Author: Ally



For those of us who struggle with mental illness, monsters are all too real. They aren’t the ones you are used to seeing in the movies; they are the ones no one sees but you. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes – your past, your future, your diagnosis. The importance is not the shape or size of the monster but how we tackle it. This is dedicated to everyone battling their own monster – keep on fighting.

When we are small
We see it all
Freddy, Jason, Michael, The Boogeyman
We beg we plead
Mom check the closet
Dad, he’s under the bed!
But the monster that watches doesn’t lurk under the bed
The monster lives in our head
We are never good enough
We never make enough money
We are never beautiful
We will never be Kim or Taylor or Scarlett
We are never our truth
We are always our monster

Ally is a writer and friend of The Captain’s Pod.



The body remembers. Stuffed until an event, a sound, a sight, a touch, a word, or a person awakens them. 


There’s this spot

In the deep crack

Where wall meets wall

And it’s so brown

That spot I mean

And I can’t turn my face

From that singular spot

My big mistake

Our not-so-little secret

The memory blurs

My mind escapes

My eyes stare at stain

As my thoughts run clear

A little blank canvas

My mind does become

The weight of the moment

Collapses it all

The slow whiny creak

Of his old favorite chair

Echoes in my memory

The flap flap slap

Of his not in public shoes

As he shimmers past

A chill down my spine

I notice his cough

I’m blinded by his smile

I’m losing myself

In the pools of brown

That adorn his cheeks

I take for granted

All the little nuances

I turn to ask you

I beg to share

I plead for minutes

I weep for hours

The beaten leather

Sits silent and lonely

Your presence is felt

Internally only

You left us here

With no forewarning

You abandoned me

With no look back

You devastated me

With no apology

One day I’ll understand

My moment of clarity

Until that moment comes

I am a slave to your memory

Bound and gagged

By the promise of another tomorrow

But tomorrow never came

You left us today

Your job wasn’t done, DAD

I catch a small waft

Of your unforgettable cologne

I want to crawl in your lap

While your chin sits

Scruffy on my head

A deep sigh of relief

A light hearted release

Nevermind, I’ll never understand

I’ll constantly doubt

Why did you leave

Why must I stay behind

Forever in my heart

Unable to let go

Of the only good advice

You imparted to me

The vapor begins to dissipate

The scent mostly gone

Out of focus becomes stain

Tuck it away says brain

Ally is a writer and friend of The Captain’s Pod.

The Space Between


I often get asked to explain what is “wrong”  with me. Quite often I am faced with a situation that requires me to begin with my back against a wall.  I often wonder why people look at me and require that I provide for them a solution for MY so called problems.  And I always come to the same solution: the explanation of my problem only provides an excuse to you for your problems.  I have to remind myself frequently that the problem doesn’t begin with me…the problem begins with a gross lack of education on an exceptionally sensitive subject.

But then there are those in the middle times.  The so- called

Space Between.

      I only call it that to simplify the matter for those that can’t understand it. The Space Between is the moment when your logical self loses touch with your emotional self.  And in that ultra-tiny fragment of time, your emotional self grabs hold of the reigns and somehow they never let go.  So what happens in the space between? Why can’t you write? Why can’t you smile? Why are you so sad? Prepare yourself. Because THIS is what happens in the space between:

     SO*: My mom said you look like you’ve lost weight. I told you baby. You’re sexy.

     LS*:  He noticed my weight loss! He acknowledged my beauty and is proud of my hard work!

     ES*: Omg he thought I was fat! Fat means ugly! I need to lose weight fast or he will leave me for   

              someone else!


     Fuck him. If he doesn’t see me for me then what does it matter?

     5 minutes later…

     *tears start rolling down*

     Why even live? I am so ugly and disgusting.

    *undetermined time*

     The world is better without me.


     *put on music designed to make you cry*

     *push away SO*

     God, just take me. End my misery. Take me away.

     *passes out*

     See, most people worry about the times you are super happy.  Others worry about the times you are quiet.  And yet, few precious others, worry when you accept everything with a smile.  Because behind that smile lies the space between.  And when you are stuck there nothing seems real to you and nothing seems like it matters.

     The space between is the most dangerous of all because it disguises itself as happiness.  The space between drugs you with all of its beauty and grief and solace.  The space between understands.

     That’s all we ask of you.  Please understand. Don’t ask what is wrong because the only answer is the scary truth that sleeps in the space between.

*SO: Significant Other

*LS: Logical Self

*ES: Emotional Self

Ally is a writer and friend of The Captain’s Pod.

Dating an HSP- He Doesn’t Get Me!



Allison Maxwell

     As is typical, last night I was once again plagued with bad dreams, nightmares, night terrors, whatever you want to call it. And, as is also typical, my nightmare consisted of my significant other cheating on me. I woke in a start, and I woke angry. My feelings were CRUSHED. WHY would he cheat on me? I don’t care that it’s a dream, he betrayed me! I am so mad I could spit nails. Eventually I fell back asleep and when I woke up (for real) in the morning I was STILL mad. And when Nick woke up I snapped at him. Poor guy didn’t even know what hit him. And he couldn’t understand what he did wrong. The rational part of me understands that…he didn’t actually do anything wrong…dream version did. But the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) side of me can only come to one resolution: “He doesn’t get me. And if he doesn’t get me then he doesn’t really love me. And if he doesn’t really love me then maybe he really is cheating on me. And if he really is cheating…..” and so on and so forth until I have convinced myself that he is breaking up with me any second. And when those two minds meet I realize something even bigger: I am IMPOSSIBLE to date.

     So, why doesn’t he get me? Well, the reality of the situation is that he gets me just fine; perfectly actually. And 99% of the time I see that. But then, he says or does something (usually the something is VERY small…and usually he thinks he is being playful or joking) and I am offended and hurt. Like, to the bone. And then that 1% of the time clouds the other 99%. When those moments happen this alter-Ally-ego thing appears and I am embarrassed, hurt, angry and most likely crying. Over what exactly no one  really knows. It’s all a mystery, even to me.

     I have often compared my boyfriend to Phil Dunphy from Modern Family.  Here’s what I know about Phil: he loves his wife and his family beyond compare, he is quite silly, he is completely aDORKable and he is always saying or doing the wrong thing. The wrong thing is often created because Phil always does everything with the best of intentions; but seems to fall short sometimes. His one-liners make me giggle and then when Claire rolls her eyes or gives the camera a “look” I start laughing hysterically. Because I do the same thing to Nick.

     I decided that the easiest way to get past these moments that far too often start arguments is to make a sort-of “guide” to dating me. I mean, I should really come with a warning label; but since I don’t, I decided to devise a guide. How to date me (that’s the really original and creative title I came up with). Chapter One: you’re screwed. That’s all I got. The end. The guide really should go something like this: if I wake up and I am happy, don’t say anything. If I wake up and I am anything other than happy, don’t say anything. If you don’t say anything I will be hurt and think you don’t want to have anything to do with me. If you do say something I will like get offended and hurt and get upset with you. If I get upset with you don’t say anything. If I am upset and you don’t say anything prepare for a fight. Nope, you’re screwed really does sum it all up nicely.

     It takes a lot of patience, commitment, kindness and love to date a highly sensitive person. Some may ask if it is even worth it. Here’s my response to them: remember that 99% of the time I spoke about earlier? That’s the time that makes it worth it. Yes, the 1% of the time can be extremely difficult, dramatic and tear filled but the other 99% is filled with humor, gratitude, fun, laughs and a boatload of love. When my HSP switch is in the “off” position I am the most giving and attentive and loving person on the planet. That’s what makes it all worth it. You will never find another mate like a HSP; at least when it comes to the size of their heart. HSP’s have huge hearts because of our sensitivity. The thing that makes us hardest to understand is also the thing that makes us the best to be around.

     If you’re lucky enough to be with a HSP, then just ride the waves; it WILL pay off. And, if you’re a HSP like me, and you have found the one that will ride the waves no matter how hard they crash, then count your blessings. And remember this: all those times that you feel like he/she doesn’t get you…THOSE are the times that they get you the most. How do I know? Because when the smoke clears, they are still standing there. If they didn’t get you, they would have walked the other way a long time ago.

For more HSP relationship conversation, please listen to HSP S.O.S. episodes- with Michelle at thecaptain’s

#14 HSP’s and The Fear of Intimacy

#15 HSP’s and Relationship Attachment Styles