Am I living in a Post Traumatic World Yet?

This is a journal. Or these are…all (or most) of these blogs will be.  Some will even be assignments from my therapist.  Be warned.


Let’s start with the now.  Right now I am sad and sore, stressed, depressed and disabled, lonely and broke.  Like a country song or some shit.  My heart still broken from the lover and husband who left me in January. Our first wedding anniversary would have been/ was the 4th of July.

The 4th of July is also the 6th anniversary of my husband Roland’s memorial service, in 2010.  At least my futile relationship with Dave stopped me from grieving for a matter of years, although much of that grief is back in different ways.  Imagining how I would have handled similar problems with Roland.  It is so hard not to, and yet so unfair, to compare and contrast 2 lovers, much less two husbands, isnt it?  You must turn loose of the memory of the dead one in order to have any hope of success with the living.  Right?

Maybe not.  Maybe one must keep checking the norm against the desirable to see if you can live with the difference you discover in reality.

Also still much in the middle of grief for my older brother and room mate…my co-experiencer of our father’s abuse,  who died in my living room 8 days after my husband left.

I have lousy luck like that. Bad luck or karma, disaster seems to follow me. My mother’s death when I was 19, followed by my grandmother’s a few months later.  At least that time we got a few days to be able to breath again.  8 days!  That’s fucked up, God!

And then there was 2013. My 20th anniversary as a photographer with the same company.  One of the top salesmen. Decent benefits, finally, though the pay was lousy.  But accommodations were made for my disability, so I stayed on, planning to retire when I was 60.  Nope.  The company died in April. I lost my job, my health insurance, my retirement plans, all my savings etc. in one day.  Of course, my friends all thought that was what was making me act weird.  My lover saw it clearly first.  Something was bad wrong with my brain. I couldn’t follow the plot on a TV show. I said things over and over.  I fell a few times and injured my knee…twice out of bed in a sound sleep…I thought.  Apparently some kind of seizure.  Because I had a brain tumor. I went to the emergency room on June 29th, 2013. On July 5th, 2013 ( I think) I had a rather large menengioma removed from the base of my brain, that had so severely displaced my brain that a few more days of spinal fluid build up would have killed me.  Medical staff was amazed that I had not suffered grand mal seizures or had a massive stroke.

I don’t remember any of that however.  I remember standing outside my home, talking to Randy in the driveway, about going to the hospital because I was falling and forgetting stuff.  I was thinking it was a big fuss about nothing.  The next thing I remember is waking up in the NICU with bandages on my head, a catheter in my urethra, high on drugs and hallucinating parades through the hallways outside my room. Good times.

I had no idea what had happened. It seemed I was in a place where traumatic brain injuries were treated.  Why?  Not a clue.  I thought I might have been in a car accident.  No one seemed to want to tell me much.  I had had surgery.  That’s about it.

So, I became disabled in 2013. Dave moved in with me, as well, and was quite supportive during my recovery….except when he wasn’t.  Which is another chapter in this story I will address at a later date. Suffice to say, for various reasons, he left. Badly.

So, 2014 was for recovery. Both of myself, and to some extent my lover, and my relationship with him.  All badly in need of repair, but only the physical is ever addressed. Who knew?


2015, I thought was to celebrate rebirth.  New and different friendships and relationships. An attempt at poly and communal living. Hope for the future. Commitment and appreciation.  And then, suddenly in September…disaster. People around me, people I loved started an exodus. It was supposed to be so loving, so enlightened but it became secretive and abusive.

That is a story for later as well.


I tell you this to explain why my world seems traumatic.  Being abused as a child. Sexually molested at age 4 by a neighbor. Fleeing from a nuclear crisis  (another story) at age 7. More abuse from father. Several instances of consent being violated in date situations. Even being coerced into crossing sexual boundaries by too many men.  Unsolicited dick pics on the internet.  And now my new husband, a man I loved with all my heart cannot see why I am sad when he is 2,000 miles away with another person, and he chooses that day, the 4th of July, our wedding anniversary to talk about picking his stuff up. Shit.

I have recently gotten “shed” of a person that came into my life  through him, and who refused to leave space for me in my own home. By that, I mean bullying me about the way the household was run, without contributing all that much to its betterment. I am sure I WAS a bitch to her, because I was angry at being taken advantage of, and with my history, have never been able to feel anger about people like the two of them. So, that anger is magnified through a lens of my own past, I guess. Not having had experience with anger, I dont really know how to handle it.  I suppose, as with all the other emotions I have been having to face this year, anger is going to be one of them.  The trick, for me, is to use it as a tool, rather than a weapon.  But there was some more stress and trauma with that of course.



Now, three days ago, I find that soon to-be ex has instead of having the tax refund money that was going to be a new start for both of us, into our joint account, has had it deposited to his private account.  And has the nerve to be mad when I call him out on that!  I have been in panic and disappointment mode for those 3 days, with what little I sleep full of nightmares.  And then the “daymares,” when I cant make my brain return to the present, because it is spinning out on various “what ifs.” So, no, I am not fuctioning well at the moment.  Shit.

The thing about anger, is how much it is like light, in that it is easily refracted and reflected, and in do so, becomes something else. Sometimes brighter, sometimes duller. Nothing at random though. Even the act of thinking about anger can change the direction of the light..reflecting it back to your eyes brilliant with truth., each thought a prism that you must experiment with to see the result.  Anger however, often best experimented with internally. Unlike light, which all are free to see, anger might need to be hidden from the public’s’ eyes. In a sense, that is a damned shame, because I have to hide that beautiful truth from others because they can be exposed to that much light.

That sucks…especially for women, because that emotion is trained into us as always a choice. Of course, it is not.

More about that later, too.

My reason for this litany, and the direction this arrow is flung, is to bring up the fact that I have PTSD. Lots and lots of it. Have probably had it since I was about 3 years old. But the thing is, It is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I feel like there has not yet been a Post for me in a very, very long time.

I know, a lot of my feelings about this are also influenced by the politics of the day. So many people angry, so many afraid, so much trauma…

The first doctor who diagnosed my PTSD said that writing would be a wonderful therapy for me.  I undertook online psychological therapy also.  So, what I do, and what I need to keep doing is write about it. I must take out all those bits of trauma and look closely at them. Live them again, even. And in doing so, I learn along with it how to release each individual piece of trauma from its place of honor in my psyche. Ignoring them do not take away their power to work their way into that place of honor. I just can’t see it happening. So I have to look. I have to put it all under a microscope, so to speak, and magnify it all, intensify it to the extent that I can bear, and by learning of it, feeling it all again, I control it for the first time.

Because that is my goal now.

Post Traumatic.

















About Dee

I have too many cats, and I am crazy, but I still maintain I am not a crazy cat lady. Maybe its the lady part? Widowed, mature, liberal, Christian, intelligent (no, the two are not mutually exclusive!) photographer, blogger, classic rock lover, ex-hippie (ok, maybe not ex) theater aficionado, down to earth, open-minded, loud-mouthed, and very opinionated old lady.
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