So I started therapy. We knew this.
And officially I have “adjustment disorder.”
Functionally I have PTSD. And I’ve had it since I was around four. And the therapist said I’m in the top 2-3 cases he’s seen in his entire quarter-century career for severity.
I’ve suspected as much for years now, though I didn’t register that it started that early. And a lot of things make SENSE now. Having it confirmed, though, having independent confirmation that I’m not oversensitive, not overreacting, not hypochondriacal or a tender widdle snowfwake who demands coddling… that part? That takes a lot of adjustment, and there’s a lot of rage at everyone in my life who ever said that.
And then there’s the secondary rage. PTSD changes the neurological and limbic systems. In children, it can REALLY screw things up permanently. I never had a chance.
And then I look at what I am, what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve done. And that’s WITH a disability that was probably caused by the hell I’ve been through, WITH a skewed limbic and nervous system. And then I thought… what could I have done if I weren’t damaged?
Then I thought:
Fuck you. Fuck everything. I’ll be what I was supposed to be EVEN THROUGH the damage.
My entire life has been coated in ashes, smothering the flame. But one of my names, given me by others, is Ember. And you know what embers do? Something disturbs the ash coat, they get a breath of air… and catch everything around them on fire until you have a blaze that can destroy everything or warm and inspire and give life to everyone. A raging storm of flame, ripping across the land and leaving charred ash in its wake… until the next rain, when new life rises that couldn’t until the overhanging, choking debris above was cleared.
That’s about going to be my life right now. The baggage, the untrue, the hindrances will be burned away. Anyone close best be wearing protective gear and understand exactly what they’re looking at. My house is called the Firestorm for good reason; it’s a safe place, and I am in the heart of it.
And from the flames and ashes I will rise with my children, and we’ll fly higher and burn brighter than anyone could ever imagine, and we won’t burn out.
EDIT: This has apparently gotten popular. Yes, there are stories behind all of these, and they are all true and verifiable. Ask me about them over a drink sometime.
I’ve been trying to think of what to write for a few days now, and can’t really put a finger on it. I was thrown a bit by therapy… I guess that’s a good sign, right? So I think I’ll go with trying to explain why the phrase “Disney movies set up unhealthy expectations” is silly when applied anywhere near me.
I’ve fought with a sword, real one, not fencing. I’ve run away to join the Renfaire. I’ve hopped into a sleek black car with someone from Military Intelligence and driven off. I’ve been involved in an incident that started at work (a normal-ish office job) on a day I was wearing a pencil skirt, seamed stockings, and killer heels, proceeded to a high-speed chase at night, covert surveillance on a house without tripping the motion sensors, a trip to the airport, a sexy black high-end Mustang convertible driven by a dark man with a mustache and accent, a VERY large wad of cash, and a suspiciously heavy bag left in my car. I’ve been held hostage and kept as a hard-labor slave until I won my freedom by facing down a nutcase with a loaded gun in my face and laughing at him. I learned to clear everyone out of a building under bomb threat by the time I was nine…without looking up from my book more than twice. I kiss real save-lives, ride-to-the-rescue heroes. I’ve kept a harem of rocket scientists. I’ve done a complex maneuver with a non-orbiting (deep space) spacecraft hours before going to the emergency room in an ambulance. I’ve provided sanctuary for someone running from a man who tried to kill her. I’ve read the news report on the death of my personal bogeyman. I fly satellites. I’ve dated enough people with “interesting” jobs in a short enough period of time that I set off flags at a three-letter government agency and got investigated. I’ve been a private investigator and trained as a bounty hunter. I’ve kept high-ranking military officers as toys. I’ve driven twelve hours each way to rescue a cat in Canada from euthanasia. I’ve given birth by myself twice, the second time while attempting to install a workaround for a broken water pump. (I stopped to actually have the baby.) I’ve faced down someone threatening to kill me, not knowing that I had over a hundred people gathered at my back to support me. I associate with, and am both loved and hated by, many known geniuses. I’ve charmed people to move halfway across the country… accidentally. If I get a sudden yen to do something it happens. I can design nearly anything, and build most of what I design.
Yeah. Disney movies set unhealthy expectations for my kids. They’ll think life is BORING.