Four and a half years ago I changed my life completely. I left my entire life, my marriage, my friends, my children. Six months ago I left my siblings behind as well. I say this as though it were all a conscious choice, but it wasn’t. I did not know when I left my marriage that everything else would follow. In essence, it was all a choice, with each individual person, excepting my sons.
I can not express the enormity of the effect all this has had on my view of the world and myself. As time has gone by I have seen in hindsight so much about my life. Situations in my life that still make me angry and extremely sad. From my childhood, adolescence, young adult hood and somehow I was always lost. The people who should have supported me didn’t. I am thankful for those who did and do, but still there is deep sadness.
When I first left my marriage, I was very sick. I have peripheral neuropathy and so I have chronic pain. My immune system was compromised by stress and not eating. I was always sick with pneumonia and/or bronchitis. I had no depth perception and my balance was quite off. At times I was so sick I could not get out of bed. There was a feeling of nausea that would go through my body. At times my legs would give out from underneath me.
That summer I began to walk every day. Not much, around the block at first and times it hurts so much I would cry walking home. But I kept walking and then I walked further. Around the block was a half a mile. Soon I was walking two and three miles a day. I had begun eating again after John told me that I was starving myself out of defiance and I saw that he was right. When I say I began eating, I really began to enjoy eating and I had to eat a lot to keep my weight up with the exercise and the fact that I have a very fast metabolism. It took two years, but by then I was walking five miles a day and working out with weights. I was doing well. I felt great. I wasn’t getting sick anymore and walking helped with the neuropathy pain.
During this time my sisters had issues with me. You see, one of my sisters had neuropathy as well and she said she couldn’t walk like I did. So my sisters began to say that I had been misdiagnosed. What did I care right? Well, that wasn’t good enough, so one sister sent me a letter telling me that I was making my neuropathy worse. It was a very nasty letter and it hurt me very much. Why couldn’t they just be happy I was doing good? That was my question, but as I said, it hurt me a lot. A week later I was working with John doing fall clean up. I was lifting the barrells of pine needles into the truck and I hurt my leg. It seemed to be a chin splint, but the doctor said he didn’t see one. I couldn’t stand on my left leg for six months. Obviously, I stopped walking. Not right away mind you. I tried to walk like that. I walked three miles like that thinking I could walk it off, but no.
By the time my leg heeled I was going into treatment for Hep C. That was last fall. (Just a reminder, treatment went well, no Hep C for me) I could not wait for spring and I thought for sure I would start walking again. That was when I was at my sister’s house and what happened there, well, the woman traumatized me.
I don’t care if anyone thinks I am a wimp. A woman who is three inches taller than I am grabbed me, through me to the ground, wouldn’t get off of me and kicked me out on to the streets without a penny to my name, not to mention John was with me. Also not to mention, this woman was my sister. I looked into her eyes as she held me there and there was no sense of reason in them. It was sickening and scary to see. The woman has no sense of reality at all. Her eyes were vacant, opened wide as though someone had stuck long toothpicks into them. Scary. I don’t ever want to see that again.
The past six months has been a struggle of chaos in my mind. She brought me back to past trauma and I admit I just laid down for a while and suffered. Intrusive thoughts, the image of my sister’s face with those eyes. All of the people who treated me shamefully, filling up my head, day after day. Me struggling to clear my mind. Meditating to empty the thoughts out of my head, which brings me back to sleep. Sleep that wakes me up in fits and then time goes by. As John always tells me, “Have patience, give it time.” He tells me he has nightmares too. I feel the negativity of the world bearing down on me and he says “give it time”, what choice do I have. I try to focus on the positive as the negative stands out. The chaos in my mind whirling around and I realize I lived my life this way, how could I? How could I live that way for so long, and thoughts seem to slow, because I am not there anymore. I am here now, in a home where I belong. And I finally know what a home is for the first time in my life.
A home is somewhere you can feel safe. Where the people love you and don’t try to hurt you. A safe place. That is a simple as it gets.
The chaos goes quiet eventually if you don’t feed it. I sometimes think that when you walk away from chaos, the discomfort that you feel is the chaos starving. Eventually peace settles in, as it has in the past few days. And then I find myself thinking to myself, “Please oh please, let me keep those people out of my life.” I like my peaceful life. I like the calm I feel when I can focus.