So This week… since I have not done a writing prompt for a couple of weeks I would choose one I could revisit… rework.. because I’m a cheater…

“Tell us about one of the scariest moments of your life.”

So, Here’s the thing, Before you read any further I have to tell you the end of the story…. I grew up and lived happily ever after… So as you read, don’t think I am still there, or still that girl…. I survived… and thrived… was a mommy and happy… and finally found the love of my life and loved my life, and believed I deserved it.

But I have to tell the story, because my subconscious replays it in my dreams, and I scream out at night, biting my lower lip into hamburger, and crumble into  sobs, because the face, swollen and blue from the noose changes with the years… it always starts with him, he was my friend… and then changes to those I love now… and it really is too much to keep inside… and even thought I feel like I have let it go a million times over, in September, on the days, the days that he laid in a coma and I visited him every day, and spoke to him… still bubble up in the middle of the night and escape… and it hurts those I love, if I wake them, and they hold me while I am somewhere between a scream and a sob, and they pat my chewed lip with a tissue and tell me it will be okay… and I can’t look at their face.. to be sure that it isn’t distorted and blue. I am thirty eight years old this year…. I remember sitting up all night in those teen years knowing without a shadow of a doubt I would never live this long…  I was wrong… I was wrong about a lot of things… I suppose that’s part of growing up… this isn’t going to be a memoir to him… or to those years of mine… that story is told, processed, tucked away with a stamp of mental health approval… There isn’t anything anyone can do about the nightmares, they are a curse and a blessing really, the fact that I am creative, and so empathetic, thoughtful, hopeful, intelligent… all come from a mind that can also vividly transport me somewhere else when I sleep, and touch all of my senses while I am in that first stage of sleep…. Yes, I know… there is a name for the condition… See my post on Adult Night Terrors… I have researched… I have tried everything…, I guess in some ways I feel like I deserve them… or they define me… or maybe they are just real, and raw… and I’m okay with that…. I will go back to the meditating, and drinking soothing teas… and exercising right before bed, and reading positive material… playing uplifting music… white noise…

I was waking up in my dream… crying out… but I felt the roughness of the woven blue and grey material of the couch … in the common area of the youth center imprinted on my face… I bolted up, and Joe (the evening staff) came running out of the office to see if I was okay… Joe understood I think.. or maybe he was shook up too… we had all been together a while, and everyone was sad, and pensive, and wondering what could have been done different, anything to have kept him from hanging himself… Joe hadn’t made me sleep in a bed that night… He had given me a standard issue blanket, and a hospital pillow and told me I could stay in the open space of the common area… because I couldn’t handle the cramped rooms, or being near anything really… he brought me tea… and started the music again… Cristoforis dream… David Lanz… on the Nirada decade cd ( I lost track of this song for a number of years… my grandpa found it for me, after I hummed it to him… and then again Mr. Amazing.. randomly played it one night )… it was what he always played me to help me sleep… I knew the night staff way better than the day… because I never slept…. I’m losing you in the details aren’t I… But that’s how I dream… every little thing is there… nothing is missed… down to the smell, color, texture, temperature… and the taste of that horrible Lipton tea he used to make me… because he thought I was too young for coffee… and I asked him if there was any change in his status… and he said he would call again… there was no change… they took me in the van to see him the next day… this is where I wake up screaming… because it flashes like a strobe light in my dream… his swollen face… through all of them… starts with Richard… goes to Billy… Brandon.. Jason… Myself… Shirley.. Donna…My Sister…My grandpa…  I saw my son… my almost granddaughter… Mr. amazing… (Switching music to the recommended piano track)…. I touch the face (whatever one it happens to be at the moment) and beg them not to give up.. not to leave… that we were wrong… that everything is going to be okay… that we are not without futures… never give up… never give up.. and I run past deadmans curve… where they are pulling up a body… and there is a purple suv parked… past the cemetery… past the campus of the shelter…. Past the high school and the bullet bike…  BOOM! I’m in my bed… face suspiciously close to the wall… is that how I bit my lip so hard… with the help of the wall? Every muscle tense to the point that I feel as if I have been running for days… every muscle is taut… and one by one I have to unfold them… it is like a full body Charlie horse… and extremely painful… Mr. amazing is there after a moment… I must have yelled out… and the sobs start the second he touches me… He is afraid it was one of the other dreams… where I may not want to be touched.. and is trying to figure out how to comfort me… I think somewhere in the middle of overwhelming sadness I asked him again… as I do so often… not to leave me… He doesn’t understand why I keep asking… He thinks I am having nightmares of being hurt… beaten… lost… abandoned….

Richard Aaron Vanmeer took his life on my 16th birthday… he was in a coma until the 30th of September, at which time they took him off of life support and he continued to breathe on his own for about 4 hours before he expired…

I am thirty-eight years old… I made it… I have seen a lot of death… but I have seen more life… I have seen more walk out of their pain… and turn their face towards the sun… and really live… not this living that so many people do… but really living… driving fast… watching sunrises… and sunsets… witnessing the moon’s reflection over any body of water they can find… I still may not sleep a lot… and I still have the night terrors… But I would’nt trade them…. And I still struggle with believing I deserve to be loved… but I believe I am loved… and I am capable of love… and I hate sometimes that the others didn’t get to this point, and the guilt that I am finding happiness, and joy in my life sometimes threatens to swallow me up…. But I tuck that away… and wake up for another sunrise… and love harder than I did the day before… and I am blessed…

So I scream in my sleep… and I cringe if someone moves fast… and if I’m not sleeping… anything near my face freaks me out… I get lost in thought… because my thoughts are so cool… and visual… and piano music will always make me cry…. I hate to be trapped in small places… and I LOVE to be outdoors… I stop when I see someone hurting… even if I don’t know them.. and try to help…. Whether its lost children… handicapped adults crossing the road… homeless musicians singing their hearts out for a buck… I will give them all I have… I hug everyone and I feel most hopeful and happy when around children… I find they precocious nature honest… and undomesticated…. We adults are domesticated…  I’m scared of hot things… Like ovens… but still manage to love making tea… and burning candles… and incense…. I clean… a lot…. I laugh more than I clean… and lately my laugh has changed… it’s not the little high-pitched giggle behind my collar or hand (which I disliked) and has evolved into a deep cackle… that bursts out before I can cover my mouth… and hearing it makes me laugh harder… (I also dislike this laugh)…. Sometimes I don’t eat… sometimes I eat too much… sometimes I eat Indian food that is so hot it feels like my skin is peeling off… and I laugh… because I have an ulcer that will not find it funny later…. I have this dog… That when I cried that night whimpered at the door for me… oh don’t worry, he has his own couch… but when I was brought out of the room to sleep on the couch… just like that night so many years ago… the dog laid beside me on the floor… so no one could get me… and when I leaned over and loved on him through my hugs and belly rubs… he was comforted enough to go back to his couch and sleep… and I was able to as well… with Mr. Amazing watching me from the corner of his eye as he worked all night on the computer… It’s an awkward balance between guilt and gratitude … this life of mine…

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3 Responses to Somewhere between Guilt and Gratitude… thats where I live.

  1. Mindy says:

    I do love you so. I wish that I hadn’t been so self involved as a child. Had I known what you were going through… honestly, it’s one of the things that haunts me.
    I am happy to be one of those who made it to the other side. Depression sucks.
    Now I’m remembering the day in girls choir when I od’d and you took me to the nurses office.
    You were such a big part of my childhood and adolescence. I’m glad you’re part of my adulthood, too.
    Have I mentioned how very much I love you?

  2. Kerry says:

    I love you too hon :)

  3. Katie says:

    Be strong and happy.

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