Mental Gluttony and a Year Like No Other. (Trigger Warning)

Today I expected to not function. I couldn’t sleep last night until so late that the sun had started to rise, but this is very normal for me. I woke up a bit early and I felt… refreshed. I knew I would still have to nap a bit extra today so I dealt with things. My caregiver called in sick, and I am telling myself she’s just hung over because I worry about people. The agency failed to send a replacement which means my home is filthy. Normally this level of mess makes me feel a panicking sensation in my gut, because I know it will never end. I know I cannot fix it. I am going to die with half eaten pizza and cat toys all around and no one will love me. I am wo- and that’s where things are different this time. I am not a worthless being that is going to die, but I am me.

Maybe it was my discovery and consumption of Claymore alternated with Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Maybe it was the fact that for the first time in my life I let myself do something that I know is only wasteful, no ifs ands or buts about that, and I have no regrets and found the waste is far less than I anticipated. Maybe it is because I spent time to prepare mentally for today and focused on reminding myself that this is MY indepedance day. However many years ago I was eight, I said No for the first time. I stood between a little boy and a person that is also the monster in all of my dreams.

I was willing to die so that someone else could live, I was so terrified, and today, I am alive and I feel peace. I am crying as I write this but I think these tears are tears of happiness. I do not remember most of the previous years experiences with today or yesterday (The Fourth of July). I just have a mush of gray fog and all of the pain of my childhood on all these days. There is even a bodily symbol that was unexpected, as my mental chains are broken.

Even though I can remember the pain, I remembered something that bothers me more than pain. A moment of true love from my mother. A moment where my father in his rage that his possessions were injured let his true face show to the entire church, street, and a moment where I was aware for a split second that someone outside my family knew he was not right.

The boy was older than me, he was as old as I would be when I said no. I think he may have been seven instead of eight. I know now from the adult perspective, something else that PTSD often prevents me from using, that he was jealous of my ability to spell. He was jealous that I had both my mother and father in my life, because all children should percieve all parents as good. His father I think had died, but it may have been a divorce. I just know he was “a big fat meany head” as the echoes of my childhood state. I feel myself forgiving him as I write this. He was my best friend’s older brother, our brothers had the same name too.

I had never seen a sparkler before, I think I was four, and I saw the other children writing their names by flicking them in the air, or bad words. I wrote out my then full and legal name and then my firework died out. I dropped it because the sudden change startled me. He told me if I picked up the end that was glowing red I could relight the other end. I believed him because at this point I had yet to concieve of a lie. In my mind a lie was just reality changing it’s mind, because of course everything still feels sentient to me. I think this is the effect of Autism, I treasure everyone and everything because they are all alive to me. So I picked up the hot end and my pointer finger and thumb burned.

I remember trying to hold it and trying to not scream. I remember the look on this boy’s face when he saw I hadn’t dropped it. I don’t know who screamed first. Probably me. My mother made me let it go. My fingers released but my skin was gone, my hand hurt. I remember thinking, “Why does something else hurt? Only daddy makes things feel like this.” I felt like my world had cracked apart and I screamed.

The boy screamed, and he ran for help. He didn’t run away. He went and got every adult and told the truth immediately. I remember wondering why he didn’t lie. I didn’t understand lying until that moment, because he was in serious trouble. I thought he was going to die. It was that same feeling that surged up in me when my father attacked my step brother those years later. His face held that same wrath. There was that same crispness in the air.

I tried to lie and say I was okay, because I didn’t want the bully hurt. I remember a moment of silence from everyone before he put the mask back on, but the mask had cracked. With in the next year everything would change. He was going to go to a mental hospital, he was going to be divorcing my mother, and I would be set on my path towards saying No.

I have taken for granted that this No came with in a few short months after he raped me on Thanksgiving. I have taken for granted that he had torn my soul out or at least tried, and that I had yet to find myself. It was a moment that I cannot regret. I never have regretted saying no but I have been unable to escape, until this year, reliving every moment of terror associated with fireworks, associated with my father, and the smell of hotdogs. I think they smell like burning hair, which brings up other threads.

I looked at my hands yesterday when the second big shake came. It was when I first woke up, there was one Friday and I called M thinking it was yesterday. Time was really weird then but I was pulled back. Once I was aware that the thunder and the fireworks sounds were real I was okay. I studied my hands, because my hands have always born the scars of my choices, the scars that bother me the most, and my hands have always felt the most pain through my childhood. It wasn’t until a handful of years ago when I broke my back that my back began to hurt so much that I needed to acknowledge it. However every day of my life my hands have felt like stiff claws and have hurt. I think physical abuse and forcing my body to work did them in. My hands are still working

My hands are capable. I saw this instead of the scars. In fact, the burn scar from that first moment with fireworks, which has lead me to fear them for a long time, a reasonable fear that I do not think should be changed as fireworks are explosives and therefore I really shouldn’t play with them. I could drop one in my lap or something, and have other burns. It isn’t paranoia, my hands aren’t good at holding things anymore. Yet the brown marks of skin burned so deeply that it took on color for somewhere around twenty four years? Those are gone.

I looked at my hands the same way last year. I look at my hands a lot when I am trying to find something to grab onto mentally to help me not get sucked up in a mental tornado. In November, that brown line was on each my finger and my thumb. It has faded away. I don’t know when, which is a good sign as my hands have changed a lot in recent months and if I didn’t notice this going away I am doing much better with my PTSD. The spot is now white. It’s not a bright white where others will notice it but it is there where I will.

The pain is also gone from the burn spots. I have always felt a pain since my hand was declared healed when using my finger tips. My thumb and forefinger are the most used fingers of each hand, it was unavoidable. The pain is gone. Maybe it is lost in the other pains of arthritis, damaged tissues and strain but I don’t think so. I think finally as my mind has healed my body was able to heal as well. I didn’t let go, I healed.

A year ago I was upset by noises for the entire week of the fourth. There was no time without someone shouting, explosions, or sirens. People were throwing fireworks at my apartment. I was also in mortal danger of my life. I remember most of it. I remember learning I could call the police for fireworks. I remember barely making it through but last year was an improvement. This year has gone so well that maybe next year I will socialize before the food is cooked.

I was invited to several BBQs this year. The people that I expect to stop inviting me to holiday events never do. My friends always show me they care. My neighbors too. I have a friend who lives here and she came specifically to make sure I at least had food. R was disappointed when I told her I couldn’t eat the food, but I did also tell her I was glad to see her. I like conversing with her and I find, in this place my fears are not so abnormal that even if I need to leave a gathering early it is okay.

I always want to move, I think no matter where I land that is the case. Perhaps it is my need to learn. I am wondering if I do move, will I be able to be satisfied? When I think of moving, I do not see myself planting roots. When I think ofthis home, I see that for the first time I have roots. I may loathe my state, but I don’t think I could leave it for many reasons, financial ones especially. Yet in this neighborhood I belong. I belong. No, I don’t just belong, I am wanted.

I also found a goal yesterday. I know I will not be able to do work in the traditional method. I know that I will also never be able to stop learning. I found myself wanting something. I always like poison jewelry. I dislike the name although I enjoy my mother’s reaction when I ooh and ahh over a poison ring or bracelet. There is something fascinating to me about the compartment. I actually have a poison ring, it is so heavy however that it damages me to wear it.

I decided to see how affordable a bracelet is. The answer is, nope. The ones that I would actually wear out of the tiny selection I found are all expensive. Actually, all of them are expensive. I began to wonder, could I make one? Could I find the pieces and do this myself? I have wanted to learn silverwork for a long time, and I decided to see if there was a class. There happens to be a class. There is also a secondary follow up class for the more advanced students.

My goal is to save up for the tuition next year. I am going to take these classes. Between here and there I have to confront my fear of solder. This means I must resume building things. I love to do so. I found myself starving for school yesterday. I know I will not take the normal classes of a college student, because those classes do not suit me. I will however take part in furthering myself through art classes. Perhaps I will also reach a point where I feel I can teach. I noticed that the classes I desire are taught by experts outside of the college standard.

What class would I teach? It would be about Gluten Free cooking. I would teach others how to modify their meals. I am not sure I could really do this, but it is a goal. At the worst I can write a book about gluten free cooking without everything being from scratch. I haven’t let myself want anything that was an obligation or an expectation for a long time. I slowly began to build towards this over the last year. I think my giving in and composing music helped. I feel ready. I also feel afraid.

In one year by living alone and not letting any of my needs fall through the cracks, by asking for help from others, by fighting for my medication, and most of all by living I have changed. I can turn and look in the past and the image I see is not one that mirrors my heart today. I can go outside. I can enjoy my food. I can enjoy. I am alive.

I let myself sleep today and the first thing I have done is write this post. Once the sunsets on July 5th I tend to be pretty darned good. Today, I did not have a flashback. I had the warning signs, I had the extra irritability, and I let myself. I thought it would mean giving up all these years, if I allowed myself to flow. Yet that is the very thing I do during a flash back. I try and move with it, staying with in a boat of thought. Once a flashback hits I float. I have found this works for many things and today I decided it would be okay.

I put Nymph in the bathroom, because sometimes I punch and kick during flashbacks and she was wanting attention. It wouldn’t take much for her to be hurt and I would regret that. So I tossed her toys in and closed the door after she pounced them. She didn’t notice she was trapped for at least five or ten minutes, and by then I had laid down in my bed, closed my eyes and gave myself permission to go.

Time went weird, but this time there was silence, darkness, I was just breathing in that place outside of time and space where I haunt myself. It lasted for a half an hour or so, my watch said about fourty five minutes had passed. I was exhausted so I went and prepared for a nap, I nabbed Nymph from the basket of underwear and socks which I have incase the need is worth the lack of skin, and she curled against me warm, soft, and purring.

I set her on the bed and she looked up at me, meowed softly and then curled up on Sprite. I folded myself back under the covers then, and closed my eyes. I did not sleep immediately, but instead was awake long enough to feel the cats together, tucking the blanket around me. Sprite hasn’t tucked all of me in for a long time. I think it was November the last time she did this. I am asleep before they finish. When I wake the sun is setting and I feel them, warm and soft. Nymph is closest to me, tucked into the corner my knee makes when I lay on my side. Sprite is against my thigh, he eyes open and staring into mine over the blanket. I can see her eyes even without my glasses, though I rarely see much else.

I know there is no victory when it comes to PTSD, it is something more potent. When trying for victory that implies that all you have to do is have one day like this where things aren’t as bad as they have been. That is not true. Intead, I would say that this last year has shown me it is more important to forgive myself. I am not angry with myself today. I am not angry with anyone. I have let myself cry. I have let myself be.

In fact, I think I should’ve been triggered by the Anime Claymore, which I watched in the last two days. The central characters are all lost little girls, wounded children turned warrior out of a need for defense, safety, and a need to fight back. Their foes are demons and to do so they become half demon themselves. They can be lost to this demonic self, forever losing their humanity. For a long time I thought I would be lost to the abuse, that I would have to become the abuser to survive.

That’s the thing… I have survived. I have thrived. I am not just alive but I am reaching for more. By letting myself be frivolous, I have let myself be. I own a watch for the first time in many years. My pocket watch is one that if it breaks I will not mind, as every watch I have ever owned has died with in twenty four hours of wear. The record was 72. The record is now four days and six hours. I think my magnetism issue is either solved, or the things I have done to preserve my phone work on watches too. My cellphone is a year old and is working. It looks as good as new. So maybe my watch will last. If not I may just have to get a bunch of others. I like pocket watches. I feel good with them. They don’t have to tug down on my arms, they can be tucked away or shown off.

My pocket watch is the latest release for the Full Metal Alchemist watches. It looks as good as it runs, and it works for costuming if I so desire. Maybe I can learn to make a pocket watch! I am going to feed my mind, it’s hungry for more knowledge and I know where to find some.

Violence (Trigger Warning)

I keep rewriting this post. Violence is bad. We all know this. Violence is often celebrated in our culture. In the US most of the television shows, even for children, include some sort of violence or attempt to teach children what boys do and what girls do. Girls like fashion, pink, and hair. Boys like to fight, are great leaders, and work. Bull pucky. The media also rarely illustrates that women can be violent.

I am capable of killing. I am not capable of murder. I know that if I had to kill someone to defend myself or the ones I love, I could. I discovered this when I was young. I am very loyal, it is a part of my nature to protect people. This does come from my history with violent abuse. If I could take the pain then I could save my sister or brother. They used to do that as well. Each one of us did our best to be the only one in pain. I am capable of killing, but, I never have.

I have had run ins with so many things, my life sometimes reads like a fiction novel. I never used to think about writing nonfiction, so afraid of being told I had dreamed it all. My biological mother and I talked on the phone today, partially about violence. The violence of doctors.

When I was eight I began to see a psychologist. After the first meeting they handed my mother a prescription for Zoloft. The pills made me sleepy. I hated taking them, because I couldn’t think. My father was still around, and taking the pills at his house always meant more pain. My reflexes were already slow, how could I fight back? I mentioned this to my doctor and the threat came. “If you do not take your pills you will be locked up with the other worthless children.” This doctor was a man, I remember falling silent, wishing to tell my mother. He threatened too that if I told her that she would be sent away, abandoning the others. I took the pills.

This man is no longer a doctor, he tried this on a competent adult a few years ago. There was a scandal, it made the papers. This was just after I fired him. He was the first doctor I fired. I spent years after that taking more and more pills. At one time I was on six antidepressants, an anti psychotic, an anti epileptic medication that they thought would make me not depressed, birth control pills to try and force my body to have a period, and a few other things.

When I threw up, I had to take a second dose. Doctor’s orders. There are chunks of my life lost not just to suppressed memories but to my brain shutting down from the constant overdose. Most of the medications I was on were not approved for children, just adults over the age of eighteen. I reacted to most of them. Being allergic to so much, that is no surprise. Throwing up, bleeding with each dose, and hallucinations weren’t big enough side effects to be taken off of the drugs.

I was more violent during that time, as they tried to fix a chemical imbalance that did not exist, due to the drugs. They are not the only reason I lashed out at the world. Abuse does that, it teaches people to strike before they get hurt. I barely remember assaulting my best friend in High School. She touched my sandwich and teased me for it. I remember the anger and seeing her on the floor but not the act of hitting her in the head with a chunk of wood.

This was caught on film, there were witnesses. I went into a psychotic rage over food. I have some serious food issues, and I thought she was going to take my food. The fear of being deprived was so strong, that I had to protect myself. This was what I knew, I never knew people could share. I was a beast, primal in my reactions. She did not suffer permanent damage but was hospitalized for it. This lead to the only psychiatric hospitalization that benefited me. Hospital hiding the institution, feeding on itself and drugging children. Teaching them first hand who Nurse Ratchet was.

The reason being I finally needed help. I was shunted around the state, with my history and diagnoses no one wanted to treat me. It feels familiar at times with doctors, sending needles into my heart. I was misdiagnosed with mental health conditions. One to explain every disability. I was accused of things, such as self mutilation that came from my disabilities. I was lazy, I was stupid, I was just not good enough. Years of that, a decade in fact, of being told how worthless I was by doctors and I did not trust them.

I was sent to an experimental facility. The Ranch, as my family calls it, was a peer support program. We did see therapists, and we did have medication given to us but we lived in a boarding school environment. The program depended on it’s recipients to function. This made a difference, as I found people my age I could talk to. This was a first. I also learned I was not alone. At the other facilities you were shoved in until you behaved for three days or so, then went home. In and out like a yo yo.

Each of the children at the Ranch had been in and out as well. Most were not from New Mexico, but a few of us were granted access to keep diversity up. There was violence there, though there was also nature. The Ranch is the only place I have ever been able to drink the water. The water came straight out of the ground. The first thing the doctors did was take me off all of my meds. They gave me two months before they started me on another. They came so close to freeing me from my shackles of medication. The medicine they put me on did change things, it seemed to reverse some of the damage to my brain from the drugs that came before. I stopped losing my hair, I gained some weight and lost some girth. I even began to smile sometimes.

I also met horses. I was one with nature there. There was silence at times, and there was bonding. That was where I learned I could love. The fact is, my father was a diagnosed psychopath. Even knowing this these “great” doctors did not seem to consider that my behavior was environmental. The ranch is where I learned about PTSD. It is also where I learned that flashbacks were not just my burden.

One of the other dorms, full of boys, found a dog. I was triggered when the dog came to us bleeding. The flashback lasted for six hours. I relieved my father killing people’s pets because I liked them. I still cannot go into detail on those horrors without triggering myself. This poor dog was hungry, lost in the middle of no where, and then was assaulted. When he came to our dorm, my brain left. I woke up, and found that the world had for once stopped for me.

This was my turning point. It wasn’t being threatened with institutionalization in the adult hospital, it wasn’t the new drug. It was coming back to myself and finding that every girl had stopped what they were doing, had sat in a circle around me and the dog to which I was clinging and waited. When I stopped screaming, apparently I had been, my roommate asked what happened. When I told them, no one told me I lied, no one told me it was my fault. The first time in my life, someone hugged me and cried with me. No one punished me for needing help, a first in my life.

I was on the cusp of adulthood when this finally happened. I was about to reach a point of no return, trapped in the system. They saved me from my violence, and I saved them in turn. I love each of those girls still. Someday I may cross their paths again, though I do not plan to admit it to them if I do. We each deserve the right to deny our childhoods to an extent.

I spent my childhood dying daily. I am certain that not every therapist was bad, I do not remember them if they were not. I only remember the incidents of threat, of lies, and of burden. Child psychologists often can get away with crimes and breaking the rules of conduct that their profession has. Not all of them do, but, an adult has power over a child. A psychologist is alone for at least an hour with a child, and some of them abuse this power. I had one who found out I would turn on her like a dog hit one too many times. She spent the sessions telling me about her husband’s erectile dysfunction, and telling me I was fat. The male doctor who gave me the pills threatened me each time with different torments. One of the other psychologists took part in encouraging the children at my school to burn me at the stake.

It is no wonder that I hated the world. Until the ranch only a few teachers had ever shown me adults could manage to not hurt me. Each of them saved a part of my soul, saved a fragment of hope from the violence. My mother did try, but, it seemed hopeless that any of her children would turn out to be a healthy adult. How could we? She wasn’t. We only knew violence.

Perhaps the violence I know tempered me? I doubt it. I believe it was the small bits of love I could find. I do not believe the Ranch did all the work in saving me, I think instead they unburied the ground work set by another.

After Toastmasters I will write of my first Sensei, I will tell you of my time as Little Lotus and how the Batman was my father until I was six. It sounds silly, and the fantasy was. It still held violence but my Sensei taught me ways to thrive, not just survive. I will also write about my experience with hate and nearly being burned as a witch.

We, the subjects of oppression are forbidden anger, we are forbidden violence. Even when it is used against us, violence is often attributed to us. Those with mental health issues, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities are vulnerable to violence in unique ways. When defending ourselves we are demonized. Women who show anger are told to simmer down, they are told that their anger is inappropriate. Some are raped to control their power, to try and punish them for anger. Persons of Color of any gender are also forbidden anger. The stereotypes tell how violent they are, and yet when a man is shot down for his skin color and people get angry, the murdering cops get away with it because the people get angry.

Violence is all around us, it is on the TV, it is in books, it is in my beloved comic books. Violence is in our history. It is sadly in our future. I mourn for all the children and those who once were children who know violence. The kiss of violence is the scar of fear, the spectre of disillusionment, and the taste of bitterness that shatters dreams.

Violence is the most horrifying entity that has ever been introduced into society. Violence is not a part of human nature, it was taught. We learned it from somewhere. Violence is not never ending. The cycle can be broken. I have broken the cycle in my family. Even when attacked I try to protect myself without violence. How do you survive violence? How do you endure?

Anger is violent. Violence is a poison. My antidote for violence is to sing, to write, or to create something. To be violent is to become what you fear. Fear can turn to anger, anger turns into violence. The cycle swirls around. I created this post not just to educate, but to share. I want to share my peace. In order to do that, you must see my pain too. I fear these words most of all, therefore I offer them up to transform and fly into the universe like butterflies, unlocking the caged minds of others. I write these words not with anger, but with sorrow for who I was, mourning for the death of innocence as I knew it, and with love. The love is not just for myself, though I truly love myself. It is Wishing Love, I wish love upon each and every person in this world.

I wish love upon you, for whoever you are you do deserve love. I may know you, I may not. I embrace you with my soul. I offer you a haven of knowledge, a haven of peace, and a haven of change. I am a butterfly. Here you too may learn to fly.

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