I couldn’t really think of a title that appropriately summed up my Sunday. I found it a little humorous, and honestly I have to laugh. My life is so chaotic, yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as I am dealing with, I’m getting through it. I’m learning more about myself, and about my illness every day.
It was 3:30-3:40 in the morning on Sunday when I was startled awake by someone pounding on the door. I didn’t know who it was. I only knew what time it was because I immediately looked at my phone. Then banging got louder. I went into panic mode, thinking either my mother finally found me, or she sent the police to come get me (she regularly threatened to call the police on me – so while not logical, it’s something that is ingrained in my head). I don’t remember what happened after that. What I can tell you is that somehow, I ended up in my closet, where I woke up/came back to reality/whatever you want to call it holding my blanket and my arms covered in scratches. It was almost an hour and a half later; I heard a commotion outside. I figured out who it was; thankfully, he was not my mother or the police. I still felt unsafe and uneasy. I didn’t find out until later that night that my roommate was not even home when the door-banging occurred; I was completely alone. Thankfully some part of me had the sense to hide in the closet.
That got me thinking about what made that part of me hide in the closet. I remember that my mother barricaded our closet doors so that we could not use them. I always thought that was strange. Who has closets and blocks them off completely? Did I used to hide in there and that’s why she closed them off? I wonder what it would have been like to have a closet. Would I have been able to hide from her? I’m sure she would have found me. She always did. Like a monster with eyes and ears all around her head, she knew where I was, what I said, what I did. A closet wouldn’t have protected me. That’s just silly.
Then again, it makes sense I would hide in a closet. I still do a lot of things to protect myself that don’t really make much logical sense. I’ve been doing them since childhood that they’ve become a part of my regular. I always wear at least two pairs of underwear, sometimes even three pairs. Does it make sense? No. That extra pair isn’t going to protect me. But as a child, I’m sure I thought it was going to help. I also always wear multiple layers of clothing, even in the summer, even if it makes me sweat. Extra clothing makes me feel more protected and less vulnerable. Maybe she won’t make me undress if it’s too much to take off. Most embarrassing of all is my habit of stuffing myself with toilet paper. I remember doing it as young as 8. I thought if I could just block that whole area with toilet paper, she wouldn’t be able to touch me anymore; she wouldn’t be able to hurt me. I created a literal barrier between her and my genitals. It was so uncomfortable, but I wanted her to stop. Of course it didn’t work. She caught on. I still did it, but not every day; only when I was feeling especially vulnerable. Even in my adolescence and adulthood, when I had (and have) and ability to say no, I still find myself doing the same thing when I am feeling especially vulnerable or re-traumatized in some way.
As far as I’ve come, I am still very much a traumatized child living inside a traumatized adult.