I am struggling. More than I have in a very long time. I’m kind of at a loss actually. For words, thoughts, actions, emotions. Things just aren’t syncing up the way they should. I have an appointment with my therapist here in the next few days, and I’m not suicidal… I just feel empty. Hence, why I have taken up my old friend the pen. I’m hoping that purging my soul to the world will give me some peace. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve always kept a journal in one form or another but I’ve never taken the time to share it with anyone before. Keeping it all bottled up to myself hasn’t done me an ounce of good so we’re trying this route. Seems legit, right?
I don’t even know where to start. So many things have been weighing me down over the years. I’m barely 30 and have seen more tragedies that most should have to see in such a short life time. I guess we could start with the meat and potatoes. I have C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder). What’s that? Well it’s just a hair shy of BPD (borderline personality disorder) and slightly more annoying than your run of the mill PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Basically what started as PTSD in childhood grew to C-PTSD with out treatment and if I had left it alone any longer would have grown into BPD or DID (dissociative identity disorder). It’s all a crap shoot if you ask me. Mood swings, triggers, identity issues… I’m a mess and a half.
I’ve been working on getting a manuscript together to submit to a publisher at the suggestion of my therapist. I guess that’s as good of a place to start as any in sharing my story. So… here we go.
And I was running. Fast and furious through a forest full of cotton candy pink pine trees. Running from what I still wasn’t certain. Something in my mind was buzzing. The only thing I could think was to run. I heard a faint voice screaming in the distance, and a crash of glass falling to the floor. Suddenly I was rocketed out of my dream to the realization that the screams and glass I had heard weren’t a product of my imagination, but my boyfriend flailing in a night terror. Before I could get out of the way, he swung wildly in my direction and connected with my chest. I gasped for breath, instantly aware of the room and the man deeply intrenched in his subconscious flash back fighting for his life.
I scrambled to escape his reach but before I could, he grabbed my arm and pinned me down, wrapping his hands tightly around my throat, the fire in his eyes something that could be felt as well as seen in the dim light. At that moment I threw all of my strength into fighting for my life. I clawed at his hands, and my knee came up and connected with his chest hard, knocking the wind out of him. Momentarily his grip tightened before he snapped out of it, and released me. I rolled away from his as fast as I could and in my haste fell out of the bed, coughing and gagging as I hit the floor. I lay there for a moment, catching my breath and waiting for him to settle back into sleep. When I heard the soft heavy breathing settle into a normal rhythmic pattern. I pulled myself up off of the floor and stumbled out of the room and into the bathroom.
I stared in the mirror, examining my neck for bruises tears welling up in my eyes. I wasn’t afraid of the man I loved, but I was scared and concerned for him. He never remembered his night terrors and I couldn’t hold it against him. Still, part of me was wondering why I stayed with him. The scared teen girl who had inadvertently fallen for this battered, bruised, crazy, beautiful, intelligent, mysterious, captivating, and troubled man. I stood there staring blankly a few more moments before sleep returned to my eyes and I headed back to bed.
I climbed back under the covers, snuggled up to the now calmly sleeping man beside me and quietly whispered: “I’m still here. I love you.”
He only moaned in reply, rolled from his stomach to his back and softly began to snore. I shuffled over away from him and turned my back as I wept softly into my pillow before settling back into sleep myself. It wasn’t the first time I’d cried myself to sleep in his bed, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, but I’m getting a head of myself here. Let’s go back and start at the beginning, shall we?
The year was 1999 I was the tender age of twelve and bouncing around the mall for the first time alone. Well not entirely alone. I was with a gaggle of three of my closest friends, but our parents had left us to our own devices. It was a really big deal to me since this was the first time I was allowed to wander off with out my mom following closely behind. The significance of the moment was lost to my friends who were several years older and afforded much more freedom than I. I was the oldest of three, four years apart from my next youngest sibling. Most of my life had been geared toward activities and things suitable for an audience much younger than I. It was almost like my parents had forgotten that I was so much farther ahead in maturity and interest. I felt trapped and desperately just wanted some independence. That day at the mall I was granted my wish. I don’t even really think it was intentional as the group of us girls wandered a head to the next store while our moms stayed behind. We kept on until eventually we were so far ahead our moms were no longer in our minds.
It wasn’t until we had spent more than an hour scouring through compact discs that I realized our moms had yet to catch up. I paused, momentarily wondering if I should be there like I had broken some unspoken law between mother and child. Had I run away? Was I lost? Should we be looking for our moms?
“Hey guys? Where are our moms?” I asked the group as they continued to browse the shelves.
“They’re probably waiting out side. It’s kind of loud and cramped in here.” Jackie, the oldest of our entourage, answered casually. “Why?”
“Oh no reason. I just thought it was kind of weird. I mean… I don’t even know if I’m supposed to be here with out my mom. Or where we’re supposed to meet or anything like that. I mean I guess if it was really a big deal some one would find us or page us or some thing.” I said.
“Do you want us to go find your mom?” Jackie asked.
I thought about it for a moment.
“No we don’t have to. Like I said I guess some one will come looking for us if they’re actually missing us.” I answered.
It was still kind of weird being out on my own so to speak, but it was also very exciting. Liberating almost. I was still a little unnerved by the way it had happened almost by accident instead of some ceremonial you are now old enough to go off with your friends thing. I don’t really know why I expected it to be such a big deal, or how I still felt uneasy with it, but I did. The uneasy feeling finally wore off as we made our way to yet another store.
We weren’t looking for anything in particular, just wasting time really. We bounced in and out of stores that really had nothing to offer a group of teen and preteen girls up one side of the main aisle and down the other until we eventually reached the food court and found our moms. We walked up to the table to check in, and like I had been going off on my own for years my mom hadn’t even been concerned that I wasn’t with her.
That was more scary than any other part of the whole event. I was expecting a lecture at least, or to be grounded for a month, but instead she merely asked if I needed any money or if I had bought anything. I told her that I hadn’t found anything, and then we were off again to the last wing of the mall. At the time the Pokemon trading card game was the latest and greatest thing. It was rumored that the best place to get any card you were looking for was a small kiosk in the very mall we were visiting. We’d been all over the mall and had yet to find it. Wandering down the last corridor all of our conversation shifted towards Pokemon.
Personally, I had only played the game once or twice. I had a pile of cards at home, but it was more of a novelty for me than a serious hobby. It was the “cool” thing to have, so of course I wanted to have them. I don’t even really remember where I got the cards in the first place. I certainly didn’t have enough to build any substantial deck, nor did I really care to increase my collection for the purpose of playing the game, but I was happily tagging along in search of the ever allusive kiosk none the less. We spotted it just as we headed into another store and decided to stop there as our last stop. A few moments later we were headed toward the kiosk, but instead of stopping we passed by.
As we walked by the kid sitting at the cash register caught my eye. He was busy putting cards into the display case and flipping through a binder. He ran his hand through his shaggy chestnut hair and sat up as we walked by taking of Pokemon. Until we made brief eye contact I hadn’t noticed, but I had been staring at him. As soon as his eyes met mine, I quickly diverted my attention and felt my face grow hot.
I hadn’t really taken much notice in the opposite sex just yet, but something about this guy at the Pokemon kiosk took me by surprise. A chill ran down my spine, and the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I was completely flustered and had no idea really why. After a few moments I turned my attention back towards the mysterious Pokemon Guy, and saw him run his hand through his hair yet again and return to his binder. I was relieved that he either hadn’t noticed me staring, or I had diverted my attention quickly enough for him not to pick up on it. Now that he was distracted in his work I was free to continue staring at him as we walked into another store.
He piqued my curiosity just as much as he captivated me. I wanted to know more about him, but I was hindered by crippling shyness. I couldn’t even speak to someone I knew by acquaintance let alone walk up to a complete stranger and make conversation. Especially since I had reacted so strongly to him from across the room. It petrified me to even think about talking to him face to face.
That’s enough for today. I’m exhausted. We’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow or something. Whenever I feel like sitting down to write again.