When I write about what happened with James, the muddy muck of abuse that’s been lying on the bottom of the pond in my head gets stirred up. My new mantra is “fight the muck.” Or, if I’m in a particularly difficult or feisty kind of place, it’s “fuck the muck.” To fight it? I must stir it up and trudge right through it, there is no other way. When I stir and trudge, I can figure out how I got stuck in the muck, why I stayed in the muck and how I can get out.
I think figuring out the muck is a long process. Today? I feel warm and fuzzy and loved. Not in an artificial way. Just genuinely content in this moment. Wednesday night? I got two hours of sleep. I really do have to face each day deliberately. By that I mean, have a plan for practicing self-care throughout the day. It helps me to stay focused. But in some ways, I think it makes me avoid the trauma. So when I encounter a trigger? I’m stuck all over again. That is the nature of PTSD and that is the nature of recovering from abuse.
Right now I am comfortable leaving what happened at the bottom of the pond. I don’t want to stir it up. I don’t want to talk to my therapists or friends or random people at the Jewel (just kidding, I am so not that person) about James or specific things that occured that were twisted and vile. If I leave them in the muck, I can float on the top. Unfortunately, the ick of the muck gets stirred up in ways that are unpredictable and I sink. I need to figure out a way to talk through some of this. Today? I can’t do that. Tomorrow? Pretty unlikely. Yes, I write about it here but I don’t say the hard things that need to be said.
This weekend, my son turns 17. Knowing that I am raising a child who loves me, loves his sister, thinks of women as his equal and would never intentionally hurt anyone? That helps me. It helps because he is a genuinely good person and full of love. And he will pass that along to those he encounters throughout his life. He will never intentionally confuse, control, maniuplate or pathologically lie to the people he loves. He is nothing at all like James. For me, that is healing because Charlie is part of me, too. And his love is part of my love. Love that we actually feel and not manufacture through a false self. I have to hold onto things like this. Because these are the things that matter. And these are the things that help me get out of the muck.