It’s not been a good couple of days over here. Normally I’m totally down for a good thunderstorm. Blue-gray clouds, lightning zippering across a black sky or lighting it all up in 2 second increments, but not today. That electrical charge in the air put me on edge first thing this morning. Driving forever across the metroplex in a torrential stop. down stop. pour around and through the emergency response vehicles guarding the wrecked and injured, their lights coloring the slick roads – it’s all got to me. Welcome to HyperVtown . Population me. Cause the rest of you fuckers aren’t allowed in.
Sometimes when it’s dark, it’s the worst. Fearing sleep or wanting sleep to not deal with anything wars in my head. Sometimes daylight’s the worst. seeing everything in crystalline clarity and knowing theres nothing to worry, get upset, or get fucking pissed off about- but there it is. Like cat shit on the linoleum. Everyone can see the daylight crazy. No way to cover it up. No way to hide it.
The years press down on me. All the time I’ve been home safe and all the time I wasn’t. It’s acid. It just keeps eating away at me. Eating me away. How much more will it take before I wake up and can’t remember how to be me any more?
I’m OK. Everything’s fine. No, really, I’m OK. It’s my mantra. And most of the time it’s true. Tonight my skin doesn’t feel like mine and I want to kick a hole in something. But, I’m going to bed instead. Sleep it all away
Looked down this morning to find my nose was bleeding. It happens occasionally. I overheat and then there’s a gusher. Been dealing with it since I was a kid.
But it’s been a long time – years even – since it’s happened.
Now instead of racing my bike up the hill by my house, instead of sliding across the goal into a post face first, instead of sprinting towards third – I’m not a kid any more.
Bloody noses are my first husband. They are his whispers in my ear, the sharp crack snapping my head back, the twisted image of myself that he gave me.
Really, it’s just blood on a tissue tossed and gone.
As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:
Bugger continues, upping their game and laughing.
“No, stop. I’m serious.”
Bugger kicks it into high and taunts.
I raise my voice, lay hands, force a stop.
Bugger gets feelings hurt and accuses me of overreacting.
Brothers, boyfriends, friends, coworkers, even my dad. It’s been omnipresent in my life.
Never really thought much about it other than to be annoyed. Today, being home sick and bored to tears, I watched a couple of movies. Guess what they both had in common.
Scenario One: The woman tells the man to stop because she doesn’t want to get into the water. He chases her, corners her, forces her over his shoulder before throwing her into the pool. The whole time she’s screaming for him to stop. She’s MAD when she gets out of the water and the man stalks off because he thinks it’s NOT FAIR that she’s angry. She runs after him and apologizes.
Scenario Two: The woman has had a traumatic past that has not been disclosed to the man. He puts on a mask and stalks her around the dark house. The whole time she’s backing up, trying to get away, and screaming for him to stop. When she slams the bathroom door on his hand in an effort to lock herself in, he’s pissed. She apologizes to him and explains her traumatic past as a way to make him understand her reaction.
No means no. All the time. Every time.
No, don’t want to go out with you.
No, I don’t want to be tickled.
No, you can’t have a hug.
No, I don’t like to be scared.
No, I don’t want to have kids.
No, I don’t want to get my extensions wet.
And no I won’t apologize to you for the response your actions wrought.
TL;DR: Stop making this normal. Reject it and don’t fucking apologize for asserting yourself. Thinking men are too fragile to be told no is a Rook mistake. Let them deal with it.
It’s not enough that we have maggots. The Other Other One About the VA
Google auto fills “vet suicides at” with:
- Phoenix VA
- Denver VA
- Attempts per day
It doesn’t tell you about the one that happened in Albuquerque on the 22nd. Just like no one reported on James Ingram III setting himself on fire in a VA parking lot (The One About Ending It All) because apparently people pretend like none of this is happening.
All I know is what was reported by disabled veterans.org because there’s nothing else to find. I even checked the Albuquerque Journal‘s obit section and none listed the cause of death as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while standing at the doors of the Albuquerque VA hospital .
Reach out. I didn’t seek help – it was thrust on me. A friend made the appointment at the VA for me. It wasn’t my answer. Compartmentalization will break down. Seek help and/be the help. Anything less is a Rook mistake.
You have got to be fucking kidding me. Help me understand how anyone can come into the hospital with an infection and NOT have their bandages changed regularly. Help me understand how a hospital staff could allow that infection to not only go septic, but then to grow MAGGOTS in it.
“During the 21 days I was there, … I pled with the medical staff, the senior medical staff, to increase his meds so his bandages could be changed,” Parker told Tulsa World. “I was met with a stonewall for much of that time.”
And yet, as far as Parker is concerned, the nurses were excellent. He placed the blame instead on senior medical staff and the bureaucracy.
There are several articles about this incident.
Stars and Stripes
TL;DR: If the VA doesn’t terrify you, you’re not paying attention. Again, don’t assume the VA is the best place for treatment. Do your research. Anything less is a rook mistake.
It’s not like we’re all wired differently. But, you know, some of us just are. It’s OK. We wind up confused or angry at things that normal folk don’t blink twice at. That’s OK too.
I’m having a hard time today. My normal hard time is a gentle paranoia that bleeds into anxiety. It’s like a whisper in your ear telling you the reasons that you suck and that safety is a mere illusion.
Anxiety can make me feel out of control and afraid. I fear for myself and society at large. I wonder what that guy is hiding under his sweatshirt. I wonder why that woman looks so angry and what she has in that giant purse. I won’t sit in the middle of the room because I don’t want anyone to walk behind me. I don’t want anyone too close.
Today is not that day.
Today I’m pissed.
Just under the epidermal layer of my emotional chitin shell is full blown anger. I’ve already ranted at my sig-oth for no reason that my logical side can fathom. And instead of feeling like I’m spending these feelings, emptying the rage-well, it’s building.
Today there is a deep and rising tide of anger. My jaw is clenched so tightly that the muscles hurt. I am fearless. I am fucking tired of other people’s shit. Even if I can’t fucking put my finger on what that shit is. So, I’m going to go run errands instead of be angry with my family for no damn good reason.
Growing up with a brother and sister, we fought on the regular. My father used to tell me it was because we were too familiar with one another. When he’d had it with our squabbles, he’d say, “Ya’ll treat one another like you’ve never met. You’re kinder to strangers than you are to each other.”
So, even today, he’s right.
TL;DR: Anger is a part of PTSD. Don’t let it burn down your relationships. Also, everyone loves Girl Scout cookies.