Category Archives: blogging

The Other One About Night Terrors

Going to try to get through this without losing my shit.

The other night I am sleeping in the guest room. I wake up in full dark with the certainty that there is someone in the room. My heart hammers against the mattress where I’m laying on my side. I can hear them. Just a little shuffling sound, a quiet breathing.

There are 2 doors out of this room. One to the hallway, one to the bathroom. Both are equal distance from me.

I am still.

I am quiet.

I want hear if there is more than one.

I take a quick inventory. I can reach the lamp on the side of the bed, use it as a weapon, use it to break out the window, use it to light up the room, but that would blind us both.

I know my first movement will give me away. Let them know I’m not asleep any more. At my fingertips is the iPad I used to watch Netflix until I crashed out. If I open it to call for help, I’ve given myself away. While I’m debating, the bed moves – ever so fucking slightly- like someone’s leaning against it, or has sat down very carefully.

I’m thinking: knife. They probably have a knife. I have two very thick quilts- so there’s some security there. I have a small fort of pillows around me – so it might be hard for them to know which lump is me in the dark.

All this time, I do not move. I don’t want to give away that I’m awake and lose the little edge I have.

And then I wonder if I’m right about this person’s location. What if they’re not where I think they are. What if the knife isn’t a knife? What if it’s a hammer? And if I don’t MOVE NOW there’ll never be another chance.

I throw off the covers and grab the lamp, swinging it like a club, putting my back to the closet door.

When I realized I was alone, it took me 49 minutes to calm the fuck down. I walked the house, checked locks, dogs, and kids. Checked the sig-oth. Picked glass out of the carpet.

The adrenaline dumped and I couldn’t shake the absolute goddamn terror. Just writing about it makes my body remember it. It felt real as hell. I was awake laying there freaking the fuck out and believing my family was in danger.2ed799ee2fb77f743847dc4a3b52df8a

TL;DR: Plan and act, people. Even when you’re sleeping. And see if they make tactical lampshades. Anything less is a Rook mistake.

The One About Today

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. It-takes-a-great-deal-of-energy-to-remain-300x300

The One About Bloody Noses

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.

But…

Really, it’s just blood on a tissue tossed and gone.

Like him.

images

The One About Saying No

As a chick and a parent, I’ve said no somewhere in the billions of times. I’m talking about this:

Bugger bugs.

“Stop.”

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.tumblr_naqc5foddz1rxmno2o1_500

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.

 

 

 

 

The Other Other One About the VA

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.

The Washington Standard

Tulsa World

Stars and Stripes

veteransadmin2

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.

 

The One About Ghosting

There’s this piece of PTSD that’s haunted me for years, long before I even considered there was something “wrong” with me. I disconnect. It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when it happens, but like today, I wake up and realize that I’ve distanced myself from everyone again. I can’t really feel anything. Like I’ve wrapped myself in some industrial plastic sheeting. I can noise the polite noises, smile the polite smiles, but the care’s gone.

I can’t touch it.

This is when I ghost.

I know that I want to be included, to see friends and family, be social, but that’s all preprogramming. Under that, I’m on emotional lockdown and want to be alone. That’s not what I need to break this pattern though. Left alone with the lizard brain, it just becomes harder and harder to cut my way out as the layers get tighter and thicker. And I do know that eventually I’ll want out.

Just can’t care. Just not right now. It’s fucking comfortable in my plastic protector.

So I’m here, but not here. I might even be in the same room with you, but you’re alone.

Just like me.

 

The One About Feelings

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.14224822_1172209372818043_2819946695618234321_n

TL;DR: Anger is a part of PTSD. Don’t let it burn down your relationships. Also, everyone loves Girl Scout cookies.