Due Process (follow up from Opening Statements)

This had never happened to me before. I was on unfamiliar ground. Manic behavior brought me to my knees. This isn’t the superwoman going to change the world with my special powers mania. This is disorganized impulsive risky angry agitated mania. I spent much of the time pacing the hotel room floor screaming into the phone at 100miles an hour. My husband on the other end would repeat my name until I stopped and could slow down. That’s right, I got in my car telling no one and went for a little road trip. No destination. No plan. Impulsively threw clothes into a bag, no real thought.  As I drove I played the music louder. I drove faster and faster. I could feel this buzzing in my body starting. I felt this internal force pushing me down the road. This raw need to fix myself. To uncover the ugliness, I hide deep inside and rid myself of it. I was charged with defining how I was going to become a better person. I wrote list after list. Broke it down into categories. Rewrote the list. Added. Deleted. Slashing and clawing at myself so deep I lost sight of what I was doing.  I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. I got a hotel by the beach but couldn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t breathe. I was up all night obsessed with this magical, end all be all list. On the second day I yelled in anger even more. I paced harder. There was an upheaval in my mind. An avalanche of memories crashed into me. Agitation burned through me. Sadness cradled me.  Thoughts of a bottle of vodka paired w a bottle of aspirin would make more sense than the chaos I was lost in. Regrets I didn’t take that one step off the ladder a few days ago. I was perfectly positioned to end my misery, but I couldn’t pick my one remaining foot up. As the day wore on, my brain in overdrive, confusion and overwhelm set in. I couldn’t decipher fact from fiction. My lists, the precious lists, the only thing I had to show for this grand affair no longer solved the riddle. I realized I was so very alone. Tears turned to sobs. I guess this is the crash. So very tired. But unable to sleep. Unable to forgive myself for things unknown. How is it that I don’t already know I’m a good person? How is it I am so blind when it comes to myself. Constantly questioning if I belong on this earth. If I fit in. Bipolar wreaking havoc on my life again and again.  No sleep the second night. I needed THE answers. Yet, I wasn’t sure of my questions.

Within the fit of mania, I had a resurgence of a memory I keep pushed down beyond my toes. It has surfaced a few times. I have always second guessed myself.  When I got up the courage to reach out to someone I thought might know, I still didn’t believe.  But, I had the same memory over and over. I could hear the words of the 16 year old boy who took me into the bathroom in my mind.  I only had bits and pieces. When I tried to write about it here is how it came out:

How did I end up here
Anonymous in room 5
Bag barely unpacked
Back against the wall
Memories having their way
I refuse to cry
Enduring the moment
One more time
Regaining my balance
Mentally and physically
I stand
Head held high
I refuse to cry
Accepting past transgressions
Still Doesn’t give you the right
To the damage you have done
Sometimes in the stillness of the air
I can smell you
Though you turned off the light
I can see you
A children’s game we were to play
Fun while mommy was away
I was caught first
You tickled me and boy did I laugh
Follow me you whispered
Not knowing the game was over
I skipped behind you
Feeling extra special
Now we are both hiding you said
But your tone changed
Your words changed
Demands were made
And finally threats of shame
When that door opened
There was no skipping
But I showed him
I refused to cry

I don’t know why it came to me at a time like this. I did cry. I cried hard. I might have cried for that innocent little girl. Cried for the knowledge I have kept it hidden deep inside. The truth can be scary and set you free. I haven’t had the strength to face it in therapy. In fact, I haven’t even mentioned it.  I have been asked numerous times in mental health settings if there has been any sexual abuse in my history and without blinking I reply No. I can feel that I am edging towards disclosing this info.  What happens then I don’t know.  Maybe its the key that opens the door to a peaceful life. Or maybe its one less burden to carry around.

On the third morning I decided I needed to go home. Frantic. Frenzied. Disorganized. Somehow I got myself back out the door and back on the road. I think I was coming down. I needed my husband. I needed the comforts and routine of home. I had so many needs I didn’t know what to do. It was a long 2.5 hours. Music, no music. Tears, no tears. Lots of fear. How does one recover from something like this? Day by day, or hour by hour I just keep going. I keep writing.

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