No Normal After Trauma

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My date would arrive later. He would only be in my apartment for a few minutes before we were on our way. I had to prepare. So I got on my computer and began logging out of all of my accounts. After I had logged out of two –I stopped. I asked myself aloud, “What am I doing? Nicole, you need to back away from your crazy.” I logged back into my accounts and stepped away from my computer. But I did not put down my trauma. I carried it through the date, through the rest of my day and into the next.

You see, My Guy On A Buffalo was constantly going through all my texts and emails and Facebook. Looking, waiting to catch me in a lie, in some kind of betrayal. I had nothing to hide BUT BOUNDARIES, PEOPLE. BOUNDARIES. And this lives with me still.

My date that day has never given me any indications that he would do the same but the fear still lives in me. And it is alive.

A few years ago I took myself on a trip. I just needed to get away and really look deep into myself and reflect and make decisions. It was an amazing trip. A week after my return I met My Guy On A Buffalo. And the world was wonderful. And then my world was destroyed.

I am preparing to leave on another trip. For the same purpose. To do some intentional work on myself. To be in a new place, to make new choices. I have been really excited for this trip. Until this morning. Fear showed up. Last time I went on a trip I came back and was stolen. I am so afraid that I will return from this trip and the same thing will happen.

A part of me, the healthy side of my brain, tells me that is not true. It will not happen again. This is not a repeat. But the trauma in me…

I do not know how to be normal. I want to be. It is frustrating to think and deal in this way. But maybe it is not about acting, thinking, being normal… Maybe it is about accepting what is. That for right now, this is my new normal. And it is okay. It is okay in all its scary. In the hurting. In the healing.

I often feel crazy. And I know I cannot be the only one. So this is for you. You, who feels crazy and out of control. Who cannot seem to be normal after all you have gone through. I get it. I hear you. I see you.

Worthy is your name. Divine is your destiny. Healing is happening. Together, lets breathe through all of our un-normalness and walk into our fears. I just know something lovely is waiting on the other side

 

Master, the Tempest is Raging

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on June 5, 2014

I am sad.  For days now.  Just so very sad.  And so tired.  I could sleep for days.  I think I need to. I think it would help.  My emotions are in my throat at all times.  Most of the time they surface while driving in my car.  I weep as if someone has died.  You know that cry.  You know that sound.  Maybe you have made it yourself.  It is a cry that is different from the rest.  It is scary.  It is alarming.  It comes in waves.  It stays true to its course, this emotion.  But when it is over it gently rolls out to sea leaving… not happiness… not joy… but some kind of peace and always, always a measure of gratitude.  Because in the middle of my hidden sorrows I find Jesus.  During the storm there is nothing else to hang on to.  No one else there.

Elaine Marshall said, “secret healing is not a single event. It happens as a process of living. You cannot simply take off a day or start tomorrow like a new diet and returned healed.  IT HAPPENS QUIETLY WHILE YOU FACE THE PAIN. It happens over time as you live, work, study and give to others.”

As of now I cannot imagine a day when I am healed. What will that day look like? How will I feel? I feel like I have lived in this for so long now but I am ready to live without it,

“Master, with anguish of spirit I bow in my grief today. The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!” -Master the Tempest is Raging, Mary Ann Baker

There is No Death, Only Change

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on May 23, 2014

 Awhile ago I found our son.  I stumbled upon this blog and there were pictures of this sweet little boy named… wait for it….Ryan.  That’s right, Ryan.  Funny that.  He has a round face like mine and beautiful red hair like you and guess what?  Its curly like ours!  So so sweet!  I love him and want to hug him all day long and carry him around on my hip.

Looking at these beautiful pictures of this beautiful boy makes me long for you and a future that may never be.  In this little stranger I see a future that could be born of you and me.  Do I mourn this future or do I still hope in it?

Here is the saddest of the saddest of the saddest of all stories ever told: 3 weeks ago this little boy, little Ryan, little person You and I could make some day…. was hit by a car.  3 weeks ago this burst of life died.  He died.  I cannot even believe it.  I mean, I never knew him.  Only the hope of “him” through his pictures.  But I loved him.  Still do.  Because he reminds me of me.  He reminds me of you.

Dear Ryan (and Ryan), may you forever remain as pure joy and light.  That is what you are to me. Pure Joy.  Light.

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Tired

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 20, 2014

I am tired.  I am tired of feeling.  I am tired of not feeling.  I am tired of caring and tired of not caring.  I can’t seem to figure myself out these days.  I am living on a ledge.  Sleeping on a ledge.  My long deep breaths seem empty.  I know my irritability and my numbness is part of my depression but it feels so uncontrollable.  I hate myself for still loving and wanting you but on the other hand the love I feel for you is one of the joys of my life.

I have been a mess since you called me two weeks ago.  I feel like I have back tracked.  I feel so overwhelmed and I do not know what to do.  I want to see you and puppy so terribly awfully bad and yet I am scared to.  I am so scared.

I feel so unlovable and unwanted.  I feel ugly.  I am angry and confused.  I keep trying to get back to myself but I can’t find her.  I can’t find.  Not even sure if that girl is worth finding anymore.  Where has my faith gone?

One moment this song expresses so clearly what I feel for you and at the same time I want to take a bat to your truck.

He Has

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 17, 2014

When I first share my story with people (and I have shared it with VERY few) the first question they ask was if He-who-must-not-be-named ever harmed me physically.  My response is an immediate NO.  NEVER.  Well today when I was driving home from church I remembered something.  He has.

He never punched me or kicked me or anything like that but one time he went through about a dozen ways he could kill me, instantly.  But I was never scared.  I was never afraid of him.  Then there was this other time when I wouldn’t tell him something he wanted to know.  I don’t even remember what it was.  When I continually refused to tell him he pinned me down.  He straddled me and held my hands down above my head with one of his hands.  And then with the other hand he began to tap my sternum.  It hurt so bad!  I gave in after a few minutes and told him whatever he wanted to know.  I wore the biggest ugliest bruise on my breastbone for a couple of weeks after that.   Somehow my bruise became a joke between us.  We would laugh about it.  I. WOULD. LAUGH. ABOUT. IT.  What was wrong with me?!!!

So I am remembering this as I am driving home from church and I lose it.  I just lose it.  I start bawling in my car.  And I am so angry.  I am so angry!  I love this man and he hurt me.  He has hurt me in so many ways and I don’t even get to tell him.  I have been so good to him.   So good.  Like the time I came home and he had punched through a door and ripped it off it’s hinges.  He pulled cupboard doors off his kitchen cabinets. His knuckles were so bloody and broken.  And I knew how I responded would be important.  How I reacted would either push him further into his PTSD or help him take a step out so I simply said, “I like what you have done with the place, really opens things up.”  And we went on to have a great night.  I kissed his hands.  I have been so patient and understanding with all he has gone through.  I would walk it with him.  There is no one out there who could have the patience, the compassion and understanding, the education to see him, to see what he is going through and WALK WITH HIM the way that I could.  The way that I have.  And I would continue…..

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My Fault

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 15, 2014

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Sometimes I wear your clothes.  Your socks.  Or your hat.  I wear your pants or your shirt.  Your sweatshirt.  And I try to feel close to you.  Sometimes I get mad and take whatever I am wearing off.  I throw it across the room and I scream and I cry.  When I am done I pick it up and put it back on and crawl into bed.

In the beginning you loved my clothes.  You complimented me.  Then things began to change.  My shirt would be too low and you didn’t like it and would let me know.  You would question the length of my skirts/dress and decide they were to short even though my garments didn’t show.  You would ask me all the time if I were altering my garments so I could wear “revealing” things.  One day I got so mad I wore an outfit that covered me from head to toe.  You told me you liked it and the next minute you changed your mind.  The shirt was “too flesh colored” and you hated it.  Once I wore a button-up and tie.  And you were mad at me because you like the whole “school girl” thing and I was wearing it.  It was my fault.  Everything was my fault.  I was your “weakness” your “temptation.”  That is what you told me.  I was your “weakness.”

You were attracted to me.  My whole self.  And sometimes being around me, looking at me turned you on.  You thought about things, things you wanted to do to me, with me.  And that was wrong.  And so it was my fault.  Not yours.  I was the one wearing whatever it was I wore that made you think naughty things.  It was my fault.  I was the one who made you think those things.  In the end it didn’t matter what I wore.  It was everything about me.  Who I was.  I was kind.  My fault.  I was pretty to you.  My fault.  I was mad.  And I am “sexy” and “hot” when I am angry.  My fault.

Everything my fault. And I miss you so I wear your clothes.  I want to be close to you.

I am freaking crazy.

Your Birthday/My Ritual

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 7, 2014

 Tomorrow is your birthday.  You will be 27.  I know you hate your birthday.  Oh how I want to acknowledge it in some way.  I will probably give in and send you a text.  Already planning to.  I will most likely send something like “Wonderful day to you!”  But what I really want to say to you He-who-must-not-be-named is…

I am glad you were born.  

I was reading about grief today.  Just feeling the loss, you know?  This is what I came across “Create your own ritual. Most cultures have ceremonies to mark death. A ritual marking any loss helps us to acknowledge that the loss is real. It is a way to honor the loss, and to separate the past from the present. When faced with any kind of a loss, feel free to create any kind of ceremony that holds meaning for you.”

So tomorrow, February 8th, I will begin my new annual ritual to celebrate you and my love for you and my loss of you.  In the morning I will go to the temple and spend time with my Savior.  Then I will meet a friend to share all the wonderful beautiful memories of you with.  And all the hard heartbreaking ones too.  Then I will do something special for myself like get my hair done or maybe my toes.  Pamper myself.  I will close the night by watching “Good Will Hunting” because Matt Damon’s character reminds me so much of you in so many ways.  And it hurts too much to dream of you right now so maybe I will go to sleep dreaming of Matt Damon.  Haha.

And I will give myself permission to love you anyway.  To love you forever.  To pray for your healing and recovery.  To pray (without judgement) that somehow, someday we will end up together.  Sealed.  Grow old.  Babies.  Grand babies.  Permission to cry.  More than once.  Over and over.  To bury my heart.  Set it free.  Release it.  Whatever the day calls for.  I give myself permission…

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Great Healing

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 7, 2014

“Jesus is the great healer.  He can transform our pain and disappointment into meaning and peace.  He can replace hurt with charity so that we see as He sees and love as He loves.  Serenity even in the face of continuing difficulty can come when we put our trust in ‘him who is mighty to save’ (2 Nephi 31:19).” -H. Wallace Goddard.

That is my prayer tonight Heavenly Father, please replace my pain with meaning.  My disappointment with peace.  Please replace my hurt with love.  I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ this is possible.  I am choosing faith.  I am choosing to believe.  My heart is open.  Please come and reside.  Please set me free.

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Stars

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 6, 2014

I lit a fire with the love you left behind
And it burned wild and crept up the mountain side
I followed your ashes into outer space
I can’t look out the window, I can’t look at this place.
I can’t look at the stars
They make me wonder where you are
Stars, up on heaven’s boulevard
And if I know you at all, I know you’ve gone too far
So I, I can’t look at the stars

Do you ever think of me?  I think of you every moment.  When you think of me do you think good things or bad things?  I am so afraid you think bad things.  I am scared that this is so easy for you – your life – without me.  I pray for you every day.  All throughout the day.  That you will experience healing.  That your heart will be soft towards me.  Do you ever think of me?

I love you.  And I can’t look at the stars.

Isolation

First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on February 3, 2014

I can see it now.  It makes me ill.  Physically ill.

At first we would spend time together in public but that faded.  Then only at your place.  If we ever spent time with others it was your family.

Then when I was at your place I couldn’t leave.  I wouldn’t leave for days sometimes.  At the time I loved it because I just thought you wanted to spend all that time with me.  Maybe that is true but it was also about control.  I couldn’t go outside when you were not there.  When I did – I had to “keep a low profile.”  I couldn’t talk to anyone.  A few times you overheard me talking to your neighbors.  It was all “hello” and “good day” stuff but you would grill me on it.  Make me feel guilty.  Then it got to the point where If I needed to leave for something you would threaten me that I wouldn’t get to see puppy.  Tell me not to bother coming at all.

I feel sick when I look back and with clear eyes can see how you pitted me against my friends and sometimes even my family.  You questioned my conversations with others.  Made me tell you word for word.  Questioned things I said.  Accused me of all sorts of things.  Twisted my words and distorted my stories.  I became lost and confused all the time in our conversations.  Somehow apologizing for all sorts of stuff.  Slowly you isolated me so all I felt like I had was you.  And I loved you so it kind of felt okay.  But then you left me.  You deserted me.  So I don’t even have you anymore.

And I am the who is “not suppose to talk to you anymore.”  Funny.  Even though you have not seen me in over a month you are still isolating me.

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So I wrote this less than an hour ago and I am back already.  I just cannot leave it until I write what is in my mind and my heart.  I am in no way excusing his behavior.  It was wrong.  But I also believe that his motive was not to hurt me or be cruel to me any way… well purposefully.  He is just a man – a good man- with a lot of problems.  I love him.  And maybe one day I will no longer desire a life with him or…or someone will come along who will see something inside of me to love and I will look at them and love them too.  Or maybe He-who-must-not-be-named will get the help he needs and will experience healing and we will be together in the end.  I don’t know.  But in this moment my heart is filled with charity for him.  What a hard life he must be living.