Not Sorry

Today I woke up at Chase’s house and realized it’s 2017. How much has changed over the years. How many parts of me have come and gone and how many things are different.

It’s been 6 years since my exodus to the western seaboard. 6 years since I tried to leave a lot of hurt and pain and suffering behind. A lot of things have happened. A lot.

I woke up this morning with the words “I’m sorry” on the tip of my tongue and tears staining my face from dreams about shit that happened so long ago and about things that happened in the space between these last 6 years.

It’s been 6 years since I tried to leave an abuser and tried to remove a toxic community from my life, but the reminisce and reminders of abuse never really leave a person. They change us, somewhere down in our core, for ever.

I’m not sorry.

I didn’t do anything wrong.

I tried to believe in something and got sucked into more pain and hurt than I had bargained for.

I left to try and get better and it happened again, but in a different way. And that time too, it snuck up on me while I was trying to believe.

So yeah, I believe the sentiment “If you keep doing the same thing and it keeps going wrong, then you’re doing it wrong”, but not all the time. Because if I believed that as an absolute I’d have to stop trying to believe in people and things and I don’t think that’s right. I think that sounds like giving up.

Fuck giving up.

So fuck no, I’m not sorry. I’m not going to say those words. I’m going to try and stop feeling them and thinking them all the time too. I didn’t do anything wrong and the things I’m afraid of that make me feel this way aren’t even real most of the time. You just made me believe they were.
It’s 2017, you’re gone and might as well be dead. I won’t forgive you or believe you’ll ever change and I don’t have to. Knowing that is one of the most positive parts of my healing process.

Forgiving any of you is not my responsibility.

I am only responsible for myself.

New Year//No Fear

I live in an interesting world.My car is broken and I feel so passive about it that I’m wondering if I should even bother to keep it. Maybe I’ll fix it and pass it on.

Yesterday, when walking to Jojo’s to get the house sitting, dog/cat/chicken run down, I ended up in a good old Canadian traffic stopper. Darcy, a local mechanical guru, saw me walking and stopped to offer a ride. We chatted on the roadside for a half hour about cars. He says to just call him when I’m free and we’ll see what’s wrong with my car.

When I got to Jojo’s, they handed me $120. It was confusing. I didn’t expect to get paid to watch Netflix, pet chickens and talk to a dog for 3 days.

Ally called me and needed help. Her and Rob are ill. Could I go to the cafe and finish refinishing the floors? She let me keep her car overnight.

I ended up working an hour shift at the pizza place. Another $15 and a free pizza.

When I brought the car back today, Ally demanded to pay me for my work. I tried to refuse, it was only 45 minutes. She gave me baby bell cheese, gluten free chocolate cake, $20 and a whole smoked salmon (it’s good until November 2022, no added preservatives. The amazing power of smoked meat!).

Tomorrow I’ll be 4 months sober.

I had a dream on Christmas night about getting totally boss hagged. I woke up the next day to find my room mate just shredded on the couch. When I returned home, 5 hours later, he hadn’t moved. I made him tea and Kraft Dinner. I gave him a gingerbread cookie I had made. I know all too well what a body destroying hang over feels like.

I never want to drink again.

Ever.

Even if I feel the draw towards it. The cold and clammy hand of a can of beer gripping for mine.
Fuck that shit.
It’s all a waste of time.
I need to remember that while I’m hanging out with PDad when he’s working at the liquor store. I need to remember my strength and resolve when I think about the dozen of failed quit smoking attempts I’ve crawled through the last few months (last year).

Soon, we’ll all be referring to 2016 as “last year”, as in “a time that’s passed”.

I’m going to think of it as “last year; as in the last year of my life that I did all this shit.”

The last year I ever drank. The last year I ever smoked. The last year of my life that I put up with abuse dynamics and bull shit. The last year that I ever let fear stop me from tearing down the cities in my mind.
2016, thank you for all the things you brought me. All the beauty and strength. All the love, compassion and kindness. For the gentle and soft souls who’ve touched me deeper than I yet understand.
Thank you for almost destroying me. Taking with you the lives of friends as your days passed. For stealing pieces of the ones I love and loved ones of those I care for. For taking parts of me with you and dragging them out over the rocks of your shorelines while I watch, injured and helpless trying to find strength.
Thank you for letting me dismantle my ideas of how things should be so I can move forward. Because there’s no where else to go but forward.
Thank you for almost being over.
2017, the best of both worlds. Let’s hold hands about it?

Wake up if you want to

I’ve realized that I’m pretty afraid to go to my friend’s memorial on Sunday.
I’m afraid my ex partner will be there.
I’m afraid that I’ll feel too many feelings all at once and I won’t be able to keep myself together.
I haven’t been sleeping very well.
Parts of me aren’t doing so well.

I had a dream where you asked me to show you my life, who I am and from what I have become. My memories and what the places inside my mind look like.
That was the feeling of it anyway.

So I took your hand and started walking, leading you to where I begin.
Taking you through the edges of myself on the streets of a place with no name, the things that I share easily with people. It looked like the old archatecture of southern ontario. Century buildings mixed with more modern store fronts. Mixed residential. Weird side streets.

We climbed a retaining wall and the place turned into Owen Sound, Ontario. I know where we were. I knew exactly where we were.
We had slipped through and into the places inside me that aren’t so easy to get to. You held my hand tighter.
You wanted to hold me, I could tell, but I kept walking, determined and focused.

I’m not totally sure what happened next, but I became afraid and anxious. Some dream details can never be remembered.

I ended up in a confrontation with my ex partner. He was drunk and being dangerous, unpredictable and terrifying. (I wonder now, what depths of hurt is he capable of?)
In my dream he pulled a knife on me. He tried to stab me and was laughing about it. He was laughing at me for being there. He fumbled and dropped the knife. He laughed it off like he was just kidding. Laughing as though, even if he wasn’t kidding, i’d deserve it all anyway. Even if he hadn’t fumbled, he would of laughed the same.

You were angry and sad and hurting. You were worried and scared for me. I could feel what you were feeling. You didn’t want me to have to be inside this part of myself, but you can’t protect me from my past. You pulled me close to you and held me. You told me that I could wake up if I wanted to, that I didn’t need to be here. I could smell you and I could feel you.
I woke up.
You weren’t there any more but I could feel the memory of you next to me.
I was sad and angry and waking with those feelings helped me realized how some parts of me still feel that way. How some parts of me are just now learning how to be those things, how to be sad and angry, and that’s ok.
I woke up and I missed you and I hated my brain for crossing those two different parts of myself.
I’m healing.
I’m realizing that nothing is truly separate. If I’m processing my past and you are part of my present, these things are part of me right now and they have intersectionality.  I shouldn’t feel bad for that. It’s just a fact of how time works.
I wonder why I’ve had so many dreams with you in them. And I think about the different ways you’ve helped change me. When you were here, I got to a point where it felt like I was dreaming with you every night. Now you’re gone and I’m dreaming during the day.

Break It Down

47 days sober and smoke free.

I’ve been falling behind on journaling, creating and working on this tumblr project.

I feel like I hit a wall again. It happens sometimes, hard and fast. I’ll start feeling like I’m on a roll with everything. As if I have the full energy, intelligence and ability to keep going, to build more drive and focus. Then my heart drops out of my chest, or… I don’t know?

It seems like so much shit has happened in my life. Right now, it all feels horribly overwhelming and unsorted. Like it’s all just been dumped out into a shitty pile of experiences. Thoughts and feelings that I’m expected to sort through and put back together. How am I supposed to remember the order of things? And why do I care so much if a lot of it is shit that I wish had never happened anyway?

Why should I feel like this?
This over bearing feeling that all the bad has taken over the all good.

And I feel like you stole my 20′s from me.
You berated me and held me back from my full potential.
You hit me, yelled at me, isolated me.
You held me down and fucked my body.

And you wouldn’t let me find the words to ask for help.
You stole those words from me and twisted me into crazy.
And, even if I had found those words,
the world is so full of people just like you,
and they don’t want to listen.

They don’t give a shit about what I have to say.
And the ones who want to care are all still to broken to know how to save themselves.

I woke one year four months and twenty one days ago,
and I wasn’t 20 any more.
I wasn’t going to be 20something ever again.
And you can’t ever fucking take that from me.

I’ll never give up what I am to become.

You can chase me,
You can catch me,
But you’ll never take my spirit.

Moar Mental Health

I’ve been hanging out alone a lot lately (story of my life), thinking about a lot of things. Trying to dismantle my (incorrect) ideas of “success” and “adulting”. Thinking about and trying to recognize what ways I’ve exceeded my own expectations with my life and where I’m at. I’m trying to learn to believe in myself more. I want to feel proud of myself and my accomplishments.
A good friend of mine pointed out to me that being hyper vigilant of things that are happening can be part of the process of recovery from trauma.
They also pointed out that it’s really, very usual for abuse survivors to normalize the behaviour of side stepping their own feelings in situations in order to appease the other person/people. That it’s a fear response. A lot of survivors of domestic abuse have normalized this fear response out of the necessity for survival in situations/relationships where it can actually be dangerous to “have feelings” (or express feelings that deviate from what the abuser has set as acceptable).
I’ve noticed myself doing this in my every day life, and it’s becoming more apparent to me.
I am sometimes (often?) actually afraid to express when someone’s hurt me. Because, in my past, that could of meant being subjected to a yelling match, or being berated, or gaslighted, or having a plate of spaghetti thrown at my head. A chair stuck in the wall.
A hole punched through the door.
Another reason to go to the liquor store… and it’s all my fault.
This was few years of my life, a few long years.
A life, a life time, lived a lifetime ago, and it’ll never leave me.

So, please be careful when you look at someone and say “he has a history of shitty behaviour, but I trust he’s changed, because you wouldn’t put up with that shit.”
because, I know I’m smart, I know I’m strong, I know I don’t put up with shit and I very very much know that nothing is as simple as it seems.
And please take care when you look at your friends and think “they’re strong, they’re outspoken, they know themselves so well”
Because, although that could be the truth, we are all capable of living in dualities.
And sometimes those dualities can become a stagnant and horrible hell that is impossible to navigate, and even worse when you’re friends have an unwavering opinion of your abilities and you feel like you have to live up to those expectations.
I’ve been wondering how I can be a better person, but I suppose I’ve been thinking about that a lot for quite a few years.
So, I’m just going to fucking do it.