NOTE: Although there is no graphic language or descriptions, i do allude to some child sexual abuse.
First things first. For those of you following along, i know i said i would be writing “Monday to firetrucking Friday”. I want you to know that i am, but i didn’t know that a lot of what poured onto the page would be more than i felt appropriate to share. I’m forthright, even blunt, but some things are too personal and/or too dark. It’s been that way since my post on the 7th.
Personal and dark.
Six days, and I have eaten nothing. It is night. I am sitting in my chair. Ah, God! I wonder have any ever felt the horror of life that I have come to know? I am swathed in terror. I feel ever the burning of this dread growth. It has covered all my right arm and side, and is beginning to creep up my neck. To-morrow, it will eat into my face. I shall become a terrible mass of living corruption. There is no escape.
~The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson
I have mentioned a number of times that i chose to surrender myself to the process of dealing with the abuse in my childhood. Whether it was a lot or a little, it was abundantly clear that, despite my best efforts, i was dissatisfied and unhappy with what i saw as a low level of functionality and an inability to avoid chaos. When at long last i accepted my diagnosis as a multiple, and further, disclosed my past of abuse to my husband, i purposely lowered myself into that cesspool and swam around in it for a number of years. I mourned and i raged, and when i decided it was enough, i climbed out and set about cleaning the muck off.
Getting out and washing away the filth and the stench took some effort. It changed me over the years, and one of the biggest changes was my abandonment of religion and the supernatural, and my embrace of skeptical thinking. I wanted to know what was real and what was not. I applied what i was learning about rational thinking to my memories of childhood. It is a primary value of mine to believe the most true things and the least false things that i can. To that end, i categorised memories according to what i might be certain of, what i could be reasonably certain of, and those of which i could not be reasonably certain. I read a lot of dry, pedantic articles on memories: how we store them, how reliable they are, and how trauma and dissociation can affect their reliability. What i learned from my studies is that i was confident of enough things to justify my perceived dysfunctionality to myself. It made sense to me that i was as fucked up as i was. The things that fell into the other 2 categories then, at that point, didn’t matter.
I set aside things that i was either reasonably certain of or not at all, and i took the memories that i’d always held and tempered them with newfound knowledge of how memory works. I looked for corroborating evidence. I analysed and evaluated everything, with as unbiased an eye as i could muster – which, being dissociative, is not insignificant. What i was left with more than satisfied my criteria for “understandably messed up”.
I was ready to move on, and so i let the other things be. I stopped trying to figure out if i was drugged or dreaming or misremembering. If it was real or imagined. I would know if i was able to, but circumstances made it unlikely in a lot of cases. And i didn’t need to know. I wanted to get on with the business of living.
I’ve been doing my best, and if you’ve been reading along, maybe you agree that i’m not doing half bad. Spring can be a tough season for me though, and i’d forgotten…
I’ve been blogging about this depression i’m dealing with – fighting, in fact. Yeah, i’m coping all right, but i’d like to punt it right out of my field of play, savvy? I don’t want to open my eyes in the morning and instantly feel my brain mantled by the heaviness of my emotions. I don’t want to have to force myself to do the routine i’ve set in place to help combat these feelings/times. I’m proud that i’ve come this far, to this place where it works when i work it, but i’d like to wake up and want to get stuff done. I’d like to awake refreshed and looking forward to the day and all the activities i have planned. No dread at night, maybe even anticipation.
But i wasn’t having that. I was having dark dreams that warned me of psychic trouble.
I think to myself, It’s this personal issue i have going right now, but i’m handling that as best i can, and there’s nothing more i can do about it unless and until circumstances change.
So i journal every day about my current state, thinking Maybe this is what’s going on, and then Oh, maybe it’s that…
I resisted the urge to hide in bed, but i almost tricked myself into thinking i could find the answers in my dreams, so it’d be okay…
I stopped that shit right in its tracks, because that’s my Peanut Gallery and i knew it was.
Look, i said, If y’all want me to know something, you’re just gonna have to freaking tell me. I made a commitment for 1 month, and i’m not breaking it without a good reason.
But i felt more and more unsettled every day. I was close to exhausted, as i wasn’t getting proper sleep, i’ve been fighting depression every day, my fibro’s been screaming and my back had started to ache.
Friday nights are my night to do a little work on this problem i have in my life. This thing i don’t talk about, but refer to all the time. If that’s frustrating, i am really sorry, it’s just that it doesn’t only involve me, and the only secrets i share are either exclusively my own, or involve evil people that are dead or out of my life. I won’t ever disclose someone’s personal business without their permission – even those from whom i’m estranged. I’m not, nor do i want to be, that person. So i work on this issue and go to bed feeling good about what i’ve accomplished.
I woke from awful dreams to find i felt like a bag of smashed assholes. So bad it deserves the profanity. Oh joy.
Sometimes mindfulness is a hard choice to make. I’ve got mad skills to avoid pain, but i checked in instead. Did a searching and fearless physical inventory. Behold how my brain works: I’ve definitely got a UTI. Fuck. It’s a big, cold ball of ache right behind my pubic bone, and it extends all the way to my back. That’s why it’s been hurting. I don’t want to go to a clinic for antibiotics. I don’t people on Saturdays. Saturdays are my day to goof off. Read. Watch crap on telly. Do little self care things like skin masks and foot scrubs and you-shore-smell-purty lotions and all that froo-froo stuff. That won’t be happening.
I could cry. My husband even has a rare Saturday off and now we can’t go do anything.
If i can hold off going to the bathroom long enough maybe i can handle it without a doctor/prescription.
I don’t even know if other people do this, but i’ve been doing it all my life.
I’ve had bladder/kidney problems since i was a baby. I’ve had countless UTIs. For the first half dozen or so years of my life, i thought it was supposed to burn when you urinated.
I’m checking in to my body, realising i have a UTI, and my mind wanders to thinking about all the UTIs i’ve had since as far back as i can remember. My mother telling people she had me potty trained as soon as i could walk (10mos) because i would make a hissing sound when i was about to pee. Because it burned.
The thought pops into my head, I wonder if this is somatisation. That question is like nitrous in my brain’s think tank, and my thoughts race. The level of chatter increases and thoughts are whizzing by so fast it’s hard to track them. But things are clicking…
Click. Click. CLICK. BOOM!
Some of that reasonably certain stuff became practically a certainty.
I’m not going to get any more graphic, but i realised there was more going on physically, and it confirmed some of my suspicions into as close to conviction as i’ll likely get, or want to get.
The evidence was there all along, i just hadn’t put it together.
Don’t ask me why i needed to know, because i’m not sure i did. I’ve spent these last few years trying to take good care of my Bits n’ Pieces, trying to prove that i can be trusted with their welfare, that it’s my turn to take care of them. Maybe telling me eased their burden, or healed some of their pain. I can only hope.
Today i woke up with a lessening of the physical symptoms from Saturday, but i’m covered in hives. I don’t know if it’s a somatic manifestation of trauma, or a psychic purging, or wtf. I don’t need to know. This may always be my life. I’m hoping things will gradually settle down and my life will be more smooth sailing with less chop, and i have every reason to believe it will. I carved out a safe place with the family i built. I do the work in front of me. I enjoy a quality of life for which i’d hardly dared hope.
This confirmation is a dark thing. It hurts my heart and grieves me. It shakes my worldview. But only a little. This was something i was moderately sure of, but i’d let it be, because my skepticism told me it was appropriate, and i didn’t need it to make my case. My worldview is informed by freethought, but as a humanist, i recognise that perspective may be beneficial to the achievement of the humanitarianism to which i aspire.
So yes, i’ve been on the receiving end of some of the greatest evil humans can do, but as i look back with a critical eye i find plenty of evidence that my seemingly innate belief in the essential goodness of humanity is justifiable. I’m at a point in my life and my personal development where this is not an unmanageable burden.
It’s like back in the day when fires were fought by a community, standing side by side, passing buckets full of water to douse the flames. In this analogy i’m not the one closest to the fire – i think i’m the bucket of water. I’m not an individual inside my brain so much as i’m a sleepy bedroom community on the outskirts of a city, where we’re a bit snooty and mostly keep to ourselves. The day will arrive when we’re part of the city. It is the way of things, and we all understand.
Love and Peace,