Real, honest, authentic, transparent. And her I am led. So lets go. I am an ocean of emotions, told by my therapist that mt thoughts engage my emotions that engage my behavior. But as a woman that is challenged by new research and seeks it as a source of my existence, my souls path, my body’s response and the emerging path to healing addiction, I have questions.
Lets be real. I struggle. Many of us struggle, but how many of us reach out. I am an introvert by nature, but that has been a glass ceiling. I am witty, well read on numerous subjects, but have no time for small talk. Tell me who you are. What drives you, your hopes, your dreams that feel distant now but in you GUT you see yourself accomplishing. Tell me about the lioness inside of you, or the lion. And then tell me how you will, with teeth and gums and endless gnawing, break free. Rattle that cage, it’s just cage in your mind. Rise above the cage. howl , scratch, sit, ponder. But my loves, my tribe. Do not give UP. We are the ones that change things. The ones that show love so that other love themselves. We walk through the fire, after sleepless, terrorized nights with our buckets of water in hand for others. We do NOT think of ourselves, but of the grateful breath we draw in each day, wherever we are, jail, homeless, burdened beyond comprehension. I’ve been there. I am living it. It’s hard to wake up every day. The burdens are greater than a soul should have to bear. But I am not strong alone. And you…you need us. And we need you.
I took a trip with my Father this weekend. The details will come later, personal recovery business We, as aways, need to pick up after we’ve made poor decisions. And guess what..the gauze was lifted from my eyes. I could see clearly the support I have and better than that the support I am able to give even though I grovel at my knees at times. Now, if that not the universe and /or it’s maker working inn abs and flows towards a home for me than I sincerely cannot attribute it to something else . My Father laughed and smiled at 73, about old escapades my sister and I would play…..Chinese fire drill at a stop sigh. In note. May relationship with my beloved siblings changed in 2017 however she is is slowing getting reseeded into the terrain. Some seeds emerge and bloom, others die run the soil. But I know my tribe, they’ll all rise up to the sun, heads high.
Due to the PTSD, my muscles are clenched and I feel it in the marrow of my bones unless I am speaking about it. I did not stuff, but cried out loud, escaping the unimaginable pain I had gone through and continue to go through. We went to my home after court. I built my home in 2017, it’s so beautiful. But to me it represents loneliness, my ex -boyfriend who I still love. But too far from family. I WANT/NEED/DESIRE?LONG to thrive. My journey is one with a co creator and the is a bit scary right because I basically give my stubborn self to my Higher Power. That a tall order. But later tonight I will be one my knees and thanking I’m for the tings I have overlooked and taken for granted. Am I thankful I divorced, yes, I was a shell of a person. But I’ve moved past anger, to surrender , “I /WE Are not in control” . But the love I lean on tells me I a, his, warts and all. And he has wanted me before I know him.
IT feels like a wave sweeping over, taking me under, panicked breathing, fists clenched, profanity and guttural animal sounds emerging from me. I awake in terror, not remembering how the terror came and thrust me out of fitful sleep. My heart beat is so rapid. I want nothing more than to be out of my skin. And then this is what I begin to scream, I want out of my skin. Clawing at my face, my neck and chest. I get up, frantic, willing it to go away and finally end up, exhausted with the war I’ve just waged on myself, fall into heavy sobs. Defeated, but quiet.
I don’t remember my first panic attack, but I do know that the trauma built in me throughout my marriage. Sometime in 2009, after my second miscarriage with twins this time, I felt a sense of panic at loud noises and desired quiet space without large crowds of people around. Grief, anxiety, postpartum and trauma seeped into the marrow of my bones. Later, after returning honey from my ex-husbands sabbatical I found myself at dinner with another couple I’d not met before, colleagues of his. For no apparent reason at the time, panic swept over me, wanting to tear my clothes off and crawl underneath the table. It may have been apparent that I was struggling but I quietly excused myself to the bathroom and kneeled by the toilet after splashing water on my face and willed it to pass. But that was when the PTSD and panic attacks were manageable. I took no medication, my ex did not believe in medication, pattern I latter repeated in another relationship, nor did he believe in counseling. Ironic, as that is my field of work.
Today, the PTSD governs me. I feel as though I am a slave to it’s torture. And desire nothing other than to be out of my skin. Flashbacks, words and cruelty that cannot be pushed from my mind, well up in emotions. Startling easily at the sound of blinds opening and closing, wearing headphones to get through the grocery store, when I can tolerate music. And the associated depression that comes in waves and decides how long it chooses to reside with me.
And then the deafening silence. The silence that speaks to me, though my translation is poor and I feel caught in a maze.
Someone I once knew described his life after divorce, in his mid 40’s as “part two of his life.” I find myself in the same frame of mind. However this time, I want to move forward with authenticity and vulnerability. So here goes. I was the wife of a prominent professor, raising three children when I hit a wall, face first. Suffering from verbal, emotional and physical abuse in my relationship, I began to self medicate with alcohol after the birth of my third child. It starts small, stress, a glass of wine at night to ease the stress, calm my mind so I can sleep. The abuse starts slow as well. Taking post office box keys away from me, belittling comments about my profession (a social worker later counselor). I paid little attention to either, thinking that the glasses of wine allowed me to function and knowing he’d driven my self-esteem so low that I felt I actually needed him. By the time I was 36, I was battling full blown alcoholism. Three small children at home, my Father had come to live with use after suffering a third heart attack, retiring and deciding to divorce my Mom, I went to bed and lost time for the next 4 days. Waking up to my husband telling me I had been in bed for 4 days and remembering none of it, we decided I needed to go to a detox. I was on a 72 hour hold and had been working to get into a treatment center. Being part of the social work/counseling field I knew exactly which treatment Center I needed to be at but my husband would not agree. So, I dug my heels in, stayed three more days until he relented (my sister was a savior at this time, taking him on in my absence and advocating or me). Once the University said they would pay for my treatment I went directly to Hazelden in Minnesota.
I was transformed. My self esteem rose, I talked about my marital issues, the list goes on. He didn’t want me home, telling them it would be better if I got a job and moved into an apartment, but once again he relented and I was finally home with my children. And I was functioning sober, but tings had changed between my husband and myself. I was no longer happy with the “allowance” I got weekly, the belittling comments, the decisions made for the family without my input. Treatment changes you, as does trauma. What I did not realize was I needed so much more help with the trauma (now full blown PTSD) than I realized. I followed up with counseling and psychiatry, but not much helped when I was still in the same situation that perpetuated my drinking in the beginning. I was still under the microscope of a narcissistic man, an abuser. I went to meetings, stayed sober and then at 6 months sober I found out I was pregnant. One night in six months and due with my fourth baby.