I have been told over the past few decades to pull myself up by my bootstraps (a way for those who don't understand what I have been through to cope with hearing what I have told them). Well over the years I have pulled my preverbal bootstraps up to a point I have done nothing but choke on them. I have been told to "let it go" "get over it", to "move on", or "it's in the past" or the classic "there are people in this world who have it worse than you".
at some point in all of our lives we have experienced abuse at the hands or verbal of someone that sticks in our minds. Just when we thought we have felt with the memory or it and thought it was put behind us.. it rears its ugly head again and we sometimes have to start from scratch in dealing with it.
I grew up with abuse and violence, I remember most of it and sad to say my brain still doesn't allow me to remember 100% of all of my childhood so I can face it all. I shove it all away in my brain.. I thought I was fine until 1995 when something happened to me. it tripped my first nervous breakdown and my first time I was ever put on a suicide watch. I didn't even know I was until I woke up the next day and the padre and doctor told me. I hadn't tried to do anything. the previous day I had talked to the padre because just couldn't handle any of it anymore. I talked to him for four hours. by the end of our talk I was dehydrated and exhausted. He talked to my boss and got me the afternoon off to recuperate. I laid down on my camp cot and shortly after he left, I thought I fell asleep. Turns out my body gave out and medics had to bring me back.
About four days later I got home and I had to finally admit to myself I needed help but I was terrified of where to start. childhood or what happened before I came home.
I started my first therapy session talking about someone I was related to.. it was my first time talking about them to a stranger and my brain was already on over load, so I just blurted out what my memory allowed. 4 sessions later I could feel myself unravelling even more. This is what I called my emotional levee. I had a good one until 1995, it was a tall wall of mental bricks and cement and granite to help keep my outer self looking somewhat sane. OR at least I thought I did. it didn't crumble and give way in the sessions, I lost my emotional levee when I had talked to that padre.
So for the next four years I went into counselling just to try and keep my small bit of sanity I had left intact. during those four year someone I knew had brought me to the hospital for another suicide watch. At the time I felt a bit betrayed but I can only at the time that person was trying to do what they thought was right.
I struggled to educate myself through university courses and getting a college certification in graphic design, I was barely emotionally treading water. So shortly after the 21st century came, I went into therapy again. I was also trying something new at the same time. A long term relationship… it was still in the beginning stages when I started with my new shrink. It was like taking an extreme roller coaster ride both underwater in the pacific ocean and then coming up for air that has been going on 14 years. There have been times I nearly dove off that ride not caring that I would sink to my death or how deeply I was sinking.
since then I have pushed many people out of my life when I finally acknowledged that I needed to take care of myself and try and get through my 40 foot waves of ocean storms. Many didn't like it, especially when I went into my complete honest mode..there are a couple I haven't because I am not mentally ready to take them on yet.
Dealing with flashbacks is apart of my PTSD, some of them have given me a similar horror trip like Billy Pilgrim in slaughterhouse five. When I came back to current time I was disorientated and felt like my blood vessels wanted to burst my skin apart.
some of the trauma I went through I have told to maybe three professionals and maybe three friends.
I have claustrophobia for a reason, I was locked in a crawl space against my will. I have a fear of deep dark water because I was pushed underwater to a point I thought I was going to drown. I still have panic attacks in lakes or streams when I can't see the bottom of it. And I still don't like anyone touching my shoulders. I was dragged down stairs by my ankles ( to this day I have sight panic attack when someone touches my ankles), hit with a belt on the back (my back it sensitive to touch to this day), forced to watch someone lose their rage during their eager throw a combustible aerosol can into a lit wood stove which he can exploded in the stove but the stove managed to stay intact ( it was the person rage that I was more afraid of, the can wasn't). I have had a gun (to never know to this day if it was loaded or not..not that that should be the difference or not) put to my head ( oddly this didn't get remember until after the 90's). And then there was the emotional abuse and another kind of abuse. I was also stalked and I was almost abducted.. there was more emotional abuse after that.. I know I maybe a bit cryptic on who and when but I still dealing with the fact it all happened mostly by one person. This happened in the 70's and 80's.
The 90's was a stage of emotional growth and awakening and more trauma that only in the past couple of years I have been more or less ready to deal with. almost two years ago I started therapy to deal with what happened almost 20 years ago (I can't believe it has been that long ago).
My emotional levee, no matter how many times I tried to rebuild it to keep from being hurt by others it doesn't have the strength to stay in place anymore.
So I feel every emotion, I can't not. writing this whole thing was a big twist in my gut.
this doesn't cover everything horrible that has happened to me. sometimes I write it my poetry and sometimes I try to draw it (not in portrait form).
Here's the kick, after all of this, all of those times I applied for U.N. tours, I knew that if I had the chance to go.. I knew I could handle it and keep myself together while on tour. Knowing what a couple of friends have been through I knew I could handle being there for them. just having someone to listen to them, helps in small ways. It helped me at times.