Today, the memory that Facebook presented from last year was the first day of my hospitalization, where so many of you poured out your love and support and told me that you were glad I’d gotten the help I needed. I have so many stories from those days, probably enough to write a book, but I’d rather put everything here. There’s something comforting about having my own space and no editors. I’ve made lots of typos, grammatical errors, and run-ons… and still you show up. To me, it’s kind of like making an MTV Unplugged album every day.
I would be remiss not to remember Argo on this day, because it was her words that finally got me off my ass; why do you expect everyone else to fix you? That’s easy, really. I didn’t know I could. I didn’t know how to take power into my own hands, because I’d never done it before. It was the beginning of learning to adult hardcore, because sometimes part of being an adult is realizing that in order to get your shit together, you have to fall apart.
When I first began to see down into the core of my abuse, I was just vomiting emotions everywhere. The Divine Mrs. B and Argo jumped in with their superpowers, because I wasn’t worried for me. I was worried for Dana… that I was too much for her to handle and I needed other people to look after her because I was too wrapped up in my own healing to give anything to anyone else. I felt like I was constantly pouring from an empty cup and I was in no shape to be a wife.I wanted Dana to feel like she had a safe place to fall to talk about me, because I knew she’d need an outlet and might not necessarily ask for one herself.
Because of the way we were raised, our Classic Response™ was to use the buttons on our clothes to hold in our feelings… and then I came along and was all like, “fuck that shit, I am going down and I cannot hide it anymore.” My parents were out of town and dealing with their own enormous amount of shit, which is why I called on my friends instead of them. I am sure they would have wanted to know what was going on, but the stress of adding things onto their plates was heart-wrenching to me, and when I asked my friends to jump in, they fucking did. In a hot second. During that time, Argo and I barely went an hour without checking in, and Mrs. B had the most sound advice I’d ever heard if I could just put it into practice- “just stop caring.” That I was the kind of person who cared way too much and if I could let go of caring for Diane and try to get angry (as I’d needed to do for years) it would help.
In short, it did.
I tapped into my rage, obviously and somewhat viciously. I will never forget the e-mail that I got from Argo after I posted that link: “I heard the sonic boom after your last post.” There is also another piece to the puzzle, and I will not name her because she is a mutual friend, who said that I should get angry, should name, not because I was angry, but because it was the right thing to do.
I also had another friend that carried me through that time in my life, but we aren’t friends anymore, and don’t think I don’t care about it. She was my “little buddha,” injecting calm into the storm, but I fucked that relationship all to hell and I miss her a little each day, wishing I could reach out and knowing I shouldn’t, because it wouldn’t bring her any peace. She told me she was pulling chalks (or something like that… I have no idea what it meant, but one of my strong points is context clues…. I knew what she meant, anyway.).
It was, as Argo said, “realizing the common denominator was me,” and trying to get all the help I needed to be able to survive this massive amount of trauma I’d been dealt and just kept sweeping under the rug, because I was gaslit so successfully that I thought Diane was right. I was just crazy. Nothing happened that was untoward or inappropriate, I just couldn’t get over her.
Getting over her was relative. I stopped having romantic feelings for her in the late ’90s, but I wanted the family she said we were, while at the same time trying to push me away as quickly as she possibly could. It was a paradox I could not handle. For instance, when I was 18, Diane wanted me to come and live with her so that I could get out of the Bible Belt and go to school at Portland State. When I talked to her partner, Susan, she said that Diane had told her that she thought “when I was 18, I’d just go away.” It was interesting, because Susan has a son, and when I met him, I instantly thought of him as a brother, because I thought I was part of Diane’s package as well.
But I wasn’t. I just thought I was. We took a road trip together, getting to know each other in a family sort of way, and yet, after that, it never gelled in the way I thought it was going to go. Too much sludge in my soul to come clean, too meek not to just go with the flow.
The title comes from a Facebook post, where I told Dana I loved her “100 and crazy percent.” It’s the way I felt one year ago today about myself.
And on that note, it’s time to get to work.
Much love and hopes for a great day for you all.
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