Just a pig inside a human body

TW: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT

[My State’s] Penal Code Section XXX.XXX et seq.

Sexual Assault (generally): Sexual assault is defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

I need this to be crystal.

ANY form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Ok.  It’s about to get bumpy in here, folks so hang tight for just a while.  I promise to be more gentle with you than he was they were with me.  I’m going to start with the most painful first.  As the #metoo movement continues on, I find myself becoming more and more angry and it more and more difficult to stay quiet.  When I say “angry,” I’m not pissed about the movement – quite the opposite.  It’s time for us to stand up and speak out.  I’m all for that.  I’m angry at something completely different.  I’m angry that there needs to be a movement at all.  I’m angry that there are so many of us.  I’m angry that there are still so many women, even after Dr. Ford’s testimony, have the chutzpah to discredit what was so clearly a re-telling of a trauma.

Don’t.  Don’t make any of this about politics.  Don’t make any of this about religion.  This is about my body.  This about the right I have to walk down the street and not feel like someone else has the perceived right to assault me because they have a dick and it’s Tuesday, OK?  I am mad as hell.  I am mad because I, my mother, my sister, my sister-in-law, my best friend, my other best friend, and countless other women AND MEN on this blue ball have been FORCED, INTIMIDATED, or COERCED into unwanted sexual contact.

This week was hard for me.  I was trying to reconnect more with my Dad and there was this undercurrent of #metoo all over the news from the Kavanaugh Scandal.  I went out to eat with my stepmother (not my choice) and we got to talking about random stuff and the subject of college came up.  I told her that going to my particular alma mater wasn’t all that rosy (despite the brochures and reputation), as I was molested on my first night on campus and raped my sophomore year.  This was the response I received:

Why didn’t you call me?  Did you tell your father?  He would have done something.  I would have kicked him in the nuts.  He wouldn’t have been too powerful for me.

I want to know.  I really want to know how someone who’s never been in my particular position, in my skin can tell me exactly what they would have done?  That’s childish.  And thank you.  That’s how you respond to a survivor.  You respond by telling me exactly what you would have done, implying that what I did was wrong.  That’s victim-blaming and victim-shaming.  How goddamn dare you.  And let me know when you can take a 200-something-pound, all muscle, 6-foot-something guy down with your pants and underwear around your ankles.  Yeah, let’s see you high kick like that.  Did we forget he was fresh the eff out?  Parole?  Armed and effing dangerous?  OK?  People love to talk a big game like that doesn’t scare them until they are actually in that situation, then they turn into Bill Paxton in True Lies.  It’s bullshit.

And let’s be clear.  I did tell my father – a year after it happened.  You know what he did?  Nothing.  Not a motherfucking thing.  I expected what every girl expects her father to do in those situations – kill him or pay someone to do it for him.  My Dad didn’t do any of these things.  Instead, he played “inquisitioner” and asked me a bunch of questions – I can only guess to surmise whether or not I was full of beans.  We never talked about it again after the night I sat him down to talk about it.

Later on in the week my husband and I were out to dinner and my Dad called.  I answered the phone to make sure everything was OK.  He started talking to me about random stuff and then segued into talking about Bill Cosby.  Here we fucking go.

I don’t understand these women.  They took the money from him, that’s tantamount to getting paid for sex.  They got their money, why come back, 30 years later and ruin his career?  They already got the money – move on already!  You got what you wanted!  If a guy answers his door in his bathrobe and gives you a pill, you know what he’s after – don’t be naive.  If you didn’t want it, you should have just come back when he was fully dressed.  

Then he goes on about Stormy Daniels, but I’m just not in the fucking mood – OK?  The Bill Cosby stuff was so enough.  He said about 10 minutes more, but no.  I hung up the phone and my husband could just tell the conversation did not go well.

How the fuck do you have that kind of conversation with your child?  Your daughter?  Knowing she’s a survivor?  Knowing your other daughter was molested?  How the hell can you talk about taking too long to report sexual assault when your youngest NEVER reported?  She stopped speaking to me when I spilled the tea 20 years later.  I actually told campus police that John was stalking me and they said there was nothing they could do.  Why in the hell would I go to the REAL police once campus police basically told me “uhhh we’re going to let this guy come and stalk you after he raped you for months, isolated you from your friends and family and stealthed* you, giving you an STD.”

…But no.  You should always come forward, right?  You won’t be treated like the criminal.  Like when I was on the couch that night I told you I was raped and I got asked everything except HIS SSN?  Or when campus police told me that in a building that required key card access they couldn’t protect me, so I had to move off campus and further isolate myself from my friends?

I had to take my white board off my door that year.  He kept writing horrible things on it – calling me a “bitch,” “whore,” “slut,” “fuck you.”  I changed the name on my door so he thought I’d moved but it didn’t work.  None of my friends knew.  My mother didn’t even know and she was my best friend.  She knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what.  I flunked everything that semester and my clothes got way bigger – I was eating more, but mostly I just didn’t want anyone to see me.  I bought XL everything and would hide inside my hoodies.  I wanted to disappear.

After he’d leave, I’d run to the community bathroom with my tray of soaps and turn on the hot water.  No cold.  I would let the steaming, burning hot water scald me between my legs.  Burn away the shame.  Burn away the layer of skin he touched.  I’d stand there until I felt nothing but numbness between them and the tears ran down my face.  This would happen sometimes three times a week for the better part of 3 months.

He’d lean over my face after using my toothpaste and sing about his minty breath.  I can’t smell toothpaste mint without getting sick to my stomach.

But, I asked for this pain, right, Dad?

I cried to my Mom the other day about this.  The stories on the news, all of this is fucking triggering.  You know what she said to me?

I’m so sorry, honey.  I’m sorry.

Because there’s nothing else to say.  It’s already happened to me, to her, my sister, sister-in-law, best friend, other best friend and countless others.  That should say something – that I could throw a dart and hit someone who’s been assaulted.  It’s not about teaching our boys and girls to be safer.  It’s about teaching people not to fucking rape and assault others.  It’s about consent and respect.

 

*stealthing – non-consensual condom removal

Advertisements

Hush/just stop/there’s nothing you can do or say

How do you stop being angry? When the reminders of your anger are shoved in your face?

I shouldn’t be here.

I shouldn’t be dealing with this shit.

I’m stuck in this house and it makes me angry. I was able to pay my half of the rent; my husband couldn’t. We moved back in with my mother. I freaked out so bad I couldn’t move any of our stuff in. It was years ago that I had the opportunity to go to a local graduate school to get my Master’s and disenrolled. I enrolled to a much more expensive, Big 10 school 1.5 hours away to get away from my mother. Our relationship had become so toxic I felt I had no choice. Now I was being forced to move back in with her after the loss of my child. Fucking great. We’re still here 5 years later and the relationship between her and I continues to deteriorate.

Now that I’m unable to work because I’ve fallen off the tuna truck, I’ve left my finances in his hands. And I can barely look him in the face without becoming angry. A part of me is so fucking angry that he was so fucking selfish. If he’d committed to something, anything besides 18 things other than what he thought he wanted I wouldn’t feel obligated to go back to work before I’m ready. A degree. A trade. A job that led to a career. Fucking anything.

But alas here I go, back to work despite the fact that the meds have caused permanent damage to my kidneys and they will be taking me off them and starting me on something else. Probably sending me back before we know whether or not I’m stable at this point because we need the money. I don’t have a choice anymore. We need the money to move out of here for good.

Talking out of both sides of their mouths. My mother says not to go back to work until I’m well, but has her fucking hand out asking for money every 5 minutes. Husband says the same thing, tells me he’ll take care of and pay for everything. He says he’ll get a second job to help support us while I recoup yet he talks about falling asleep while driving home, can’t sleep because he works midnights and sleeps through date nights. Yeah, I see that second job going real well. I’d be collecting his social security after he dies if he gets a second job. I can’t have that.

The clownery is real. I know you can’t fix the past, but I don’t know how to move past this anger. It stares me in the face when I wake up and when I go to bed. I know he’s trying to fix it. He’s the absolute perfect man in every other aspect.

The only solution is to pick myself up by my proverbial bootstraps and go back to work even if it kills me (like it tried to before). I’ll fix this myself.

Like I always do.

Y’know, one day, one of these years I’d like for someone to say they’ll “handle it” and mean it. And by “mean it,” I mean have a plan and resources by which to handle it. Saying that you’ve “got this” isn’t actually having it. There’s no security there. I fear failure. My overarching need to control will kick in and I will fix it.

Like I always do.

The problem is that I’m getting tired of being the one to fix things. I feel like some days I’m hanging on by a thread and I’m yelling out for help but people just keep walking by. They stare me dead in the face while walking right by.

Breaking guitars

Sigh. I’m very, very tired. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m irritated with disappointed in the hubs, I guess. And I can’t seem to shake it off like I normally would. For the first time in a long time, I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t really want to be around him. I can’t explain why. It doesn’t feel good; it doesn’t feel natural and I don’t like myself for it.

I don’t like that I’m held to a higher standard than his father. I don’t like that I get yelled at for being callous and cold and mean when his father has been this way for decades. A father isn’t supposed to treat their child this way. A wife isn’t supposed to treat their husband that way either – I’m aware – but what makes it so easy to jump down my throat and not his?

[Because he won’t change, Alice. Hubs has tried. The man has an untreated severe mental illness, more severe than you.]

I uninvited my own mother from our wedding for him. My mother – who’s been my rock and best friend all my life, not at the most important event in my life because she disapproved of my now-husband. His father disinherits him because he hates me, says we need to divorce because I’m mentally unstable (pot meet effing kettle), tried to fuck my mother and hubs meets with him for lunch every fucking week like nothing’s the matter. What. The. Fuck.

[Don’t do that. Don’t make him choose because you chose. He never asked you to choose between him and your mother; you just did it. His mother’s gone. He’s probably clinging to the hope that one day his father will come around. Plus, hubs said there was no indication the man wasn’t going to disinherit him for just existing. The man has always resented hubs for merely breathing. You’re more than likely the scapegoat – even your father, Alice, said as much. The man is trying his damnedest to split you apart. Don’t let him succeed.]

Sigh. Why can’t I accept that he’s not like me? We know what I would have done well before now in this situation.

[Not many people are like you, dear. And you’re not like him. It took decades for you to forgive your father, decades for you to see your grandmother as she really was and decades for you to accept and respect your mother. Don’t expect to forget the man and what he’s trying to do to your family in 48 hours. But remember hubs is doing what he can for you and your family today.]

…God. Damn. I’m right.

I’m right. He’s doing his best. It’s not my way, but that’s okay. It has to be. What else can I do? None of this is within my control. I think that’s why I’m so angry about it.

I was telling my new psychologist (yeah, I went back to therapy. Mistakes in the process of being made I’m sure) that that’s why I’m such a perfectionist. I need to have control over everything. I don’t have control – a lot of the time – over my mood swings, libido, etc. so I overcompensate by attempting to control the situations – and sometimes people – around me. A lot of the time it works. Some of the time it doesn’t but by trying to control my environment I can control the trajectory of my life (or so I think). When someone or something comes around and is resistant to my ideas or the environment doesn’t adapt to my comfort zone it throws me for a loop. I get anxious, depressed, despondent followed by irritable and indignant.

Selfish, right? Not when you consider my background. It comes from a lifetime of unreliable behavior demonstrated by my superiors. Now that I’m older, if I can exercise any amount of control it eliminates the need for others entirely, thus ensuring there is someone I can always depend on: me. Who else is there but me? I rarely let me down.

In this particular situation I felt let down by the hubs. I felt like he wasn’t defending me. Like the only way to defend/stick up for me was my way. He says he always stands up for me, tries to explain my situation to the man however the man doesn’t believe in mental illness. (Yeah, that explains a whole lot. Explains why someone with a clear alcohol problem and obvious sxs of schizophrenia isn’t seeking treatment but that’s not my fucking problem. Whatever. I digress.). I don’t care if the man believes in fairies, okay? I cared that hubs doesn’t care enough to say, “Hey, believe what you want. I know the truth. Stay ignorant. You don’t like her? Fine. She’s tried to make peace with you but you’re too stubborn to care. So we’re gonna drop it entirely. Leave her name out of your mouth because we’re all over this shit. We’re staying together and plan on having kids. You can be a part of that or not. Having nothing to do with her precludes you from having anything to do with our children however so think long and hard about how long you want to keep this up. It’s a shame that you can’t let go [of something that never actually happened] out of a sense of pride or principle. Grow up.”

Too much? He could word it much nicer than that! I would have been much meaner, actually. He said if he tried to be more direct with him, it would probably end with them severing their relationship. If being direct and upfront about your feelings with your parent causes them to cut you off, it’s their loss and not yours. Holding all of that inside out of fear of losing the [tenuous] connection with your parent is sad. Having to walk on eggshells just to maintain a relationship with an unstable parent because they’re your only surviving parent is tragic.

[The same could be said for having to walk on eggshells to maintain a relationship with an unstable wife.]

Ouch. Touché.

Yes, both of my parents are living.
No, I don’t understand what it’s like, clearly, to lose a parent.
No, if my mother leaves this Earth first I will not cling to my emotionally unavailable father for parent-ship. He’s not available at the moment. I’ll leave a message and he’ll get back to me like he always has. And that’s the truth of it. And that’s okay. I have other family to lean on – namely my hubs (if he hasn’t divorced me for his goddamned father by then), our possible kids and a plethora of friends I deem close enough to be considered my family.

…Once I leave inpatient psychiatric treatment because losing her will send me off the reservation.

Same if I lose him. #codependent

Sigh. In the words of my father – the wise man that he is: fuck it.

I’m meaner than my demons/I’m bigger than these bones

It’s been such a long while since I’ve written in here.  I don’t know if it’s avoidance or forgetfulness at this point.  What I do know is that I’ve backslid and I’m slithering around on my belly like a tongueless snake.

I had the surgery and I’ve lost about 50 pounds.  I honestly think, for once, I’m returning to my baseline physical self.  I never saw myself as this fat, huge overweight thing. Body dysmorphia is quite common for people after the surgery; my mother struggles with it daily.  I wasn’t always fat – I was a skinny kid.  I see myself losing weight and – don’t tell anyone – but I feel fucking awesome.  I think I look fucking hot.  Aside from the loose skin I’ve acquired, I feel my confidence going up.  People at work keep commenting on how great I look, and while I don’t particularly enjoy that, I do like the looks I give myself.  Pretty narcissistic sounding, huh?  It’s not like that, though.  I used to look at myself and glare.  I’d give myself a once-over in the mirror, gazing at each body part with hatred and disgust.  Each body part was subject to ridicule and hazing by me, every day.  There were some days I couldn’t bear to look at myself at all.  I’m fucking done with that.  I look at myself – loose skin and all – and see someone who struggled with a lot of shit, but won’t give up.  I see a woman who is not just a fighter, but gorgeous inside and out.  Not just because she has a sexy husband that wants to fuck her every minute of every day (God he’s seriously relentless), but because she believes it now.  She doesn’t need his validation or anyone else’s.  Who knew it would only take a $40,000 surgery to get to this point?  Oy vey.

So I just got out of the psych ward.  Ha!  Didn’t see that coming, did you?  Alice: always full of surprises.  It had been over a decade since I last graced their halls with my presence.  The staff remembered me.  I’m still trying to decide if that’s good or bad.  My schedule affected my medication schedule and then I stopped taking it all together.  Then I slipped into a manic phase.  I told my family that I wasn’t taking that “poison” anymore, I was “normal” without it.  I was also unable to concentrate on anything, I was the best at everything ever in life, I was getting 4 hours of sleep at night, and couldn’t sit still worth a damn.

Then I fell.  Hard.

I couldn’t get out of bed.  I wouldn’t shower for days.  I would cry at nothing.  Or something, anything.  I’d get frustrated at little things.  I just couldn’t function worth shit.  So I called my psychiatrist.  He told me he was having me admitted to the psych ward.  I was there for a week.  He put me on FMLA and here I sit, at home, taking my meds… ish.

I told him I’m fucking trained.  I know better than to not take them.  I know that the incidence of bipolar patients not taking their meds is higher than any other mental illness because we think we’re getting better, stop taking them and fall on our faces.  I said I know the stats, I’ve read the studies, I know this shit and did it anyway.

He said, “That’s how you know it’s the disease, Alice.  Not you.”

Being in the psych ward as a mental health professional was a nightmare.  You think they treat you any better?  Nope.  Still just a fucking nut in a ward full o’ nuts.  I didn’t expect to be treated better than anyone else but I think I’ve become more aware of the stigma than I had in years past. I never remember the staff being so dismissive and cold. Even the social workers, who claim to help even the playing field between the professionals and the patients were at times condescending and patronizing.  I reminded them that we shared the same credentials, same degree and performed the same functions in our profession as a way of humanizing myself however I doubt it did much good as I was still cast aside when asking for simple things like respect.  During a group session, one social worker stated part of their job is to educate the other staff members, including the doctors, about mental health.  I actually fell out laughing.  I said that, as noble as that may be, the worst stigma against mental illness I have ever seen has been in the medical community.  I explained that I am terrified my co-workers will find out that I am in the psych ward, as I was in my own employer’s medical system and in our computer system it will show that I was there.  I further explained that none of the doctors I work with have any interest or desire to work with psych patients; they actually express disdain for the entire population.   The nurses at my hospital are mostly impatient and rude when treating a psych patient and want nothing more than for my department to hurry up and get them out of the hospital.  I have social workers who actually said to me they hate working with “bipolars” because they are constantly going off their meds and have wild mood swings.  So, excuse my skepticism when discussing “educating” the medical staff – I’m sure it’s going well.

The nurses and nurse’s aides were a fucking nightmare.  It didn’t help that they’d rather surf Facebook and Instagram than do their fucking jobs. Aside for a select few, they treated me like I didn’t know my own body.  And, not to sound like a dick, but like they knew more about psych than I did.  As someone who’s been on both sides – a patient and a professional – I can safely say that’s bullshit.  And as an employee at that hospital I knew corporate policy, so they couldn’t fuck me around when it came to that either.  Plus, this isn’t my first rodeo.  I’ve been hospitalized about 7 times.  Go fuck yourself; I know how this goes.  I wasn’t in the mood to be fucked with.  Not to mention the fact that my psychiatrist is on staff and we’ve been working together for over a decade.  I know that he always has my best interests at heart and will go to bat for me (and did) when I need him to.

So.  You’re caught up.  Time for my meds.

Never be the 1st to believe/never be the last 2 deceive

Aggravated is the best word to use.

Just aggravated.

I’m getting my stomach stapled.
Literally stapled.
They are gonna cut me open, fiddle about, find it in there somewhere, cut it off and staple it.

Let’s flashback for just a second. Husband says he wants me to be more active, worries about my health and wants me to be healthy and care about myself.

In other words, put down the fork.

No, no it’s cool. He was right to say something. I would have just kept going and going until he found himself in someone else’s bed like my father did. So no, this was good. …I cried like a bitch that day. I couldn’t believe he called me fat. [Let’s be fair, he didn’t use those words.
Fuck off! It was insinuated!] Anyway.

Right now, he’s in a transition period. He’s changing careers from computers to law enforcement.

Uh-huh. That’s what I said, too.

He was training for the physical exams and blew out his knee. I told him to go to the doctor; he won’t go.

He’s been working midnights since he was 19. That’s almost half his lifetime. Now he’s starting to have memory problems. I told him to go to the doctor.

He. Won’t. Go.

[sigh] I fail to understand this. This whole “men don’t go to the doctor” shit is not an excuse. Lemme ‘splain – FAST FORWARD:

I’M HAVING MY STOMACH CUT OFF AND STAPLED. Why? So I can be more active and more healthy, as requested. So I won’t die of a diabetes-related illness or a heart attack. So I can hang around with his fine yet frustrating ass longer. So I can bear our children without making them motherless or him a widow in the process. Son of a bitch.

Let me be clear, he didn’t ask me to have the surgery. But it would be nice to know that his hypertensive (yep, has high blood pressure – doesn’t follow doc’s orders and I don’t think he’s fully med compliant) behind was at least taking care of himself as much as I’m trying to take care of myself. If I’m willing to go to this length to be healthy, he can make a fucking doctor’s appointment.

I can’t destroy what isn’t there

TRIGGER WARNING – RAPE

I met with my psychologist this past Monday. Aside from reminiscing about all my psychiatrists of the past (and their behind-the-scene proclivities), we talked about the moment I went nuts …no I was right. Went nuts is totally appropriate here.

She said that age five, I tried to kill myself. I know; I was there. I don’t remember the circumstances, only the where, the when and how. I remember my disappointment in it not working and my becoming even more depressed. I tried a few times. As a child that size, your resources and vocabulary are limited. I felt this deep overwhelming panic, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, anger, fear and helplessness and felt I had nowhere to turn and didn’t have the right words to express any of it.  So it appears, according to my psychologist’s theory, that my brain’s chemistry changed the first time. My body’s arousal system and my neurotransmitters went nuts.

I was majorly depressed and disordered by age 6 with at least 2 suicide attempts under my belt.  By age 16 I was full-scale self-injuring on the daily; it looked my dermatologist was Edward Scissorhands.  My mood was all over the place due to my hormones and my outright refusal to take medication until the next year when I was almost hospitalized for suicidal threats and increasingly intensive self-injury of which I still carry the scars.

I went to college at age 17, fully medicated for my safety and for those around me but it had little effect.  I went to a very large, very competitive, pseudo-Ivy League school.  I had very little social support and many of those I met didn’t fail to remind me of my social and racial status.  Yes, I was a part of the 49% of the students receiving financial aid and yes, I’m black.  (No, asshole – I got here on merit, not affirmative action.  In between slicing and dicing I managed to pull a 3.9 GPA out of my ass in high school.  I actually had people make comments in class about this shit to my face.  Unbelievable.)

Anyway, let me back up a bit.  Welcome Week, freshman year.  Exciting for kid fresh out of high school – getting to party in college!  I had arrived.  I was grown as far as I was concerned.  I could stay out late, meet guys, new people – have a blast!  My best friends from high school, now attending the rival college, were coming down for the weekend and we were going partying together so I was excited.  The four of us get some food at a local hangout near my dorm and start walking around campus to find a party that looks cool.  One of my friends, Tom, was a sophomore so he knew everything about frat parties since he was a frat member at Alpha Chi What-The-Fuck-Ever so we followed his lead.  We walk into this relatively jumping party – just wall to wall people, a DJ, jungle juice, the whole shebang.  Jim and Raquel start dancing (they were dating) and vanish into the mist of the crowd.  Maya, a sophomore at our school, fucks off somewhere, probably trying to find a rich white guy (she has a type – has since high school) and leaves me dancing by my lonesome.

At a frat party.
My first night on campus.
Awesome.
Well, this is the start of a Lifetime movie.

Boy did I call it.  This fucking guy comes up to me, introduces himself as “[inaudible due to the loud music played by the DJ]” and points toward the center of the dance floor.  I nod “okay.”  There’s 60 goddamn people on this dance floor.  I can’t be abducted in the middle of a crowd of 60 people.  It’ll be fine.  So we start dancing; no big deal.  He then moves behind me and puts his hands around my waist.  I can tell he’s drunk; I’m not having a good time anymore.  I need to find my crew and get the fuck out of here.  I’m looking for my crew so we can di di mao.  Before I get a chance to break away, he puts his hands down my underwear and ::ding-dong:: WELCOME TO COLLEGE.  Unwanted sexual contact.  I grab his hand and pull it out of my pants and walk away.  Of course NOW my friends are ready to leave and find another party.

Right before we go, this asshole gives me his number.  He wouldn’t leave me alone until he could put it in my phone.  He was too drunk to spell his name right.  Unless he was actually named after a tennis shoe.  I never told my friends – he was drunk, right?  No one’s fault – blame it on the alcohol…  I never told anyone.  Just buried it along with everything else.

Ah sophomore year.  This one’s gonna be tougher to talk about.  I met this gem on the back stoop of my dorm at the beginning of the school year.  We went on 1 or 2 dates.  He dropped me off at my dorm room and when he hinted that he wanted to take things further than a kiss goodnight, I told him I had a rule: 6 months of monogamy before sex.  He seemed outraged.  I made it clear I didn’t care – those are my rules.  Next date, we decided to stay in, were watching “Law and Order” when he said he had to tell me something: he was on parole for armed robbery.

Uhhh.  He knows where I live.  He knows where my family lives.  He’s 6’2”, 245 lbs – all muscle.  I was 5’4”, 145 lbs.  I was fucking terrified.

Someone tell me please: When an armed robber comes to your living quarters every few nights for several MONTHS, what do you do?  When you feel like you’re not given many options considering their size and tendencies to be ARMED?  Fucking terrified.  This went on for 3 months.  During that time, I isolated from my friends and family, I was “stealthed” countless times which resulted in a case of (CURED!) chlamydia.

When I finally broke down and spoke to the only person who I thought would listen, my ex-boyfriend Anthony, he helped give me the strength to leave.  I left and the man stalked me in my dorm room for a few months.  It took a key card to get into the building but somehow he would get in and leave messages on my door calling me “bitch,” “slut,” and “fuck you.”  I reported it to campus security but it was useless.  I moved out of the dorms into an apartment with Anthony the next year; we got back together after this.

Anthony is a story for another time.

So the intimidation-rape is trauma #2.  Trauma #1 was whatever happened at age 5 that triggered my suicide attempt – that is a mystery to me as of yet.  I’ve told my psychologist I’m considering going to a hypnotist because I’m tired of this Swiss cheese stuff – this holey memory of mine is ridiculous.  We either figure this out or we don’t.  My psychologist said something that has been weighing heavy on my mind all week.  She said that her theory is the chemical imbalances that have been caused by trauma can be reversed by re-training the brain.

…Excuse me?  If I’m understanding this correctly, bipolar disorder can be reversed through behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy.  Are you shitting me?  

I’ve just been in limbo all fucking week, letting that sink in.  Think about it: if that is true, I’ve been able to fix myself this whole time.  I’m like Dorothy at the end of Wizard of Oz.  She had the shoes throughout her whole walk through Oz — the bullshit with the Witch, the Monkeys, the talking head of the Wizard, all of it — and she could have gone right home.  Unreal!  While I understand in Wizard it’s a little different – she needed to understand how good she had it in Kansas.  Someone tell me the point of walking this shit-brick road?  Where’s the fun in french kissing death?  There is none!

If this is true – what if I don’t get better?  It’ll be just something else I’ve failed at.  Can’t kill myself right* and can’t heal myself, so I’m stuck in the middle.  Fucking perfect.

*Ok, I may have lost a few of you there.  As a mental health professional, that’s a horrible thing to say and hear.  However, as a someone with a mental health disorder I can say that I may speak for a few people out there who have felt this way. when they wake up in the hospital, alive.  I did – I was pissed off.  You feel like a failure because you didn’t complete a “goal,” however this isn’t a goal – long term – you want, even if your depression says otherwise.  When I say I didn’t do it right, I mean that I failed and there’s no escape from this disease on either end – through death or living.  It’s fucking maddening and it makes me feel hopeless for a painless life.  While I appreciate the empathy I have gained for others like me, I wish for a life like anyone else’s.  I wish for happiness.  I’ve never known what that’s like because even what I’m happy I’m always wondering when the feeling is going to end.

these final hours. 

Last night I was scared. I had the lights off; the halls were dark and I couldn’t see. Usually my husband is there, but he was working.  I just kept thinking about how much I wanted to curl into his arms and sleep – it’s where I feel the most safe. 

When I woke up, he was there next to me, asleep. I just rubbed his shoulder for a few minutes before I decided it was time to get up and start getting my day going. When the bed shifted, he woke up, asked me the standard “how are you,” “how was work” questions. He could see I was still depressed and detached from our conversation the other day, which spiraled into yet another conversation about my inability to be intimate with him and my shutting down. This spawned a whole other line of conversation about how he’s spent 10 years waiting for things to get better and nothing’s changed; now we’re older and he physically feels himself changing which has him upset because his youth was wasted waiting for me to screw my head on straight. 

I admit: I shut down. I get depressed. I withdraw into myself and attempt to “fix” the problem alone. I see now how well that’s been working. But my question is to myself is “now what?” 

Now what do you do?  Withdrawing doesn’t work but it’s automatic.  Being  depressed doesn’t help but it’s automatic.  Being angry doesn’t help but it’s automatic. What else do I have?  Be open, honest, and vulnerable?  

I am terrified.  After 10 years, you’d think I’d have let my own spouse in. I thought I had. It was a smoke screen I put up to fool everyone – including myself.  

I don’t want to lose my husband. But I don’t know how to let anyone in.  It used to be safer with everyone out there, but now it’s becoming just as dangerous.