On the Road

5:46 PM Edit This 21 Comments »
When I'm upset, I tend to drive. Long distances. The high gas prices last summer were a killer on my mental health. I drink fountain diet coke, (Emphasis on the fountain. With lots of ice.) smoke, and listen to music while I twist and turn my thoughts around until they're straight enough for me to manage again. I got a bunch of old cds out last week - sorting through which ones I want to go on my iPod. And I found the soundtrack from my drives in North Carolina. Sarah McLaughlin's Mirrorball. I'd get up early on Saturday mornings, brush my teeth, and jump in the Blazer in my pjs and those fuzzy flip flops you saw the other day. And I'd drive. Trying to place myself between the mountains and the piedmont. Figuring out where I lived in the world. And in my head.

My therapist specializes in sex offender treatment. I have no idea how I ended up in her care, but she was on my insurance carrier's list and she is a woman, so I gave her a chance and it worked for us. Serendipitous. Because she knew the soul of the kind of man that I had put my life in the hands of. Only I didn't give her enough information to help me when he was still alive. I had the feeling that there were parts of my life that would crumble if given an inch of daylight, so I kept them in the dark. From her and probably from myself as well.

She'd ask me sly questions about him on occasion when we first starting meeting. I don't know why, but I'd decided that the dead guy was off limits in therapy. I gave her nothing. But she knew. She always knew. I know that now, but at the time, I was protecting something I didn't know I couldn't protect. Those journals I wrote about last week? They are a product of her constant questions. He'd been dead about nine months. I'd lost my job. And in my unemployed drunken stupor, I decided to give it all to her. I wrote furiously for two days out on my deck. Drinking and smoking. I recall that it was raining most of the time and those journals are more than soaked in tears and mist, but they hold the entirety of our life together. And I finally included the not nice parts. See? I wanted him to be my knight in shining armour and it turns out his armour was tarnished. Very, very tarnished. And I learned to live in the place where no silver polish was going to make a dent in the blackness that decended on us. Because to ignore it was better than facing it.

I know today that the things he did to me would send him to prison for doing them to a stranger. What makes a person accept that? Naivete? Ignorance? Stupidity? I don't rant about much in my life. I like my life today, but when certain subjects come up, and I find that wall coming up, I know that somethings wrong in my head. That's what happened today. The words "sex offender" make me cringe. When the Church says, "Save yourself for marriage, do you want to be damaged good for your future husband?" I find myself believing once again that I AM damaged goods. What man wants to undo the damage done to my psyche? What man has the patience to walk me through undoing the hurt? What man will understand why I flinch when I'm touched intimately unbidden? Even if I want it. I still recoil. I hate that about me, but I'm working on it. To live in this bubble means that the abuse wins. And today, I want to be the winner. I don't quite know how I'm going to accomplish that, but I have my sights set. At least for today.

21 comments:

melissalion said...

Driving and crying. I know that if I'm driving and crying, life can only get better. It's my rock bottom.

Kai said...

Hi Kate! I can't remember where I came across your blog, but I like it and will figure out who to thank eventually. I'm in recovery too and it sounds like something similar broke me. I found this inspiring and hopeful. Thank you for sharing. And, you have a gorgeous smile. xo

MsDarkstar said...

At least for today is a good start.

Dingo said...

When the Church says, "Save yourself for marriage, do you want to be damaged good for your future husband?"

You do realize this is bullshit, right?

E said...

My favorite drive in St Louis was down market Street. If I started back at the Parkway i could drive for about ten minutes sobbing my head off with the view of the arch up ahead. By the time I got down there I was always better. Always every single time. Now the other drives may have had opinions but it was always either hot or cold in St Louis so i was in a temp controlled cocoon and couldn't hear their comments.

Now Kate no man will or can be undoing the damage done to your psyche. That's your job. You will bring a healthy Kate into your next relationship. Okay a Kate who has some crazy memories, but so do we all. You will bring a Kate who chooses health and wellness when those memories come to mind. Because all of that has no power over you anymore. Those are memories and memories exist in the past. This girl will choose to look at the flowers and not the dirt. No man can do that for you. Nobody can. That is your job...to bring a healthy full and happy life out there and to partner with someone else who has done the same.
You are well. Decide that....

BrianAlt said...

Who can be perfect? I surely cannot.

I don't like your church. They preach forgiveness and damnation in the same sentence. And while I don't know your clergy, there are child molesters that do the exact same thing. Jesus (who I think of nothing more as a man) reportedly said, "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." How dare these clergyMEN cast stones at you! DO NOT LET THEM!

Kate said...

Yes, Dingo. Which is why those Promise Ring rallys they have all over the United States infuriate me. Would their tactics change if they embraced the statistics that show that 1 in 4 of those young people held in captive audience have had or will have had that choice forcibly removed from them by the time they're 18?

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Kate,

You are NOT damaged goods. Any worthwhile man will be able to see past all that junk. If you pull away when he touches you, a good man will be patient and accept that for now. If there are things about your past that you don't like to talk about, a good man will accept that for now, and be okay with it. And gradually, one day at a time, he will teach you that it's okay to be touched. Gradually, one day at a time, he will teach you that it's okay to open up about your past. Gradually, one day at a time, he will teach you that what happened to you in the past will never, ever happen to you again.

Your past does not define you, and you can't let it control you. There is nothing more freeing than learning to live in the present. In the moment. Right here. Right now.

Jeff
My blog

Sweetly Single said...

Katey-it is the past that makes us who we are today.

and I say... you are an amazing lady....even with all of your dents.

Summer said...

You know, some might call you and me and others damaged goods. I say, we've lived life. Making mistakes, learning from them. Getting way off the beaten path, back on, and off again. It makes us human, and wiser people in the end.

t2ed said...

I've got to think that choice of practice expertise makes the waiting room very, very interesting.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

You are such a soulful person. Beautiful on the outside and on the inside. Keep your eyes on the prize and I have faith you'll figure out a way to let loved ones see you shine!

lacochran said...

For someone who periodically describes themselves as a wuss, you have tremendous courage. Let your light shine. Any man would be lucky to have you in their lives.

Kristen said...

Driving and crying.

oof. That's tough.

I'm totally with Melissa. It's my rock bottom too. It usually signals the beginning of the end of whatever it is.

Have faith dear one.

Daisee579 said...

I think Jeff summed it all up. I never thought I'd find anyone to love me with all of my flaws, yet I have managed to find someone. You will too. At least you recognized you don't NEED someone to find happiness. I'm not always sure I found that in myself. But you have. And that's definitely something.

As my mom said to me, this too shall pass.

LiLu said...

And, my love... we want to SEE YOU WIN. And you shall. <3

buffalodick said...

That was damn well-written... Glad you're better than that now..

Sparkling Red said...

I know some of what you're going through. My shadows never got quite that dark, but I have had to struggle with flinching when my beloved touches me. It's just awful. It's getting better now, but it took a lot of years.

Lemmonex said...

I want to applaud you for being honest and having the courage to share this with us. Huge, warm, caring hugs.

*Akilah Sakai* said...

"And today, I want to be the winner. I don't quite know how I'm going to accomplish that, but I have my sights set. At least for today."

These words are what's most important. Keep your sights set. You are not damaged goods. We're all flawed, some moreso than others, but you've got yourelf on the right path so toss "damaged" out the window.

Twinkie said...

Nothing like a nice relaxing ride to clear your thoughts, hu? I love it.

I love that you're going through all this self discovery and you're writing about it to reinforce it in your mind. Little do you know it's helping some of us readers gather our own thoughts who might have similar pasts and similar issues.

Keep up the great work!