today i woke up feeling terrible. for several days headaches have been waking me from my sleep. and not just your average headache. head pounding. sensitive to light. i can’t focus. my only thought is, excedrin, make it stop, now. i thought maybe my sinus headaches were back but now i’m thinking it’s a side effect from lamictal. i’ve had them before but with acupuncture, they quickly disappeared. it looks like i’ll be returning for more acupuncture once i get paid.
the headaches coupled with it’s that time of the month…and a bunch of stress, i’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. the stress would be, me struggling…to let go of something that happened so very long ago. to this day it rears its ugly head and disrupts my life. it makes trusting someone extremely difficult and therefore causes problems in my relationship, my marriage.
i believe most mentally ill human beings are born that way. it’s genetic. that’s the case with me. because there is no other explanation for suicidal thoughts at 13. especially when life wasn’t so bad. my parents worked hard to make sure i had the best of everything. and yet, i didn’t want to live. life to me was hopeless. and that’s why at 13 i saw my first of many psychiatrists. and then just as life seemed painful enough a man entered my life. at a party. age fifteen. this is what i remember. a gravel driveway. my underwear ripped from me. hard thrusts. my head banging against a tire. a struggle. and then. a bathtub. i’m in it wearing only a t-shirt. and there was blood. on my ear. on my face. on my t-shirt. my friend since the age of four leaning over me telling me everything would be ok. except it wasn’t ok.
i was so far from ok that…that night and all memories of that night escaped me for years. it was as if it never happened. until one crisp fall day, four years later. it slowly creeped back. something triggered it, of course. i remembered the man and the night. i allowed the pain and the memories to overwhelm me to the point of escaping them. for years. drinking. alone. quit college. waiting tables. a brief stay in a mental hospital. never in a relationship. men used me and i was just fine with that or so i thought i was. i deserved it, it was how it was to be, i believed that more than anything.
there were periods of light. but mostly darkness. and then one day, i decided i was tired of spinning my wheels, lost. my dream to work in the film industry became a reality. and not by luck. i pursued that dream with all i had. some could say i’ve been successful. my list of credits is impressive. but all along, i was still lost. the work was yet another escape. for eighteen years i’ve been wearing the same t-shirt. it is old, worn and dirty. and yet, it has been comfortable, safe, all these years. until now. this year marked the year i let someone in. i opened my heart to a man and began to tear down the walls. the feelings of worthlessness. the fears. the anxieties. only, that t-shirt is still here. it’s not comfortable and i’ve replaced it with a nice warm sweater or a pair of pajamas but it’s still hanging there begging me to put it on, every once in a while. i want to burn that t-shirt. and i don’t know how. i need to burn it. i don’t know how. my only hope is that my strength will soon defeat this pain. i am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. i do not believe in turning back time, if only we could erase one moment. there are days i would like to, and this is one of those days. but…no, because we are who we are because of these pains. and i wouldn’t want to be anyone else but me.
i am reminded that i am so very lucky. my swain…my love is there, every step, every breathe, reminding me that i deserve this. i am worthy of this love and so much more. i believe it now, more than anything. but that damn t-shirt still taunts me.