My best friend and I went shopping today and he was just thrilled to look at beads for an hour with me. As we walked around our local mall, we started talking about the upcoming holidays, and I told him how I was dreading them so much. Last Christmas was when hubby 3 moved out, and it was a horrible time. I have always loved Christmas, but am wondering if there will now be a dark cloud around it as well.
I was also telling my friend how much I hate summers. I actually love the hot weather and doing outdoor things, but summers have always seemed to be the time when bad things tend to happen. My grandpa died during the summer after a long illness and both hubby 1 and hubby 2 left me during summer months. I thought my bad summers were over, until this past summer happened.
As I think back to it, I can’t remember most of July and August. I truly can’t. I remember bits and pieces, but there are such huge gaps, those months barely register at all. My friend told me how worried he was about me. How he and my mom took care of me. About how I cried uncontrollably for hours at a time, and mentioned suicide a lot. About how I could barely dress myself, get out of the house, or eat. Teaching my summer class was all I accomplished, and I remember little of that too. I’ve taught this particular class so many times I’ve always said I can do it in my sleep, and apparently I did. I do know I broke down in front of my class on a few occasions, because some of those students have recently told me. I’m ashamed of that. I never want to put that burden on my sweet students and I’ve always taken so much pride in my teaching and the reputation I have earned on my campus.
I do remember this though: I took a handful of pills one evening when I was alone, but threw them up in fear a few minutes later. What I had wanted to do was too scary for me to carry out. And I thank God for that. I know how my family would have suffered if I had been successful, and in hindsight, I can’t believe I even contemplated doing that to my son.
I talk about suicide a lot in my psychology classes and never thought I would be facing these thoughts myself. One of the first things I teach my students is that suicide is not about death. It’s all about ending the pain you’re in. And sometimes, death seems like the only way to make that happen. People who are suicidal live in a tunnel. A long, dark, scary tunnel where no light can enter, and the tunnel is filled only with misery. There’s no way to get out of a tunnel…especially one with no doors, and the helplessness of facing another day in that dark, dark space is horrifying. When you’re in the tunnel, you see nothing else. Feel only the ache of your pain and depression and nothing around you matters at all. Nothing. If hell was a place on earth, this would be it.
I absolutely hate the idea of having been in that tunnel. I remember times I could barely breathe in it..barely talk. I remember wanting to go to sleep and never wake up. I remember telling my doctor that there was something very wrong with me.
But I don’t remember it all. And I think that’s a good thing. Our minds are wonderful contraptions and just as our bodies protect ourselves with our immune system, our minds do the same. It understands when we need to repress experiences instead of facing them. It instinctively knows what we can handle, and what we can’t. As my friend was telling me about how I acted this summer, I couldn’t believe the person he was describing was me. He was talking about this woman who was so out of it, she couldn’t be trusted to drive at times. Why can’t I remember? Why can’t I see all of that now? Because, sometimes when you open a door that’s been closed, you have to face things you may not be ready to encounter yet.
Remember Pandora’s Box that was full of all the worlds evil? Zeus told Pandora not to open it, but being curious, she did anyway and all of the ills of the world were released. She hastily worked to close the box back up, and after she succeeded, only hope was left inside. My box is this summer. I want to open it and see who I was when I was recovering from the brunt of the narcissistic abuse I suffered. Why? Because I need to be reminded of the harm that can come to me? Because I need to remember how far down I was pushed so I can be more vigilant in protecting myself from further abuse?
I think I already know how horrible it was, and I’m building myself up day by day and feeling so much stronger and confident. But, as I admitted in my previous post, Sarge is back in my life and I’m not remembering the bad as much as I’m remembering the good. I’m seeing him differently. He’s been sharing more with me. About his childhood. About the abuse he endured during that time. He’s shown me a vulnerability I’ve never seen before and has listened to me more than he ever has. And I like it. Actually, I love it. We are more on the same ‘page’ than we have ever been. Bliss.
No. It’s not bliss. It’s still complicated and I’m still struggling SO much with things he did to me. Especially the infidelity. I believe it was him doing this to me numerous times during 2 different weeks that finally brought me down. I handled, the best I could, the manipulation, verbal assaults, etc. but for some reason, the infidelity was the kicker. I think it’s because I felt so ‘less than’. So foolish. So used. So nothing. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.
But, I’m not broken anymore. And although I have forgiven Sarge the infidelity (regardless of the fact he’s never asked for it), I haven’t forgotten. I never will. Ever. I can’t. I can’t go back to that tunnel. And I am going to do my damn best not too. I will never be as vulnerable. I won’t allow it. I can’t. I deserve more than living in darkness…I deserve the light. And although I’m not ready to open the entire box of what happened this summer, maybe I don’t need too. Not yet. Because just seeing a peek of it is enough of a lesson for now.
P.S. Please call for help if you, or anyone you love have signs of being suicidal.
Love you all. ❤