Getting High Getting Low

She loves getting high

Always have always will

Doesn’t mean she’ll keep crushin’ up or throwing back those wretched little pills

But she probably will

Love the feeling

Hate the life

Prey on weakness

Overflowin’ with strife

Let the girl be

She’s coming into her own

But now’s the time to take her

She’s stripped and alone

She knows the devil so well

You’d think she’d see him comin’

So wrapped up in the bottle

She can’t ever get to runnin’

Paralyzed and cornered

He chases her down

His partners know her hiding places too

There’s not one more to be found

She’s danced here so long

Hell ain’t nothin new

He tricks her with the wind

It blows a new direction

A better high to chase

But it only lasts a minute

It’s worth it though, ain’t it?

Just in case this time is different.


Shitty Spa Day

Woman Has Diarrhea Holding Her Butt on Isolated White Background

If I don’t die in my sleep, I will wake up tomorrow 8 days sober. I haven’t put together 8 consecutive days of sobriety in almost 10 years.

However, my pain pill addiction is a beast of its own. I am fiercley in love with opiates. I know this because pills consume my every thought, and I hate them as much as I love them. That’s what love is, right?

So after scoring Oxycodone from my crack head ex-husband who just got out of the hospital after breaking 3 ribs in a botched robbery attempt, I decided to cash in my Mother’s Day present:  I called and scheduled an appointment for an hour-long massage, followed by a body slimming mud wrap and a pedicure from a fancy hotel spa.

I had been taking enough pills to knock out small horse over the last few days. This I never intend to do, but always do.  This behavior is never intentional, but always the case. Because I am, by definition, insane. I repeat the same behavior over and over, each time expecting a different outcome. It’s always the same. As an addict, I think, “I’m gonna save them for when I need them this time.” Yeah right, I take them everyday until they are gone.

Because of the amount I had been taking, I took a few laxatives the night prior to my spa appointment.  Once again, enough to make a small horse shit out its lunch for an entire week.  Opiates halt any and all activity in the gut.  This is the down side of taking pain pills.  I have an eating disorder as well, so looking fat devastates me.  Sometimes the laxatives work, sometimes not. Even without the opiates, my system doesn’t cooperate. I am in no way regular. A can consume a can of refried beans, a handful of prunes and a cup of coffee…most would be bursting at the seams. Nope. Not this girl. Needless to say I was disappointed when I didn’t poop yesterday morning. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t bloated for the massage. I guess I am addicted to laxatives too. Jesus.

My appointment was set for 1:15.  By 11:30 I felt the rumbling begin. “Oh thank god,” I thought at my desk. Come on, come on, come on,” as I anxiously watched the clock.” I happily pranced to the bathroom knowing my day at the spa was going to be just as I envisioned. But I should have know better.  Laxatives completely flush me out. COMPLETELY.  At least give it an hour, maybe 2 until it’s a clear liquid.  Then I know my tummy is empty and I feel thin.  I raced to the bathroom 2 more times before I left for the spa.

“Shit, I thought as I sat on the toilet with my head in hands. Why did I do that? I should have just waited until tonight to take them… Or I should have taken a couple more to make sure I was done by this time of day.” There is a fine line you must walk when taking laxatives. I didn’t want to wake up at 3 am with diarrhea.  First of all, my girlfriend would know, who’s all about letting nature perform this act as she is ‘miss normal’ in all areas. Secondly, she would shit if she knew I was taking pills again.  I had diarrhea. And it was only starting.  Fuck, there was no way I was making it to my anticipated and much needed spa day without the fear of when I was going to shit again. I needed at least 5 or 6 trips to the toilet and time was running out.

Upon my arrival, the spa staff insisted I was 15 minutes late and I insisted I was fifteen minutes early.  I was escorted to a small room to change into my hand-selected robe.  Now, feeling pressure because apparently I was making everyone wait who was scheduled to pamper me (Pampers would have been perfect), I rushed across the dimly lit hall to the bathroom.  A tiny and elegant room. I sat down and poop shot out of me at max speed. Dread hit me harder than shit hit that porcelain.  And oh my god, that smell could empty an auditorium faster than Milli Vanilli.  I felt a little relief when I spotted the purple can. You know, the lavender-scented Lysol?  Of course that’s the one they chose.  The yellow or green can doesn’t scream luxurious spa like the lavender one, those let you know you’re in gas station or an old person’s house. After leaving the bathroom, I was positive everyone would know it was me who created that god awful smell.  I walked in to meet my massage therapist.  It was a guy.  An extremely hot guy. He must have been in his late 20’s.  He had mocha skin and perfectly chiseled muscles. He spoke with a seductive voice. He had a smile that came with a flirtatious smirk and the sexiest set of dimples. I was about to get a full body massage from LL Cool J and I was clenching my ass.

This was my first full body massage.  I had never had a massage from a man (with the exception of my ex-husband, thereby making it perfectly acceptable to fart.)  No one asked me upon scheduling my appointment if I had a preference for a male or female.  I would have chosen female, but whatever. It was too late. As I sat there soaking my feet and clenching by butt cheeks together wishing I had just a little more time to shit before my massage, he explained to me what would transpire over the next hour.

“What do you mean by full body?” I blurted out.

He flashed a dimple.  I wondered if he was thinking, “Thank god I didn’t get another cow shaped house wife whose muscles I can’t even get to under all the Twinkie residue.”

“Well, I will start with you on your back. I will massage your neck and temples. Then I will turn you over and continue with your shoulders, arms, lower back. Then I’ll do each leg starting with your glutes and thighs slowly moving down to your calves and feet.”

Oh my fucking god! Did he just say glutes? This amazingly hot version of Drake is going to rub my butt. What if at that very moment I have to shit?  I’ll clench and he will know because my cellulite will pop out. Why is this happening?  I just wanted to enjoy a massage.  I am supposed to be relaxing. What a fucking idiot. Of course I screwed this up. I screw everything up. Even my own Mother’s Day present.

“Does that sound good?” Usher replied.

“Yes.” I said pensively.

“Okay, go ahead and take off your robe and get under the sheet face up.  I’ll be right back.”

Oh my god. Turn me over? There is absolutely nothing one can say in that situation that doesn’t  scream sex.

“Just relax, be listless, he whispered. Let me do all the work, when I move you, just be heavy and let it happen, don’t try to help.”  I can’t believe he can describe a massage without knowing he sounds like a steamy R&B song.

I was naked and so not fearless. Without those damn laxatives everything would be perfect right now. I could relax while LL Cool J squeezed my butt cheek and appreciated that I’m not just another white girl with a flat ass, but a rather ample ass any black man would admire. But I was so nervous.  I had to shit. Why god why?  I knew he could tell I was tense.  He’s a massage therapist for fuck sakes. “It’s ok girl, just breathe. You’ll be fine. It’ll pass,” I reassured myself.  I prayed by the time he got down there I didn’t have an urge to poop.  What if some just slipped out and I couldn’t stop it?  I wondered if that had ever happened to him before, some lady just farting in that small room.  Except for this wouldn’t be just any gas, it would be lethal and possibly visible.

Glute time had arrived. I quickly went back in my memory to anatomy 101.  My glute was in fact my buttocks, right? Why didn’t he just say buttocks? Maybe he meant upper thigh. I silently panicked, “Okay, it’s happening, there’s no getting up and running.” I suppose I could.  But I’m the type to lay quietly holding my breath, hoping nothing horrifying happens.  I’m not the type to speak up and blurt “Stop, I have use the restroom, or… Stop, I made a horrible mistake by coming here. I have to go. I forgot to pick up my kid.  Don’t worry, your tip will exceed your expectation.”

This immensely hot massage therapist who just stepped out of Playgirl magazine was ready for my ass.  He slowly rolled up the sheet all the way until I felt the entire right side of my body exposed to the warm air. I felt his hand wrap around my ankle.  He lifted up my leg ( I swear my vagina was in plain sight for him to examine while my leg was extended, thank god I had shaved). If he was my boyfriend, this is when penetration would occur. He tucked the sheet under me so it wouldn’t be in the way. He saturated his hands with oil and immersed his hands into my gluteus maximus. My eyes bounced back and forth inside that horseshoe shaped hole from wide opened to squeezed shut as my brain screamed” Please don’t have to shit, please not now. Just a few more minutes. Damn why can’t I be enjoying this like I am supposed to? God this feels good. Deep breath.  It’s all good. He’s moving down. He’s going down. It’s almost over. He’s at my calf. Okay, Breath. ” I had made it through one ass cheek.

As my perfect shade of chocolate massage therapist pursued my other side, by the time my vagina-exposing, sheet-curling moment began, so did my tummy. As the gurgling increased, I was sure he could hear it. I pictured the smirk on his face. That half smile. And oh, those dimples.  It was happening, I needed to pass some gas.  Except in this situation, the only thing passing would be liquid down my thigh, not to mention a smell reminiscent of a dead possum from the garage. I squeezed. I had to.  As I clenched my face and my ass, I hoped he wouldn’t start rubbing before it passed.  He had to have seen my butt squeezed so hard there was no doubt I was holding in a fart.  Mortified, it finally passed.  I hoped nothing had bubbled out while almost passing out from a mixture of fear and holding my breath.  He began the final stretch of my massage.  Damn it felt good.  No one ever rubs my ass. By this point, relaxing was out of the question.  I just breathed and waited.

“Okay, we’re finished. Take your time getting up. You may feel a little light-headed. Your robe is on the chair.  I’ll be waiting for you outside the door with a glass of water.”

“Jesus Christ,” I thought as I walked out of the room.  I felt it come on like someone had just turned on a water hose inside my gut.  I had to go.  For real. I was gonna blow.  I graciously took the glass of water.  I waited for him to finish his spew of directions telling me to “just relax” and wait for the next person who had apparently been tapping her nails waiting 15 minutes to pamper me.  Of course she was ready. Of course she was ready.  I, however, was not.  As he walked away, I set down my glass, clenched my butt cheeks together and tip-toed to the bathroom.   It smelled like a newborn’s diaper in there; from one hour ago when I shit the first time.  Embarrassed, because now every employee knew it was me who rancidized their entire facility, I sat down and let it out.

I was now ready for my mud wrap.  “It’s okay,” I thought, if anything leaks out,  at least I’ll be covered in mud. I’ll match.”

I made it through the rest of my appointment without incident. Well, except the part where I split my pants in the crotch while getting dressed before my pedicure. I looked in the mirror from behind. It was only visible if I bent over.  How fitting. A hole conveniently placed so I could shoot out shit while getting my toe nails painted. I hoped the manicurist wouldn’t mind.

“I’m so sorry for the mess, Miss manicurist. And about that dead possum smell.  Don’t worry, your tip will exceed your exception.”

Still Not Sober

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For those who read my last post, as I expected, I failed in my attempt to stay sober.

I am not sure I can do this.

When it rains it pours. My family is toxic. Something I have known most of my life. After having to drag my 2 kids out of my moms house because she was high on meds and her house was so torn apart there was nowhere for the kids to sit or sleep. I threw cut up straws I found in her direction and told her I will not watch her die. Once again, my son is traumatized by addiction. My daughter is a little tougher. She actually started to help clean up while Nana screamed at me for calling her out on her billshit. I offered to help as well, but there was no where to start. She is in a wheel chair, attempting to manuever her way through piles of crap. I can’t watch anymore. She has been doing this for 15 years. I took the kids over to spend the night. There was no way I would leave there. We left. My son, with tears in his eyes, told that I should be there helping her the whole drive home.

In my son’s mind, it is just like I am to blame for his father being on the street smoking crack, in and out of jail. Because we should be together in his eyes. He doesn’t understand I had to pull them and myself away after years of drug abuse, in addition to physical, emotional, financial, sexual, and psychological abuse as well.

Later that night after the episode at my moms which I was pretty torn up about, (no one should see their mother that way), my cousin came over. I cried in her arms over our fucked up family. She consoled me about my mother by handing me 6 vicodin. My drug of choice. I woke up this morning wishing I had saved one. I knew better yesterday. I had drank a bottle of wine, so my judgement was altered and I just didn’t want to feel. That’s what addicts do. I am sitting here in pain. All kinds of pain. No vicodin and a house void of alcohol.

I am depleted of energy. I am done with my mom. I am done with my ex. I am done with cousin. I am done with this pain.

I have to make a better attempt at sobriety instead of using my painful past and my screwed up family as an excuse to drink and use.

It’s Sunday. I always drink when I watch football. Always. I will sit and bear it as long as I can. I can already envision myself going to the mini mart for one beer. I use the excuse of not wanting to withdrawl. I know it’s more psychological than physical. I am so disappointed in myself.

I have to do this. I want to do this. Let’s try again.

#GOHAWKS

Bottoms Up, My Struggle With Alcohol

whiskey

The first night was easy. I was still hungover from the night before, New Year’s Eve.  I wasn’t planning on drinking any more than a glass of wine, well maybe a bottle, at home and just watch TV until I was tired.  I have never been a big fan of staying up too late and getting less than 7 hours of sleep.  Not since college anyway.  And now the bags under my eyes in the morning are enough to get me in bed by 10pm. As if the alcohol didn’t do enough damage. I would rather have my alcohol and go to bed early than stay sober and stay up too late.  As if I had a choice. I am an alcoholic.  Every morning, I walk across the hallway into the bathroom, begrudgingly turn on the light, and am either relieved at my reflection or absolutely mortified at the bags under my eyes.  They are so puffy, it appears as though I was socked in both eyes.  At first, I lean into the mirror as if I were a man trying to find that last nose hair he just can’t grab. Then I turn away as if I had just witnessed a horrible murder and try not to look again. Then comes the shame. And the frozen spoons.  And whatever miracle product I have discovered that says it cures morning bags and dark circles.

 

The second night?   That’s tonight. Not so easy.  You see, I have never made it past the second night in my attempt at sobriety.  It is just too hard.  I give in too early.   I told my daughter my New Year’s Resolution was to stop drinking.  That may have been a huge mistake.  I guess I was looking for a little more accountability.  If I make a promise to a 13 year old, maybe I will be less inclined to destroy it. .  

I detest New Year’s Resolutions. They are a major set up to fail.  Let’s take the one thing we love the most, but is most likely killing us, put it on a pedestal, and tell the world you will never do it again. Crazy stupid!  Yes, the good intentions are in your heart.  But it’s a way out for when we fail.  And usually we do. So I can say when my daughter sees me with a glass of wine or a beer, “Oh honey, New Year’s Resolutions are just attempts with good intentions. They rarely come to fruition.”

 

My alcoholism is to the point of no return.  I don’t think I can ever be a normal drinker.  Alcoholics don’t drink like everybody else.  I can’t have just one.  What is the point?  It doesn’t change how I feel.  And isn’t that the point?  I hate to feel.  Always have.  I suppose that is why I am in this predicament.

 

I am taking my kids to their Nana’s house tonight.  Christmas break is almost over. She wants them to spend a couple nights as she claims she never gets to see them.  For myself, I will be walking into a household pharmacy. I will have a nice selection of morphine and dilaudid, muscle relaxers and valium.  She doesn’t keep much alcohol around anymore, but there will be some.  All I have to do is ask with my puppy dog eyes.  Another quality of an addict…  Manipulation.  Now you know where some of these issues I have originated. At least ninety percent of my family are addicts. Most of them still using.  I am the youngest.  I am 40.  

bottoms up

 

So tonight will be a huge test.  The odds are stacked against me.  I usually fail.  I have always failed at this.  I have been to treatment twice.  Once 15 years ago and the other 8 years ago. I am afraid. I wish I could just be a normal person and go out and have a good time.  I used to be able to have a drink or two without blacking out or becoming obnoxious.  I could handle a bottle of wine at home in the evening without yelling at the kids. My body is changing and so is my ability to handle my liquor.  In other words, my alcoholism is progressing and I am afraid I cannot beat it.

 

People’s secrets keep them sick.  I have close to a hundred, I am sure.  And I will fight til the death to keep it that way.  I can never work the steps of AA, because the 9th step is righting all the wrongs you have done in your addiction. In person! There is just no way.  Maybe that is the root of my drinking.  I am killing pain I do not want to feel.  I can’t bear the thought of having all of those secrets rush to the front of my head. I have worked too hard to suppress them.  What in the hell do I do with them?  It’s easier just to stay sick and keep the mess buried in the dark places in my head.

 

I’ll keep you posted about tonight. Happy New Year.

 

What Would You Do?

neurosis
What would you do if it were me face down on the sidewalk instead of you?

Ambaum Boulevard and SW 124th Street.

What if I called you on a Saturday afternoon begging for you to come to me.

An intersection, my only offering.

Would you come for me?

If my body couldn’t move because it needed a syringe, would you come?

What would you do if I were writhing in front of my dealer’s house?

Alone. In pain. In tears.

Wanting to die.

You were the only person left in the world I could call.

All other bridges I had burned.

What would you do?

I can tell by your voice you remember the pain.

But where is your compassion?

I know you remember.

The anguish of the mind.

The agony of each bone.

The ache of every muscle.

How did I get here?

How could I let this happen?

Again… and again.

Would you give me 20 bucks and watch me crawl like a beggar through my dealer’s doorway?

Maybe you would show up to scream at me for destroying our lives?

Or would you simply pick up my frail, run-down body out of the street and take me to a hospital?

Perhaps you would call the police?

At least I would have a place to go.

Three hots and a cot.

Or would you let me suffer?

Like I let you suffer.

Covering your ears praying it’s just a nightmare.

Or would you simply stop answering the phone and wait for me to stop breathing?

What would you do?

I called the police that day.

I was too far away to make it to him.

I didn’t want him to die.

He handed me the intersection.

So I turned over his life.

It’s not where he wanted to end up that day.

But he is alive.

What would you do if the father of your chiildren called you from the floor of a sidewalk…

What would you do?

man on sidewalk

Invictus

absence

Maybe not being able say “Happy Birthday” to your daughter on her thirteenth birthday is exactly what you need, so you can feel the depth of how low you have sunk this time.

The realness of the text message brought him back to reality, the same feeling he had been running away from.  It severed his heart.  And his heart bled shame.

He sat on the floor against the wall, at some junkies’ apartment or a cheap motel in which he bartered for shelter.  His phone slipped out of his hand to his side onto the floor.  He picked up his crack pipe with his other hand simultaneously, a movement so robotic it no longer required any thought, just the trigger of an addict’s feeling, if it deserves that much respect.  He exhaled the cloud of white smoke. It wasn’t the head rush, but rather the heaviness of his grief, that caused his head to collapse into his hands.  The pipe dropped and he let out a scream.  A wail that nearly emptied his soul.

On the other side of the world, or so it felt, I too, divulged a scream.  It was a cry of exhaustion. A plea of desperation. Okay, that sounds too elegant. It was more like an ugly explosion. I dropped to my knees with my hands cupped over my ears and I yelled as loud as my lungs would allow. I had to let go of the angush. The obligation of him I could no longer hold.  Like mothering a child, I was clinging to a responsibility.  But this burden was no longer mine to bear.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl.  May you never have to carry the burden of this man.  You are stronger without him. As am I. We are never broken.

Invictus.

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day

memory

I find it nearly impossible to live in my own head for too long.  If I am not actively doing something, reading, looking at my phone or the computer, my brain races. I drown in memories, and cannot escape the pictures in my head.  I cannot lie in bed too long in the morning for fear of my own thoughts.  If I am not tired enough when I go to bed, I cannot lie there because my thinking overcomes and defeats me.  I try to block the images, but to no avail.

During the last couple days, I began reading a book I read years ago.  “What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day,” by Pearl Cleage.  Great book.  I often reread books I once enjoyed because it ignites my writing.  The book describes a woman who, in finding out she is HIV positive, returns to the small town she grew up to find a run-down mess of a neighborhood.  Houses filled with young men and women and their crack addicted, screaming babies.   The oddly sweet, peppermint smell of crack she described brought back vivid memories for me. Euphoric recall us addicts say.  Waking up to realize I had my 2nd consecutive night of using dreams, I knew I needed to re-shelf that book.  I also woke up last night after having night mares separate from the using dreams.  They felt so real when I was disrupted by them, but I can no longer remember their contents.  My tossing and turning woke up my girlfriend;  she had to escort me to the bathroom.  I was too afflicted to walk across the hall alone.

Nor can I get the images from Breaking Bad out of my head.  I only made it through the 2nd episode of season two and I am not sure I can continue.  The scenes where Jesse is smoking meth haunt me.  I can see it and feel it as though it is real.  The powder, the pipes, the inhaling and exhaling of white smoke.  I remember how paranoid he was peering out that deceitful window.  I have been in that place of darkness and I hate thinking about it.  I wish I could erase the images from my tarnished head.   They will never leave.  I know this because I have withstood traumatic experiences since I was a teenager.  “Just give it time,” people say.  When I believed in the power of prayer a long time ago, I used to pray for the images to abandon me.  Others would pray over me, lay hands on me, commanding the flashbacks to leave, that Satan himself pull his talons out of me. Is that like “praying the gay away?”  Is that like Michele Bachmann saying natural disasters are God’s way of getting the attention of sinners such as myself?  Maybe she and her cuckoo companions should pray harder the next time a tsunami nears.

When I sat down to write this, I had no idea I would take this direction.  But while I am on the subject, let me elaborate on my seeming resentment of the so-called power of prayer.  I went to church for seven years with my ex before the massive and unforgettable relapse of 2007.   You know how they say ‘you pick up where you left off’ when you abuse drugs or alcohol?  That cannot be more true.   The intention was to get high and stop before the end of the 3 day weekend.  Memorial Day weekend.  It stretched into an ongoing nightmare that continued 4 years. With each short stint of sobriety he managed to piece together, the church replaced the crack pipe.  He exchanged one addiction for the other.  He continues to go from one extreme to the next even as I write this.  He is currently addicted to Jesus.  I am strangely happy about that.  Whatever it takes to keep him clean.   Myself, however, after years of trying to comply to that lifestyle, grew tired of giving myself to hope and ending up in a place of hopelessness.

Once, during a law enforced attempt to stay clean, he had an appointment downtown to meet with his probation officer. I was working at the dry cleaners, where I spent most of my time to compensate for his unemployed idleness and depression.  Beyond the point of anxious, why not pray?  It can’t hurt.  I had a gut feeling he would take a detour.  Stumbling into the Central or International Districts of Seattle never ended well for him.  Meanwhile, at work, I hadn’t seen a customer in hours.  I was alone and worried.  I began to pray out loud, as fierce and desperate as I could.  I gave it all I had.  I pleaded with God to please keep him on the right path.  A few hours later, he called from home.  He informed me that everything had gone well and as planned.  I really believed God heard my cries.  Unlike the other times when I cried out to him while I was being raped in my own bedroom by this same man, struggling and begging him to get off of me.  I swore he was the devil.  When he was high, and especially coming down from a high, he may as well have been Satan himself.  He looked evil. He terrorized me. I know there were demons in that room.  I felt them.   So when he called that day after his appointment, I felt relieved.  Finally, everything was going to be better.

He showed up at 7:00 PM, closing time at the Dry Cleaners.  His pupils were huge black saucers, covering every piece of Sinatra blue that I knew.  He lied to me.  Usually, I could hear the drugs in his voice immediately.  I missed it by letting my guard down.  By believing God had come through.  Shocked, disappointed and scared of how the night would unfold, I refused to give him the money he came to ask for.  He wasn’t out of money.   He just wanted to taunt me.  He actually thought I would be excited to come home and use with him.  How fucking delusional can one become?  The last place I wanted to be was up in that hell hole of an apartment watching porn and smoking crack.  But I didn’t have anywhere else to go.  Defeated and hopeless, I went with him.  I wanted to run and flag down a car. I wanted desperately for that last customer to see the look in my eye, to see the cry for help in my face as my husband stood there waiting for me. Why couldn’t I say something?  Why didn’t I?  I guess I needed to maintain my invisible cloak of dignity.  This cycle had become the collapse of our families.  It became absolutely necessary to hide this torment we were living. It was that or raw fear that he had implanted in me years ago.

My life is better now.  I no longer live in fear.  The memories, however, are worsening.  I believe this is a result of my writing.  If that is the case, then I will write until I die.  I need to purge all of this, so I can be free.  Praying obviously isn’t going to have any effect, so I’ll share my journey with the world in hopes that someone who needs to hear it does.  Some would say this is God’s will.  That he allowed me to endure hell on earth.  He doesn’t give you what you can’t handle, right?  Fine.  Call it what you will.  After being so tremendously disappointed by a God (Abba father) who is supposed to protect you from harm, I just can’t believe anymore.   He is supposed to be my father?  After my real father left when I was barely a year old?  After my husband, the man next in line to protect me, sold me, beat me, and almost killed me?  I will never put my life in the hands of another “Father” again.  My christian friends can and will pray for me all they like.  That’s their choice.  Just as choosing not to pray is mine.

I know the scars will get better, though they may never go away.  I am thankful now for my afflictions.  They made me stronger.  I am thankful for those close to me who support me and love me regardless of how wrecked I feel, or am, not sure which.  I do not doubt that I will have more nightmares and more using dreams.  But I feel confident that I will be okay, because I sleep next to someone who makes me feel safe and walks me to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I knowbad memoriesnightmare as I process and transfer these pictures into words, they are not written in vain.  And I thank you for that.