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Trigger Warnings: (implied) sexual assault, self-harm, depression, loss

a lifeverse--a name for the infinitely small or large lifetimes within your own

I have lived three lifetimes since I awoke this morning.  I shall live three more by dinner time, maybe four by the time I rest my head.  

Over the past few months, I have been toying with the concept of a lifetime.  Lifetimes may be the largest metric of time that we can personally measure, yet I still feel as though I have lived several lifetimes within my own, particularly regarding the incomprehensible pain that has accompanied me this past year.  There are people with whom I feel I have lived through multiple lifetimes.  There are events that shook me to the core, leading me to wonder if I have survived several more.  Some lifetimes, or lifeverses, last only moments.  Some take longer to transpire.  

Here are some of the lifeverses I have lived over the past five months.


i rarely worry

for my safety

while i’m alone


the worst thing

that ever happened to me

was in a room

full of people watching


my children will never watch the little mermaid


they will never learn to love someone

who adores them

only when they cannot speak


they with never love someone

who oppresses them



if i have entrusted you with my story

with my pain that i have taken

so long to relinquish

do not ask me for details.



his hand covered my mouth,

silencing me--

--but only in that moment.

i am still here.

this time, louder

and stronger

than ever.

you cannot

you will not

silence me.



the lighter


sometimes i’d ignite it

just to watch it burn orange

between my fingertips


sometimes i’d draw it

just a little too close


i didn’t buy it

i found it on the floor

tangled in a pile of my clothes

not sure how they got there



if i can love them,

i have the capacity to love myself, too.




be gentle with yourself.

you still have lifetimes left to live.



i’d call this

taking back ownership of myself

but you never owned me


i am no trophy

no possession


there’s no taking back

what never was

(and has never been)




no one soul could ever disrupt your functionality,

for you could breathe

long before you could love


the sooner you write it,

the sooner you allow it to exist apart from you.



why can’t you let me rest?

let me live in my own skin?

exist in my own skull?


you tie me to my bed

and question why i can’t move


you leave

only to replace yourself with danger

i’d rather feel empty than this


who gifted you lungs

and into you, breathed life?


like a parasite, you consume me

you find solace in a home you stole

and assume it as your own


when will you allow me to survive in myself?



will you ever forgive yourself

for something you didn’t do?



you did not ignite a fire within me.

the fire was already there,

burning, cackling.

you were afraid to get too close

for fear of getting burnt.

what a shame that is.

my flame keeps me warm--

i add the charcoal myself.



my condolences to the cautious soul

who approached the fire

burning within me

and stepped back

for fear of getting burnt



gently, i return to myself without mention that i ever left.



i am okay. what a beautiful intervention.




the pieces of you

for which no one else can take credit



in unlearning you, i learned myself.

By Tasha Boyer. 

Survey: Mental Health at Yale

Interview: Dr. Marney White on the Intersection of Public Health and Mental Health