I went out to the prairie tonight to look at the moon.
I met a man out jogging. I watched him running down the road through the prairie and for a moment I tried to imagine being him. I watched his arms and legs and I stood in place and moved like I was running slowly in place. I thought about what would happen if I put one step forward just to feel one last time what it felt like to really run. Then I thought better, knew my leg would break and it would ruin the last of my independence. So instead I sat in the car and I looked over the prairie and I remembered. I remembered when I used to canter the horse through that field. How the horse felt underneath me and how I would rock back and forth as the horse moved. I wondered if that is what it felt like in the womb. I looked up at the moon and wondered all of these things and reminisced about how it felt to have been able to run and ride a horse through this prairie. I thought about my friend Kae and how I wish she could be sitting in the car with me looking at the moon and how she’d toss out a quick poem to sum it all up.
I went to the prairie because I was having terrible dissociation due to a PTSD trigger. The prairie calms me. Probably because of the hundreds of times I was there on that grass and under that sun and those stars and moon when I was not suffering from a muscle disease and crippling PTSD.
I write this blog as a way to share my life, abuse, recovery, and everything in between.
My life as a woman, mother, wife, trying her best to overcome childhood abuse, health conditions, and PTSD. I share my inner most thoughts through poetry, and through posts like this where my fingertips write the words I may not be able to say out loud.
I realize that coming from a small town, there will be those who read my blog as a gossip line. A new tale to tell at the dinner table of Bethany’s struggles. I find that sad.
If you want to talk about me, or spread my story, then do it with the same courage I have by writing out my life publicly for all to read. Do it with integrity. Talk about the abuse I am trying so hard to overcome. Talk about how women can better be helped, encouraged, protected, supported through the recovery of abuse. Talk about the parts of my life that you, in your own life could help someone else with. Talk about me. Tell my story. Do it for the same reason I started and will continue this blog, to be real, raw, honest, and true, in every aspect of my life so as to connect to others doing the same. Talk about me so that my story does not repeat as it has unfolded to this day. Teach. Educate. Change the future for anyone who has had to go through sexual abuse.
Talk about me.
Talk around your dinner table about what COULD have been done for Bethany along the way so that she would not be struggling as she is now. What can you do for your friend, your daughter, your cousin, your mother, your coworker, to show them that they matter! What can you say or action can you take that proves that this individual has worth beyond the shame they may feel in the shadows of abuse. How can you empower. How can you offer presence.
Talk about me with your Doctor friends. Tell them how I should have/could have been diagnosed with this muscle disease at 8 years old if only someone believed me.
Talk about me to your psychologist and let her/him know that you are not alone in your feelings of abandonment, rage, despondency, dissociation, depression, frustration, loneliness.
Talk about me to someone in need. Give them my blog so they can contact me. Give them my email address firstname.lastname@example.org so they know there is a person in the world that will listen always.
In your small town, your big town, in your car, to your spouse, under the stars, tell my story of weakness and strength… of my breakdowns and my victories…of my mindfulness…of my deep capacity of empathy and ability to love…Tell my truth just as my fingertips will tell you about the beauty that the moon radiated as I put my hand out to it.
But don’t gossip.
Let my life, my story, my pain, my suffering, my survival MEAN SOMETHING.