Shakin’ hands was like shakin’ a hot, fat, oily bone

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Every time this country validates (or votes in) a sexual predator they are invalidating my rape, torture and basically my life. How can I want to live in and support a country that does not support me?

But that isn’t what this is about, I just needed to get this off of my chest. Despite my past, I have been able to push myself forward and I’ve been very lucky to have the experiences I’ve had. None of this has been easy and never will be but I am very lucky to have friends who don’t run away from me when they find out what I’ve been through. I’m very lucky to have these people in my life who understand what I went through not only once, but twice. The second instance, not one I can openly discuss but I can tell you some details.

I spent over a year doing a job I loved with all of my heart. My dream job. What hired for room and board until the business would bring in money then they could pay me. I worked with teenagers, many of them troubled and I loved it. I helped to give them a space to express themselves, be themselves, not be ashamed and also to learn about the communities around them….all of them and myself brought together by a rock band. Yes, a rock band.

They needed a me because the band themselves couldn’t spare time to handle fans with so many questions and need for compassion. This band made them feel important, made them feel they shouldn’t be afraid and I was asked to help facilitate this message because I too believe in it.

Sounds great yeah? It was for a while but there are a lot of very sleazy people in the music industry, a lot! My problem was not the rock band but the people around them and working for them. I was propositioned on so many occasions and told that I was “boring” because I wouldn’t sleep with any of these prospects. I was told I didn’t know how to have a good time. I was constantly oggled and told I needed to dress a certain way (short skirts, etc) in order to promote the image of the record label they were creating. I was told I was “fuckable” and should use that. I was asked by several couples to be their “third”.

I spent the entirety of my time drunk in order to cope with it because the room and board they offered was basically alcohol and pizza. I’m not an alcoholic but it was definitely what I used to deal with it. One night while drunk a “friend” within this circle attempted to force himself on me. I fought him off. The next day I was told, “Why are you so fucking boring that you couldn’t have just enjoyed that good time??”

After that I began trying to get out despite loving my work with the fans I had to finally realize the abuse I was tolerating was affecting me too much. It had started to push back all of the hard work I did on getting through my childhood. I was learning to confident and fearless and then this happened and knocked me back down to scared and having no self esteem or feelings of self worth. I was told one day “You know, you’d be absolutely useless if you didn’t have a vagina.” That was it. I had to leave or I would probably kill myself. I swore I’d never let anyone abuse me again and I let this go on far too long. Then the disrespect towards the fans started to show from within the label and that was upsetting me too. They referred to them as “money” and “little dykes” and “who cares what they want, we just want their money.” It just spiraled into something I could no longer be a part of. So I found a real job and left. Not a real job I wanted but one that would afford me the ability to leave.

Leaving did not ease the torment at all. At first I was threatened by members of this circle of friends. Threatened to be found and “talked” to and “dealt” with. Then the fans and teens decided I was no longer a connection to their idols so now I was worthless to them (not all of them, many of them) and proceeded to cyberbully me to the point of me losing my website and my brand, art group and everything that at that point was keeping me alive. I had a nervous breakdown and hid from the internet. I literally could google myself and find so much vile hate about me and then as if to twist the knife a bit more, the wife of one of the band members decided to encourage the kids to harass me. This went on for, no shit, 3 years?

I’ve never openly dealt with it. It’s a difficult one. My childhood is one thing but when it’s something you poured your heart and soul into and something you believed in so much it just somehow feels like I failed myself by even thinking it was possible. And therein lies my lack of self confidence that has come back to tell me I am a failure.

I am lucky to have the friends I do have (despite them being spread out so far) because without them, I might be dead. Working in that industry left me feeling unnecessary, not wanted or needed. It added to my childhood of being told no one would miss me if I disappeared. I am very lucky because usually I assume people will run away from me when they find any of this out. Yet this is all who I am and a part of me and it doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me a wise person, an educated person but also a sad person who sometimes just needs to be told “Hey I miss you” or “We need you.” But doesn’t everyone have that need?

 

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I Need to Talk

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I have this constant fear that I talk too much. I always assume I annoy everyone because I’m talking and most of the time it is just pointless. I hate arguing, debating and all of that so when I talk it’s usually to be silly or talk about nothing very important.

I’m known for being open about me, myself and I. Everything I’ve been through, everything I’ve seen but there is one thing I have yet to write about it and recent events in the media have triggered this whole feeling of “I really need to talk about it”. But you see, even though my experience was on a much lower level of celebrity (or maybe not, maybe it was just because I didn’t make the money in the situation) if I start talking in this blog or anywhere openly about it, there are people. And those people know other people who know other people who so and and so forth. So I changed my name and moved away from New Jersey and NYC. (Actually I’d been meaning to change my name for years, this just gave me more incentive.)

Once, after I managed to get out of my situation, I wrote about (without identifying) who it was I was running from when I left the music industry and boom, for real, all hell seriously broke loose. I got threats, I was cyber bullied to the point of needing to take down my website, dissolve my art group and basically run away from the internet. I had about 100 nervous breakdowns because every where I looked or tried to exist online someone found me and harassed me. All of the courage and self esteem I had managed to build up from my childhood abuse, all of the effort I put into going to university on my own and proving to myself that I was someone….shot down because I talk too much. I lost a lot of people in my life when I came out about my childhood abuse, and I lost even more when I tried to talk about what I dealt with in the music industry.  Now I have such a bad fear of abandonment that I spend my days hoping my friends are still my friends and I’m sure I drive them nuts about it. I still struggle not to tell everyone so I have to talk to my therapist even though I want so badly for people to know what kind of people these people are/were….I can’t. Because I have heroes. And I can’t ruin other people’s heroes for them. I keep my heroes at a distance because when you get to know them (if you ever get to know them) you might find out who they really are and it can crush you. I don’t want to be that person. I want people to have their heroes right where they have them and get from them what they are getting from them because heroes (famous ones at least) project an image and it’s that image we seem to admire. We don’t know them as people on a people level. And sometimes we just shouldn’t.

I got a job offer people would have killed for. Working for some people I admired to bits. I mean I thought they were the bees knees because they were the real deal, no lies, just love and compassion. I ran with it. And while it wasn’t all bad…and I have some amazing memories, I’m still stuck with this heaviness of not being able to really talk about it and it’s holding me back, which is why I’m starting to talk about it to my therapist. I mean I have one or two close friends who know what happened but…I always want to save the world so of course in my mind I should tell everyone so they know who the baddies are. But it doesn’t work that way, at least not for me.

I hope these women in Hollywood are able to get past the coming out part of abuse and assault. I tried and now I’m terrified I’ll lose more than I’ve already lost.

ramalama

Good memories

Today I didn’t even have to use my AK

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I’ve had guns pointed in my face since I was 8 years old up until I was about 19. I have had a gun in my face and was told “If I blow your head off it will be an improvement.” I had a gun in my face and was told “If I shot you right now no one would miss you.” I had a gun in my face and was told “You just wait until you are asleep one night and I come in here and blow your brains out while you’re sleeping. Then I’ll do it to your mother.”

I wonder why I have gun issues and I wonder why I don’t sleep well at night. I wonder why I think I’m unattractive and I wonder why I think no one would miss me if I was gone. When you’re 8, 9, 10…adults are the people you trust and you know are telling you the truth, right?

I’ll learn how to use a gun because I want to face that fear. I want to know the power he felt when he had that gun in his hand. Of course, I don’t want to shoot anyone, not even him.

So I should probably get over it, huh? No. I’m pretty sure that isn’t something you ever get over. Sure, you move past it to try to have a life but then sometimes it pops back into your mind whether it’s triggered by a newscast or just seeing a gun on a cop. It never goes away. Do I walk around afraid someone is going to randomly shoot me? No. But I have no doubt in my mind that there are people who have these fears.

Imagine you get to do a job that you dream about (and I always wanted to work in the music or film industries) and you are comfortable living with people you barely know, some of who happen to be rather famous. They have great ideas and seem compassionate. Then you come to find out you’ve been living with and/or around people who are carrying guns or have one tucked away somewhere. Then those people and you have a disagreement that gets heated. I’m not going to say who was right or wrong here and what it was all about. But in my mind…they have guns. And in my mind they are my stepfather and they will shoot me and they will make me look better, make sure no one misses me, and make sure I don’t get a good night’s rest. Yeah, it doesn’t go away. Whenever there is tension and I know there are guns around my brain scrambles and can’t think straight, panic.

I don’t hate guns, I don’t hate that people feel the need to own them. I do hate semi automatic rifles that shouldn’t be in the hands of a regular citizen…but all and all I am not about getting rid of gun rights. I am, however, afraid of the people who own them, who shouldn’t, who are unstable, who use them to terrorize, rape and kill.

It’s where my mind went this morning. Now it’s out of my head. Except for the part about me being unattractive, no one missing me and not sleeping. That never goes away, that is just tolerated.

Truth Doesn’t Make a Noise

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I recently had one of the worst flashbacks to my abuse that I’ve had in a while. In fact, it’s still bothering me today. It’s lingering. It got me thinking about the things that abuse, rape, etc can cause. So many of us who go through these types of horrors end up with a ton of extras in our lives that we surely could live without.

Yeah, we get depressed but some of us already have that going on chemically in our brains and the abuse just brings it out more. Strong, bigger, worse. For me, I’m bi polar but mildly. Like I’m mostly depressed but when I do have mania, it’s relatively mild, not dangerous or out of control. I’m sure my stepfather didn’t give me that, but he sure as hell hasn’t helped it any. As if being bi polar isn’t hard enough, on top of it you get the reminders of certain events or sometimes thoughts just show up in your brain and you’re depressed. Another thing these perpetrator do give us is PTSD. That really helps my bi polar too (not). Flashbacks, smells, sounds, music, things that remind me of that time all cause me to almost curl up into myself and then I can’t get it out of my head, sometimes for days.

My rape and torture caused a lot of fucked up shit in my head that to this day  I struggle to get rid of.  It has added to my bi polar and the PTSD has made it all worse. Another lovely gift I got from my abuse is addiction. How do I make the bad thoughts, reminders and images go away from my mind? I tried weed but weed makes me sick and it didn’t really do anything to push out all the bad. When I discovered opioids it was like finding heaven. So they became my favourite thing….for a long time. And for a while I was a pretty good functioning addict. Then it kind of fell apart when I got depressed one day and tried to step in front of a bus. Ended up in a hospital and they realized “Hey, she has a pill problem.” Apparently you shouldn’t ask for oxys when you’re in the hospital. Who knew?! On opioids I had no thoughts, no cares, no anything. No flashbacks, no depression, no anything.

Not everyone who has been abused or raped, etc becomes an addict, it’s just another one of those ways some of us end up coping. This can be an addiction to anything…food, sex, porn, not just drugs.

So I went through, not a real program because I couldn’t afford that, but with my therapist and psychiatrist I managed to kick them myself. Being an addict never goes away, I’ll always be one and in fact pills cross my mind a lot if I am stressed out.  There is no shame in being an addict. I am who I am. Anyone who is afraid of my past or the issues I have dealt with is unnecessary in my life.

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comNow the only pills I’m on are my psych meds which are worth being on and not addictive…at least not in the sense that you get high off of them. If it wasn’t for my psych meds I’d be dead, I am sure of it. And I appreciate that I can have a psychiatrist to help me regulate them and a therapist to help me work through the PTSD. Again, no shame in getting help, no shame in taking meds for my depression. I get told by some people…”You shouldn’t take these meds, they are too dangerous.” No, you do you, I do me. I’d be more dangerous to myself without these meds. Don’t shame the person who is getting help because you have chosen an alternative route. We are not all the same.

Honestly our perpetrators give us a lot more than the abuse. These guys (and women) fuck us up. For life. Yeah we can have functional, normal lives and decent relationships but we always have those moments that we have to learn to cope with. We can appear to be doing alright but we know things others don’t, we feel things other don’t and we’re smarter than the monsters.

If I had a tale that I could tell you…

This isn’t going to be some graphic story about my past, this is going to be about my dad. I don’t know him well, barely actually. I spent years trying to actually have a relationship with him but it never happened. He just doesn’t know how to be a decent dad so I decided about 22 years ago, I had better things to do with my life, I needed that energy for me and what I wanted. So it’s been 22 years since I even saw my dad (just walking by me in a mall) and even more since I spoke to him. It rarely hurts. I’m actually over it. I didn’t grow up with one so I’m not missing anything that I’m familiar with. I used to wish certain famous guys were my dad but it was just what I did when I was a kid. There is one song though, that if I had a dad, is what I always thought would be my perfect dad’s words to me. So I’m just going to share that.

It’s In the Water, Baby

Let’s talk about how no one is perfect. How not one fucking person on the planet does not have bullshit in their lives, some sort of fucked up family or personality issues. Let’s talk about how our societies have forced this idea of what is normal on us for so long that there are actually people out there who think they are “normal”. Ha! You’re not fucking normal. Deal with it.

Now let’s talk about the effect of this “normal”. I have some pretty bad insecurity issues and some serious abandonment issues. Sometimes they are worse than others, depending on the kind of day I’m having. Now, when I think about it, what does it matter if others might see me fuck up or not be “perfect”? They sure as hell haven’t been perfect and without flaw. But this idea goes a step further for me. My lack of self esteem feeds into my fear of abandonment. I think if someone sees me fuck up or make a mistake or not able to do something I want to do, this person will give up on me and leave and assume I’m worthless to be around. THIS TYPE OF THINKING DOES NOT GO AWAY JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT IT TO.

So I guess finding people who are compassionate to your bullshit are the people you want to be around. Those folks are usually the people who realize they are human too and they fuck up and they aren’t “normal” either.

Several years ago I was fearless. I set out to do things I never dreamed I’d do and it was fucking brilliant. I felt like I was going places and things were just so like being in a dream. But you can’t get comfortable in that feeling because all it takes is one horrible person to fuck it up for you and you’re back at the beginning where you were trying to build up yourself esteem in the first place.

Every day I long for that time when I was fearless and some days I actually get to feel that way, but those days aren’t as common as they were then. I’ll get them back, I’m determined, but until then I honestly need my friends around me to understand the bullshit that goes on in my head when I get tripped up by my self esteem. Maybe not understand show some compassion and not run away. Even a fucking hug will do. I’ve been through some nightmares and it’s a miracle I’m still alive. That is not me exaggerating, that is the truth. I’m not looking for pity though, I’m asking for people to look inside themselves and think about the things they have dealt with or deal with it and how it makes them feel and some times when they’ve felt true fear because that is what this type of anxiety feels like. Fear times 100. It’s intense, it’s scary and at times, suicidal thoughts become your friends when your real friends run away. I’m not trying to scare anyone, expect pity from anyone…but I am trying to get people to understand that I’m just as fucked up as you only I show it differently.  I love my friends, they are my family. I’d do anything for them. I just hope that doesn’t mean they will run away from me screaming because they have bought into the idea that they are “normal”.

I Said You Talk About This, and You Talk About That …

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…When the cat took your tongue, I say you took it right back (Run DMC)

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I was reading an article earlier today that discussed some of the things people with anxiety do because they are anxious. 31 Habits of People with Anxiety .  One of the things someone mentioned was :

“I talk a lot in social settings, which seems a bit odd for someone with social anxiety, but I can’t handle any prolonged silence when in a group. I get very anxious, and then I start talking. The more I talk the more I get caught up in the anxiety and as can be predicted, I usually say inappropriate things that in turn increases my anxiety and the talking, and I repeat the cycle. It’s horrible, especially if there’s alcohol involved.” — Mindy W.

I can relate quite well with this. I over do it because of anxiety. I feel horrible during the entire time I’m talking. I don’t want to be overly quiet and I want to participate in the conversation but many times my mind gets so jumbled up from the anxiety that I start to really babble. I say too much. And then I feel really stupid because I fell like I’ve annoyed people by saying too much. Also because I feel they probably think I was making no sense or talking about things that were irrelevant or even just really uninteresting. This is one of the biggest things I hate about my social anxiety.

I always wanted to be one of those people who just goes quiet. I try to sometimes because I know I’ve just gone on too much but it is really difficult because whether I’m quiet or talkative, I assume the others in the conversation are just wondering why I’m being too quiet/too talkative. It’s like I can’t win.

So does everyone get annoyed at my talking too much? Sometimes they say no, but…it is hard to believe. Some people will say I do. Which, of course, makes me feel worse, right? So no matter what they say I feel bad anyway.

Sometimes it helps to have friends around who understand how I get or feel and they give me challenges. Like if one of my friends (who is clearly frustrated with my assumption that everyone will eventually get sick of me and leave me) says, “Okay Lina, here’s what we’ll do, whenever you get that feeling you ignore it as hard as you can and if you don’t, we (who ever else might be around) will tell you in some way…to stop.” So if I start talking too much then say something like “Sorry I will stop talking.” or “Sorry, I am babbling on and on.” Someone will point out that I said that and say, “Lina…” I’ll be reminded that I’m hating myself at that moment and they don’t want me to. I’ve had a few friends who did that for a while but I’m not around those people any more.

Honestly it is really great to have friends who are a support to you. That is one of the times I really feel loved because much of my time is spent alone or around folks who, not that they don’t care, but feel like they don’t know how. Or maybe they don’t want to feel like babysitters. As an addict, I remember being angry because people treat you like a child. Watching every move you make, reprimanding you when you throw a fit because you can’t have your pills or whatever your vice is. I understand why they do it but I still hated it. It’s similar with this. I get hooked on saying these negative things about myself when I talk and also when I’m really anxious or depressed, in my mind I am 8 or 9 years old again because my mind goes back to when I was young and told to shut up because no one wanted to hear me. Or no one cared what I said.

Anyway, that wasn’t much of a deep or interesting blog but this article just made me think about it. Also maybe some folks out there can relate.

Love and Light.

The Hardest Part’s The Awful Things That I’ve Seen

No one reads this blog anymore. I think in the beginning it tore people up to read it. It fucking tore me up to write it. I never started writing it for sympathy, I did it to get it all out of my head and to let others know they aren’t alone.

No, I’m not going to stop adding to this. I’m not going to stop telling my story or what is inside my head. No I don’t care who thinks I’m crazy, or lying or just trying to impress someone (although if you’re impressed by my past you are one sick fucker).

When you’re in the middle of an addiction (drugs, booze, self harm, eating disorder — I’ve tried them all out) you really say “WHY?!” a lot but you know why. It’s like you just don’t want to admit that you do it to ease some pain somewhere that is too hard to face. Physical or mental pain, we do it for many reasons. For me it was to block out the visions of what I’d seen growing up and the sounds of what I’d been through. The images of guns in my face, a psycho in my bed, a family who barely noticed…the sounds of the words he said, what I was/am worth, how fat I was/am, how ugly I was/am and the fact that no one would ever love me. These things never go away. Therapy for most of my life and still…on a bad day, I can see and hear it forever. So you go through life addicted to something. You have to or you’ll give up. Whatever it is…if it’s a good or bad addiction, it’s keeping you alive somehow.

We were in the car once, leaving my relatives’ house in Ohio. I was in the back seat looking at a music magazine. I was about 12.  He flipped out because when I turned the page, it made a noise. (Really he hated that I looked at magazines because it meant I was looking at boys or men in rock bands that I liked and he hated that I did that). He yelled at me to put it away. My mum told me not to and told him to leave me alone. He stopped the car, reached back, tore them magazine out of my hand, threw it out of the window, shoved my mum out of the car then told her, “Take your cunt daughter with you!” And sped off to wherever. We walked back to my relatives’ house and they were all “Oh no…and awww.” But what did they do? They let him come back and take us again. No one suggested maybe we get help, nothing. No one seemed in the least concerned with the danger they put me in when they put me back in that car.

So fuck’em. My addictions, my bad habits, the bullshit I’ve put myself through was not in vain. It was to survive and it got me this far. It actually got me really far. Sometimes my habits were bad, sometimes good. Either way…and addiction is an addiction, it just depends on the damage. There is good damage…like the kind where you have confidence and smile and laugh a lot. I had that 8 years ago or so. I felt invincible. I did the most amazing shit then. That fast though, people can knock you down and you find yourself with a bad habit all over again to get through that bullshit. But then slowly you get away from that, find some good ones…it’s an ongoing rollercoaster in life when you’ve been put through something.

I don’t know why I was remembering that incident today. But I was drinking tea and realized that tea is an addiction for me. Like coffee is for some people. I don’t feel okay if I don’t have it a few times a day. I get irritated or depressed. So…you know, a not so bad addiction right now. Once an addict always an addict though. Which is okay when you have heroes who are also addicts who show you how to keep going. Good friends mean everything when you’re down…and I mean EVERYTHING.

This post was purely just me spewing things out of my mind. But it had to happen so I could go to sleep.

Also here is a song…and some of you will be surprised, but there was a time when it was important. However, despite the situation and how things turned out, this song has never left my mind because it makes a fuck ton of sense in my life. The funny part is…the one song that got me through growing up left me with “I’m Not Sleeping” as a motto…and this one…is all about “Sleep”. Life rolls on…it’s a river.

Some say, now suffer all the children
And walk away a savior,
Or a madman and polluted
From gutter institutions.
Don’t you breathe for me,
Undeserving of your sympathy,
Cause there ain’t no way that I’m sorry for what I did.

And through it all
How could you cry for me?
Cause I don’t feel bad about it.
So shut your eyes,
Kiss me goodbye,
And sleep.
Just sleep.

The hardest part is letting go of your dreams.

A drink for the horror that I’m in,
For the good guys, and the bad guys,
For the monsters that I’ve been.
Three cheers for tyranny,
Unapologetic apathy,
Cause there ain’t no way that I’m coming back again.

And through it all
How could you cry for me?
Cause I don’t feel bad about it.
So shut your eyes,
Kiss me goodbye,
And sleep.
Just sleep.

The hardest part’s the awful things that I’ve seen.

[Voice recording:]
“…Sometimes I see flames. And sometimes
I see people that I love dying and… it’s always…”

Just sleep.
Just sleep.
Just sleep.
Just sleep.
Just sleep.
Just sleep.

[Screaming:] Wake up!

[Voice recording:]
“And I can’t… I can’t ever wake up.”

(Sleep, My Chemical Romance)

If you could read my mind, what a tale my thoughts would tell…

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I’m not particularly attached to my family. They let me down a long time ago. They saw it fit to ignore what was going. Which…at this point is fine, I mean I can’t spend my whole life dwelling on these things or I would never have a life myself. 12aa6f40adc30ae12eb6a2ab09fa02c5

Today I found the film Sleepers. I’m not sure if this is the exact film I want to discuss but it was something very close to it in storyline.

I was visiting family in Ohio. Their basement was a big social room with a big TV, etc. They were watching a film similar to this, one that was mainly about boys who were raped (I find it interesting that in a film about boys, they use the term “rape” yet in countless films about girls “molested” or “assaulted” are used more). I was about 11 or 12. I walked downstairs to see what they were all doing and my Uncle raged..flipped out, yelling, “GET OUT OF HERE! YOU CANNOT WATCH THIS! IT ISN’T FOR YOU! THIS IS FOR MEN!” and I distinctly remember saying, “But I understand this.” and he said, “GET OUT! GO!” I felt so sick. I felt hurt. I felt dejected. Because I did understand and if he knew (which for the most part, he knew much of it) he would (I hoped) be mortified, upset and want to help me. But no…no I can’t see a film about child rape to boys. It’s for men. What did that even mean?

He hurt me and didn’t even know it. By that age, I knew child rape very well and I was offended that someone should think I didn’t! Yet I couldn’t yell out, “I GET IT! I HAVE TO DO THAT TOO!” But yet, somehow, on some level, he knew that and chose to watch this film and humiliate me in front of family when I came downstairs.

My family have used my abuse to humiliate me a lot. My insecurities are real. Sure I’ve pushed forward and made sure I had a life worth living but sometimes…those insecurities win. I’m lucky to know a few people who care about those times. My family sure doesn’t or never did give a fuck.

 

Some Days I’m Built of Metal, I Can’t Be Broken

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celtic_wolf

Celtic Wolf representing Inner Strength

Warning: violence, abuse, rape, guns, torture, animal torture, chid rape

Usually my dreams are fucked up and really abstract. I think that is pretty fitting considering how my brain works and most times I laugh at my dreams because they are just so freaking weird. I love it. I do have bad dreams but not really all that often.

First of all, I am not one of those people who is into interpreting dreams. I think dreams are just your brain doing brain stuff and not some otherworldly way of looking into your future or anything of the sort. I do think that we can get ideas or realizations from them, just like we would watching TV or a movie or whatever. So usually when I have one of my PTSD influenced bad dreams it’s just straight up the monster appearing in some way. Last night he appeared though as a woman. Somehow I knew it was him even though it was a woman. Frequently he has a gun in my dreams but never fires it. (I assume this is because he always threatened me but never shot me?) In last night’s dream he finally pulled the trigger.  He pulled the trigger and I woke up as soon as the buckshot hit the center of my chest and I kind of sat up with a start. I didn’t feel it, but I did feel like I was tapped on the chest (which I will assume is not what it feels like to be hit with buckshot.) It was awful. I mean sick in the stomach, couldn’t go back to sleep, full panic awful.

Having PTSD means a lot of things to different people. For me it is usually just feelings or my brain playing this sort of tape recording of him telling me things. Rarely does it come in the form of nightmares. When it does though the guns make appearances and also him torturing the cat. I might actually get more upset when I have to relive that. I remember when we got this cat, the monster was all about “Hey look we got you a kitten!” This is how monsters are though…you know? Look what I did for you, what will you do for me, kinda thing. So I loved this cat and over the years the cat just became as much of a mess as I was from all of the screaming and yelling and throwing and abuse that went on in that house. I may have said something before but one time when the monster got angry at me (which was usually for some silly reason just because he hated me, you know, the way 8 year olds can make you hate them??) he knew I loved that cat. So many times, the cat was used to upset me. One time he kicked the cat down the basement steps. But this one particular time that I frequently see in my mind that I will never forget he hung the cat up in a fishing net thrown over an engine hoist in the drive way, (We had boats and cars and he worked on them so…hence, engine hoist) and he spun it around, cat screaming and started hitting it with a stick. I’m a little kid. I love that cat. I think these memories are more upsetting to me than anything he ever did to me. This is a man who used to shoot at mice in the front yard with buckshot. In other words, blew holes in the front yard. You could barely see remnants of mice after that, if you know anything about buckshot…and mice.

So I have this dream where he finally pulls the trigger and what it really does is trigger all of these feelings and memories of him hurting animals, not me. I have spent the entire day, and still now, feeling as if I want to throw up. My stomach hurts. I could cry in a heartbeat. In my mind though it isn’t me being upset about me, it’s about the animals. So this dream did upset me but all of the feelings pertain to the animals and not me. I don’t even know if I know what I’m saying. I might be trying to interpret it even though I don’t think about interpreting dreams. Maybe I’m just trying to understand my brain and why it won’t shut off right now. I have no idea but I can say that this fucking bad dream has thrown my entire day off.

In the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep I ended up texting a friend in another part of the world. I think I was just frantic and he probably thought I’d finally lost my mind. But, the thing is…he said, and he says this a lot to me, that I am so strong and I don’t even see it. Yeah…I want to think that and sometimes I actually do. People have said that to me a few times but he says it more than most and maybe he believes it or maybe he is telling me so I’ll finally shut up. (I know I wish I could just shut up sometimes…most times) But it made me feel better to think that I could wake up in the middle of the night, upset, panic stricken, from a bad dream and after a bunch of texts someone says that…and I start to finally calm down because I start to realize I’m in my room, I’m safe, I’m okay. It was just a dream.