Fighting my Aliens

Hiding in the bathroom at work. That’s what this is. All because my brain doesn’t work right. That’s not right. My brain works right for someone who has been through repeated, prolonged abuse and trauma. In that light, my brain did exactly what it is supposed to do.

It’s frustrating for me. When this happens it’s a loss of control. And I know I can’t control everything. I can only control how I react. Unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to react better to certain phrases, sounds, or behaviors.

Background, I’m terrified of aliens. It’s stupid and you’re thinking what the hell does this have to do with anything. Hang in with me. The thought of aliens doing alien things to me or my kids while we sleep, taking me or my kids, that is a fear I can’t get over.

That being said, the movie “Signs” messed me up. And this is how we get to me crying in the bathroom at work. If you saw the movie, you know baby monitors play a huge part in the plot.

My ex thought it was a good idea to hide a baby monitor through the house and make the same clicking sounds. He would also whisper. This would happen all the time but primarily when I was in the shower and asleep.

He stole my sense of safety, privacy, and comfort. I’ve recently learned that withholding sleep is a tactic of abusers to help break you down faster. And he did this particular tactic for over a month. Every day. Making me think one of my fears was coming to get me. Making me think I was hearing voices. Making me think I was losing my mind.

Leading me to this moment. Where I work, walkie talkies are part of the job. Managers communicating to each other, supervisors relaying messages. It’s better than yelling across the floor. I get it. Yesterday, one of the managers had lost her voice. So her walkie voice was less than audible. That was ok. But there was another manager who was teasing her about it by also whispering into his walkie.

Even listening to calls. Even with the volume turned up, that was the sound my brain focused on. My muscles locked up. My skin crawled. My mouth ran dry. My hands shook. And I was freezing. Tears welled up. My lips and jaw trembled. I was right there in that house with him laughing in my face.

It took me five minutes to come out and wash my face. Thankfully, I was able to distract myself by setting up an impromptu baby shower. Complete with deep breathing and blowing up balloons.

If you’ve been in an abusive relationship, do what you can to get out and get help. Healing is hard. It’s been seven years since I’ve been with him but the scars run deep and split open sometimes.

I hope by sharing my experiences I can help you on your healing journey. Here’s hoping for better mental health.


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