Here I am, ten weeks past my escape; ten weeks into freedom.
I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get a decent night’s sleep. My anxiety is so overwhelming. I check the locks on the doors so many times. Then I go upstairs to my bedroom and get in bed for five minutes before I’m compelled to go downstairs and check the locks again. It’s hard to feel safe. My mind races at night. I can’t calm it down. I can lay in bed for hours just staring at the ceiling. I get startled at every noise. I just want to be able to sleep.
Emotionally, I’m drained. I cried a lot this week. Perhaps it was needed. I’ve spent the last ten weeks trying to show how strong I am, despite how I feel on the inside. That is a job in itself.
I’ve started to open up more to people at work. People seem to be inclined to open up and talk to me about things, and my coworkers are no different. I’ve listened to them, and I’ve opened up to them as well. We regularly talk about our therapy experiences and have an open dialogue about mental health. It’s actually kind of nice. While I haven’t revealed much of my story, I have told one coworker (who shared his own experiences in therapy with me) that I am in therapy several times a week. He asked why so much; I told him I had a lot of issues. Then he said how I seemed so level-headed and put-together at work, he would have never thought that about me. For me, that was a testament to my ability to act strong and stable. At least I have that.
I had a conversation with my parts yesterday. I don’t know if they heard me. I don’t even know if I did it right. I could have just been talking to the ceiling. I told them I didn’t want to be in pain anymore. I know it’s not their fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. I’m just tired of being in pain. I don’t deserve it. I don’t know what I did to burn myself, but it hurts. It hurts to sleep, it hurts to shower, it hurts to sit down, it hurts to bend. I don’t know how I managed to deal with this as a child. Maybe it is better that I don’t remember much. I know they want to protect me. It’s just so complicated.
I’m looking for a third job. I don’t know how I’m going to manage it, but I need more work. I sent in a few applications yesterday. I was too tired to do any today. I’ve been checking Craigslist to see if anything close by comes up. I’d prefer to find something in walking distance, because public transportation doesn’t really run past dinner time. I thought about buying a bike. It would save me money in the long run so I wouldn’t have to pay for the bus or cab fares, but I also have to consider whether or not I can physically handle bicycling everywhere. I am not the most in shape person. I also managed to break my foot walking, so imagine what I could do riding a bike.
I’m trying to pull myself over back onto the side of positive thinking. I think I’m in the middle right now. I’m trying to think of how far I’ve come, and how much further I can go. I was clearing out my e-mails today and I came across a copy of the letter I was going to send my mother once I moved out; I had e-mailed it to myself in case I ever lost it. I read it over and couldn’t believe what I wrote. A strong person wrote that. I could never have written those words in the position I am in now. It’s like I sunk back into weakness the last week or so.
I wonder what would have happened if I sent that letter when I left. Even now, ten weeks later, my family is still going out of their way to infiltrate my life. They are telling anyone who will listen all of these lies about me, and I am not there to defend myself. I have to realize that the life (if I can even call it that) that I had there, the connections that I had there…I can’t get those back. I have to severe ties. My family is poison, and they have infected everyone there. No one is safe. As if they were ever safe in the first place.
To end on a positive note, every day this past week, a butterfly has followed me as I walked home from work. I didn’t think anything of it the first two times. But on the third day, I thought to myself, this is just weird. I was wearing a different color shirt each time, so it wasn’t that it was attracted to a certain color. I don’t know why it (they?) followed me. I’m usually not into symbolic things at all, but I have to wonder this time, with all of the spiritual and transformative meaning behind the butterfly, if there was a reason it was with me. And this week, of all weeks, when I was at my lowest. Whatever it was, it helped.