Monday, August 26, 2013


By Jan Martin Smith

The feel of the metal on her arm, the biting of the steel.  If she pulls hard, the skin rolls up on her wrist, the bones scream.  She is chained to the wall.

Her wrist bones are gaunt, and her hand shows the wear of time.  There are scars from times come and gone.  These hands have caressed a weary brow, they have clasped to a child who may have otherwise ran into the way of danger.  These hands have pressed into her eyes and pulled her own hair.  These hands have flailed the air, and been raised to heaven to understand why.  They have been fists and they have been chewed until they bled.

But nothing is like the feel of the metal against her arm, the restraint that has come and gone with time.  With her eyes closed she can feel the affliction that put them there, that she self imposed upon her soul.  She can see the vow that she made and to which she adhered her entire life.  The glint of the sun from the chains that bind can also blind.  Your eyes can not see, will not see.

She rests on that wall.  She leans into it, she knows it well.  She has beaten it with those hands, and she has clawed it until weary, she has tried to climb it to no avail, she is chained to it, of her own mind.  She is afflicted.

There are times when the chains of the wall are longer, are looser, but they are forever upon her arms, her wrist that is scarred and worn.  She has pulled at it until the blood ran warm down her and she dipped her fingers in the pool and marked her face as a warrior would, and bravely continued on in her battle for life, for sanity and more. 

No one can understand this dance or this wall.  No one can see the affliction, she smiles and she laughs, the mocking laugh of one who sees the world through eyes that are wise from knowledge obtained from blood and pain. 

On the given day, when she puts the key into this shackle and she is released, she will float to the top, and go high, high away, and be free of the affliction and the pain and the blood shed from her heart and soul to abide by a promise and a vow that to her mattered.  She walked on a path less traveled, yes, she read the fucking book.  Not a martyr, but rather afflicted to the end.

On the halfway journey, she thought that she was okay, on the halfway journey, the assessment was that it was okay.  It was not.  So, lean into it.  Keep your armor on, and find what you can for now.  This is your choice.  No one holds the key but you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Many nights of her life, she has the same feeling, the incompleteness.  The search in her soul and her mind for the thing that will make her whole.  If you plant a seed in the ground it will surely grow to a beautiful thing, but you have to know what the seed should be.  Therein lies the problem.  She has never known what to grow.

Sometimes she looks around her and it all seems so pretty, this world of hers, so clean and new.   But, she is not looking at the weeds. There is pride somehow and she feels a swell, but just a quickly, she can feel incomplete.  She can see the cracks in it all, the soiled places in the walls of her life.  What kind of paint then?  What covering would you pick? 

Just as roots grow and twist, ever encroaching on the good, pushing forward and destroying whatever is in their path, so have the people done to her along her way.  They are small things to begin with, they are not significant, but they soon become bigger and wider and before she knows the cement of her soul is cracked or the foundation of her life has become unsettled and she is insecure.  They are gaping, gasping, mewlings and they take, and take.  They do NOT give back.  She only knows this when she cannot walk, and she cannot see.  She becomes blind because her vision has been given away, she has lost her sight.  She becomes deaf because she refused to hear.  She heard what she wanted to hear.  She hit herself up side her own head and it was hollow.  She blacked her own eyes, and laughed into her hands.  Nothing changed.  She hears the one who mimics, the "evil voice" and has to run and hide inside herself, jump from the car.  Just jump and roll, right?  it hurt like hell.

That same noise, over and over and over and over.  Is it a bark, or a crunch or a snap or a pop.  Over and over and over.  Redundant, listen smarty pants, listen, don't you hear that?  That same old shit?  over and over?  Crazy?  Of course you are!  You nutcase, that is why they come and sit on your back.  That is why they are drawn to you.  Mewling and crying and sniffing, leaving trails of snot on you, and you, feeling all sanctified and justified sitting there in their snot and tears, lost.  Blind because you would not see, and deaf because you only hear what you want to hear.  Your back is broken and you did not step on the crack, so fuck it all.

Did you really put on your turn signal to go around the curve?  You idiot you must think more clearly than that.  You must put your arm out the window too.  My Gawd. 

Monday, April 29, 2013


Today we saw a show about this malady and the person afflicted had been shot in the face 21 years ago at the age of 17 as she worked a register at a grocery store.  Her face was destroyed, her chin down.  And she has horrific nightmares to this day of the girl, who was 14 when she shot her, coming into the grocer, pushing the gun into her face, demanding the money and then blowing the bottom part of her face off.  The perpetrator went to prison for 6 years, or some other ridiculously short time, and has been out forever, but the victim, while she has gone on to have a family with the young man who was her coworker in the grocer and her boyfriend, is serving a life sentence with a horrible appearance, being stared at and dealing with the trauma.

So, they met and the shooter was a bitch and then not and they hugged and so on.  But, they went over PTSD and again, I was reminded what happens when you suffer with this. 

You do not have to be shot in the face.  You can be shot in the soul too.  I was.

I am coming up on the fifth anniversary of the confession.  The one that tore my heart and soul out and changed my life forever.  The confession of 30 long years of adultery by my spouse with mostly my friends, that a lot of my other friends and associates knew about.  It is so horrible, and with every name that came from his mouth and with every answer to every question that I asked for the next two years, I was killed inch by inch.  I still die a little every day.

When I was told all of this, I was sick.  I could not leave nor make him.  And, he has changed completely.  He is not that man, but my lost life that I lived, all my memories that are lies, those are my ptsd.  I threw every picture away that I owned.  I destroyed all the gifts and cards I had been given.  I lay awake at night remembering all the times shared with the women, sitting by my hospital bed, or hearing me sob when I did know of a cheat.  And, they were screwing him as well. 

PTSD comes in other ways.  I can not go to certain places, and when I have to go by others, I cannot breathe.  I will never really recover. 

Yes, the fifth anniversary is looming.  May 10.  I hate that day.  I was so innocent on May 9, 2008.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today she went somewhere with her mom.  Her mom needed a perm.  And, so she took her to get one.

It was a pleasure to watch her mom talk and laugh and talk and laugh and talk and laugh.  As only her mom could do.  The people who worked at this small salon were faces that loomed in her past and her mind.  One person took the time to come and talk to her.  And soon it was known that she was somehow known to her.  A connection to her life from many years ago.  And a love gone and lost.

And so she lay in her bed and she smells him and she sees his brown skin and she remembers him again.  And she remembers the tragedy of him.  And she has to deal with the reality of what his family must feel about her.  They all have avoided her this past holiday.  All these years have passed.

When he left them all with a quick shot to his heart, cruelly, with no answers, and left in his wake more pain than any one of them could bear, she fed inside herself.  She lost his family.  They could not be around her.  She had hurt him.  She broke up with him, and he despaired, but she had told him she was sorry, she put it all in a letter and gave it to him that very night.  They went out and he put it in his sock.  He yet had it there when he pulled the trigger and left them all.  And, the letter was given to them, so they knew that she had hurt him, and he was not on stable ground, so in their hearts, they must have hated her somehow, but they would not tell her.  She had begged them, but no one would say.  Not at the time, no one would talk.  But she eventually asked.  No one would tell.

Then today, she ran into this person from the past who said, "She told me that the girlfriend broke up with him and he killed himself".  It was like falling down a shit hole.  It was like being shot with a poison dart.  It was like eating a rancid piece of meat.  There it was.

No one would ever tell her what he said that night.  He kept coming back to get her and she could not go out.

For anyone who cared, she loved him.  She was young.  She was stupid and she has paid ten million times ten million.  And if she could have gone with him, she would have preferred it to her life.

So, she was finally told.  Someone told her, even though no one would til now.  She knows.