During the years of 2010, 2011, and even 2012, I blogged a lot on here.
I shared with you my favorite books, CDs, music genres, websites, my health issues, and how damn good it felt to leave Dallas for greener and hillier San Antonio pastures.
I talked about how good it felt to have graduated school and how awesome it was to work for myself and not The Man.
What I didn’t tell you about as much was the sheer terror I felt on a daily basis.
I didn’t tell you about the way I clutched my partner’s hand with circulation-impeding force as I lay beside him in bed, often literally for hours.
To this day, I don’t know if I was clinging to him, or my own sanity.
I didn’t tell you about how I kept an eye out for rainwater drainage ditches that might make suitable shelter in case we found ourselves homeless. Or the specifics of the mental blueprints I drew up in my head of the logistics of living out of our truck.
I didn’t talk about how I knew that every sunrise was different, with different colors and different angles in the sky with the changing of the seasons. I knew this because I had seen them all. I had been awake for every one of them.
I didn’t discuss the (many) times I had almost burned out completely from the job I loved, and wondered what I should do instead, never able to settle on anything else. And the feeling of being stuck, helpless, because I couldn’t leave the field but couldn’t figure out how to make it work, either.
I didn’t mention what time we would get home every night (usually between 10pm and midnight) or how many hours we had put in that day (typically 12-15).
I didn’t go into how much I missed the cats during the time we were at work, either. Knowing they were approaching older age and the magnitude of regret that I would feel when they passed away for not being able to spend more time with them while they were here.
I didn’t bring up the times I wanted to escape, run away, hit the reset button, start over somewhere else far away.
I didn’t describe how alone I felt or how how many people I was doing the work equivalent to. How much was riding on my shoulders, the weight of which was crushing.
I didn’t tell you about all of the people who walked all over me, took advantage of me, treated me like shit when all I wanted was to help them and be able to pay (low-income) rent afterward. What did I want in return for my efforts? To buy food for that night.
I didn’t dare speak of the nights I woke up paralyzed, physically unable to move, in states of intense, survival-threatening fear.
I didn’t write about the times I damn near threw in the towel and said, “fuck it”.
I left out the parts about feeling like I was spinning my wheels, redlining my engine, and never gaining traction or mileage, never getting anywhere, only spitting proverbial gravel behind me.
I didn’t mention how tempted I had been at times to ask for a job application at a restaurant to be a waitress again, despite a chiropractic med school degree.
I never went into the panic I felt on weekends, because we had to be closed for the weekend, since no one would have called the office anyway. Or the relief I felt on Mondays because here was a whole workweek ahead, bringing with it the opportunity to pay down some more bills.
I never mentioned the desperation I operated from, to keep every patient, no matter how toxic and unhealthy they might have been to me.
Or the hopelessness I experienced when the phone sat for longer periods without ringing.
Or how my heart dropped when the phone call that did come through was a shady salesperson, wanting money I didn’t have, wasting time I couldn’t afford.
Or how it pained me to watch Disney’s “Aladdin”, because my envy for their journey into the cave of treasures where they met up with the animated magic carpet was too intense to handle. Obviously, that meant that movies like “National Treasure” sat on the shelf, abandoned and unwatched for years as well.
Or, or, or…
Because those topics, back then, were not safe. To write about them would have brought them to even more vivid life. And for me, the situation was all-too-real already.
This lasted for over two years, straight and solid. Daily. Nightly. Weekly. Weekendly. Without relief or abatement.
On top of that, I felt that my partner was of insufficient help and support. Although he was in the same boat as I was, it didn’t seem to affect him. If it did, he was good at hiding it. So, I felt very alone.
The situation began suddenly enough; its beginning was sharply demarcated. March of 2010.
It did eventually come to an end, I think, although the ending was far less clear than the beginning. It was like an explosion that starts a fire: it erupted suddenly, burned white-hot for a long time, and slowly died down, the decrease so gradual that it was almost imperceptible.
Now, all that’s left of the trauma are the smoldering embers. And of course, the scorch marks they made on my life, my brain, and my body.
To this day, I don’t know how we made it through. By the grace of something much higher than we are, that’s for sure. Unbeknownst to me, generous forces must have been smiling down on us, even though it didn’t feel like it. They would present (read: finally cough up) the reward, somewhere off in a distant future, along a timeline we were not privy to.
The scars from that time period have left their mark, and they still have their effect. I wouldn’t find out for more than six years that this is known as C-PTSD, or cumulative PTSD. My case of it has an unusual beginning, one that few can relate to. This adds to the ongoing loneliness, for there are few I can talk to who would be able to fully relate.
This, of course, collided with the type of PTSD that I already had but had no idea: that which came about as a result of my parents’ near-fatal car wreck.
I do speak of C-PTSD and the fact that I have it.
Now you know where it came from. ❤
Kitty Immortal – May 2009
It’s a great day to be alive – February 2010
Woke up this morning – March 2010
Sleepless in San Antonio – June 2010