What do you think of when someone asks do you feel safe? Do you think about the locks on your doors? or the neighborhood you reside in? maybe the course of your life and its trajectory? or it may speak to your mindset? is your mind shrouded in dark violent thoughts? All of these things do alter your sense of safety. A nice house in a gated community might give you a strong sense of security. Those locks on your doors, do they bar entry to those not welcome? But what of your life and its trajectory? Has it been interrupted by violence? maybe more than once. What then? Do those locks on your doors mean much? Maybe not, probably not. To those of us that have learned such a cruel and violent lesson, one thing stands out- nowhere is safe. Not a single place on god’s green earth is safe. Not behind bars, or locks, or in the wilderness. Violence and pain is just a blink away. We can delude ourselves into thinking not us, not here, not now, but someday it will come calling and the delusions washed away with blood. Your blood. Your foolish naive blood. What is left is just a shell of who you were. That confidence and faith in life, well it just evaporates into thin air. What happens when you are just a child, full of joy and optimism? The world stretching out before you, a wonderous tableau. Suddenly gone. No wonder, only shadows and fears. Behind every corner there might be disaster, or there might be nothing. You question everything. Nothing seems real. Only the terror. That is all to real. It devours you from the inside out. Gnawing away, day after month after year. You finally suppress it enough to try to live a normal life, and WHAM you missed the threat. Didn’t see it coming. Stupid, so damn stupid. Why didn’t you see it? How could you be so fucking stupid? Retreat. Again life becomes about obsessive wariness, and endless fear. A smell, or a sound sends your heart racing beyond its capacity. Surely your chest will explode. It can’t possibly go on like that. But it does, along with it the icy sweat and chills. Eyes scanning constantly looking for the threat that is coming. But it doesn’t come. Your heart slowly settles back into your chest, and the sweat dries. The searing pain in your head from such acute vigilance takes a bit longer to subside, but eventually it does. Night becomes endless and horrific. There is no sleep. There is no way to keep watch, no sleep. must watch always. Every creak, every sound a possible threat. Exhaustion tugs hard and lulls you into submission only to be thrown back by fear and vigilance. must watch always. no sleep. only waiting and watching. Finally dawn comes silently painting the corners of the still black window panes. Light is coming, sleep is okay. But is it? There is no peace in that restless nightmare filled sleep. Just violence and fear. running and running. The world coming undone dropping to pieces as small as pixels. disintegration. Complete destruction, not even a soul left. Night after night. It never gets better. The days grow worse, as the exhaustion starts warping the mind. Are those people in the windows? was that sidewalk shimmering like the ocean shore. The tired mind coming apart, but desperately fighting to stay alert. Sadly it never holds up. It just can’t remain in that endless loop. Gradually life starts to come together. Nights are filled with sleep. You stop looking at every person carefully checking their body language and affect. Trying hard to profile before they ever have a chance to get too close. Holding life and people at arm’s length. Somehow you always fall back. Get complacent. Get sloppy. Stop looking around quite so hard. I never saw it coming. I didn’t sense the danger. Maybe my mind was so exhausted after years of vigilance. Had it just plain given up? Or had my brain finally decided I was just another piece of shit discarded, to be used as anyone pleased.
Sitting in session today my mind played back over all those endless nights, and the fear. The terror of bending beneath someone else’s desire. That moment when the reality of having no control whatsoever. The only option left was to hold still and pray it ended. How many countless times in my life have I been in that position. trying so hard to stay still, not even breathing. Hoping it would be over soon, that the pain just would not last, but knowing in my heart that it would go on for far longer than it took that night. Knowing it would fire up that dizzying loop of vigilance and fear. To have to live that marrow leaching existence. You wonder why I am who I am, or why my sorrow runs so deep? Live it. Not once, but the countless times in this almost 40 years of life. Guess it might be easy to sit back and say it is hopeless. Believe me, I often do. Is there a way to mend a spirit so throughly shredded and left to shrivel. Are the brief glimpses of promise and hope enough to sustain the doubt and fear? You asked me why the gun, and that it wasn’t understandable. Try to recreate the years I have lived thru, the so-called trauma timeline. It was a sad task. To start at just past toddler age, just beginning to seek out the world outside myself. Only to grow up in a house torn by a war between two people I loved. To try to make sense of what was happening and why my world was coming apart, and why so much hate. I never had the chance to make sense of it. That plane carrying my father fell from the sky that late summer day. Destroying anything familiar I knew and loved. A monster stood in the place once occupied by my father. How can an 8 year old mind make sense of that? It doesn’t. Long months passed before he left the hospital and I was once again reunited with him, though now I had to watch the looks of horror and the whispers and stares that followed him wherever he went. His disfigurement so severe children would run in fear and hide behind their parents. that was what I learned to ignore. Overnight I lost my mother, she took flight, unable to cope with the injuries and the anger with my father. I was left in the care of whichever nurse, or caretaker was with my father. He left over and over to have surgeries, I never knew if he would return, or if I would be left alone. I was alone anyhow. He was in pain, lost and medicated. Often enraged. Our lives were in shambles. A good thing happened in my finding horses, but it came with a cost. I didn’t know of sex, or of predators. I didn’t sense the danger. I was just a lost kid, desperate for affection from anyone. Learned quick that affection came with pain as he bent me over that mattress to sodomize me. I should have learned a lesson, but I was fine with the pain as long as someone payed attention. Anyone. It was okay to sacrifice my little body, if only someone came close and wanted me. I can’t remember who , but in that same time period there was continued sexual encounters, either with that same guy, or another, but I can’t put a face to him. Only the sensations and the pain, but the closeness. Wasn’t long before my brother raped me that lonely night in the empty farmhouse. I walked away from that fearful and damaged. Years passed until I got to high school and a pair of handcuffs taught me a brutal lesson in what happens when you underestimate and let a man get the wrong idea. But by then I had found a way to disappear. It still hurt, my body felt every moment, every movement of him over me, but my brain had learned to disconnected, as it had all those years before. I left for school and found the depths of despair, and the heights of true love. Despair won out. I grew to know a mind that only wanted me dead. Lost myself in a strange haze of self destruction. Consumed only with the goal of ending my life. I learned they could and would tie you down and drug you only to be left alone with only the smell of your own urine and the terror of the powerlessness. I knew what alone felt like, but I had never had someone tie me down and lock the door. They said I was a lost cause, and to throw away the key. I learned that I was crazy like all these other lost souls surrounding me on the locked unit. A change of hospital and a piece of paper explaining what I was. I raged. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t like all these other people. I wanted out. I tried to fit in, but I couldn’t read these people. I didn’t understand the unpredictability. I didn’t understand the little handful of pills they kept asking me to take. I didn’t read the threat. But there he was in the dark. This large black man in my room. His rank breath on me, and his rough violent fingers in me. I never had a chance. I was locked it. There was no escape. There was nothing safe about being behind locked doors, or being watched by staff. It did not matter. There was no safe. I was second guessed and misunderstood. Months went by behind those high brick walls and stately grounds. I had only one option, lay prostrate at their demands or I would waste away there. I had hardly found myself settled in life outside. My life had started to normalize when I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. A rapist waited just beyond my garden fence. The terror returned to my life. That powerless sick feeling when stillness overtakes your panicked mind because there was no hope. I lay beneath that drunk as he pinned me to my bed. I inhaled his stench. I was there again, at the mercy of another person. But it wasn’t the worst part, the trial that happened was far worse. The questioning of my veracity, of my sanity or my value as a witness. How could I, a mental patient, a nut case, possibly be of any value. He walked with a slap on the wrist, only to go on to rape other women. Maybe if I’d been a better witness he might never of had that chance. Life went on, until we got up here. It all changed. My life shifted like tectonic plates. Moods shifting rapidly, depression deepening into a dark abyss over and over. Hospital visits repeated, drugs and more drugs. My life lost purpose. It was only about treatment and finding a way to subdue the shitstorm in my brain. more drugs and more hospital visits, each carving away a little piece of what was left of my damaged self. The repeated powerless state, being treated like a child not to be trusted with the cookie jar, only it wasn’t a cookie jar- it was my life. a life I could care less about. Laying on their tables while they drugged me and ran electricity thru my skull obliterating memories I may have wanted to keep, if only I knew what they were. reducing me to a child. Finding my way back toward some sense of power and control. Some mastery as I charged around that muddy course in October. This blog allowing me a place to explore the recesses in my mind untouched for years. I thought I might have a chance. Beatrice gave me hope. I worked each week. I started, slowly, but surely to find my footing. But I was a fool to believe it. Not even a month ago, I found crazy. I found a disconnect with the here and now and I found a gun, my gun. that precious powerful piece of steel. I lost it and put her to my skull. In that moment I was so far from rational, so out of control with no sense of how I got there. I am so sorry for all I have done, and all I have experienced. I have been used, abused, harmed and decimated. But I have also harmed and caused great pain. I lost my only hope of protecting myself because of my god damn useless mind. She was here to help me, not harm me. How fucking hard is that. But I lost that, she is gone now. I am so lost. I feel as broken now as I ever have. It wasn’t some frustrated teenager tearing apart my tiny body this time, instead it was my own head rendering me powerless. It may not have left me raped, but it left me feeling alone and shaken. Vigilant and rocked by violent dreams all the same.
So there it is, the trauma timeline. I am sure there are others left out, lost in the mayhem of all the others. The little things that got lost amongst the massive ones that rocked my world. I doubt I will ever overcome all of that. It just seems so insurmountable, so very horrible. I don’t want pity, or a head shake of I can’t imagine, or you are so strong for having made it thru all that. No, I don’t want that. I just want to be left alone to drift in my own little hell. There is no safe. Not here on this earth, not in this life. Life is just a waiting game. Waiting for the next horror and the next moment when it becomes all to real just how powerless we all are. There is no heaven and hell in the afterlife. There might be a heaven, but hell exists right here all around us, every fucking day of our lives.


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