When Writing Out Trauma Is Crippling

A wise person once said, “There are three things you should never share; your relationship, your finances and your next move.”

It has become a mantra for my life.   Years of being both vulnerable and held back at the wrong times have left me speculating my own judgment.  Being alone is safer, away from the possibility of re-victimization.

I learned harsh lessons as I grew up. With no boundaries to define danger or relationships I was tossed out of a childhood that had been riddled with abuse straight into the very society I had been trained to fear, hate and one day even war against in the name of God.

With blinders on, I ran towards everything I’d been taught was sin.  I bathed in it.  I dove inside of it like it was a swimming pool.  I became prey, a seal pup in an ocean full of sharks.

A couple of nights ago, while working on “Rise of Sila“, the sequel to “Cult Child“, I had to write a trauma memory.  I had to get into the details of it, part of them being a time my sister wore long sleeves to hide the bruises her rapist left on her upper arms.    When I was finished with the section, nausea swept through me quickly, suddenly and filled my mouth with water to the point I had to curl up on my bed and do focus breathing until it passed.

Fuck.”  I thought.  “It’s starting.”

This is what happened while I was writing “Cult Child“.  The trauma surfaced in waves, and with it came years of sporadic vomiting, night terrors, migraines, days in bed weeping, high peaks of anxiety and agoraphobia and a lot of deep isolation.

I smiled in selfies to post on the Internet. I spun on the positivity pole as if I was the poster child of survival, and I hid the reality of how crippling writing trauma is for me.

I thought I would feel some kind of relief after getting “Cult Child” out.   Yet, I didn’t.  I felt incredibly proud of myself that I had accomplished the project.  I also felt an extreme exhaustion that still lingers as I continue on.   I feel weakened.  I feel that I have only spilled out a sliver of the truth about the reality that was my childhood.

Last night I had a dream which rocked me. When I woke up this morning, the emotions of the dream came hazily with it bringing short, flash images of children milling about, a lot of confusion and an inability to grasp the rest of the images.  There are no worse dreams for me to have, than the ones which involve children.  They take the longest to shake from my eyes and the hardest to re-balance my heart from.   [Click here to visit my Dreamscape category where I document them.]

I am pushing myself, because this story must be told.  It has to be left behind so my sons and lineage will have documentation of their ancestral life.  I have to tell the truth for myself, hoping that maybe, just maybe, after I am finished, there will be some reprieve.

But, right now, in this moment, I just feel like avoiding.

For Those Who Aren’t Merry

I feel reclusive during the holiday season. I feel withdrawn, and my skin crawls from the frenzy of human energy scurrying to appease their loved ones in the name of what they believe to be truth; over charging credit cards; bleeding themselves dry to have the best; to look the best; to hope their friends will say theirs was the best…

Appearances
Appearances
Appearances

They call it the North Star, which actually shines over the North Pole and couldn’t have possibly been shining over an alleged son of a god.

I realize that most humans don’t really care about truth right now. They are too caught up in appearances, what others will think of them, over compensating their children and giving way to consumerism while other humans starve, struggle and weep with pain.

I don’t feel “joyful, joyful we adore thee” when I see Christmas lights. Instead I think, “what a waste of electricity that the tax payers have to absorb.”

I’m not bah hum bug. I’m a realist who doesn’t believe in the birth of a messiah. I’m a person who refuses to give way to the mind control and the over-rated mass carnage that is Black Friday.

Social networking disappears for me during these times. I man my personal pages but hide away from reading my personal feeds too much. It’s emotional triggering and draining to me to observe how superficial humans can be.

Change is once again upon me; there are unknowns swirling all around in my life, and celebrating falseness is not on the top of my priority list. Surviving is.  I see people suffering in the same places I see people fawning and showing off their greed. Will they ever stop, for just one moment, and look around to see the vast needs of the suffering?  Will they ever say, this year, we’re going to help others, because maybe, that’s what this is all truly about.

I see apathy disguised as giving. I see narcissism disguised as care and concern. I see the realism that lies deeply under the surface of plastic smiles and over drawn bank accounts.

and I hide away. I hide in my cave where I don’t have to see the sickness in humanity; the mental illness that can bury my soul with the heaviness of it all.

She Did the Worst She Knew How

I said I wasn’t going to think about you this weekend; that I would shut my eyes and turn off electronics, stay off the streets where men are selling flowers out of buckets, but here I am.

I’ve been here days, weeks, just a mere ten minute drive away from your gravestone, the one I felt so proud to design with the engraved hummingbird and rhyming epitaph.  They were the best words I could find when the family called on me, the writer, to make it all sound nice.

I have a picture of your grandson standing at the graveside.  His hair is long, curly and falling over his bent down face. He never likes to cry, and the hands shoved as deep as possible into his pockets are a sign of his struggle against it.

Even to the death you controlled the manner in which you were buried, commanding torrents of rain to fill your grave until they had to dig the new one under the tree like you had requested.

You’ve always won, Mom. Your gravestone sits overrun by wildflowers in the summer and smothered with golden leaves that float down to cover you in the fall.  You’ve become a tree.  Is that the best way you could love me?

This day where the humans celebrate their mothers is a reminder of my host’s facades.  They will sit at dinner tables, applauding and toasting with eloquent words, but their minds will stay soaked in the truth while they make excuses.

“She did the best she knew how.”

Not you. You did the worst.

They will speak in rehearsed phrases and no one will mention the dysfunctions.  Maybe they have healed it; moved past it; shoved it so far down it is invisible.

Me? I run my hands over the scars, amazed at how far I’ve made it.  I touch the calloused tips of my fingers to my lips, hands which have scraped through rubble tirelessly just to be able to breathe.

And I feel it all, because the alternative is numb, and I can’t go to the cold anymore.  I will shiver to death again.  So instead, I turn my face to the page, and with a click I give it all away.