8.7.06

They're Taking Their Toll, These Latter Days

I feel: numb and anxious (how can you feel numb and anxious at the same time?)

The day of my interview at the downtown location of FedEx/Kinkos's, I had set my alarm clock for 8am just to give myself enough time to wake up. You know, I don't like to be rushed. I like to have my coffee, read my email, shower, sit at my computer wrapped in a very large towel and continue checking on various blogs while my hair dries..etc.

That particular morning, I woke from having a very vivid dream of being in my grandparent's house. I was in one of the downstairs bathrooms, the one that was connected to the downstairs bedroom. I was naked and from the look of my body in my dream, I couldn't have been more than 5 or so. I don't know if this happens to you guys when you dream, but when I dream, I can see my body from the vantage point I normally do. Only in most of my dreams, I have no breasts and my arms and legs are very small: childishly small and I always manage to look down and see that poochy baby belly. Anyway, the bathroom was steamy like it is when you just get out of a hot shower. I looked across from me and there was my grandfather coming out of the shower nude with an erection. I remember feeling like I didn't know what to do. I felt trapped. I felt cold like I had just gotten out of the shower too. That could possibly be the best explanation for why I was totally naked.

So, I woke from this dream oddly feeling quite content, which when I look back on it now I think is a weird reaction. But as moment by moment went by and the dream kept replaying itself over and over in my head, my feeling of contentment vanished completely. I lay in my bed, growing ever more anxious, as the dream slowly but surely congealed itself into a firm and concrete memory. My first ever concrete memory of sexual abuse by my grandfather. Always before, there had been dreams, misty and unformed. Mainly I just smelled him; knew who he was; knew that I was a child and that he was doing something to me that scared me and hurt me. Never have I had a complete picture form in my head like that: never a completely formed memory.

I didn't know if I could get out of bed. I felt like I was on the verge of having really-bad-freak-out-time. Somehow, though, I managed to push it away just enough so that I could get up, feed the cats, make coffee, take a shower (although I nearly fainted in the shower when the pushed away memory refused for a moment to be ignored), and get dressed. By the time I had done all of this, my entire body was shaking and I couldn't control it. I took 2 of my Klonopin and sat in my bigcomfychair and tried to take deep breaths. Telling myself that I was at this moment not in physical danger of being hurt/molested; that the memory was just that: a memory. Sipping my coffee and not really watching CNN, I waited for the Klonopin to kick in, which it did after about 30-45 minutes. After that, I was able to move out of my bigcomfychair and put make-up on, fix my hair and do the other things I had to do to finish getting ready for my interview.

As I was driving to the interview, I had to keep telling myself over and over again that I couldn't let this memory fuck up my interview. So, with all of my will, I pushed it away, telling myself that I would deal with it later, because obviously this was not the time or the place. I arrived at my interview early and had to wait for the Asst. Manager to finish whatever he was doing. So, I just sat in a chair refusing to think about what had happened just a few hours before. I willed my mind to be blank and relegated internal comments to things like, "Wow, that stationary is pretty." Finally, it was time for my interview and I followed the Asst. Manager to the conference room. We sat down and before we began to talk, we were joined by the store Manager, who said he just wanted to "sit in" on the interview. It turned out that it was he who did most of the interviewing. Despite, my morning and my mental state of denial at that moment, the interview went quite well. Both the Asst. Manager and the Manager told me so several times. Even going so far as to tell me to bring them a copy of my school schedule as soon as possible so they could start working on scheduling me around my classes. I felt encouraged by that.

After the interview, I checked my cell to see if anyone had called me. Someone had: Tanya. She said she had some running around town to do that day (her day off) and wanted to know if I wanted to go with her. I called her and said that I would, but I wanted to go home first and change out of my interview clothes. So, we agreed to meet at Books-A-Million. We ran around town doing her tasks pretty much all afternoon. By the time we were done, I had the most ferocious headache. We had contacted Sally and she was going to come up to Books-A-Million so we could all have coffee together, but I didn't think my headache was going to allow me to be in public for much longer. I dropped Tanya off at BAM and headed home. On the way home, my headache kept getting worse and I felt the bile rising in my throat threatening me that it was going to exit my body whether I wanted it to or not. (Nausea is not the word for what I was. I don't know what that word is.) By the time I got to my house, my headache was so bad that I was dizzy and my vision was blurry. My dad, not knowing the state I was in (he's not very observant), wanted to talk to me about how my interview went. I just couldn't talk to him. I couldn't do anything except fall into bed. I honestly didn't think I'd be able to fall asleep because my head was hurting so badly, but I did, almost instantly. I slept for 4 or 5 hours. When I woke my pillow was wet. At first I thought, "Shit, I drooled on my pillow," but then I slowly came to realize through the shaking off of sleepiness that my eyes were swollen. You know that feeling when you can't see your face, but you know for sure that some part of it is just not right? I went to my bathroom and what I saw were my eyes red and nearly swollen shut and I kept having tears run down my face without my will. That is, I wasn't crying, but my eyes were. I figured the reason my pillow was wet was because I had been crying in my sleep. It's not the first time that's happened to me.

I went back to my room and just laid in my bed trying not to think about anything, but the memory from earlier that day kept insisting on being recognized, but I kept pushing it away. I called Tanya because I wanted to apologize to she and Sally for bailing on them. Tanya was still at BAM. She said she was reading and wanted to know if I wanted to get some dinner with her. I told her that was fine, but after I hung up with her, I just kept laying in bed not wanting to move. After about half an hour, I called Tanya back and told her that I had a different idea for dinner: my idea was that I go get her, we go grocery shopping (since my food stamps had just renewed on the 5th and Dad had been on me about that anyway, come back to my house eat and maybe watch a movie. She said that was cool, so that's what we did. When I got to BAM, evidently, my eyes were still really swollen and red because the first thing out of Tanya's mouth was, "Oh my God. Are you ok?" Of course, I told her what had happened and my resultant condition. At that point, my eyes were still leaking tears, although I wasn't actively crying. (I thought that was particularly weird, but I can't say it was abnormal given my day.) We hung out in Wally World for awhile looking at things we wanted (like clothes and shoes) that we knew we couldn't afford and then went about the business of grocery shopping. We had fun, but of course, I always have fun wandering around Wally World with Tanya and Sally. There are just so many chances to be silly. I guess that's why I like it so much.

We came back to my house, ate and watched Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Tanya had never seen it and I had just bought it. I had been looking for it forever, but could never find it. (I love the RE games and consequently, the movies) So, about 2:00am, we left my house. I had to take Tanya back to her car at BAM. I got home about 3:00am, couldn't find Gigi, got paranoid and refused to go to sleep until I found her and finally found her locked in Dad's room(he was sound asleep). After that, I crashed. I didn't wake yesterday until 1:30. I stayed up for 2 hours, went back to bed and slept until 8:30pm. Of course, all day yesterday, the memory/dream kept haunting me. God, I was so tired. I felt like even just to lift my arm was a herculean effort.

Today, I still really don't want to go anywhere, except that I have this family thing to go to later on tonight. My cousin, Andrea, has just had her first baby and the family are all gathering to oohh and aahhh over him. It's a big deal for her to finally have conceived. She had two miscarriages and only got pregnant because of fertility treatments. I feel like for me not to go would be, to say the very least, in bad taste.

I still feel sort of numb. I've gone totally off my good eating of mostly protein and veggies and have, for the past two days, lived on corn chips,white cheese dip (me-->allergic to milk), and Peach Fresca. You know, it's really shitty timing to have your first solid memory of incest just hours before going to an interview for a job you really want. I don't know if I handled it the right way or the wrong way. I haven't had the requisite cry-a-thon. I can't even tell if it's in the mail or not. I've had no self-injury/suicial thoughts; I haven't binged on any food despite my obvious penchant for tortilla chips and white cheese dip. I haven't even eaten any ice cream. A part of me feels like I should be reacting more strongly to this new revelation and then another part of me is really glad that I'm not a crying, snotty mess.

The only thing I can figure is that all that time I spent trying to push away that amazingly clear first concrete memory of childhood incest took it's toll on me not only mentally, but physically.

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