You really need to watch and listen to the video to get the entirety of this blog. I haven’t written much lately. I’ve been lost in my own world. I’ve been facing some demons. I hide my fights, I share so much with you all…but I hide the truths, I hide the realities and maybe because I have never known them? I’m sharing my life through this blog, but I’ve censored and I’ve told half truths and it’s possible that the reason is because I’ve lost so many pieces of myself along the way, that I don’t know who I am anymore?
THE HARD TRUTH
The reality is that I was an abused child. My mother fucked me up pretty good. I was six months old the first time she slapped me across the face, by her own admission. The truth is that I’ve never faced it, never gotten over it and never even opened the door to deal with it. Like a taproot, this pain of my life branched-out to every single part of the rest of my life. Even when I thought I had run far enough away, it still always caught-up to me. I didn’t know just how much it had taken me over and how much of it was actually making my decisions, breathing life into thoughts that were negative and destroying me one day at a time.
I’ve made a life of running. It’s the only thing I’ve ever known to do. The instinct now is to run, run, run. The fact is that you cannot run from yourself…but you absolutely can be absent from your own life. Living in the past and worrying about tomorrow has robbed me of so much.
RUNNING FROM MY DEMONS
Here’s a truth. I went into the woods to hide in a cabin because I couldn’t face reality and I didn’t want to face myself anymore. As long as I didn’t have to look people in the eye, then I didn’t have to see myself reflected in their eyes. Again, I was hiding. I’ve done it my whole life. I’ve suffered from insomnia, depression, ADHD that has very similar symptoms as bipolar only without the excessive episodes of mania. I still have the mental confusion, the inability to make decisions, the absolute bombardment of my senses and the mind that must stay busy at all times.
I’m agoraphobic. Sometimes just the thought of leaving the house can cause me to have panic and anxiety. What does that feel like? It feels like an elephant jumping a rope on your chest and convinces you from time to time that this is the ‘big one’ and you’re dying. It feels like the devil himself has a grip on your neck and you can feel your windpipe being crushed by an invisible hand and it comes with no warning.
I’ve fallen asleep with my face on a computer keyboard and woke-up the next day with the impression of keys on my face. Insomnia and a busy brain causes me to go until I’m so exhausted that I want to just die. I want medication. I can’t get it. I fall through the cracks. I’m that person that you read about who borders on the edge of just holding on and loosing it all at any time.
When I was a child, I used to do really odd things…acting out the pains that I understand now but didn’t then. I used to pull my own hair out. It’s called trichtotillomania. Sometimes trichotillomania occurs in kids who have anxiety, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or Tourette’s disease, according to this article at about.com.
I also did other things. I used to steal small handfuls of fine gravel from the driveway. I would find somewhere on our property to hide from my mother and my brothers, who tormented me daily, and I’d actually pour the gravel on top of my head. I’d sit for hours, as long as I could stay hidden, and I’d just rub the pieces on my head. It felt good. It was some ‘feeling’ other than what I felt all the time. Who knows if there were other psychological reasons?
My mother insisted on giving me a bath until I was more than ten years old. The older I got, the more ashamed I felt. I’d beg and ask to take a shower on my own and she’d tell me no. “You won’t get your hair clean enough,” was one of her favorite excuses. It wasn’t until I was almost 38 years old and in therapy that I realized how dirty it made me feel and I had memories of being “touched” that, to me, were horribly inappropriate. You try not to believe your own memories about this sort of stuff. It was locked away for so many years. I still remember the look the therapist gave me when it came out. She knew I was not ready to deal with it, I think…but the look she gave me told me that it was real, it wasn’t my mind playing tricks on me.
To top it all off, every evening after my bath, it ended with me standing in the kitchen as she raked a comb through my hair, pulling through tangles so hard that I’d cry. She would normally end-up slapping me for crying and the wads of hair in the comb looked like a dog was being groomed. I remember her pulling the handfuls of hair from the comb and piling them on the kitchen counter until she was finished. It felt like she was keeping trophies. She insisted on keeping my hair long. I hated it and I begged to get my hair cut short.
I even have a very vivid memory from 2 yrs of age, and sleeping next to my mother. I was terrified. I was terrified of her and I was quietly biting my finger nails and I could taste the blood in my mouth from biting them to the quick. To this day, I have issues with my nails. I quit for periods of time and then it always comes back.
Whenever she was mad at me for most anything, she’d grab my hair and drag me. I got dragged from room to room, from chair to feet … sometimes it was just a great thing to hold me by so I could be hit with something in her other hand. I’ve been hit with toy race car tracks, plastic hair brushes, wooden yard sticks, broomsticks, mop handles, wooden spoons and so many other things that I don’t even remember. After a while, you shut it out. It’s nature’s way of protecting you I guess?
In all honesty though, the real hell for me was figuring out when she was going to hate me and when she was going to love me. I never knew. She’d hurt me, either with her mouth or her hands, and I would hate her. Then she’d turn around and want to make up. She’d invite me to come and sit next to her and put her arm around me and pull me close and tell me that she loved me…but that I should make her mad. I still remember that in those moments, I felt like I had a mother. I wanted the hugs and so the abuse became a means to an end in so many ways. The only way I got the acceptance was to endure the anger. I felt hated by her half the time and loved the other half and it left me confused, scared, too frightened to sleep sometimes, walking on eggshells most of my childhood and even praying to God that I was adopted sometimes. I couldn’t fathom that she could be my real mother. I used to talk to God a lot back then.
Have you ever done something that you wished you could take back but you couldn’t? Ever had a behavior that you wanted to change more than anything in this world but couldn’t figure out how? Keep making the same mistakes over and over?
Fast forward about 20 years. My parents have both been dead now for 16 and 14 years, respectively. In that 16 years, I’ve been angry at God for robbing me of my parents too soon. I’ve been angry at the universe for making me have to deal with things on my own. I’ve been pissed-off that my mother took diet pills and smoked while pregnant and passed on her genetic crap to me. I’ve looked for somewhere to place my anger. I’ve directed a lot of it at myself. The path of destruction is in my wake. I’ve screwed things up, I’ve sabotaged what should have been good things and successful stories in my life. I’ve punished myself and carried guilt and anger like a backpack that weighs a hundred pounds.
In March of this year, I met someone really nice online. We talked and talked, mostly by IMing and we used to talk until late into the night. We gradually got to a point where we talked via Skype. Our conversations were almost always long and really good. She shared things with me that meant a lot to her and were personal; things that were hard for her to explain and talk about. She also happens to have a habit of asking questions and being very matter of fact. She sees through bullshit and doesn’t always let things go. She asked me questions, made me look at myself and really made me very angry. I lashed out at her and I hurt her with some very venomous words about her and her life. I know now that it was only because I felt so shitty about my own. Still, the damage was done.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I had only done it that ONE time. I’ve lost my grip another couple of times and while it hasn’t been leveled at her in quite as personal assault, it has still been pretty terrible on my part. This last time it happened, we didn’t speak for 3o days. SHE SHOULD HAVE WALKED AWAY FROM ME. Instead, she still reached out to me and her first words are always “R u okay?” I have absolutely no clue how she can do that. I really don’t. She shouldn’t care about me at all. I’ve chased everyone else away in 20 years….why does she come back? Truth is that we actually have a lot similarity in our pasts, though not the same. Both of our childhoods were tragic in many ways.
Sitting on my porch, alone, I had an epiphany about why she cares and why I do the things I do. I realized that I’ve NEVER been honest with one single person. I’ve hidden all the things that really matter. I realized that here was this person who honestly cares and I owe it to her to be honest with her. I realized that I could actually trust her … even when she hadn’t been able to trust me. I began opening myself up to her and telling truths where I normally would have covered things up or not talked about what was real. I have tried very hard to lay myself wide open and it hasn’t been easy. What has happened is that I’ve opened all these other doors.
Twenty years of crap is all coming out now because I cracked the door open and now I can’t shut it. Everything is flying at my face, assailing me at all hours of the day and night. I keep having these “ah-ha” moments and they come with goosebumps, anger, release and exhaustion.
She questioned me about my belief in God. I never talk about it. I’ve called myself an atheist…but when it comes right down to it, I cannot actually own that. I tiptoe around it and say that I am spiritual. She presses me. This makes no sense to her. I am squirming. Again, she’s making me face something. Painful but necessary. I finally admit that I’ve been angry with God for many years. I’m gay, I’ve got a learning disability, my parents are dead and died too young, I have no family … as far as I am concerned, God turned his back on me and I am like child angry at a parent. I told her this. It was sort of “news to me” in a way. Once it started coming out, it just became so clear to me though. It was another door that opened.
Perhaps the biggest realization of all was a few days later? I was thinking about all these things. My mind has been consumed with it all lately. I’m suddenly realizing so much. I feel like I’ve been living the last twenty years blind as a bat. I was thinking about God and thinking about how to get better … needing and wanting to heal myself and become whole. Like a shudder, it came over me as if a voice spoken from above and I have to say that it may be the only time in my entire life that I feel like God spoke to me. My parents died almost twenty years ago not to punish me, but to save me. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been given my life back almost twenty years ago and I could almost feel God ask me why I had wasted all this time?
This is the biggest question of all. I did something that I have never done as an adult. I prayed and asked God to take care of it for me. I’ve been withdrawn and I think it may get worse before it gets better. I wish that this was the only thing in my life going on right now, but it isn’t.
I’m on the verge of losing everything because work has been slow. My books are doing well, but I won’t see the first royalty payment until September. I’ve been watching a little red tag swinging on the utility box for far too long now and have even stooped to the point of applying for food stamps because I’ve been hungry too many times in my life and it scares me. I don’t even want to talk about the lot rent. Ugh.
Still, I know a few things. 1) I know that there is someone that I can tell everything to and she isn’t going to judge me, hate me or run away from me. She’s still a little scared to totally trust me and I understand, but I’m positive that eventually she will see that what I’ve just gone through emotionally, spiritually and psychologically has changed me a lot. 2) I know that my past does NOT have to steal one more minute of my life because my focus has shifted, thanks to an awakening that has taken place inside of me. 3) I know that I don’t have any anger in me anymore…it seems to have left like an unwanted guest and left me very tired and exhausted in it’s wake. 4) I know that I have a long, long way to go. Nothing is going to be easy but most things worth having aren’t easy anyway. I feel like I just started seeing my life in color instead of in black and white. 5) I’ve spent my life running from things and this time, I’m not going to run.