So, this is going to be hard to write.

It’s taken me a long time to process, and be able to write about.

A couple months back, we were tasked with formulating a diagnosis for a client with scant information for class.  Mainly, we were told that the girl had been playing softball and got hit in the head, but not hard enough to loose consciousness.  She didn’t vomit, didn’t have a bruise, and seemed fine.  Over the course of the next few months, she had personality changes, decreased ability to focus, decreased interest in friends because of the effort it took her to pay attention now, and trouble sleeping.

The girl was subsequently diagnosed-correctly-with a traumatic brain injury.

Maybe six months ago, Sir Raven and i saw a documentary where we heard lots of medical information about traumatic brain injury in football, and that the guys who had been using pot had sustained less damage as a result.  i remember remarking to Sir Raven, after we watched it twice, that it may have been the pot that kept me from dying while i was kidnapped.

i didn’t want to smoke, then.  i needed to keep my wits about me, and the stuff Dawn got a hold of made me very tired.  She did it to have increased control, in that it took the edge of my pain to keep an immaculate house, as demanded.  And because i was convinced that i couldn’t survive the pain without it.  She knocked me totally unconscious at least ten times in that year.  Long enough to move me from the livingroom to the bedroom.  Long enough to fuck me while i was unconscious.  There were at least three times i remember having damage that i could feel on my head, larger than the size of a half dollar, places where my head felt soft like refrigerated biscuit dough left out.

Then, there was the last time i had head trauma, some four years ago.  Same biscuit dough, soft spots.  Same lack of medical attention.  Same disassociation that lasted days at a time.  This time, though, no pot.

Since then, i notice that i have the same thing happen.  i will go looking for something-a favorite pink shirt i wore when my skin hurt, a shirt i thought of as a friend, convinced that i just had it.  i will search drawers, closets.  Hours or days later i will recall that shirt was something i haven’t had in seven years.

Or i will go looking for a photograph, sure that i must have it, and days later it will occur to me-again-that i don’t have any photos of myself as a child.  Or the special black and white pictures i took of Jacob.  Or the art i made a decade ago.

Or Sir Raven and i will sit and watch a show, one i’m sure i have never, ever seen.   She will gently tell me i have seen it several times.  Sometimes, something at the end will cause me to brighten and remember.  Often not.

And when the pain is bad, i will read the same chapters for school over and over and remember nothing.  i will sit to work and write, the kind of APA hellish teeny error that can cost you a grade writing, and nothing.  i get ahead.  i get behind.  i languish.  It’s exhausting.

i wonder what in the hell i am fighting for.

i think i can probably do the work itself, as the part of my brain that remembers things connected to emotions seems intact.  And that is largely what therapy deals with.

i don’t know if i will be able to do the procedural things, that are part and parcel of billing and being paid.  And i’m scared.

i am so tired of fighting myself, an uphill battle always.  Even for the sweetness of another A.  Even for the pride i feel, the savage bit of me that revels in every success that surpasses what anyone else in my family could do.

Those smug fucks who outscored me on every IQ Test, but never read a book, never did graduate work, never completed a damn job without me there for half their lives.  They told me sure, i was brilliant, but flawed.  That i should gracefully accept my limitations and not hope for more.

And maybe….maybe they were right.

i can keep an immaculate house, cook delicious meals, and be pretty enough to please.

i am so scared of being found out when i try to do internship work.  i’m scared of being found by my kidnapper, being unable to keep my little disability checks, being penniless, being me.

Yesterday or the day before, everything just sort of hit me at once.  i realized with a great deal of shame that i held a grudge toward Sir Raven, when she has accepted responsibility all along.  It’s there when we laugh because i really can’t remember what we just watched.  It’s there when i’m upset because i can’t find something that i haven’t had in a decade.  It’s there when i can’t remember what i just asked or what the answer was.  she knows.  She knows what effect it had.  How could i have not seen it when this is so obvious?  She didn’t push for an MRI or CT scan because she already knows.  The combined damage put it over the top.  We both have to live with it now.

i get angry thinking she can’t understand what it is like being me.  She sees the difference over time, she has to.

Maybe its just July talking, in part.  June and July are always dangerous, always lurking out, ready to show me down with memories.  Nightmares. Flashbacks. Pain.

i can stay grounded enough for the most part.  Summer time makes the pain worse, always.  June and July have a lot of shitty anniversaries, and i never get far away enough that i don’t notice on some level.  That is the price of trauma.  i accept that.

Maybe its time to stop priding myself on being tough, being strong, being the one who beat every odd stacked against me.  Maybe its time to let go of whatever dreams i have left.  The world won’t end if i don’t practice therapy, never get my doctorate, never even finish my Masters.  i’ve done enough to be sure that i am smart enough, always was.  Maybe that has to be enough?



4 thoughts on “Tough

  1. blackgirldown says:

    Wishing you well, don’t give up😊💕

  2. boi-princess says:

    my sweet sissi, please don’t give up, you are so much more than you believe you are, I understand how hard it is to trust and believe in yourself, I truly do, Daddi once told me that we can not change our past, for good or bad, our life experiences have shaped us into who and what we are here, now, in the present, Daddi says that is why we ( people like you n me) strive so hard for absolute perfection, something we most likely would not do had we not lived the lives we had, that we would not be so easily able to put on a mask and smile and be brave for everyone, that we wouldn’t be so concerned with others or bother to try and help everyone, that we wouldn’t always try to please and feel such defeat when we fail even at the simplest of tasks, that we wouldn’t feel such guilt and remorse when we do wrong or displease our keepers, that we wouldn’t be so passionate about all we do, that we wouldn’t crave the pain or find pleasure from it, Daddi says people like us would be very different people and perhaps not with the ones we love now. I know you can’t picture a different life or how things would be different had your life not been as hard as it has, I can’t either. it saddens me to see you doing what I do …. trying to run from yourself, you do this by trying to hide who and what you are, by trying to be invisible, you are a smart beautiful woman, you do have value, not only to your Sir and those around you and to those that love you and call you friend and sister, but to yourself as well… I know it is hard sweetie, I struggle as you do, but please, don’t give up {{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}} despite your awful history, you have become a beautiful glowing rose , you can do this, you will get through it, it will get better, you need to believe in yourself xo xo … I believe in you, always have and always will

  3. Ira says:

    Never think of yourself as you can’t do it. You have had an entire life of terror and pain and you have made that into a successful slave. Will any of us achieve everything we work towards the answer my dear Jade is no. No matter your past we cannot always attain greatness. However what our past teaches us is life lessons good or bad. We need to take the strengths and forge ahead with the knowledge that we are good people, loving people, caring people. You are all of those people. You are an amazing person and I know this better than many people. Stop second guessing yourself, believe in yourself and most of all love yourself because speaking for myself I love you! Sorry for the rambeling but I had some many thoughts they all came at once. ❤

  4. monkey says:

    You ARE tough, strong, and beating the odds. Just because you aren’t hitting some self imposed standard does not mean that you are not all those things. Do not let go of your dreams. You might need to rework the specifics of some of those, but never let them go. Some might stay dreams but dreams are the fuel we use to power a satisfying life.

    There were 2 decades of my life that by the worlds standards were wasted. I bought into that for far too long. 10 years basically of shock, numbness, time for the trauma to stop bleeding. Then, 10 years of healing enough to get me to the point where I could begin to grow again. I initially thought of the time as wasted, there were no high spots or “real accomplishments”, no progress. I was using an unrealistic standard to measure myself against. Looking back from here? Goddamn I’m a badass for coming out this side better than I was and keeping moving! and so are you. Just look at you, all persevering and shit. 😉 You’re caring, you’re kind, you pick yourself up and try again when you fall down, and sweety, we all fall down. All of us. If you are just too tired right now stay down for a little while and rest, but don’t flagellate yourself.

    From what I read in your blog I think you’d make a superb therapist. And guess what? I have personal experience with the “procedural things” you are concerned about. I work in that field. I have some thoughts on ways to make that easier for you. You’ve gotten this far, don’t give up now. Rest awhile, be kind to yourself, and take it all up when you feel up to it again.

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