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Down In It – NIN

Up goes the blinds in the morning. The plants need to synthesize their food. Although it’s 50˚ F (at least the thermometer says it is it feels colder,) J says that Mom told him (before she died,) that the plants don’t feel the cold as much as they need the sun. The Christmas cacti have been blooming since before Thanksgiving so I guess that’s a strong and silent testimony to her given advice.

Speaking of advice. Why is it that I have to hear the dumbest sh!t from people who know better? “As you know, the more you isolate yourself, the higher probability of symptoms worsening.” Well no sh!t Sherlock. Repeating a well known fact doesn’t change that it’s going to happen. And truly you know anxiety my friend and panic disorder not serious depression. And I actually went through this several times while I was dealing with serious crisis inn my life AND while I was taking care of 2 kids. Stop acting like you know better than me.

Tear my hair out.

I might be repeating myself. My memory gets shot when I’m in an episode and/or dealing with stress.

Yesterday my youngest visited his father. Whenever I hear his name or even think of him or am reminded of him my mind starts to blip. It’s probably because there are memories that my brain has blanked out (even as they were being made like the time he punched me in the face,) while I was with him. I can remember some choice ones like one Valentine’s Day when he told me to guess what he bought me for that holiday. I guessed a heart shaped ruby in a setting dangling on a chain. For an hour he grilled me as to how I could know exactly what he got me. Did I find it where he so carefully hid it? (In the station wagon glove compartment which was close to impossible, he wouldn’t let me near it in case I decided to drive away.) Did someone tell me? (Who? At that time he’d successfully isolated me from my family and friends.) Was he spying on me? (Yes he actually was serious when he asked me that. I had no transportation nor knew anybody in the farthest reaches of the state.) What was suppose to be a romantic and charming time became a scary cross examination because I guessed too exactingly of the gift he’d given me. By the time he fastened it around my neck it wasn’t a gift of love anymore but a tag of ownership. I was afraid to remove it.

I don’t begrudge my ex having any kind of life. I’ve been able to leave behind any feelings of revenge basically because I learned if that was on my mind he was still in my mind. I needed to exorcise him like a dirty demon who shackled me and stunted me through many of the psychological conditionings he imposed on me during our marriage. I’m a strong person having bore through that period of hell and the period afterwards where he would break into my apartments and accuse me of f^cking other men or rape me or just sob that he wanted me home. He stalked me for a good 5 or 6 years. I don’t remember but short glimpses of the worst of it. I don’t tell anyone of the horrid times where I would let him take the kids and I out because we were so poor he’d buy me groceries or take us somewhere so the boys could have fun. These things create a massive amount of guilt in me. My youngest suffers from PTSD because of the things that were going on then. I convinced myself that since my ex wasn’t burning my eldest or punching him or dragging him outside in the Winter in only underwear like he did while we were married that the boys were safe. The reality is that his presence created an anxiety that warped us all. We all knew he wasn’t safe. He could decide that he knew he was being wronged and end up kicking me or punching me or hitting me like he did when I was pregnant and refused to sleep with him because he was angry at me for not taking a walk with him that day. The twisted existence that we lived in was a place of apprehension and second guessing that really did nothing to protect us from his rule. I think that is why I cannot ever have another relationship.

So I hear his name. I hear his voice. I imagine his face. And my mind goes blank.

K had a good time with his father. I know for a fact that K’s father loves him so very much. I also know that K is very sensitive and has been his whole life. It’s what will make him a promising CNA. It’s also what made him ask me when he was little more than a toddler if he was responsible for C (my eldest son,) getting a beating and getting burned by his father. The insidious ways that abuse affects every member of a family. This is why the courts aren’t equipped to deal with the victims’ safety. The courts don’t deal in psychological torture. They assume that that never happens in society. The problem is is that psychological abuse happens so often it’s taken as a way to make society members “tough”. And it’s bullsh!t. Bullying is not peer pressure.

Anyway my point was this: by the time K got back home we were both wound up and ended up getting in a fight where we both told each other we didn’t want to live with each other. I have been trying not to get into these confrontations. I did warn him before Thanksgiving that I would be more susceptible to these kinds of thoughts, feelings and accusations. Not that it excuses me to tell him before hand. K came back from driving away in anger to try to talk it out. I was sobbing and freaking and trying to figure out how to calm myself. My brother had called and asked if I as okay. I was able to hold it in until the end of the call after telling him a two sentence description of what had happened. I didn’t want to demonize K. I wasn’t sure if I had attacked him as he accused me of doing that. I wasn’t sure if we were both using fighting techniques unjust and foul as people do when they are frightened and angry.

We did talk. It wasn’t perfect but it was better than scornful silences that last for long periods. We’ve been through that during his adolescence. Being rejected constantly rips my psyche apart. I have had to be mindful about it and self talk my brain into being calm. It’s not easy to do when my brain likes to tear me apart.

These are my weak periods. I end up hating myself when these periods happen. It twists my identity into a misshapen child. I will have to work on this sometime. They are some of the harbingers of depression, the deep kind that lasts for a year or more. I have to stop writing. The event was close. My mind is in pain.