Yes I’m still talking about this… now that I’m off my meds and I’ve actually able to feel my emotions I can process them. I recognize that I’ve been stuck in a holding pattern for the past few weeks. I am moving forward, just slowly. Trauma is like an onion. There are layers. I’m just a few layers into this new trauma onion so to speak. I don’t have to apologize for taking my sweet ass time, I understand that, yet I feel some what compelled to do so. It’s a reflex I guess.
Anyway… another flashback happened the other day as I was picking up toys in the Twins’ room. Their toy box is in the closet and as I stood up after picking up a toy, about to drop it in the box suddenly I felt like I was back in the apartment. In my mind’s eye I was sitting on my bed talking to myself, trying to get the phrasing and diologue right while writing up the first draft of my book, and I felt like there was someone watching me. At the apartment I left the bedroom door cracked so I could hear the kids if they needed me. I glanced over my computer screen and noticed a shadow that quickly scooted out of my line of sight as soon as I looked up.
I scolded the shadow thinking it was Little and told her to go back to bed. The very same way that I assumed the sliding door popping open was Little. While Hubs and I were apart it was a fairly regular thing to chase Little back to bed several times through out the night. She never slept well apart from her daddy. After my scolding I heard footsteps heading down the hallway; then the Twins started crying. I thought Little had popped open their door or scared them as she shuffled by. I let them cry for a while to see if they could self sooth. B1 eventually did, B2 was more persistent. Eventually after several minutes I put my computer aside and went to check on him.
When I walked into their room I noticed that the closet light was on. Their room was the only one with a walk in closet. Little had a bad habit of playing in there and leaving the light on so it was odd to find it lit, but not alarming. I scooped up B2 and soothed him until he stopped crying and started nodding off in my arms. I placed him back in his crib and walked back out of the room. I stopped half way back to my room remembering the closet light, but then I decided to forget about it and not risk disturbing the Twins again.
Not ten minutes after I returned to my bedroom and pulled out my computer B2 started fussing again. The second time I let him fuss, calling to him from my room which seemed to satisfy him; then soon I turned off my bedroom light and went to sleep.
Egg Bandit was in the closet. The next morning after getting the kids up and dressed for the day I remembered the light and went to turn it off, but it had already been turned off. He was in the closet. If I had opened the door to turn off the light as I planned instead of deciding to wait until the morning I would have come face to face with him completely lucid.
I stood there with the toy in my hand, and as I returned to the present with this newly unwrapped layer of my trauma onion, I had to remind myself to breathe. It got my blood pumping. All of my protective Mama Bear rage bubbled up to the surface. This guy was in my kid’s closet. Not only did he scare Little, he was poking around in the Twins’ room too! It made me wonder if B2 didn’t actually self sooth, but had been picked up and soothed by this crazy man in my house. And then as quickly as the anger rose, it subsided and an over whelming grief came over me as I began to realize that half of the time Egg Bandit was inside my home he was very cavalier, and didn’t give a shit if I discovered him or not seeking and attempting to create a confrontation. Yet, the other half of the time, he was afraid of discovery and hiding to avoid my detection, possibly even attempting to sooth my toddler back to sleep at one point!
If he had popped out of the closet and attacked me after using the Twins as bait? That’s the standard psychotic break in scenario. He didn’t. He stayed in that closet for at least an hour after I got up to check on the Twins. Or if he didn’t stay in the closet he at least stayed away from me. The next thing I remember was choking on pills and my FitBit recording my heart rate spike and activity soon after. The entire thing really was a battle between good and evil, guilt and consciousness, Jeckyl and Hyde. Whomever Egg Bandit was, he wasn’t entirely evil. He didn’t pick us out at random to target and victimize. It was very personal, and it was at least somewhat planned. Realizing that made me cry.
Which made me angry at myself. I shouldn’t be grieving for this man. It doesn’t matter what “reasons” he had for doing what he did. I have every right to be angry. He endangered my life, he endangered my children, he violated the safety of my home, he does not deserve my compassion, and yet… it’s there. For some reason that I still have yet to figure out, it’s there. I grieve for my children in their time of panic and disorientation. I grieve for this guy who came into my home to cause harm and destruction.
It’s a good thing that I have no desire to seek vengeance, but it’s not good that I haven’t been able to hold onto my healthy anger. It was almost easier to be angry at this guy, before the flashbacks. The eggs on the building made me more angry than anything else. I don’t know. I don’t understand it. I know this is how I feel, I know it’s not how most people feel, and I know both things being true doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. I only know by continuing to skip over justified, and righteous anger I’m leaving myself open to further victimization. Even if I never see Egg Bandit again in my life, he isn’t the only one out there looking to take advantage of a kind heart. I have to start holding people accountable for the way that they treat me, especially when it comes to those who have victimized me in the past.