional therapist a year, if any at all. High costs of an hour of healing. Bankruptcy just to survive another day.

 

But… there is hope. In the vast darkness of the universe, stars dot the shroud of black. If we do not fall into the cycle of negativity, we can rise above these things and promote the good in the world.

These are the things I now understand. A perspective placed in my mind that I would not have conceived if not for the evil.

Charity. Whether food, money, or a smile. Those who give themselves entirely for no reward. Desirable reincarnation, eternal salvation, or simply to be good. Whatever the reason, it will not overshadow the selfless intent.

Life. Sentience. All beings, not just humans share this balanced globe. Each soul, a beauty in and of itself. Equilibrium between each delicate interaction of living beings. As an insect touches a flower, the mutual understanding and respect bring fruitful existence to them both. Although the plant remains in one spot, the insect is nourished and can spread the flower’s seeds throughout. A woman feeds her baby and continues her kin’s existence. Beautiful in different ways.

Knowledge. Although some may see this as a fault, I believe that knowledge is power. In the face of all this hatred and willful ignorance, facts will prevail. However, they are not spread as readily as misinformation, but evermore pertinent to us. For those who seek out the truth, take heart and do not fear revolt. Change is bubbling to the surface.

 

There is so much that we take for granted because we spend so much time focusing on the negativity fed to us from various outlets. Secretly, we may crave the bad as it makes our own lives seem less chaotic. Without the darkness, we could never see and appreciate the light. Stay positive, everything changes and nothing is in your control. 🙂

Confessions of an Empath

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My single hope is that this post softens the hearts of those who know an Empath. Perhaps, even bolster those who share this confusing gift. I hope you enjoy.

Emotion. Not exclusively human, rather, felt by all. Some suppress it, others allow it to take it’s course. Still, I find myself inhaling it all.

A wave washes me out into the sea of those around me. I am dizzy from the bombardment of the lapping water. Struggling to stay afloat while hearing the trifles of my friends echoing in my ears.

Suddenly, something grabs me. It’s twisted testicles circle up around my legs, tightening every second. I recognize it as familiar. It is, in fact, my own emotions. And immediately, I am drowned. Pulled into the depths of the abyss.

I try to breathe, but even this is hard. And yet, I still lend my heart to those around me. Few who say they are my friends use me then cast me aside. My generousity bleeds with a new wound and my trust dwindles a little less. I can hear their whispers in my head.

“You are nothing,” it says. Then, I hear it on my own lips.

I start to wonder how much more my soul can take. My body aches for the pain of others stronger each day. Genocide, injustice, hatred screams in my head. But that’s not all. My own life only cultivates this feeling of confusion.

Exhaustion overcomes me and I slump to the ground at the shore of my mind. I gasp for air until I can breathe once again. But it is short lived. My own life takes a turn and I am carried out to the sea to fight once again.

Time passes and I realize the gift. I step onto the beach and take in a breath of fresh air. I surround myself with those who do not decay my bones, rather build them up. They are beautiful, scarred souls like mine. It feels kindred.

Each day I take my battered soul and gently lay it before me. Numerous scars from past and present battles covering it. Almost unrecognizable. There are those who may laugh at the sight. Others, may find it grotesque.

But still, a smile stretches across my face. For it is these scars that give me strength. Darkness cannot overtake me, no matter how long I battle. I understand that only those like me, who truly feel the tears of others, can battle such evil.

We are warriors, brothers and sisters. We are given this gift because we are strong, not weak. Our soul mates need us daily, and friends will need us too. Remember, though, take care of yourself first. For without understanding and rejuvenation, we will wither into dust.

Do not see this as a curse. Darkness is not always something to fear. It is part of life and it gives us true appreciation for all that is light. We were chosen, not only to fight the darkness in our own lives, but others as well. And not just by hearing the cries or anger of those around us, but by feeling it stronger than we thought was imaginable.

Take care, my fellow Empaths. Know that you need not walk the path alone.

For National Suicide Prevention Week

Writing Prompt

What a perfect writing prompt for the upcoming Suicide Prevention Week! September 9th through the 15th is quickly approaching, so I wanted to do something in regards to that.

 

***WARNING: THIS POST TALKS ABOUT VERY PERSONAL SUBJECTS (DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF THIS MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE***

 

This is my story. I’m sure that my outcome is not typical, simply based on the speed of recovery. However, my hope is that I inspire someone who may be struggling with Depression or suicidal ideology to seek help. That has always been my goal – increasing awareness of Mental Health issues as well as speak out for those who do not feel capable of doing it themselves.

I am a survivor. For a good 10 years of my life, I suffered from Mild to Moderate Depression. However, because I did not know that the feeling of worthlessness was abnormal, I did not know that I needed help. Perhaps it was the fact that I was only Mild-Moderate and I was able to semi-function that I did not say anything to anyone. Maybe it was just the Depression itself that kept me from asking for help. Whatever the reason, I suffered for years.

While I don’t think that it had anything to do with my parents’ divorce, I believe that the resulting lifestyle from that sparked it. Even they will admit that the divorce was not an easy one. Also, I was bullied relentlessly in school, especially high school. Long story short, I did not have a ‘safe place’ for me to de-stress. I felt a sense of toxicity in the two places in which I spent most of my time – work and home.

Suicidal ideology transformed into a few attempts in my teenage years. Up until recently (almost ten years after I finally got help), I did not feel comfortable discussing the fact that I was very close to ending it all. I was in a very dark place and I wondered whether it would be better if I no longer existed. It wasn’t like I had many friends. Part of me was even under the impression that my ‘friends’ were only using me or that they pretended to like me. I believed that everyone was talking about me behind my back.

In high school, I had three rumors going around about me at one time. 1. That I was pregnant. 2. That I self-harmed. And 3. That I was a Satan worshiper. Being that I was in a private school, the third one ostracized me further. I was the ‘Goth’ kid in a place where everyone was preppy. Truly, I felt alone. None of these rumors were true, but people would come up to me and ask to see my arms to make sure I wasn’t cutting. It was embarrassing and demeaning. The school knew about it and did nothing.

My grades began to suffer tremendously. I never felt motivated to do homework or even to show up to class. Each year, I stayed home more than the allotted days and would walk through the halls at work like a zombie when I was present in school. Sophomore and early Junior year was when I made attempts at my own life. Luckily, I am still here today.

At that point in my life I was fed up. My school counselor called me a liar when I told her that my grades were starting to improve because the teacher had not updated assignments and she only saw the grade that was available. They refused to put me in the yearbook Senior year because, when I got my Senior pictures done, my hair was blue, purple, and pink. The teacher only decided to tell me this with a 2 week notice. So, I’m not in the yearbook that year. Not to mention, someone I knew in the Yearbook class said that the teacher was upset that I didn’t get my photos redone although other students were not depicted in the book along with me.

I finally exploded. I told my counselor that I was literally going to kill myself if I did not get help. It was a burst of anger and confidence to finally talk about how I had felt on a daily basis for so long. The darkness had become a part of me and I was done letting it take over my life. I wanted to feel happy again. I didn’t want to dread waking up and the daylight hours. I wanted to enjoy my life.

My dad was kind enough to turn around on the highway on his way to an out of town work event and take my sister and I to therapy. In only 1.5 years, I was given a new chance. I did a complete 180* in a short amount of time. Turns out, all I needed was proper coping techniques in addition to the self-esteem to love myself for who I was. I would never have been able to help myself in the way that my therapist helped me. And that, my dear readers, is why I think that therapy is so vital to the healing process.

Because of my experience, I went to college and received a Bachelor’s of Psychology. I was awarded Psychology Student of the Year at my Community College in 2013, made the Dean’s list every semester (Community College & University), received a scholarship for academics, and even became a Research Assistant at my University. My goal is to help, however I can, to raise awareness for the insensitivies towards Mental Health in America. By squashing myths and educating the general public, I can hopefully reduce the stigma and taboo associated with suffering from a Mental Illness. Hopefully my books will give me enough popularity that I can spread my voice over a wider audience.

Fast forward to today. I am 26 years old and finally feel like I can fully love myself. My life has changed so much. I have a beautiful daughter and I am confident I am on the right path with my life. There will be some drastic changes in my life soon, but I feel freer!

This, readers, is a seemingly bad situation that turns into a life change. Never be afraid of who you are and what you struggle with. You are NOT alone. If you feel like you cannot life another day, know that there are others who are on the same path. YOU CAN BE A PHOENIX AND RISE FROM THE ASHES!

I hope this inspired some of you to write your own story. If you feel comfortable, comment with your own bad situation that turns into a positive life change. Spread the love!