by Darick Taylor
Looking back on 30 years, most of them spent in isolation, it often takes my breath away. Time flows in one direction, and I will never be able to recover what has been lost. Living in the microcosm of my mind. Reaching desperately for meaning. If I go outside they will see—in the tension of my face and the perpetual downturn of my eyes. They will know that I am ugly. They will see the poverty and ignorance. A sixth-grade dropout. Agoraphobic. Neglected and fallen through the cracks; raised in trauma.
Continue reading Outside
by Cheryl Vollmar
It’s taken a long time to fully understand why my mother raised me the way she did. She’d grown up being beaten and raped in a home that was backwards, backwoods, and even more religious than the home she built with my father. Religious applies loosely because my grandfather was a minister who didn’t always practice what he preached. Mother was made to cook, clean, and wait on her family like a servant. Her father believed a woman belonged at home rearing the children and taking care of the home, so she was not allowed the luxury of an education past the age of sixteen when she was old enough to get a job. She also met my father that year; he was thirty-eight at the time. My grandfather thought my dad had money because he drove a little sports car, and happily gave her away in marriage just ten days after she turned seventeen. I was born two years later. She went from being a child to being a wife and then a mother before most girls her age had even completed their first year in college. She hadn’t had the opportunity to date, or get to know herself like most people do in their late teens and twenties. She didn’t know what the world was like outside of her little bubble of home and church life, and never learned how to survive on her own. She was raising me as best she could only with the resources and examples she had from her own parents, and those resources were twisted and absolutely insane.
Continue reading A Stone Skipped V2: Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child
EDITORS NOTE: A Stone Skipped is a gorgeously broken story about a woman looking to find her way. Cheryl Vollmar has decided to tell it in installments, and Battered, Bruised, and Scarred is the painfully honest first volume. Please help me welcome her to The OCH Literary Society.
I took a drag from my cigarette, leaned back, and exhaled. It had been another dreadful day, and I was relieved to be in the solitude of my bedroom. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically, and wondered how much longer I could continue this way as I winced against the debilitating cramps manifesting in my legs from working my shitty part time job at the local pizza joint.
Continue reading A Stone Skipped v1: Battered, Bruised, and Scarred
by Neesa Suncheuri
I’ve always been a guy with a temper. As a kid, I proved my worth by beating up kids on the playground. Even older kids who tried to mess with me…they all learned to run like hell when I came around. I never cared about what teachers and adults thought about me either, and as soon as I could see behind their lies, I started talking back. Real young. I got in trouble a lot, and was pegged as a “bad kid.” And I was.
Continue reading To Spin a Web of Poetry
by Sarah Dubinsky
Up until two years ago, my mental illness was of no consequence to me. I was working full-time and fully functional. I viewed my bipolar disorder as a quirk of genetics, the equivalent of having curly hair over straight. Yes, a little unusual. Yes, I have to treat it differently. So, I’m not wash and wear ready when I wake up. I take my medication. No big deal.
Continue reading Second Class Diagnosis – Psychosis