by Lisa

I know some things that I don’t talk about. One of the things is why open windows that let in cool night breezes used to give me the heebie-jeebies. I’m moving beyond, one good night’s sleep at a time.

I still see him–long after I’d hoped he’d get hit by a slow-moving garbage truck or a stray bullet–standing outside his regular bar every few weeks, three times at the milk store last winter alone, so I don’t go there for milk any more.  I avoid, on purpose, because I value what exists now more than exacting revenge for the past. Less opportunity for blind rage that his smug face causes means less need to restrain myself from making a grand ass of myself and my future by being arrested for assaulting the unconvicted assaulter.  Can’t promise, with the blind rage effect and all, but I’m wildly talented at coping skills, thanks to my therapist. Because of her, it’s not open season on the unconvicted.

Blind rage is a tricky thing, but it’s identifiable and it gives me something to do: breathe, put myself into Now and Here and Okay Enough.  Blind paralysis is a terrible thing, and when it happens, I don’t know it’s happened.  Nothing to do if I’m stiff and mute until I fly out of the mental state with an adrenaline lurch. The flying jolt gives me grief in the form of shame, which then becomes that bothersome blind rage again, which then becomes identifiable coping-skill material. The micro-traumas after the trauma are worse than any pummeling I’ve survived.

The pummeling comes to mind often, but/and has become less of a me-definer.  I place the event next to experiences of the same ilk, which I won’t describe here.  Again, some things I don’t talk about. Among the things I talk about are how good it feels to work around what might be triggers for rage or paralysis, how witnessing violence and being the target are not so dissimilar, and how aftereffects linger but can be put back in a less life-altering place with practice.

I practice every day.  I had and have help, every day. This summer, the window next to my side of the bed is open sometimes, a happy thing. The presence of my favorite grownup eases the coming-to-mind.

When there’s no other grownup, I borrow a kitten. When there’s no kitten, I remember to keep moving beyond the things that I lately forget not to talk about.