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The next major event that I remember was my mom not really being there for me. At the time, my mother was undiagnosed for bipolar. She was medicating how worked best for her at the time. While I understand that, it also meant that I had to step up and do more than I was even prepared for. I wasn’t even 10 at the time. I felt that I had to be responsible. In many ways, I resent having to give away my childhood and a part of my innocence.

While I know that there’s nothing that anyone could do, because my mom was undiagnosed. I’m also angry and sad about it. I had to face many hard realities before I was really prepared for them… and in some cases I had no preparation for them… like seeing my grandfather’s body at the funeral home. It’s that moment that I pinpoint my changing opinion on death. This is probably one of the healthiest responses I’ve had. I don’t fear death. I accept it as inevitability. I don’t let this realization allow me to do things that will kill me, at the same time, I’m not afraid either. I treat it with the proper respect it should while not shying away from it. So, one positive takeaway from this was that.

But the negative… that’s also there. And it’s more numerous than how I deal with death.

My sister and I remember more than we really talk about. We’ve seen more than we care to discuss… but those memories are so hazy to me, probably because I didn’t want to acknowledge what was really happening. More than anything, I felt neglected. I felt like I didn’t matter. I wasn’t important enough for my mother. This was later confirmed when my mom apologized to me for driving while heavily intoxicated because she was trying to kill herself. Except she wasn’t just trying to kill herself, she was trying to kill me and my sister as well. I think I already kind of knew that because I have always felt like maybe I didn’t deserve to live. This really haunted me after my rape. The rape helped confirm this thought I had. I’ll get to that later though.

That’s probably the hardest thing to try to tackle as a child… that I’m not important enough to be a reason to live and that maybe just maybe I didn’t deserve to be alive. These thoughts still haunt me to this day.

Honestly, I know that my mom wasn’t in her right mind. Unfortunately, this is the hand she was dealt. She may not have realized that this was an issue until her diagnosis. So, I can’t really fault her for this. That doesn’t mean that it still isn’t a reality… and it still really hurts. Even writing the paragraph above hurt straight to my heart. Just because I understand the situation, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. And, of course, there was the day that she was hospitalized… it’s good that she was because then she could get treatment.

At the same time, this made me scared because I had no idea what would happen to me or my sister. I knew my dad mostly worked at night. There was a degree of insecurity there. When we had to go and live with my mom’s ex-best friend, it felt like we were just people who could be passed on. I still deal with this issue, especially when it comes to relationships. I feel like I’m a transitory person… or just there for now. I haven’t had many people tell me that I am in no way temporary in their life. I can count the people who have told me that way and not treated me that way on one hand.

I still struggle with that and it’s a constant fear. Because it was so easy to pass me along to someone who beat and tortured me. I’ll get to that explanation in a while. I try to remind myself that I’m not transitory. People genuinely want to be with me. It’s hard to see that sometimes… and it’s interesting, because I never thought it was from my sister and I being handed off to someone who beat me.

Since I’m enjoying feeling less encumbered from having done a lot of work on dealing with my rape, I figured maybe I should tackle the bigger and scarier monster in my closet. This is one that I wish that I didn’t have, let alone have the need to kill it with fire. And, since I actually dealt with the rape fairly quickly… thanks to writing and having visited the place where I was raped. Now it’s time to do the other.

I’m not sure I need to visit the places I was abused. I have been back to them since the abuse happened. Every time I go there, there’s’ a certain amount of anger that accompanies me. I think that’s largely due to the fact that I don’t understand what I could have possibly done to deserve any of it. Like, what could have been so bad that I deserved the beatings and the words that I received?

So, I guess the best place to start this is at the beginning…

My childhood was… not optimal. I think that’s the best way I can put this. After all, there’s a lot that happened. I was given a set of circumstances that most don’t deal with. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to fight through it all. I had to be strong all of my life. I never had a childhood.

OK, I need to stop dawdling. I’m stretching this out because if I put it in words on a page, then I can no longer sweep it under a carpet. I have to face that this is what happened. This was my childhood. The enormity of that almost gives me pause. Then I remember how hard things that discuss abuse hit me… like an emotional Mack truck. I have to get through this, despite the pain.

The first instance that I remember of physical abuse was at the hands of my father. Granted, there was an instance that I was too young for it to pop into my memory where my mom beat me for saying no… and not just a slap or a spank. I was repeatedly hit… according to my mother. I’m going to take her word on that because I can’t think of a parent who would openly admit to repeatedly hitting their child. Which is good that she admitted that she not only did it, but she did realize what she was doing and stopped. This seems about right because the psychological slide downhill happened after my memories start.

My dad was in a motorcycle accident before I was born. He was in a semi-coma for several months (I’m not entirely sure about the length of time… it might have been just a couple of months. He has brain damage from the incident. It’s not bad enough to have incapacitated him or leave him in a vegetative state. It was bad enough that he doesn’t seem to have matured past being a teenager. To this day, he still acts a lot like a teenager. This is something I have accepted as the way he is. I don’t remember him ever being any different. This is also not an excuse for what happened. More, it sets the stage for what happened.

My sister and I would often stay up late. I have always been a night owl. I still am. This wake up early rubbish is for the birds. It’s at this time, my mom was already starting to experience issues with her bi-polar. So, we’d still be up pretty late… like to the time when my dad was coming home from his swing shift (I think it was swing shift, I’m not entirely sure what time it was because we didn’t have a clock in our room).

Now, I have no idea how or why my name was written on the table in our room. But it was. I don’t remember doing it. I’m not sure that I did… actually, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. My dad was very mad when he saw it and asked who did it. I said I didn’t and my sister said it was me. He grabbed a metal hanger and proceeded to spank me with it. I still remember what it felt like to this day. Metal hangers sting more, even if there isn’t a lot of surface area to the hanger. I kept crying that I didn’t do it, but I was still hit. I’m lucky that the hanger didn’t do any permanent damage or drew blood… I just remember how I felt. I felt scared. I felt that I wasn’t being listened too. I also felt betrayed. This wasn’t a one-time instance. Any time something happened, I’d get hit. It got to a point where I’d be afraid where I’d get hit for nothing again, because my dad was mad. I remember just feeling so helpless. I would lie there and get hit.

Now, my dad has apologized for doing this. I’m not sure whether or not I can get past this. I did nothing and got hit. Of course, this isn’t the only instance where I would be blamed for writing my name on something. I’ve written about that instance before, so I won’t go into detail because I covered it all before and I’ve processed that instance.

But this… This is…

It’s hard I try to view things realistically. I try to have faith that nothing malicious was meant. But… it’s hard to do that when I remember how I felt every time the hanger hit me. I remember feeling incredibly small. I felt like the scapegoat. That maybe the start of why I feel like I deserve all bad things that happen to me, despite whether or not I did it. This might be the start of so many negative thoughts about myself. It’s not the only cause, but it’s a major source.

It’s been some time, but it’s back! If this is your first time, you’re in luck. You can go over here to read all of the earlier parts.

As always, this story is copyrighted by Emily Rush. All rights reserved. You know the rest of the deal.

He thinks about that for a second. He knows that he’s been feeling incredibly horny all night. All night he’s thought about being with his boyfriend… doing all sorts of naughty things. Now there’s a request to continue while his boyfriend watched. Watched him do things with this new boy, the same boy he’s been dating for a while now.

Really, it wasn’t the thought of doing something with another guy or even that guy is also dating his boyfriend. After being in the type of relationship he had been for… well, I guess that depends on how far back he counts. If he goes back to when they were both cheating, it’s been about 6 months to a year. If he considered it from when they both were honest with their other partners, it would probably be 3-6 months. Yet him thinking about doing anything more intimate with his boyfriend’s boyfriend didn’t weird him out.

For him it was still the thought that this boy still wanted him, wanted him romantically. He wasn’t just interested in just sex with him. He also wanted to form an intimate and loving relationship with him. He never thought he was that interesting or attractive. He always thought that his boyfriend was more attractive and the one that everyone wanted to be with.

And honestly, he couldn’t actually blame them.

He shakes his head, clearing his mind for a moment.

“As incredibly tempting as that sounds, and this is no offense to you,” he says, looking at the boy, “But I’m still working my head around tonight. As much fun as it would be, I think I need to straighten out my own thoughts first.”

The boy responds, “Not at all… I totally get it. Were it me in your place, I would probably feel the same way… I think.”

The boy winks.

“So, to sleep?” the boy asks.

“Well, after someone gets into their underwear…” he says jokingly, gesturing to their boyfriend.

“S-sorry.”, he says.

Their boyfriend undressed slowly, almost teasing the both of them. He takes off one article of clothing after another until he is naked in front of them. He then walks over to his dresser and picks out a nice, but comfortable pair of underwear. He slowly puts them on, almost enjoying the sensation of the fabric of them against his skin.

Their boyfriend hops into bed between the two boys. He lies down.

He and the boy lie down next to their boyfriend.

“You tease.” he whispers before kissing his boyfriend.

“Good night.” the boy says.

Both he and his boyfriend respond in unison, “Night!”

The boy turns of the light.

He lies in the dark, trying to fall asleep, but the thoughts from earlier won’t let him be. They keep peaking their way back into his head. He turns over, trying to see if that will help him sleep.

Sometimes it’s weird how these chains of thought develop even when one processes through all their personal stuff.

I didn’t think I was going to find this whole new random thread among the clutter of others. But as I was writing about my rape again (because each time I find another piece that I hadn’t worked on before). This time… something that has been a huge glaring part of my entire childhood peeked out to say hello.

Lately I’ve been getting plenty of reassurances from my partners that I’m not alone and that they’d be there to help in any way they can. For me, it’s mostly in the form of reassurances. I have to work through this old frayed knot to take it apart and fix it and make it stronger. And the more I picked at it yesterday, I kind of had a come to Jesus moment in the form of feeling horrible about myself.

One of the things that stuck out to me was something I always remember my mom telling me when I was younger. So, along with the abuse that I dealt with when I was at home, I was also relentlessly bullied from the age of 8, which is also when I started puberty… or maybe it was 7. Anyways, when I was far younger than I should have been.

I used to ask my mom for help, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a young kid, right?

Well, I was never really offered much in the way of reassurance of any kind (which is why they tend to be so powerful to me now). Nor was there an offer of how to cope with the teasing or how to help me lose weight (which is funny because I was a very active child). Instead, I was told I had to learn to fight my own battles. That’s not exactly the most helpful of pieces of advice, now is it?

Especially when you’re an 8-year-old little girl who doesn’t understand why she’s the only one in her grade that needs to wear deodorant and a bra. Where people would make fun of my relentlessly because I was fat, because I was poor… both things I had little control over at the time.

So, instead of anything that would ease me through this abuse, I was once again left to fend for myself, to figure out the best way to deal with it. I did this with no knowledge of psychology or why any of this was happening in the first place. Every time I had a problem I couldn’t solve because I lacked the knowledge to do so, I had to handle it myself.

It was said so often that I stopped asking for help. There was no purpose to ask for something that I wouldn’t get in the first place. So, I spent most of my times trying to figure out how to fix these things… something I had no knowledge of how to do at the time.

So, no wonder I beat myself up relentlessly over why I couldn’t fight back when I was raped. All I ever heard was fight your own battles. It’s why I never told anyone about the rape until I was 18 and taking an abnormal psych class. I looked at the DSM and looked at what I had been experience for those long 5 years and realized that was it. I was dealing with my rape and it made it hard to live.

Even when I sought help, I did it on my own. I went to an outside therapist that had a sliding scale. I didn’t use my health care… but realized that I needed more care than I could afford that way.

Everything I’ve dealt with has been a self-struggle, not by choice but by piss poor design.

So, someone telling me that they’re there for me is a little strange. I’m not used to support. When your life has been entirely self-preservation, the idea of a life raft quickly becomes a little strange. I’m never sure how anyone can help. Especially as I work through this, I’m not sure what more anyone can do but be a sounding board and offer reassurance both verbal and physical, if physical is possible.

This has been… well… pretty much a life-long struggle.

More than anything, this pisses me off. I’ve always felt like I have always been forced to be the adult. I have to be responsible. I have to be in control. I never had a chance to be that child. I had to fight my own battles. I had to watch my sister. I had to provide my food (as in it was in the house, but I had to earn to cook very young). I had to be beaten into submission by any and all means possible (as you can tell, that turned out so well).

Some days I just want to end it all. I’ve been an adult for almost 30 years now. I’m tired. For someone as young as I am, I shouldn’t be so world-weary… yet, here I am. Aged well beyond my years because I had no choice. And now… now I want the freedom to act reckless. I want to be able to do the things that I never could when I was younger. But, for the most part, I don’t. Someone needs to be the adult. Someone needs to be responsible. And I wear that mantle far too often.

Thinking about all of this makes my heart weep. I don’t know how to be a child because I was never one. Why did I have to be the responsible one? Why did I have to be the adult? Why couldn’t I have been able to depend on my parents?

Why did I have to fix everything? I was a child and didn’t have the tools at the time. I wasn’t being told this as a teenager, I was being told this as an eight-year-old. That’s a lot of responsibility for a little kid… and why did I have to do that in the first place? I wasn’t a parent and I certainly wasn’t old enough to understand everything that was going on.

The more I write about this, the angrier I get. I hate that I even had to relinquish my childhood. I hate that I couldn’t ever experience what it really means to be irresponsible. I have no idea what childhood means. To me, it was looking after my sister. It was trying not to get beaten. It was just trying to make it through the day without negative comments about my weight or that I was poor.

This isn’t exactly the childhood that I wanted nor is it one I think that anyone really deserves. It’s what I have to work with though. Sometimes that’s all you really got. So, I’m going to make do with what I have and figure out how to be comfortable accepting the help of others. I like being in the place where I can get help… I just wish I was more comfortable with people reaching out to me.

I made a promise to myself this year. It’s a pretty big goal, especially because I gave it a deadline, but I tend to look at things and tear them apart to make sense pretty quickly. Every time I listen to music from when I was in high school, it takes me back to that time… and how I felt. This was further amplified when I took a day to wander around Telegraph.

Even though things were so different, they’re also very much the same… So, I’m going to attempt to sort through my fear, loathing, and inner pain that I felt all throughout high school in context to the time it was happening. That means talking about the nineties as I remember them from when I was in high school.

Oh, the halcyon days on the nineteen nineties…

Yeah, right. It was all but halcyon. My life was in turmoil. I was abused both by friends at school as well as my family. I had no real sense of safe space. It took me many years to understand that safety isn’t just four walls, it’s the people who you invite into your family. I become more aware of that as every day passes.

Maybe it’s because I now feel more capable of being myself instead of fitting in some pre-poured mold that is gender. I now know the people I’m with are going to accept me for all of me, not because of expectations.

I certainly didn’t necessarily have it when I was younger. I also didn’t understand what my gender really was. Being non-conforming was… difficult. It was so difficult to deal with because there was a lot of puerile jokes, including repeatedly calling me she male… This is what my friends called me.

It made me realize how angry I was. I didn’t lash out like most teenagers. I didn’t lash out at my parents or do things like drink and smoke when I was in high school. My issues… were a little more personal, even if lashing out at my parents would be the entirely appropriate course of action. I did it by hurting myself. More importantly, I did it by cutting myself. It’s a behavior that I kept up with for… well… I think up until I was 25. I’m more to lash out on myself than anyone else.

This included my desire to do heroin. This amplified exponentially after my rape… which occurred not even one month after I started my freshman year. Surprisingly, as hell-bent as I was to actually shoot up… and having it repeatedly offered to me… for some reason, I couldn’t. Everything in my wanted to sublimate, to take the pain away by any means.

But I didn’t…

And I’m not sure why.

I dealt with the pain every day. I would often not fall asleep until 4:30 in the morning, only to need to wake up 3 hours later to go to school. Every time I went to school, it was this cruel reminder of what happened to me, how it felt to be cornered and incapable of leaving. It also brings up the mixed feelings of how I should have been able to fight back, but I didn’t. It’s something that I always take out on myself. I consider myself to be a strong woman, yet I couldn’t fight back. I couldn’t get out of the situation myself. Which is something my parents and specifically my mom used to tell me. I need to get myself out of difficult situations.

This is probably why, by and large, that I tend not to talk to people about my issues. I largely deal with them myself. I’ve never felt like I could talk to anyone or depend on anyone… I have always been made to feel that I can only really ever depend on myself… in all ways.

So, I always feel like I should have had the ability to get out of that situation. It makes me cry sometimes because I didn’t/couldn’t fight back.

So, that’s something that I still struggle with. I blame myself for not fighting. I don’t blame myself for the rape itself. That’s something that I need to stop doing. I need to look at myself and realize that it’s not something I could have really controlled.

And while I can say it, I don’t necessarily believe it. That’s the hard part, believing that I couldn’t have fought. I don’t know what to do about it though…

But it’s something that I have had in my life for over half my lifetime now… and the older I get, the bigger a timeframe it will take up. It can’t be like this forever. And it’s something that I will work on and kill (hopefully with fire).

bow1I’ve been having issues with my insomnia last night. I fell asleep relatively early, especially by my standards. When I woke up in the middle of the night, my partner told me that David Bowie had died.

Now, of course, my first response to that is going to be, “Are you serious?”

He told me yes and that he looked it up in several places, including the Hollywood Reporter. He does know me well… I always try to find multiple sources. Now that information is so much easier to get, it’s much easier to also confirm things.

So, I stayed up for a bit, largely because my brain wasn’t going to allow me to sleep again… to the tune of 3.5 hours. While this is not surprising or an unusual occurrence, I was glad for it this time. It allowed me to churn my thoughts, to see how I felt about hearing this news.

Like many out there, David Bowie has been a fixture in their lives since they were a child. I remember hearing the Thin White Duke singing “Ziggy Stardust” and “Life on Mars”. These songs that I remember from my childhood, largely off the radio. I was, to the best of my knowledge, the only one in my family who actually liked Bowie. I felt that I was listening to a kindred spirit.

Now, granted, not as much as I felt with Kurt Cobain. Then again, that was because I identified so deeply with the pain and angst that it was hard to deny. And his death resonated with me very deeply.

But Bowie was still around. Even when I was watching Kurt’s pain that he poured into one of the most amazing covers of “the Man Who Sold the World”. It helped add to my love not only of Bowie, but also to help him resonate with this teen who was so lost, hurt, and angry. Even though I had lost Kurt, I still had some of the other bards who spoke to me, who spoke to the disenfranchised and tossed away.

Then, along comes Earthling.

It came out in 1997. And it was everything that I wanted to hear. It was dark, it was electronic. It was also the album that had the song “I’m Afraid of Americans”. It’s funny because I find that song is even more relevant today than when it came out then. In many ways, some of his music felt fairly prescient. And as I wrote a piece a few months ago, it felt great to find another person who was bisexual and genderqueer who wanted people to express themselves however they feel is them.

I’m still trying to sort through how I feel about this. Suffering with cancer for 18 months is very hard. I’ve watched people die of cancer, so in this instance both Lemmy and Bowie feel so very intimate to me. I’ve last 3 family members to cancer. Most recently it was my grandmother who died last year. I also lost my great-aunt and my step-father.

So, there’s this part of me that’s angry that we put so much money to pills that help men get erections, but there’s still nothing we can really do about cancer. Now, I do realize that cancer is *a lot* more complex. But, damn it. It’s a horribly painful thing to watch someone literally waste away, especially once to you get to the final stages. I’ve seen someone die that way, it’s horrible.

The fact that in two weeks, we lost two prominent musicians to cancer…

I’m still processing how I feel about this, especially David Bowie. This hits on too many memories, especially recent ones. I am incredibly saddened that he’s dead. I’m also so fucking angry that cancer took another person, one who meant so much too so many people.

Long live the Thin White Duke. You have given us so much. You left us so many wonderful songs. You are and will be missed. I shall take solace in the legacy that you left behind.

Life Sucks Sometimes

Life hasn’t been very generous to me as of late. Then again, how often is life generous to anyone? At this point there are plenty of instances that make me question many things… and to a degree I feel myself occasionally dipping into despair. While I wish I could say that I had some control over it, I haven’t had complete control.

The things I have control over: how I react and the fact that I did something that is a huge victory against my PTSD.

I know that I’ve written about my experience revisiting the place where I was raped. When I mentioned to my therapist that I managed to stand in front of the place for five minutes, he lauded that as a huge deal. And it is. My brain has tried to escape that place for so many years (decades at this point). Confronting it to move forward is *huge*. I’m still working on processing everything from that. Unfortunately, something else decided to supersede it.

Actually, let me say someone’s actions decided to supersede it.

I’ve also written, at length, about what’s been going on in my personal life. I won’t go back into it, but I will add to it.

A week ago, the same partner that I’ve been having huge communication issues with decided to up the ante more. Instead of making an effort to keep communication with me, even though he knew how angry and hurt I was by his continued inability to do the same thing over and over… instead of trying to work on communication, he decided that an overnight with his new girl was much more important.

Yeah, that’s about as shitty as it sounds.

And the worse part, I knew that’s what he did without him telling me. (Though he did the next day.)

So, I’m dealing with that as well… because processing one of the biggest, most important things I did for myself psychologically wasn’t enough (and is something that was going to take some time to do in the first place).

So, I’m processing the less significant issue first (which, frankly, the overnight is in comparison to my rape).

I’ve also had to make some tough decisions in my life too. While I should probably can his ass for being so fucking self-absorbed to go on the overnight, I’m not. I’m giving him this last chance, and I do mean last. We’re going to therapy (because the months of me bitching to him about his inability to communicate wasn’t enough to signal that we needed to do that). We’re also on a break. What that means is that now we’re friends. That can shift one way or the other during the course of therapy.

Honestly, I’m not entirely optimistic about this. Though… who knows? He did something that I never thought he would. He admitted that he might actually still have issues stemming from his ex-wife that he’s been taking out on me. I would change the maybe too definitely, but I’m not a licensed therapist. I’m hoping, that with the right therapist, maybe something can happen…

But that’s all future speculation and isn’t going to fix the issue at hand.

Right now… I’m feeling pretty heartbroken. I mean, after all, deciding that sex with new girl is more important than a relationship is beyond fucked up. I even told him, you pretty much told me that overnight was more important than a 6 year relationship. It’s going to take a lot of doing to change that thought… if it’s possible.

His excuses were shoddy at best. He kept repeating that he thought we had broken up. I said I had never said that… besides, I’m not the asshole that breaks up over a phone call or text message. I’ll tell you to your face. That way there’s no room for ambiguity. Besides, more than anything, this tells me that I’m not any priority to him, she is. He keeps saying otherwise, but actions up to me calling him on his shit have said otherwise. And frankly, at this point, I still think he’s all lip service and no action.

So, what positive has come out of this?

Well, other than him finally admitting that he might still have ex-wife issues (something he vehemently denied 3 or so years ago), not much for him except we need therapy (duh). However, my two other partners have been absolutely stellar. They are the support I so desperately need now. I knew that I was going to have a psychological minefield to walk through… I didn’t expect it would also include a huge ass mine from a partner. The fact that both have been willing to help, to the extent that they can, has been wonderful. It doesn’t fix the problem (after all, only I can fix that), but it makes things a little easier to get through.

Right now, I’m thankful for that. I want to get through this shit so I can go back to working on the first issue. I would like to be able to get a full night’s sleep again. At this rate, I’m not sure when that will ever happen.

Since I seem to be having huge issues with insomnia as of late (not too terribly surprising), I figured that I would write out things since my brain is keeping me awake (I’ve been up since 3:30). And every time I try to sleep, it feels like a have a cacophony of negative emotions going on at all times.

Now, I’m not really surprised this is happening. I knew that this would after deciding to go somewhere that’s triggering. I did it to myself as a form of therapy. A part of PTSD therapy is to do what isn’t comfortable to make things better. I’m a big fan of going outside of my comfort zone in order to become a better version of myself. If we stick with what’s comfortable, we rarely learn anything about ourselves.

So, here I am… at 5 in the morning… after being up 1.5 hours.

Yesterday was particularly emotionally rough for me. I’m not entirely sure why that is. I felt out of step with things. My brain kept telling me horrible things… things that I just ignored in the past. Apparently, just ignoring it isn’t enough. It’s as though someone gave these horrible, unhelpful feelings a megaphone and no matter how hard I try, I still have to hear it. Instead of ignoring it, I guess I’m going to face it all head first… so to speak.

So, what was I dealing with last night… and am dealing with as we speak?

Well, a big part of it is that maybe I deserved the rape. That I didn’t fight back enough. That I also deserved the abuse that I endured for decades. That I wonder why it had to happen to me. Of course, a lot of this is paired with the lingering illogical and completely unhelpful thoughts that maybe, just maybe I’m undeserving of happiness.

Now, this is something that I’ve always been kind of proud of, even if it doesn’t always help in the short run. While I know I’m having these thoughts and feelings, I also know that they’re not rational. I also understand where they are coming from. I triggered myself. I stood before the spot I was raped. I talked about the details of the place I was in when it happened. Which, in turn, brought back the memories of exactly what happened. Of how trapped I felt in that place. How small and claustrophobic it all was.

And that I’m getting nightmares I largely don’t remember because of this. Every night… sometimes multiple nightmares a night. I’m getting less sleep now. Which goes back into the spiral of negative thoughts. Maybe I’m hoping for something wonderful and positive to come from this. Maybe I’m just hoping for karma to actually start working for me and not against me.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been weary for some time. I feel like I’ve had to shoulder a lot of this burden… and that I need to continue to do so. Even though I have support and help, it’s still up to me to do the dirty work. It’s up to me to handle the feelings and thoughts. And that’s part of the reason I’m continuing to write this out. Because no one can understand what it’s like going through this… unless you’ve had to go through it. And even then, I still need to go through it myself because only I know what it feels like.

I’m also discovering how sensitive I am to things that I didn’t think I was sensitive to… especially when I recognize that I’m guilty of having done them myself. It’s not my place to not let other people make their own mistakes, but it’s my nature to not want to see people hurt… especially when it’s something as simple as not doing something. If I can impart that piece of knowledge to someone (albeit ad nauseam), then I can’t just not do it. At the same time, I know that people have to learn from their own mistakes. It’s the interesting part of me that understands that learning comes from mistakes, but the healer in me wants to make sure that no one hurts. This can be incredibly hard for me to reconcile within myself. I think that once I finally get through my shit, that then I have to repeatedly tell myself, “I have to let people make their own mistakes, even if it means that they have to suffer. No one learns unless it’s from their own mistakes”

After all, a key belief in many versions of Buddhism is that through suffering comes enlightenment.

If that’s true, then when do I get to be one incredibly enlightened being?

Maybe I’m asking too much. All I want at this point is to be a better, happier version of myself. I have amazing things to be happy for. I have some incredibly beautiful things that can make me happy… that do make me happy. I just need to not be afraid to embrace that happiness.

Really, that’s the bigger problem, isn’t it? That I always expect the other shoe to drop. I still do it in all things… even with things that are well established. Maybe that’s the fear I need to get over. It’s certainly the fear that I’ve received for years of abuse. I need to trust what is and stop fearing what might be. More importantly, I need to keep fighting these sleepless nights, these nightmares with the thought that I will be a better person once it’s done. I need to try to fight past the despair that partners this… and drops me into a world of why am I still alive.

I can do this, right?

No, scratch that.

I can do this.

The Inconvenient

I did something that was both incredibly difficult and something I know I needed to do. I went back to the school where I was raped. When I got there, I saw that getting on to campus was going to be easy. While the campus is surrounded by a fence, it was open at several points. That’s good because I didn’t know if I would be able to get near the actual place where it happened.

The days before I went, I kept having dreams about going to the school. The school felt larger than life. It was mostly about the school. I’ve been sleeping less too, but that’s not too surprising given the situation.
I finally made it though. The entire trip out there, I felt apprehensive. I knew I needed to do it, but I didn’t want to. The continuing struggle between wants and needs. While I wanted to not go back, I know I needed to. I need to face this. I need to see it again.

And I did. I even stood in front of the room I was assaulted in. I stood in front of it, staring at the door, the padlocked door. I’m guessing that it’s no longer being used as a production room, but is probably storage.

While there were some minor changes, it still pretty much looked as I had remembered it, as it did when I was 13.

It’s interesting to have some of the feelings I am having. More than anything, I’m not feeling as triggered as I thought I would. I am having PTSD responses to going. I’m getting flashbacks and insomnia is an issue. I’m not sure about the hypervigilance now, but I haven’t really been in large crowds since then. More than anything I feel a combination of sadness and anger. I don’t really feel shame anymore. After all, I didn’t do anything to be ashamed of. It was done to me.

I also have this sense of claustrophobia… but not in the actual phobia sense. I feel like I’m in a closed in space. When I was standing in front of the room, I could see it all again. I could see the room. I could feel being trapped between my rapist and the corner. The area was so small and I had no other way out of it.
Now I’m trying to process being there. I’m working on working through it. The place no longer feels so big, it feels small.

If only that was the only emotional thing that I had to deal with at the time.
As stated before, I’m also dealing with issues from one of my partners. This, of course, reared its lovely little head when I needed him most.

I’m dealing with a lot of negative emotions. It’s so much of an issue that I do feel the need for help and for people to be around. And while I’m not quite comfortable with him going with me in a time where I need to have complete and total comfort, it doesn’t mean that I don’t need that help at all. What I need even less is someone telling me how I’m feeling when I’ve never made any inclination that was the case in the first place. So, getting a message on the day of going to the school and being told to get in contact with him if I want to… is a little upsetting.

What’s worse is having it followed up by a message back telling me that he can’t be here because he made other plans with his other partner…

Yeah. Something he knew about a month in advance and that I might need emotional help during and he tells me that he doesn’t have time for me… yet again.

One can imagine how well that went over.

I already have too much stress going on. And, really, I’m feeling incredibly hurt. When someone says they will be there to help you and then you’re told not only are they not going to be there, but they’re giving preference to their new relationship that is built on dishonesty…

That’s hard to swallow. It makes me question whether this is really a poly relationship. I feel forced out. I feel insignificant. More importantly, I feel like I’m only important when it’s a convenience. That my issues don’t matter. That going back to the place where I was raped and actually facing some really old and scary demons isn’t as important as some stupid dinner.

That fucking hurts.

My therapist warned me about doing this. He told me that he wasn’t sure that it was a good idea because I’m already feeling so emotionally vulnerable. I made sure to make the day as comfortable as possible. I had people with me who I could be that degree of emotionally vulnerable with. I went places to try to make my brain a little happier… a little more calm. I even went to the beach, which has always been a calming place for me. I made sure that every aspect of this was designed to keep me from being a complete and total mess.

And then this happens.


This is not OK. I feel like shit. That I’m unimportant. That I’m an inconvenience.

As I’m trying to mitigate the negative stuff in my life now, either a legitimate thing or a negative repercussion of the stress that I’m dealing with now. As I mentioned before, it’s not all bad. So, I wanted to take some time to talk about the good.

While I realize that it’s so much more fun to hear all the rich gossip, really… there is so much more going on besides the bad? So, instead of just talking about all the negative stuff, have some positive stuff.

No matter how bad things are, I’m also learning that there are some things that are OK. I find that if I can actually trust someone, I can feel comfortable with a lot of things. I’m actually surprised how comfortable I am. It’s teaching me a bit about myself.

Even more, I’m impressed that I have the capacity to be so happy. I think this may be the happiest I’ve been in my whole life (knock on wood)… unless this nets me even more happy things, then bring it. I never imagined that I could trust other people as much as I do now. What’s more, I’m not even sure why I do. I don’t know what’s changed to make it so. I don’t know if I’m any different from I was 6 months ago.

Even when I’m dealing with a situation where I don’t know if I can trust someone, it’s not permeating the rest of my life. It’s not making me question the other relationships in my life. This is also new. I used to let other negative emotions seep into the rest of my life, but it’s not this time. Maybe I’ve grown more mature and confident in my ability to create wonderfully mature multiple relationships. Who knows?

More importantly, I do cherish the closeness that I’m feeling. I seriously never imagined that things could be like this. It makes me feel pretty… I don’t know, amazing.

I often wonder if I can thank my partners enough. I’m never sure. Maybe I’ll figure it out someday soon.


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