For the last week I've had bad dreams every night. Maybe not nightmares, no zombies were tapping on my window. That would have been entertaining. No, my dreams are about real life and survival and make me feel bad.
Since I was 16 I have been running away, escaping one bad situation and barelling into another, looking for safety. I have lived in my own place since I was 19 and I have moved over 40 time, I stopped counting. Always in search of a place I could sit in quiet and not be yelled at or molested or used or taken advantage of. Which has meant living alone. And although I am a dreamy girl who needs time alone I need to share my life with others. Not so they can blog about what we did together but peeps who want me around - to watch zombie movies with and paint our toes rainbow colors. For moments I have felt safe, but it never lasted. I never had a net.
I moved to Salt Lake City to live with a family of chicks who have adopted me, and I am safe. Really. safe. So the bad dreams have started. For 45 years I've been gripping the bar tight, hanging on. Carol tells me I can let go. And I do, but my arms are numb. My fingers cramped.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER is not just for war vets. Whenever a person has to grin and bare it for a lengthy amount of time the emotions learn to freeze so the trauma can happen and you no longer feel it. It is the minds way of protecting itself because if you felt the trauma fully for the whole time you couldn't take it. You'd have a mental break and start running through the streets screaming. To go on working and living while taking abuse the body shuts down from it and pretends it isn't happening. Grin. Bare it. Hold on Tight. Eat some cupcakes.
Trauma doesn't have to be a major event like rape, it could be being bullied, put down, and harrassed for years. It could be living in poverty and not able to get out. Being desperate makes you vulnerable to trust the untrustworthy. To befriend those with alterior motives. When you are down you pray for a break, a real one.
For some reason I was given the right people and here I am, taken care of. Safe. I can work as much as I want and build my future but if it doesn't work out I am still part of the family. No one yells at each other. I can be nervous and drop things and do not have to hear, "Seriously, what is wrong with you?" I am surrounded by normal, peaceful, and joyful. But to let go of my tight grip on life, to let go of the bar, here I am on the grass, knees curled up to my chest as I lie on my side. I can't stop cry or feeling like I want to.
A flood of everything I never felt or faced is sudenly allowed in.