Operation Caffeination

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Blues at sunrise

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I wrote this down about a year ago, lost it, and rediscovered it today while cleaning out my drafts folder. It was interesting to catch a glimpse into my mind on a particularly vulnerable, unhappy night, especially as I touched on my struggle to find wholeness after my traumatic birth experience. It is amazing to see how much healing has occurred as I’ve carried on through life.

I’m watching the sunrise out my bedroom window right now, thinking about all the ways that life has let me down. Healthy? Don’t know, don’t care. I have decided to write my thoughts down, and if I don’t feel better after that I am moving on to the lemon gelato in the freezer.

1. I wonder what it would be like to not be afraid of being raped. I wonder, because I’ve been up at night quite a bit lately and the weather has been nice and nighttime is the only time my husband is sure to be home to watch the kids…it feels like the perfect opportunity to go for a walk, get some exercise, breathe some fresh air and clear my head. I can’t do that, though, because for generations the women in my family have taught their daughters to fear the dark, to fear being alone in public, to fear unknown men as possible rapists. Talk about a depressing inheritance. I know that most perpetrators of rape are actually trusted people in the victim’s life, but that doesn’t do much to relieve the fear. So I sit inside and stew over the injustice of it all.

2. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to maintain a friendship with a woman who enjoyed giving birth. Every time I read or hear a glowing, triumphant birth story I want to vomit, and it all comes back to me. The terror, the humiliation, the feeling of being completely and utterly alone in the universe. And maybe worst of all, the moment when my psyche bowed out, when I left my body behind writhing in agony and shame and felt my consciousness float away. I suffered through regular dissociative spells for two full years after my son’s birth as a result of the trauma I endured. Can you imagine what it’s like as a mother to “wake up” and find yourself driving with your child in the car, and have no idea how you got there or where you are going? I am alone with my kids easily 60-70 hours a week during the school year. There have been times when I wanted to go to the hospital and turn myself in just so that I could be relieved from some of that responsibility. So I’m sorry if I offend you when I shut you down in the middle of relating your own fairy tale ending. I’m sorry if I leave the room when the conversation gets too gritty and raw and real. If you want me in your life, you’ll have to learn to live with it. Considering what I’ve had to live with for the last three years, I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

3. Meet my children. One of them loves to cuddle, begs for kisses from strangers, is very sensitive to criticism and praise, loves anything cute and small and would happily spend every moment of the day in the kitchen helping me cook. The other one is pure loud, top volume all the time, loves reading and cerebral activity and hates sitting still. Guess which one is the boy and which one is the girl, hint, your sexist assumptions are wrong. I know these kids pretty damn well and I am completely offended when people suggest that my son will grow up to play football and that my daughter is already developing an interest in babies, or worse, that she’s well on her way to dieting as a lifestyle. She is a BABY. Why is it so difficult for people to think happy thoughts? Why can’t the focus be on how happy we all are in the here and now?


Written by GRSeim

January 28, 2012 at 12:04 am

One Response

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  1. Going for the gelato second takes skill, I tell you. (So says I, whilst eating milk and cookies at midnight.)

    Regarding your trauma – no, it really isn’t too much to tell people that you have this trigger, and to ask that they therefore please avoid triggering you. Personal boundaries are good things!


    January 30, 2012 at 8:01 am

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