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The Walls Come Down

Sober Mommies dot com The Walls Come DownThis is the hardest post I’ve ever written. I’m so uncomfortable with being vulnerable, even after all these years. I have a solution for almost every problem in my life, but there are certain things I can’t get passed. I’m usually the one in support and I’m really struggling with being the one that needs it.

Depression has me by the throat today and I’m stuck. I can’t think straight and I can’t tell you about it. I want my mother and wish she wasn’t so judgmental so I could call her and not feel worse. I wish there was anyone I could call and feel better, someone who would understand without suggesting a meeting, meds or a walk. I can’t; don’t you fucking get it?

I don’t want to leave my house.

I miss appointments and constantly reschedule plans because I don’t want to see you. I don’t want you to see me. I don’t want to showcase my mess. Because the truth is, something happened to me and I can’t look at it. I can’t see it for what it is because I’m so afraid to admit that it happened. I can’t let it go and it’s killing me. I can’t let you know that it broke me because I’m too prideful. I’d rather be pretty and dying than tell you the truth and lose face. I haven’t seen light since that night. A part of me wishes he’d killed me and doesn’t understand why I fought. If I hadn’t I never would have met my husband and wouldn’t have the boys. There is a part of me that feels like I died that night. I can’t get out from under it. I don’t know how. I have so many wonderful things in my life and I just want to enjoy them. I want to feel safe. I’ve been to twelve different therapists, EMDR, trauma therapy, hypnotherapy, I’ve meditated, I’ve tried medication, but nothing works and I can’t breathe.

Every rustle of the trees is him in the bushes. Every noise the house makes is him inside, waiting patiently to get me when I least expect. Even when he was in prison, I thought he might send someone to hurt me. There were nights I woke up screaming and crying in the hallway, running away. Try explaining that to your family, to your children. Try explaining to your husband that you want so badly to feel safe in his arms, but you can’t. He’s in my head now and I can’t get him out. I haven’t wanted to drink, but I have wanted desperately to disappear.

It’s been years now and I’m doing a little better, but then something triggers and sets it off again. This time it was a meeting; his meeting. He hasn’t been there in years and a friend was celebrating 20 years of sobriety. I thought I would be fine. It’s not his anymore and I should feel free to go wherever, right? Wrong. I found myself outside unable to step foot inside. I had to call a friend to walk me in. I had to cry first. My friend asked me to speak and I heard the words “Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.” This is what thirteen years of sobriety look like? What is wrong with me? My friend corrected me immediately saying, “This is what 13 years of sobriety can look like, if you don’t drink.” He was right. I have made it through all sorts of horrific things, sober, but this one is tough.

I’ve learned to see myself as not a victim, but a survivor. I just don’t feel like a survivor today. I feel like a fraud; like a coward. I know all the slogans. I know that feelings aren’t facts and that they will pass. I just wish they wouldn’t return. It’s overwhelming to know that kind of threat exists. It’s one thing to watch it on the news, but quite another to live it. I know that I’m lucky. I know that I’m blessed. Intellectually I know all sorts of things.

I just wish I could feel it.

Is there a “Most Fucked Up” award? If so, I’m pretty sure it’s mine.

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  1. I certainly think you deserve all sorts of medals.

    I hope that one day you can come to a place where your intellectual understanding of your survivor-ness and your warrior spirit become visceral ones – ones you can feel and own and use to banish the darkness which still haunts you.

    In the meantime, as much as you wish it weren’t so, it sounds as though what you’re going through is a normal reaction to a terrible set of circumstances you were forced to endure. And still endure the after-effects of.

    Keeping you in my prayers dear, that this dark patch will pass quickly for you (and preferably not return). Hang on in there and keep being awesome, and KEEP WRITING, This is an incredible piece, packed with Truth, and very well done.

    1. Thank you, My Friend. I appreciate all of your support and knowing you’re there if I need you. I can’t tell you how much that means. XO

  2. Thank you so much for being honest and vulnerable with us. I’m so very very sad and sorry to hear (sorta) about your horrific night so many years ago that changed your world. I wish there were magically word that could be said that could heal your wounded heart. These hard times pass as you know from experience and you’ll get out of the house and join those activities and meetings again. Until then, we will sit with you and patiently let you grieve.
    There’s is something healing in hearing someone say, “me too!” Which you’ve given lots of us tonight. You’re brave and strong and beautiful and you’ve just proven that to us all.

    1. *weeping* Thank you Jennifer. I really appreciate that.

  3. You my friend are the furthest thing from a coward. You are a survivor. You are a good person through and through. You are a fighter. You are a supporter. You are beautiful. You are worth it. You are a warrior and a pioneer. You are helping others with your strength and courage to share your story and conquer sobriety. You are so much more than you know. Crying is not a sign of weakness and neither is depression. They are both proof that you feel, that you breathe, that you are in fact human. We are nothing without feeling, without emotion. You are never alone. You have a whole bunch of us who are standing on the sidelines of your marathon cheering you on. *I’m the really loud one with the goofy sign * GO JULIE GO! Much love mama…much love!! ~Jennifer

    1. Jennifer, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for leaving this awesome comment. You’re amazing and I’m SO grateful to have you in my corner. <3

  4. Just know that I am here, and I love you. You are wonderful and beautiful and a survivor and I will believe it enough for both of us until you can see it again, too.

    1. Thank you, Chris. You’re wonderful.

  5. I’m here if you need to talk. To vent. A place to write on that is anonymous. Video chat. Whatever you need, I’m here.

    I understand.

    1. I appreciate that, Starr. Thank you.

  6. You are amazing. Take the time you need. No one else can tell you when you’re ready. Only you. And when you’re ready, you’ll be ready. That sounds stupid, but it’s true. Putting yourself out there is so hard – I hope you know you’ve got people rooting for you and supporting you in whatever way you need.

    1. Thank you, Joy. That doesn’t sound stupid at all. I appreciate the support! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Molley. I had a lot of help working up the courage to hit PUBLISH. 😉

  7. Very honest and brave of you to write this. Feelings might not me tangible or objectively measurable but they are certainly real. They can be debilitating, or liberating. It really is a horrible bummer that we can do little to control feelings. They pop up all on their own. With work we can choose what to do about them… I understand the depression. I am struggling with it today. It is taking so much energy to not let it overcome me. People that don’t experience it will never get it. Some will be supportive, and some are just ignorant jerks…. I commend you for hanging in there when things get really rough. And for working to make things better. It is a testament to what a strong person you are. I hope it helped you to share this. And I hope it helps others….. Wishing you all the very best. Keep writing!!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Dana. This means so much to me. XO

  8. Beautifully expressed, Julie. I too struggle with depression and I’ve finally tried to let myself just have it some days without trying to solve it, without trying to find a way out. After a day or so, it fades, I know this, and when I’m in it, if I can try and remember, it does help. I love your honesty with such a vulnerable topic. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Lauri. It’s not easy not to have an immediate solution to the feelings associated with depression. I totally agree with you. I know it passes too, but that doesn’t ever make me feel better when I’m IN it. Thank you for your kind words.

  9. Hi there, I stumbled upon your post tonight, maybe by divine intervention, who knows. Never before had I saw my fears reflected in writing. Its been 6 years since the “incident”, 16 months sober and 9 months since my daughter was born. My fears are for the safety of my daughter now. Why is it we let these “demons” continue to instill fear in us? When I get out of my car at night, when I discover my door has been unlocked even though I’ve been home all day, the thought still crosses my mind, would he want to exact revenge for my testimony in court. But you know what, I refuse to let the thoughts go any further than that. Because I refuse to let him beat me again mentally. He will not win this one, I have control over my life. My husband adores me, even with the chinks in the armour, we have a beautiful daughter and I refuse to let him take our happiness away and let him win. Fuck him! Let him rot in whatever hole hes dug himself into. Chances are he’s found someone else to try and manipulate. Sucks for them, but i believe that everything happens for a reason. And I believe this particlar thing happened to me to show me how strong I really am. We just have to take strength from it. You fought because you had a purpose still in this world. You have children that you can teach to be good in this world. You may not be able to be a great mother to every child in the world, but by being the best Mother to your own, you may reach somebody who needs it and prevent this from happening to someone else. We may not know or understand the reasons why things happen to us, but we just need to believe that we aren’t given anything that we can’t handle. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to find that light inside of us that says, yeah I am strong!. I was then, I am now, and I choose to be happy! Truth of the matter is, we probably give them more thought than they give us, I think its time to focus on things that are more important, because they sure as hell aren’t, but our husbands and kids are. Xoxo

    1. I started crying half way through your comment! Thank you SO much for leaving it. Trauma is so tricky and I have not found many that understand exactly what it’s like. I appreciate your honesty so much. I’m legions away from where I was with the fear and the control I let it have, but I still have my moments. That event broadened my realm of possibility and I’ve been working on bringing it back down to reality and just trusting God. None of this is easy and some days I do struggle with the “why?” Then I get an amazing comment from a courageous woman who says, “me too” and it makes the purpose clear again.

      Thank you. XO

  10. Sending you love and power and wanting to let you know that many of us are right there next to you in spirit, holding your hand and rubbing your back. It’s okay to stay inside sometimes. You’re very brave and very strong.

  11. wow jules …I can identify with this . I work really hard to try to get”out there”. I don’t like being around people, but I FORCE myself to do it. Sometimes it helps. sometimes I’m frustrated bc why ? why do I have to force myself to be more social. So I get the “oh go to a meeting” thing as a trigger.
    I was in foster care, an abusive one, from ages (?-?), yep. It’s a black slate of memory. I have bits and fragments but I’m terrified to remember more. My husband also wonders why I am so closed off sometimes and WHY can’t I just be more.. open. The past is the past right?
    I really appreciate you posting this. really helped me realize i’m not alone in feeling “scared” and anxious of people. especially men. THANK YOU

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