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The structure of my assault and trauma was such that I did not know how to write for myself anymore. I still do not know how. I am writing for a space in between humanity and death that needs no recognition because I struggle to speak directly my truth. In one context I am clear, direct, bold. In another, I am falling apart, pandering, wondering. This is the trauma of this type of existence. To fight to be a strong face while also being an honest face. I have been hurt. My pain does not have to pretty or palatable.

I write like seeds. …

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“I don’t think that’s what genderfluid means”

These are the words I said to the person who prompted me to unravel my identity and that I am blessed to be spending my life with now. I felt like I knew everything then, I was fascinated, studying & little did I know- discovering.

Just before my psychosis I felt this moment of perfection that was like standing on the end of a cliff, on my tip toes. I had finally achieved “womanhood”. I was a perfect woman. But being a woman was never something you build, it’s something you are, and this is when I realized the concept held no value to me & that this verison of myself I had constructed up until this point was something I did to appease the expectations of others and not at all for myself. …

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All the things I thought I wanted, I don’t, but I may need them to survive.

Tragedy is a resource and sadly, one of the very few I feel like I have left. But I do not want to be tragic. I do not see myself as tragic, but the circumstances around me as such.

I’ve decided to muse without shame and with imperfection. Confliction. Complication. The human experience is and will always be nuanced yet we are already leaning into a story based economy. Any kind of economy feels dangerous, we trade something for survival.

Life is and should be a communal event, but not under distress. …


Paint A. F.

polygender witch, survivor, disabled, neurodivergent, artist, ptsd (he/him or they/them). My story, my pace. Poetry, awkwardly.

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