Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I need 3000 miles on the back of a motorcycle and a back tattoo and I just might be able to beat this

TRIGGER Warning: For those suffering PTSD and Abuse survivors - there may be triggers here. 

I’ve been sitting around lately thinking a lot about this blog and its future. I’ve thought about my own future endlessly.  To be more honest – I’ve thrown my head in my hands and cried, pulled my hair out, worried, distressed, worried, obsessed and, finally became completely hopeless about my own future. 

The last few years have been dark for me. This is the type of darkness that I cannot explain because it has been a watery pool of endless walking, of two years clouded in doubt, fear, abuse, emotional instability, recurring memories, obsessions, suicidal thoughts, fear of the outside, fear of the window, fear of the phone, fear of my family, fear of my friends, fear, fear has taken over. This fear isn’t your normal “I’m afraid of heights fear”. This fear is the kind that clouds every thought into horrible unfair self-evaluation, every street is something to fear, every letter that I type I delete out of fear, every photo I take I delete out of fear – repost out of fear – delete again, repost again, over and over and over and over. Fear lives and won.

I have a really bad case of PTSD and every side effect that comes with it – including side effects and symptoms you’ve never heard of before. I’ve written a few times out of the desire to tell people where I am after leaving the public eye so abruptly. However, my severe case of PTSD cannot be helped by explaining it to you or anyone else. 

I did try to explain myself.

My first disclosure of my mental darkness led to public humiliation, private abuse, financial ruin and eventually my first visit to the Golden Gate Bridge where I would take off my shoes and let the cold foggy wind blow through my toes.  The cold tasted like freedom, standing on the bridge was the only time in that dark period where I felt like I could finally be free of the pain. Out of cowardice and fear, I went home, I didn’t jump, I told someone. I was then subjected to jokes about my 17 years of systematic, degrading, humiliating abuse instead of being greeted with support, kindness, generosity, love or, even a hug.

“Where did your step-father find all of those things to hit you with?”  It’s a good thing he didn’t make a joke about all the rapes. I hear comedians love rape jokes.  

Please watch this video - I beg you to watch this video. I do not have voices but I have experienced the same destruction through telling the truth about my illness as this lovely woman speaking at TED.

There’s a lot to tell you and nothing to tell you. I’m home now, I mean really fucking home. I’m sleeping in the room where my daughter was conceived in 1990. I wasn’t judged, I wasn’t discriminated against, I was welcomed with love, unconditional love, where have you been love, we’ve missed you love, loyal love, kind love, generous love, love blankets – this place is full of enough love to make me well again.

This journey has been so circular I’m dizzy.

I’m here for my second stay in the house of healing and no one has said a fucking word about how fucked up I am. No one asks me about the shake in my hands, no one mentions the small tick I’ve developed, no one talks about my stutter or my forgetfulness in the middles of sentences because..
I know the fucking word –
where’s the fucking word –
why don’t I know what word I’m trying to say,
no one makes fun of me for my diagnosed medical condition here.

This house remembers the 17 year old girl they met so long ago; the one that already survived the first part of her life with extraordinary fight and grace. The people in this house remembered her as a beautiful, whip smart, ambitious, tenacious, coarse, ballsy, fuck the world and, you - goddess. They cried when I walked in the front door. 

That girl is dead.   

That girl died after another,
hunted her down,
broke her ribs,
held her hostage for six months,
stole all of her remaining possessions
secretly gave her a cocktail of drugs that landed her in the hospital ICU
ice bath,
crashing –
why is she dying,
we don’t know,
what’s wrong with her,
we don’t know – its just her kidneys but,
she doesn’t want to live.

I am home

I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to fix myself in this life. I did it right. I went to therapy, I practice meditation, self-help, constant self-improvement, constant critical thinking, constant work harder, be better, I will make them proud of me, I will be a good person. Someone someday will say, “good job Chantel, you fucking did good”  I wanted someone someday somewhere to be proud of me. That little girl that never lived has never heard the words, “I’m so proud of you Chantel”.

Not once.

I was the one that would come back home and everyone would know that my drive, my ambition, my education, my sacrifice, was all worth something. They would know that I’m not aloof or coarse or bitter and I don't think that I am better than anyone or you. I wanted more from this life, I worked for better, I deserved better.

Don’t look at me as if I was trying to be better than you – I’m trying to be a better version of me.  I'm trying to figure out who I am, who am I going to be when this is all over.

I’m so glad my complete failure makes you feel better about your opinion of me. I’m so glad you can laugh at me when my 125 pound frame walks through the Safeway and all of my old acquaintances look and whisper. I can see you and, I can feel your judgment. I left home and I took some big risks, I’ve been hurt, I’ve been taken advantage of, I lost my most important organ – I lost my heart and you stand there and gossip about me. I stand on the dividing line between living and dying every moment of every day of every breath that I breathe.

I wanted to set a good example for my children. Work hard, play hard, love hard, take risks, be generous, get your education, improve yourself, improve, improve, improve and, you too will be a good person. I have a feeling my Children now realize that all of the work in the world will not pay off when the universe is determined to kill you. The universe has been determined to destroy me since the day I was conceived. The first punch that my mother took to her pregnant belly in an effort to get rid of me has been felt in my bones, in my soul, in my skin, in my hair, in my eyes, in my fingers, in my heart, every single day of my life. 

I’m so conscious of every move, every thought, everything I do from day to day that, I’m fucking exhausted. I’m going to stop doing that.

I'm just going to live.
I’m going to live.
I’m going to live.
I’m going to live.
I’m going to live.

I recently connected with a friend who reminded me that MY STORY IS AMAZING – my story is not pathetic. That is love – You are Amazing!

I’ve come home, I have a home. I’ve finally discovered that I am loved unconditionally in the most obviously unexpected place.

My people have me now –
I have people –
they can’t get me again – I’m surrounded by my people.
My people make me laugh,
my people hold my hand,
my people let me cry for days as I wash my organs and my soul of this pain and desperation that has surrounded me and tried to bury me in darkness and death. 
I never wanted my people to see me this way.
But they did
and, they rescued me from myself
and, they rescued me from my fears
and, they rescued me yesterday
and, they will rescue me today
and, they will rescue me tomorrow
I can rescue myself.

I’ve found some beauty in this backyard oasis of faith.  I’ve discovered beautiful humans, gorgeous survivors, extraordinary people hiding their super-hero capes under their normal every day costumes. Here I can be exposed without fear of humiliation and, shame, shame, shame. Here my raw emotions grow are allowed to to get oxygen and sun in my garden; my emotions are nurtured, weeded, fertilized, harvested, put into baskets and stored in a warm dry place to prevent future spoiling. I am a growing vegetable of sorts fertilized by kindness, generosity, beauty, love and hugs.

Oh and cigarettes and weed.

Drink Count: ½ really bad beer

Pill Count:  None
I’ve been diagnosed and I’ve taken your pills, I went to your therapy,  I bought your t-shirt and waved your flag.  Your pills made me sicker.
Now I have legal cannabis to take care of the shaking of my hands, the anxiety, the panic, the lack of hunger, the nightmares, the fear of the sunrise, the loneliness and, sometimes – more importantly, weed makes me giggle.  Giggling is good for the soul.

I missed you all so much.

Now, here are some photos.