Felled.

If I were more like a tree
I could spread my roots deeply
I could sway every day in the forgiving breeze
I could grow old and die in solitary
If I were more like everybody
Life would not hurt quite as badly
Because I don’t find the same kind of misery
In any of the other creatures that I see
If I were more like I was meant to be
I’d do a better job at fixing everything
Things wouldn’t be toppled all around me
I could climb from the hole in which I’ve been buried
If I had been any easier to lead
Around by a tether and bound hands and feet
Id understand better the rest of the sheep
And be happy to forget my own individuality
If I were more of the woman I set out to be
Life might feel more like a warm homecoming
As it is, I stumble and struggle endlessly
Not to stray too far away from the ilk that shames me

Sense.

For My Best Friend

throwdown-03-370x208

I hear frustrated sighs,

see the roll of her eyes,

as she finds me this way,

for the third time today…

I have fallen down again,

anchored by my resignation,

she leans close to emphasize,

the need for me to open my eyes…

she whispers things cool and soft,

as she props me up and dusts me off,

a shame, she says – my self-loathing,

she always comes to slap sense into me…

somehow, when no one can tell me a thing,

her words slip through and truthfully ring,

she has carried me, half-dead, through the fire,

she single-handedly smoldered my burning fuse-wire…

she gives me courage and strength to trudge through,

the days on this Earth that I have left to pursue,

she is a pillar that I all too often use to stand up,

I’ve been trained by a Bear not to dare to give up.

 

Postcards from Freedom #6 – From Persia, With Love.

With Love, Bitches!

With Love, Bitches!

Dirt Naps in the Desert: I’m TRYING.

When I began (for the very first time on my own) writing the actual events leading up to the moment “The Ripper” cut my throat in our front yard fifteen years ago – with an audience of law enforcement, emergency response teams, and neighbors watching in disbelief, something very uncomfortable happened. The triggering event that eventually had the Police called out to our home in the wee morning hours had been something that I managed to block completely out of my existence, somehow – which is absolutely dumbfounding to me, in retrospect. When I began writing about it (Dirt Naps in the Desert) and had a conversation with someone who was there when it all went down (Jackson: the EMT who actually rode in the ambulance with me that day – who literally breathed his own life into me to keep me alive when I stopped breathing for myself, and who has become closer than I believe my Father and I could’ve ever been – due to our strange way of initially becoming somewhat “intimately” with each other), the recollection hit me like tanker from a blindside…it was intense and raw…and it hurt like a Son of a Bitch to start chewing around.

The pain from this re-recollection is immense and even caused me to stop with my written account completely, because I was just as appalled all over again by this memory of the thing that set me into an outdoor display of truly psychotic rage:

Screaming and crying and breaking everything I saw, yelling at the top of my lungs that my husband was “a MURDERER!!!”

I was not giving a fuck during this vague time in my memory, I was in despair and I was shocked beyond description and heartbroken and full of self-hatred; so much fucking guilt and regret and sadness, remorse…

I was screaming, “I’m sorry Sarah!!!” and throwing dirt into the air.

It was 5:00am and freezing cold outside, I’ve been told – – – but I never noticed either element at the time. I will keep writing…it’s just really, really hard to think on for too long at a time, I guess…not healthy for me yet…unable to process it thoroughly at present…but I will keep trying with it, I promise.

Re-Recovery.

cut throat as it comes

As a survivor, I can say that the word “recovery” gets thrown around an awful lot in the medical community, be it in regard to surgery, mental instability and/or impairment, a plethora of varying ailments and illnesses, and of course – alcohol and illegal drug addiction; we hear the word used to describe our economic status from time to time; we hear “recovery” used as a term to describe what occurs during police raids and hostage situations – in the context of anything from tangible assets, to living, breathing human beings. We hear the word used mostly in a productive element, as opposed to a dark or terrifyingly surreal one; the sound of the word “recovery” evokes a sense of upward motion or a confirmation of something’s very existence.
For me, hearing the word so often created a void of meaning, in the human context, at least. I’ve met too many “recovered” individuals that give me nightmares to believe in the idea of “recovery” being a universal one; I’m very keen to the fact that my recovery might not look a god damned thing like the next guy’s form of it – I know from personal and painful experience also, that the next guy’s version of being “fully recovered” might only slightly resemble one of my own first stages of the notion of fully recovering.

DOES THE TYPE OF RECOVERY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Well, duh….
Granted, the basic concept of “recovery” can be stitched loosely and tie together many types of circumstances and people who would otherwise have NOTHING as a common thread; however, the struggles and challenges of recovery that define a person who is recovering from a tonsillectomy for example, as opposed to a person in the grips of a recovery surrounding something along the lines of say: a traumatic injury, a behavioral or mood disorder, or a recent round of Chemo-therapy, forge a line in the dirt between two separate parts of reality. There are vast differences in the goals and time-frames that represent the recovery process of a post-op maintenance knee surgery patient, in stark contrast to the goals and time-frames in question for someone that’s also in medical/psychological recovery, and continues to suffer from the additional challenges presented by ongoing manifestations of anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder – resultant of violently traumatic physical injury.
For example, let’s compare:
someone who is lying comfortably within the drug-induced haze of a post-op ward after a routinely performed surgical knee or back or shoulder repair procedure – one that had been scheduled by a specialist months ahead of time, having had plenty of associated information exchanged between healthcare providers and patient as a means of mentally preparing the patient as much as possible prior to surgery and, in turn, “recovery”. This patient will be detailed a strict rehabilitation schedule upon leaving the hospital, typically complete with a slew of exercise class and various physical rehabilitators that will ensure the complete and accurate recovery process.
TO…
someone who is in the drug-induced haze of a trauma ward or I.C.U. – post-op for an unknown length of time, enveloped by physical shock and acutely aware of the ease at which another individual is capable of harming her at will; unable to process the trauma that she has just endured and survived through somehow – unable to trust the safety that continues to be promised to her by the strange people she must depend upon to keep her alive from one long, pain filled day to the next. This patient does not know her surgeons, she does not know what they are performing the up close and very personal surgeries on her for, and this patient is confused, afraid and forlorn. There is no outline set forth for “recovery” upon the release of this patient from the hospital; she will be on her own to forge through the turbulence that awaits any victim of violent trauma.

The people along the way during the process will make an important difference in the overall outcome for each recovering patient, as well. Those with heart and humanity are the silent saints that have been scattered throughout the healthcare industry to somehow balance out the presence of those that represent the polar opposite of such kindness and compassion – and there are more than enough of that type.
For me, my experiences with “recovery” from the Ripper and my traumatic injury would have undoubtedly been defined much differently, had I not been pitied by the specific people who pitied me and in turn, offered me the gift of their attention. When I look back on the long and harrowing process of “recovery” from a near-fatal marriage that ended violently in a gore-fest that could have easily been ripped out of a low-budget horror film, and I recognize the alternate routes that it could have taken – based solely on the influences of outside stimuli that I was constantly exposed to during such a crucial time in my own physical, spiritual and psychological battle of “recovery”.

I am still far from fully “recovered” from my own experience fifteen years ago; it’s been a perpetually domino affected chain of events that have followed the day that I was finally released from the Hot House (the local ICU burn unit) – the day that I was technically deemed as being “recovered” and well enough to go “home”. Little did the prescribing doctors and specialists realize, I had no home anymore – and so the road to TRUE recovery likely began sometime around then, when I was faced with an overwhelmingly unwelcome reality that left me more or less speechless for months on end. Those days are the days that I consider to have been the bulkiest loads carried through my own recovery process so far – the days when I wasn’t sure what I was doing or why, just waking up and shuffling my feet for ten hours before falling back to sleep fitfully.
I had the blessing of motherhood back then; and somehow, I also had the ability, desire and presence of mind to appreciate such a gift – my only thing in the world that made sense and gave me purpose. Being a mom motivated me to carry on for something, it enabled me to escape my own world of confusion and the unknown; it healed me better than any of the days in the ICU ever could have healed me. I feel 110% certain that had I not had Boo and her existence to dive completely into like I did at the time of my “recovery”,

I wouldn’t have made it through the darkness and pain – I wouldn’t have even tried, I wouldn’t have wanted to.
Recovery has come and gone in varying fashion and multifaceted manifestations since the earliest days of my Cut-Throat Survivor’s birth; there are times when I feel so far from “recovered” that I laugh out loud at the prospect of considering myself a “survivor”; other days, I feel like I could mow down an entire task force with my saliva if I spit in that direction; it’s a relative to the current state of my own being, I suppose. I spent a lot of years in trying to fit into some type of “recovery” category or phase, to fall in line with some pre-defined step in a book of instructions on how to recover; I traveled into high and quiet places in attempt to clear my own mind and focus myself better; I’ve gone to prayer groups and spoken at huge seminars on domestic violence and chaired board meetings to outline legislative plans of action against child sexual assault. These things have each played a small part in my overall picture of “recovery”; but not one thing anywhere can ever be the solution in itself – for anyone.

The Recoverors.

The Recoverers.

RECOVERY is a path, a road to something better, whatever that might be for a given individual. RECOVERY is a haven for the souls lost to the torment of emotional shock; RECOVERY is a step in any direction when you haven’t been able to walk for a while; RECOVERY is the solution to the things that keep us lying awake at night, unable to rest our minds.
RECOVERY is yours, and it is mine – and it will NOT look the same on my plate as it does on yours.
And…that is okay…we can still digest the contents of it together.

Handled Badly

handled badlyDear Heart,

Please just do your job and pump my blood – that’s all you’re supposed to be getting involved with; thank you very much!

Love,

Your Host