A Bullet for Every Blow.





Yesterday, and the day before – I was reminded by varying fellow Cut Throats of her ongoing struggle to survive – different hands shooting up into the air to be listened to, to be heard, to feel safe for a moment.
Last night, and the night before – I spent far too much ammo at the shooting range.
I recall too vividly, the terror…the hopelessness, worthlessness…I can feel my own scars begin to raise up into newly stitched welts and become a fresher shade…I can still become overwhelmed by the truth of my experience – by each day’s summation of thing – that yes: I survived Hell with much happier ending than most in my former position will ever see – despite how UNHAPPY I actually remain.
Daily, even now – I still receive hard blows from the source of my recently deceased ex-husband. Thirteen years ago, after surviving the initial few months of the surgical fog, I came down Hospital-Acquired HA-MRSA. At that time, it was a comparatively novel infection that was literally killing patients by the handfuls because the medical community had not yet counter-responded with antibiotics that were effective. It was rampant for several of my early months in the hospital; in my case, it became an issue against my many surgical procedures, open wounds, etc We fought very hard to get it under control for the better part of 8 months, before finally reaching a point in which the doctors and surgeons felt certain we had.
I have never been able to kick MRSA, to date. It continues to fuck with my immune system and skin, hair and eyes on an increasingly worrisome level with each year older that I become. My neck is affected on a regular basis, be it actually visible appearances of this shit in the forms of non-healing holes (yes, i said holes) that eat away what’s left of my own actual skin there, or the unseen joys of such an advanced infection: my lungs continue to be gradually eaten away by the nasty shit as well, rendering me prone to necrotizing pneumonia strains. Not a day goes by that I am given the relief from my former terrorist’s grip on me that I like to think I have. The hits keep coming with each day I open my eyes in the morning and roll out bed, they will NEVER be completely erased from my existence. I feel a blow to my belly every time I think about my kid, or see her face, hear her voice; every time that I have to re-accept the hand she’s been dealt. Every time I’m reminded of how I was the dealer of at least one of those cards she holds – so lost and out of control – so self-hateful and self-destructive…so unable to see her own worth, her striking beauty…her own SELF.
When I realized this fact, about six years ago; I was so fucking angry about it that I nearly imploded with all of the years’ worth of consuming anxiety and dread.
That’s when I took up shooting guns – big guns, little guns – and that was when started my own weekly field trip called “Bullet for Every Blow”. Mind you, my abuser had already been caught and incarcerated by this time; it wasn’t about safety or self-empowerment, because oddly enough, I NEVER considered the “gun thing” as a means of protecting me against him – he was invincible in my mind and heart for so long, this idea always seemed as futile as running away had.
Shooting has answered several of my silent calls for sanity and order in my life a Cut Throat Survivor however; the comfort of the routine and procedure, the finiteness of the trajectory, the equations involved in being a bad-ass at the range, the smell of gun powder, the feel of cop goggles and big ass earmuffs = something magically healing, releasing and rejuvenating to me these days.
Pistols, rifles, shotguns…I spent all of my cash on ammo there for a while…collected enough to be safe during the apocalypse and all that noise.
But lately, I’ve been spending my rounds like it’s a sport…because I still play the “Bullet for Every Blow” game, but haven’t felt the blows for quite some time. But I guess – lately I’m kinda feeling the blows that so many other good people have felt in their experience, so many people who are not in a position to spend ammo, much less get out of the house without consequence…so I’ve been “bustin’ extra caps” at the range lately for the people who I hurt for, and the ones that I feel angry for, and those who can’t even reach out to because they are still buried so far beneath the surface by a terrorist whose last name they’ve taken. Lately, I’ve been compelled to act – to react – to move – to make things happen…to fuckin go out and kick in some doors and rescue people, as crazy as that sounds…something else my shrink brought up that I never considered before: he mentioned the possibility of my suffering from ‘survivor guilt’ that extends beyond my little brother and Boo and Sarah…that the anxiety and fear that accompany my PTSD are linked to the KNOWLEDGE of the reality of Domestic Captivity, and how very real it is for some people, including helpless children. I’m grounding myself as I type…I’m on edge over something…
I guess it’s a good thing I have this lingering health bullshit to keep me fairly humble and the shooting range to keep me sane, right?

I love you people who write the shit that I read out here, you inspire me to the core.

17 thoughts on “A Bullet for Every Blow.

  1. JMC813 says:

    And you inspire ME to my very core. It is a mutual feeling for damn sure friend.

  2. YOU are the inspiration. ~hugs~

  3. marcus says:

    HOWLING AT THE FUCKING MOON (((Awhoooooooo)))

  4. mandy says:

    Christ, A. Can’t you eat chocolate instead of shooting guns? You know I hate those things! But I hate the stuff you’ve been thru sooo much too!!!

  5. anni6290 says:

    I love shooting and I own two guns of my own. I have to keep them at my in laws house now because I’m afraid if he got his hands on them he would use them on me. screw him and everything he has taken away from me. shoot one off for me sister 😉 hugs!!

  6. You are uncompromising in your strength. Shooting straight from the hip here, you are right on target as far as inspiration goes. In fact, you have so much grit and determination, that you’re right on the mark, bang on target and couldn’t aim any higher. Bullseye! Your courage inspires me

  7. Cat says:

    It’s very likely that the survivors guilt extends far beyond your siblings and recognising it in therapy is a HUGE step forward, although I appreciate t doesn’t feel that way.
    PS I love to read the “shit” you write… it inspires me and, I’m sure, many others