Bleeding Out Through Writing…
This is going to just be like most of my Facebook live videos, a rambling post that I am just going to let flow. There is no purpose to this other than to express myself. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. Read, don’t read, I just need to write.
I feel like I shit. I wrote about that a while ago, I am not okay. And it is okay not to be okay but it feels like shit and as the chemicals in my brain change due to the medications I am taking to help me deal with the symptoms of the C-PTSD or Developmental Trauma Disorder, I am struggling.
I have these moments where I feel so close to something, a realization, an epiphany and then real life suddenly sinks in and I remember that I am so unhappy. That I hate who I am and that I have always hated who I was.
Sometimes, when my symptoms of C-PTSD are really bad my brain starts to dissociate, I create a wall, impenetrable, unconsciously. This wall separates a part of me from another part of me and I think in a way this is similar to what happened to her.
The difference is that I am aware of it. I know what is happening. I know that my brain is putting up a barrier to protect myself. It is doing this because I had to do it so much when I was a kid, my brain survival mechanisms never learned how to stop, that the danger is in the past. My inability to stop this disassociation is also why I am missing at least 20 years of my forty on this earth. It doesn’t fucking stop. Until you get help. And even then it takes time. (And before you ask, some people can regain memories, others, like me, most likely will not because of the severity.)
When I imagine my biological mother I think about this, these struggles that she started, that she caused; that she, the foster homes and the fucking county caused by not protecting me, by not nurturing me, by not taking me away from her the day I was born. I am what I am because of her. Because of them and because of who I am. We are all born, in my opinion, with a core that can go in any direction based on our upbringing.
Thankfully my core was survival, but it was also this protective and confusing rage and still is I guess. This darkness that I needed in order to get through what I had to endure. I am still angry. I am still filled to the brim with rage. But, I know this and I am able to understand it. Most of the time the rage, the darkness is content to rest quietly, alert but silent inside of me. That rage was what helped me survive. The dissociation was what helped me survive.
With her, it was caused by her mental illness which frankly, I do not know how she would have been diagnosed now, but back then it was schizophrenia and manic depressive/bi polar disorder (I forget which one, it’s in my notes somewhere). Thing is, now, she would have been diagnosed differently. I think she may have gotten better help now too. Perhaps she would have been able to live. Create a life for herself.
When I think of her I feel hatred and the knowledge that I once loved her and that I was once so devoted to her. She was my everything. I hated her. I loved her. I was protective of her. I was scared of her. I never knew who she was going to be when I came home from school or came to visit her when I was living in the foster homes.
Her religious mania was overwhelming. Her favorite pastime seemed to be telling me how horrible I was and that I was going to her hell to burn because I was evil. She would “anoint” the walls with piss and olive oil. She would beat me, screaming at me while she did so about her god and how evil I was and she would throw me across the room and she would tell me she did not love me and then she would force me to kneel in the closet and read this big white fucking king james version bible by candle light.
I remember the pain and I remember the tears that would drop onto the bible as I looked at the blurry words and thought about how much I hated her. So much hate. So much love. So much confusion. I remember my knees hurting and the claustrophobia of the little fucking closet. I remember losing myself in another world, one where I was strong and powerful and I vanquished her and no one could ever hurt me.
I am a fan of this show Supernatural. I love this show. I had to stop watching it because right now I am having trouble with anything that causes emotion and pain and this show sure as hell gives us that. But, in this show, the demon’s eyes are black, when they show themselves. They are darkness. Like I envision the darkness, the wolf that lives within me and the darkness that I would always be on the lookout for when I was watching my mother. I had to be hypersensitive, hyperaware because at any moment she could turn and she could be showing me affection, love then she would throw me across the room. She would beat me and then force me to read that fucking bible.
Apparently we used to have animals and she would hurt them too. I am so glad that I cannot remember this. I found out by reading from the Big Box Of Pain.
I have started to learn more about what had happened, knowing that I have validation for the swiss cheese memory that I have carried with me my whole life. The memories of abuse of pain of abandonment and lack of love. The memories of obsession and control and of religious fanaticism. The notes, the phone calls, all of it recorded by the very hands of the caseworkers who did nothing to protect me. Who started by calling me Jessie to Jessica as I grew from cute baby to angry pre-teen.
I remember going so hungry. She would use our food stamps to buy candles to anoint and worship her god. Once, she was mad at me for some reason, she was starting to have a psychotic break but she was at the beginning of it so no one stepped in yet. We had gone to the grocery store and I must have done or said something and she dragged me out and to punish me she threw our food stamps in the garbage. We had no food at home, this shitty little apartment filled with fleas.
When we walked home she walked in front of me and refused to talk to me or look at me, I had to have been about five at the time. I remember dragging behind and staring up at the moths that were attracted to the lights of the parking lot. I watched as they fluttered around those huge lights. I knew that when we got home she would beat me. Because that was how it always happened, usually she could put on a mask, when she was not too far gone and then she would let loose when we got home.
Sure enough, she first yelled at me, so I was sitting in one of those linoleum chairs that were big in the 80s and I looked up at her as she screamed at me. Tears streaming down my face as I tried not to move or do anything else to provoke her. She would spit and scream and I cannot remember what she said, usually about how horrible I was and how evil I was and how flawed I was.
Her face would warp and then it would start to grow and shrink as she screamed and spit at me. This would go on for some time and then she would start the beating. This was one of the time she literally threw me across the living room. How fortunate that my neck did not snap. She would say “If you don’t stop crying I will really give you something to cry about.” to this day that term makes me want to punch someone.
Once the beating would end I was forced and locked in the little closet and told to read that fucking bible. Apparently she went back to the store and dug through the big garbage bin to find our food stamps. She couldn’t so when she got back I got another beating because it was my fault she threw them away. We were down to cat food. So, I will just let you imagine how that went.
When she was really bad, when people started to listen or notice, it was never when she did something to me, it was when she did something in public or attacked someone else, a stranger or friend. I guess my beatings and going hungry were not enough incentive for stepping in and taking me away from her. (The wolf is stirring and I am feeling that old familiar rage as I write this. Makes my chest hurt.)
She was so many things, as we all are. I was so devoted to her, trying desperately to please her. I think this is something that abused people suffer from, that need to please. It stayed with me my whole life so far. Sometimes I can say fuck off, but usually I want to make sure everyone is happy and taken care of and I try so hard to please and I hate myself for it.
I think that is another reason why on the 28th of this month I am having the Harley Quinn of Suicide Squad tattooed on my left arm. She represents so many things to me and one of them is survival and the ability to fight back. She is also compassionate and she accepts herself and what she is. She knows what she is and she knows that what she wants she will never truly have so she accepts what she can have and although she has that longing, she revels in herself and who and what she is. I would love to be able to take that bat and use it to destroy. I would love to watch the world burn. At the same time I want to protect and help and love so these conflicting emotions sometimes make me want to let the darkness swallow me whole.
I was fortunate. My biological mother did not kill me and I did not kill myself. I did not get addicted to drugs but I did suffer and I continue to suffer and I am a classic suffer of C-PTSD. The symptoms are starting to get a little better but I am still having anxiety every day and it builds till I feel like I cannot take it anymore. I suffer from panic attacks almost every day and the depression just makes me want to hide and be left alone.
Just normal functioning is too much for me. Work takes all of my energy and I fucking love what I do. I get home and I am so worn out from fighting the anxiety that I cannot scrounge up the energy to do much of anything. I have drawn away from most of my friends because I cannot be like them. I cannot hold conversations, I cannot be interesting. I just suffer. I feel pain all the time and I hate it. I hate me.
I have always hated me.
Those voices left over, those echoes of the past combined with the waves I imagine from her death can sometimes become so loud it is all I hear. I am ugly. I am fat. I am worthless. I am weak. I am lazy. I am useless. I am dirty. I am a liar. I am a failure. No one can love me, it is all a lie. I should just fade away. No one will ever know or care. I am stupid. I am not enough. I am too much but I will never ever be enough. The waves crash and I smell salt water. Worthless. A cacophony of pain and hate and abuse. (See my article on Gaslighters)
Sometimes it is enough to make me pull into myself and I cannot stand to be touched. I cannot stand to talk or hear others talk. I just need to be alone to endure. I pop pills. I long to drink Vodka. I long to disappear. I long to lash out.
The truth is, there is no one left. I do not get to have closure. I do not get to understand completely, only draw my own conclusions based on my own life experiences and on my research and on the experiences of others who too have suffered.
There was a time, when I was a kid, that I wanted revenge. I wanted them to all suffer and I wanted to prove them all wrong. I wanted the world to suffer because I had to suffer. I was a kid, I did not really understand, all I could do was feel. And what I felt was pain. That pain turned into rage because the rage protected me. The rage made me strong and it helped me survive.
My family deserted me. People would walk by while I stood, little, dirty and crying next to her while she would preach on the corner, usually of the hospital where she was so often institutionalized. My biological father, who I do not know, held me when I was born and then handed me to the woman who would destroy me with her love and left. I was an outsider my entire life. I never fit in and I was always alone. My biological family gave up on us.
I was abused by her, by foster parents, by the friends of foster parents and all the while I was seen as less than human, less than everyone else because I was a foster kid. It was like it was my fault. No one saw me. They just saw the surface. My innocence was taken and I was blamed for it.
When I was adopted by my true mother, it took us years to undo as much of the damage as we could. We did the best we could with the knowledge that we had but we did not understand what C-PTSD was (It is relatively new) nor did we fully comprehend what damage child abuse and neglect, especially before the age of five can do to a child, who then grows up to be an adult. I will tell you right now, I put her through a lot and through it all she never once wavered in her love and support of me. Her protection of me.
So I am fortunate, there are so many who suffered so much worse and did not get saved like I did. But as I always say, my trauma does not devalue yours nor yours devalue mine. Trauma is trauma my friends and not everyone is going to understand. This world seems to be built for those who have “normal” upbringings. People who can change their lives by “positive thoughts” and who are full of well-meaning but ignorant and victim (or survivor) blaming. I did a post on that too. We all respond to it in our own way.
I always say that we can heal. Because I have to believe that and I am trying to understand ultimately what the fuck that means. (Did a post on that too.) I asked my psychologist and her response was simple, it was take away the Shame. All those things that I hear, the echoes of the past.
Because let’s face it, the past happened. My brain is different than a “normal” brain because of the neglect and trauma before the age of five and the continuing trauma before I was finally adopted by my true mother. So, healing does not mean it all gets erased. Healing does not mean I no longer suffer from the memories and the pain. But hopefully it means I can find a way to take care of myself, get healthy, fall in love with someone who will love me and find a little bit of happiness in this life. That is what I would like.
I do not know who I would be if I was not me. If I had not suffered and I do not know who I am when I am not defined by this disorder. Because I am. Right now. But someday, I hope that it will not be the defining thing about me. I hope to be more. I hope to accept and love me. I hope to accept the past and understand that it was not my fault. None of it was my fault.
The pain I feel everyday makes me want to give up. It makes me want to walk into the water and let the darkness consume me. It makes me want to scream. It makes me want to be someone else. Always want to be someone else. But the fact is this is who I am and this is what I need to deal with. Right? So I keep fighting. Save the darkness for another day. Do the best I can to understand myself, my triggers and symptoms and how to understand and react to them.
My biological mother was a tortured woman who should never have been able to keep me. She was a woman who suffered her own traumas and disorders and struggled to find meaning. She sought meaning in a different place than I do. She looked at religion for the answer and she looked towards it fanatically.
We all want meaning, but I see things so much differently than she did. Religion is not an answer for me, it is a construct of human beings to make the darkness less frightening. A guide to tell them the way, give them a path to follow and for some a way to take away their own responsibility and make death less frightening. (And if you disagree with me that is fine, but I do not give a fuck, I am out of fucks to give so just believe what you believe and do not try to post that shit because it will not be seen by anyone. And all it does is show what an asshole you are if you feel the need to do that after reading what I just wrote here.) For her, religion was a way to try to give meaning to her suffering, to the horrible things she did when she was having a psychotic break and to understand the question of “Why me?”.
The way I see it, that question is natural to ask but useless as well. We give meaning to life, to our experiences. We are made from stardust people. There is a whole universe out there and it does not care that we are living our little lives here on this pale blue dot. Why is that a bad thing? I exist and that is exponentially unlikely. One little thing could have changed my very existence. Frankly, to me that is amazing and wonderful.
Life can be beautiful, it can also be full of pain and suffering. I come from pain and suffering. I come from drug addiction and mental illness. But I am worth so much more than I know. So are you. We suffer and we fight to break the cycle of abuse. We fight the cycle of abuse. I had to write that twice because it is so damn important.
We work on healing and we work on getting through each day and you will never have the answers you are looking for. She did not find them and I think that when she stopped fighting to survive was when she realized that. I also think that she had her own voices. Well, actually I know she hear voices in her head. But I think hers were telling her that she was a disappointment and that she let everyone she loved down and that she was alone and worthless. I hate to think, even after everything she put me through that was what she was thinking as she allowed the water and her darkness take control and overwhelm her.
When she died and I was orphaned I remember feeling relief and a grief so profound I still feel it to this day.
I don’t think the answer is the point. I don’t think the question is the point. I think that survival is the point. I think healing is the point. Love, kindness and acceptance is the point. Life is so short and precious and amazing. The fact that I can still feel that despite my pain means there is hope.
I am going to end this with a memory that just flashed across my fucked up brain. When I was a little girl, really little, I remember my biological mom had put her coffee down and left the living room for a minute. I was curious so I took a sip and immediately spit it out because ewww. Haha. (Yeah I did not tell her and she drank baby spit) She came back in, sat down in her chair and started to read a story. I remember walking over to the chair and climbing on her lap and touching the pages of the book and I was disappointed that there were no pictures. I could not understand what the letters meant and I wanted to know. I wanted to be able to draw meaning out of those incomprehensible letters like she did as she created this world of wonder while she read. I remember the love that I felt for her. She was my world. It is amazing how even abuse cannot take that away., the bond between mother and daughter. The desire to please and be loved and treasured.
Those of us who have survived ongoing trauma have a long road to recovery. Sometimes we want to give up, walk into the water and drift away, feel the pain as the razor cuts into our wrists and tendons because it will distract and take away our pain or our inability to feel. Fight. Keep fighting my friends.
Because it is not about them. It is about us. It is about me and about you. They will never feel what you feel, they will never comprehend the pain they put us through and even if they did it would not matter, it would not change a damn thing. Ignore the “This will show them.” Because it won’t.
You have to care. I have to care. This is about us dealing with our traumas and making peace with the darkness that will always be a part of us. At least that is how I see it. My methods are not for everyone. People have different ways of dealing with their traumas and that is okay, as long as you are not an asshole perpetuating the abuse.
I feel like shit, but I feel a little better having gotten some of it out, bleeding out through writing.
There is no happy ending here, just a continuation. That will have to do for now.