i wrote this morning and then turned my attention to try and deal with the extremely high physical pain of the day.
In the class on forgiveness and grief work, i had asked if we could consider that a person had forgiven abuse or abusers, even if they were unable to find forgiveness for the ongoing physical pain or neurological function caused by the abuse. Luckily, when the professor asked the class to generate a list of reasons clients may seek us out to deal with trauma, forgiveness, and grief, child abuse was top on the list.
We talked about it, determining that forgiveness was achieved when the client no longer felt like directing anger at the abusers and wishing them harm in return. That forgiveness implied that we did not wish that our path had been anything but what is was.
i don’t wish my path had been different. Sometimes, i have a momentary sense of wondering how different i may have turned out with any kind of love that wasn’t possessive in childhood. i don’t think being abused made me who i am deep down, and i don’t harbor a belief that i’m the dented can in the supermarket anymore. i think that it created patterns, made me extremely sensitive toward others, very inclined to obey without thought, stuff like that. i certainly didn’t allow it to destroy my goodness, optimism, love for humanity, intellect, determination.
My entire life, i have been described with two words-intelligent and charming. Or charming and intelligent. The order of those words told me what i needed to do, generally try really hard to disarm people and hide my brilliance until it was beaten out.
Today has been a meditation on these things, work in getting the house ready for the weekend for my beautiful Master. i bought extra wine yesterday, made a giant pitcher of hibiscus tea, have a frig full of home made food, changed the sheets, made sure everything was clean and comfortable. i wanted to fit laundry in there somewhere, but couldn’t.
i played some meditations while i worked. i kept the tv off all day, worked on a long paper, two shorter papers, and took a test. i couldn’t nap, despite exhaustion. i realized i was getting a migraine and took my meds for that around 4. Kids playing in the warm sunlight in the alley were having fun, and i generally love the sounds of them, but it was becoming too much. Finally, i got into the shower and had just finished shaving when i heard a hysterical, gutteral scream from the hallway.
A woman was repeatedly screaming, “oh my God, my baby. She’s dead. She’s dead.” So I wrapped myself in a towel, went to the door, and asked if she needed help. i know there is a woman on our floor with a one year old baby, and with the hysteria i thought maybe something happened to her baby. The woman responded by punching and smashing at my door and trying to get in, continuing to screech and inarticulately ramble. Then, she was stomping around banging on all of our doors on our floor, maybe 8 of us in all. A neighbor said he was calling the police.
Unsure of when Sir Raven was coming home, and not wanting her to walk into this shitshow or-worse- the NYPD, i tried her cell and then called her work line until i could talk to her. i briefly let her know that something had been going on for 40 minutes at this point, no police yet, that i would text her when it was all done.
By this point, i had gone from thinking the woman had a dead baby. Then i thought maybe she had come home and discovered someone dead in the apartment. Seeing a dead body is frankly extremely traumatizing in real life. She wasn’t behaving like someone in shock anymore, and she wasn’t trying to get help in any way by her reactions at me.
The police came, all TEN of them, and i talked softly to one. He said she had shot up, and i told him that she was clearly mentally in need of assessment and help, and to my great surprise, they were actually extremely gentle and calm. To be clear, i have never had any interaction of any kind with the police here that i would describe as either calm or gentle.
One of our neighbors who creepily hangs around the front door a lot told me that she and a man had been sleeping on the roof, sleeping in the basement, and he had seen her with a baby before. i had encountered the man in the basement several times, but thought he was a building helper, because he was always by the huge deep sink by the washers.
When Sir Raven got home, i asked her to just sit and breathe and have her wine, and then let me know when she wanted to hear the whole thing. i left out how i had already felt bad from being stuck in the MRI, the fear around my numb legs, the inability to practice any of my skills for grounding because you can’t even breathe deeply in that damn thing without messing up the pictures. i left out how scared i am of police, because she already knows that. i left out how shitty it felt to be in a towel, with a going numb leg, trying to assess what to do and how to help, and have a totally hysterical woman hit the door. i thought she was going to hit me or bust in. i just needed to tell her what was most important, and i wanted her to just sit and relax for a few minutes, have wine and just be.
So, i went to finish some work in the bedroom to just have something quiet to complete so she had maybe 20 minutes of calm. When i poured her more wine, i thanked her for providing a home where it is tremendously unusual to have drama and hysterics around me, that i know she would pay attention and listen to me if i had told her it wasn’t safe to come home or go to work that day or whatever. i’m thankful that we have enough peace in our lives that i can hear my own intuition clearly and constantly, and responded to my feeling to close the windows every night. That could have resulted in the drugged and homeless couple coming into our home from the fire escape, as we live on the top floor. i thanked her for her trust in me.
She thanked me for making this a home, her sanctuary, and i kissed her lips in reply.
i told her about all of the options for dinner-homemade minestrone soup and fresh salad, tortellini and summer sauce from scratch, turkey meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes, or french toast from the bread i had gone out after the chaos to get for my Beloved. None of them sounded like what she wanted, so we went out together for Chinese. It was amazing. i was happy she insisted on coming with me, holding my hand, helping me make plates. Chinese food and kisses fixed a lot.
It felt really great when we got home with the food, the door opened, our home felt calm and peaceful and was clean. It smells fresh, from the lavender cleaner i use. Despite the chaos of the day, the demands on my time, the physical pain, the amount of work i had to do-everything in the home feels right and good. She is my Beloved, and i love she knows that my work is to create a sanctuary for her. i know in crazed moments, she is aware and thankful for the work i do to keep the energy of the home light and sweet and welcoming-even today.
i feel really sad for the woman, the incredible pain she was in, real or “imagined”-pain is pain. i hope she has a home one day, that she takes all of the intense pain inside to become determined for a better life. i will keep her in my meditations, because her screams and animal sounds are familiar to me, having made them myself in life. Whatever else may have happened, including drugs, i feel very confident she is no stranger to the trauma dance.
i’m so very thankful that i never gave up.