The highs and lows of my Tuesday

Yesterday was such an emotional day for me.

I had very little sleep…two hours at most.  I actually woke up for work at 4 AM and knew I wasn’t going to make it, so I went back to sleep and ended up taking a cab to work, just so I could get that little bit of extra time.  I don’t know how I made it through the day, but I did.

I went to my job interview right after work and…I GOT THE JOB!  It didn’t even take much effort on my part.  I look great on paper and apparently I present myself well.  I was hired in less than five minutes.  I wanted to jump in the air and yell with excitement, but then I remembered that I’m still nursing a fractured foot and that probably wouldn’t be a good idea.  Instead I decided to go to the mall and buy myself a treat to celebrate.  I had time before the bus was coming anyway, and I hate standing around doing nothing.

I stopped at a pretzel stand to get a drink, and the woman at the counter asked me if I went to the gym there.  I said no, but that I probably should go.  Then she told me how she sees me walking by a lot and how much better I’ve been looking.  I have lost some weight, but I didn’t think some random people at the mall would notice.  I thanked her, and we engaged in conversation until another customer came by.  It was nice talking.  It was nice being noticed.

On the bus going home, there was a woman in her late thirties, asking the bus driver a few questions throughout the trip.  It was her first time on a bus.  She was so anxious, she didn’t want to do anything wrong.  I remembered how I felt first being on a bus by myself.  I thought I was the only one, but here was this woman, obviously older than I, having the same experience.  When we got to the final stop and got off the bus, I told her “you did a good job.”  It was so odd for me to talk to a stranger like that, but I did it.  And then she thanked me told me about what happened that made her take the bus.  Then she asked me my name, and she told me hers.  We shook hands and wished each other a good day.  It was nice.

When I finally managed to get home, I went to the bathroom to…go to the bathroom…and I just started crying.  Not crying out of sadness.  I was just overwhelmed with everything that was happening to me…everything I went through life being told would never happen.  Here I am, living by myself, now working three jobs, managing to get to therapy at least twice a week, trying to make myself better in the best ways I know how.  I’m doing it all on my own.  But I’m doing it.  My mother may have tried to raise a weak little girl, but I persevered.  I do what I have to do to survive.  I did it as a child, and now I’m doing it as an adult.  The difference is that now, I have choices.

Despite all of the positives of my day, my night was shaken up as my PTSD kicked in.  I was startled awake by what I thought was a knock.  Before I could process anything, I started to panic.  I thought for sure my mother had finally found me.  She had gotten the police to help her.  She was coming to kill me.  I was done for.  I started to cry and hid under the covers waiting for her to come get me.  But she never came.  Because she wasn’t there.  No one was there.

Even though I am protected by distance, my mind still believes I am in danger.  I check the locks ten times a night.  I look out the windows to make sure she’s not outside.  I still lock my bedroom door up even though I’m home alone.  I watch every car passing by to make sure it’s not my family.  I look over my shoulder constantly.  The fear is still there no matter how far away my family is from me.  The fear will always be there.  She instilled in me since childhood that she knows everything that I do…she will always find out everything.  And part of me still believes that.

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