The Alpha and Omega of The Out of Body Girl by Joyce Hayden

The Alpha and Omega of The Out of Body Girl

By: Joyce Hayden

I. Flying Away/Blueberry Lane

At the new babysitter’s house, up past Jane drive, past the hospital-green water tower, in the new section of houses, it will happen. Your two year old brother will tumble out of the car, while you brush your mother’s cigarette ash off your red church dress. A coldness will rush at you once the woman opens her front door. Stand on the stone doorway alone waving at your parents, until the silver Buick disappears. When the woman barks: GET IN HERE AND SHUT THAT DOOR, cross the threshold from light to dark, from known to unknown. Place your hand over the knot in your stomach. Calm your fears that something bad will happen. Remind yourself you’re seven years old. You can take care of yourself. Don’t blink if you can help it. Notice every detail from now until 10 tonight.

When the woman places Michael in a room down the hall and points her finger to the back yard swings, say No. OUT NOW, she will bellow. Tell her you’re staying inside with Michael. Walk backwards toward the room he’s in; don’t let her see you shaking. When you’re in the room, watch cartoons. Let your guard down when he falls asleep. Awaken to a door clicking into place.

Scan the room for your brother. When you try to stand, a heavy hand will push you back. When you open your mouth to speak, that hand will squeeze your jaw. Wonder why your skin is crawling like ants all over you when his other hand works its way under your red dress. “Where’s Michael Where’s Michael Where’s Michael” will reverberate in panicked waves through your brain. It will happen as the big boy’s hand moves up your thigh, then higher. Your throat knotted, the blur of no words will send you outside the body, the way fluffy seeds of milkweed burst their pods, and rise.

Creative Pieces dear hope

“Unused Suicide Note” – A Look Back on The Night I Almost Took My Life

Trigger warning: this post discusses suicide.


“Unused Suicide Note”

By Morgan Stabile


Pitch black to any outsider, but I, the sole permanent resident, know where everything is. I don’t have to wait for my eyes to adjust. The day went by like all the other. Routine. Routine. Routine. Stick to the Routine. Today felt different though. Heavier. Duller. The numbers swirling around my head making it impossible to sleep. How many calories is in one apple slice? That piece of gum I swallowed by accident?

Technique One: Make lists.

Favorite technique. Ease mind, making lists, of happy things, happy things, things I’ll do when I’m pretty. Pretty. Skinny. But it’s harder to do tonight. After staring at the mirrored doors of my closet in the in the dark for an hour, hoping to see some change, any sign of change. Every night my hopes swallowed up by the every growing blob starting back at me. Thick thunder thighs, wide linebacker shoulders, chicken wings flapping under my arms, obese outstretched pouch holding my large intestines. I wish I could reach in and rip them out. I’m not using them anyway and it might take off a few inches. I used to almost see her, that beautiful, skinny, girl inside of me. The emptiness inside will be gone once I see her in that mirror, that day seems like it will never come and at night laying here in bed again that void eating away.

Creative Pieces dear hope

Morning Routine: A Short Story by Alessandra Ortiz

She wakes up with me every morning.

6:30 AM.

As I force my aching body up, slowly removing one leg at a time from beneath the sheets, she playfully pulls me back down under the covers. Her embrace is magnetic; too irresistible to break free, despite me wanting to. I let her win this battle and decide to lay awake with her for a little longer.

“I’d rather stay in bed,” she whispers to me, “than face the day anyway.” 

I nod in agreement. 

dear hope Thoughts An Anonymous Diary: Poems Prose Lyrics and More

Losing Your Mother to Mental Illness

This piece, titled “Losing Your Mother to Mental Illness”, comes from the incredibly brave Ariana Hegarty, who reflects upon her mother’s bipolar disorder.

I’ll never forget our shopping sprees and laughing until our stomachs hurt in the dressing room when something I thought was adorable, looked ridiculous. But as the years go on, the good memories fade away while the bad ones continue to stand out. And I’m not sure if it was the bipolar disorder or her mere disinterest in raising children, but on my 14th birthday my mother moved out and I would never see her again.

There was no casket, no funeral was held, and you won’t find an obituary anywhere but by all other definitions, my mother is dead. She is simply a shell of a woman who was once married to her high school sweetheart with two daughters who loved her endlessly. But now, I don’t know exactly what she does on a day to day basis, maybe she’s still drinking, and perhaps she stills spends most of her days in bed. Its five years later and I can’t help but worry about these things, because at one point I thought I could help her.



So on a rainy day this past summer, I woke up with depression at its finest, where it was one of those days where I felt so drained of energy that I definitely was not going to be able to go to work. I called out, slept for most of the day, and managed to write this. I hope it can be relatable to those of you having a bad day, or those of you who may have felt similarly. Here’s “Monday”-

I’m not taken aback by the beauty of the sun or moon.

But that’s okay, at least I’ve learned in time that there are very little differences between objects labeled mine and days considered wasted time. Entitlement is a false concept paralleling a religious purgatory.

Creative Pieces

Thoughts, An Anonymous Diary: Poems, Prose, Lyrics and More. Entry 1 – Medicine


I was sick.

It beat me down.

I was conscious that it wasn’t the right decision. I’m convinced I knew that all along. I was so desperate to feel better that I took the medicine as often as I could. It made me happy. I was doing better. I was distracted from myself.

I was doing better.

That medicine is what kept me going. It hid the scars that I had buried under my skin that had recently grown so close to the surface. They were so close that you could feel the outline with the slightest touch…and how badly I wanted that touch to be easier for you. But while you were helping me I slowly began to break again. And I abused you.

The dosage was never consistent. Over and under-indulging nearly drove me insane. I can remember sitting alone wanting to take more, but I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find you. You had enough. You cried. You left. You were my crutch and I abused you until you snapped.

I thought I was happy.

I thought I was better.

But people are not medicine.

And you were not prescribed to me.

I thought I was happy.

I thought I was better.

But I am sick.

And I beat you down.


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Creative Pieces dear hope