Spring Born

 

Warmth tempts my berry tipped toes

to the opening of my den.

I crouch by new grass blades

sharp with the bitter scent of promise.

 

I am spring born.

 

What was my life before this long darkness?

Before this crescent edge of sun?

Do the trees stand exactly as they used to,

cutting out room for my shadow

in their own greater  shade?

Does the river carve out the spots where I used to stand

in hopes that my feet will

nestle in its water again?

 

I take one step forward

into the–

 

I am spring born.

I Am Not OK

4

3

2

As I write this, I am sitting in bed, watching a funny show while checking my email, text messages, and Facebook notifications. It is the middle of the night, a time of terror for me, so I need the safety of the blue electronic light of my devices. I bask in the glow, then I drown my thoughts in sitcom banter and a whirlwind of multitasking.

Burying my dark thoughts is a high stakes game; if I don’t use the right maneuvers, the shadows win. No matter how scared I am now, it is nothing compared to how I will feel if the memories creep in. The memories open the floodgates of flashbacks, which will sweep me far away and back in time to that room where I was raped and nearly murdered.

I escaped with my life, but certain parts of me died there, namely the part that believed no one would ever hurt me. Well, actually I had never really considered that I could be a story on the news as easily as any other human. I held myself apart in the way we all must to some degree if we want to function in the world. Dwelling on our abject vulnerability would reduce us to terrified shells of ourselves.

Like me.

I can’t close my eyes in the dark. I can no longer write, I can’t focus on reading. All I can do is mindlessly watch TV.¬† I am afraid to sleep because I want to remain vigilant, and I know nightmares are waiting for me. I am resuming therapy, but I am desperate for a quick fix. I know that no miracle pill exists to give me relief, but I have been living with PTSD for eleven years, never knowing when it will become active and derail my life. I’m exhausted.

Evan says to go easy on myself. Getting frustrated with myself does great harm and zero good. I can’t berate myself into ending the episode. I guess it’s time to learn to show myself the compassion I apparently think everyone but me deserves. After all, if I am not on my own team when I’m at my weakest, how will I fight my way through this? I know that logically. Now I have to figure out how to live that truth.

Wish me luck. I need it.

 

Up All Night

I keep replaying last night in my head. A few hours after going to bed, I started feeling some muscle cramping and spasms. I tried to adjust my position to find comfort, but I could not roll to my side. This is becoming more and more common as the weight of a blanket becomes enough to pin me down. In the past, I have whispered Evan’s name and, half-asleep, he reaches out his hand, clasps mine, and pulls me to relief. I promised myself not to need him last night, though, since he has been up with me each night this past week as I fight a cough. He was clearly worn out.

“I can live with this, I can breathe through this,” I chanted silently.

Evan never complains about the ways my disease wears him down or holds him back. Ever. He is my absolute all, my strength and reason for fighting. He is the steady, calm man I have loved and trusted all of my adult life. Even in his sleep, he looks kind. He deserves sound, peaceful rest at the very, very least. So I lived with the spasms and breathed through them… for an hour. I tried to let his peace and my will be enough, but, like a lung clenching for air after being held underwater, I. Had. To. Move.

I woke him up three more times last night. We will experiment with my medicine tonight to relax my muscles. He will take extra care with my evening stretches. I will bargain with my disease to leave him alone. I will try to forgive myself