So, this weekend was enlightening to say the least. Perhaps it was because of the recent visit with my dad, or the fact that so many times in my life i have had to defend myself as a female that made it happen. Or, perhaps it was lingering unresolved trauma. But, as i rarely talk anymore about my recovery and alcohol and this relates, i will put the event into words here.
Anyway, had the dinner with my daughter and the grand kids stayed over. I love having them around but i think this time i had too much coffee and ate cake when i shouldn’t have, which upset my stomach and i couldn’t be as energetic as i usually am with them. They left in the morning to go to Hershey park for the youngest ones 5th birthday and all was well.
About a month ago, my artist freind and i, who also enjoys painting outdoors, set up this weekend to go to the creekside to paint ( with our respective partners) and then have a camping sleep over with a fire, etc. Unfortunately ( and yet also fortunately) they weren’t prepared to camp and stayed till dark to enjoy the evening but did go home. Now, about a week or so ago, my boyfriend and the guy he lives with who owns the property , decided to also invite some other friends over for the evening. Most were musicians and 2 cancelled due to having paying gigs, and another didn’t show. The ones who did were very nice and i mostly had a great time getting to know them.
However, once my artist friend and his girlfriend left, i found myself alone in a group of guys . It all started out well and most of the evening was fine. But there came a point when i felt put on the spot, as a female , to stand up for myself and it did not go over well. Now, mind you- we WERE all drinking. I have been allowing myself a night about once every 3 weeks or so to do this and never any more than that. But i do believe..no- i KNOW being in that state of mind just added to the situation in a negative way. Probably had i been sober, i would have just walked away and let it go. But once one is in the throws of consumption, as they say- the alcohol controls you, you don’t control it.
The situation was thus. One of the men brought up anarchy as a topic and made a misguided statement about what it was. and i quote “people just want anarchy in this country, chaos and nobody following any rules at all…” and a few other things. I interjected that this was not what anarchy was( as i have extensive knowledge in this area) and was then encouraged to explain. I stated it was likely not a good time since i was drinking but i was again encouraged. I began to explain my knowledge of such and about halfway through noticed the men had all started ignoring me and were talking amongst themselves about other things. It struck a bad chord in me and i felt not only ignored, but completely dismissed as a woman since mostly they never do such a thing with each other, but rather listen politely until the person is done speaking. I can also assert i was not rambling on at all, or making no sense, and so there was no reason for what i consider “rudeness”. It really set me off and i called them out on their treatment of me as a woman. Again, this did not go over well. My boyfreind was upset with me and we ended the night not on good terms.
So, today, i did apologize for making people uncomfortable but did reinforce that i was only standing up for myself . As i said, had i not been drinking i may have just walked away . This…this is what it is to be an alcoholic, and just one of the negative consequences.Your mind goes somewhere and you get stuck on something you should just let go.
With my particular alcoholism, i can say no and just not drink 90% of the time now. I no longer drink regularly , not even once a week. But i allow myself the one night a month or so. Still my problem is that when i start i absolutely cannot stop until there is no more. Sometimes, it ends up badly. Not even counting the hangover. I must continue to keep this in mind and do my best to deal with the issue. This may mean, and i expressed such, that i cannot drink at all in these social situations or even with my boyfriend at all. Indeed, what was fun for us both back in the beginning has had a few bumps lately.
But that wasn’t even the worst of it. I had been so focused on painting that i was not well prepared to camp. The night became unexpectedly cold and i got very miserable in the tent.We wound up having to go inside where it was warmer. And THIS, my friends, created and even worse situation . You see, the inside space is a small apartment that was constructed in a basement.It still looks very much like a cellar but with cabinets and heat, a small bathroom and my brothers old bed. There is a strange stairway to the upper level that is closed off most of the time, as any cellar in an old house.It is disguised on the upper level as a floor and can be opened when needed. Ironically , this was the case in what i will describe next.
The space is pretty much pitch black at night. I have no clue where any light switches are and i believe there is only one somewhere. It can be downright scary especially for someone with my childhood trauma. I loathed having to resort to sleeping indoors there but it was way to cold to endure the tent all night without proper clothes and blankets, just a sleeping bag- totally my own fault. So i consented to sleeping in that space with great hesitation.
What almost no one knows because it is extremely hard for me to talk about, is that when i was young , and kidnapped by my father several times as i mentioned, hidden away in those place with strangers( family that i didn’t even know) for months or years at a time, There was one place i was taken to on several occasions where i was locked in a basement to either sleep or keep me out of the eyes of any authorities or my moms side of the family who might discover me.This would be days or even weeks, i had no concept of time at that age.My brother and i were not always “taken” at the same times during those years, it was a matter of opportunity.
Whilst i was locked in that pitch black small space i was terrified. The door was locked from te outside and i never knew when i was going to be allowed out. Also, various male family members would “visit” me at night and do not so mice things to me. I couldn’t fight back. And i couldn’t even see who they were at any given time to identify them.There was no one to tell, and i was too scared to anyway. Much of it has become a blurr to me now because i have blocked it out all my life.Can we say “repression”?
So, this is where my mind goes especially when i drink. Back to traumatic childhood memories. Not just this one but many such incidents. I shake, i cry out, i have nightmares. It is unsettling for my boyfriend as i have never told him any details.He could not possibly know or understand why these things happen. All he knows is that it keeps him awake and he has no idea how to comfort me. He doesn’t understand why i cry out and scream at him not to touch me or why i have nightmares in that place. I now know i must tell him.
Again, i do not believe this happened to my brother, but we have never talked about it and he was much younger so likely has no idea. I have tried to protect him from this knowledge as well.
At this point, i have told my boyfriend i need to discuss something with him. And i have also stated ( as i mentioned) it probably isn’t a good idea for us to drink together. Obviously i have a lot of old trauma to still work out and the only real option is therapy. So, now that is also on my list.
Thanks for reading.Just wanted to share a little.
Hope you all had a great weekend and Namaste.