Holding on to the reality of the here and now is very difficult after flashbacks. Today’s writing exercise was to re-ground myself in my own identity, to remind myself of what I know to be true. Here it is.
I have been a certified diver and sat on the bottom of the ocean; I have jumped out of a tiny airplane at 12,000 feet and parachuted down to earth. I have been an illegal alien in a foreign country; I have flown in a helicopter over the sea. I have travelled across more than 20 countries; I have lived and worked in 9 foreign lands, moving to live there knowing nobody and none of the language for 8 of them.
I have run across the Burmese border from the junta, I have smelled the dead laid out in the sun under plastic sheeting after a natural disaster. I have survived rape and homelessness, and I have watched as someone died on the street and I could do nothing. I have attended funerals for 5 members of my family, and for 3 friends. I have experienced real hunger; I have spent nights on the streets alone and terrified with a knife for protection. I have been drugged until I could not speak, I have been humiliated until I could not stand.
I have learned to speak 4 languages, I have examined all of the major religions in the world. I have taken a plane to the wrong country. I was indoctrinated as a child by a high-level control cult. I have helped children and saved animals, and I have climbed mountains on 3 continents. I have been shunned and vilified by everyone in my family, and my entire community and social network. I have been chased across the desert on a camel, I have given away the entire contents of my apartment 3 times. I have been ignored and misdiagnosed by medical professionals. I have crossed borders in planes, vehicles and on foot.
I have had my personal belongings set on fire, I have had a house and everything in it stolen from me. I have been underweight at 55 kilos and overweight at 82. I have had a stalker who tried to strangle me. I have slept in the desert under the stars. I have trained idiots who have superior paper qualifications to me; I have beaten 100 other candidates to a job, and then had the offer rescinded based upon a medical report from someone who had never met, spoken or ever communicated with me. I have walked through the jungle in a monsoon downpour. I have met wonderful people and horrible people. I have lived.
I loved my mum very much. She was religiously obsessive, fanatically controlling and abusive. Jehovah´s Witnesses gave her the perfect environment in which to be so.
But I am here. Now. And I am not done yet.