Short poem for the season

Autumn Night

The trees stretch yearning
with their uncovered bones,
scraping a black crystal sky,
and the stars are weeping.

– Julie Shiel

(Very short. Published in Twilight Times years ago.)



It’s Halloween, which has always been my favorite holiday. I used to have Halloween parties every year. I’d get dressed up, but my favorite thing was decorating. I’d go wild making the place look spooky. It was a lot of fun. When I practiced Wicca, I’d usually do a ritual of some sort. I’m not exactly sure why I drifted away from that. It might actually be good for me to start practicing again.

{I was interrupted by critter supper here. Three kitties and a dog, then there are two more dogs next door that come and go. All of them had to have something. 🙂 }

So, this being Halloween and the veil between worlds being thin at this time, it got me to thinking about various paranormal events. I don’t care if you don’t believe; that’s your right. I do, but I also think there is a scientific explanation to it that we have not discovered. People seem to forget how much we’ve discovered in only 100 years. Things we take for granted now, would have been explained as witchcraft then. Inevitably, someone would get blamed and meet an untimely, and often unpleasant end. I find it arrogant to assume something is impossible because it hasn’t yet been discovered.

I seem to be all over the place today, so before I get sidetracked any more, let me tell you a story.

I’ve always been ‘sensitive’ to things not always visible. The paranormal, if you will. At least until the last few years, but that’s another post. When I was little I saw things that scared me, people, and others laughed because they did not see them. As I grew older, I didn’t see them any more, but I could still feel them. It seemed like I attracted them, but that’s another story still.

I discovered urban exploration some time ago. I adore exploring these old abandoned places where nature is slowly reclaiming its territory. I love learning the histories of these places, although most of them were filled with atrocities. I used to live in Maryland, so there was a variety of hospitals to explore. Old tuberculosis asylums, insane asylums, asylums for people unable to care for themselves. Unfortunately, the residents were often abused. Most Urban Explorers tend to pooh pooh ghosts. However, ghost hunters and UE-ers overlap a bit, as these old places are often rumored to be haunted, naturally. They’re spooky, crumbling, terrible things happened there, and people died. Perfect for a ghost hunter. So while ghost hunters hope to record EVPs, Urban Explorers are motivated to see the beauty in decay, to document things most people never see, and to ‘take only photos, leave only footprints’. Of course, there are those who don’t respect this rede. I went as an explorer, but once in a while, I would run across a place that set me on alert.

There was an old tuberculosis asylum, self contained, as all of these places were, with its own power plant, kitchens, offices, you name it. The local vegetation had grown over much of it, completely enveloping one small outbuilding. Our main goal was the hospital for children. This place is rather well known, so has suffered some vandalism and graffiti by local kids. However, I still found it beautiful, especially that day. We explored a few of the larger buildings before making our way into the hospital. The bottom floor was black; all the windows were boarded up to discourage trespassers, and no light could enter. In my experience, there are often a lot of artifacts left in the basement, so that’s where I wanted to go first. My companion was a bit hesitant, because as dark as it was on the first floor, the basement was so much darker. I persuaded and cajoled, and we made our way down with our flashlights. I could feel something there immediately, but I wasn’t concerned with it. The doors were heavy and thick, and took some shoving to open. My friend took to kicking them open, but it was only the second one before she ran for the stairs. She said something had kicked it back at her. I went to the door and yes, I could feel something cold, but I don’t know what. We went back upstairs and started exploring. The upper floors had light, the windows had not been boarded and many of them had vines growing through the windows into the room. Beautiful. All of the rooms had those heavy doors that we kicked open, and they would slam shut after us. We were on the third floor when we heard a huge racket. It was the sound of doors slamming, but in unison. It sounded like a lot of doors, on one of the floors below. They slammed over and over for about a minute, all together and equally spaced apart. So it was SLAM…1,2,..SLAM…1,2,.. you get the idea. We both froze, of course. My first thought was that someone else was there, but there wasn’t anyone. Just us on a hot sunny day.

I did not see it happen, but we both heard it. It was as loud as a scream, and the way the slams were timed.. well, I don’t know how someone could have done it. I was very glad that someone was with me, because I knew anyone who hadn’t heard it would think it was just a door that blew shut, or something similar. It wasn’t.

Happy Halloween!


It was thought putting patients out on the roof in the fresh air and sunlight would help TB.



Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails was the soundtrack to my angst. I would play Pretty Hate Machine at top volume and dance around my apartment, dance with myself, staggering between the cramped spaces between furniture, waltzing to the kitchen, spinning until I was dizzy. I would scream the lyrics to Terrible Lie, giving voice to the maelstrom I felt inside myself. The repetitive chorus at the end; “I need someone to hold onto” begging for something I could not verbalize. Over and over. So much of Trent’s music struck a chord with me, moved me to tears, made me howl in fury, made me want to wreck shit, appreciate beauty where I found it, made me laugh, made me want to savage someone, anyone, to release my pent up emotions.

Broken reflected my anger. The Downward Spiral my damaged psyche and all that had been done to me. The Fragile was more complex. I saw my vulnerability in the title song, while The Wretched was just how things were. During my (2nd?) breakdown, we had to pick a favorite song. I chose Wish. She asked me why and I told her part of the lyrics:

“I’m the one without a soul, I’m the one with this big fucking hole”

She was taken aback. Actually, she looked like I had slapped her, although I was answering honestly.

I love all of Trent’s albums, and have them all, including various remixes. Nine Inch Nails will always be my favorite band. And although I no longer have the fury I once did, when I hear Head Like a Hole, Terrible Like, Reptile… I want to dance, I want to sink into that primal feeling it always gave me. I felt like a sexual dervish, and more than a little dangerous. Sometimes I want to feel like that again, because it was addictive. It is still within me, those feelings, that danger, but it’s been muted. Once in a while I feel it welling up, but it hasn’t been fed in a long time.

Wherever it leads me…

Just back from running errands and while I was out, I thought of various things I wanted to write about. It kind of seems like that’s when I get ideas; when I’m somewhere I can’t write them down. Such as driving.

  Someone followed my blog recently, so I went to check out hers. There was a post where she said something that indicated being raped was one of the lesser traumas she had been through. Yeah I can relate to that. It’s an individual thing. What twists one person up inside may be completely different than someone else’s nightmare. I don’t think that makes how the person feels any less valid. I was raped twice as a teenager. The first one I was passed out for most of it though, so if you don’t remember something, how much does it affect you? I guess that depends on the person too. I read about these slimeball football players getting these young girls wasted and raping them, and having the audacity to take pictures of it, and it makes me sick. I think the photos/videos must make it worse. What a horror show. Anyway, thinking about this stuff reminded me of lots of things.

When I was 19, I was hospitalized. They sent me there straight from ICU and I was not a happy camper. The catalyst had been a messed up love triangle where I was being pulled in two directions. So when we had to do the group thing, I said that’s why I was there. There was this head doctor who had a way of looking at me like a bug under a microscope and I think he knew I was playing them. Say what they want to hear so you can get out… or so went my reasoning. A week or two of this and they pinned me down. “Is that all?” someone asked. I said that was why I was there, but they kept pushing so I gave a brief history of me. I said I had been abused when I was little, and my mom had left when I was eight, then died before I turned eleven. My father was an abusive bastard who made my life hell. I had been raped twice. I listed these things sort of casually and this girl in the group started crying. I didn’t understand why she was crying then, so I  stopped talking, but I think she was crying for me. And when I dissociated, the Doctor leaned forward and peered at me. I don’t know if he knew what was going on, but he knew something was.

When I was sixteen my father almost killed me. He had me down on the floor strangling me and I was losing consciousness. I knew that if I stayed he would kill me eventually, so I ran away. To Miami (from Maryland). However, this girl that went with me got scared and called her momma and the police snatched us up. Yeah I was pissed, but it’s probably a good thing they did. They took us to this shelter for runaways called ‘Miami Bridge’ and I told them I would just run again. There was a lady there that gave me the numbers to shelters in my home town that I could go to, so when I got back, I told my stepmother that if he ever laid a hand on me again, that’s exactly what I was going to do.

After that, I got a full time job, 4-12 after school, so I rarely saw him any more, and I moved out at seventeen, the day after I graduated. Anyway, this is the sort of thing my mind skips around to when something gets me started. I really don’t think that’s the sort of thing people want to read about, is it? All those nights hitch-hiking home from work in the dark, and the various creeps I encountered… there were a couple of cars I actually jumped out of. Being a teenager kind of sucked in a lot of ways. But there were good things too.


Well that was longer than intended. At any rate, I’m back and writing again. I think I’m going to be writing offline as well. I read something recently about inspiration… it was saying that if you wait for inspiration it will be a long wait. And they were right. I’m not getting any younger, and at this rate I will never get a book written. They say to write what you know… but what if what you know is darkness?

I just left my niece’s blog. She’s a cutter. It broke my heart when I learned of it, years ago, because I myself was as well, and I know what causes it. I never wanted her to have to go through the things I did. We never get what we want though, do we? I can’t erase the past, so all I can do is support her and let her know I love her and that she is not alone.