Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In a Perfect World

In a perfect world, nobody suffers over anything. There is no such thing as anxiety disorder, depression, anger, resentment or any other emotion that could possibly push us out on a ledge somewhere hoping someone, somewhere will save us; a cry for help or just a need for someone to realize: “Hey, I’m suffering over here!” But, it remains all too silent for the most part and not one person hears your cries for help, because those cries are set deep within your heart trying to make its way out. Unfortunately, most of those attempts to ‘make it out’ are indirected anger or repressed emotions that target innocent bystanders, loved ones and acquaintances.

As I push forward on the anniversary of three months of sobriety, I was making my way over to AA, which is on a road that has a 25 mph limit. I was doing 35 because it’s morbidly impossible to go 25. A cop pulled me over and I tried explaining to him that I didn’t want to be late for this meeting because it was my three month mark of sobriety and I was already in the parking lot as it was. He had no mercy and had written me a ticket. Fine. But, since I was having a bad day and was craving a drink very badly, I said to him, “Welp, I guess I’ll go the liquor store and then head home and make a toast to you that I at least made it three months and now totally off the wagon.” He looked at me with concern and said, “Now why would you do that?” Instead of being nice and pleading with the guy, I was in a bad mood and blurted out, “Because you’re an effing pig that only cares about his $8 per hour job and his quota.” He nodded his head and said, “Ok...ok...” He backed away from my car as I drove off, while my back tires tossed old dirty slush onto his striped pants. I went home, but decided not to drink.

I drank to relieve my anxiety. It made things go away temporarily. I started drinking heavily at the age of sixteen. A personal friend of mine, who happens to be a psychologist stated that I had post traumatic disorder, which many people have and don’t know it. I started getting severe anxiety attacks at the age of sixteen, which made me seek solace in a bottle. I never really knew why I drank so much; I just did. I was young and the kids all drank so what the hell, right? But for me it was much different than that. As I’ve written in another post about what had taken place when I was that age, it sometimes trickles into my life today. I have a lot of trust issues because I felt that I could trust my parents. It was a different level of trust; it was more about them hiding things from me. But I do understand the reasons they hid things from me to protect me. But, was it really protection?

I think to myself: how do my sisters cope so well? Why am I the only one suffering still? I still have nightmares of tons of FBI units surrounding my house with machine guns and some butchy FBI woman manhandling my mom so brutally, that I wanted to kill her with her own gun for touching her like that. I have seen so much crap in my life and for some reason it just never clicked. I never knew what it was all about. My friends would point things out to me, and yet still I was in a fog about everything. While my parents were in a holding cell, I was home trying to figure out why they had to lie to me. My worst fear as a kid growing up was losing my parents. And I did temporarily. I feel so alone in this, even if it was in the past.

This is my story and I have every right to tell it. I even have permission from my parents to write whatever it is I want. I suffered such emotional crap since that age, that I don’t know how it is to feel safe anymore. I stayed at my parents house for a few years after I lost my job. I made the upstairs into an apartment for myself and Madelene, but I never felt safe. I thought that someone somewhere had a vendetta against my dad. Once reassured that nothing like what happened on March of 1990 would ever occur again, I was soon to be disappointed. I heard shots being fired from downstairs. Then I heard loud screaming by a bunch of men. There was a brawl in our own living room with the neighbors from next door because their Rottweiler ran after my mom in her own yard and almost bit her. My dad took it upon himself to shoot at the ground to scare the dog, however the pebbles shot up into the dogs legs, leaving minimal damage. But the four sons and the father came over to beat up my dad. I called 911 and told them what was going on. Things were settled and my father got a fine for shooting at such a close range within a residential neighborhood. My father ended up breaking one of the guy’s arms, while shoving them out of the door. Not too bad for a guy in his sixties! He took on five men.

I love my family and I have a lot of respect for my parents and how they tried so hard to take care of us in the best ways they knew how. I can never thank them enough. There is an underlining tone that’s never spoken about; the emotional damage that I feel, and the emotional damage that I wonder if my sisters feel or even have? Did they see how those FBI handled our parents? Did they witness the brutality that went on? Do they still feel the pangs of that day they were taken away from us? We always joke around and still talk about it, but I wonder if there is a deep-seeded emotional trauma within them too? I remember watching a scene from The Bronx Tale, where the men went into the bar to kick out all of the bikers that were causing a chaotic scene, throwing beer on one another and messing up the bar. They locked the doors and brutally bashed each and every one of those bikers until they were bloody and lying on the floor. I cried at the scene and walked out of the room. Memories of when I was four years old of watching stuff like this scared the shit out of me. I remember these types of things going on in our own home. I remember my grandma begging my father to put down the gun, because a deal went bad.

It’s calmer these days of course, but not in my head. I still have issues with this and I don’t know how to handle it all. I’m still “scared” - scared of almost everything. I don’t blame my parents for the way I internalized it all - I guess this is the cross I have to bear to move on with life and make it better for myself. Maybe, the reason why nobody in my family speaks about their emotional well-being is because they’ve simply blocked the trauma out? I don’t know. I’ve always wondered. It feels like it happened yesterday, and that’s where my issues come in.

I guess today I’ve been thinking a lot about it and also reflecting on how it has effected my behavior to those around me. I don’t want to place blame on post traumatic disorder to make an excuse for my bad choices or behavior, I just want to be a better person and not rely on alcohol to take these horrible feelings away. I want to “feel”, I just don’t want it to prevent me from living a fulfilling life.

But, in a perfect world, nobody suffers over anything, right? 


Note: This took a lot for me to write and I thank you if sat there to read my story...