|Halloween, dressed up as a cat. Sort of.|
Yesterday I got my period and I was transformed. Suddenly, emotionally I was a raging bull. Everything got under my skin. Even Maggie looking at me felt like she was leering at me and daring me to make one move, and she would start this knock down, drag out fight. Which she does every day, anyway, but. I was suddenly angry at our couch, the way Maggie bit holes in our cover and it looked ghetto. And the fact we can’t get a new couch cover or a new couch till she gets de-clawed, and she isn’t old enough yet to get declawed. I usually have some moodiness, feeling angry and sad at unpredictable shifts. But yesterday I felt like a complete bitch, volatile and ready for battle, in a way I’ve never felt in my life during a period before. I want to blame it on my Nutritional Balancing Program. It’s helping me detox heavy metals, and this is my first period after starting this new program.
So, yesterday Karl was at his parents, so I was alone and felt relieved to express my bitchiness in the safety of my own mind. But when he came home, the second he lifted his eyebrow and spoke, it was like he was setting rockets under my arse just to irritate me. I eventually told him that I loved him a lot and wasn’t mad at him, but I just got my period and was extremely grumpy. Finally he went upstairs to watch TV. But then he came down and HAD to bring up my brother in law. Had to make a joke about something religious that he knew makes me upset even on a good day. I said, “Why are you making a joke about this? If someone got raped, would you make a rape joke in front of her? No. The answer is no.” He was not trying to be sensitive, he was getting a good laugh out of seeing me irritated, and he didn’t care. He blundered on spewing all this religious crap and I weighed the options in my mind: “Go numb on the inside and pretend you don’t hear, leave the room, or blow up.” I couldn’t leave the room because we keep the house super cold in the winter and I was in front of this portable heater. I tried to go numb.
Then he decided to say goodnight, and he leaned over to hug me, and said, “I love you.” I said, “I love you, too.” Then, as if he didn’t hear, he said, “I love you.” So I said, “I love you, too.” Then immediately he said it again, and a flip switched in my brain, and enraged, I roared in a deep loud, angry voice, “I looooove you tooooo.” He let go of me, and sighed, then went upstairs. I was so mad.
I thought immediately afterwards of explaining why I had to roar, but knew that the explanation would cause him considerable angst, and would make things worse.
So I have no one to explain this to. But I must sort it out, and I will. My mind processes things better when I write them out. So here goes.
When I was a kid, my dad made it a habit of saying hello to each of his 6 kids when he got home from work. He didn’t care about any of us, but in his OCD world, the hellos had to be administered and completed for him to go about his afternoon. So he went down the line everyday. Sometimes I was reading a book, or engrossed in playing with one of my sisters, so my “hello” back to him was in a tiny voice, quiet, or preoccupied. In which case, he would always repeat the hello to me, “Hello, AJ.” By the third time, I would get annoyed and say quite loudly, “HELLOOO.” And that would be that, I would be liberated, and he would move on to the next sibling.
When I was a teen, after I got to the point that I was completely disgusted with him abusing me, my mom and my siblings, I decided that he could control all he wanted to, but he couldn’t control my power of speech or my power to eat or not eat. So I stopped talking when he was in the room. This led to many battles. Most of which I won, because I didn’t speak, I just sat there like a statue. But for some reason, he couldn’t let me win the “hello” battle. Maybe it was his OCD nature. By the time he would get to the 7th or 8th “Hello AJ,” he was so irate, angry, cold, and hostile that I feared he would hit me. Everyone would be looking at me in terror, shock, disbelief, each time. Everyone would be silent. You could hear a pin drop. My mom would pretend to be busy at the stove, and the siblings would freeze what they were doing and stare at me. My dad would be all but shaking from rage, but he would conceal it so as to keep the upper hand. Usually by the 9th or 10th Hello, I would begin heavily fearing the judgement of God, since God spoke through my dad, and I would eventually whisper in my tiniest voice, “hi.” So painful it was to be forced to speak. I think a few times I couldn’t take it and yelled “Hello” back in a loud, angry tone. I tried not to do this too often though because it meant he really won, then.
So I guess I had a flashback to my teenage years when Karl kept telling me, “I love you,” as if he hadn’t heard my reply twice in a row. It was instantaneous. I roared at him in a split second’s time. My subconscious mind must have made an instant connection, and it’s like I didn’t even remember or know why I was doing it, but I did feel like I was under enormous pressure to say something when I just already had said it.
How do I tame the inner tiger that is wounded, crouched and waiting to lash out in self defense? How do I get out of the defensive mode? How I get out of fight or flight mode? How do I tell my subconscious: “It’s OK. You can rest now. Everything is OK.”
The flashback I wrote about here in this post was a mild and almost amusing version compared to some I’ve gotten. The episode here was half PMS, half flashback. The ones that concern me are the ones where I’m just going along as calm as can be, and a sound or voice intonation will suddenly trigger something in me, and I would snap. It’s like my body is suddenly the body of the six year old I was, and waves of fear roll over me. I start instantly cowering, turning my back to the noise, trying to curl up in a ball even while I’m standing up, wanting to get away quickly, desperately craving some kind of hug, needing reassurance that the other person is really not about to hit me. It is really the oddest thing ever, to go from a completely calm and normal state to a state like this in an instant, just because of one sound or one trigger.
I get over it in an hour or so, and so it is really OK. I have to talk to myself and explain to myself that it is OK. It is fascinating to me that a part of me is still flashing back, because I thought I had healed from this. The need must still be there for me to go back, so I will be patient. I don’t understand exactly why it is happening, but I trust my body knows and so I will patiently love and comfort myself each time until I know I’m safe.