I woke up at 7ish this morning, the one day that I can sleep in without worries. Today is the day T comes back to me at 4 so I have all day to just luxuriate in my decadence. Yes there is laundry to do and beds to be made, but I can have a little lie in. But no. So I took a half an ativan so I could go back to sleep. I was not ready, prepared or even had enough mental stability to face my day.
I cried for over an hour when I went to bed last night. Before that I had been texting and chatting with friends and my support group was circling their wagons to protect me. But none of them were here when I turned the lights off. When I climbed into bed and every sharp edged word spoken to me began to gouge its way into my confidence, my self-worth. The sobs did not wait, they erupted over me, spilling from my eyes like white water when you are rafting. I could not breath. Lucky worried, kept head butting me and curling up against me purring desperately to calm me. Thomas snuggled into the back of my legs, his paws draped over my thighs his version of a hug.
It was a black hour. It was the blackest hour that I have faced in my life.
I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I have always clawed my way back from whatever hell it is that I find myself in. I never doubted my belief in myself that I am a good person, that I care for others, that I put others before myself. Yet last night I doubted. I wondered if all along I have deluded myself and that in reality I am selfish and horrible. That my version of reality is so strongly distorted from how others see it that I wonder, am I even sane?
I looked at the time, I looked at my phone. And I wondered who can I call? Who at 12:30 a.m. is going to be okay if I call them sobbing because I have no more belief, I have no more strength, I just need someone to say it will be okay. Better not call mom because a) she is in her 70’s and a phone call that late means someone is dead, and b) my brother would kill me. Everyone else is asleep and I am so afraid to reach out and disturb anyone because I just cannot. I cannot put my woes, my worries on anyone else.
I finally called one friend who answered on the first ring. Who assured me that it was okay to call. And as I sobbed, blowing my nose in his ear, gasping for breath as each fresh wave of revulsion rolls over me, he tells me it will be okay. That there are people who love me and who cherish me and will protect me. He tells me that the shadows dancing with glee along the wall and above my head, they will vanish as the sunlight returns. He talked for an hour while I listened. I am sure that there were some mumbled incoherent denials of my goodness and worth. The cats sat on either side of me purring and snuggling in. My face and nose hurt from crying but eventually I calmed down. Eventually I no longer felt that I was a disaster.
My dreams were ugly and distorted. Full of vengeance and venom and darkness. I didn’t sleep without worry I did not sleep without cares. What I found in my dreams were a reflection of self, crowned with Medusa’s snakes hissing and snarling and excluding myself from others. I saw myself as the outsider with no one to turn to. I muttered and tossed in my sleep.
Last night was the darkest hour of my life. I felt sadness that I had never felt before. I felt so worthless that not even the beauty found in my poetry, in my son, was able to make things better. I have come through to the other side. I am shivering. I am scared. I am doubting myself so much I am not sure that I can even face people. But I will. And I will carry on. Because this is only one day, only one night and I have so many more.
More where laughter and love, where wine and good food, where friends and family intermingle, those are the days I have coming to me. One day I will look back. One day I will say yes, that was my bleakest moment. And I will stand to greet the rising sun because it is me who matters……it is how I feel about myself that matters……not the perception that one has of me based on only one side.