It's been almost a week since I finished talking to authorities and legal people about what happened to me many years ago. Jeff went with me. I'm still not in a place where I can talk about it. My dad called a few days ago to check on me. I let the call go to voicemail. I haven't talked to him yet. My mom came over today to pick up a package my nephew had left for her at my house. She asked how things went. I said, "Fine."
I don't want my parents to know that for the past three weeks I've been in emotional stress to the point that Therapist asked me to alert some people close to me. My therapist traveled six hours to meet with me because he was worried. On a Sunday. Darrin says that should tell me that I'm important and I should feel grateful. And I do feel grateful. I also feel like this should not be such a big deal. I've been working on things for a decade. Will there ever be a time when I have to look at what happened and I won't fall apart? I like to pretend I'm stronger than this. Clearly, I'm not.
I was supposed to report back to Therapist. I haven't. I don't want to tell him that I was okay after the interview. But after making the long drive back home, I got off the freeway and had the scariest panic attack of my life. My whole body was in pain. I couldn't breathe. I was going to vomit and pass out. I was drenched in cold sweat. And I was driving. Probably I should have pulled over and waited for it to pass, but I had students waiting for me. There was no time.
So I got home and ran to the bathroom where I was very sick. Then I brushed my teeth, wiped my face, and taught piano lessons. Because that's what I do. Life doesn't end just because your body reacts badly to stress.
The next morning was the first day of school. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. I wanted to call in sick. I didn't. I went to class and taught. Because that's what I do. Life doesn't end just because you feel like you've been hit by a truck.
For two more days I woke up, felt horrible, and went to work.
Today I don't feel horrible anymore. I just want to cry for a really long time. I won't, though. I'll work on lesson plans, and play games with my family (because we're celebrating my birthday still), and work on more planning stuff. And tomorrow I'll go to work again. It's what I do. Because if I don't, sometimes I want life to end.
I know. That sounds really stupid. I'm safe. Just because I had to talk about unpleasant things is no reason to wish for death. But tonight I'm thinking that probably no sane person would ever want to talk about, or answer questions about, or live through the experiences I had many years ago. And maybe there's someone else who might feel a little sick afterward. Maybe they might want to cry, too?
People talk to me and ask me how I am. My brain makes me say, "I'm fine." It's all I can manage right now. If I say anything else, I'm not sure what will happen. That's scary to me.