“The trauma said, ‘Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.”
― Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase: By Andrea Gibson
This morning begins as usual just stirring in our bed trying to wake my senses up. Automatically, I look around the room to see if I should be alarmed by anything new or out of place. I sit up on the side of the bed and soon the physical symptoms are on me like a ‘pit bull on a steak.’ The horrible headache that is becoming increasingly worse by the minute is initially unphased by my medical marijuana lying close by. My body feels pain down to its cells. I’m having muscle cramps making me question if all of the effort to get better is actually worth it. Why do I hurt like this? If my body is purging itself of the poisons created by the trauma on a cellular level, then I wish it would hurry the hell up. I did notice that I started getting sick yesterday afternoon. I discounted it from being in public for a few minutes yesterday. Today is different….every morning that this is happening has me feeling that I’m paying penance for something. When is my next acupuncture session? At least, I get a couple of days of almost no physical symptoms. Alas, the marijuana is working well enough for me to get Marshall dressed and taken to school. This morning is all about physical symptoms. The feeling is not consciously about social anxiety. But, rather…”Don’t let me puke on the way or when I pull up at the daycare.”
I think to myself…
“I finally make it back home. Now, I’m locked in and safe. But, now I’m alone. Anything could happen. Instant ‘shock and awe’ stomach cramps. Can I ever have a day, that for most people is just a mediocre ‘ok day?’ My body and mind is on fire! The feel of air on my skin is like hot tar being poured on me. My back feels like I was impaled with something sharp. My muscles all over my body feel like they have begun disintegrating. My jaw and teeth feel like they could fall in my lap at any moment. My body must be detoxing, but from what? It must’ve been something I did yesterday. But what did I do and where did we go if anywhere?”
Losing time for some people is nothing more than daydreaming, missing an exit on the interstate, or getting enthralled in a good book. However, the term “losing time” for me and my family can have very scary and unique meanings from the average family. Everyone, at one time or another, forget your keys or something that you meant to take with you to the store. You suddenly remember, that it’s the list that you have made with what you needed. You go home, find the list where it was left, get back in the car, and head off to the store. No harm, no foul. You don’t qualify for a diagnosis because of it. As a former therapist said to me, “Welcome, to the Human Race!”
My first memory of losing any type of time was in the 8th grade. While being in that closet, I went elsewhere. It seemed somewhat familiar but ‘safe.’ I don’t remember what the scene was or where I went, it just wasn’t in that closet. I seemed to be locked in a type of paradise. Every once in a while I would hear, “Are you listening to me?!”
By the time I got to high school, I felt like I got a new start. I was now 20 lbs lighter even though I did it unhealthy. I was excelling in the sports I was playing. I was dropping weight seemingly every day. No behavior problems reported by teachers. I was pushing my body passed its limits but I was ok or so I thought. This was the first year that I actually remember ‘losing extensive time.’ What is the difference? Well, instead of a few moments that we all lose naturally. I had lost an entire week. I knew that I had ballgames that week so, how did I not remember how I played? I was doing a lot of diet pills at the time. So, that was the answer. I remember thinking, “It’s nice to be back. But, where was I?”
Skipping a few years, to when I was married to my now EX-husband. There were times that I remember seeing his mouth move but not hearing or knowing what was said. That was fine with me. I didn’t know why it was like that but I was completely ok. There were also those times when I would hear his first loud venomous word and then I would slowly fade away. I could see him hollering at me but not hear or feel any of it. My cutting really took off in this relationship and I realized that the same mental and physical stuff happened then too. I didn’t think anything about it but I knew that my thoughts that I had were very, loud and continuous. I couldn’t dare mention this to the narcissist. Everything that ever happened to me was a joke and made fun. I would just keep my comments quiet and assume all the blame which is what they want. Feelings belonged somewhere, but on my sleeves… VERY UNSAFE.
Several years later, I meet Melody and other things begin to happen. Why would this happen around her? I didn’t understand and she surely wouldn’t either. I just played everything off like, “I did a lot of drugs and they fried me.” I didn’t tell her about what seemed like separate conversations to myself in my brain. Everyone, surely has “loud” thoughts. Heck, I wasn’t even divorce yet. This type of stuff sometimes happened when he hollered at me or I was cutting. Why with Melody when she was a ‘safe’ person? I was still watching and waiting for her true colors to come out and hurt me. In the 7 years that I’ve known and loved her, I have the opportunity to see her true colors every day and they are a beautiful rainbow. She’s genuine and I think somehow I must’ve known that back then. We were in graduate school together and taking the same classes. So, to be able to pay attention, I would have to play games on my phone while they were lecturing. I explained this to my professors before hand and they completely understood. We thought that we were dealing with a college ADD thing. Mel still had to re- explain the lecture once we got home. Once I got it and was able to ‘feel’ the connection of the material, It’s locked away. So, graduate school was a bit more difficult for me, but that makes me no less of a graduate. I just had to do things a little differently for me to be able to comprehend the information. Even back in elementary days, I remember crying because I couldn’t answer the questions about the story that we had just read. Trial and error is how we acclimated to our situation and we do the same thing now.
My physical symptoms have me very sick so I’ll continue tomorrow. NAMASTE!!