Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On Trauma

For a while I thought my little bout with PTSD was caused by this incident on the left.  I did end up being jumped in a parking lot mercilessly by three men and then having my face completely reconstructed after all.  The more and more I go through therapy, however, the more I realize that this illness has been plaguing me since I was young.

I started talking about it in group this morning and was describing how I used to clear my apartment at gun point and how I would keep it loaded under my bed.  I used to take it with me all the time, regardless of where I was.  Then I realized that I was doing that long before I ever got jumped.  I started thinking about this pattern of behavior and realize it began to take its hold on me during adolescence.

They said I was an angry kid who couldn't concentrate in class.  I was constantly getting in fights, disrupting class and quarreling with authority.  Of course the standard therapist M.O. at the time for kids acting out was none other than Ritalin.  I hated it, it made me feel like a different person in all the worst ways.  It was able to curb the class disrupting, but couldn't seem to stop the fighting.  I fought my way through grade school and into high school, losing a great majority of them.

I was nothing short of depressed when I got to high school, nerdy suburban kid in a gigantic city school who didn't fit in.  I didn't fit in until I discovered pot, that is.  Sooner than I expected, I was buying bags constantly and getting stoned as many times a day as possible.  I realize that now I was using it to cope with the things happening in my brain that I did not yet understand.  The same can be said when I got into heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens and pills.  I was fucking stoned on something almost every waking moment of every single day.  Before too long I didn't feel much of anything at all.

I moved to Cincinnati for college so that I could get away from all the drugs here, I truly wanted to clean myself up, but the drug use just followed me there.  I was having a lot of trouble dealing with the pressure of school and the homesickness that accompanied it and before too long I was fighting again.  It seemed that almost every fucking Monday I was coming into class with a black eye or cut up knuckles.  It only got worse when I got jumped at a music festival here in Milwaukee one summer break.  The kids broke my cheekbone completely in half; turns out that night would come back to haunt me for a long time.

When I graduated and my relationship with my first serious girlfriend broke up I went off the deep end.  I started getting paranoid all the time, thinking everyone was plotting against me.  I bought guns and got a concealed carry permit, I was rarely without my Springfield.  I sat around at home a lot drinking so I wouldn't have to think about all the shit that I had done and that I had endured, trouble is that only made it worse.  It was around that time that I began to re-live the sexual abuse I underwent as a child.  I began plotting ways to find her and kill her, I was getting out of control but I was too blind to see it.

Then I met someone, completely by accident, and everything changed.  She genuinely cared about me, wanted me to stop using and helped me "deal" with some of my demons.  I was still living on the edge, but once we met in person for the first time things slowly began to change for the better.  Or so I thought.

It happened on the first of December.  I pulled into the gas station before work in the morning and apparently had "driven too close" to some jaywalking piece of shit on the street.  He and his buddies decided that it would be a good idea to punch me in the face and then proceed to stomp my head into the ground as a bunch of fucking dickbags stood by, watched and did nothing.  I remember when they let me go, seeing the blood pouring out of my face as I drove the half mile back to my apartment.  I remember being completely consumed by rage as I loaded my AK-47 and prepared to go back to the gas station with the intention of killing every single person there.  I only stopped when I saw my eye hanging out of my head, it was time to call an ambulance.

I moved to New York City not long after that to be with the woman I loved.  For the first few months everything was perfect: I got a job quickly, we got a beautiful apartment and our relationship was going well.  I felt like I had finally stepped out of my shadow, not realizing that it was slowly working its way back into my soul.  It started with the nightmares, awful terrors in which I saw the people I loved kicking my face in at that gas station.  It continued at work where I was extremely aggressive to the point that it got me suspended twice.  I was drinking and smoking constantly and the fighting was getting worse at home.  I was lying to my therapist who diagnosed my PTSD and abusing the benzos they had prescribed me for anxiety.  I was coming apart at the seams, but I was too scared to admit it.  I ended up in a psychiatric hospital where I was so cruelly dumped on the phone.  Just another trauma in a long line of them, something they call the "kindling effect."

You see, when I came back to Milwaukee the nightmares got worse, I had them again last night as I do most nights.  I can't fucking sleep anymore regardless of the fact that I am so tired I can barely function during the day.  I'm having flashbacks that I can't get out of my mind.  They haunt me constantly, tormenting me the most as I lie in my bed.  I see her face in my dreams, laughing at me as I fail again and again.  I cry out to her but she only turns away laughing.  I see her and her family stomping on my head at the gas station.  I see her ambushing me at Summerfest.  I see her touching me and holding matches to my face when I was a little kid.  I see all of my horrors personified by her in my dreams and yet when I wake up I miss her so.

Just another trauma in a long line of traumas.  Just another mountain I can't seem to climb.  Just another event preventing me from healing.  A heart so broken, battered and abused that I wonder if it will ever love again. 


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The sexual abuse I underwent as a child." Damn them all who allowed this to happen!!!

I hope whatever therapy you have had, or are currently in, pinpoints this moment as the reason loving yourself will always be the biggest fight of your life.

Cheese, I hope you have confronted your abuser and anyone else surrounding this unforgivable action that was not your choice (underscore, underscore).

Your survival depends upon it.

ez cheese said...

If I had confronted her/knew how to reach her, I would not be here right now as she would be dead.

No one allowed that to happen except for her, sooner or later life will pay her back for that.

The Unfaithful Soccer Mom said...

It's a pretty ballsy thing to be able to share this with the world-at-large, my friend. All of the hard work you are doing will pay off someday, I truly believe that.

Just keep writing....

Fucknuttery said...

It's been four days. Any decent sleep?

ez cheese said...

I will keep writing, I can assure you of that. Seems like every time I stop writing something goes wrong.

Getting there with the sleep...Benadryl sure helps.