and i will rise up
i will rise up and meet sky
sky, meet friend in me


A girl, hardly able to leave her house, lives a voice imagined.
Staring down her shyness; a.k.a. anxiety, panic, fear, terror.


Child Cave, 30″ x 12″, charcoal, graphite, ink, paper, CKS, 2003-06
Child Cave, 30″ x 12″, charcoal, graphite, ink, paper, CKS, 2003-06

that cave of secrets;
closed door of much survival;
flings eyes wildly wide.


A girl, hardly able to leave her house, lives a voice imagined.
Staring down her shyness; a.k.a. anxiety, panic, fear, terror.
Today is the last day in September. It is;
National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month


In case you missed it, read about Late September, 1994


That was me, completely fallen apart in 1994. I did not know what was wrong with me. This moment in time began a journey I would not wish on my worst enemy. There is more for me to write to you about this.

I will write to you about what happened in those coming years. What I will say for now is this; If you need help, please get help! There is good help out there.

Stigma is placed and shame is place on me; placed on you. Just because one doctor says one thing. It is your life. You have the right to change doctors. If they try to make you feel ashamed; know it is placed on you. It reflects on them; not you. If a doctor says you should give up, please don’t.


A doctor told me I needed to give up. Never think about being productive;
work, gainful employment, or ever being anything
but hospitalized regularly the rest of your life.
He told me the abuse I suffered had damaged me.
It was me, I was just that ill and damaged.


I could not accept this within my heart. I didn’t. I was given another miracle. Found a therapist and then a Nurse Practitioner who said, “Girl, don’t count yourself out!

As it turns out, part of the problem came with the medication. It was causing problems I didn’t have. For years I was what I called “chronically suicidal”; for no reason.

The NP took me off the medication and POOF! no more suicidal ideation.

When the side effect at the bottom warns against thoughts of suicide, that is a side effect of the medication, not the disease. So, for years, as they increased dosages, and added more medication, the original side effect just kept going.

I have not been hospitalized since being taken off the medication.

Let me repeat this:  I have not been hospitalized since being taken off the medication.

The task of actually healing the trauma began. Yes, I know the past trauma disorders my life today. I fully accept this. I learned I process differently. Some of that may just be how my brain processes, period. I learned I am not actually dull in intellect, instead, I have quite an intellect. Who knew?!

Medication helps where it helps. And it is not inherently bad. Doctors must begin to pay attention to the bigger picture. And we as patients must keep and hold our part. Not cower or accept something just because.

This is difficult. I am terrified of doctors. My husband will attest to this. It is painful to watch me interact. I refused for quite a while. I refuse to go to any doctor. Even the oncologist to do my check ups. I told my husband, if the cancer comes back it just comes back.

Then I realized I was only hurting myself by doing this. By living in that fear and refusing to go, that doctor was winning. The doctor who told me to give up and manipulated the situation to get what he wanted; a meal ticket. He was ill and I hope he gets the help he needs. I wish this person the same things I wish for myself, life, laughter, and happiness.

It is not easy. If you think these things didn’t follow me, they did. The stigma of any kind of mental illness is overwhelming. Today, something has broken loose within me; a fire; a willingness to not care.

It is not easy. I refuse to wear the stigma any more. I refuse to wear the shame, anymore. I refuse. I refuse!

No where in life these days, except the medical community am I treated as a cast off; as a deplorable human being. When I speak, people listen. I speak with a sincere heart; I believe this is why.

Therefore, if a doctor decides to drag up past records in order to use it as a weapon against me, I move on. I do not give him or her the time of day. There are the good medical practitioners out there; who do not look at your past and assume that somehow it makes you unable to be taken seriously.

This part has never made sense to me. When you, doctor, dismiss a symptom based on the fact that the person has been abused, it is ludicrous. My body has suffered because of this behavior. My body has suffered because I accepted this behavior.

I don’t have time for this. I now am facing an unknown. I stand up with my chest out, my soul against the winds.

notsuchagooddayconniekarletasales.jpg
Yes, I am scared. I grieve the changes. I hope for the best outcome.

Above all, I am practicing standing up for myself. I am creating space for my voice. and in that space,my voice will be heard.

I believe all voices deserve to be heard.
Please share this out. Be voice. Be change.

peace my world, I love you. I hold you in my heart, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower


Child Cave, 30″ x 12″, charcoal, graphite, ink, paper, CKS, 2003-06
Child Cave, 30″ x 12″, charcoal, graphite, ink, paper, CKS, 2003-06
Posted by:Connie Karleta Sales

artist, poet, educator, public speaker and thriver! Smiles and unpaved roads are the way I roll :D

2 replies on “Voice Imagined ~ a haiku story

  1. It seems to me we are entirely too drugged up these days and every symptom or combination thereof has a diagnosis. I know for sure I had disassociation tendencies in the 1980’s and 90’s. I was also involved in a good bit of self-harming behavior and terribly co-dependent all of which as turned into a bit of PTSD. BUT, only once, for one month tops, did I take anything. I just don’t believe in it. My turning to Christ beat all that. It might not work for others, but I was so thankful when I could forgive myself because He forgave (and He is the boss after all).

    1. I am so happy you found a solution. I agree with the over use of medication. I believe there is a system wide breakdown. There are good uses of medication and poor ones. I am sorry you had to go through whatever it is you went through. Spiritual healing is important. Thank you for your reply.

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