Relapse

Every once in a while, more often than I would like to admit, I have a relapse. Tonight, because my new roommate signed the lease, I bought champagne, aka alcohol. I’m not supposed to drink alcohol, but because I’m an adult and I use my own “wise” discretion, I make allowances for myself. I drank tonight. I thought I would moderate by using the following ploy: I bought four little bottles, single-serving. The only problem is, I had three of those little bottles on my own, and the fourth one I shared. So, I’m pretty drunk.

I have to drink in moderation. And when I drink, I have to make sure I promise to not do anything drastic. I have one person that I always check in with almost every day by text message. He never asks anything of me other than that I stay safe and continue to be kind to myself. It has always been that way. I check in with him and I tell him what I’m about to do, and he usually has sage advice. Always, actually. He really cares. I barely know him but it has been like this for over a year and he’s always just there for me. He cares. It is very reassuring to know.

I could call the warm line. There’s a warm line in my county where I live. It’s for people who need someone to talk to who have no one else to talk to. It’s for people who are contemplating suicide but not actually going to do anything, because the crisis line only wants to talk with people in crisis. They are staffed by professionals, not by volunteers, and they assess the situation. Writing about it makes me want to immediately check in to a hospital. That has been my default emotion for some time. I feel as if, were I to check in to a hospital, I would be taken care of. But they are only there to keep me safe. They aren’t there to do helpful psychotherapy with me, to determine why it is that I feel I need to be kept safe, or not. All in all, it’s not good for me to be inpatient, even though it’s what I want. I want to go into the hospital. I want to be kept safe.

Help me. Help me. Help me. How do I get help when all this time I have been asking for help and barely anyone can hear me? Barely anyone is listening. I am all alone. My family cares for me, but they are not here and they don’t know the hell that I live through each day. They don’t know what it takes for me to wake up every day, for me to go to work, to commit to a life of living. I want to change. I want this to change in my life, but I don’t know how. How do I make these changes? Can I do it on my own? Where is my therapist when I need him?

A different kind of life

I wanted to take the time to write. Just write. Writing is healing, writing promotes reflection, reflection promotes deeper thoughts and contemplation, and sometimes contemplating feels good.

I spent the last week with family. It was a time of celebration and a time for silence and mourning and mutual support. I got to bond with my youngest cousin who is almost three years old, and that time spent was healing to me and a positive distraction. The fact is, as I must tell myself, I have family. No matter how much I feel as if various family members haven’t been supportive, they actually care. They occasionally send me reminders of this by reaching out to me, a text here, and email there. It’s hard to reconcile. Most of my family members, actually all, live far away, some further than others, and I didn’t grow up knowing them intimately. We’re all not that close, but we get along. I have family. I must remind myself of that when I am feeling lonely. I have work and family. They keep me going. Must hold onto this… hope.

 

There is a fact: I like attention. I think everybody wants to have attention from another person in some form. We are social creatures and those interactions we have with other people mean that the other person is paying attention to us. But, I got used to an unhealthy kind of attention. I used to have to act out and do extreme things just to get the approval and attention of my ex. It got worse as the years went on. He was so self-absorbed in his own life, separate from me, that I was not nurtured with any sort of loving attention. It was very unhealthy.

Over the last few years the type of intensive attention that I got was from doctors and nurses every time I tried to hurt myself. It feels very wrong now, not hurting myself, because I am lacking that attention from others. Of course I can’t afford to have medical staff tending to my every need each day, but that is how it used to be. And I got accustomed to it. It was my modus operandi, my way of being. Part of the emptiness I feel is getting used to not receiving that kind of attention. If I express suicidal ideation and send messages out to people they usually want to put me into a hospital. I can’t help it, when I feel suicidal I just do, and I have to wait until it goes away, and it’s very difficult to live through those hours, sometimes days. When it’s over, it’s a big relief. I haven’t been suicidal for a week now. I am in recovery.

It’s uncomfortable, sometimes, letting the minutes pass by. I really enjoy silence. I don’t like music to be playing and I don’t like watching television. I like just sitting in silence. Sometimes when I get to work I think, how is this day ever going to pass by? But sure enough, the end of the day always comes, and that’s how it is, day in, day out. Although I spend the vast majority of my time alone, I’m not always comfortable being alone. I find ways to distract myself from the awkwardness by writing a blog or watching a video online, or eating food or sleeping. Those are my main distraction techniques. For the most part it works, although it still leads to a bit of an empty feeling inside. I don’t feel complete. There is something missing in my life and I cannot fill that space with self harm like I used to. What to do then?

A lot of times being with someone, spending time with them, can feel overwhelming. If it’s someone I don’t know well, I am constantly worrying about what I should say next to keep the conversation going. I worry about what I’m going to wear, and then while wearing it, worry about how it looks, always thinking I should have worn something else. I constantly am thinking that I don’t have enough clothes to wear, though that may be typical of women. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to have silence in between conversation, and often there is. Sometimes I worry so much about what it will be like in anticipation of seeing someone, that I end up canceling the get-together at the last minute. That never feels good or reflects well on me as a person.

I have a whole weekend coming up. I could be out in the sunshine, going for a walk or a hike, eating a nice meal out, getting coffee. I could go to the mall and people watch, or make a purchase, or go to the movie theater and watch the latest production. I could do laundry and go to the grocery store. I could shower. I could eat food. But chances are, I’ll be in my bed, sleeping, pretending that the day isn’t happening, holding my stuffed animal for comfort, in my pajamas, not eating a regular meal, not treating myself to a cup of coffee, not really wanting to live, because an empty existence full of not doing things is pretty “blah”, not good, bad. It’s not the vision I have for myself and my life but it is what my life looks like right now. I don’t have much going on in my life outside of work and because of this I don’t feel motivated in my life to do anything. I still don’t like waking up every day for work and wish I could just stay in bed. Although I am relieved when my paycheck comes in every two weeks. I couldn’t do without it.

I am in recovery but I feel rejected by myself and I don’t give myself credit for all of the progress I’ve made. All I see is the negative, and envision what I could be doing but not having the courage to do those things. I wish I had more fun in my life, more reason to live, more something. I don’t exactly know what is missing, but I do enjoy taking care of others, so a dog could be a good answer. I just don’t feel that I’m responsible enough to take care of a dog, and it would be home alone all day while I’m at work. I could pick up a volunteer job and do that on the weekends, or an actual job for which I have to get up. But I don’t act on those possibilities. I don’t know what to do with myself. Time just keeps on ticking.

Family and Loneliness

Today I am not depressed. It’s a really weird feeling. Something’s off. Something is not right. It’s Friday and I didn’t go to work today. I am not working for the next five days. I am spending time with my family. We are in mourning. The greatest shock of my grandfather’s life was to find his wife of 60 years dead one morning in their bed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to go soon too, now that this has happened. We all thought she was going to outlive him. She was almost five years younger than him and women live longer than men in general.

I feel normal being here. I don’t feel out of place. I feel like I belong here, even if it’s only for a very brief time. My work place is very supportive. The people have been kind, empathetic, expressive of their sympathy. They told me not to think about work while I’m gone, and for the most part I’m not. I have certain daily responsibilities there that I have to complete. I spend 40 hours a week at work. It’s my life. I go to school two nights a week. I don’t have many friends. I’m alone most of the time. All I have is my distant family and my work. It’s not much but it’s a semblance of a life put together.

I am not suicidal. Two nights ago I was deadly suicidal and all I could think about was how I was going to kill myself. Apparently it’s not possible to overdose on Klonopin. I researched it. That was going to be my go-to. Now I have to think of an alternate plan. I still think that killing myself is a good idea and I’d like to reserve that option for a later date. I can imagine killing myself and ending my life. All my things would go to Goodwill and I would simply stop existing. I wouldn’t have to deal with life any more.

My emotions shift so rapidly. It’s unsettling. One day I will be completely suicidal, and the next, I’ll be thinking about the idea of living as a novel concept. I almost said, I think about what I’m going to do the next day, or focusing on what I’ll be eating at my next meal, or planning something for the weekend, but I actually don’t get that far. My thoughts are focused on the present moment and if I start to think too far ahead I become more depressed. Most nights when I go to bed and think about getting up for work the next day, I feel depressed. I don’t think eight hours is enough sleep but I don’t want to sleep more than that during the week. Waking up for work is just so difficult. Maybe it’s because I don’t love my job. I wonder what life would be like if I really liked my job. I probably wouldn’t mind waking up every day.

I want to see my therapist. I wish I could see my therapist several times a week. Sometimes I love him because he makes me feel good, and sometimes I hate him and get angry at him because he makes me think about difficult things and because I have to deal with my emotions. I write to him every day, usually just before going to bed. I sum my day up and reflect on my emotional state. It’s another form of journaling, and knowing that someone on the other end is reading about my experience. Knowing that he cares makes all the difference. He regularly references important content of my emails without me mentioning anything in the session, so I know he reads them. I got in trouble at work and he knew about it even though it was just one sentence in the middle of a myriad of sentences.

Being “home” with my family always feels strange. It’s a fragmented family dynamic. There is power play and negotiating that takes place. My grandfather is very particular about the way things get done and he needs to have it done his way. For example, I was helping him cook today, and I touched the packaging of the fish, and he made me wash my hands. He didn’t want anything fish-related to contaminate the rest of the kitchen. I suppose that’s an Indian thing too. The concept of “juta” or germs. Meat cannot touch the vegetables if someone is vegetarian. For me, I’ll just take the meat out of a sandwich and still eat the sandwich. I don’t care if it touches, as long as I don’t ingest it. Pescatarian, is rather what I am because I eat fish.

Life in my grandfather’s home is like stepping back in time. There’s an old-school radio with antenna in the kitchen, and all the furniture is really old and antique. There are photos hanging on the walls which have been hanging there for half a century. They never change. It’s always the same in that house. He has gardeners who help with the roses, and the fruit trees and the garden. The outside of the house is pristine, clean-cut and modern. The inside is worn and antiquated.

I really don’t mind being alive right now. Maybe it’s because I’m seeing family members. It’s a place where I belong. My life in the isolated city where I live feels fake. It feels like I’m trying so hard and I’m just pretending. It’s hard. It’s loads of effort. I’m surrounded by all of my things now, since I moved, but it doesn’t make me happy. It does make my life easier now that I have a better living situation, but I’m definitely not happy. I don’t have the energy to go out on dates and meet new people. My life consists of going to work, school, and then sleeping on weekends. I never cook. I don’t eat fresh foods. I barely exercise. I don’t have much of a life right now. Maybe somehow that will change and I’ll stop giving so much focus to the bridge where I want to jump off. I want things to be like today, but all the time. I don’t want to be depressed and I don’t want to be lonely. I am so desperately lonely at my home right now.

A broken promise

I broke a promise I made. I promised I wouldn’t harm myself. I noticed the scissors by my desk at work today and I took them to my wrist. I didn’t draw blood. The marks will probably fade in a week. But I was angry. I was pissed. At myself.

I reached out to people. I took a picture of the self harm and I sent it out to people. I got both support and rejection depending on who it was. My aunt totally rejected me. “Get help. See a doctor” she said. I already see a doctor! I am in therapy. Don’t you see, this is how I help myself. It’s my temporary fix. It’s my temporary therapy.

It has been a while since I last cut. I spent a long time looking at my old scars before I decided to make new ones. I just happened to be wearing a shirt today that only went up to my elbow, so my forearm was exposed and that’s where I usually do the damage.

I’m not doing well. I want to go inpatient. I want to live in the hospital. But damn, that’s expensive. I can’t afford it. However, I do have health care insurance. But I already went bankrupt because of the medical bills once, and I can’t do it again for another seven years. Thinking about the money makes me want to kill myself now. I can’t cope. I can’t cope.

My grandmother passed away yesterday. I was supposed to be seeing her this weekend. I hadn’t seen her for a year and a half. I believe she was looking forward to my visit. I wanted to sit at the kitchen table with her and drink hot tea and just talk. People in my family don’t understand mental illness. I have it. My brother suffered briefly from depression. My grandmother lived with schizophrenia her whole life. It wasn’t something that was talked about. She was just “ill” at times. My family doesn’t understand my depression.

I currently hate my life. I don’t want to be working. I want to spend full time in recovery. I want to go to a therapy group every day and learn coping skills or be in the hospital where they can get me on some different medication. I need something that works! I need to not be depressed any longer. This gets old. I hate being depressed. I hate not being able to get out of bed on the weekends. I hate feeling suicidal. I hate not having a normal life abundant with friends and family.

Then, do something about it, they say. Well, I’m trying but I don’t feel very successful at it. Every day I try. I try to fight the urge to self harm, the urge to drink, the urge to go stand at the top of a bridge and look down. It wouldn’t be fair to my family, for me to do those things, to harm myself more than I already have.

I have trouble with food too. I ate because I was hungry tonight but I am regretting having eaten after looking at my body in the mirror. I don’t like the way I look. I have had anorexia in the past. I see myself and I don’t see pretty. I wanted to make myself throw it all up tonight, but then I would lose my medication too, and I don’t want to have a problem with bulimia on top of all my other problems. So I won’t start that.

Going to see my family this weekend for the first time in almost a year and a half. We’ll see how that goes.

Filling the void

It’s Friday night and I feel like drinking. I was torn about whether or not to walk into that store and buy that bottle. I chose not to. I still want a drink. I tell myself it messes with my medications. But drinking feels good. No, I can do this. I can stay sober. One drink won’t hurt. One turns into two turns into three. Go home. Don’t go to the store.

I am filling my void by eating instead. Comfort eating. Whatever I have available. Eat, eat, eat. I tell myself it feels good even when my stomach feels too full. This is not a binge. Not even close. There are so many things I could do with my life. The possibilities are endless. I am young! But I cannot see that far ahead. I’m concentrating on tomorrow whence I can sleep in and then see my therapist. I don’t really want to feel right now. I want to be numb. I could have been drinking right now.

Today was average. I made it through work. I had my three cups of coffee. Oh, and kudos to me: I am not currently suicidal. I won’t have to call the suicide hotline tonight, or the warm line. I’ll probably try to find some entertaining documentary on YouTube and pass the night that way. I could go to bed but really it’s too early for that. What do depressed people do to entertain themselves? Is it time to go jump off a bridge because I have nothing else to do? That’s the way my mind works. There’s always that threat there of my mind taking over me. Calm it down. Calm my mind down.

My house is lonely. It’s just me here. I’ll be interviewing a potential roommate later tonight. I hate that this is a stranger that I am prospecting to live with for the next year or two. I hope she’s not as horrible as my last roommate. I definitely don’t want a couple. One person is more than enough to have to deal with.

There is a void within me and I cannot figure out how to fill it. I think it will always be there and I will have to contend with that fact. I feel empty. I don’t feel like a real person. I am just a shell of a person, walking around, doing what is expected of me. I don’t really live and I only have the faintest idea of what living is really like. For so long, I wasn’t me and I didn’t get to live my life the way I wanted to live it. He controlled every aspect from what we watched on TV to the clothes that I wore. It was not real living either. So, in my adult life, have I ever really lived? Not since I was about 20.

It’s now two hours later and I am done with my roommate interview. I feel better right now in mood because the young woman I interviewed has an upbeat personality and is really sweet. I hope she decides to move in. I am trying to entertain myself by sending text messages to people I know. I say it that way, because I don’t really have any friends that I feel super close to. I am an island with people around me in boats, but they haven’t parked their boat because there’s no room on the island. How’s that for a metaphor?

I must now go entertain myself by reading other people’s blogs and finding video mini documentaries online. More musings later.

From FML to a breath of air

Fuck my life. Oooh. Aaaah. There’s such relief after saying that. I don’t usually swear, and it feels good to just get it out! I really wanted to get drunk tonight but the thing is, I try to not have alcohol around for that very reason. Plus, it’s not good for my stomach and it really messes with my antidepressants. Psychotropic medication is powerful stuff when taken correctly and as prescribed.

I haven’t been going to the support group for a couple months now. I don’t know how I feel about it. I do enjoy having the extra time on Monday nights to go grocery shopping, get gas, troll around on my computer watching YouTube videos and finding ways to entertain myself until bed time without listening to other people’s problems and having to feign compassion when I can barely find enough compassion for myself.

I used to be a model. It was a great hobby of mine. I was actually good at it, and good-looking back in my 20’s. A photographer that I’m still in touch with sent me a photo of myself from ten years ago. It showed my bare stomach. It was flat instead of chubby. I had an immediate bad reaction. I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I sent it to people so I wouldn’t have to sit alone with the image unto only me. And then I got really depressed that night. I looked up videos on self harm and anorexia. I used to deal with restricting my food and diets, even though I was forced on those diets by the person I left four years ago. He needed me to look like a 12-year-old. He even dressed me in children’s clothing, and I was small enough. It’s really disgusting. It’s a disgusting memory. All of it is disgusting, because the modeling was taken advantage of as well, and he disbursed images of me to strangers at free will and without my permission. The horror of my past.

So I wanted to start cutting. Instead I looked at graphic images of other people who had cut themselves. I think it’s healthier to watch a video rather than to do it. It’s not like it’s giving me ideas. I know how to do it. That’s why I got rid of all the sharp knives I used to have. Even without knives I still have scissors and a razor. If you want to do it you’re going to find a way.

Enough of that. On to something more positive. I was texting with an old friend of mine from twelve years ago when I was in college. We should have had a romance but didn’t. Now we live far away from each other and we enjoy each other’s company every week via text message conversations. I spent an hour chatting with him today. I tried to gross him out but it didn’t work. I asked him if he would pop a pimple on my back and he flatly said “no”. Stupid shit like that brought a smile to my face.

I’ll be interviewing potential roommates this week and next. I’m hoping I’ll find someone soon. Money is tight and a constant worry. I just don’t want to downsize and have to get rid of anything. I like having my books and my bookshelves and my huge L-shaped couch, my pots and pans which I never use, the keyboard and large speakers which I never use, my massage table which seldom gets taken out of its bag. Having these things around comforts me. I like my things. It runs in the family. My mom doesn’t like getting rid of stuff either, but to a far greater extent. Her home is cluttered with memories, whereas mine are for the most part neatly tucked away under the bed and in boxes.

It’s so incredibly strange and uprooting to not feel depressed. I just don’t feel depressed right now. I had an entertaining conversation with a friend earlier. I made sweet potatoes in the oven and ate them. I drank tea. Because I’m feeling good on this rare occasion I am going to give myself credit for my GRAPES:

Gentle with Self – no expectations tonight; Relaxation – Hot tea; Accomplishment – load of laundry; Pleasure – writing my blog; Exercise – none, ha; Social – texting.

There. Now I have credit for almost everything on the list. Using my DBT skills! I also wrote a four page paper for my counseling class. It was very personal. It was about my personal “social location” and what defines me based on my socioeconomic status, age, race, gender, culture, heritage, which all define my perspectives, my goals, the way I view the world and how those factors influence others around me. We are all connected in some way.

I wonder what life would have been like without the trauma. Would I have become a teacher? Would I be more interested in yoga? Would I have ever gone to see a psychotherapist who has now changed my life forever? Would I smile more? Would I be closer with my mom? Would I be a mother already? Would I have attended graduate school? Would I have more friends? Would I still be into photography, painting, knitting, drawing? I don’t know what it would have been like had certain things turned out differently, but I do know that my life can be what I want it to be going forward because now I have control. I decide what I do from day to day. I have to go to work in order to pay rent, that’s true. But outside of work, the world is open to explore. Only, right now, most of that time is spent in bed. Through this writing I am taking my first steps of exploration.

The End is Near

I want to make it to my 32nd birthday. Chances are, I’ll still be alive by then. Once I pass the goal, there will be no big celebration. I’ll have to set another, and then another. Make it to the weekend. Make it to Sunday. Make it to tomorrow. Make it through the next hour. Make it through the next five minutes. And breathe. One small breath can make all of the difference to me. There are times when we all forget to breathe.

It’s in our nature to worry. So I must be human. That’s my rationale. But lately it seems like I’m worried about everything. I’m concerned about a Sunday, when my only goal was to shower and I wasn’t even able to accomplish that. On the weekends I eat about once a day because I’m so down on myself that I cannot make it out of bed, and I toss and I turn all day under those bed sheets, and have nightmares. Really, it’s an unpleasant way of living life. “Then why don’t you just get up?” someone might ask. Well, it’s not that simple. I have demons from the past that I’m afraid of, and mostly, as I’ve discovered, I haven’t given myself permission to live yet. I’ve been on the dying path for so many years, it’s hard to think differently. I have a very long road to recovery if I am to change my way of thinking.

Money is of great concern to me. I recently moved. I am much happier now that I’m out of the humbling and depressing and horribly oppressive living situation that I subjected myself to for almost a year. But I haven’t found a roommate yet and I cannot afford to live here. It’s a wonder how I was accepted into renting this place, and to sign the lease, if my income doesn’t cover what the monthly cost of this condo is. I don’t know what they were thinking, although I feel grateful because this last month has been a month of healing and emotional freedom from the external pressures of living under someone who watched my every move. Now I can sit out in the living room and know that I’m not being observed at any given minute. (Yes, she also had video cameras set up in the house to monitor activity from online). Living with your landlady is not something I wish upon anyone. Three people sharing one bathroom was not ideal either. Still, I am sure it could have been worse.

To tell you the truth, I would have much rather been living in a group recovery home, where we’re monitored, medications are dispensed, daily activities are planned, food is cooked and therapy is available. I don’t know why I couldn’t manage to get myself into that kind of a situation, as it would have been very healthy for me. I would have learned social skills and would have had a safe place to practice them. But I’ve been at my job for over six months now, the longest I’ve had a job in about five years, and the first job in five years actually. I have good enough coping skills to be able to blend into the work culture. I do have social skills. I do socially acceptable and normal behaviours. I have to tell myself that I’m okay. Because I don’t feel okay and I don’t feel normal and I keep wanting to blurt out to my co-workers: I am suicidal! Can’t you see? Don’t you know what it’s like to be going through this pain? Unfortunately, I fantasize about the bad kind of attention. There is good attention, that comes with accolades of having done a good job at work, and there is the bad kind of attention that comes with stigmas and lasting bad impressions. I don’t want negative attention focused on me.

I was in the hospital a couple weeks ago. Just for one night. A “friend” was feeding me alcohol, he bartends at a local bar, and I was drunk on my third drink when I called the suicide hotline, told them where I was, and told them I was about to jump off a bridge. I’m not sure if I was actually going to do it, but I felt like doing it. Feeling like doing something doesn’t mean you have to do it, and I am learning that. Like cutting. I often feel like harming myself but I know I shouldn’t do it. So, before I knew it, in a few minutes three police men had arrived to take me away in handcuffs. They kept saying, “you’re not in trouble” as long as I cooperated. Well, at first I cooperated, but as soon as I tried to take off in the opposite direction once we got to the ER, things got rough. I was restrained, and restrained I was, ankles and wrists to a hospital bed, all night. I was on a 5150, which stipulates that I stay hospitalized for 72 hours. They let me go home in the morning. I took a taxi to my car and drove home, changed, and went to work. I only missed half a day of work, when I was supposed to miss three. I’m not sure why they let me go home, and they probably shouldn’t have, but there I was, free of restraints and free to go. All I learned from this experience is a reminder that when I drink alcohol it brings me right back to when my ex used to get me drunk on purpose in order to have sex with me, which made me feel disgusting, used, and worthless. Drinking equals suicide. When I drink I want to kill myself. It’s happened on numerous occasions. I associate the feeling of being drunk with wanting to kill myself now. That’s sometimes why I drink, because I want to feel more suicidal, and I want to engage in risk-taking behaviour, knowing it is bad for me, in order to punish myself, because I don’t deserve to feel good. It all comes down to this: I am not worth anything. Anything. I am not worth anything. Every time a man had sex with me, it told me that I was there to be used, and made me completely powerless and worthless. I used to be strangled and I would tell whoever it was to strangle me harder because secretly I hoped in the process that it would kill me. But it never did.

Sexual abuse and trauma is a bitch. It can pop up at any time, and without warning. Anything can be associated with it. The texture of a fabric, the tune of a song, the stare of a strange man. I don’t tell myself it’s not my fault. I forget to do that. I blame myself still, and think that I am disgusting and that no one could ever like me again. Even though at work people are openly kind and courteous to me and seem to value me as a human being. I don’t feel worth anything. I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot lately. It’s just on my mind. Ever since I really wanted to jump off of that bridge. I still do, I just know I won’t do it because I made a promise to my therapist, the only person who has truly cared enough to be able to make a difference and to keep me alive all of these years.

I’ve been celibate for four years now and I love every day of it. I even have the luxury of taking it for granted. I can choose what to do with my life now, and that includes the choice of not having sex. Not having that intimate act forced upon me in a public, humiliating and vile manner. I think my ex should be in jail. But the statute of limitations has passed for him to be able to be accused of statutory rape, which he committed. The statute has not passed for marital rape, but that’s also a bitch and it’s hard to prove. He said, she said. My word against his. I have no idea how these things work. I could have ended up in jail for prostitution, and that might have been better than the sexual and mental and emotional and physical abuse that I was suffering. I’ll never know, and probably better that way.

I have thought about going public with my story. I want the world to know what happened to me. I want justice but I’ll never get that. Living life well is to be my justice, from this point forward. But if someone else has been through even remotely what I’ve been through, I want them to know my story so I can show them that life does get better after abuse. If I went public, even if it were to be anonymous, the story could get twisted by the newscaster in a way that I don’t like and the damage would be irreversible. As it is, I know I’m not ready, because any time I think about it I think about suicide, and any time I talk about it I know for sure that I want to kill myself. If it went public I would probably be dead within the year. So, not a good idea. But every once in a while I come up with these ideas, that need to be bounced off of a friend, thought about, contemplated, and then let go of. The hard part is letting go.