Nursing the bottle

It is date night….again. This love affair began long ago and nothing will come between us. I have been thinking about this night all day. I day dream in my car about our meeting. Granted we meet like this each night. Yet the fantasies are my playground. Bliss in my bottle.

Standing in the same spot in the kitchen I glance over at my dog. Do I detect a look of shame? Probably projection on my part. He will sit at my feet as I indulge the rest of the evening. I look around to ensure I have everything. What a stupid thought. Of course I do. I always get just enough. One bottle. A pack of cigarettes. Well I only need half and the bottle of Xanax to sweeten the mood.

Buying the bottle of wine is my definition of foreplay in this romance. I am a simple girl with no need for fancy tastes. As I am with the rest of my life there is purpose here. I want to take the edge of, escape from the routine, from myself. No need for drunkenness, just a delicious buzz. Half a Xanax will ensure that.

The foreplay continues with the opening of the wine. The sound of the cork and pouring into the glass. Blissful ejaculation. Now it is time to cuddle.

So I sip. I nurse. The warm feeling washed over me, comforts me. I light a cigarette. This is my peace. Under it is a hell I avoid. I have been there before. Lying on the floor sobbing, not knowing when the fucking pain will go away. Why wouldn’t I drink? Still the self loathing mixed with the sorrow reminds me that this is no solution.

It should come as no surprise as a survivor of incest and childhood sexual abuse I have had issues with self medicating. Sadly this is all too common with this population. Too often survivors cope with their pain by using alcohol, drugs, food, cutting, sex and other ways to avoid FEELING. It not only serves as way to escape but also provides a sense of control. Yes it may seem like our lives are out of control and indeed that is often the case. As victims we had no control our addictions serves as a complicated way to give us such.

As for my bout with alcoholism (my primary addiction) it has been an ongoing challenge. From the time I was a teenager I used alcohol to regulate my mood and escape from my feelings. I am physically sensitive to alcohol and hangovers have been terrible. I would vomit for a day after drinking only to start with another few glasses of wine. For most of my drinking life I did not drink inappropriately in public, my main problem is isolated drinking. Being alone with myself is unbearable.

I have been to 12 step programs. I certainly support this method of recovery. However, I eventually found it too uncomfortable to share in group settings. I have been sober for several years at a time. Other times I have little interest in drinking. Then I will find myself self-medicating again. It is my individual path. One I will probably always have to monitor.

The image I attached is a project I did with a very talented artist, Dr. Jerome Glickman. We did this collaboration based on my journey. Dr. Glickman has collaborated with other survivors. He recognizes the strength and courage these women have to offer and has a profound sense of compassion for them.

Jerry and Tracey

Witness by the Trees

Dirt roads. Back roads. Grave yards.

Another violation of nature and degradation of a teenager’s purity. As my stepfather drove along  the dirt road searching for the right hiding spot to conceal his crime I gazed out the window. Looking at the sun shining through the trees I knew how this would play out. He would have me undress while he stimulated himself. Pretending I was enjoying it I would be numb inside. Then he would bend me over the hood of the car right as I would go blank. It seemed my mind and body would not stay for this atrocity, finding an imaginative place to stay for awhile.

Looking up at the trees I felt the sun warming through branches touching the tears streaming down my face. As each tear dropped to the earth the ground opened slightly. The limbs of the trees shook with anger, leaves dropping like weights to the earth creating more holes. As the car started to sink, some limbs of the trees gently picked up my naked body. As I felt their protection and safety the other trees shook even more violently and descended on their target, my stepfather, before the earth could swallow its prey. Limb for limb they would have this girl’s revenge. With little effort but much determination his body was ripped and shredded, then thrown into the earth possibly recycled to the dirt of the roads he drove upon for years.

The branches cradled me as I sobbed for my youth being taken so long ago. The leaves gently wiped the tears. The trees know. They witness the evil. They also heal. And the sun shined through to warm my heart and spirit, giving me hope.

My hope in sharing this is that through creative writing (which I am new at) is to find a way to share the pain of the abuse so it is both cathartic to me and relatable to the reader. If not relatable, then
the reader can understand how much it hurts for someone to experience sexual abuse. My stepfather was one of five people who abused me and by far the worst of the perpetrators. I am unable to recall the act of intercourse with him. Dissociation is very common for victims of this abuse and although I know it happened I chose to leave my body instead of enduring the emotional and mental anguish.

Nature was an important safe place for me as child and continues to be a place of healing. As an introvert and a very sensitive person I find much comfort in nature and with animals. When I as around 8-10 years of age I lived near a heavily wooded area. I have always enjoyed my solitude, being a bit of a loner. So I would wander in the woods, sit with the trees, watch the animals and be near the brooks. This was my escape from the abuse and my inspiration for this writing.
image

Image by Vivald Impressions
Model: Dharma

My Butterfly Effect

Who knew all those years of blabbing in therapy would lead me to a blog. There seems to be some comfort sharing my words here, sitting in the tank top and shorts with my dog at my side. Decades of cognitive therapy attempting to repair the complete shit storm of my childhood may have healed some wounds. In the end, I have had to face a great deal of pain on my own with the comfort of a spiritual path to keep me from losing my mind. Even though it was almost 30 years ago I was in a psychiatric ward I sometimes get that fear of “going back.”

I come to write this blog for a few reasons. I am in a place of emotional confusion in my healing process so what better way to work through this than journal. I am spending much of my time outside my work alone so sharing my words here will help me feel as though I am not alone. Well, I already know that but need a reminder anyway. Creativity is an essential part of my life and here I want to share some creative writings and artword from my journey.

The most important reason I am here: to help anyone, especially women, to know you are not alone in this journey. What journey do I write of? That of healing from incest and childhood sexual abuse. It is a heavy topic AND one that must be heard and spoken. We see it on the news. We see it happen in our families. It is a terrible crime against our children. Here I will share my story, my journey. Even at the age of 47 I continue to heal. This is my Butterfly Effect.10325718_10203963025981147_3497190967719878583_n