Down the rabbit hole …

Had a complete meltdown in my doctors office this morning and in an instant, I had a plan to die and knew I’d never make it home if I left. Sitting in that room, sifting through the past month’s tests and prescriptions, hearing that staying the course is the only way through. I told her that I felt overwhelmed emotionally and was physically immobilized. I can’t be poked anymore, tested, gnaw at my nails awaiting test results while my vision sporadically leaves.

There’s just no words to describe how weary I’ve grown. Yes, I’m a strong woman, but this appears to be my tapping out for the time being.

Now, I sit in an emergency room a few floors down from my doctor’s office with a 1on1 nurse. I’m still in pain. My circumstances have only gotten worse by choosing this path to take care of myself.

Fuckin A.

I feel complete hopelessness. Everything feels nihilistic.

After another amazing conversation with a older friend this afternoon and then sorting through a box of fascinating 1930s old Hollywood photographs with dearer friend, I drove home at sunset with the windows down and good music turnt up. I smiled the whole way home, singing and bopping along. I decided to stop for a drink and no sooner did I shut my car door and take three steps away, I saw a ghost. Someone I used to know. A an empty shell.

I had a typical ghost reaction: shock, alarm, fear, 4 seconds of bravery and escape. I turned on my heel, got in my car, reversed out of a spot and got back to my journey. I could feel myself becoming disassociative to the present. Beyonce saved me, y’all.

Seldom is the answer Im looking for not found in music.

As I lay here awake in bed at 3am, I can feel myself wanting to retreat… to hide. I guess more than that, it’s a longing for safety. A soft place to fall. Shelter. There is much I cherish about my independence. What I once saw as lonely and forlorn, I now see as sacred solitude. However, I would gladly cut away a pound of flesh at this very moment, to roll over and look into someone eyes. To have this craving for touch satisfied. To feel home. As quick as that feeling was acknowledged, it’s gone. Took me longer to type.

I can’t hide. This much I am certain of, but damn that zone looks comforting. Smart enough to know nothing grows there.

I’ve done a lot of work, reaching out and being vulnerable lately. I won’t retreat. I just desperately need some reassurance and reciprocity, please?

Ball is in your court, universe.

It’s still a man’s world

I missed a call from the police department today. With a son with special needs living on his own, a newly licensed teenage son and a teenage daughter with mental health concerns, getting a voicemail with an officer/contact information but nothing else, that’s not cool!

I did what any mother would do and switched back and forth between attempting to reach the officer and my kids. Murphy’s Law: Once I got the kids checked off, I got through to the officer. He’s following up on a telecommunications harassment complaint.

To make a very long story short: I had to reprimand my daughter about something she posted on social media about the boy who randomly slid his hand up her shirt. Yes, HE harasses her, HE is dating her best friend since 1st grade and friend takes his side, HE bullies my daughter at school to intimidate her from talking, her mental health took a huge hit, I had to pull her out of the school, but she was reprimanded and had charges dangling over her head because of talking about it, yet this little fucker receives no consequences. His mother said, “My son wouldn’t do that”.

PARENTS: LISTEN! We’re all human and flawed. Yes, even your child. Believing that your child just simply isn’t capable of doing something is a poison like no other. If we do not have uncomfortable discussions with our children, we will only create monsters of privilege with no accountability. (See:Trump)

This whole situation is bringing up unpleasant memories. PTSD in full effect. I just don’t understand how this is still happening 20 years later?! That’s fucked up.

The conversation I had with her was to the point and unremarkable. The disgust and despair I feel for having to have had it at all … I don’t even have words to describe.

Therapy

She asked me when the wheels came off and I couldn’t pinpoint it. In summary, months was the answer to the timetable. Something had happened, but what? We started retracing my steps. Tears welled up in my eyes when I talked about losing both my dogs within the same calendar year, but I broke down, shaking….sobbing, when I recounted the month of October and that was when she stopped and set the paper and pen down.

“Stephanie, trauma is not linear. It never goes away. Some days you’re in acceptance, others you’re going to find yourself right back in the grief. You were exposed to your trauma. You faced your abuser down in Court and then you isolated yourself away where it was safe.”

I told her what I thought I did wrong or should have done better, or at least different. I talked about all the digestive issues, my hair falling out, the fatigue —oh my god THE FATIGUE, the brain fog… the break up.

“Be gentle with yourself.”, she says.

I thought it was a prudent reminder that I could work into my DBT/CBT skills. I must confess that since putting this into practice, I have lost count of how many times I’ve had to use it and it hasn’t even been 12 hours.

I also kept my promise to journal.

Recovery underway…

And I quote…

” The pills do work, then?”

 “Yes. Mostly. They work but sometimes I don’t work even harder. I’m too broken for the glue to hold without the occasional failure, I’m afraid. I can function perfectly for quite some time, but then…. well something will bump into me and I will shatter”

Forward.

Yesterday was loaded with tensions between Jedi and I because he’s gotten a little too big for his britches and doesn’t understand that the only reason he has britches, is because of me. I generally find being more adaptable than rigid is the way to go with teenagers. For the most part, it works, but other times they can push the few inches I give for miles and before we know it, lines of respect have been crossed and I have to put my foot down. 

Raising a man is a hard line to walk as a single mother. I’m aware of the fact that he is technically the man of the house and do not wish to be emasculating, but in most ways he is not even close. The responsibilities and sacrifices aren’t there, but you can be certain the ego is. 

For the most part, he was apologetic and accountable, but there was that small piece where he 1. Wouldn’t accept ‘no’ as an answer; and 2.Raised his voice to me.  Something about it made me flashback to another time and place…another person. Fight or flight kicked on and it really took every logical piece of my brain to walk away.

A couple hours later, after having a really heart-warming moment with Diva and Bean, I got cold sitting outside and had to retire for the evening. I went to bed with a smile across my heart. Guard down….

BAM! Out of nowhere I feel a touch on my skin that I don’t recognize and become guarded. A smell penetrates my memory and I’m left feeling like vulnerable prey. Everything in my body is on high alert. I want to scream, claw, run. I don’t know what I said out loud , but the only words that I could grasp and utter was “logically”.  I was half in the present, but also dissociative. Logically, I knew I was in a safe space with someone who would do just about anything to ensure it, but my memory was somewhere, with someone who was attempting to forget his pain by exerting his power to create mine.

 I could not be more thankful for Bean’s gentle affirmations and quiet assurance once he recognized the fear in my eyes. Being even pseudo-rejected for something that he would never do, could not have been easy. He let me gather my composure, tucked me in and held on to me with both arms, reminding me that he loved and respected me. He heard me. He had me.

I laid there most of the night worrying that I had just revealed too much crazy behind the curtain. I wondered if this was why the men who came before him had retreated and  then I cried wondering what impact this would have on him. 

I can’t be sure if what had happened early with Jedi had stirred this perfect storm of trauma. Bean saw it as a growth experience for us, risk management.

Only thing I can be sure of is that PTSD is a bitch and I’m emotionally drained.

tHE hAZY cYNAPSIS

Look, you can throw a shit ton of pills at PTSD and it’s really not going to do anything, at least in my experience. When the brain suffers this trauma there is no going back. You can have something similar to remission but it’s always the fucking boogeyman under the bed. It might not grab you but it’s there. 

Triggered 

It started with Donald Trump. 

His words. His tone. His mindset. 

It reminded me of never telling anyone about what I experienced. 

Just looking at that sentence, the way the words are hanging in the air of an otherwise blank page seemingly uncapable of bearing such a worldshattering weighted statement. 

He did. He raped me. 

More than that, it is because I remained silent that he would be able to rape another. 

When I hear Trump’s words, it all flooded back to me. 

Being grabbed by the pussy. Being told he owned it. Not that way he would a more prized status symbol. He just owned me. Like husband’s used to not even 100? years ago? That’s how primative this is. That was his mindset. Ive seen it up close and personal. There is no way to spin it. It’s so obviously ugly … or it should be. This is the only “should” I am certain of. 

The anxiety set in. The post traumatic stress. I couldnt sleep. I cut into my skin. I tried to snap out of it. I overcompensate for the inevitable low swing by trying to get as high as possible. 

Movement. Endorphines. Hormones. THC. Humor. 

I reach out to friends and who should reach back but one of my oldest, dearest friends. But she’s flailing and gasping for air. She is being confined to a small place by the love of her life. The father of her children. He loves her, but when the alcohol owns him, he owns her. He grabs her by the pussy mentally. A real mind fuck. 

And I remember. 

Once youve seen it for yourself up close and personal, there is no unseeing that. You become more atuned to where that frequency resides and how to avoid it, but it never goes away. It is very similar to a parallel universe. Just beneath the surface. 

Why are women still having exposure to such an experience?

Are we still so uncivilized? Are we still so primitive in consciousness that we are unable to morally conceive that one human sbould not be, even in the mindset, owning another human?

Just a dream?

A few minutes ago, I was falling into sleep when a flashback assaulted me. The visceral screaming of my mother. I am a teenager. Im at her bedroom door. This was a pain I was naive to until this moment. Whatever it was, I was certain there was no coming back. My mother would never be the same. I’m very familiar with the scene. 

What followed was the echo of my own wailing. A flash of a vision of myself crumbled to the floor. Desperation flooding my senses as I shield the life in my belly from the fury of fists. 

Then, a scene of myself clinging to my knees and Im rocking …crying…wailing while my own small children wonder about their mothers prognosis. Twenty something, three children and devastated by a failed marriage. 

Yet another scene flashes. A few months back…my husband and I are discussing with my son and father how we are going to move forward as co-parents as we “work on ourselves” and “take a break”. I lash out at my husband, my father lashes out a me. I feel the abandonment is imminent. I try to flee. My Dad physically restrains me. Husband walks out while Im at my father’s hands. My daughter pulls him off of me. I walk outside. I watch my husband leave. I watch my son climb into the car with my Dad. They both leave as well. I return inside and crumble. That visceral cry rises. Again. 

I hate myself for allowing my children to be witnesses to this suffering. How do I forgive myself for scarring them for life?

I was broken … so convinced I was over. 

Yet here I am. 

Sitting on the cold pavement on my patio trying to ground myself in this present time and place. Im demanding my brain be convicted by logic and leave the past there. 

It’s not happening. Not now. Not again. 

It’s just a dream, Stephanie. 

You are not alone. 

Go back to bed.