Saturday, February 11, 2012

Because We Finally Can

This morning my very beautiful, oh so pretty, and super well-adjusted, Sabrina AKA Memaw to her three younger siblings, turns 17 years old.

"What do you want for your birthday?" I've been asking her, she who is spectacularly non-materialistic, yet looks gorgeous constantly. What a blessing that must be, her self confidence is high, wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt 99 times out of every 100, she just doesn't care, yet always looks absolutely ravishing.

"Can I just have cash in my bank account?" she asked me.

"Well, sure," I'd responded, knowing she's saving up to buy a car. She already has one part-time job.

I'm gonna take her out to breakfast, just the two of us, Grandma's gonna babysit, and we need to get Sabrina a particular shirt for her dance class.

"Remember how You Know Who had crapped up my birthdays?" Sabrina reminisced.

Oh my goodness, do I ever? I even went back a couple of years to re-read my blog until my heart pounded so hard I couldn't bear to read another word. Re-living the trauma is brutally painful.

Severely jealous of Sabrina's beauty and popularity, cutting up her clothes, stealing her makeup, harassing her constantly, it was an awful time in our lives.

"Why is it taking me so long to shake all this off?" I'd asked Yolie, my personal MSW, who teaches about grief and loss in the Path classes.

She'd explained to me again, using herself as an example, discussing triggers and the fact that it is a process, not a one time event. I grieve deeply for the losses, in that I feel so horrible overall, yet my relief at protecting the other kids is so enormous as to be overwhelming, and now the completely awful realization as to how incredibly difficult it had been for everyone else is staggering.

That everyone else lived under such constant and immense threats to their physical and emotional well-being is something that's bothering me terribly. That they are all free now to express their relief that it is over is taking me out at the knees. Every single one of them has taken me aside to pour it all out, verbally espousing that immense relief that we all now feel, yet feeling bad that we feel good now. That's what trauma looks like.

Lily'd gone roller skating with her sweet best friend since Pre-K. Only once had Lily invited this young lady over, only to have had You Know Who scream vile, ugly and hateful remarks, jealous that my very quiet, unassuming Lily even had friends. This behavior occurred nearly every day on the bus as well, until she, the Hater, was kicked off the bus and I had to drive her every day, the bus driver unable to drive the other kids without harassment and dangerous behaviors. Honey, I understand.

Lily came in last night, bubbling over with happiness at having had a simple, fun and completely undramatic evening. My big boys had gone to Chuck's house to watch a taped TV show, The River, and Martin, who'll be 18 in two weeks, went to the movies with his very beautiful girlfriend.

I'm flat out emotionally exhausted, a very delayed reaction to the previous ten years of strife, fear, danger and tension. That I'd finally gone through with it in the last few months, had asked CPS for help, and had survived the ensuing stress has taken me down to the bone.

I slept until 7:30 this lovely Saturday morning, an unheard of hour for me.

"Dang, I thought the Rapture came," JoJo remarked when I finally galumphed downstairs with my hair sticking up every whichaway, "And I'd been left behind."

His very serious tone of voice cracked me up totally.

In the last 25 years I've rarely ever slept past 6 a.m. or so, extremely rare for me to sleep until the sun rises, but seriously, I feel like a very limp noodle.

I feel beat-to-Hell and absolutely emotionally depleted.

"I totally understand," Yolie'd reassured me, as I'd tried to explain all this, my totally re-doing the house, me fumbling with all my emotions, my social isolation, and supremely conflicted feelings that skitter across the board in varying degrees.

I'd run into Mae and Yolie yesterday at Wal-mart, and Mae was so shocked, absolutely flabbergasted to see me outside of my own house and property that she was struck mute. Totally so. Wide-eyed to see me in public, other than church, she wouldn't even hug her Bita.

Man oh man, searching for normalness is a full time task.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful Sabrina, let's go eat...because we can.