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Life is Funny

My life has been interesting as of late… and I’m not sure if I would qualify it as Chinese curse interesting. It certainly has felt that way for me for months. Each event seeming far worse and harder to overcome than the last. It was so bad that I felt as though I were on the brink of despair.

Sometimes life gives you something that is horrible at the time, but in hindsight might have been precisely what you needed in the first place. There are some things that wind up being blessings in disguise. And as much as I’m remiss to say it, I think what I went through may have been just that.

So, just after the Fourth of July, I got the results of a back x-ray that I took to see what was causing the pain in my back. That turns out to be early arthritis in my lower back. Not a surprise as I’ve had arthritis since I was 13 and had it in my knees. Not really surprising, and now it’s something that I’m going to fight against. I’ll be damned if I wind up in a wheelchair before my time.

More worrisome is that they also found a 5mm density in my lung/internal organ area.

So, of course this means something a lot more important… and dangerous. That means that they need to take another x-ray to make sure that something’s there… and if there is, it’s more than likely cancer. After all, cancer does run in my family. My grandmother died 2 years ago from cancer. My dad and grandfather have had to have tumors biopsied to make sure it wasn’t cancer.

While I was sure that I didn’t have cancer… it didn’t change that I was still scared. I’ve been in immediate fear for my life before. I’m even familiar of being in fear for my life at the hands of someone else for some time. This is the first thing that is hard to fight against. This is the first time I couldn’t watch something that could kill me. That scared me more than any of the other things that I could imagine. I’ve been abused and have had to handle plenty of other things in my life. This is different.

The two days I had to wait to have my chest x-ray were both long and excruciating. In that time, it makes one evaluate what it would mean if it turns out to be something, if it really is cancer. How would my life change? What would I need to do in order to have the longest and best quality of life is possible? How painful is chemotherapy?

It’s not a pleasant thought train, but it was a possibility.

The day of the x-ray came and I went in and did it. Tomo was super supportive as that’s the job he thinks he needs to do, be puppy emotional support for mommy. Then they asked me questions of why I was there to see if I understood why. I answered and broke down half of the way through. The x-ray tech read the reason and apologized. It didn’t take much for him to realize the reason for being there.

I took the x-ray and then all that was left was to wait. Thankfully my doctor wanted to give me an answer sooner than later. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything for a day. I heard back within the hour.

It came back that the density was an artifact.

That is the best news anyone could hope to get. I felt entirely relieved. All the scary thoughts that I had thought had gone.

Something more interesting came from this situation… something I didn’t know was possible. A week after finding out that I wasn’t in for having my life altered, something unimaginable happened. For the first time in about as long as I could remember I didn’t feel so anxious about things. It’s something I’m still not used to.

I don’t feel as awkward as I used to in social situations. Thinking about other things in my life doesn’t make me dreadful. This is both wonderful and weird. Because of thinking about everything that could have gone bad and that it could have been a very real situation. I think it helped put things in perspective for me. Life is so temporary and can change in the blink of an eye. There’s no time to fret over things that don’t matter. It sucks that I had to have a health scare for that point to settle into my brain. But here it is.

Kabuki by David Mack

Kabuki by David Mack

 

In the very early hours of the eighth of July in the year Common Era two thousand and sixteen, I lie awake. My brain is a constant churning cacophony. I try to make sense of the countless whispers, even if there is none. I try to bring calm to this maelstrom… yet to no avail.

I stare blankly at the darkness, almost impotent to do anything. After all, how does one make sense of the nonsensical? How does one find sanity in insanity?

This week has been both a blessing and a curse. It has offered me a chance for insight, yet also a deeper look into the gaping, dark maw of hatred that many don’t wish to acknowledge… yet we can no longer ignore it.

May you live in interesting times. This is an old Chinese curse (or so I’ve been told). Yet nothing could ring more true as I look at how things have come to this.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least attempt to hash out everything that is in my head, and maybe give myself an hour or two of sleep.

So, where do we start? Generally, at the beginning… yet, I don’t think that would work nearly as nicely. So, how about where we are right now.

In two days, two men were killed. The why is entirely important because too many people want to hush the rightly angry voices of the community it affects most. Two black men were killed in two days, by cops. This isn’t the first instance, and sadly, this will probably not be the last.

These were two men who were trying to follow what they police were telling them. Yet they were gun down… one of them in front of their four-year-old daughter and girlfriend, while he was still in the car (daughter and girlfriend were as well).

That last sentence should give you pause. It certainly does me.

A young girl just lost her father and has been traumatized for life. This isn’t something you can just forget. She will see this play out over and over in the dead of the night.

So, after such relentless and senseless death of two black men, what to do?

Exercise our first amendment rights as Americans and protest by any means necessary. We all have a right to speak out against injustice when we see it, by whatever voice we can muster. This is why Black Lives Matter is important. Because, right now, the lives being threatened and taken aren’t white, they’re black. And their lives are as valuable as anyone else’s.

Yet, some in Dallas felt differently. Some rogue people decided that they wanted to see another kind of justice. And after many deaths of black men at the hands of the police, in the middle of an otherwise peaceful protest, they decided to take the lives of three officers in Dallas.

People, this is the world we live in. This is not OK.

This is no longer a matter of being a “social justice warrior”. This is about understanding the systemic racism that many find acceptable. That many are willing to vote for (or in many cases not vote at all and allow it to happen anyways). This is the megalomaniac, a narcissist in a bad comb over and horrible spray tan. THIS is what we might be left with. We find ourselves being on the very precipice that the Weimar Republic found itself in the 1920s.

This is not OK.

We deserve better.

 

It makes my personal journey seem trivial in the light of so much hate and darkness in the world. Where it’s all so palpable, tangible. If one wanted, they could reach out into the night and touch it, feel the roiling chaos that it brings with it. For down that path lies the road to ruin. Where we must all forgo the very moral values that every religion teaches.

It’s hard to know if it’s possible to tread forward anymore. I feel caught in a black sludge that threatens to overtake all that is good in this world. It keeps me up late at night and into the wee hours of morning.

… And I realize that there is no more sense to this chaos.

So, what should one do?

Do I succumb? Or do I fight, even though I have lost the will to fight?

I thank whatever for my stubbornness. If anything, it has kept me fighting longer than reason should allow.

So, I sit here, fighting the best way I know how, with words. I won’t fall into that seething abyss before me… and if I do fall, it will be fighting. After all, that’s all I know how to do in this world. It’s what has kept me alive for so long, even after my brain has said stop. I will not allow this darkness to take anyone that I love and care about… or even those that I loathe.

I will not stand idle by.

I chose to fight against the darkness because we deserve better. Because no four-year-old girl deserves to live a life of nightmares. Because even the least of us deserves a voice. Because this is not OK.

 

This has been a long time in coming. I’ve sat on these feelings for the last week and half, speaking about it only in vague terms. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t just can’t keep quiet anymore.

There’s one thing I abhor more than anything in my life. That’s lying… and more importantly liars. Lying rises an ire in me more than anything. I’m currently in a place where my rage has gotten beyond boiling. To make this more understandable, I feel like I must tell my tale. Not by pointing fingers, but by actually writing it out. Maybe then I can actually sleep again.

I’ve been lied to recently… not just lied to, manipulated, blamed, and flat-out disrespected.

So, how did this all happen?

I asked a question where I was given one response. Now, if in the course of the conversation I was asked about it or been told that they had changed their mind, which would have been fine… or at least better. But it didn’t happen. I was given an unequivocal answer of something not happening. This is probably because maybe I could have made it to the same event. Then I mentioned I wasn’t likely to attend because I had to be adult. I had to put personal responsibility first.

Flash forward a few days.

Having another conversation… one where I keep mentioning the same suspicion that I have. Each time to respond to anything, but what I stated. Now, usually if something didn’t happen I’ve received an angry response of how dare me. This time it’s crickets.

This happens more than once. In the earlier part of this conversation I was asked for a thank you for something that I never received or saw, I was only told about. Somehow I’m supposed to know that a gesture I never received was for me. I find that to be weird, but say thank you all the same. Then I force the issue that I mentioned repeatedly earlier… because at this point there is no wiggling out of it.

They try to argue their way out of it. Denying that they gave me a flat answer. That what they did was OK because there was an ambiguous answer. The fact that they said they weren’t going to do something to only do it is lying. Then they go back and look at the conversation… and they’re caught in a lie. They gave me an unambiguous answer. More importantly, not only did they lie to me, they decided to do it behind my back, because I wouldn’t have found out about it anyways. This isn’t entirely true. I would have found out. There are enough mutual friends that I would have heard from somebody anyways. Besides, the truth does always come out eventually.

Flash forward another few days.

In another conversation… one where I’m supposed to get a heart-felt apology… guess what else I receive. That I’m partially to blame for this situation. Somehow, even though I wasn’t there, I didn’t put a gun to their head, I’m partially responsible for their decision.

At this point, I’m fit to be tied.

This hits every button that I know to be abusive. I was manipulated (I should be thankful for something that I not only didn’t know about, but never received just before the admission that they lied to me). I was lied to (given one answer then they turn around and do something else). That this was done behind my back, intentionally, after they knew I wouldn’t be attending is utterly disrespectful. And then there’s the blame.

So much of this is just not OK. Actually, strike that, it’s not acceptable. If I’m someone you supposedly love and care about, that’s not how you treat them. This is how you treat someone you don’t care about, that you have contempt for… and maybe that’s really it. Maybe these actions are out of contempt. I can’t answer because they are not my actions. I try to be as direct and honest in my speech and action as possible. I expect people to treat me the way that I treat them.

Apparently, that was too great an expectation for this person.

The worst part, is that I’m trying really hard to not let this betrayal color my other relationships… and in many ways it’s not. I’m being very vigilant to fight against the negative feedback loop of this is happening to me because I’m a shitty person. That somehow I deserve this. More importantly, I’m being ever vigilant about not falling into my pain cycle where I have a hard time believing anybody. This is incredibly hard for me. It’s how I’ve dealt with things historically. I get hurt badly, so I keep everyone at arm’s length.

There is one *huge* (and I really do mean huge) positive to come out of this. While I occasionally will fall into negative self-speak, I recognize I’m doing it and stop it. Even more, I realize that I don’t deserve this and that it isn’t my fault. The fact that I’m saying that I don’t deserve this is a huge step forward… like immeasurably huge.

I’m still struggling with fighting with pushing people away because I’m hurt. I’m trying not to. If I do actually do it, it’s not a conscious decision. I do know one thing though, that this is not ok. That this is something I shouldn’t put up with. What that means in the long-term… I don’t know. I’ll have to wait and see.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of writing. Emotionally, it’s been difficult to motivate myself to do much more than want to hide under blankets and ignore the world. I’m now working on trying to do more. I’ve kind of gotten to the point where you wind up so stressed that your body starts to tell you. And I mean more than just insomnia.

I can’t see this state getting any better in the foreseeable future, so I’m going to do a brain dump. I feel so stressed now that I can arc lightning between my fingers. That’s pretty bad. Some of this might be stuff that I’ve talked about before in my spotty writing schedule. A lot of it won’t be. I feel the need to extract it all from my head.

New Year’s is supposed to be a time of great hope. What sort of awesome will this year bring?

Yeah… I’m not sure I even got a moment of that thinking, after all, 2015 ended so horribly. I still haven’t received pay from my paid writing gig. It’s something I love to do, and it really sucks and hurts to not get paid. This is especially true because writing means so much to me. My current more-off-than-on boyfriend decide his new girlfriend ranks higher than I do (BTW, this has been obvious twice more since then).

So, yeah… those are two huge things. I tried to make the best of it, but something else decided that it wasn’t meant to be.

So, what of these two other times I speak of (after all, the work thing is pretty self-explanatory)?

Well, even though we’re not really dating now, I still bought a Valentine’s gift for him. I don’t know why, maybe hopeful or wishful thinking. I don’t know. I did. He got me… nothing until I mentioned that I had something for him. I’m sure he got his girlfriend something, but I didn’t rank as important. Now, granted, this is supposition. I can’t prove this is the case. Given that I had to wait two months, it’s not boding well for him having thought about giving me anything.

The other was fairly recently… when he decided his overnight was more important than something he had planned to do. Something he and I talked about. This isn’t just shades of the original purpose of going to therapy, this is the exact reason why we’re in therapy in the first place. So, all that money that I’ve spent since last December is now flushed down the toilet. I can just hear my personal therapist when I see him next.

Of course, these aren’t the only things going on. These are the most immediate.

Because I’m not getting paid for the months of writing I did (and no real way for recourse, thanks for protecting artists, labor laws), I’m now looking for a job… doing the one thing I hate doing, office work. Hell, at this point, we’re so close to broke, I’m ready to say, “Fuck it!” and go back into retail. It’ll probably break me down so badly that I will barely be able to function, but I know that I could probably get a retail job easier than an office job where I live because of stupidly ridiculous requirement of a bachelor’s degree for answering a phone and greeting people.

This has been really gutting for me. I thought that I finally found a place where I could just write and be happy. I can’t. I’m looking for more writing jobs, but even technical writers need a background in it, even though I know I could do it and do it very well.

Frankly, at this point I feel so beaten down by life again (because 25 years of emotional/physical/sexual abuse wasn’t enough) that sometimes I wonder if I have any value. I wonder if I’m just a drain on those in my life.

God, writing those two sentences were hard… enough to bring tears to my eyes in a public place. Which for me is hard, I prefer to be stoic at worst.

I keep trying to think positively and find some sort of positive thinking to help me trudge on… I’m just not sure I can.

Hell, let’s be honest here… I pulled myself out of several deep, dark holes. I’ll pull out of this one. I haven’t killed myself or had my spirit broken yet. I’m a survivor. It’s all I know how to do.

OK, not all, but it feels like it now.

Thankfully, all is not doom and gloom (even though it feels that way).

I started a class last week about learning how to cope with all the stuff from my Complex PTSD (or CPTSD). I did manage to have a lovely, restful weekend… something I’ve been desperately needing for months. I’ve been putting out resumes, despite how little I think of myself right now. Something will come through, right? I’m also looking for group activities that are either intellectual, creative, or healthy/physical exertion in order to stop myself from self-isolating. It’s not healthy for me to isolate myself, even if my brain is telling me to do so.

I’ll just keep telling myself, “I’m a survivor. You’ve been through worse. You have people who care for you. You’re no longer alone.”

If I say that enough, maybe it’ll finally get through my thick skull.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having quite the hard time of things. This isn’t surprising since this is the time of the quarter that I hate so much. That’s right it’s PMS and on into that horrible female affliction known as a period. I’ve never really enjoyed it… I don’t know many girls that do.

For me, it’s always been a horrible mass of pain (I get horrendous cramps), moodiness, and general discomfort. The pain I can handle. Sure, it can be double over and can’t move bad. Frankly, physical pain just doesn’t hurt as much for me.

Then there’s the hormones. This I hate.

OK, I don’t mind my hormones. I hate the psychological mess they make me.

Normally, I get pretty weepy and generally low-level depressed around this time of the month. But not this time. Nope… because that would be easy and expected. This time, I have to be dealing with a lot of emotional go-booms and dealing really heavily with my PTSD from abuse.

This makes me an even bigger mess.

While I know I’m not alone, I feel even more afraid to ask for help. I’m afraid that I’m going to be judged because I can’t handle my shit. That I can’t just get over it. That I can’t pack it up in a nice little box and put it on a shelf somewhere to ignore and never see again.

I really wish that were the case. I wish dealing with this all was that simple.

Then there’s the worst part… I feel so damn emotionally needy that I don’t know what to do.

So, what of these go-booms you were speaking of earlier?

Well, funny you should ask…

I know that issues with one of my partners has been very well documented. The biggest part of it started in December. Then it looked like we were working through things, albeit somewhat slowly. Then he has the audacity to do the same thing for a second time. Not just once, but twice. So, yeah… I’m pretty angry, hurt, and frustrated. I feel that the time and money that I’ve been spending on couple’s therapy has been a huge waste. I’m not even sure, at this point, that there’s anything that might be left to salvage because of how I feel. You know how the saying going, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

In dealing with this, huge “Do Not Touch” buttons have been hit. That means that I’ve been triggered pretty hard… to the point of a panic attack. One of the things about complex PTSD that’s different from garden variety PTSD is that you won’t just get visual flashbacks, you also get emotional ones. All the emotions come flooding back… and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it.

And, I had to deal with my ex-boss. This is something that I haven’t really talked about. After all, it’s not all that important, normally. So, he decided to sit on my check two weeks after I quit. I had the mediation session for that. I will say this, I didn’t even get close to what I deserve. I got a fraction of it. At the same time, I do feel a good amount of vindication. You know your ex-boss is an asshole when the deputy commissioner tells you that if the wait wasn’t 7 months for a hearing, you should totally pursue that. That’s pretty bad.

The past three paragraphs have happened in the last week. This isn’t over months, this is in the last 7 days.

So, here I am… this huddled mass of hurt and pain… and a certain amount of anger. I’m not angry at anyone but the people whom I should be angry with.

Then there’s the hurt and the pain. This is the hard stuff… and I do mean hard.

This is the stuff that can make me ask the questions I don’t like to ask, because I know exactly where my mind is.

Yeah, I’m asking them.

So, what do I need now? I need love, reassurance of that love, I need to be held, and hugged, and all sorts of things that have to do with physical touch. I need it from the important people in my life. I need people to check up on me. I feel so pushed back to when I was a teenager that I feel awkward asking for what I need because, in my mind, I feel like I’m not going to get it. That I’m going to be told what I was told all the time when I was a kid, “You need to fight your own battles.” I feel both powerless and voiceless. (Yes, I appreciate the irony of the last sentence, given that this is in a blog post.) I want to ask for it… and constantly, but I’m too scared. I want to talk to my supportive partners about this, but, once again, I’m too scared. This is the only way I know how to. It’s the only thing that served me well when I was a teenager.

So, maybe that’s the point of what I’m writing this. Maybe it’s to get it out there. Maybe it’s to give voice to how I’m feeling because I don’t feel like I can accurately convey it verbally. I don’t know. But right about now, I feel hurt… hurt, sad, angry, frustrated, and alone, even if that is of my volition (but not really because CPTSD is a bitch).

Welcome to emotional flashbacks.

A Painful Virtue

Patience is a virtue, right?

I must not be virtuous because for some reason, patience and I have always been strangers. It’s not something I do well at… you might say that I tend to view the world with a short lens. I feel like time is fleeting and that everything needs to be done now.

I can’t quite explain where this feeling of immediacy comes from. I can’t even begin to guess…

OK, that’s not entirely true. I can wager a guess. I’m willing to bet that it has more to do with my childhood.

Regardless, I’m no good with patience. I would like things to happen right now… and that’s just not how it works.

The sad part is, knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. In some ways, it makes things more frustrating.

While other people are allowed to go and play and do whatever they want, I have to sit and wait. I have to be patient. I have to wait out some arbitrary clock with a time limit that I can’t even see.

Maybe that’s the problem. If I know a timeframe, I can wait it out. Even if it’s something that hurts me, I can wait until it ends. That’s not necessarily the problem (though if it is something that hurts me, I will be sad about it). The problem is not knowing. Knowing something is going to come, but not when isn’t exactly comfortable…

You might say it’s the opposite of that. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. It makes me want to do any number of things but be patient.

Yet, here I am. Needing to be patient.

So, how do I fix this?

I honestly don’t know. I would like to think that I can try to fix something that’s been a life-long problem. I know I can’t. If I could, I would have done so a while ago.

So, how does one learn patience when it’s never been a strong suit? How does one learn to wait when we live in a have it now society?

This is the real conundrum. One in which I believe answers are few and far between and will become increasingly more so as we get to a more immediate gratification world.

After all, there are things worth waiting for in this world. Careers, people… they are worth waiting and working for. It’s just a matter of learning how to do so.

Hey, here’s some more of this story for your perusal. Are you new to this? Forgot about how we got to here? You can find the previous installments here.

As before, this work is copyright to Emily Rush. All rights reserved… yada yada yada.
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Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to lull him into slumber.

He sighs as he looks over at his boyfriend and the boy. Their bodies bathed in the night lights of Shinjuku.

His thoughts continued left off where they were before trying to sleep. He never did think he was anything special. It’s not that he was treated poorly by his family, somehow damaging his psyche and making him think he was worse than he was. He just never really thought of himself as particularly fetching. Now, it’s true that he did manage to have a series of girlfriends after the dissolution of the relationship with that upper classman’s sister. So, to a certain degree he knew that he was at least some what attractive.

But certainly nowhere as attractive as his boyfriend. He didn’t think that it was humanly possible for anyone to be that attractive. It took him some time to accept that not only was it possible, but that boy was also his.

That boy still is his.

That thought made a smile break on his face.

So, when his boyfriend’s boyfriend says he thinks he’s attractive and is interested in more than we’re dating the same boyfriend with him…

He tucks his arms under his head.

He then thinks about talking to the boy earlier. Both of them outside. The boy asking for something he never expected. Then he thinks about talking to the boy outside the bedroom. What it felt like to kiss him, to feel his body next to his. It was more arousing than he was expecting it to be. Was that because he might be interested in the boy as well or was it because a boy that was interested in his boyfriend could also be interested in him as well.

He wasn’t entirely sure what the case was.

He did know that he didn’t mind feeling the boy’s lips and hands on his mostly naked body. He would even like to do more in the future. The boy was certainly good-looking, more ruggedly handsome than androgynous. It also surprised him that he would think someone who was more manly would be attractive to him. After all, it was his boyfriend’s androgynous and sometimes almost feminine features that first piqued his interest.

And what did he have… Sure, he was good-looking, but nothing like his boyfriend. So, why him?

This was certainly an answer he could figure out on his own… after all, he wasn’t the boy.

He sighs deeply as he whispers, “If I focus on this I’m not going to be able to sleep. This is definitely something that I can’t answer myself.”

He turns over on his side, facing both his boyfriend and the boy.

He takes a deep breath as he looks at the two of them. This is the first time where it has been right in his face. He’s known that the two of them have been together. He’s seen them together in a less intimate locale. But here it is, all of them sleeping in the same bed. He sucks in his breath as he is finally confronted with something he wasn’t expecting to feel… deep-seated jealousy. He’s seen them together before. Most of those times he was accompanied by his fiancé.

Well, ex-fiance now. There was no turning back. He couldn’t let his boyfriend go, not this time.

There was this girl, and she wasn’t quite like other girls. While most people had a normal childhood, she had to work harder to try to enjoy what she had. She had a history of dating people who were mean to her. It took her years to realize that she needed to change that. So she did.

Then she met this boy. And they were friends. They hung out at stuff with mutual friends and would talk then. There was no dating or thought of a relationship forming. It was a fun time to be had. She was still healing and breaking a cycle she had been in.

Then one day that changed. They went on a date… and it was lightning. She knew that she had found something amazing. And they have been together ever since.

But that’s not the end of the story. Where most mononormative stories end right there, this one has the ability to morph and grow… and it has.

The girl went on to date others. None of whom gave her the same feeling… until it happened again. She met another boy, and it was a chance conversation on a street corner that started its work. She knew that there was nothing to come from it, so she put it out of her head. No need to worry and fret about something that she couldn’t have.

Instead she just kept moving on with her life, trying to find her niche in this world.

Then things changed and new possibilities showed themselves, yet didn’t as well. She didn’t think she had a chance, so she still kept on with her life. After all, no sense in being upset over something she didn’t know if it was a thing that could happen, that would happen.

Then one night they were pushed together… and it went from there. From talking to more, she started to realize that this might be more than she had thought. That maybe it is possible for lightning to strike twice.

So now she has these two wonderful people in her life. One of whom she never thought was a possibility, the other was one that happened just randomly. That she could always have this happy family that transcends marriage and blood. It’s a group of people who find each other and love each other, some in the same way, some in different. Each relationship different from the other. Each as wonderful and lovely as well.

Will there be a happily ever after? There’s no way to tell. Take it all moment by moment, and realize that these are extraordinary people in a harsh and cruel world, finding their way together.

The Path Back

Now that I’ve actually confronted a lot of my fears and negative emotions from my abuse… I have other things that I need to deal with. All of which are dealing with this thing called abuse. None of it is any fun. You know what, it’s something that I do need to deal with. It’s something that I’ve hidden from for… well, more years than I care to count.

It’s something that I have decided that I can no longer sit on. It’s something that I’m not sure serves any purpose. I have cut out pretty much everything in my life that brought me here.

So, how do I fix this?

I honestly have no idea. I’m feeling triggered from having worked it all out. I figured out what feelings and fears come from all the different instances of abuse. Each instance has made it increasingly difficult for me to trust people. I’m at the point where the only way I can trust new people is if the people who I trust trust them. That’s a pretty sad way to live. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of being afraid of being abandoned. I’m tired of the insecurity that this all breeds.

More than anything, I’m tired of feeling like I’m an outsider. PTSD is an asshole… and with more information and learning about how things like sustained abuse can affect the brain, it’s interesting to see how I see it in myself.

I do understand that everyone has the capability to see a bit of everything in themselves. It’s frequent that medical students do this all the time. It’s something that I’m aware of… which is why I tend to be a bit more skeptical. At the same time, it’s hard not to look at it and say… yeah, I can totally see this. You can’t be abused for 25 years and it not have a negative affect on your psychology. In many cases it forms the neurological responses in the brain. The brain re-wires itself in order to handle pain responses. It becomes a core part of your personality.

The thought of that scares me. The thought of trying to fix this and losing myself is scary.

Of course, the reality is that something like this can’t be fixed. There is no such thing as fixing. There is, however, trying to work around these responses. This is where I am. I want to work around crippling anxiety. I know that I can feel genuinely happy, if anything the time I have spent with my Significant Other and my new partner have taught me some very profound lessons on finding grounding people… people who I feel genuinely and amazingly happy with. I am just tired of this undercurrent of fear, anxiety, and depression.

So, I’m working on it. I’m not just working on it personally. I’m working on it clinically as well. I want to be the best version of me. No matter how much I embrace who I am now, I know that I could be better. This isn’t about being a perfectionist or anything of the sort. This is about me feeling comfortable in my skin. I’m hoping soon that I can be, finally.

It’s going to be work, just like all things in life.

There are some things that are worth working for. There are some reasons that are worth it. All of which are my own. I just want to be the best me I can.

These are issues that I still struggle with, to this day to one degree or another. I do have a better sense of self-worth, but I still think that if something bad happens… that I did something wrong for it to happen to me. The degree to which this instilled some severe issues with me is pretty bad. And what comes after just helped demolish more of the already crumbling foundation that is myself.

So, one would think that once my mom was out of hospital, that life might be smooth sailing, right?

Yeah… not so much.

My mom and divorced and she wound up meeting and marrying someone else. And, while that sounds all fine and dandy, this guy was a piece of work. I use was because he died of lung cancer my senior year of high school. I don’t have any fond memories of him either.

After my mom and him were married, first he would beat me… until I got both too big (they got married when I was 8) and too strong for that. After that, it was a constant barrage abusive words. If that wasn’t enough… I was also horribly bullied at school. I was an early bloomer, so I hit puberty before anyone else did. I heard it all… and I heard it for years. I heard it pretty much up until I changed schools in high school to make a positive change for myself, including someone threatening to kick my ass.

The bullying was pretty consistent. Granted, it couldn’t even compare to what people go through now. Everything was done face to face. There was none of the anonymous ganging up that we have now.

That wouldn’t have been too bad (OK, it was bad enough in and of itself), but it wasn’t the only place I was constantly hearing a barrage of hurtful words. I would hear it all the time at home. My stepdad would put me down all the time. It was a constant thing. I’d hear how ugly, stupid, and fat I was. I was always a bitch. I was called lazy. It affected me so profoundly that I would withdraw from people. I felt like I had no choice. I didn’t have a place I could go to where I would be accepted. At school I would be made fun of, at home I would be told how awful a person I was.

I would go to my mom about this, but she wouldn’t do anything. She’d tell me that I need to fight my own battles. I would tell her that my stepdad was also doing it and she wouldn’t do anything. I would tell her things that were private, only to have it thrown back in my face by my stepdad… where he would then be even crueller to me. It’s because of that I don’t feel like I can trust many people. I always have the fear that people will turn on me and that I can’t trust someone with a confidence. More than anything, it made me feel like I couldn’t trust my mother.

I didn’t feel like I had a safe haven away from the pain of being emotionally abused. I was abused at home and at school. Once I was raped, I didn’t know what to do. It was so bad that I felt a strong desire to not want to feel anything. I started thinking about doing heroin then. Anything to numb the pain inside of me. I never did heroin… instead I would cut myself. Anyway to make myself hurt as much on the outside as I did on the inside.

Then my stepdad was diagnosed with cancer that he later died from. Before he died, he apologized for the years of abuse… which I’m pretty sure would have continued were he to keep living. I still think it was more to clear his conscious than it was to make me feel better. I said I accepted it, but that wasn’t really the case.

Of course, this isn’t where the abuse ends.

After that, I would get into relationships that were highly toxic. At one point it extended past romantic relationships, but also into friendships too. I didn’t feel like I was worth any decent relationship. The friendships were about the same point as probably my most emotionally damaging relationships. I dated the guy for years. I kept trying to get him to approve of something, anything about me. He would never acknowledge that I would. He would constantly put me down. He would constantly make me feel like I had to do everything for him. I couldn’t have my autonomy.

I would dress up nice and he’d make me feel bad about it. I would need to do everything for him.

It hit me so profoundly that I would cheat on him repeatedly… then he would hit me with an even worse barrage of words. Every time it was designed to make me what he wanted. I wasn’t happy with where I was, but it was what I felt like I deserved. To this day, I still get the feeling that it’s all my fault. That I have to fight alone. That I deserve what’s happening to me. That I all I knew. Every boyfriend confirmed this, even those who tried to act like they’re more enlightened. If they couldn’t get what they wanted out of me, they would treat me poorly.

It’s pretty bad when you have someone get you to leave the dysfunctional relationship that you’re in so they can try to have their own harem. It became so problematic that I eventually had to take stock of what was going on and why I wasn’t happy. It boiled down to me being in nothing but emotionally unhappy relationships. I even took a year off to actually work on myself and to distance myself from it.

No matter how much I distance myself, I still have to deal with the emotions that are coupled with these issues. The feeling that I don’t have anyone to help me (despite the evidence of otherwise), that I’m constantly alone, that I’m not good enough to deserve anything good. I think that I deserve anything bad that happens to me. That I don’t deserve anything good. These are thoughts that I have no idea how to be rid of. These are thoughts that still plague me. They occasionally make me want to find a hole to just waste away in.

I keep trying to tell myself that I’m worthy to have what I have… but I don’t know if I believe that. I don’t know if I can let myself believe it. In many ways, I feel like the little girl being beaten into submission with no one to help me… and I don’t know how to ask for help. Recently, it’s become a daily struggle for me to ask for help. I don’t want to feel like needing help makes me a burden. I don’t want to feel like I don’t have anyone who can help me. I want to be able to accept the help of others.

More than anything, I want to stop being haunted by the thought that maybe, just maybe I shouldn’t really be here. That I shouldn’t still be living. That I struggle and fought so hard to survive, only to start feeling like it was for nothing. That I deserve to be alone. I’m trying not to fall into that despair, but it’s hard… and I do need help. I just don’t know how to ask for it.

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