We had a big storm knock out our electricity. We have partial power restored, because our house is apparently supplied by two different circuits, and one of them is on but the other isn’t. My husband switched some of the breakers around so that we have electricity to our essentials, but we don’t have any lights and the only functional appliance is the fridge.

And no bathroom.

I’m fighting the urge to slit my wrists because it’s like being back in the bus. I thought that I had escaped the bus, but the bus hunted me down to consume me. There is no escaping the bus. Once the bus has you, it is forever.

The bus isn’t just a miserable hellhole that we lived in for a few months, it has metastasized into so much more.

My husband offered to pull out the camping stove so that I can at least have my daily hot chocolate ritual, but I think that would be the final straw. I don’t think that I can stomach camping stoves anymore, especially after one malfunctioned and burst into flames in the bus. 

Anyway, the storm caused a minor disaster by knocking over a large tree across the road and into our next-door-neighbor’s yard. Thankfully we knew that the tree wasn’t faring so well ahead of time, so we got the area cleared as best we could and really minimized the amount of damage it caused. Our neighbor seemed really disheartened by having his property completely blocked off, so my husband went out with a chainsaw to chop up branches and clear a path. Next thing I knew, there were a whole bunch of guys with chainsaws and wheel barrows out there in the storm, and it was really awesome to see so many people come together to tackle the problem like that. We live in a really awesome neighborhood.

The city came in later with big machinery to take care of the trunk and open the road back up. That tree had been fairly massive.

Loss

After I had my baby, one of my friends dropped out of sight. At first I figured that I didn’t see or hear from her because I was being reclusive with my newborn, but after I started venturing out again and the weeks kept passing by without any news, I really wondered what was up. She didn’t even seem to be attending church anymore.

Yesterday she dropped by for two minutes to tell me that she was moving out of state this weekend. As in tomorrow.

She said, “It was nice getting to know you,” which also means, “goodbye forever.”

And I’m suddenly finding myself mourning the loss of a friend.

History

For some reason I woke up this morning thinking about the night my parents kicked us out to the streets five years ago. Through the pain of remembering how my parents had rejected me in such an extreme way, the thought came to me, “Wasn’t that a huge overreaction?”

I read my journal from that time, to make sure that there weren’t any important factors that I had forgotten.  The story was how I remember it: we were staying with my parents after my husband had lost his job, and they had been increasingly passive-aggressive towards us until I couldn’t stand it anymore and called them out on it. During the ensuing argument, I asserted that my parents had hurt me during my childhood, and they immediately told me to get out; we started packing without resisting in any way. They still called the police to trespass us off the property. The only details that I had forgotten was some of the nastier things that my dad had said to me.

Its not like they realized what they had done and apologized a week later. After a year they still maintained that they didn’t want anything to do with me, and only changed their minds after our first baby was born. At that point, we had hit rock bottom and couldn’t afford to let hurt feelings and trauma get in the way of the help that they offered.

I only get along with my parents now by not talking about it, and things are still pretty rocky.

This morning I wondered why they had gone to such lengths to get rid of me. What nerve had I struck by asserting that I had been hurt?

I’ve been thinking about leaving the postpartum group for awhile now. Instead of feeling supported and safe, it mostly feels like a trial of patience — I have to constantly remind myself not to snap and tell the other women that they are stupid and whiny. I know, I know, my thoughts aren’t remotely compassionate in response to their struggles, which is probably a sign that I just don’t belong there.

When I was in school, I was always the first to finish the tests, always got the highest scores, and graduated with high honors despite the fact that I never studied. God was gracious enough to put me in the advanced course of life, but finding myself catapulted forward has left me with even less in common with the average person. It’s like watching someone complain about algebra being hard when I’m working on calculus, or drowning in a swimming pool when I’m treading water in the ocean.

That feeling of being different has only gotten worse.

I shouldn’t torment myself by trying to fit in where I don’t belong. It’s not going to work.

Forgiveness

This is the sort of cheesy thing that gets posted on Facebook, but I need to forgive myself. I wish that I had always been able to turn the other cheek with grace and dignity, but in reality I developed ptsd that has made me acutely sensitive to too many things. I feel weak whenever I’m unable to handle even the slightest bit of stress.

The funny/sad thing is, the events that broke me didn’t involve my husband and were totally outside of his control. But once the ground slips out from underneath you, everything becomes unbearable.

It came to me that perhaps we ought to treat each other like two trauma victims and go forward from there. Everything was manageable when we were both checked out, and our current problems started when I wanted to check back in and he didn’t. I guess he wasn’t ready, and I tried to bring on the weight of the world. He struggles with triggers as much as I do, and heartbreakingly they evolved to feed each other.

I need to accept my own weaknesses and be at peace with them. Maybe I’m always going to have a crappy short term memory, and maybe I’m always going to be sensitive and hyper vigilant, but that doesn’t make me bad or less than. I care about life and helping others more deeply than I ever could have if all of this pain had never happened, and that is what gives me strength.

PS I really adored the new Saturday’s Warrior movie.

Yesterday while I was getting dressed to leave, I wound up getting ready for church. I didn’t announce my intention to attend until a few minutes before the meeting started and we were 20 minutes late, but I still enjoyed it. I thought about talking to the bishop afterwards, but the girls were overwhelming me so I didn’t want to wait. Next week.

I still stayed the night at my parents house. We woke up in the middle of the night because my oldest wet the bed, and I lay awake for awhile afterwards missing my mattress and pillow at home. The thought occurred to me that even though I was in my old bedroom, I felt no attachment or sentimentality for it, and couldn’t remember anything about that chunk of my life anyway.

And all I wanted to talk about was church, even though my parents don’t approve of it.

I’m going back tonight, after my husband and I watch the new Saturday’s Warrior. I don’t want to spend another night here.

I’m going to stay because it doesn’t matter where I go, I’m going to have ptsd anyway and he might as well have a front row seat to it rather than get off easy. It’s a special kind of hate, I suppose.

Plus he’s slowly getting the picture and improving. I don’t want to sacrifice everything to fix him just so he can get remarried and live happily ever after without me.