Living Simultaneously in Two Worlds

There is a distinction between her and I, as much as I may try to almagimate an “us”, I know when she is driving. Her name is The Girl Who is Dead in Her Eyes, and she is my dissociated self.  She endured the trauma so that I didn’t have too, but lately the burden is too much for her so she visits me. She brings me her memories, the ones that I have to rationalize are my own. I know that she waited until now because we are in a safe enough place to process where we have been and the things we have endured.

The thing about living with ptsd, at least in my perspective, is that it is completely exhausting. I am present here and now only to the extent that I am not trapped in the past. For quite some time my symptoms controlled me, I have a better handle now because I can recognize the onset of my dissociated state. It starts with a heaviness in my solar plexus, a physical sensation like there is a burden that I want to rip out from under my lower ribs. This is a huge indicator that I need to step back from whatever I’m doing, to practice awareness methods to stay centred in the present.  If I don’t make a conscious effort at this stage, the present will deteriorate, my depth perception fails me, everything visually becomes blurred, I am completely on edge. The Girl Who is Dead in Her Eyes, a portion of my old self, my survival mechanism, she takes the reign, and I watch and wait.

I tell her I’ll keep her safe, the way she took care of me, I owe her that much. But I know it is all to heavy for her so when she visits I have to sit with her pain. I’m in healing, and it is terrifying, allowing the emotion, being in a steady state of fear, rationally repeating the mantra “I am safe” but the physical body doesn’t agree. There is a disconnect all over- mind/body, time/space, head/heart. 

A little trick that I’ve found recently, one that is keeping me physically present today is the sound frequency of 528 hz. It’s a healing vibration, one of love, and it helps. It’s tricky being flooded with the past. It’s terrifying experiencing flashbacks. It is too hard for any individual to live in two places at once. Me and her, her and I, we are one, at least I’m trying hard to make that statement truth. I love being in the present, but I recognize I have to learn from my past, and eventually the future will be just that. When I’m whole, there will be no more time travel, and maybe I will get some rest.

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Trading Pen for Type

Let’s be frank here, just between you and I, my ostentatious vocabulary is a lingering coping mechanism. It was suggested to me at a young and impressionable age that writing was good therapy. Subsequently, I honed my skill amongst the poets. I’ve learned it is possible to hide pain in plain site by calling it art. Words and their clever alignment might be my passion. But herein the realm of the blog, this hubris is my tragic flaw.

I own piles upon piles of notebooks and journals brimming with the stories, the many lives I have lived. But I don’t own a computer, I prefer the tangible nature of pen to paper. This is foreign. Yet, I feel compelled to share my words in the public realm. If you’re reading this, you feel it too, so bare with me a moment.

When I write about myself it will likely be shrouded in form and flowery language. I admire the fortitude by which individuals share their personal stories In a literal sense. I should have, likely, been more suited to write a successful “Eco-mama makes her own natural toothpaste” type blog. But I’ve delved into this undertaking- to write about topics shrouded in stigma- to transcend my personal demons.

Back to the part where I say this is between you and me, I gave a decade of my life to an abusive man. Despite interventions of child protective services, the police, and my severely eroded instincts, it took me months after leaving to admit that he was an abuser. It took me years to admit that I was not in love with him, and for the delayed onset of ptsd to affect my life.

If you can read past my poet’s toolbox. Maybe you can appreciate my journey, better yet, maybe I can sway someone to not make my same mistakes. I am no expert, though I have read the textbooks, and I still bare the scars. The psyche is an incredible thing, the lengths a person will go through in the name of self preservation are immense. Writing has always been a safe place for me.

Thank you to everyone out there sharing their stories. And thank you for visiting mine as it continues to unfold, hopefully past the mechanics that still hide the depth.

Clawing for the Surface

I feel the moist vapour of words in my ear and they echo off of the walls in this confined enclosure. “You will never leave me.” But I am completely alone.

Gazing upwards into utter blackness, the walls are closing in, rather their proximity is too close. Mere inches of dead space I negotiate by feel. I kick and I pound, I begin to open my mouth before I sense a familiar palm over my face. Screaming was never any use. I can’t breathe. Panic coaxes me into the darkness.

I have regained consciousness in Hell. Dressed for the occasion I presume, in my finest and most presentable garments. I kick some more and feel the skirt hem ride up my leg. For so long consumed with appearances, but what does it matter now?

I lift my left hand to brush away the tears of despair that have matted my hair to the side of my head. The movement is met with resistance, and a barely audible chime. I tug my arm frantically, that the jingle may be my salvation.

I become painfully aware as the ring around my finger rubs raw. My hand, now throbbing, is insignificant by contrast to the voice who again whispers, “Nobody knows you are here.” In stillness hope fades with the residual chime of the bell. He is right, my secrets, they dug for me this grave.

Can I concede to this? Let that subtle spark of my being, that continues to shine, fade into nothing?

Alone.

I am dying.

Resolve.

I will emerge, bloody filthy, bruised, broken, and scarred. Unrecognizable, I will cough up the truth with the dirt. Exhausted this body may collapse in excruciating torment and pain. But at least…

I will again see the sun shine.

The Wrong Light

You might hold
A little piece of my soul.
But you grip
The shallow pools of my
Vanity.

I might pace,
A little anxious around you.
Catch my gaze,
And I’m destined to fall.

I couldn’t catch you in the wrong light…

I’d been warned,
Hell, I’ve known bad boys before.
So I walk
That feeble line of my
Sanity.

There’s a crowd,
They’re dancing daggers around you.
But you’re loud,
Enough to outshine them all.

I couldn’t catch you in the wrong light…

I might stare
Just a little too long.
To keep face
I’m the purveyor of
Amnesty.

You’re the flame,
I’d singe my wings to fly ’round you.
‘Cause your sound,
Could awaken them all.

I couldn’t catch you in the wrong light.
It didn’t matter how hard I tried.
You’ve got that photogenic nature.
You’ve got that devilish smile.

I couldn’t catch you in the wrong light.
It didn’t matter how hard I tried.
You’ve got that confident stature.
You’ve got that gleam in your eye.

Many Shades of Grey and Sometimes Red

I always saved for him the red ju-jubes, because they were his favourite. He saved for me the black because he didn’t like the taste.

Delving here on the offset into the realm of complexities surrounding abusive relationships, I never hear the voice of the areas that are “grey”. It is easy for any outsider to casually take the stance that “he” is simply a bad man. But this opinion negates the love, the whole hearted, full out investment of self, that she has likely given him.

So candy it is, to simplify the absurd, let’s look at gelatinous, derived from animal cartilage, gummy candies. She picks from the bowl the yellow, the green, and the orange, but should she draw a red, she carefully places it back. This is a thoughtful gesture, though she might enjoy, ever so much, that artificial rush of berry goodness, she know what it means to him. Her self sacrifice makes his world turn. Without her, and her genuine adoration, he would certainly be alone. On the flip side, he takes, always takes, by the handful, discarding without prejudice that which does not immediately satiate his needs. By default, she enjoys his cast offs, the surplus of black liquorice, compensates for the lack of artificial red.

And so it turns, the wheel of the giver and the taker, the narcissist and the supply. Her heart is the motivation, and this is how she interprets the absence of abuse, for genuine reciprocated love.