I LOVE this Lady…she is brimming with painfully raw inspiration, every day of her Life.
Check her out if you don’t know her already. She is so beautifully written. Oh, and a hardcore Survivor, too.
I LOVE this Lady…she is brimming with painfully raw inspiration, every day of her Life.
Check her out if you don’t know her already. She is so beautifully written. Oh, and a hardcore Survivor, too.
“To spare oneself from grief at all cost can be achieved only at the price of total detachment, which excludes the ability to experience happiness.” – Erich Fromm
“Detachment is not about refusing to feel or not caring or turning away from those you love. Detachment is profoundly honest, grounded firmly in the truth of what is.” – Sharon Salzberg
“A heinous history of emotional, psychological and sexual abuse at the hands of trusted partners or caregivers, sometimes leads to the suffering from complex PTSD. This manifestation of Traumatic Shock is more complicated than “simple” PTSD, as it pertains to the chronic assaults on one’s personal integrity and sense of safety, as opposed to a single acute traumatic episode. Such chronic tyranny of abuse results in a constellation of symptoms, which impact personality structure and development.
The symptom clusters for C-PTSD are:
Alterations in Regulation of Affect and Impulses
Changes in Relationship with others
Changes in Meaning
Changes in the perception of Self
Changes in Attention and Consciousness
Fragmentation of the personality occurs because the capacity to integrate what is happening to the self is insufficient. The survival mechanism of dissociation kicks in to protect the central organizing ego from breaking from reality and disintegrating into psychosis. Hence, fragmented dissociated parts of the personality carry the traumatic experience and memory, while other dissociated parts function in daily life. Consequentially, profound symptoms of depersonalization and dissociation linked to c-ptsd manifest.
Dissociative disorders are conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity or perception. In the context of severe chronic abuse the reliance on disassociation is adaptive as it succeeds in reducing unbearable distress, and warding off the threat of psychological annihilation. The dissociative disorders survivors of chronic trauma represent vary widely, and are inclusive of: dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder), dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and depersonalization disorder. Identify confusion is also deemed a by-product of dissociation and is linked to fugue states when the traumatized person loses memory of their past and concomitantly, a tangible sense of their personal identity.
The treatment process for those afflicted with c-ptsd and attendant dissociative disorders is extensive and comprehensive. Depending on the severity of the repetitious traumas, even in progressed stages of recovery a client may find himself grappling with persistent feelings of detachment and derealization. Given that the brains mediation of psychological functions is dramatically compromised by the impact of chronic trauma, this neurobiological impact may be a strong contributing factor regarding lingering dissociative symptoms in survivors of c-ptsd. Integrating and reclaiming dissociated and disowned aspects of the personality is largely dependent on constructing a cohesive narrative which allows for the assimilation of emotional, cognitive, and physiological realities. And finally when fight/flight responses diminish and an enhanced sense of hope and love for self and others results from years of courageous pain staking hard work, the survivor reaps the rewards of this capricious and harrowing journey; one’s True Self.”
I do not completely, and in every way fear you –
Not in the way that he threw a curse upon me to;
I still get warmed up by that appeal, so real and true;
A truth he failed to forever ruin with shades of black and blue.
I’m not so afraid of you – that I have no tendencies, no intrigue;
My body yearns for good sex to magically collide with me;
My brain gradually accepts and digests my life’s reality;
It’s a string of unknown variables: somehow bound to my own destiny.
What I find in a mirror – won’t let my brain truly perceive;
Along with so many pieces of my own history,
I’m a toddler again without a reason to believe;
My environment feels so profoundly abstract and obscene.
The good and the bad – patches of skin: paisley and plaid;
I spent so many tear drops that I now wish I still had;
To cry over the stabs at my womb and the kicks to my head –
There will be time to be held “hostage” when I’m dead.
Unrealistic, sadistic, chauvinistic lovers –
Sociopathic in the street and Pornographic in the covers
But then again, my position in the dark-lit corner;
Not really caring if you do or do not choose to stroll over –
I survived the same ways as anyone else alive;
I can only convey the things that my spirit and soul imply;
I have accepted the truth and jumped over the side;
welcoming the Unknown through a perfected swan dive.
People have this need…to tell themselves certain things in order to cope with Life (and Death too, I guess). I have noticed it many times over the years I’ve spent as a recovering “victim of domestic/traumatic violence”, the way that people are too quick to look past the ugly realities attached to circumstances they talk about or make reference to in regard to how Life works for those of us who have made it to the other side of such a precariously lethal situation. They seem to think Life just POOF! gets alright again. Um, huh?
Because, no…it isn’t just “all better” for the survivor of violence; and I don’t fail to mention a survivor of a non-violent sociopath and/or narcissist who has chewed them up and spit them out on an emotional level. For me, Life on the other side of that former living nightmare is much more infused with freedom, yes; but not without a plethora of other issues that have been born since I got to this side.
I am not a case in which I remain unable to heal and progress toward what is considered “normal” social behavior; and I strive to maintain at least a minor connection to the outside world at all times so as to not become a total recluse cat lady. However, in spite of the things I do in this arena, the fact is unchanging at the end of every single day:
my ex-husband tried to murder me in a fit of deluded rage after psychologically terrorizing and physically torturing me for the duration of our marriage.
Unfortunately, the absolute betrayal and violation that I associate with those experiences in my past have changed the way that my brain responds to the male persuasion. I am a train wreck in “relationships”; I cannot trust a man on any serious level no matter how badly I may want to; that said:
without trust, there can only ever be NOTHING.
You were smart in that you always kept up with my movements one sanctuary at a time; marking each hideout I’d been to off on a master list of sanctuaries for the lost and forsaken. You later told me that you stayed so close on my heels by looking for pancaked spider corpses on the walls of the places you searched; I don’t know if I would’ve thought to do that. You knew me better than I knew myself, at all times.
You found me on a Thursday morning before the sun came up; you didn’t take any chances, and you treated me like you would treat any other escapee who pissed you off and took you on a wild goose chase, wasting your time. When I regained consciousness, I was already back in your display case, all squeaky clean and dressed in a starch-stiffened outfit with a smile painted over my mouth in bright red ink. And… the game started over from the beginning for the millionth time.
It’s been a really hard week; we buried another friend from childhood yesterday, after a long and painful fight we have all watched from the sidelines. He didn’t want to die, and never stopped saying so until the very end: an element that leaves a much more impossibly bitter taste to swallow in everyone’s mouth. In my experience thus far until his death last week, people usually get a sense of relief with the death of a loved one who has been suffering badly in life – but not this time. His absolute unwillingness to die makes it difficult to find that relief anywhere in this specific context. And, it feels really bad.
Jackson is sick; like, really sick with some despicable strain of pneumonia or something and has been hospitalized since last week. Jack saved my life once; he saw it all, while he was still a paramedic in the armpit of America, where I was almost killed by my ex-husband.
Jack is the underlying reason for any of what might resemble “recovery” in my own case. It is often somehow easy for me to forget from day to day: exactly how much I owe this man when it comes down to it. If circumstances had been shifted even slightly in regard to who they sent out in the ambulance to my crime scene, he would be totally absent from my world; in actuality – there would be no world for him to be absent from, because I would not have recovered as I have without Jackson.
The more I think about it, the more it becomes obvious that he truly adopted me on the day I almost lost my life, unknown to my near-dead brain at the time. And the afterwards; well all I can really say about “the afterwards” is that without that man there to assure and comfort and baby me like did (and does), I would have been so ruined by humanity that I would likely be in an asylum. There simply aren’t enough Gods to offer my prayers to when it comes to Jack’s recovery and homecoming. Had I opened my eyes as the maimed and Frankenstein-esque creature I had become to anyone other than Jackson in the exact way that I did, and if even the slightest thing played out differently, I easily could’ve slipped into sheer madness from it all.
In the spirit of rescue and recovery, please send any good energy to Jackson if you’re reading this.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS MAY BE DISTURBING FOR SOME READERS; CONTINUE ACCORDINGLY.
Recently, several people who have only been reading or following my blog since the opening of ‘Beasts of Articulation’ and/or ‘Kindred Words’ opened up (almost a year ago, now…wow), have sent me private messages inquiring about my “story”. I realize that as a writer, I am all over the fucking place with my posts; and that the content of my blog is generally confusing as fuck to someone who just happens upon it, as a result. I know many of you do not care to read my “story” again, and I apologize to those of you who don’t. I am posting The Trigger once again in attempt at killing a bunch of birds with the one stone, because I am lazy. Anyway, for anyone who is reading this for the first time, THIS is the story of my final injury at the hands of my ex-husband (a now, deceased psychopathic murderer who fathered my only child); and it marks the beginning of my own re-birth and reconstruction, a process that I am continuing to wade through, even now – over a decade later. I have had 29 major surgeries, spent far too much time stuck in-hospital for chunks of mine and my daughter’s lives (collectively, about 4 solid years), and was scarred just as much on the inside as I am on the outside, if not more lastingly. I do not post this for sympathy or pity from anyone who reads it; simply as an explanation to the many pieces of my blog that come across as incomprehensive to someone who is not aware of my own experience thus far in Life.
As my story goes, I am an animal lover, and strive to make any animal as happy as it has the capacity to be; I am a die-hard advocate for domestic violence aid and for the many, many victims of marital terrorism; I am a die-hard advocate for the rights of children in such situations, as well. Sadly, we each know someone who is in a situation very similar, if not the same, as my former circumstance became by the time it reached its tragic ending; I am unbelievably lucky that I am not a long-dead statistic of domestic violence, and my hope is that by sharing my own history, I will help at least one other human being. Thank you, in advance, for your understanding.
In some ways, the triggering event was as horrifying as it might have been if she had discovered the lifeless body of one of her own children in that garage – HIS garage – during the earliest hours of the morning on the day of her near-death.
In other ways, it was somehow much, much worse.
The day before had been a bad one – a nasty beating and the brain fog that always accompanied them; there had been a lot of ugliness spat in her direction several times before dinner, and during the meal that she had begrudgingly cooked for him (her appetite had become non-existent and he made sure that she was perpetually dope-sick), she had sat across the table from him with her eyes on the floor, in a vain attempt to avoid the inevitable explosion that she had come to sense brewing and building beneath her husband’s skin.
By this stage of her “captivity”, the woman was allowed individual companionship with five living souls: The Ripper, Boo, and the woman’s three dogs – Sarah, Ozzy, and Vegas. This night, as the tension grew thicker by the bite of food stuffed into her husband’s mouth, it was Sarah, a chow-pit-bull mix that had come into this tragic situation alongside of a once-braver, stronger and more capable version of her caretaker: as an innocent – who lied loyally at the feet the woman’s defeated body, beneath the table on high alert. The dogs were each honed well to the man’s moods also; acting as canine tools that had undoubtedly helped the woman survive in the past.
Directly following his dinner, her giant husband went outside momentarily; and during this brief period, the woman got down on the floor to scratch some neck and belly – a luxury that, outside of him, the monster of a man she had married allowed her ONLY to share with these ever-faithful beasts.
It had at that time that her husband came back in through the back door, and she could tell from the sound of his steps that he was coming for her; she never knew why. Everything had happened so quickly: his boot to her belly, then head – repeatedly; any sense of true consciousness became likened to a strange swirling sensation that drifted drunkenly up and down with the motion of smoke trying to suspend itself in air…she notably forced herself to stay with the pain – to stay awake in defiance, to NOT let him knock her out unconscious again (a gamble of the outcome to a circumstance in which she lost consciousness was not one that typically landed the odds in her favor).
She dazedly heard yelling, clicking and cusswords; growling, snapping and cracking sounds.
It wasn’t until a much later time (years later) that the woman would recall the image of her terroristic spouse exploding at Sarah as well, for vainly trying to protect her. Sarah was a beautiful creature, one that died for her unwavering loyalty to the woman.
BUT, THAT EVENT HAD BEEN YESTERDAY…
It was after she finished cleaning up the bloodied back of her head under the tap in HIS garage, and turned to leave, that she saw Sarah’s body on the dirt floor – semi-covered by a canvas tarp – beaten to death. THIS had been the event that changed everything very quickly, as the guilt and sheer self-loathing that followed this discovery consumed the woman within a nano-second; she went insane from all of it: the beatings, the betrayal and violation, the death that she wished would be granted more swiftly, the death that he gave poor Sarah…and reason she was now dead.
She bolted from the garage and screamed at the top of her lungs for him to come outside and face her: a challenge she knew he would undoubtedly accept as pure entertainment (the thought fueled her disgust and anger, self-hatred and guilt to the point of no return). It was then, that her inner-most warrior at last made an appearance; and the woman let this sensation have control completely.
She had felt no fear when she saw him come to the window the next time, his composed face looking warped with shock and disbelief at her sudden demands. She was screaming a plea for a duel with a man nearly two-and-a-half times her weight. She did not experience the typical fear when he began to pound angrily on the glass from inside the window, hollering things that she could not hear, but knew would be the most venomous death threats he’d ever made. She did not see much of anything besides a deepening blackness and the void of sharp edges; her thoughts huddled, unprocessed in a corner somewhere being protected by her own mind like a child’s.
Her battle cries continued until he finally came to the front door; at approximately the same time a police cruiser pulled up two driveways down; she began to run towards the chain-link fence in that direction. She wasn’t running to freedom; she was running to tell the police that he was a murderer, to show them what he had done to Sarah – to make them understand why her heart could not go on any further in this living Hell. She was beyond any point of caring about her own safety or future by that time.
He bee-lined for her in the yard as she shuffled like a derelict in haste towards them, demanding that she first passed his position on the front porch; her mouth sputtering, her lungs afire from yelling for so long and loud. Her long-disrepaired jaw had gradually become an un-healed injury that rendered her barely able to move it. She fell over her own frozen, numb feet, and, feeling certain she had finally met her end, looked directly towards the gathered crowd on the other side of the front yard’s fence; her huge, lumbering and loping husband closed in on her. She verbally managed to convey the message to the nearest police officer that she “was finally about to be killed…” before the final envelopment of her weakened, sinewy figure. A lot of blood and gore ensued. The police and paramedics on stand-by acted without hesitation upon his quickly executed attack, focusing every molecule of energy present in the environment on her simple continuity of LIFE.
PHYSICAL INJURIES SUSTAINED:
Severe vascular injury/ies (with particular attention to the internal carotid and jugular) from forcibly displaced mandible fracture and blunt lacerations;
Multiple Maxillofacial traumas requiring numerous surgeries necessary for her jaw to eventually function properly.
For months, the woman would remain too incoherent to be aware of any of the events that took place that day, or the fact that her husband had escaped the scene, despite so many people being physical there, right nearby, saving her life from his deathly grips at last. She would spend the next year with the burn unit patients in a hospital to physically work right again; and then they would start to try and reconstruct her face. It would be over a decade until any detail of that day (and the days leading up to it) would return to her mind with any true vividness; like any other memory she keeps; the entire element of Sarah having somehow been washed away with her painful, daily skin debriding in those early days – until only about six months ago, while she was writing a section for this blog.
And so, it had been finding Sarah’s battered and bloody body in HIS garage that turned me seemingly insane with guilt and self-loathing…I essentially begged him to come outside and kill me…and he did in some ways.
But, not in the ways that matter most.
Ozfest and Vegas were unharmed during this incident.
The ongoing saga of Delila Black trying to get to Nashville.
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Even if it takes me not nine but nine hundred lives -Susan ashwoth
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