When it hits, you think of yourself as a smooth fist:

a spine full of knives, a shot of tetanus in a buried saber.

***

What about when talking about trauma is a trigger? Even though in between I am able to be articulate, insightful. Today in seminar we are discussing a case study of a patient with a history of CSA (childhood sexual abuse), and there is just enough description of the specifics that I begin to circle back on them again and again on the page. Every time someone says the word “rape,” the wind-up key turns. On the outside I am calm, if a bit quiet, but inside my heart is racing and I can feel my hands beginning to tremor as I reach for my coffee. At break I slip half a Xanax into my mouth with coffee, and then we come back and talk about hypomania. I love psychiatric nursing, but half of the time I feel so exposed, even when we talk about all these things in abstractions.

Me: cPTSD haver, bipolar type II, ACES score of 7 or more (11? 14?). Panic attacks, social anxiety, recurring nightmares, history of estrangement from family, risky sexual behaviors from a young age, ETOH/MJ/etc use, survivor of CSA/child abuse/parental neglect/rape/intimate violence, high stress life and (sometimes) very little support.

Broke but not broken. Surviving but underwater. Sometimes I feel so acutely aware that I experience life like I am hopping from crisis to crisis, and I think to myself, “shouldn’t I be more resilient than this? it doesn’t look like other people have to work so hard at keeping themselves afloat.”

Anyhow, that’s all. Going to see new therapist today, to talk about possible sliding scale arrangement. Wish me luck that it’s actually affordable.

-RD

 

 

 

Trigger warning for sexy bits:

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Bird song, bus motor, traffic.

What am I to do? Everything I taste reminds me of your cunt.

Phantom scent that catches me around a corner, imagining your press into me as I lean against a wall.

I hear you in my ears,

husky whispering dirty while you touch me, crying out as you come.

–When the only sound is bird song, bus motor, traffic:

dust, settling in the heat.

-RD

 

“It’s like my queerness didn’t work right until I transitioned–I had all these relationships with women that fell flat, missed the mark, were utter and unforgivable disasters–and the only common denominator was me.”

“but you like women, though?”

“I *love* women. But I couldn’t have functional relationships with them, they were too raw, too dense, too much hurt with not enough honesty.”

“…“

“every other woman that I fell for turned up straight anyways–and that says something right there, too. It was like they didn’t see me. But maybe I didn’t fully see myself, either.”

“…cis men, tho. I just can’t–”

“oh, I know. Me too, now. It was easier, tho. It felt like the fit was at least a bit closer. I was still always devouring queer lit and culture. But I had to transition to truly find my place as a queer person, that helix-universe-glittercloud.”