I have been gone a very long time…
I don’t even know if there is anyone still out there listening to my ramblings. But that is ok. The point is, I am rambling. And that is fine.
For anyone who is still listening, on whatever platform you have found me - If you haven’t already seen the pattern, I disappear frequently. Perhaps you’re familiar with it, perhaps you already know, but if you’ve missed the signs - I struggle with depression, and how it manifests for me is to just disappear. This is the longest I have ever disappeared. This has been a rough one.
No. I am not in danger. I’m not even sad. Depression, for me, has never been that. It is simply a Nothing. Inspiration leaves me. Want and will evaporate. I just want to be left alone, and be. I am tired, and have nothing to say, and want nothing to do. But, of course, there are things I *have* to do. Things I MUST do, and like the good warrior I am, of course - I do. But that takes so much energy, that once what I must do is done, there is even less of me left than where I began.
So I sit. And I sleep. And I watch the same million episodes of the same three shows that I’ve seen a million times before, because it is soothing. Because, somehow, they are still entertaining, and they are comforting and relaxing and I tell myself I’m just recouping - tomorrow I’ll do something. But of course, tomorrow has a whole new list of *musts* and *have tos*. And the cycle continues.
The last post I made here, was not actually on this blog - but the Sister blog. The one I created solely for the dark and depressed rantings to be able to get it out and expell it from my being. It was my one and only post. And then I went dark. For four years. I was in a very bad place. It was hard for me to articulate, because I was still engulfed in it. I hadn’t escaped yet.
About 5 years ago, I was in a car accident. A lady on her phone, speeding, not paying attention, ran a red light and hit me dead-on. She was going abput 60 in a 35. I was extremely lucky.
I was banged up pretty bad, I have chronic hip problems now because of it - but it could have been so much worse. I didn’t even break a bone. I was extremely lucky. The car was unbelievable. My son could have been in the car, but I had -thankfully- just dropped him off at school. It would have hit directly where he would have been sitting. But, that didn’t happen. I was extremely lucky - but it left me with some serious PTSD. I was terrified of the road. I was terrified of other drivers. It doesn’t matter how safe you try to be when it’s someone elses recklessness that takes you out. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about that. I struggled real hard with that one - I still do.
I’m the one you’re honking at for taking too long at the greenlight. I’m the one you’re frustrated with for never seeming to know it’s my turn at the 4-way. It’s me. Because I no longer care about inconvenience- if 10 extra seconds means I know the other person is not blowing through the intersection, then I’ll take it. You all can go before me at the stop sign, I’ll wait. I don’t mind. If it means I’m safe, then I’m fine with my commute taking an extra 10-15 min.
I had several months of physical therapy, and a year out of the workforce. But eventually, all things move on. Wounds heal. Bruises fade. Money runs out, and you have to get back to life, and the real world. And even though I thoroughly enjoyed my reprieve from the bump and grind - I was ready to get back. Or so I thought.
I’ll be honest, I never even considered how PTSD would affect so many aspects of my life. I did not get help for it. After all, if I’m just hyper aware of my surrpundings, that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Of course it is!
Being aware of your surroundings is a good thing. But I was completely ignoring everything else that came with it. Hyper sensitivity. Paranoia. Trust issues. Control issues. Vulnerability. Fragility. Panic attacks. Let me tell you, starting a brand new job in the midst of this will certainly make you hyper aware of much more than just your surroundings.
I was not ready. Not only was I not ready, but I had no idea what I was walking into. And it crushed me, utterly and completely.
I was in a horrible, horrible abusive relationship, and it destroyed every ounce of my spirit. Extinguished it completely, not only did it trigger the worst depressive episode I have ever experienced, but my PTSD crippled me from recognizing it sooner, and then once I had, made it near impossible to actually act on.
I spent hours, upon hours crying. Not just simple little tears - sobbing. Heaving. Mental breaking point hysterics. It was toxic. It was manipulative. It was undermining. It was suffocating, and I could not get out. I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. Then I ate everything all at once. My blood pressure skyrocketed, even had my DRs threaten to withhold certain medications that I needed - and wanted to put me on a ton more that I was adamantly against. They didn’t understand - this wasn’t an issue with my body. My body was reacting in exactly the way it was supposed to. It was the stress, it was the circumstance. I don’t need to be on toxic, liver killing, kidney killing medications - I just needed to get out, then it would all be OK.
My phone would go off ….at dinner, at the grocery store, driving home - wherever, and I would have a panic attack. And it would go off all. The. Time. I would get upset in public, I couldn’t control it.
Complete strangers would come up to me and try to help - offer to call the cops for me. Take me to a shelter. Give me a safe place to stay. They wouldn’t want to leave me - gave my husband the most evil glares I’ve seen in real life. I had battered woman syndrome all over me. Only it wasn’t him.
It was my job. My job was my abusive relationship. It. Was. Abuse. It was trauma. I was strongarmed into a position I didn’t interview for, I wasn’t hired for, and didn’t want - but it just. Happened. And once I was in, there was too much going on to have the time to protest. And then I was stuck. I was given impossible tasks. Literally impossible. I should have recognized the red flag in the interview when he asked about getting things done - he had said he had problems with past hires because they would tell him “It can’t be done” and he took issue with that because “nothing is impossible”. And some more choice phrases in that conversation that I can’t remember completely, but in that moment I couldn’t comprehend that anything was impossible - as far as work goes. I had never been presented with a task that couldn’t be resolved, in one way or another - even if it meant with help, or going a different route. So I had no qualms. In the clearview of hindsight, it should have been a warning. But these were, impossible. There is no other word for it - what they wanted, what they were asking for, could. Not. Be. Done. Short of kidnapping people off the street, holding them against their will, and forcing them at gunpoint, it could not be done.
And I was blamed for it. I was just incompetent, like the so many others that came before me. It wasn’t their psychotic demands - it was me. And I quickly learned he was a legitimate, bonefide sociopath. I was berated. I was threatened, verbally and physically. I had bottles thrown at me. An office chair thrown at me. My “short comings” were broadcast across the entire office. Things I had absolutely no control over were my failings. Things I wasn’t even *involved in*, were my failings. Things THEY DID, were my failings. I was actively, legitimately, sabotaged, and then mocked when I could not complete the task - and then again, broadcast across the entire office. People thought I was crazy. Thought I was weak. Thought I was incompetent to the point they actually believed the only reason I was ever hired was because I had fucked my way to get it - because I was, obviously, so unqualified. Nevermind the fact that there had been at least 7 others before me, with the exact. Same. Story.
You interviewed us. You vetted us. You hired us. Are we, coincidentally, ALL that incompetent? Or could it possibly be you? What’s the common denominator here? But no - it was us. My entire life revolved around this job - from the time I woke up in the morning, the phone wouldn’t stop. When I got to the office, I had a backlog of voicemails and emails that I could never get through in the day, which would just start again tomorrow - so I had an ever growing backlog that would never. Ever. Stop. When I left the office - HOURS after I had already supposed to have been gone - the phone would start immediately. And I would get reprimanded if I did not answer and respond immediately, even when I was driving - still not recovered from the car accident caused by a person ON THE PHONE in their car. Which they knew of - I laid all my cards on the table. They KNEW about my issues with driving, and what I was struggling with. They didn’t care. They even started putting me on recruiting gigs where I’d have to drive hours a day, alone, in areas I was completely unfamiliar with. They scheduled me on days that went against my availability - without telling me - and then was reprimanded when clients would show up to a locked office after hours, and they’d call me wondering why I wasn’t there. I can’t work on Saturdays - But you’re on the schedule - well who was going to tell me that? - well can you hurry up and get there - No. I can’t work on Saturdays, you knew that.
I would go in to “unlock the doors” for other, lower level employees - under the premise that they were working instead - and then get trapped. My son left home alone for hours without knowing when I’d get back. There were days when I didn’t get out of work in time to pick him up. They even threatened the cops and CPS for “abandonment”. And they would make snide remarks about me “cutting out early” or being “lazy” to leave on time to pick him up - even though I was well past my hours. I was salary, mostly all of us were, so we did not have standard clocked hours daily to track - but I clocked them once, just to prove a point.
119. One Hundred Nineteen hours. IN ONE WEEK.
And then when they discovered I was looking for another job - they fired me. Not only that, but gave me a horrendous, completely false, separation letter. A letter that prevented me from getting other jobs, for a good minute.
I was completely broken. My spirit was utterly gone. I spent days and days sobbing. Screaming. I have never felt so much rage and anger and helplessness in my entire life.
I, in all seriousness, actually contemplated homicide. Arson.
I think I could have won a temporary insanity plea.
Nothing I will ever write or say or tell will ever express accurately just how pure evil this company was, and how toxic and abusive and illegal and immoral everything about this place was.
So needless to say, I now had even more PTSD to deal with. I still wake up in cold sweats from nightmares about this place. I still have trauma, I still have not gotten closure - but I’m working on it. It sent me on such a mental breakdown, that crept out over years. Once the initial pain and anger subsided, I was left just numb and empty. I didn’t write. I didn’t draw. I didn’t want to feel. I didn’t want to be exhausted. I didn’t want to be angry. I didn’t want to cry. And so the depression took hold, and held on to me. And I let it, because being in this numb place where I could at least get by from day to day was far better than where I was before, and I took comfort in that. And then slowly contentment set it. And so I was happy - not ideally. But at least I could enjoy my time again. At least I could relax, and laugh, and spend time with my family and just -be- and that was OK.
But, finally, I started to confront these things. I started to work on them. I started talking to people for help - help heal up what others had done to me. And now, finally, after years of numbness - that itch has returned. The musings are stirring. The ~want~ is returning. I *want* to write something…. I *want* to draw something….
The picking up of olde projects is still too much right now. And starting new ones hasn’t quite happened yet - new inspirations haven’t quite jumped to mind or lept to life - but the stirring is there, which I haven’t felt in a very long time.
So this is my first baby step. To at least tell my story of what happened, if I can’t yet invent a new fantastical one.
Lets hope it doesn’t take another four years for the next step.