Hindsight is 20/20 – squinting – pt. 3

~Don’t seek healing at the feet of those who broke you.

I can’t remember who wrote this, but it really resonated with me this week.

I even wrote it on my desk calendar, so I could look at it every day, and remind myself of those words, practice the mantra, so to speak.

I need to stop kneeling at the feet of those who have hurt me in the past, seeking resolution, consolation, closure, or healing.

I do it way too often.

You see, I used to be the one doing the breaking, so when I crashed at the end, and had to change the way I did things, I really did change.

Except, sometimes, I go too far the other direction.

I’ve had many people tell me I’m too nice, too forgiving.

But – I’m getting ahead of my own story, here.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the summer of 1990 was just a slow roll towards suicide on my part.

It wasn’t.

I had a blast getting into as much trouble as humanly possible, in the short amount of time I had, and in the limited ways I could. (as in, no drugs, no extreme sports – cause HELLO, I SUCK AT SPORTS)

But – it WAS a spiral headed south, and straight into a wall. Somewhere in the back of my primitive id brain I knew this. I wasn’t stupid. I couldn’t see a future for myself, and I was, oddly… wanting to tromp down harder on the gas pedal, for some reason. Get there faster, & you waste less gas?

Well, my parents weren’t having it.

They clamped down on me, & told me to either “find a job, or you’re headed for the military”.

Yep. No shit.

So – I hit the papers, and found want ads – for nannies. People in other states wanted nannies from North Dakota to fly to their homes to take care of their kids, because they thought ND kids made better nannies, for some reasons. And I – wanted the fuck out. Out of North Dakota. Out of my current life, out from under my parents’ rules, you know… Typical young self-destructive type behavior.

Fast forward a few phone calls, and I’d found a family in New Jersey, who had 2 kids, both adopted, and they wanted me right away.

Off I went.

Everyone has baggage.

But Delta had no idea I had TWO carry-ons with me instead of just the one they saw.

You see, I’d been a horrible girlfriend to the boyfriend I fell for…

And I’d run around and used sex to feel good about myself.

I’d thought I was just malnourished, from not eating well, smoking & drinking a lot over the summer, subsisting on sunflower seeds & beef jerky most of the time.

I didn’t realize I had a growing reason for missing my period.

Until the morning I puked for no reason.

Well, there was a reason, I just didn’t want to know it, or admit it, really.

Shit.

*sigh*

On my day off, I ran an errand to the drug store & bought myself a stick test to pee on.

Damn thing practically turned blue in my hand before I got it open.

Hell.

So, on my next day off… I went down to the local women’s free clinic & got tested there. Positive again.

And a courtesy “talk” with a counselor, who gently went through all my options with me, asking me delicately if I was… Possibly…maybe…could I be…considering…abor.. ??

“NO.” I was most emphatic, and a huge, truck-load sized weight seemed to lift from the counselor’s shoulders.

“Oh, thank goodness!”, she was so relieved, I thought she was going to hug me, which would have been awkward, and extremely uncomfortable for us both, I think.

Then, she wanted to discuss adoption, & I shut her down on that, too.

Nope.

I thanked her politely, and told her that, in no uncertain terms, I was going home, I was going to have my baby, and I was going to raise it myself.

This was mine, and no one was taking it from me.

It was time to fucking grow up.

My baby needed me. And needed me to be an ADULT. I was going to be a mommy, and I’d be damned if anyone was taking that from me.

Now, I needed to figure out how to do that.

I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally, yet.

But I was damned well going to figure this out.

For once, it wasn’t about what I needed.

It was about what someone else needed from me. Someone who didn’t have anyone else, and needed me first, most, and who I could love without reservations or limits or embarrassment. I could give this baby everything I was, and it wouldn’t betray me, because I would be its mommy.

This baby was going to love me, because I was going to love him or her so hard, there’d be no reason not to.

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Hindsight is 20/20 – sorta (pt.2)

That summer…

1990…

Such a blur of color and sound, sun & cigarettes, booze & boys & parties & beaches & laughter & tears and just –

Fucking hell – wild abandon.

I quit college a year and a half after starting. As I said in my last post… I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I wasn’t in the right mindset for college. Didn’t really know what I wanted out of life, not for real, and had no real passion for it. And without that, you honestly shouldn’t be there. It’s a money and time-suck if you don’t give 100% of everything you have to it.

And I didn’t have 100% of anything to give.

I was really only functioning on about 78%, myself, at any given moment… not that I was aware of that fact.

(I’ve changed that percentage number twice, lowered it, actually, because I realized just how little I was emotionally coherently functioning that summer)

After they brought me home from my college town, they tried to put me in therapy. It was a miserable failure.

I don’t know if it was because of the therapist they chose, or what they told him, but it was a train-wreck.

I walked in to that first visit, thinking I would maybe give it a chance, that maybe, finally, someone would hear me.

And the first words out if his mouth were…

“So your parents tell me you think you were molested,”

As if I were making it up, lying, or delusional.

Fucking train-wreck on fire, I was all done after that. I wasn’t going to tell him SHIT. He could fuck ALL THE WAY OFF.

And that was the end of therapy.

[and you have NO idea how difficult this post has been to write. All you see are the results. This shit – days – it’s taken days – and that’s not me. I’m “off the cuff girl”]

(Yanks self back on track)

I won’t lie. That summer? Best fucking fun of my life.

I have a million snapshot memories of that summer, lodged in my head. Smoky bonfires, sparkling lakes & rivers, scorching heat while laying on a rocky beach, smoking & stubbing out cigarettes in the sand, waiting for a tan…and the end of a hangover.

Snapshots of laughter, of rides in cars, cruising up & down main at speeds so slow, you could walk faster than the car was moving; memories of loud music, long hair & short skirts, dancing under gushing rain gutters on main street, not caring if makeup smeared & we had to drive home damp, later.

Snapshots of going to sleep after the sun came up, and getting ready for the day, only a handful of hours later.

Dancing wherever and whenever we damned well felt like it, because we just didn’t fucking care.

Snapshots of late-night conversations, of kissing in the dark, of a boyfriend… One I fell for so quickly… He was funny and smart. Sweet, and sexy & kind; older than me & treated me well. You can’t just do that to someone looking for self-destruction. I wanted to curl up next to him and not move again, because it was safe being fun and happy with him. I scared myself so badly… I ran, and ran, and ran.

I was an awful girlfriend. I know that now. I hid from him, wouldn’t answer the phone, asked my parents to lie when he called, refused to talk to him. In my head… I made excuses for myself.

It all kind of culminated one rainy day, when he stopped my friend & I, tried to get me to talk to him, and I ran off again, down the street, into the rain, as fast as I could. I was such a coward.

He didn’t follow, didn’t chase, so I vindicated myself once again, inside my head. I wasn’t enough for anyone, wasn’t worth it.

So… Fuck it.

I ramped up the wild side.

Threw all caution and common sense to the wind, and went completely berserk.

I slept around, drank…oh gods, probably my body-weight at the time, in booze. Mostly beer, because that’s what was cheap. But, whatever was available? I drank it.

I thought about trying drugs.

I did.

I had them – SO easily available. The town I hung out in was HUGE in drugs, and I knew most of the druggies. They might not have been my besties, but, they knew my name, & that I wouldn’t rat them out. We knew some of the same people, hung at the same parties, small town, you know the drill.

But – I didn’t.

I honestly, truly, never did try drugs. Not even so much as a hit of weed, or even so much as one pill of anything.

I saw – wow – I saw shit involving drugs I can honestly say I never expected. Shit I won’t elaborate here, because it’s past, it won’t do anyone any good, so why do anyone harm?

But I never touched them myself.

I thought about it. I was tempted.

And if it hadn’t been for my best friend, at that point? I’d have done them. I would’ve. I’d have caved.

Why?

Because I saw NO FUTURE.

All I saw for myself at that point was a black wall, and I was speeding towards it.

I was driving the car inside my head, and I kept mashing the pedal to the floor. I wanted it over.

I just – wanted all of everything – over.

Hindsight is 20/20 – maybe

Looking backward…

In order to work on myself, I’ve been doing some hardcore soul-searching, and past-life regression.

As in, taking a long, hard, look at who I really was when I was younger…warts and all.

I’m not going to sugar-coat any-damn-thing, or try to rationalize bad behaviors for myself.

If I’m truly going to make any progress with figuring out how I ended up where I am today, & how I can move forward in a healthier way…

I need to get out of my own fucking way.

Because what I’ve been doing up until now?

Not healthy.

I know this.

I just don’t know, yet, how to fucking change it.

I know what results I want to see…

I just don’t think I’ll ever get there.

And that makes me even more depressed.

******

Deep breath

******

I – grew up fairly sheltered, as a kid. I was a nerd, didn’t play sports – was horribly bad at them, in fact, unless they happened from the back of a horse.

I was shy, and teased and bullied throughout my school years until I graduated high school.

Except when I was around my best friend, who I trusted. Then, I was outgoing, funny, sarcastic & able to open up. She saw a whole different side of me than everyone else, including my creative side, & encouraged me to express it.

In college, which only lasted about a year and a half (I shouldn’t have gone, I really wasn’t ready & wasted so much time & money there), I truly changed.

I had, by this time, lost my virginity, after throwing it away on my one and only high school boyfriend. (Who lasted about 2 months, until after his prom…no joke. But then, I had decided my virginity was mostly a hindrance, anyway, & used him to “get rid” of it… Not because I was in love. *snort*)

At this point, I wasn’t thinking about what had happened to me when I was 16. I wasn’t flashing back to being molested… Although, I’ve never slept on my stomach since that night.

Not once. Not ever.

But, I was using sex as a weapon. Of sorts, anyway.

I used it to feel good about myself.

Because if a guy wanted to have sex with me, that meant I was desirable, right?

That meant I had worth, right?

I meant something, even if it was only for a little while…

It made me feel powerful…in the moment.

Until afterwards.

Until I felt cheap.

When I was just ignored the next day, if I was even remembered.

But hey, I was a badass, right?

I stomped through the parties with my smartass, snarky mouth, my nickname “Dragon Lady” more because my words could burn people down than because I smoked. I gave no shits…

At least where they could see.

But…

God, did I care.

I burned through a handful of “boyfriends” in college, short-timers, because I would inevitably be a bitch at some point to them, & they’d wander off in search of calmer waters.

I never cheated, don’t get me wrong.

But, I’d drive them off, usually finding that one pet peeve, guaranteed to piss them right the hell off, and pick at that until they’d had just ENOUGH.

Done and dusted, I would be vindicated once again, knowing that I wasn’t worth the trouble. No one was really willing to chase me down & stick with me.

I just wasn’t worth it.

Not for anyone.

After all…when I was molested, even my parents didn’t believe me. They couldn’t even be concerned enough to come get me, instead having family members bounce me from one house to another for almost 2 weeks, before I finally reached home, after the “incident”. And then, it was never mentioned again.

Not until the summer after I quit college.

The summer of my complete abandon, my downward spiral, and their accusations of drug abuse & attempt at throwing me into therapy.

But – that’s for the next post.

I’m tapped.

I don’t know

I was finally starting to climb out of my depression, I thought, when this last thing hit.

When my mom showed up with her friend, my molester’s mother, at my work, last week.

I was honestly starting to feel better, I thought. I was starting to sing along with the radio again, to accomplish household chores, to make plans for outings (a big thing for me, if you know me).

And then, Monday happened, and the shit hit the fan.

I know myself, fairly well.

And to be honest, to be really, brutally, honest?

I’m not in a good place.

I’m really not.

I need help, but I won’t ask for it.

I can’t.

My brain won’t let me, because of what happened all those years ago.

Asking for help lets people hurt you.

It hands them the knife and bares your back.

Knowing myself, I will actually refuse help if it’s offered.

I know this.

Because I won’t hand anyone that knife.

I’ve been stabbed so, so many times, by people I thought cared about me.

I can’t do it anymore.

Won’t.

People leave.

It’s what they do.

Let them.

Funny thing…

I had a dream about a dead friend last night. He was so dear to me, and I miss him. I used to call him “little brother”, even though he towered over me.

I’m rambling, I know.

But it’s so dark inside my head, and that’s where the light goes.

No one sees it at work, you know. They all think I’m fine, because I wear the mask. I joke, I smile, I keep to myself…mostly. I’m quiet most of the time at work, anyway, so it’s not a stretch, anymore. They don’t know.

They don’t care.

It’s fine.

I actually googled therapists the other day, but didn’t call any of them.

With everything else…I just…

I don’t know.

Is it worth it, anymore?

When there’s nothing to look forward to.

Where have I been, Where am I going, Who am I now?

I used to write a lot of funny posts on my blog.

Mostly about my kids, but some about just – life, my past, growing up, my teenage years, shit I did when I was young, you know, normal funny things you remember.

Like the time I made my ElderDaughter a costume for Halloween that was a slice of pumpkin pie, just as she wanted. It was fun, and everyone adored it. It goes into the “Best memories” box.

And getting a foal to fall asleep in my lap. Also, going into that same box. I was a horse whisperer up until my 20s, when I stopped having contact with them, because my parents didn’t have any anymore, & I moved away after having ElderDaughter.

I used to write about all these things.

Until I stopped.

And I don’t know when that happened.

I don’t know when the depression started to take over, when it started to color everything in gray, including my writing.

I know it’s fucking depressing to read this shit all the time.

It’s depressing to write.

But if I don’t get it out of my head, and down onto the virtual “paper”, it continues to burn me up from the inside. It gnaws, and grinds at me, knotting my stomach, making me physically ill until I find myself back here, releasing the poison.

And no, simply writing it isn’t enough. I have to actually push the “publish” button to start feeling better.

Does that make me a masochist?

That I need the outside validation for my feelings to be read?

I wish I could just jump back into being that person I used to be. The one who had people to take care of. She was happy, taking care of her little nestlings, after kicking out the grown cuckoo of an ex.

I want to be happy again, I truly do. I’m so tired of this constant dragging feeling. I’m so drained all the time, as though something outside of me is sucking the energy from my soul.

I don’t know how to climb out of this.

I don’t know how to shift the balance from depression to happiness again.

It’s so difficult to do this when you’re working at it alone, but I won’t burden anyone else with it, so – there you go.

I think I’m going to start, by telling the people I care about how I truly feel about them.

It’ll probably scare some, because most people don’t do this unless they know they’re dying.

I am, in fact, dying, we all are, and who knows when it will happen?

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow.

I’ve lost too many friends over the years – I’ve learned that lesson well.

So, I’m going to start telling people how I feel.

No obligation for response, none necessary, none required or expected. No response even really wanted, to be truthful, because I’d probably end up either horribly embarrassed or hurt.

Either way, not a pretty color.

So, where have I been? I used to be happy… Naively, I thought it would last forever.

Where am I going? Not a fucking clue. Not yet, at least. I am, however, going to work on digging my way out of this hole, even if I have to rip my fingernails to do it. And I will be continuing to journal here. I have to. This is my sanity. Whether anyone reads it or not.

Who am I now? I am a 48-year old woman, desperately seeking a way foward, toward the sunshine.

I’m tired of the rain.

Breached

I’m so… tired.

I am sick today, as in feverish, shaking, aching, puking sick.

And it’s stripped away my barriers.

All my emotional walls have been breached, crumbled, leaving me raw and unguarded. It hurts.

And I realized tonight, while showering, that I’ve been going through the motions of life again for a while. I put my outside mask on once & left it in place, not even allowing my skin to breathe at night by removing it once I got home. It’s the mask that allows me to smile at others these days, to laugh and joke, to talk as though I have no cares or worries.

When that’s all I am, lately.

Truly.

On the inside, my anxiety has been tearing me to shreds, gouging deep ruts into my psyche, dredging my past up for reviewal, making me relive old traumas and pushing me into creating hypothetical scenarios of conversations inside my head.

It’s PTSD, Chronic Depression, and severe anxiety…all attacking at once.

And I just want it all to stop.

I’ve been avoiding real-life conversations, as much as possible, too, because it gets harder and harder to hide this…and I won’t let this be anyone else’s problem.

I will take myself out of the equation, first.

No, I will never contemplate suicide. I can’t do that to the people I know who do love me. My parents, my children, my nephew.

But I will remove myself from any situation where I feel as though someone is trying to –

I almost wrote “corner me”, as though I were a trapped animal.

Sometimes I feel that way.

Wounded, and wanting to slink off into the darkness to either heal…or die…alone.

There are times, when I wish I could go back in time…change maybe a couple of the things I said and did.

Un-hurt a few of the people I hurt back in the day, with my young, unthinking cruelty.

Brian, I’m sorry. You were better off when I ran away in the rain that day. I really wanted you to chase after me, to prove you would fight for me, but you didn’t. It was a cruel head-game, and you didn’t play. I probably would’ve ended up hurting you worse down the road…I was on a path to destroy myself that summer, and almost did. I’m glad I didn’t take you with me.

I know why I wanted to destroy myself that summer, but it had nothing to do with you. I’m still sorry I hurt you.

Andy, you’ve been there for me many times. You’ve made me feel good about myself, and made me feel bad about myself at the same time. Not your intention, I know, but, there it is. Many ups and downs over the last 7 years have taught me at least one thing. People don’t change. Even if they’re fundamentally good people, they can still hurt you. Unintentionally, yes, but the sting echoes. Unrequited is unrequited, and remains that way.

I don’t ask that you change, I know it won’t happen.

Someday, hopefully soon, I will be able to start fresh, somewhere new. I’m not even hoping for a relationship anymore, because I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. I’m resigned, at this point, to being alone.

I read texts that come in…answering them in my head, but forgetting to actually type them out & send them. Hours later, realizing this fact, & knowing it’s too late to respond without looking like a fool.

When I know, in reality, it’s my defenses, pushing people away, so no one has to suffer with me.

Because who wants to have to deal with this hot mess?

Not even me.

But my walls have been breached by my illness, a virus has stripped me of my guardians, & I need to get it all back into place, quickly, before anyone gets behind the walls.