I survived, mostly.

So… I lost a tooth. It was my front tooth. It had been crowned several years ago. That front tooth was the first dental issue I’d ever had. I was in my 30s then and hadn’t ever even had a cavity. Then, along came a monster of a man who beat me mercilessly for three years.
I used to have to wear long sleeve shirts, pants, and socks at all times to cover my neck to toes bruises. I finally found the strength to leave, with the help of my best friend and my brothers.
So, here I am still dealing with PTSD on a daily/nightly basis, and to top it all off, I am losing teeth. The teeth on the left side of my face; the monster from my past is right-handed. The roots of my teeth have been damaged to the point that they cannot be saved, and every time another tooth needs a root canal, I’m reminded of him. Of me. Of who I was when I was there. And I have to fight back tears of regret and anger. And guilt.
I’m so embarrassed about all of this. But that’s why I have to share it–in case you or someone you know is going through something similar. We cannot bow our heads in shame; we must hold fast to whatever scrap of dignity we can find within ourselves.


Empty Annulment

We said the words
Agreed to the vows
For better or worse
Same old verse

Until death do us part
Or one of us changes our mind
Like me
He declares me incompetent
Unfit to be his wife
He’s right
I’m not

I’m struggling with nightmares
Still needing
My best friend
My true love
Not him
He’s right

So much for those vows
Empty words
Meaningless agreement
Made in front of a stranger

Now I’m checking the mailbox
Waiting for the paper
Declaring none of this ever happened
More empty words
From yet another stranger

I guess it shouldn’t matter
My best friend
My true love
Holds me tight
Every night
He doesn’t care what happened

That paper doesn’t release me
From responsibility
Or erase the past
Merely documents empty lies
Agreed to for reasons
Already forgotten
But I’ll breathe easier
After the annulment arrives

Inside View to a PTSD Panic Attack

Don’t want to talk about it. Don’t want the past to cast it’s shadow on the future. Just stop pounding…. just stop pounding. Swallow. Breathe. Breathe. …

Swallow. Swallow. Breathe. Focus. Vision is clearing. Grayness is receding. Dull throb- left side- head hurts. Breathing shallow.

Focus on breathing. Keep breathing.


Do you have similar occurrences?
Feel the panic so thick in your throat that it chokes you?
Forget to breathe because of the emotional onslaught of no-longer-present voices?
Lose track of time until you suddenly consciously notice your breathing?
Find comfort in reminding yourself to keep breathing?
I cannot be the only one.

Inconsequential Paranoia

I heard them say ‘she’
They must mean me
Their lowered tones
That small circle of privacy

I try to be invisible
Not wanting forced civility
Unpleasant pleasantries
They clearly saw me

I’m sure they’ve heard about me
The crazy one who ran away
Took her kid and went someplace
Then returned
A rescued stray

Yeah, everyone knows my story
I don’t know who ‘everyone’ is
But they seem to know me
It’s unsettling
So now I assume I’m the ‘she’
In every story

How presumptuous
I see
As the ladies leave
Without ever once
Glancing at me

PTSD Sucks

“That Damn Shirt”

I saw a t-shirt
Lying in a Goodwill bin
I picked it up
And froze for a moment
My fingers unable to move as a memory came flooding back
Him in a shirt like that
I threw the repulsive shirt down
And froze again
As the muscles in my back starting convulsing
Difficult places along my spine started crimping
Remembering blows he had dealt to me
Pain still fresh
Undimmed by time

Moments passed
I realized I was still in the store
Forced myself to take a deep breath
And walked away
Trying to remember to keep breathing