Beyond Lady Pandora – Episode12a – The Men In My Life – Beyond Lady Pandora
So, last week was a big deal for me. It was a very big deal actually in two ways. First of all, I became a US citizen. It’s taken 8 years and I am over the moon about it. Secondly, I changed my name and that is also a very big deal for me because I was named by my Mother’s first husband, who was not my father and was my first abuser by all accounts. I’ve always hated my name and it was a constant reminder of my life. I hated hearing it. So, finally having a new name is just a really positive thing for me.
One odd thing did happen that got my anxiety up. There were two seats between each numbered seat. Everyone sits on a numbered seat, all good. So, as we stand up to take our oath, suddenly this guy runs past open seats, past two people and stands literally right beside me. Why? It just made no sense. I did not know him. I did not like it at all and it really set off my anxiety. Why? Well, first of all, especially given the pandemic, it makes no sense. Given there were other seats, it made no sense. Then, there is the point that I still live in fear of some guy from my past showing up to kill me for no damn reason because so many threatened to. Now, sure, some of them if not all were likely full of shit and being scary. I get that. But, what if one was not? I mean, it seems stupid to me to just ignore that possibility and end up dead. I’ve no wish to end up dead so when strange things occur, I pay attention, I log it in my mind. I never forget my windows, my doors, or drug myself to be unable to fight back, nor do I sleep without something I can use as a weapon nearby. I take precautions. Is it still paranoia if you have reason to believe it?
In any case, beyond that, it was a good day. Honestly, a very good day. My fiance and son came with me, I got to share this day with them and we went for lunch afterwards. They joked in the car during the long drives and it was really very nice. We took photos. I love my little family very much. I’m very proud of them. You’ll notice I do not give names and that is because of many reasons. I remember the names but no one has been convicted of anything and therefore, it is legally just allegations. I avoid using names or telling any details that may be recognizable. I’m assuming time has run out to do anything about most of it. Some are even dead. Therefore, I provide my stories with only general information. Even if I could take them to court to put them away, I’m not certain I could handle facing them again.
I’m not under any illusion that I am incredibly strong or too anything to be taken out or harmed. I mean, it’s happened a million times so why would I think I’m some of kind of anti-hero who can fend them off infallibly? I know very well that I’m not anything too special but I do take precautions. I am hyper aware of my vulnerability, constantly. I’m also quite aware that people could fear what I’ll say, what I’ll tell of what they have done to me, they may come after me. You might think that would give me a pause and it did, all of my life. When you spend every single day living in fear of this happening, you come to realize that is a fate worse than any other repercussion. The only way forward is to break that fear by telling. The truth is, since I will not give names or identifying details, no one is any danger of me telling me story in a search to heal unless I am hurt or attacked. I have made plans to release every single name automatically in multiple manners and ways which cannot be stopped if I come to harm unnaturally. It is my little insurance policy. Leave me alone to heal and we are all safe. The one thing I have learned in life is that nothing for certain and one must take all precautions they possibly can. There are very sick people out there. It ensures nothing but gives me some assurance, because people do what is in their best interest…usually.
Since I have now begun my diagnosis journey and my therapy journey, I’m working towards reducing my anxiety which is rather overwhelming. We are about to begin sessions in person, which is frightening for me. Public is frightening to me because there are people, people scare me. Also, I do not really know what to expect but we are starting slowly, that gives me some relief. It will be interesting for sure. I’m terrified of mental health workers, so this is fun.
I think I managed to at least pretend to function until my last marriage ended and my father died, both of which were very traumatic. It just seemed to really open the flood gates, per say. It’s like a room stacked absolutely full with the door bulging and you put one more thing in there and boom, the door breaks and everything falls out. The fear reaches a point where it is so overwhelming, so destructive, that you are left with only two choices: face it or die. His death affected me awfully for many reasons. First of all, I had always wanted him to love me and it never happened and now he is dead. It will now never happen. He never apologized or accepted responsibility. He also abandoned me again before death, refusing to allow me to say goodbye in person or by phone. He had demanded I cure cancer more than once, which of course I could not do, which left me feeling once again inadequate and like I fell short of the mark required for his love. His death broke me. When my last marriage ended, my husband at the time said “I cannot afford you.” I made money, I literally was not spending excessively on anything. It triggered me, reminding me of the fact that I was always nothing but a check or worthless. He already had my replacement. I stood there crying as he smiled and called his girlfriend. I went mute and could not even speak for hours. Finally, I managed to make a sound but it took awhile. My father’s death occured shortly after this. It was a horrible time for me.
I’ve been doing things, of course, to keep my mind busy. I am limited currently due to being injured at work so I have been doing paper mache and working with clay, painting, raising plants from seeds, and writing. It is difficult because I’ve never really had an opportunity to explore my artistic side without being criticized and attacked for daring to do so. I did not even know I knew how to do paper mache but I do and I do it pretty well. It’s just a matter of unchaining my creativity and allowing it out. That is difficult for me but slowly, it is peeking out and showing me what I can do. It is very meaningful to me. I love how clay and paper feel in my hands as I squish it, it makes me feel safe as if I’m small with my feet in the dirt. I feel connected.
Of course, I also play in Second Life where I auction digital cats. I also create things but that has been difficult due to my shoulders. I have not created much lately. Still, I enjoy the auctioning and breeding of the cats. If you visit fureverbeach.com, you’ll find all kinds of photos of them. I just love them. I’ve also put some photos of myself up on my instagram page which is under beyondladypandora, no spaces. I’ll likely add a few photos of the things I am making. One of my clay planters has Ogham scratched into it. If you can read Ogham, you might understand the secret message on it. I am a bard in study. I very much believe in the druidic ways, I am of scottish ancestry which aligns well.
My fiance and all of my friends in Second Life surprised me with an amazing “Happy Citizenship” party the other day. Music, dancing, everyone was joking. It was just the best time. A few gave me gifts. It was all just overwhelming and amazing, I was so surprised by all of it. The music was amazing and the friends were even better, some are international and stayed up way late for this for me. I cannot say enough about how much I appreciated it. It was incredibly kind of them all.
If you do not know what Second Life is, it’s a virtual platform where you can create, meet people, do just about anything really. I’ve always found it easier to communicate by writing or on the internet so I have used Second Life for about 12 years or so now. We run a market and auction sim there named Furever Beach. We just have a lot of fun and have met some amazing people. It’s a way in which I can interact sometimes, when I feel up to it, without being so limited by my anxiety. It feels safer for me.
The amount of pain I am currently in is very limiting and also drives my anxiety and PTSD. Pain is not good for me. I am addressing everything with my doctors, it is just very slow going. Certainly, slower than I would like. Not everything can be fixed quickly and I have much to address right now. I did have a hysterectomy recently due to a uterovaginal prolapse, in which it was discovered that I had been suffering from ADENOMYOSIS, which according to Mayo Clinic “occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows into the muscular wall of the uterus”. I had been complaining for years about extreme pain during my period but was ignored and told it was normal. That has now been fixed but has left me with chronic pain in that region. That pain is of course not being addressed because the specialist was male and apparently the pain is not that important. Sometimes, I really just want to slap people. I’m so tired of not having pain properly addressed, it really feels like the fact that I have mental health issues is the why and I just want to scream and shake people til they realize it’s real. Of course, I won’t. That would be bad. I have inflammation in my lower back, in my upper shoulder/neck/upper back area that is incredibly painful and that does not help. I have GERD, IBS, pruritis and a TMJ disorder. I’m waiting on oral surgery. I’m in perimenopause. I have some sleep apnea and fight wars in my sleep. I don’t have dreams, I have nightmares. I am not having a good time with pain right now at all. Some days, I just want to run face first into a wall until I knock myself out. I won’t but it gets that bad. So, keeping busy is very important, in any way I can. It is a coping mechanism so that I do not focus on the pain 24/7. It just makes everything difficult.
People often say, I see it and hear it, that you should just learn from things and move on, and sometimes that is possible, but trauma is trauma. Sometimes, you cannot just move on so easily. Sometimes, things can affect you very deeply. You can still be a better person because of it but that does not negate the negative effects upon your mind. Things just aren’t that simple. You just cannot understand until you experience it, it’s not possible because living it is a whole new experience. When it’s not on tv or in a video, when it happens to you… it’s very different. I’m a good person, I know that, but I’m also very damaged. I have, thank the goddess, never been placed in a situation where I had to kill to survive. I’m grateful for that. I have always managed to get away somehow but I have not escaped, not really. Part of me is still trapped and I’m hoping that through therapy, I can find my way out. I don’t think I’ll ever not be afraid at all, it’s kept me alive and I fear not being afraid, not bein ready. I do hope it can become easier though to be around people.
The fact that I can just be who I am around my son and my fiance means everything to me. I can be afraid, I can be me or another me, I can just be and they love me no matter what. They are my home. It may sound silly but places are not home to me, people are. The place does not really matter, it can be nice or not..I prefer nice like anyone but the people are the home. I suppose this is in part why my divorces affected me so badly, especially the first. When you make your home in a person and that person destroys you, it is far worse than just losing a friend or a partner, you lose your home. I never thought I’d ever get even one divorce but here I am, having had three. It’s funny what you think you know about yourself and what you think is important, what you think things will be like. You just don’t know until you do.
I was 13, then I was suddenly 15 and Mother moved without me again. I was 15, then I was 18. I have been told some things, some things I remember, most of those years I do not.