Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mistakes

We all make mistakes. If we are mature and wise, we only make them once. If we are young and still learning, we make them over and over. Sometimes, we choose to make the mistake even when we know what the result will be...

The mistake I want to make more than any other right now? I want to call you. It wouldn't be hard. After all, how many people do I know who live there? All I would have to do is push a button and I could be with you.

I want to hear your voice and make you laugh and reminisce about days very long gone by. Do you remember the weekend we spent in bed together? We teased and played and when you had to leave me a couple weeks later, we cried like we would die from the pain of it.

But most importantly, I want to get you to tell me the things you can't tell me... even if you did want to... but I don't think you do... or maybe I just hope you don't... I still don't know.

I want to hear you confess that you have ached for me as I have ached for you and that even though there have been others... too many others... there has never been another. That there has always been something that wasn't quite right. Something missing. And you didn't know what it was until you saw my picture.

I want to hear that the only thing that has kept you where you are is that you love your daughter too much to do that to her. I want to hear you say that it killed you to let me go. I want you to say that you have thought of me more and more and that looking at your wife with the love you know she deserves has become so painful that you can barely do it. I want to hear you...

LIE.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Love Thy Self

So one of the less cool things about having PTSd (there are cool things?!), is that when it's flared, among other things, I'm in a permanent rage. Doesn't matter how calm I might seem, or what is going on around me, at all times I'm just one wrong phrase... one wrong look... one wrong breeze away from lashing out at everyone around me for the most convenient reason I can come up with.

But worse than the rage fits is that I can feel it happening, and still I can't stop myself. I can't make myself stop snapping at the dog, or blowing up at my friends because of some imagined slight. The best I've ever been able to do is catch myself in the middle of doing it... usually just in time to be too late, but not always.

And how do I forgive myself for that behavior? How do I say that it's ok that I do this because I have PTSD and I don't have control over it? How do I let it go and move on with a new day knowing that yesterday I treated the people I care most about so badly?

The answer is I don't. At least not while I'm in the middle of a flare and everything seems awful...

... but when it has passed, and I feel more like the person I am when the PTSD isn't driving, then I go back to the people I need to and tell them I'm sorry. Then I treat myself to the things that remind me why I'm here and help me to feel good. Then I figure out how I could have done it differently and how I could have given myself more and better support so next time it won't be as hard. But most importantly, I remind myself that I do have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that I don't control it...

...and it doesn't control me.



Saturday, June 1, 2013

Success... Or Something Like It

Back in April after two and a half years at Tree of Life the owner suddenly came up in the middle of the shift and told me he was firing me... just like that.

Except it wasn't that sudden. It had become clear that the work I did for the office was no longer appreciated about 9 months earlier, and I had been looking for other work since then. But working for them was burning me out so much I was just coming home, going to bed, and getting up the next day to do it over again most of the time. I just wasn't happy there and they weren't happy having me there. Firing me meant I could collect unemployment, so it some ways this was the kindest thing he could have done for me... even if the way he did it could have used some work. But that didn't stop me from panicking for a few days and wondering what the hell I was going to do to pay the rent.

Then I suddenly met Shammi.

It was the strangest and happiest accident I've had in a long time. Serendipity is the only word to describe what happened. Shammi took me under her wing and not only told me everything was going to be ok, she proved it to me by holding my hand while she made all of my disabilities non issues in my job search by showing me how she would be getting me accommodations for them, set me up with classes that would help push me several rungs up the employment ladder so I'll be doubling my pay grade in the first job I take and within five years moving to the top, told me that I was looking for jobs well below my abilities and more importantly made me believe it so I started looking for better, and then connected me to people who could help me get the jobs that I'm most suited for. In short, she has taken everything I thought to be true about my life, everything I've come to believe was fact, and made it clear that I was dead wrong.

I was ecstatic! I was elated!

I am terrified.

Everything I knew to be true was is a lie! I could can do more. I could can have the life I always wanted. I could can use the skills I had worked so hard to acquire in jobs where they would be used (even if they wouldn't be anymore appreciated). And because I can, I now feel that I have an obligation not only to Shammi who is working so hard to help me, but to myself because this was my dream. But I still don't trust all of this new found support. It's not only too good to be true, but what makes me so special that I've become the beneficiary? If I haven't done anything to deserve this, then doesn't that mean this can all be taken away from me at any moment?

Honestly though, what all of these questions and fears come down to are I'm comfortable. I got used to the idea that this was my life and I was never going to be able to take care of my health the way I should, or buy new clothes when I need, or replace things around my house if they break. I accepted that I was going to have to be very auster about everything in my life. I learned to be happy. I learned that I don't have a bad life, in fact I had a very good life. 

It just wasn't the life I had dreamed of when laying next to him in the leaves thinking about what our lives together would be like.

Now that I can have it, I'm terrified.

So here I am, standing outside of my box looking back at it with every part of me screaming for me to climb back inside where it's safe and I know how to live my life, wishing with every part of my being I was the type of person who knew how to give up so I could do just that, praying every day to the Universe that I really am as amazing as it seems to think I am so that never becomes a serious option. Maybe in time, the box will catch up with me, and all of this will stop feeling like the end of the World, and start feeling like a new life.