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Monday, March 19, 2012

Open Your Eyes for the Reminders

The few people who have taken me seriously over the years get offended or puzzled when I defend my handlers, my past, my life. Then there are those, of course, who don't believe me - because obviously I'm lying or I'd be a shivering lump of jell-o right now sitting in a dark house worrying about Charlie coming to get me. I'd be bitter and angry; full of fury and ready to fire.

I don't deny the presence of PTSD in my life. I don't pretend I didn't have it before the real world and the actions of people I thought were my friends ripped my family apart. I wouldn't be honest if I told you I wasn't prone to panic attacks even at the age of ten.

It's just that the situation in my head and chest are complicated and crippling enough without using them as an excuse to get away with stupid shit. Oh, call me drama queen for speaking up when you've done me wrong. Accuse me of overreacting when I let you have it for being an asshat in my direction. You're wrong when you do it: you're very wrong. If I let you have half of what goes on in my head you'd - well.

There is someone I let have it that way, before I knew what was going on in here. Years ago. At the time I was trying to remember that special past life. The information I had was sketchy. So this guy psychically took a peek. And wept.

What a mystery! So I sent willing student after student into my head to tell me what the hell was in there bad enough to make a grown man cry. They wept. They shuddered. They spoke of the Pit, The Hill, of bodies, of things. And after a while I stopped sending them in: it was too cruel to do so.

But I look back at all that's happened and I consider how essential this information is. The important thing to me is that it shapes me into WHO I am. We are the sum of our memories and experiences - and sure, things aren't always bright in my head. I had to send my son away on my daughter's 5th birthday to save him from a bigot in New Jersey who, after not being able to prove child abuse, was trying to have him shut away in an insane asylum: anything to take that boy from his mother. My first husband slept with eight different women, brought home VD, and gave me my first black eye. I was teased so heavily in school I still get anxious and overly-defensive when in group situations.

I had to sell sex to random men for $5 here and $10 there just to buy groceries to feed the kids. I didn't qualify for welfare of any kind, and child support enforcement turned out to be a cosmic joke.

Okay, yes. I carry a big gaping wound in my heart that my son doesn't answer my letters and calls another woman "Mom". On the other hand, if it hadn't been for those mundane matters, I would never have learned to stand up for myself the way I do now. I wouldn't be able to write the way I do, sing, breathe... and I wouldn't care enough about the world to want to make a difference the way I try to do in my own small way. And if I were handed the World Monarchy today, I wouldn't have thought as deeply as I have been doing for years on how to change the administration to stop being such a jack-ass to the little guy.

My PTSD isn't just from the "Other Side" - the side with bloody beaches and dark-haired people trapped in tiny cages. It comes from life in general.  It keeps me from holding a regular job, and I can't get PTSD disability checks the way a soldier documented as having gone to war can. So I chose to make my own way in this world with the skills I have. Maybe I'll be a gem someday. Maybe I am one already.

Someone found my last blog post today. Her presence was brought to my attention, which brought me to her own blogs. Which brought me to her story.

Such a beautiful woman: once a sex slave, prostituted on the streets in Manhattan.

There were other links. Sadder stories. Similar. Women trapped in a waking nightmare, one that's even harder to get out of than mine.

When it comes to my handlers, I am very very aware that I was treated with a different kind of care. For us in the program, the torture isn't as senseless as people like to think it is. The pain is a tempering fire as we're forged into strong blades of steel. A "broken butterfly" is a blade that broke in the fire or during use.

I was a broken butterfly once. So I reforged myself. These women whose stories I read tonight: they don't always have that option.

So if you please: my past brings me great pain, and I can't deny it. This blog will be a healing device as I go. But I can heal.

Some of those women know others who are still trapped.

I am reminded: things aren't always that bad. No matter how thick the gore.