The Universe Inside of You

The Universe Inside of You by Valerie Parente

Do not get freaked out
that everything you do
seems to have a common theme.
Be amazed that your subconscious
understands the grand scheme.
Because your mind is the universe’s method
of making itself seen.

– Valerie Parente (9-27-2020)

Valerie’s Thesis

Valerie’s Thesis by Valerie Parente

If there’s one goal in my social life it’s to enchant another person’s mind
The perfect interaction is a transaction where I teach you and you teach me
Just promise you’ll teach me without being preachy
because I thrive on being enlightened and I die when you condescend
so help me understand the world outside and I’ll translate the art sitting in your psyche.

Nothing bothers me more than when someone thinks I’m just a dumb girl
because inside my mind is a large web of things that make me obsessed
and I know that comes across like I can’t find my thoughts.
The truth is I just struggle with my words when I have to speak them into the world
but give me paper and a pen to write and I promise I’ll blow your mind.

I know it sounds pretentious but if I’m being perfectly honest
I’d rather you read what I write than see my picture and click “like”
Yes I still have an aesthetic but that’s just the visual poetry of my intellect
If I have to post my face to get your attention and enter the conversation
then I’ll gladly pose in place only to switch your direction to mental reflection.

I believe our minds are a never-ending storm given a body in this crazy world
that God gave us physical anatomy as our way of making sense of mentality
The pain that comes with having an ego serves to recognize the other in a collective soul
So you better be damn sure that if I find another mind that can discuss this even one time
then I’m going to hold onto that conversation like it’s my most valuable human connection.

– Valerie Parente (4-16-2020)

Cruelty & Credulity

Cruelty & Credulity by Valerie Parente

sunlight brings out my dark side

Not knowing what is normal has become the norm for me.
And not knowing what’s real has become my reality.
I’m trying to be mindful of what’s fabricated in my mind.
So the cruelest thing you could do is make me believe that my perception is make-believe.

– Valerie Parente (1-31-2020)

Playing With Storms (Diagnose Me)

Playing With Storms (Diagnose Me) by Valerie Parente

I’ve got five different disorders and I can’t afford to be diagnosed with another
But ever since the grief I’ve feel like my brain has spawned a new monster
My emotions are so intense and I freak out then repent
People ask me why I acted out
and I honestly can’t remember why
I remember doing the deed
but I don’t remember why I felt it was necessary
all I remember is that I really truly believed in the feeling’s intensity
and I played with thunderous storms even though I don’t even like the noise
and I think that’s pretty scary
when you can go 25 years understanding the string between your actions and emotions
then suddenly don’t remember why you did something so intense
its like you’re sitting in a backseat watching yourself
there’s a barrier between you and what you do
a major disconnect
and I can’t even begin to try to figure out why
I just know that my mind has become so hard to find
I’ve got five other disorders that I understand inside and out
but I don’t understand the reasoning behind this new rage filled spree
It would be so much easier to address this if someone could just diagnose me.
Please, just diagnose this storm inside of me.
Because then I can begin to master the storms artfully.

The Storm Maker

– Valerie Parente (1-28-2020)

Matryoshka Dolls

laceMatryoshka Dolls by Valerie Parente

I am an artist.
I was born to create.
I was created, to create.

We are infinite stories within stories.
Entire populations,
Entire worlds,
nested in mind after mind after mind after mind…

– Valerie Parente (1-21-2020)

Old Soul

Old Soul by Valerie Parente

You think I was born yesterday
Because of all the things I don’t say
In a sense, yes, I’m inexperienced
But don’t mistake innocence with ignorance
We all have a third eye, the mind’s spy
Sometimes it’s best to pretend mine is blind.

I haven’t made the same memories as you
But the memories I’ve made give me a clue
It’s something called empathy, you learn as you live
Based on our own journey we learn what to give
And I’m giving off a vibe that I don’t recognize the signs
While I’m laughing inside because I’ve lived the same lie.

No I wasn’t born yesterday
I’m just an old soul in this new age
Recalling what it means to be human
Through a lens focused on how you’ve been
The question isn’t if I understand your side
The question is why do I still try.

Felicia

– Valerie Parente (9-27-2019)

My Prayers

My Prayers by Valerie Parente

Somebody pray for me

I worship through art
written word is my prayer
it is my recorded conversations with God
the art I make through my maker
and I am in love and in awe
of the world inside the creator
because the mental has spawned
when I transcribe to paper.

– Valerie Parente (9-12-2019)

The entire universe and its blessings are in the palm of my hand

Nebula TreeThe entire universe and its blessings are in the palm of my hand by Valerie Parente

The entire universe and its blessings are in the palm of my hand. I can feel the energy that makes up you and me and everything in between and I am in awe that I did not notice until now how interconnected we all are with the energy we spawned from. I still have longings but I feel so whole and complete like my longings long back for me. I feel that my blessings walk beside me even when they can’t be seen. I am not discouraged when things do not go my way, I am empowered. Every struggle is proof that I am worthy of more than I hoped to settle for and I am in awe and in love with the story the universe writes about me.

– Valerie Parente (9-27-2018)

“In Touch” by Valerie Parente

I have officially published my first full length fiction novel, “In Touch”!

In Touch by Valerie Parente (Book Jacket)

You can purchase “In Touch” by Valerie Parente on Amazon.com

Buy “In Touch” by Valerie Parente


 

“Undergraduate physics student, Jef Sterling, has done enough textbook reading to know that the universe is home to countless mind-blowing discoveries. But Jef never expected one of those discoveries to be the mind of an obsessive compulsive writer sharing the same campus as him. After reading a poem by Lacey Parker about her personal struggle with OCD, Jef’s highly rational brain fixates on uncovering the mysteries held captive in Lacey’s highly irrational brain. Throughout the course of a school year these two students exchange ideas that merge science with art, reality with fantasy, and physical phenomena with mental phenomena. While learning from one another Jef makes it his mission to make sense of Lacey’s nonsensical disorder and all of its incredible ironies; how she lives by the notion of feeling everything emotionally but dreads feeling anything physically, how her mind lives to protect as it gradually wreaks destruction, and most paradoxically how both Lacey’s most rewarding qualities and most detrimental flaws manifest from the same brain. In Touch by Valerie Parente is a realistic fiction novel alive with intellectual discussion, mental strife, heartache, and anecdotal insight into the cognitive confines of obsessive compulsive disorder.”

– Valerie Parente (8-5-2018)

Investigating the Nostalgia Flood

Investigating the Nostalgia Flood by Valerie Parente

 

Phenomena?

The nostalgia flood.

This is the term I am coining for a recent struggle I have been facing for the past few days. Recently I have been thinking vehemently about the past lately, to a deeply emotive point that my thoughts are beginning to hurt from the very core of my being. I am struggling to come to an emotional understanding as to whether this intense flood of seemingly random and eclectic waves of nostalgia are resurfacing for a specific reason, one which might correlate with my physical circumstances, or if the bittersweet reminiscing is simply a mental product of neurons going haywire in my brain.

 

What Is Going On?

I can’t help but question two key aspects of the nostalgia flood; first, is there an obsessive compulsive component to the reminiscing? If so are these memories purely the OCD playing head games with me, or do these memories hold some sort of objective meaning in the light of a mind that was not plagued with obsessive compulsive disorder? Second, is there something that each of these (seemingly) random memories have in common? If so why now am I revisiting the underlying psychological thesis behind these flashbacks?

Confessional

 

How Does It Feel?

Before I try to make sense of what has been happening to me alongside the guide of the latter questions I would like to note the emotional quality of the mental memorabilia that has been pressing at the forefront of my conscience for a few days now. Every one of these memories are good memories. They are times that I hold near and dear in my heart and consider some of the best moments of my childhood or adolescence. Every time I remember the heartwarming moment my breath is taken away and, as dramatic as it sounds, feel as if I need to cry, initially out of happiness and then the more I think about the memory I feel compelled to cry out of sadness. Never do I get to the point of actually tearing up though. There is just this strange sensation of resounding love that fills up my chest and then a horrible wave of sadness that follows. If I had to categorize it as any psychological state I’d call it grief. Grief not for a life lost, but a time lost. The heavy sadness that festers in my mind, after the joyous flashbacks begin to blur, always feels comparable to mourning. And this odd but powerful experience makes me wonder: why am I mourning? Why do I not stay in that initial happy state when the intrusive OCD mechanism calls up the memory? These are memories of old friends, love interests, family! One particular memory is of a time when I felt very socially accepted, specifically regarding a person I would wind up catching feelings for. Another example of a memory revolves around sleepovers and parties with some long-lost best friends when we would laugh until we cried!  … Oh. Interesting. I am catching something significant as I sort this out in a Word document. “Laugh until we cried”. This phrase unnervingly reflects the exact recent state of mind I have been in as I reminisce. It seems that the very content of these memories, incidents like laughing until I am crying with a best friend (or feeling the ecstasy of social acceptance which would soon melt into fragile infatuation) projects happiness that deteriorates into vulnerability. Of course this could be dismissed as a coincidence, but I personally do not believe the universe works in coincidences. And for that reason I think it is safe to say the metaphorical nature of my nostalgia, much like psychoanalytical dream theory (theories of dreams that accredit dream motifs to the subconscious), actually proves a commonality among my memories. The commonality subsequently causes me to believe that the flood of nostalgia is not random or even eclectic, but that each of these fond moments from the past and people associated with these fond moments are purposely being called up by my brain, an OCD brain that is operating with rhyme and reason.

 

Who Is Involved?

The memories that I have been dwelling on were very prosocial in nature. These were times when I was thriving in my social circle. Now, I think it is fair to acknowledge that in some respect most of us can get sad when thinking back to positive moments because we recognize that they are over. Time moves laterally and irreversibly. This fact is just a discomfort we all have with our temporal confines as we undergo the human experience. Good times will always come to an end. And yes, that is sad if you choose to be sad about it, but I do not feel as though I am making a choice, and for that reason I do not allocate much responsibility to this factual perspective when talking about the nostalgia flood. If anything I am saddened because of the context in which these memories ended. For example, and I hinted at this a little before, but every person that I am reminiscing about is a person that I no longer have a relationship with. In fact if any of these people knew that I was thinking about them recently, let alone getting genuinely upset about the relationship which, to my everlasting dismay, fizzled out, they would probably think I was a complete lunatic (honestly I can’t say I’d disagree). I never quite felt satisfied with how things ended with any of these several people. Each and every relationship, for one reason or another, stands in my mind as a relationship that should have endured. Relationships that are incomplete. Some people I lost communication with a decade ago, some people 5 years ago, some people a few months ago, and each person was somebody that I never truly wanted to lose a friendship with. I always wanted more, more laughs, more memories, more attention, etc. Nevertheless, these are all people that I got close to at one point and wound up losing touch with. I do not think that the selection of people associated with my nostalgia is random. Between the emotional timeline within these individual memories, converting from high-as-a-kite happiness to profound grief, and the correlated social position each person has in my mind, demoting from close companion to complete stranger, I have come to the conclusion that there absolutely is a theme taking place in my psyche.

 

Why Now?

When a theme is taking place in the psyche of somebody with obsessive compulsive disorder, there is always a question of whether or not that theme is relevant to the current circumstances of that person. When it comes to the nostalgia flood and its eerie resemblance to OCD intrusive thinking, what is the theme?

The theme overarching my nostalgia revolve around losing something before I was ready to lose it. There was a sense of incompletion. The memories embody lost relationships and elicit a mourning-esque response. Why now would I be reaching back into my long-term memory and pulling out these snippets of emotional density? Why is my brain reminding me of heavy emotions? Why does my brain want me to feel the high of happiness and the low of loss that follows?

Honestly answering this question after dissecting the qualities of the nostalgia flood is not difficult. The only feat left is to describe how my life has been going in the current day. Without going into too much personal detail, I can modestly say that I am at a paradox in my life. I have never felt more rich with life experience or more proud to be me, but at the same time I have never felt more lost with where I am going or more longing to engage with a (certain) person who shares a similar mindset as me. I do not know how to satiate my mind socially in the way that it wants to be satiated because the person that I would like to spend time with is a person I am having a hard time communicating with due to the trials and tribulations that adulthood presents. This social predicament has been key in my confusion with which direction I should take next. After investigating the nostalgia flood in the past few paragraphs it should come as no surprise that my memories of wonderful yet lost relationships can accurately represent this inner mentality of feeling positive about myself but lost in the social department.

– Valerie Parente (4-25-2018)