May I speak to Amanda Willard please?



May I speak to Amanda Willard please?

Just a moment.

Sorry, she’s in group right now. Click.


Deep breath. If a close my eyes I can’t remember her face it feels like it’s been years though I know it’s only been eight months. There’s something about not being able to see your mother and best friend that just wears a person down.



May I speak to Amanda Willard please?

Sorry she’s eating right now. Try again in like half an hour. Click


Damian do your chores, guys who needs help with homework. No I don’t know when Daddy is going to be home, please your homework. No Bella I can’t sign that wait for Daddy. No Shilo I don’t know when Mommy will be home.


Well where is she?


Where is she?



May I speak to Amanda Willard please?

Hold on.


Finally. Ten minutes. Write down what she needs, don’t tell her about that. How is she doing? Of course my siblings still love you don’t worry. Of course I’ll tell them you love them. No, I could smell it on his breath. Sorry.




Have people bathed? Dad they need to go to bed. Damian, Darian stop fighting, Damian don’t call me that, guys please I need to write an essay for this scholarship. Guys just go to bed it’s eleven!


Laying there. Staring at the ceiling. We’re not doing this tonight, we’re not doing this tonight. It would be so easy, just run the water, it’s not like your dad cares. No stop. Your siblings need you. We’re not doing this, were not doing this. Please. I just need sleep…


Dan, I think I need to talk to someone.


Confusion. My grades are perfect, I look fine. What’s going on?

Dan, please. I need to talk to someone, I’m not, okay. Who do I talk to?

We can’t set anything up if your dad doesn’t sign the sheets. Can your mom sign them?



May I speak to Amanda WIllard please?


Mom, what do I do, I think Anastasia hates me. She won’t let me help her with her homework anymore.


Sleep, I need to sleep. I just did sleep, I need more sleep. No. Seany has math homework, Shilo do you have any? Airiana what about you? Damian stop calling me that, I know you’re angry, don’t fucking storm out of the house again, Damian!



Hello may I speak to Amanda Willard please?

Just a minute.


Mom, I don’t know what to do about Damian? I know he hates me but I’m trying. He ran off again.


No, I’m fine Dan. I’m figuring stuff out don’t worry. What, no I can’t be valedictorian. You're not good enough. You don’t try. Why are you even - I thought Katy was? Dan, I’m not a good enough example there has to be a mistake.


If you just disappear then-no stop it.



The line is busy please try again later.



Mom, I’m first in class now, maybe MIAD will give me more scholarships then. God knows I need them.


4114 one hand still typing another essay more scholarship money.


Wait, what? They’re letting you out? You’re coming home? Are you sure? No, I don’t think so. I can smell it on his breath yet.


Crash. In out. In out. Screaming. In out. In out. You’re not really dying, but you could- no. In out, in out. Lungs on fire, heart racing as if it can escape the fear if it just beats fast enough. In out. In out.


Please, just let me see her. You don’t understand. I NEED to see her. Please just let me see my mother!


Autumn are you okay? Of course mom. Why wouldn’t I be okay?

Autumn, what aren’t you telling me.

You’re just a burden, even now look at you making her life more difficult. It’s the one time you can see her and this is-

I’m fine Mom, really.  

Do you promise?


Nights are long. Fridays are the worst. I hate Fridays. I know, even if I never see bottles. In out. Siblings are crying. Autumn go comfort your siblings they’re crying. In out. Autumn stop hiding. More screaming. In out. In out, you’re not really dying. In out. In out. Siblings. Go help your siblings.


I’m sorry sir. She has to stay here. She can’t spend anymore time in group homes, she’s better now. Just give her a chance. She looks better. She looks different. It’s been so long, do we even know each other anymore? We’re not the same as we were before.


Autumn! Autumn! Daddy’s hurting Mommy! Autumn!

In out. Down stairs screaming. In out. What the fuck are you doing? In out! Don’t touch my mother!


I want her out of my house!  Slam. Fuck off!


In out. Walking. Shaking. In out. My siblings. In out. He can't be alone with my siblings.


… shit.


911 what is your emergency? Okay miss where are you mom and yourself now? We’re dispatching some one to meet you.


Court dates. Counseling. Walking. Mom it’ll be okay.


Autumn. I set up an appointment for you.


It’s as if slowly the spiral I had found myself walking along began to unfurl. The haze of pain and the feeling of burden and the world possibly coming to a halt at an moment, it began to slip away. How do you put in word the difference a single pill makes in your life?


It’s like a constant half of your brain goes silent. There’s no more voice whispering about why you shouldn’t exist, no one saying why everyone must despise you. The monster that you didn’t even know was clinging to your back vanished with the feeling like the first warm day of spring. The what ifs slow and allow you to sleep.


It’s as if anything is possible, like if you just try hard enough there’s actually a chance you might succeed. I started college without a panic attack. I left art critques without feeling as if a bit of feedback determined my entire artistic career.  When the results of the presidential election came out my friends and I cried, but we all kept going. I kept going.


My family began to heal. My father took his counseling seriously and is now on a strict limits when it comes to alcohol. He’s trying to repair his relationship with my mother, and also with me. My siblings, all seven of them, now get the care and attention the deserve, and I could never truly give them, no matter how hard I tried. I’m simply not their mother.

The most amazing part? I can see my mom, and she’s healthy and happy. We both still suffer from depression and anxiety, but we’re growing and healing together. Everyday is still a winding river that can turn from calm to rapids in a mere moment, but I’m not alone anymore. My best friend is always there to help me, and without the extension 4114.

This poem is about: 
My family


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