As the fifth anniversary of my father’s death quickly approaches (it is less than a month away), many things from the past 5.5 years are popping in to my head with nearly alarming regularity. Not all of them are bad, but they have given me pause for several reasons.. Be they times of great loss or great gain.
When I left my ex March 1st 2007, I really had no plans in mind except keeping CJ and Bren and my blood family as safe as I could, since he knew the locations of some of the houses…and has quite an impressive memory when in one of his rages. I had enough thought to pack CJs necessities and toys, my guitars and computer..and a half-hearted bag of my own before shakily making the 4 hour trip to my mother’s and step-father’s house…the one place I swore I’d never run to again. But hey, keeping your kids safe will do odd things to you. In truth, I don’t even recall if I called her to tell her beforehand.. Most of my memories past childhood have now returned; that is one night that is nearly completely stripped from my memory. Though, upon second ponderance, I do recall him begging me to allow him to go with me, and me stating my family seeing my black eye and him together would not turn out well for him..so I dropped him at is grandmother’s as he requested, went back to the house we were renting, packed like the house was burning down and peeled out of the gravel drive in case he got his family to bring him back.. And I sort of remember calling to tell him I wouldn’t be coming back..and I actually remember his mournful “I know”. Which made me feel nothing but a slight twinge of “What am I doing?!” I have since learned, in my life, if I feel that, I am generally doing exactly what I need to be doing, regardless how crazy, insane, goofy, fun, or plain stupid it may seem at the time.
I was nowhere near myself for several weeks, though I had multiple appointments with DFCS and women’s shelters the next few days. They made medical appointments for me of all sorts…ranging from psychological to full physicals, to MRIs of my damaged wrist and my head. For those who have missed it previously, during one of his rages, my ex threw something around the corner of a door which split my head wide open and cracked my skull fairly severely…then he proceeded to sew me up at home. And, no, I was in no shape to realize what a phone was, much less try to use it to cal for help. I giggled while he sewed me up and had to push the needle through for the last stitch myself.
And before any of you fucks say it or think it.. No, I am not strong. I am a stubborn cunt who knows how to let instincts and survival take over when I need to. I often overran those thoughts with him; I don’t now. I have learned to appreciate, to value, to honour, to LOVE those fleeting moments of clarity when I let “civilization” slip away and let animal instinct take over. We are all just animals, after all, much as most of us try to deny it. Animals with such precise and petty means of killing we have created in an effort to protect what our greed has brought us…
But that is neither here nor there. During these examinations, I was diagnosed with many things, yet told other things had healed. I used to have a heart murmur. Well, apparently having the full voltage of a power surge in a pizza shop course through your body is enough to get the ol’ system working right again. But then, I was also diagnosed as being nearly dangerously bipolar (dangerous to myself, that is, as I also internalize shit), off the charts PTSD, a likely candidate to become a sociopath, fairly dysfunctional for any sort of normal life, suffering extreme memory loss and migraines that made my eyes leak blood at times from the pressure…and I was also told the chances of me reaching 30 were unlikely, but 40 was damn near an impossibility. More or less. I was also told a surgery could possibly fix my wrist to a degree, as they could cut out the shredded cartilage, but they could do nothing for the crescent moon-shaped crack. My memories may or may not ever return, and the crack and slice is on the right front lobe, right above what is, apparently, both the memory center and the little spot of the brain that curbs impulsivity. That’s right; I’ve next to no temperance on my impulses, when I had very tenuous control, at best, previously. And no amount of medication can help either of those things, so I’ve been told by a few doctors. Add to that the wound was over a year old, so they could not operate to fix any more of the crack than had already healed on its own, nor were they willing to cut the skin open to remove the excruciatingly painful knot of nerves that have bundled in a precious little grouping. That floats, by the way. That lovely knot that, if hit, tends to turn me in to full animal mode – fight or flight – and I am RARELY a runner. However, I have learned if I love you and you hit it, I can control it. If I feel nothing for you and you hit it, chances are I’ll be looking down at you within a few seconds, my eyes clearing of their inky rage. Unless, of course, I am immersed in a PTSD rage. All bets are then off. Anyone, everything, anything, everything is a target. Period. That being stated, a mosh pit I was in 6 months ago where my head got stomped several times seems to have cured me of those episodes, as well as bringing back the fairly horrific memories of the hells I stood silent through..every hit, bruise, concussion, scrape, drop of blood..and most of the words spewed…as well as the horrendous migraines that had been under control after about 18ish months of two types of NSAIDs every day as well as Depakote (in case you don’t know, 1G every day has been proven to lessen migraines over time…but in my case, it completely rapes my sleep so entirely, I am basically unable to function. At all.)
Yeah, well, you gain something, you will always lose something else, right?
But it’s been hitting me fairly hard of late that I’ve likely only got 6-8 years left to live. Max. Granted, I survived his beatings when I shouldn’t have. I survived cancer at 22. I made it to 30 not only still kicking, but still laughing, loving, living, smiling, and dancing in the fuckin’ rain. I’ve survived people who I wish with all my heart were still here to journey with me. Hey, I’m still walking with MY body parts in my legs, and I was told at 16 if I didn’t get my right knee replaced, I’d be wheelchair-bound before 20. I’ve been letting it get to me that I may not have as much time left as perhaps I should. Granted, I’ve shoved a whole lot of fucking things in 32 years, but 40 still isn’t enough..I won’t even be able to see all of my kids graduate if that’s all I get.
But.. at the same time.. it’s not much time, but it can be enough. Y’know, if you have the right perspective.
I’d love to tell you my optimistic (overall) view of life and the world came form hard work and dedication…that it came from people showing me their amazingly good sides. But I’m not fond of lying. My optimistic (overall) views came from me ceasing to give a fuck about the mundane stupid bullshit of the world. Including the mundane stupid bullshit people. I’ll give most anyone a chance, but once you’ve earned your way out (and, people, this really isn’t easy to do. You have to be a super douche of gigantic proportions to accomplish this), you’re gone. Forever. I don’t have time for second chances on people who will betray me for their own selfish ends. And I don’t mean betray like hey let’s break up. I mean BETRAY. I don’t take that shit lightly. I expect people to be at least as loyal and forthright as I am, and if you prove yourself to be of a lesser caliber than I, you will not last long in the menagerie of fucked twisted souls I have acquired. That does not, of course, mean everyone will champion their way in to the bleeding cracked mess that is left of my grey heart, but it does mean you have your chance.
So, yes. I am 32, looking down the barrel of a gun I neither loaded nor pointed at myself..but one I watched being loaded..and watched as it was pointed at me. I did not see the trigger pulled, nor did I hear it or even feel the bullet hit (these are metaphors, people), but I have the effects every day…and that bullet is still slowly wending its way in for the final damage. I suppose, in whatever my final moments may be, I should hope to be able to laugh as loudly and full force as I ever have, until tears stream down my eyes rendering sight nonexistent, until my entire body shakes as if gripped by a seizure, until I am sobbing from lack of breath..grateful for the times and people and love and tears and fucked up shit I’ve been lucky enough to survive. I suppose I should hope to have as much said as I possibly can say before then, so nothing is left unsaid except repitions of what I already said until you are all bloody well fucking sick to death of hearing it..and hope to say it once more. I suppose I should hope to see my kids full-grown or nearly, strong in who and what they are and what and how I am, and never doubting my love or pride for them, regardless the fucked circuitous route I have taken, despite the excessive fuck ups I have made. I supose I should hope for one last hug, one last goofy grin from Bren, one last time for CJ to cup my face, mimicing how I do hers.. one last eskimo kiss from each, and a soft kiss on my forehead as my eyes flutter closed..as my eyesight dims..as darkness envelops me softly, sweetly, sadly, one last time…as I slip in to whatever comes next, if anything, all while hoping you all eat, drink, be merry and celebrate what has been, not what is no more.
I have been given a timeframe, and it is short. I may surprise doctors yet again, as I am often wont to do, but maybe I won’t. I suppose we shall see.
I am 32. I am called cub, cubby, cubs, Robin, whore, hooker, slutmuffin, fucker, daughter, mom, mommy, mother, friend, sister, hey you, bitch, cunt.. And this is my manifesto. Life has beaten me down to near-death. It has made me fall on my face, sillently sobbing inside. It has brought me to my knees time and again. It has watched me fling both middle fingers in the air in defiance while I laughed in the face of certainty. It has crushed my spirit and my soul, it has shattered and blown to the four corners aspects of myself I sometimes sorely miss. It has darkened my heart and lifted my appreciation for the few people and things I truly care about. It has given me the choice to thrive or falter, to win or lose, to live or die. I may falter, but I ALWAYS take the next step, I take a chance. Even when I lose, I win.
One day I WILL die, but I won’t go without a fight. And Death still owes me a game of Risk.