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Oct. 20th, 2014

Rose petals

candlegleams

Silverplate88 here.

The last post above has her icon from Autumn Whisperlings, poem and artwork by Enayla, Linda Bergkvist, from 2002, in Deviant Art.  She talks of the Autumn faerie who dances along as the leaves fall, passes with the advent of Winter, and is reborn again the following Fall.  Ki loves the poem and the image and asked Linda to publish a closeup of AW's face so Ki could use it as her default, which she did for many seasons. It is always appropriate to the cycle of years...

Another special image is the candle.  When you light it, you turn its wax into energy and illumination.  As it consumes, the energy stays constant and the wax grows less. When both the wax fuel and the wick are gone, the physical light vanishes but the memory of the warmth and flame can stay in your mind and heart as long as you want.

That's a metaphor true of your life, my life, Ki's, and those whom we touch in whatever way we do.

From Peter, Paul, and Mary, folk group writing in 1986:

"Light One Candle for those who are suffering
A pain they learned so long ago;
Light One Candle to bind us together
With peace as the song in our heart;
What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died?
Don't let the light go out,
It's lasted for so many years --
Let it shine through our love and our tears!"

And from Evangeline Dien Brine Markvoort, LJ UserID 65RedRoses,
  a young student actress and teacher who traveled into her new life free from CF:

"I will live forever in the hearts of those who love me."

What Ki and Eva left us, one each, is a candle.
What Ki lived for.
And still does.

We can always light another candle.  As we wish.  As we remember.

Blessings Be from Brad

Oct. 18th, 2014

Autumn Whisperings

the twelfth of never

Brad, here.  Silverplate88.

This past weekend marked six years and six months since her final time here with us.

Some of us are thinking about how our relationships have changed with her over the 78 months.
How that has happened -- or has not -- is different for each of us.

For me, since I was honored to spend time with her on campus during her last week, I have lots of memories of what we did and said. They have gotten more vivid as time has passed afterwards. And all during these months, her presences have kept on coming, in different people, in different situations, in different forms. She looks over my shoulder frequently and I never have to turn around, she has taught me to look with wider eyes than that.

I've just stayed open for her. She's not there all the time, she flies as she will, it is the only way she wants it to work for us.
Perhaps she is with you?

There is a popular song from the fifties by Johnny Mathis which says in part:

You ask how long I'll love you...
Until the poets run out of rhyme,
Until the Twelfth of Never
And that's a long, long time.

It's a beautiful song for an eternal girl.

Blessings Be.

May. 21st, 2014

Rain

I taught you to fly

This morning I watched the wind curl through the trees in the back garden, trees that were planted in 1907. You weren't here 107 years ago and I wasn't either, at least in these bodies.

Two days before Ki turned 14, in April 2003, she posted her poem TO FALL, when she had written when she was 11:

"..I steadied your wings... when you were born I taught you to fly...  I gave you wind to glide... "

About a year and a half after that, she continued her LJ relationship with Feylectric, who lived in western Washington state in America, and who became mortally ill with Hodgkins. While Fey was in the hospital, Ki went shopping for a gift, searching in many stores near her home in Israel. Both of them shared a love of faeries and earthly spirituality; Ki found a small paperweight snowglobe, with a faerie mounted on the top of it. She carefully packed it into a box with streamers and colored paper chips, and it sat at the end of her bed. She procrastinated too long, and Fae passed into a new life in February 2005. Ki mournfully posted, "Now you're dead. And I never sent your gift. So you will never know how much you meant to me." Fae's family kept her LJ active for a few years as a memorial to her.

A common online Friend, Jessica*, read this and replied "I don't think that's true. I think she knows."

Ki visited another Friend, Christina*, in Portugal.  Later, Ki sent Fey's globe to Tina.

This time of year, in 2008, Tina linked up with me and Jess and sent a package from Europe to me in Vermont with the globe in it, and another present which had belonged to Ki. I repacked the package and sent the globe along to Jess. On May 26 Jess posted a description in her LJ, it had arrived safely.

What I have of Ki's is a small 4x6 framed painting which she bought in a shop in her hometown. It shows a tiny faerie, a luminous quiver of life, flitting slowly through a magical copse, holding a whitefire wand out before her.  She's scattering dots of light into the clefts among the dark trees and brambles so she won't tangle her six wings along her journeys.

Jess* insisted to Tina* that Jess reimburse her for the postage. They left it to me and we decided that we would make it a contribution to United Planet for their Anna Rosenfeld Memorial Fund.  I wrote six years ago that "UP might be big enough to run projects in dozens of countries but they are also family enough to grieve with us and they will certainly appreciate the reason for this contribution and the fact that, yet again, Anna is coming right over any time barriers to keep on working for children that most of us won't ever meet but whose need is so great... like hers was at those ages..."

(I changed the starred names for privacy, they both still have active Livejournals.)

Ki's small frame is on my desk right now and it's a constant joy, full of resonant meanings.

What still amazes me is all the linkage on this time bridge: for those four weeks that Spring five of us were linked across two continents and an ocean: two of us no longer here but remaining near our homes in Washington state and Israel; one more in Portugal, one in Nevada (USA) and me in Vermont (also USA). It doesn't make any rational sense to me why this all happened, but it certainly makes spiritual sense, like a lighted wand in the forest night...

Ki also wrote, in her poem TO SEE:

"...A word is said swiftly,
Disappearing into the wind.
But not forgotten, never forgotten
Forever, a word lives."

Yes.
'Forever, a word lives.'
'I taught you to fly.'

Her teaching isn't over, her words are still our steadying wings.  As I write this and you read it. This memorial journal for Ki is still another bridge linking us who love her.

From MOONLIGHT DANCER, this month eleven years ago --- and right now:

"...I dance outside, into the night... rising into the air, a gentle cloud/arms raised to heaven as I dance in moonlight."

Maybe most bridges aren't built for flying. Maybe most bridges aren't eternal. Nor made of gentle clouds.

But this one is.

[post written by Brad]


May. 2nd, 2014

Rose petals

come cuddle me

Brad / Silverplate88 posting more:

The subject line here is one of the tags Ki used in her original LJ (not this memorial). The other tag was "Yet another angsty teenaged girl". Yes... and she was all that and lots lots more.

She started her LJ when she was 13, at the end of November 2002. Five years later, by the time of her last entry, she had written 2,705 entries, averaging about four every three days. She had been active in 24 LJ communities here, including advice4teens, ed_recovery, mybodytaken, lesbian. 462 LJers had Friended her, and she had Friended 206 back. Among her communities and friends, she had posted 18,107 entries (averaging more than seven each day), and had attracted 21,757 responses, more than eleven a day. By the end of June, 2008 --- at the time her LJ was taken down --- there had been well over 300 responses to her final post.  And LJ was only one of the communication channels she used. TeenHelp became another major one as she grew older --- but also as an early teenager.

My point is not the quantity (I'm sure other LJers have bigger numbers) but the depth of what she continually shared with those of us she chose to Friend. She brought us totally into her inner world... so deeply that sometimes people thought she was not a real person but a fabrication. One of her lovers, whom I shared some time with when I visited Israel, had gotten indignant.  She wrote: "She's real, she's damn real. I've seen her scars. I've talked to her doctor."

As this is her 25th birthday week (it was Wednesday), more to share:

In early May 2008 I was invited to meet the office staff at United Planet here in Boston; they have a set of small cubicles and in one of them sits the Volunteer Team Coordinator, Elizabeth Mason, who talked to me for a long time. Beth (not her real name, she's moved on since then...) is tall, straight red hair, dusting of freckles, wearing a wedding scarf from India sent as a present from a friend who married there. Beth says, "Anna is silll in all my Cambodia files, she's on the team, she pops up on my screen all the time!" Ki had sent some photos as part of her UP app, Beth brings them up on her monitor; she says, "I'm going to cry here," and we both do. Beth had called Ki in early April and accepted her interview  that way; Beth remembers Ki saying 'I just want to mentor, to save ONE child.' "She was very mature. Lots of sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen-year-old kids I talk to want to go out and save the whole world --- Anna wasn't like that." We looked at her monitor again. "I'm going to keep her there.  She'll be going to Cambodia like all the rest of them --- she affected us all very deeply. The pictures you sent, lovely.  They touched us all."

Spending time with Beth was a wrenching occasion for me.  As it is now, reading my notes about it six years later.

And another farewell from an LJ Friend: "...there were a few things that just demonstrated what a great person she was.  She was always, ALWAYS unconditionally there for people who needed help... she was always willing to talk to people who needed her, helping others, talking them out of suicide, of taking their own lives.  She was such a good person.  It's such a tragedy that she died.  I'm so sorry for all those that were close to her.  She may be gone, but the positive impact and change that she has made on the lives of many won't be." Today, this week, as then.

The motto of United Planet is drawn from the writing of Japanese poet Rynosuke Satoro: "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."

Indeed.

Blessings Be.  

Apr. 28th, 2014

Autumn Whisperings

today I adopted

This is Brad - LJ UserID silverplate88 -- wanting to share part of an Email Ki wrote me on February 17, a few weeks before she left us.

Ki: ..."Today I adopted a 17-year-old girl. I've been lecturing her on how she should be living her life (doing what she's passionate about! going to college so she can draw comics for a living and and do what she loves, moving out of her fairly abusive house, etc.), and I'm planning on having her visit after she turns eighteen (around May) and will be loaning her $100 so she can afford to fly over here.  It's so fun.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and stuff. XD I really hope I'm able to mentor kids in Cambodia (in the sense that I see mentoring, which is like being a big brother/sister to someone, or like a trusted teacher) in the same way that I can mentor kids online... see, there IS that language barrier, how can I mentor someone whose language I don't speak? I can, in a way, but it's much more difficult and not really the same..."

She allowed me to get involved in some of her planning for this.

I could then --- and still do now --- see the two of them as roommates in college that next fall.

What resonates vividly across six years is her eagerness and excitement at helping another sexual attack victim, almost her own age -- helping in a very practical way and helping face-to-face. It's like she wrote those words yesterday. Or this coming Wednesday April 30, her 25th birthday.

That kind of excitement was SO there when I visited her on campus. And it's here now, too. From her. She has the luxury of not counting numbers nor mortal birthdays anymore, as we do here.

There's lots more info about Ki and Cambodia on the main page of this memorial journal. One of my LJ entries, including a pic of four of the kids in the orphanage, is at http://silverplate88.livejournal.com/118714.html

I said in 2010 "For me what most vividly live on are her dreams of creativity and of helping."

Same in 2014. And always, really...

May. 9th, 2011

I can't keep falling forever

Requiem For The Silent

Anna once wrote about her experiences in a psychiatric facility for a college essay for her "Writing From Life" class.  It was titled Requiem For The Silent & includes excerpts from a Russian poem by Anna Akhmatova.  Anna spent September 2003 through January 2004 in inpatient treatment.  This essay describes the other patients & Anna's thoughts about them.  This was written in February 2008. This has been divided into five parts, but they all will be posted as one.  Responses to the original post are included at the bottom along with notes from silverplate88 who originally transcribed the entry.

~*~
 

TRANSFORM     requiem for the silent    part one of five parts

On that occasion there was a woman standing behind me,
her lips blue with cold, who, of course, had never in
her life heard my name.  Jolted out of the torpor
characteristic of all of us, she said into my ear
(everyone whispered there) – ‘Could one ever describe
this?”’ And I answered, ‘I can.’  It was then that
something like a smile slid across what had previously
been just a face.

~ Anna Akhmatova

When they leave the hospital, they won’t speak of it again.  It’s more than embarrassing – it’s shameful.  No one wants to admit that when they were fifteen they tried to kill themselves, or that they used to hear voices in their head, or that they tried to stab their mother because they went psychotic  and thought she was trying to kill them.
They won’t want to talk about being crazy.  About being children or little more, and being locked away in a state-run psychiatric hospital which is much like a prison.  They won’t want to be the butt of the next loony-bin joke.
Mostly they don’t speak of it because they don’t want to remember it.
So the hospital stays silent: a concrete facility keeping a few dozen kids at a time, mostly aged six to eighteen, kept behind barbed wire and barred windows.  Kids are sent here – crazy kids, troublesome kids, the ones raped and beaten and thrown out into the street until something in them breaks and someone sends them away from polite society.
They come here and they learn to be silent again, to tell all the right lies so they can have their freedom again.  Freedom’s one of those things you don’t really appreciate till it’s gone.
Even if they did speak, how could they find the words?  How could they describe such a place to people who’ve only heard about it in jokes, seen it glamorized in movies?  How could they find the unique moments that describe their experience, and somehow freeze them, capture them to show to others?
Maybe one could never describe it.

But maybe one could, and in doing so, transform those names, those half-forgotten faces, back into people again.  Maybe I can find the words.  Maybe I can.

REQUIEM FOR THE SILENT  //original text by Anna Rosenfeld ’11, transcribed in five parts from her LJ entry of 2008-02-02 @ 1734h PST.  A complete print was made on 30 April 2008, her nineteenth birthday.  Parts titles such as TRANSFORM, INBAL, and the others were NOT in her original as titles, they’ve been added by Brad Butler.

REQUIEM FOR THE SILENT // poetry by Anna Akhmatova, “Requiem”, translated by  Sasha Mayakovsky, boldface.  Passages included as they appear here by Anna: she constructed her essay around the Russian poem, alternating back and forth between poem and reminiscence.  The design was to link Akhmatova to her own personal experiences as an inpatient in Israel.

Submitted in February, 2008, by Anna Rosenfeld in partial fulfillment of the course requirements “Writing From Life”, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, USA.  Webpages reference is http://kiota.livejournal.com/683341.html 
Full text of the entire LJ entry frame,  with responses,  is included following Part 5 of five, below.



~*~

 
 
URI   requiem for the silent        part 2 of five parts

Everything has become muddled forever –
I can no longer distinguish
who is an animal, who a person, and how long
the wait can be for an execution.
There are only dusty flowers,
the chinking of the thurible,
tracks from somewhere into nowhere.

~ Anna Akhmatova

The wait in the crazy house is forever.  We wait for freedom and for death, but most often those two come hand in hand.
Uri though – he’s trying for freedom, real  freedom.  He’s trying for a job.  The hospital lets him out three times a week to work at a factory.  He’s trying to get a full-time job for when he leaves the hospital – he has a future, maybe.
Uri tells me stories and most of them are true.  He tells me how he sees girls my age on the streets, fourteen years old and selling their bodies for coke or heroin.  He tells me how the pimps and dealers get them hooked and use them till there’s nothing left.
He’s been homeless a lot.  At thirteen he was a drunk vandal, and then it was gangs.  Dealing.    And heroin,  a lot of heroin.  He lived on the streets and sometimes in hostels.  He doesn’t speak of his parents.  I don’t know if they threw him out or if he left on his own.  If they hurt him.
I can’t imagine anyone hurting Uri.  He’s a big guy, probably twice my weight.  His body is covered in scars, his face with pockmarks.  He’s big and he’s ugly and looks like a dangerous thug.  Maybe he is.  He’s always kind to me, though.
Uri’s drug of choice isn’t pot or heroin, despite his tales.  Now it’s the razor.  Specifically the single-edged blades, sharp and fresh from their packaging.  His arms are a mass of scar tissue and newer cuts.  He’s the only one strong enough to hurt himself – big, ugly, kind-hearted thug, bringing the blade down against his skin.

~*~


 
YISSASSKHAR and MATAN  requiem for the silent     part 3 of five parts

Fresh winds blow softly for someone,
gentle sunsets warm them through; we don’t know this,
we are everywhere the same, listening
to the scrape and turn of hateful keys
and the heavy tread of marching soldiers.
Waking early, as if for early mass,
walking through the capital run wild, gone to seed,
we’d meet – the dead, lifeless, the sun,
lower very day; the Neva, mistier:
 but hope still sings forever in the distance.

~ Anna Akhmatova

We do not call it the hospital.  We call it the loony bin, the prison, the crazy house.  We live in the crazy house and this is a source of much amusement to us.  Yissasskhar is seventeen and he treats me like a kid sister – a lot of people here do.  He usually seems really happy and unbeaten, seeming to view his time here as a grand adventure,  something  to talk about when he’s high.
He’s high a lot of the time – he even manages to get high here.  He shows me the little cannabis plant he’s growing in the ward’s makeshift kitchen, nestled in with the sorry, dead bits of mint in a cracked pot.  I diligently water it and even feel rather sad when my roommate Odel drowns the plant in a moment of schizophrenic confusion.
Yissasskhar cracks up when he discovers I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.  He’s been smoking since he was eleven.  He sells pot and sniffs glue and seems, to my naivity, to be a hard-core drug addict.  Despite that, I always follow him out to the porch, where he smokes hand-rolled cigarettes and talks endlessly about his friends and family back home.
He’s really only here because of the drugs – he’s pretty sane, but he got caught dealing weed and the courts decided he was too unstable and sent him here until his trial. That happens sometimes – people come here before going to court and then juvie, prison, or in a few cases, back to the loony bin.


Most of them say they’d rather be in jail than with us – us thin, pale crazies wrapped in blankets and lying in the hallway, glaring at them with alien eyes.  Some of them are nice to us because they are close enough to being us – depressed enough or strung out on enough drugs that they just might end up back here.  Yissasskhar’s one of those.  Or maybe he’s just nice to everyone, no matter what.
However, I know he’d rather be in jail—rather than endlessly pacing the hallways here, endlessly taking different connotations of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics and tranquilizers.  One day he says he’s so sick of this place he’s going to make the police take him to jail instead.  I hide around the corner from the single phone where he rants at the police, who hang up on him.  Later he tries to kill one of Staff by smashing the man over the head with a guitar.  For the next two days he’s tied down in Isolation.  He doesn’t go to jail.
Another boy, Matan, is also here for drugs.  His court date is soon – he’s only going to be here a few days.  Privately he tells me that he wouldn’t let Staff draw blood from him because he’s scared of needles – that the only reason he hasn’t done heroin is because of that fear.
On the fifth day a policeman comes to get him.  Matan had spent the whole day crying silently, huddled in a corner chainsmoking, but when the policeman puts the cuffs on his wrists and ankles, Matan is dry-eyed.  I watch from the barred window until the police van drives away.
I never see him again.
I wonder how long it took for him to start using heroin.
No one at the hospital really needs outside drugs.  We have drugs – legal ones.  Xanax, Valium, more sleeping pills than I can name, tranquilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, and so on.  Staff give us these and watches us pretend to swallow, but we secretly hoard them in case of emergency – though what kind of emergency would require eight sleeping pills, sixteen anti-depressants, five painkillers, and four diuretics, no one really knows.
Sometimes, perhaps mistaking the colorful pills for candy, people swallow their entire stash.  Then Staff give them more pills, and they scream from the pain in their stomach all through the night.

 
~*~

 
 
INBAL    requiem for the silent      part 4 of five parts

It isn’t me, someone else is suffering.  I couldn’t.
Not like this.  Everything that has happened,
cover it with a black cloth,
then let the torches be removed…
Night.

~Anna Akhmatova


Inbal is perfect in her suffering.  Her hair is short like a boy’s, a reddish fuzz harsh against her skull.  Her cheeks and eyes are hollows in her angular face, and the bones of her shoulders are like knives threatening to stab anyone who brushes against her.  I have a huge crush in Inbal --- a childish, innocent crush.  I cling to her every word as though pearls fall from her mouth as she speaks.  When she smiles at me, the warmth of that smile lingers with me for hours.  I want to vanquish her enemies, to serenade her.  She is so unreachable, so distant, so beautiful.
Inbal sees me as a little girl, I think – she’s nineteen, to her I’m just a child, a cute little thing that tags along behind her and occasionally smokes her cigarettes.  I don’t mind.  She shows me her art sometimes and I feel awed just to be in the presence of someone who can create like that.  Awed and then incredibly saddened that such an artist would be hidden in an isolated institution, that no one’s really seen what she can do.
She’s sick all the time, and I worry: she’s pale, and there’s always dark shadows under her eyes.  At the nurses’station, in the kitchen, in the hallway, her eyes roll up in her head and she collapses: some mysterious illness that doctors can’t diagnose.   Anorexia doesn’t help, either.  Usually Staff doesn’t notice when she faints, and she eventually rises, ghostly and shaking, to eat another piece of dry, burnt toast.
Monday (or Wednesday, or Friday – I have no idea, the days all blur into one here,) I am in the kitchen making tea, while Inbal peers suspiciously at a bag of bread.  Everyone knows there are rats in the kitchen.  This bag is chewed, so she tosses it into the trash and joins me at the counter.  There’s nothing in the kitchen but bread and tea, so she makes tea.


She starts talking and for once she is vulnerable.  I already kind of know that she isn’t really as tough and harsh as she likes to appear: I’ve seen the slashes across her wrists, over her arms, her shoulders, disappearing into her shirt.  I’ve seen her face just before she collapses to the ground: suddenly a deathly white, scared, feeling darkness overwhelm her and not knowing if she’ll be able to rise if she falls again.
She hasn’t revealed her fear in words before, but I hear it now – her voice is soft like a child’s and  hesitantly, she is confiding in me.
She tells me a thing she remembers.  A childhood memory – in it she is six or maybe seven.  She is in the shed behind the house, where her brother’s friends go to hang out.  She lies sprawled on the floor amidst empty beer bottles, some of them broken into sparkling pieces on the ground. There is blood on the inside of her thighs. It hurts.  And she gets up, brushes off her dress, and goes back to the house.  She has no words for what happened to her in the shed, so she doesn’t speak of it --- eventually, only remembers it as one might remember a long-ago nightmare.
She is telling me this and I can’t say anything because suddenly she’s not so distant, so alien.  She’s talking about bad dreams she doesn’t want to remember, secrets she can’t tell anyone, even herself, and suddenly I have so much to tell her. I want to tell her that I am like her, that I’m not just a distant observer chronicling the suffering of others. I want to tell her how when I was nine I learned you must always stay awake and watch the crack of light under the bedroom door, watch for when the shadow crosses it.  I want to spill the secrets I can’t even remember.
I want to tell her she’s not alone in her suffering, but to do so would be to admit that I am, in fact, suffering also – and here that would mean admitting I really am crazy, and freedom will be further away.
So I say nothing.  And eventually she tugs her sleeves a downwards so they cover her arms a little more, takes her tea, and lights a cigarette;  and we both sit and watch the smoke curl around the bars of the window and out into the night.


~*~

 
AVIKHAI    requiem for the silent    part 5 of five     with LJ response commentary

I have learned how faces fall,
How terror can escape from lowered eyes,
How suffering can etch cruel pages
Of cuneiform-like marks upon the cheeks.
I know how dark or ash-blond strands of hair
Can suddenly turn white.  I’ve learned to recognize
The fading smiles upon submissive lips,
The trembling fear inside a hollow laugh.
That’s why I pray not for myself
But all of you who stood there with me
Through fiercest cold and scorching July heat
Under a towering, completely blind red wall.

~ Anna Akhmatova

One day Avikhai tells me he’s going to kill himself.
Avikhai is seventeen years old and incredibly tall.  He towers over my own four feet ten inches, and has to hunch under the low ceiling of the kitchen.  His hair was shoulder-length when he came here, but now it falls to his chin, since Inbal and I cut it.
That was great fun.  We tried to brush Avikhai’s tangled hair but it was too knotted, so we took him to the girls’ sink and washed his hair, using liberal amounts of conditioner.  Then we borrowed a pair of scissors from staff and cut his hair, giggling madly the whole time.  Avikhai just sat there patiently, smiling his sad little smile.
I love Avikhai like crazy and wish he were my big brother for real.   I wish I could somehow take on all his pain and make him happy again.
When he tells me he’s going to kill himself, I don’t try to talk him out of it – his voice is too firm, too sure.  Instead I ask him when, where, and how.
Then I quietly leave and tell Staff.
“In the next few hours, in the phone room.  He’ll hang himself with his sheet.”  I tell them how serious he is – Avikhai doesn’t joke around about stuff like that.  He doesn’t joke around at all.
I pace the hallway for the next hour, then doze off for a bit.  When I wake up there’s a commotion in the hallway, by the phone room.  I know what happens before I get there.
I catch a glimpse of something long and thin stretched out on the tiled floor with the remains of a sheet around its neck, something limp and silent.  Something that can’t be Avikhai, but is.
Something inside me breaks and I’m sliding downwards and whispering, ”I told you.”  I’m watching people rush by to attach machines to the thing in the phone room and I’m sobbing, “I told you, I told you.”  I told you he was going to do it and you didn’t stop it and now there’s a limp, dead thing lying on the dirty tiles.
Everything around me is blurring and spinning and I’m saying over and over, I told you, I told you.  Over and over, thinking how unglamorous death is, how ugly.  You see, when you die, your bowels let go.  There’s nothing glamorous about shitting your pants.  Nothing glamorous about people crowded around your still body, struggling to revive you, choking on the stink.
After that I don’t remember any more.  Or I don’t want to remember any more.  I’m tired of writing this.
This is what matters: I told them.  I told them and they didn’t listen and that was the harshest, cruelest betrayal.  I told them and still he lay there with the sheet knotted around his throat.  I told them, but I went unheard and again I was silent, again only I knew that once, once I had told.
But now, I’m telling you.
Now, you know too.


Ki will later comment that Avikhai had been revived, that she had taken artistic license with her account. Very improbable that she told her Writing From Life instructor that, though.
The full frame around the essay text of LJ entry 683341 posted on 2008-02-02 at 1734h tesc time PST follows. The entry was downloaded to print on 30 april 2008, her 19th birthday. Transcriptions were first made from this print on 2008-05-26.
Icon = closeup of Autumn Whisperlings.   Kiota’s words as comments in red below:
I just emailed my instructor.
Oh fuck.  Fuck.  I’m really nervous.  I don’t even know when she’s handing them back in.  
Oh fuck.

[Texts of parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 follow]
Ki ends her post and the text with a personal comment:  *exhausted*


Responses:
cruciatus_x 2008-02-02 1813h PST [all times below are PST]
    Wow.
    That’s all I can say.. just. wow.
__loveisrevenge 1817h
    Wow.  This is…amazing.
buranko 1832h
    This is seriously powerful writing.  Wow. I… I can’t stop crying.
    kiota replies 1837h:  *hugs*
dismality 1900h
    Good writing, it’s very powerful.  It makes me sit & think of my own experiences
    in hospitals.  Some (well, most) of the greatest people I’ve ever known were “crazies.”
    My best friend, a drug addict & an alcoholic who’s been in & out of hospitals since
    she was thirteen included.
shinygobonkers 1908h
    this is really amazing writing.
    kiota replies 1912h:  You inspired me.  :p
shatterlife 2017h
    *hugs you tight*
    That was really amazing and powerful…I wish I could write as well as you do.
    I can only imagine how hard it must’ve been to write it, though.
    You know, you really are amazing.
    kiota replies 2026h: *hugs back* thank you. You’re an amazing writer as well.
childlikeangel 2040h
    This is brilliant, Kiota.  It really is.
renqua 2319h
    You are an amazingly strong person.  You’re an inspiration.
kiota replies to a deleted post 2008-02-03 0047h: There’s a bit about me, it’s just not the
    main point.  D:  I don’t want to get that personal with this instructor yet.

sweetrush 0223h
    Like everyone else said, this really is excellent writing.
lotus82 0227h
    Wow.
silverplate88 2008-02-04 1320h
    Part of why this is brilliant is your design: bringing Akhmatova to life, to your own life
    and through your own eyes …. It’s one thing to sit down and read a poem out of a book,
    but quite another thing to walk slowly beside you through the corridors of your hell and
    feel pieces of you die.  Not just back then, but right now too, as immediate as a real
    pulse, a vanished one, and a virtual one.

    Now you know, too.

    Indeed.
    gothicotter replies to silver 2008-02-09 1456h:
I wholeheartedly agree with this.  I could actually feel
        everything.  You are amazing, Kiota.  Thank you for surviving that hell.
        silverplate88 responds 2008-02-11 0949h:
…for surviving that hell, and for going on and on XD




Probably the deleted post was erased after 13 April.
 

 
 

Apr. 29th, 2011

Autumn Whisperings

Anna's Birthday Tomorrow

Many of us will stop to think about Anna tomorrow.  It is her birthday.  She would have been 22 years old.

She accomplished so much in  her short life.  She touched so many people through her words & actions.  She was so kind & generous.  Like many of us, she found it hard to be kind to herself.  She felt that she didn't deserve it.

She was so very wrong.

We love her still.  She made the lives of many of us bearable.  She was loved more than she will ever know.

Brad wrote an entry about Anna & her upcoming birthday.  He spoke about the marriage between Prince William & Kate Middleton.  They spoke about helping others less fortunate than themselves.  This is exactly how Anna was.  She helped those less fortunate than she.

Link to entry: silverplate88.livejournal.com/122832.html

I hope that all of us can show others a little bit of compassion tomorrow as a way to show Anna that she is not forgotten.  She loved to help others.  She will live on through us.

Apr. 28th, 2011

Eyes

Kiota Writes Her Bio 2007-07-31

I am slowing acquiring entries that Anna wrote.  This one was transcribed by silverplate88  & passed on to me.  This is Anna's bio that she wrote right before leaving Holland to come to America for college.


KIOTA writes her bio 2007-07-31   01315h   posting from the Netherlands    
                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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I’m going to make this public, for now.  As good an intro post as any.

I wrote this for a new section called “Recovery Stories” on the site that I mod.  Kind of decided to write it on a whim.  Haven’t edited it or anything.  So this is what you get raw from my mind at three AM.

Triggering for abuse, depression, SI, ED, suicide, and more.

I grew up in a fairly normal household … okay, not totally normal, I grew up in the West Bank and my mom was an alcoholic till I was seven … but I was pretty happy as a kid, there wasn’t any abuse at home, I loved my parents and siblings, had friends, did well in school, etc.

When I was nine I slept over at my best friend’s house quite a bit.  I didn’t know it at the time but her father was molesting her and all of her sisters.  He molested me as well.  As far as I know it was a one-time incident .. it was night and I guess I tried to dismiss it as a dream or something.  I couldn’t deal with that knowledge, I was only nine and didn’t even think that maybe he’d done it to her as well.  I felt like I had to protect her.  So I didn’t tell anyone.  And eventually I made myself “forget” it.

I started getting depressed around then.

I started cutting myself when I was 12 … by the time I was 14, it was really bad.  No graphic details, but … it was really, really bad. I kept a journal online and my friends there urged me to tell my parents.  Eventually, I did.

I saw a couple shrinks, had a little nervous breakdown, was hospitalized.

That was possibly the worst experience of my life.  Worse than the previous abuse.  Worse than future abuse.  It’s still hard to talk about it.  There weren’t many things there that were … overtly abusive, but it was a horrible place and there was *minor* abuse, mostly emotional stuff.  Mainly it was just … being totally alone with extremely intense depression, with nothing to distract myself.  It was four months of pure hell.

While I was there, I also realized that I was a lost cause.  I don’t remember anyone saying it to my face … but it was pretty obvious many of the doctors thought that.  They were rather frequently shocked by me and didn’t make much of a secret of it.  The head psychiatrist called me “the rebel” to my face and told me I’d have to stay there at least a year.  Everyone believed that if I was released, I’d be dead within the week.

My parents went to the top psychiatrists in the country, and … well, my prognosis was really bad.  I‘d been depressed five years with no apparent cause.  Sexual abuse was suspected (due to the nature of the SI mostly, but I was pretty much a textbook example of a victim of sexual abuse,) but I denied it.  I wasn’t talking.  My cutting also became even more severe and I began to develop an eating disorder as well (ironically enough, the only people who noticed were the other patients.  The staff, on the other hand, sometimes denied us food as punishment for not setting the table.)

Basically, everyone thought it was rather hopeless.  Including me.  I was sleeping over eighteen hours a day, surviving off ridiculously sweet tea and the occasional yoghurt, not participating in anything nor talking, etc., etc.

After three and a half months of being in that place (i.e., three and a half months of being constantly literally suicidal,) about a year of being extremely depressed, and five years since being molested, I tried to kill myself. I nearly died.  The only reason I am able to write this right now is because one of the other patients walked in on me dying, and saw me and screamed.  Yeah, one of the other patients.  Not the staff, even though they knew I was suicidal (they were the ones who left me unsupervised for three hours.)  Lovely.

Obviously, they brought me back.  A week later, my parents took me out AMA because they also hated the place and had managed to find me a therapist who would take me as a patient  (yeah, it took four months – as I said, no one wanted to take on someone hopeless who’d last only a week.)

I’d dropped out of school at that point.  I left the hospital in January of 2004.  Till the next November, my week consisted of working on a therapeutic farm (shoveling horse shit = therapy!!  Seriously though it did help.)  And seeing my therapist 5 – 6 times a week.  I also began taking antidepressants.  I improved a little.  I attempted suicide a couple more times, ended up in the hospital twice --- once for a suicide attempt, once because of my ED, though at the time I didn’t tell my parents that was what was causing my fainting attacks.  But all in all I was improving, albeit slowly.

I was also starting to remember what had happened to me when I was nine.  Little bits of the puzzle fitting back together.  Why I was so scared of men.  Why I was scared of being raped – why I EXPECTED to be raped.  Why I randomly had a panic attack because I thought a staff member was going to rape me while I was tied down.  Why the SI was the way it was –all sorts of little stuff adding up and suddenly making sense.

Aaaaand I turned 15, and the shit hit the fan and I turned back into a trainwreck.

I used to hitchhike a lot.  It was pretty normal.  Everyone did it. 

Anyway, one day I hitchhiked with this guy.  He asked for my number. I thought…
I don’t really remember what I thought.  I was (and still am, in a sad sort of way,) painfully naïve.  I knew there was bad in the world, knew it really well.  But I always conveniently “forgot” it.  Always wanted to believe that people really ARE good and that if my gut tells me something’s wrong … I’m just overreacting.  I did that a lot --- minimized stuff.

Anyway, I gave him my number.  He was like … I dunno.  Loads older than me.  I thought … I don’t know what I thought.  That maybe he just wanted to chat.  I didn’t know how to say no, anyway.  It would’ve been “rude”.

Later he called me and it just so happened that I needed a ride to Jerusalem, so I hitched with him again.

No details or else this will be twenty posts, but he raped me.

Four days later, I was raped again.  By a different guy.

Couple months later, I was molested on a crowded bus.

Little while later, I was raped again.

I turned 16.

The SI was better at that point.  I was cutting very severely, but less frequently.  I had other problems at that point.

I was looking for men to hurt me.

Doesn’t matter how I found them, but I did.  I’d meet them.  They knew I was sixteen.  And lesbian (yeah, forgot to mention that, I came out when I was fourteen.)  And that I’d been raped.  And that I was doing this to hurt myself.  I made sure they knew all that.  I called it “consensual rape”.  I don’t know what I’d call it now.  Not rape, but abuse.

I don’t remember how many times.  Don’t care to count. 

I wanted to run away.  From everything.  From my family, from friends, from therapy.  Just get away from it all and become some anonymous, drug-addicted teen hooker on the streets.  Anonymous.   Someone no one would care about.  I could live for the moment only.  I came very very close to doing that.  Only didn’t because it would hurt my family.

I became a teen hooker anyway.  Sometimes guys picked me up on the street and didn’t pay me.  More often, I arranged a meeting and they paid me.  Knowing I was sixteen and didn’t want it and all.  Some of them were kind of sadistic.  Okay, pretty much all of them were sadistic, except maybe one or two who just wanted to get laid and didn’t care who the girl was.

I started smoking.  Still do.  Will probably go have a smoke after writing this.  I didn’t get into drugs though.  Not because I was strong or anything like that.  I just didn’t get offered drugs very often.

So from November of 2004 until February of 2006, that was my life.  I gave up on fighting them.  Didn’t care enough.  I wanted so desperately to run away and give up.  I wanted to be trapped in it.  I didn’t want a choice.  I wanted someone to get me hooked on drugs.  I wanted someone to hurt me and force me into that life so finally, finally I didn’t have to fight any longer because I wouldn’t even have that choice.

My ED also got kind of bad.  I was bulimic for awhile.  Then … well, not anorexia, but symptoms of it, the dangerous sort of symptoms that lead to death.  SI, as I said, was far less frequent, but …. When I did cut, it was severe.  I wasn’t really worried about either one of them because I was far more likely to be murdered by getting in a car with the wrong guy, meeting the wrong john.

I don’t know why I stopped.  It just … it got too much, after awhile.  I couldn’t give up completely because of my family.  I couldn’t run away, I couldn’t do that to them.  So I had to keep hiding, I couldn’t completely fall … so I was still sane enough to get scared.

What pushed me over the edge was a taxi driver.  He took advantage of me and had sex with me. He told me he loved me. He made me … say that I loved him.  And say that I wanted it.  No one had ever made me say that stuff before.  And it was so humiliating, so shameful.  Far more than the other times. 

I told my Mom.  Not everything, but enough.  That I’d been raped more than once (she only knew about one time.)  That I was whoring. 

After that, I stopped.

A lot’s happened since then.

The main thing was, I fell in love with my best friend.  My male best friend.  Yeah, despite being lesbian.  I dunno.  I’d known him for years, online, and I fell in love.  Funny how that happens.  I’m sitting on his bed right now. I think if it wasn’t for him, I would’ve gone back to whoring.  Or just being promiscuous.  The main thing is, I have a reason now.  For a long time, he was the ONLY reason. Now….I like to think I wouldn’t go back to it anyway.

I’ve been assaulted and raped a few times since.  For the first time, raped by someone I thought was a friend.  I was last assaulted about a month ago.  But I’m alright.  Learning how to say No.  Actually fighting back, for a change.

I’d like to end this on a happier note.  Wheee Ki’s all better, had a rough life but she’s totally happy now and living it up and hasn’t cut in years and couldn’t care less how much she weighs and if a guy hits on her, she tells him to fuck off.  But that’s not how life is.  Things are never perfect.

They are a hell of a lot better though.  Yeah, I’m still depressed and I’m still on medication.  But I can actually get out of bed.  I can function.  I don’t want to kill myself.  I’m going to college in September – I’m going to be living on my own, and I know I can.  I’m going to study to be a social worker … help kids who’re like I was, kids living on the streets, whoring, trying to leave it all behind, thinking there’s no way anyone in the world truly loves them.  I’ll be seeing a shrink in the fall … but I’m not right now, and I’m doing alright.  I recently cut my meds from 15mg to 10mg.  I cut not long ago, but that’s not my life anymore.  I can actually get through the day without thinking about it once.  It’s no longer something I have to do – I can survive without it.

I don’t have to be emaciated to feel good about myself.  I don’t think I deserve to be raped.  I have people I can trust … and for once .. they’re not the only reason I’m living.  I’m actually living for me.  Because life’s kind of fun, once you get used to it.

My point is … I’ve been through a lot of shit.  People have given up on me. I’ve given up on me.  People have said to my face that they don’t think I’m going to make it.  That if I didn’t kill myself someone else would do it and a week later my body would be found in some gutter.  I’ve lost friends because they couldn’t stand to watch me slowly kill myself.

But I did survive.  And it was worth it.  There is good in the world, and there is beauty in the world.  I once thought there was no chance in hell I’d ever want to live.  To live not because I felt obligated to live, not because I was scared to die, not because I didn’t want to hurt my family, but because I actually WANT to live.  And yet I do.

So.      Hang on.     It IS worth it in the end.

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Ki’s LJ entry transcribed on June 8, 2008 by Brad

Apr. 15th, 2011

Autumn Whisperings

Welcome back, Anna

It seems right to repost your story of how God was created as the first entry here.  I found it at www.mangledorthy.deviantart.com/journal/27061586/.  You wrote this a long time ago.  You were the light in the world for many of us.  You will continue to shine in our darkness.


WRITTEN BY: Anna Rosenfeld
[aka Kiota; for anyone here who might have known her]
April 30, 1989 - April 13, 2008


Let me tell you a story. This is a story about how God was born. Everything has a beginning - yes, even God. So gather around, boys and girls, and listen closely.

Once upon a time there was a universe. This universe was a wonderous place. It consisted of many things. It had many galaxies, many solar systems, many stars and planets. One of these galaxies, the Milky Way Galaxy, had in it a solar system, located in the section known as the Orion Spur. In this solar system was a star we call the Sun, and many planets, one of them known as Earth.

On Earth there were people. There were men and women and boys and girls and all sorts of animals and they all lived together, sometimes in harmony and sometimes not.

Now you must realize, these people were the result of tremendous evolution. These people were, in fact, the result of billions of years of evolution. You cannot imagine that sort of time, so don't even try. It is beyond comprehension. These people, at any rate, were extraordinarily powerful. Through tremendous intellect, they were able to come to entirely rule the Earth, despite being physically weaker than many of the other animals.

These people were also different than the animals they lived with in another important way - they had self-awareness. They were sentient. In other words, they had a soul. And a soul, boys and girls, is a very, very important thing.

These people were wise, and they knew many things, and among the things they know is that everything has a beginning, that nothing comes from nothing. They looked around their world and they saw how incredible and perfect it was; they looked within themselves and they saw their souls and knew that their souls came from something, their souls were forever, their souls were not of this world.

They thought and they thought and they came up with an idea: God.

And as they believed it, as billions believed it, as generation after generation believed it, as through life and death they believed it, as their souls believed it - God was born. For those people had tremendous power - with their belief, with their faith, with their souls, they could create such a thing as a God.

So God was born. And God was wiser than those people - infinitely wiser. Wiser, and capable of many things they were not. Capable of doing anything he chose to do. Capable of knowing everything. Capable of controlling past and future.

And so God did something that was very simple to him, though how he did it is incomprehensible to us. He went back. Back before his birth, for time means nothing to a god. Back before there were people. Back before the planet called Earth and its Milky Way galaxy. Back before the universe. Back before time.

And then, God looked around, looked ahead, and knew what must be done.

And God said, "Let there be light!"

And there was light.
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