Let me preface with this: I’ve been drinking.
Many things have been going through my head for the past several months. I’ve had lots of little epiphanies and written many blog posts in my head while I take my early morning walks, and written down some super rough drafts. Always I think, I want to post more on my blog, but I am so all over the place, I can’t edit myself very well. Not wanting to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings doesn’t help. That is why many of my blog posts have stayed in my head or in a Word document. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my mind each day, and I struggle to find the time to catch them in a net, tame them, then let them out into the world.
I do have a story to tell. It starts from when I was very young. My story is of course based on my sister, because she is who inspired much of my writing. She shaped me. She impacted my life so profoundly that there was a time when I didn’t know who Ang was. The writing is a way of helping me heal. And yes, it’s been almost 18 years, and I’m still rather fucked up. It’s the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s the years of not knowing what my problem was. Those years of ignorance built up like barnacles on a hull.
I am happy to report that lately, specifically this year, my general anxiety that heightens beginning around the end of March and abruptly abates on May 27, has been considerably less intense. I have had less random crying spells. Days of sneaking dreariness have decreased as well.
I have a list.
It’s a list of things I suspect have helped me. And before you get all judgy and say, “For Christ’s sake, it’s been almost 18 years, why isn’t she over this yet?,” go back a few blog posts. What creates my story has been going on almost my entire life. It layered itself and reinforced itself so that it became so powerful, I could not overcome it without help.
A List of Helpful Things:
- My therapist and EMDR. It works wonders for me and the PTSD.
- Easing into friendship with a group of women again. After being profoundly hurt, rejected, and abandoned by girls who I thought were my friends*, I shut myself off from new friendships. I never fully gave myself over again until recently. So that leads me to…
- Bookclub. They were the first group of girls I trusted with my feelings in more than ten years. They gave me the courage to consider opening the door. Especially the one who is so open and honest and way more of a blessing to me than I could ever express to her. It’s like she was the key for the lock that I had placed on my heart. So there. Because of her, I cracked the door a little and let some light in. Quite appropriately, she has a tattoo of a key.
- Once I realized that I wasn’t the whole problem, that there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with me (anymore, anyway), I was more brave with who I trusted with my heart and feelings. I was/am still slow to trust, over analyzing, and overthinking, but at least I was/am moving forward. What came with this realization was the knowledge that I didn’t have much time in my life and I wasn’t going to waste it with just anyone. Connections have to matter.
- I think what finally blasted my dark little door off its hinges—the door that my key-tattooed friend unlocked and cracked open a bit to let the light in—was something that I thought was impossible. As I type this I am reminded of the times I get scared and panicky that something will happen. Then I remember that I have grown and changed and am more understanding and reasonable. Age has mellowed me. My scared part and my sensible part are having a battle. The sensible part is winning.
- I obviously have abandonment issues (among other things!). My sister abandoned me. I made her make a promise to me that she wouldn’t leave me, but she did. Not long after she took herself away, I would be so drunk, so pathetic, trying to numb the pain, and I would cry out that she promised me, promised me she wouldn’t leave me. She broke her promise and abandoned me. And all wrapped up in that sad little proclamation was the fact that my sister lost hope and abandoned not me, but her efforts to continue, and she knew that part of me would understand all too well. And part of me did. Not the pissed off, abandoned sister part, but a darker part of me knew how she felt.
- Two women who have had my back for so long and who I never get to spend as much time with as I would like, two women who are like my family. They have scooped me up and never judged me when I have fallen many times along the way. And I have fallen many times. Many times.
- Fairview Beach and my Fairview Family.
- A friend who has returned to me from long ago. Throughout the years, he was always in my heart. He traveled the world for Uncle Sam, got married, had beautiful kids, and one day, there he was, back in my life again as though we were never apart.
- Not everything/one is here. I’m drinking, remember?
So here I am. I am putting up a new blog post. I might eventually post the other stuff I’ve written. Hell, I might get off my ass and start sending query letters. I am not as panicky and anxious as I usually am this time of year, though admittedly, what prompted me to drink that first Miller Lite this evening and then write this blog was the bleh that started threading its way through my being and caused sneaky tears to leak from my eyes at dinner. It’s that hollow, shitty, ick feeling that is an echo of profound loss. It’s the feeling of if I could have saved her 18 years ago, now would be the time.
Accepting something makes it a wee bit easier to deal with. And I do swear by the EMDR.
Thank you for listening to my drunken ramble. Well, maybe not drunk, but I certainly wouldn’t drive anywhere.
*I have reunited, on FB, with two of the girls who left so long ago. People grow and change and learn to forgive, and that’s what each of us did. I was a difficult person to be around in the few years after my sister died.
People who were able to deal with me then deserve a reward.
I didn’t post this year’s toast! Oops!
Here you go, from May 27, 2014: