Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blame

I've always held that blame gets you nowhere. In my mind, you assess the problem, find a solution and move on. Blame has no place in the fixing of things, or so I had always thought. Today, I had a bit of a realization after I left my counselor's office. Isn't that always the way? The hardest work happens right after you leave the damn place.

While reviewing my feelings about my brother, the molestation, my parents and the rest of my family in this ugly equation, I began talking to the counselor about my parents' role in all of it. My parents would leave me home alone with my brother often, thinking he could "watch" me while they went out. They had no idea what that really meant. Maybe they should have, but I have always maintained that that wasn't their fault. Then I finished my session today and left for home.

I couldn't stop thinking about my parents and how they didn't know, or more importantly, didn't notice. At one point, my brother was molesting me in the back seat of the car while my parents were in the front. If nothing else, at such close proximity, someone should have noticed something. Anything. Someone should have stopped it right then. Obviously, I couldn't. I was just a ten year old who was afraid of what would happen if she told. Why didn't they see? Someone should have seen something.

They should have noticed. Malicious? No. Negligent? Yes. That feels harsh to me but it is true. Their job on this planet was to protect me and they didn't do it. It wasn't that they didn't want to or that they wanted me to be hurt, they just didn't see what was right behind them in that car, right below them in that basement, right next to them in that bathroom and right before them when they came in from the garage. It was under blankets and in the dark and behind the train table but it was there. I know because it happened to me and my brother is responsible. The problem is, it really hurts to now know that they too are to blame.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Range



Yesterday I went to the indoor range. This was the second time I had gone there, so I felt a little more comfortable with the process and wasn't as scared by the fact that everyone working in there has a gun on their hip. I totally understand why. Still, it is so far from normal for me.

I went with my friend and he decided to shoot as well instead of just helping me out. This decision was probably good, since the last time he shot, I became very afraid as I watched him. He is in no way scary or dangerous and I have no idea why I felt this way on that day. So, more exposure therapy.

Everything about the experience was different this time. I chose to shoot the Sig 9mm instead of the Glock like I had the last time. We chose the larger range room, slot number 8 against the wall. It was freezing, about 50 degrees, because there was something wrong with the heat. Still, I stuck it out and so did he. After the first fifteen rounds, my hands were so cold that it was making it hard to shoot.

The noises made me jump off the ground the first ten minutes or so, but I did adjust. A machine gun fired next to me and that sound, coupled with the dancing dirt in front of me, had me cringing a lot. The quick tensing of my muscles was making me a bit weary.

Then the Sig began to jam. After doing this repeatedly, I took it out to the guy behind the counter and he came back with me. It turned out that I was not holding it tightly enough. The Sig had been explained to me weeks ago, but I had forgotten this information. The man was nice enough not to treat me like an idiot and I began holding the gun more tightly. For the most part, it was fine, except that my hands were so cold that it did jam a few more times. Still, this gave me practice time on what to do when that happens. Good reinforcement.

There I was, freezing, holding the gun, aiming at my target, trying not to jump every time someone else fired. The taste of the smell of the fired rounds was beginning to make me sick. I was trying to remember my hands, remember my feet, pull straight back, keep arms and hands tight, lean toward the target, breathe, don't anticipate and don't vomit right now. It was a little much on this day.

So I shot and took the cold. I didn't shoot as well as I had with the glock, but I certainly experienced more this time. I cannot say that going to the range on this particular day was pleasant or fun, but it was neccessary. And I learned a lot.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks to a Stranger

Sometimes when I post I don't think anyone will ever read it. In fact, part of the reason it is easier to write about the things that I do is because of this feeling. There is a flip side to this. If no one ever reads the blog then what is the point?

So, today, after stuffing myself with the rest of America and watching some football and "The Family Guy" I returned home tired and weary and checked my email. There it was. Someone had commented on my blog. Not only that, he was really great about it and created his own post about it on his blog.

Now, for all of my "peace-loving" friends, this person found me through the gun ring, of which I am now a member. So I will come out and say it in honor of all of those people who will find my blog this way:

I support the Second Amendment.

I have to say, it feels pretty good to be read and he said some really nice things. Check it out:

Read this blog

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bang



I used to be terrified of guns.

I let myself be afraid of guns until someone came into my life and convinced me that I didn't need to be afraid anymore. Once I began my education of firearms, my nightmares absorbed the information too and used it against me in my sleep. My brother no longer went after me unarmed. I not only wanted to conquer an unrelated fear in order to grow, I then had to defeat it because nothing was unrelated anymore.

On October 15, a friend came to the house and began the exposure for me. Pieces of guns, bullets all placed slowly one at a time in front of me. Honestly, this was more difficult than when the gun was pieced together. I still don't know why. It could be because it was my first exposure to a handgun ever, even if it was in pieces, and I was very afraid.

The next day I felt strong, almost buoyed by the previous evening's survival and lack of vomit at the sight of the weapons. I slept without dreams that night and felt positive that going to the range would only help more in that area. It was a beautiful day and I felt pretty solid until we got to the outdoor range.

Other people were there in their own little slots and I could hear their guns firing without warning. I am jumpy anyway and the noises did frighten me. We plunged ahead and I was careful to try to remember everything that I was taught as he and another helped me to do everything safely and correctly.

I wish I could remember that first time I pulled the trigger. I remember the feeling of the gun in my hand, looking down the sites, feeling my heart pound out of my body shaking my hands. I remember the moment I clamped my eyes shut after I pulled the trigger, but there is no memory there of that first time. After that, I shot the rest of the day and the nerves reduced. I became more interested in doing well than just doing it and the fear relaxed.At no point did I throw up. I even hit a bullseye and hung the target on the wall at home. I was and am so proud of myself.

This past weekend I went shooting again. Although the noises and other people shooting still makes me very nervous, I managed to shoot at an indoor range and I did pretty well. I didn't forget what I had been taught and I was not afraid of the weapon at all. Both times after I went to the range, my nightmares disappeared for a few days. If I could, I would shoot every day just to sleep at night. I suppose that is why so many people own guns, so they can sleep at night. One way or another, it is all about conquering fear.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Addiction

There is always a moment when the decision is made to get high. It is miniscule, a crack in an average resolve, but when it shows itself, the "only one time, it's no big deal" justifications float through my mind and it is impossible to ignore. What my mind is telling me in that moment is, "you deserve to do this. You've worked so hard not to do this therefore you DESERVE to trash all of that good work for a few hours of feeling good." So cliche. So stupid. That is what happened last night.

I went somewhere where I knew substances would abound and thought that I could stick to my two drink no drugs rule anyway. I held out for a few hours actually and then that moment came. That miniscule moment when I decided that it's ok to start again, it's ok to put more crap into my battered body, it's ok to kill all those brain cells and wake up throttled and raw, it's ok to fuck with my medication because I deserve it. What the fuck is wrong with me?

The worst part is the disappointment in myself and knowing that in the miniscule, life-changing moments that decide this behavior, I don't care at all about the disappointment. I don't care about anything once I have given into the moment and the draw to escape. I especially don't care about the next day, hour or minute or staying sober for them.

So, I am on day zero once again. I hate it here. I deserve it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Awake

I don't sleep very much. The reason, all explained in the last post "nightmares", keeps me from totally committing to falling asleep. So I spend a lot of time alone, in the dark and in my head. Unfortunately, no matter how much I try, my head continues to behave like an adversary.

It is strange how my mind will attack me on so many levels. Can't sleep? It will make me not only think about my own life, but the horrible lives of those who I don't know. My mind will dig up thoughts of people who starve, who live the lives that mom warned about when I wouldn't finish my dinner. Then there are the fly-covered children whose images float through as I refuse to give a dollar a day to improve their lives immensely. Why do most of us believe that ad is crap? I don't have an answer other than manipulative advertising negates the suffering, therefore I disassociate. These are the things that float through the brain late at night. These and the socio-economic implications of shopping at wal-mart. That alone should be enough to keep most people up at night.

It is 11:00 and I am thinking about sleep because the day is winding down for most. I know that I will lie down with hope. I know I will let that hope believe that anything is possible and I know that I will eventually sleep, if only until I wake in fear with a start. I accept this and yet I want it to change. I hope that the truth, that change is the only thing to be counted on, will win out here. And I will sleep. Peacefully.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

True Nightmares

I have nightmares.

I fall asleep and they begin as soon as I hit REM sleep. Immediately I am transported to the bathroom I grew up using. I am in the tub and I am ten years old, trying to get the last bit of shampoo out of a bottle of Breck shampoo and I can smell it. The bathroom tiles are the same gold color of both the bottle and the shampoo. I am runnning the water and pulling the drain intermittently since in my house we never ran out of hot water. My father made sure to engineer a system that not only guaranteed perpetual hot water but also hot water that would scald instantly if the user wasn't careful.

The door knob, unable to lock to this day, turned and he walks in. Soon he is naked and behind me in the water. I never see his face although I know it is my brother. He is older, bigger and he is touching me without care. His hands are pushing me over, face toward the water and he is trying to put his member into me but it is too big for my little body. He keeps trying and I am quiet, distant in my mind. I am anywhere but in that tub in that moment. I am thinking about getting away, running away but I know I will never go anywhere.

He fondles me and holds onto himself in order to get off. There is no violence in the dream this time, only the violence of being violated. I look away from the water in front of me and toward the sinks. I see the little children's chair that converts to a step stool and I think about myself standing there and brushing my teeth without fear of someone, of my brother, opening the door uninvited. I know that will never happen again. Maybe I am tall enough to stop using the stool.

He leaves the bathroom and I wonder what my parents are doing downstairs. Arguing is the usual answer, that or watching the news. I get ready for bed as my mother yells up to me, "Are you clean?" If I weren't ten that would be a loaded question.

SlappyJack Dedication

I have a friend who I spew things at regularly. More than regularly. Feelings, angst, humor, pain; all that stuff that most people either blog or keep to themselves unless they are drunk, I hurtle shamelessly at this friend. No wonder he's tired and depressed. Really.

So, with the hope that I can give him a much needed break and give myself an opportunity to spew more globally, I have dedicated this blog to him. May he receive a well deserved vacation from my musings and maybe a box of twenties on his doorstep. Afterall, there is no one I know who deserves the good stuff of life more than he does.

Unfortunately, he's just getting some good wishes and the dedication of a crappy blog instead.

It's a start.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

first post

Saturday night can be a bitch. Expectations suck. I'm starting a new blog.

Fuck.

Pathetic.