I am 11 weeks free today.
I wish my mind could embrace that concept. Freedom. But there is still a huge disparity between what intellectually I know to be true and what my mind believes is going to happen. I still jump at every noise: every creak of the kitchen table, every knock at the door, every honk of a horn. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing; when it happens, I go into panic mode. My heart races, the nausea kicks in, the crying starts, and the intrusive thoughts flood my mind. It’s an exhausting way to live.
I also wish the people close to me would understand me better. It doesn’t matter where I am. I could be five miles away or five thousand miles away from my mother, but my brain will always be on constant alert. I’ll continue to have that fear, even when intellectually I know that it’s not possible that she’s here with me. I also wish some of my friends would stop being so critical. I had enough criticism in my old life. I don’t need criticism in my new life. It bothers me when people ignore every positive step I’ve taken and only point that time I took a sip of alcohol. Just because you don’t agree with a decision I’ve made, doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision. I find myself torn between keeping these people in my circle because my circle is already so small as it is, or ridding myself of them and becoming even more alone.
I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. Sometimes I feel like I’m running on autopilot, and I don’t know how I make it through the day. Something in me has gotten me out of bed each morning, allowed me to take a shower, gotten me dressed, and pushed me to get to work every morning. But I’m tired. As weird as it sounds, living in my old life wasn’t nearly as exhausting as this. I dealt with the abuse, but I always expected it. Now, even though I’m in a safe place, I am constantly on alert. It’s draining. The human body is not built to handle being under stress 24/7. I’m not superhuman. I can’t be expected to do this much longer. I’ve already been through enough. Sometimes I wonder if this life is really better, because in many ways, it feels worse.
But I’ll keep pushing forward. I don’t really have any other choice. I won’t get to finish telling my story. The world won’t know who my mother really is. I won’t be able to help others fight the good fight. So far, I’ve managed to have just over 450 people read at least part of my story. That’s more than I could have ever imagined. Four-hundred and fifty people now know part of my truth. That’s a powerful thing.
If I give up, my mother wins. I can’t have that. Not now.