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Passions in Poetry

Purge of my life

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Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA

0 posted 06-16-2000 11:56 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Don't really know where to begin this, or why to begin this.  I anticipate it being a long, convoluted rambling.  A purge of my feelings held back, pent up, denied and contorted over the past... hmmmm... 30 years or so...

I have no one to talk to about these things. Yes, I am married, 16 years now... but it must be my own insecurities that tell me she won't understand, can't understand, or wouldn't want to understand... Hell, who knows?  I don't think I will write about all I feel, just hit a few highlights (if one could call them that).  Emphasize a few major events in my life, and perhaps shed light on the me that I am, or just get the feelings out of my system.

Not many people I know, know much about me, Some things come out in my poetry, but not depicted plainly and never consistently enough to allow one to put the puzzle together.

Enough, let me begin... At 16 I met a man at work, we became friends and with partied alot with others at work... long story short, we went to buy some beer for a party one evening and ended up parked out in the middle of no where, hmmmm, let me be a UN graphic at possible... he had a gun, knocked me silly with it, raped me and left me on the side of the road.  I woke, walked home, and kept the whole deal to myself.  Attendance at work dropped (missed two days, and then kept calling in sick) soon I was fired.

Lost my appetite, didn't eat for a while, started my  junior year and fell out during PE, short hospital stay because of dehydration and malnutrition and everything was fine. (lost 50 pounds that summer!  Thank god for little things - I WAS a bit round before that happened).

Fast forward.... graduate, join the Army, Stationed in Hawaii at 18 where the drinking age was 18, and spent my time buzzed.  Sent to Panama during Operation Just Cause, jumped out of a helicopter and landed in about three feet of mud, along with the rest of my platoon.  That jump tore up my back, and when we were pulled out, me and two other soldiers discoved bullet wounds.  The doctors took a .45 slug out of my thigh and sent me on my way.

Things were going well, Got married, living in Hawaii, find out my wife is pregnant... good stuff.

I donated blood (as I did every six months) and recieved a call a week later from a doctor who explained that the Red Cross had started a program of testing all blood donations and it appears that my blood tested positive for HIV (HTLV III is what they called it then).

So, here I am, 20 years old, married, expecting my first child, and I have just been handed what I considered at that time to be a death sentence.  My wife, against the advice of her family, decided to stay with me (thank god for that).

Since then we struggled along, ups and downs, mostly downs it seems...  Two more children (the ups) lost jobs, bad jobs, no jobs.... and threw it all the world was colored in a booze induced haze...

fast forward again... January 1998, JP gets run off the road and when the police arrive to take the report, they decide to take JP to jail for DUI despite the testimony of many witnesses who verify that I was not at fault. (hell, I was at fault for the DUI because I was drinking....).

The DUI, while very inconvenient and expensive, did little to deter JP from drinking.  Went a long time being very careful and before I realized it the pattern of drinking reinserted itself.... soon I was spending most of my time buzzed again.  

Fast forward to two years later and JP makes a turn without signaling, sees the lights in the rearview and knowing full well that he is drunk resigns himself to his second DUI.

This one was different.  This time I got to spend 5 days in jail.  During that time my wife finds that I was out drinking with someone from school, whom I have been spending a lot of time with.  Although I had not had intercourse with this young lass, I had become enamoured of her - enough so, that my wife feels it best to let me cool my heels for a while.

Spending 5 days, in a small cell, with a heroine addict (on his way to "the state pen" for a few years) gives one plenty of time to reflect.  

So, here I am, three months sober, paying my fines and doing a lot of walking, my wife and I are working on our relationship.  I was forced to withdraw from school which was extremely painful for me (5 years of night school to get my BA, I was two months from graduating and had to pull out).

In the midst of this turmoil and strife, I found myself wanting, and with a bit of spare time on my hands I wandered back to this place, a place I always came for refuge, and with my return I brought with me a storm of discontent.

So, there we are.  A very abbreviated version of my 36 years... To close this thread let me express my feelings of the moment.  A moment of clarity and of subjugation...

I came back to Passions to regain something of myself - a small glimmer of who and what I know I could be.  I wanted to regain my creativity, my sense of belonging, and soak up a few slaps on the back and "glad to have you"s.  I ended up offending some, hurting the feelings of others, and feeding my own gnawing discontent and internal rot.  

Does my past excuse my present?  Hell no!  I don't believe in that at all, but it does color one's present.  Don't feel that I have exposed my soul for pity's sake, or to say "look at my life, this is why I am such an ass", I shared this because I have never done so (I forgot to mention that my father and one of my brothers still does not know I am living with HIV - it's been 15 years and i have still not told them).

I'll be around, reading, enjoying the work of others, commenting when moved to do so. Eventually i hope to get that spark that lets me write something worthy of y'all.


 Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway

Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart

1 posted 06-16-2000 12:12 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Did you want to vent, or do you wish discussion?  I will await a response.


~~~Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.
Helen Keller ~~~

Poet deVine
Member Empyrean
since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley

2 posted 06-16-2000 06:33 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

JP, I have been told I'm intuitive and when I tell you that I guessed your story before you ever posted it, please believe me (your poem about a typical Saturday morning at your house is a case in point). I've enjoyed your poetry and your rants. You are wickedly opinionated, true, but that's your character, part of what makes you the person you are today.

I won't give you platitudes about how sorry I am that this has happened to you. It did. I am. But as you say, let's move on.

Your poetry is full of pain, humor, anger and disillusionment. And it's good. How can parts of you not creep into your work. It does. I imagine your loneliness is unbearable at times....holding back a part of yourself is never easy and talking openly as you have here, is twice as hard. I admire you for having the courage to write this.

Do you get along with everyone you meet? NO? Then welcome to the real world..none of us can do that. If you offend someone, apologize and move on. If they choose not to accept that, then they have the problem not you.

Be yourself, JP. I for one have always enjoyed reading your work and your replies. If you want a pat on the back for well written poetry, I'll give it to you. But I would rather pat you on the back for your courage. The courage it took to bare your soul to the world here.

Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap

3 posted 06-16-2000 08:00 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Uh -- wow.  You talk about not knowing where to begin ...

JP, I echo Sharon in applauding you for your courage in sharing this -- it wasn't a pretty story, and in your shoes I fear I might not have been so forthcoming.  I really don't know what else to add that wouldn't ring hollow, so I will close by saying that I will be remembering you and your family in my prayers, and encouraging you to remain active in the forums, as your presence has always been (at least to me) a periodic breath of fresh air.

Keep kicking, m'friend ...



It is only a test ...

If this were your Actual Life, you would have been given better instructions!

Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA

5 posted 06-16-2000 10:44 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

Hey Sweets...

You do have a way of making introspection a priority in life - I've seen you through lots of it - more than you're aware - I recall some very, very subjective poetry that you once posted on the scroll that implied everything you've confirmed in this post. Since those posts I've been aware of your plight, and I've had immense respect for your insights.... You've lived through and survived more adversity than many see throughout an entire lifetime.

I personally am glad you're back - I truly am. Aside from your sardonic demeanor.. .. You keep things interesting around here - We definitely needed a "pick me up".. I'm glad you're it... Welcome back, my dear friend...
X Angel
Senior Member
since 11-07-1999
Posts 1592

6 posted 06-17-2000 01:24 AM       View Profile for X Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for X Angel

I remember the good ol' scroll days, as clear as a bell it seems sometimes. It feels like yesterday we were all just there! I too remember your poetry, and admired you there, and here. Now.
The heartache that we go through totally sucks sometimes. But it does make us stronger and wiser and better people. What you have gone through can truly help someone else in need. Believe me I know this well. My husband and I have had our share of tough times, and when a friend came to me with some marital problems, guess who could walk her through alot of the crap? Yup, you guessed! The hard part was reliving alot of the past. Which I am sure you allow yourself to do too. I am slowly learning that to let go of the past is to really discover who you are inside. If you dissolve the hurt, drop the anger, unleash the demons, and just experience life on a new plane, you can see yourself through the mountain of crap that life has thrown your way. (I personally love who I am discovering..finally!)
There's a pic of a frog being swallowed head first by a Heron, the frog has it's back feet wrapped around the neck of the Heron, the caption says "Never Give Up!".
Never give up JP! Never!
luv Muchly
Member Elite
since 07-31-99
Posts 3167
United Kingdom

7 posted 06-17-2000 11:52 AM       View Profile for RainbowGirl   Email RainbowGirl   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit RainbowGirl's Home Page   View IP for RainbowGirl

Sweetheart....As has already been said most of us have something we're not proud of in our past, the trick is to find a way to accept that you can't go back so therefore you can't change it, what you can do though is learn from it and probably make the same mistake but in a different way.. ...I'm glad your wife stuck with you, that kind of support can never be bought and I wish there was more of it..

I wish you lots of luck, hugs and peace..
Senior Member
since 05-25-99
Posts 1391
Loomis, CA

8 posted 06-17-2000 08:14 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

Kind words and well recieved vibes of good will.  Thanks all....

Nan, you had to make me go and look up sardonic didn't you?    Although... that word does seem a bit harsh...  but the more sardonic I become, d'meaner I get...

I forgot about "Saturday Morning", I kinda liked that one....

Okay, total exposure is out of the way now, I've wallowed in the well wishes long enough... now is time to seek that kernal of creativity that has been so elusive for so long.  Thanks again for placating my 'tortured soul'   and handling my effusiveness with grace and good humor

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.

"Everything is your own damn fault, if you are any good." E. Hemmingway

doreen peri
Member Rara Avis
since 05-25-99
Posts 8028

9 posted 06-18-2000 12:21 PM       View Profile for doreen peri   Email doreen peri   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for doreen peri

Hey, JP! I'm sure purging your soul here on the boards was not an easy thing to do. I know it feels good to have that release... your life has not been easy, it seems, but it sounds like your introspection and evaluation of your days is putting things in better perspective. It is nice to now "know" you a little better... having "known" you now for some 2 years, probably. I could never be so brave to write about so many details about my life... suffice to say, mine has also been troubled and I can empathize with you.

I don't know what happened here at Passions in regards to the responses and critiques... to that, all i can say is I have always enjoyed reading your critiques and I think you have an honest style and true caring about the hard work of poetry.

Be well, m'friend. Hang tough. Things will get better, I just know it. Life is so very short... we all go through so much... it was a very positive experience for me to read you and see how you are looking inward & seeking a better lifestyle for yourself. It's all too easy for a person to let the days & years go by and let the pain and experiences make you jaded, angry, and cold. I'm happy to see you're not allowing that to happen to you.

See you later... glad you are rediscovering yourself and your love for writing... you area fine writer whose work I've always admired.


'if dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts'- adam duritz, counting crows

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