Tag Archives: abuse

Half-Life

Eastern Laramie County is a giant bubble.  Wearing Wranglers, cowboy hats and Carhartts and driving big pickups with deer bangers, every guy around here could be Jeremy.

I was 17 when my dad died suddenly.  For what seemed like forever, I would occasionally see someone in the crowd that caused my stomach to jump into my throat; a shorter, thin, dark haired man with glasses.  It didn’t happen often, but it went on for several years.  Honestly, I thought I would escape that with Jeremy.  I figured I was young, depressed, broken and scarred; losing Dad only added to the brokenness.  Now?  At 40 years old?  I’m a grown up, first of all.  Second, I’m not broken, I’m not depressed, but I guess I’m still scarred.  In less that 24 hours, 3 times I’ve thought I saw Jeremy.  3 times!  I know full well he’s not here.  He will not be working on a tractor in a ditch.  He will not be driving a pickup heading south.  He will not be at our daughter’s halloween party.  So how on earth does my mind even go there?

I had a nightmare last night.  Nightmares aren’t new for me, and from 14 to probably 30 years old they fueled a lot of my depression and anxiety.  I’ve started having them again since Jeremy’s been gone, and I think most of them have involved him.  He didn’t make an appearance last night.  I was fully aware in this horrible dream that he was gone forever.  It involved a friend of mine morphing into a crazed version of the woman who abused me.  I kept trying to hide, but no one could see the real woman.  Everyone thought she was the original friend and continued to give up my hiding spots, pushing me to my knees in front of her.  Since she knew I couldn’t hide from her, she would take coffee breaks with my friends, vacations with my friends – they could only see who they thought was my friend, not the bug-eyed, teeth clenched monster who was capable of causing my entire body to burn with pain just at the sight of her.  I kept struggling to get home to my kids, but whenever I would reach the boundary of this little city we were in, my friends would pop out from behind a wall with this monster in tow.  They laughed when I tried to resist her.  They gathered in crowds to laugh at my pain.  I don’t think they knew I was in pain.  Laughing, laughing, laughing.  It was of carnival horror proportions, complete with a broken mirror, spinning rooms and maniacal laughing.

I wondered today as I cried for my husband if this is what lies in store for me.  The hell that was my mind I have escaped before.  Am I that scarred that I’ve broken again?  I know I need to find a counselor again, but how do I even start that process?  When I used therapy before, both of the therapists just kind of landed in my lap.  It was nothing short of God providing a perfect path toward healing.  This time it’s different.  I know this is grief, but I hesitate to give in to that grief.  Any kind of healthy grieving I’ve done in the past has required the strong chest of my husband, with his strong arms tight around me.  Crying myself to sleep while cradled in his security.  Hearing his strong unwavering heart beat beneath my ear.  Listening to his billowing voice of comfort, telling me we can get through anything together, with Christ.

How do I operate without together?  I have Christ and Christ has me.  In my heart, I know I am nothing without His love.  His eternal love.  But today?  Today, my head is screaming for together.  We had become one, and now I’m just half.

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(part 1of3) wake up maggie, i think i’ve got something to say…

Suddenly, it seemed as though I were out of my body. I watched from the ceiling as a man in a business suit molested my young teenage body. I stared in horror as I did as I was told. It all seemed very familiar, but entirely strange and frightening. The corner office with windows for 2 of the walls. The ficus tree. The bookshelves and desk, even the phone. Looking out I could see the escalator. I have been here before! What is this place? I remember the smell of the carpet, the vending machine down the hall, the drink that she gave me in the red plastic cup. Oh my God…

She did. She told me to wait there. I sat in that chair, drinking that red punch from the red cup. She gave it to me down by the receptionist area. I remember the marble look of the off-while floor tiles. The receptionist was young with brown hair. Pulled back. Kind of giggly. I waited near her desk while my stepmother got me something to drink. She went somewhere down the hall, past the young brown-haired giggly receptionist.

It was all coming at me so fast, I could literally feel my head spinning. My suspicions were true. I have wondered for the past few years if I was drugged – why I could only remember bits and pieces of things – why I felt as though maybe these things hadn’t really happened to me – maybe I was making up these memories. I remember things in a crooked sort of manner – actually tilted and askew. I remember dark. Tattoo. Smell of beer and urine. Looking up. Listening to the shower run. Afraid to open my eyes. Terrified to close them. Feeling someone sit on my bed as I slept. The bathtub. Pain. Indifference. Haze. Numb. Far away. Floating above my body. Hating myself.

Several weeks ago, I was watching a show in bed. Toward the end of the show, there was a woman – a bit on the trashy side, drunk, glazed eyes, cleavage hanging out of her polyester negligee. Watching her, I had this pit in my stomach; disgust that I had not felt in years. The show was over, I shut off my computer, and lay down to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all of these tormenting memories came to me at lightning speed. I really could feel my head spinning, as I tried so hard to stop them from invading.

I had remembered the office since I was 13. In my mind, I thought it was her office. I had wondered why I had only been there one time. I couldn’t remember where she would have worked that she had such a nice office. For years, that office has been in the back of my mind, bringing up questions that I really didn’t care about, or put much more thought into.

But it wasn’t her office. She took me there. She gave me something to drink. She left me in there. I sat in that chair and waited – and drank. And waited. The man in the business suit did horrible things to me, and I sat on the carpeted floor. I remember the smell of the carpeted floor. Kind of musty and dusty. And it wasn’t soft living room carpet. It was rough to the touch. Rough on my arms. He was wearing a business suit. The few incidents I have remembered have been in a small, dirty, white-trash house, with a heavyset woman with stringy long hair and gross teeth. A shirtless man with a tattoo on his bicep and beer on his breath. This man is in a business suit, and we are in an upscale office…