What the fuck Life?? Really??? Do you do this to everybody or am I just one of the lucky ones? This blog is set up to share what it is like living life with PTSD. This is about sharing how to deal with real life experiences, even the bad ones. This is about honesty. Sometimes life is unfair and all we can do is ride it out. So this has been my life for the last couple of weeks…
I left an abusive marriage. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight, but I left. I was the victim of mental manipulation and gaslighting to the point that I thought those behaviors were normal. I began working third shift at a retail chain during this time and befriended a lady named Brenda. I do not use the term lady lightly, she was a lady through and through, class, kindness, wisdom…lovely. I have a vivid memory of sharing a marital experience with her, a negative one. She listened to me during our break with her full attention but said very little. A little while later, she came to where I was working. She then said to me, “I’m sorry I didn’t say this earlier when you were telling me about what happened with your husband. I was just so shocked. I had been thinking till now that you were possibly being frivolous about this divorce. I need to say to you that you are normalizing his behavior. That is NOT normal. You should not be talked to like that. You should be cherished.” I remember being moved…being choked up. I also remember feeling validated. I had convinced myself that things were not as bad as they seem. That I had not fallen prey to mental abuse. That what he said was true and something was wrong with me. But it WAS him. He WAS the one with the problem. I WAS the victim. I deserved BETTER. Brenda convinced me of this, and through the whole process, she was 100% supportive. Listening to me vent, crying with me, and giving her advice as needed. She. Believed. Me. If you get nothing out of anything I ever write in here, get that. Believe. When someone tells you something…believe. She was a friend and confidant. And just before noon on August 21st, 2017…she was gone. Cancer. She didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that…but I know with all my heart…that she didn’t.
My husband and I are still working on our marriage. He is a recovering addict who has a very limited emotional range and I am a survivor of sexual violence and domestic violence with PTSD. He feels very little and I feel everything. This has acted as a stumbling block to our healing. I need emotional intimacy and he cannot provide it. Our future is uncertain. I am currently seeking employment to see what I can find. I need to know what my life would be like if I were alone. I need to know that I am here because I want to be, not because I need to be. I have had to do my resume’ and fill out applications. How do you say in an interview, “Yes I only worked for that company for three months, you see, it turns out my rapist was a company representative that called on us. I told my manager who said I had a personal problem. He told the General Manager who said he would take care of it. I then saw him twice more. So I left.” I’m sure that would never make anyone uncomfortable. They ask questions in the application process now regarding mental disabilities. One of the conditions listed is PTSD. Do I check that box? Or do I check the box that states, “I do not wish to answer.” I always choose the latter. It is none of their damn business.
Ever blindly scroll through Facebook or is that just me? So I am scrolling through Facebook, aimlessly of course, and I come across a picture. A picture posted by my cousin. A picture that evoked so many painful memories. The comments commence.
“Awwwwww he was so handsome.”
“We had a wonderful childhood.”
“I will never forget that day.”
“Time just stood still…”
“A life cut short.”
“Kids just loved him.”
What no one realized was that the man in the picture, this was the man who repeatedly sexually abused me as a child. This was the man who started the downhill spiral. This is the base of everything, the foundation. They are singing his praises and I am left to wonder. Am I the only one??? Did no one else experience this pain?? Why did he choose me and why did he die before I was old enough to face it and press charges? Life is unfair sometimes…but they just don’t know. If they did, they would hate him too. They’d have to, right?
Oh…and my dog is dying of congestive heart failure.
So what now? How do I deal with all of this shit? Like AA says…one day at a time, one minute at a time if necessary. Maybe tomorrow I will work on remodeling my extra room into an office. Maybe I will make it a goal to apply for one job. Maybe I will get my camera and go somewhere for a little creative therapy. Maybe I will cry some more. I won’t bury my pain. I won’t sweep it under a rug and pretend it is not there. I will face it. I will feel it. I will give it a big middle finger in the air. I will freely use the word fuck…I’m a survivor. It’s what I do.