Breath & Shadow

A Journal of Disability Culture and Literature

 Spring  2011
Volume 8, Number 2




By Melissa Aldridge

I just want to sleep
Sleep until it has all gone away

When the day has not ended and night is warm
That place inside that is safe from looks and sound

That one place that used to be the only place
Inside deep tucked away in the back of the closet

This little space behind the light bright and skates
We would hide and hum in peace

No light, no sound no breath
Just warm and safe and dark

It was my knees to my chest
Head in my hands resting

Resting or crying it was my space to do either
You weren't there you didn't see

You didn't hear or have to hear all that was not said
I said it to myself, because they forgot

I won't forget and can't let go
It's my held breath that makes me whole

Whole enough to walk and breathe in this light and the next
Something that they won't understand

Something that is my only link to who I was
When I was more than just a child

Wrapped away in the old clothes and faded shoes
My tears feel silent as did my voice

In this space was the only space
left for this disgrace

Melissa Aldridge loves to write and spends most of her time playing with words and looking them up. Her favorite book is Roget’s International Thesaurus. Many years ago a little quote from the insight of an 11 year old was published in Wit and Wisdom from the Peanut Butter Gang. She lives in Tacoma, WA with her husband, adopted son, and two insane purring machines--Sir Charles and Miss Abbie. Last but not least, she has one oversized mutt named Casey.

In the mix of daily life and the race to stay ahead of the laundry she has come to the realization that she is not always the one in the pretty pictures on the walls. The outside might be same, give or take a few pounds, but within her eyes lies something dark and completely misunderstood. For many years she has hidden the fact that she is bipolar/manic depressive. This jolt to her senses and documented state awoke the need to also accept that she also has dissociative disorder, or multiple personality disorder. It’s not easy to balance a "normal life,” but she has found a way, even with the blistering internal fights that have nearly cost her everything. Writing has become her only salvation from the internal war she battles every day of her life.

This site created by Norman Meldrum, currently edited by Mike Reynolds. abilitymaine2011@gmail.com

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