PTSD

The Purge

I remember everything. My husband was blessed with a poor memory, so he doesn’t recall a lot of the damage, but I remember everything. We are working on rebuilding our marriage, but I feel that in order for that to happen, I need to get some things off of my chest and out of my mind. 

When we would go to take the trips to visit his family, I was the one who would do all the packing and ensure everything was ready to go. One of the times he was griping at me for not having everything done, and (this was before he knew about what his dad did to me) I came to a breaking point. I told him that it wasn’t worth it-going through all of that and listening to him bitch-and that I wouldn’t be going with him next time. He said something about what his family says about me, and I said “Fuck your family! All they ever do is talk behind my back!” He flicked me really hard on the side of the head, and then started yelling at me when I began to cry.

On the way back from one of the trips, we stopped at a hotel for the night. The kids and I weren’t moving fast enough for him, and he was bitching. Our daughter threw up in the backseat as we were loading things up and getting ready to go. He slapped me in the back of the head as I was cleaning up her vomit. I didn’t cry, but I was angry, and I began to emotionally detach from him.

Shortly after we returned, he started looking through my Facebook. He saw that I complimented a transgender woman on her makeup, and got mad at me for referring to her as a her. He started accusing me of wanting a gay man and looking for other things that he could accuse me of. When there was nothing else, he started talking about my initial trauma and not only minimized it, but started blaming me for it. 

Who was this monster ranting and raving before me? I didn’t recognize him. When the conversation went back to the transgender woman, I referred to her as a  her again, and this time he slapped me in the back of the neck. 

I screamed because I was already having neck pain, and then I fell to the floor and sat balled up with my arms around my legs. This is the position I get into when my anxiety attacks begin. I was sobbing uncontrollably and he was still yelling and trying to justify his actions and words. I kept begging him to stop and to just go away. 

I remained detached from him for a long time after that. I began looking into divorce lawyers and apartments. I didn’t want to be with him anymore. 

Then, a while later, I told him about what his dad did to me. We grew closer,  and I thought for sure we’d be okay. That is until he told me about his infidelity which happened during the time he was treating me like dogshit. 

Now,  he doesn’t want to be the person he was. Now, I’m supposed to try to forget it all and take him at his word that he won’t hurt me anymore. I feel like the stupid woman I vowed I’d never be. I’m afraid to make him mad. I’m afraid I’m not measuring up. I wonder if he’s afraid at all. 

Maybe the fact I’ve stuck around through it all will make him think that I will stick around after he has one more episode because “it hasn’t happened in a long time.” I want to believe him. I want to give him a fair chance, but I have so much hurt and my heart is too guarded to let him in completely. 

Maybe this purge will help to get it out of my mind. One can only hope. 

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Trapped

From the cradle to the grave,

All I’ve known is pain.

Happiness always coming with a price,

Every smiling face with a hidden dagger.

So many walls up,

that now they’re caving in.

Living in this claustrophobic hell,

Trapped in my own mind.

Existing without ever living,

Loving without ever feeling

love’s safe embrace.

Damaged beyond repair,

Hopeless with no one to care.

Everyone for themselves,

I am a dying breed of human.

Compassion is killing me,

Love is a dagger in my own heart.

Every breath, I breathe for others.

I’m lost in the abyss. 

Trapped in the loneliness.

Angry and torn,

Cursing the day I was born.

I’m trapped. 

Trapped. 

Walls still closing in, 

Squeezing just enough life

to keep me lingering.

Praying for the day to come,

where I can be set free.

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First Day Jitters

Today is my first day of therapy. I drove 30 minutes with the music turned all the way up to drown out my thoughts. I was having a good day, and then my husband came home “joking” about shooting our puppy for making a mess. I told him it wasn’t funny, and he kept saying that he was only joking. 

I said that jokes are supposed to be funny, not painful. He said that it’s funny to him, and I told him that I guess that’s all that matters then. I was then told to just stop.

My therapy appointment went well. I told her a little bit about everything that’s weighing on me, and she gave me a chapter to read on coping with distress. She asked me if I have a “safety plan” for when I get to the dark place again. I told her I will go straight to the emergency room.

She wants the hospital to be my last resort, but with a lack of a safety net, it’s my only resort. The hardest part about discussing my painful experiences goes beyond their trauma. It’s a reminder of the fact that nobody was held accountable for their actions, as well as how alone I truly am. 

Sure, I have a husband and kids, but  I am still alone in my battles. Maybe learning new coping strategies will finally help heal the wounds and allow me to truly move forward in life. 

Only time will tell.

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Rocky

While visiting the in-laws last summer, a sweet dog came wandering into the yard. He was a white pit bull mix, and we bonded immediately. He not only followed me everywhere I went outside, but he walked beside me, and liked to nudge my hand with his head. He was vibrant, playful, and affectionate–the perfect dog. 

Despite his affectionate nature, it was obvious that he had been neglected and most likely dumped out on the dirt road. He was covered in ticks, and had scrapes on his belly and legs. 

I gave him a bath and picked off every tick-I stopped counting after 30-and he didn’t once try to bite or attack me even though he was in pain. I cleaned the blood from his ears after removing all of the ticks, and he rested on the porch in the sunlight, relieved. 

I decided to name him Rocky, after the movie character, because like Rocky Balboa, this amazing dog was beaten and abandoned, yet he had a strong will and still managed to love relentlessly.

In the country, it is customary to kill dogs when they wander on the property, become sick, or kill an animal without the intention of eating it. At least, this is customary for my husband’s family. His dad didn’t want Rocky around. He said that if he didn’t leave, he would shoot him. 

I drove as far as I thought I could, with Rocky chasing me, down the dirt road. I felt like I was torturing him by making him run in the summer heat. Tongue hanging out of his mouth, and exhausted, he kept on running after me. In hopes that he would wander to a good home and rest, I sped up and turned the corner, hoping he would lose my trail. This was my heartbreaking attempt to give him a chance at a life he deserved. 

Several hours later, Rocky came back. He was so happy to see me, and I was happy to see that he was still alive. My husband’s brother said that he would take care of Rocky so that their dad wouldn’t kill him. I was hopeful, but knew deep down inside that he wouldn’t keep his word. 

One day, my husband and I were getting ready to take our son to a museum,and his mom was going to take our daughter to check out some yard sales. As I was in the bathroom getting ready, I heard my husband and his brother talking quietly. I didn’t have to hear what they said to know what they were talking about.

I came out of the bathroom and said,”He’s going to shoot him today, isn’t he?” Apparently it was rude of me to be eavesdropping…but yes, that was indeed their plan. His brother was going to help his dad kill Rocky while we were all out, and I felt helpless, angry, betrayed, and devastated. 

To this day, I still have the picture in my mind of the night before. I was sitting outside looking at the stars and Rocky had his head in my lap, occasionally putting his paw on my hand when I’d stop petting him. 

My husband and I argued the whole way to the museum. I was crying and he said the reason they didn’t want me to know was because they didn’t want me to make a scene. People who know me, including them, know that I’m not the scene-making  type. 

I made peace within myself knowing that even if it was brief, Rocky knew he was loved. My husband’s dad has the blood of a precious and innocent dog on his hands. I was angry knowing he got away with what he did to me (details on my site under “My Stories”) and he had the nerve to execute an animal whose only offense was being on his property. 

My husband tried to console me by letting me know that Rocky was shot between the eyes, and that he didn’t suffer. I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that the same kind of person to sexually assault their son’s wife would have the capability to look a harmless animal in the eyes and shoot him. 

Still, I see Rocky in my thoughts. I think about him every day, and I am stricken with a whirlwind of emotions and guilt. If my husband would have allowed me to take him home with us [if I had tried harder to convince him and put my foot down] Rocky would be here today. 

I was told that it was my fault he died because I paid attention to him, and that kept him coming around. An entire family worked together to try to hide Rocky’s premeditated murder from me, yet, it was my fault.