that’s why they call her the trauma queen | Jasmine Lomax

Alcoholic Anonymous’ Thirteen-Step Guide on How Your Addiction Destroyed Her Life:
{for best results, follow the curve of the theory. trace it to the bottom of its backbone so you can find how best to hollow out her spine.}

i. get a young woman. be her father. tell her she’s your sun. your stars. tell her she’s going to make the world over, build bridges where they’ve never reached.

ii. now, take a drink. start when she’s young, so she’s used to tasting bitterness pouring from your inebriated throat.

iii. curl your fingertips through her hair and think of depths, but say she’s shallow. frown at every grade that dips below the horizon of your expectations. she must, after all, be nothing like you, yet kept in your same trap.

iv. keep her up at night with your problems. no, not like that. slur your words. /frighten her/. you’re a drunken storm that can’t be quelled.

v. repeat. keep your bottle near so she knows when you’re going to lapse again. your stress is now the cornerstone of her existence as she knows it so far.

vi. argue with your wife. nevermind what she did, how she did it, or if she even did a thing at all – you must establish control early, so your daughter knows what romance looks like.

vii. play with guns. talk of the trigger like you long for death until you occupy so much headspace you’ve got her starving for identity.

viii. promise you’ll get better.

ix. get better, then die. rot in the recliner that was your throne while she finds your body.

x. your presence. existence. all absolved. now she’ll fumble through life filling those holes you kicked in with every accomplishment she can grab, even though the drywall doesn’t go on smooth. her capsize on the tides of her disorders.

her self-loathing. her fear of intimacy and how she’d rather smother her cosmos than show off the light. if you got the timing all right, she’ll still be rattling her teeth in therapy and asking if she can still call it abuse.

xii. congratulations,

xiii. success says you will have cemented a lifetime’s warranty of trauma, or your happiness back.


Jasmine Lomax (she/her) is a jaded twentysomething who identifies as a polyamorous, queer black writer.  At present, she spends her time studying at Oberlin College as a psychology major, making goals towards her desired career as a social worker and an independently published author. When she’s not busy mulling over her next project to tackle, however, she enjoys reading, swimming, archery, performing card readings, cosplaying, and the occasional bout of crying over fictional characters.


Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.