Who Is In Control?
That makes it tough all around.
About 20 miles away is a shrine. It was built for a Native American woman who converted to Christianity, and then was killed for it. Itís a beautiful place to see.
Itís a pretty big. Lots of open areas, lawns, sidewalks. A big parking lot by the gift shop. There are the stations of the cross, a couple of buildings where you can watch films about the history of this woman, the area in general, and the Native Americans who used to live around here. There are also a few buildings that are set up inside as models of the living quarters of the Native Americans. Itís quite fascinating.
You can go up the hill, and there is a really small chapel, surrounded by a grave yard for the priests who served at the shrine. Then there is a building that has apartments for some of the priests. Across from that is a grotto. You can walk way down, into the woods, where there is a small clearing. There you can sit and think, or meditate, or whatever. A and I went down there once. It was really buggy, with lots of mosquitoes.
The part I like the best is the large church. It is called the Coliseum. It is totally round. There are doors all the way around. The pews go all the way around, curved to match the shape of the building. There are confessionals all around too. And there isnít just one altar. There are 4. One facing each ďsideĒ of the building.
It is really cool.
Iím not Catholic, but I love going there, even though the masses are Catholic. That really doesnít affect me, though, because I usually go when there arenít masses.
I ended up there today. It was so peaceful. I walked around the grounds for a little while. It wasnít as warm as itís been this past week, but it was ok. The fresh air felt good. I had to go into the Coliseum. It was empty, which was nice. I just walked around for a little while. Then I stopped at a gazebo that overlooked the valley below, and sat there for a long time. I did some thinking.
I thought about the dream I had with all the running in it, and my conversation with Dr H about it. I thought about how much control he still has over me and my life.
He even affects my memories.
I wish I knew how to take all that control back from him. If I could just snap my fingers, and have him be gone from my life for good. But I know thatís not likely to happen. Itís not possible.
I think one way Iím trying to take control away from him is by trying to look at pictures of men in uniform, and learning how to be ok seeing them. I tried it again this morning. It wasnít wonderful, but it was ok. I actually got through a page of google images of chief petty officers before I had to stop.
I felt like it was overload.
So, I got through the images. But it still throws me so much when I see any man in uniform in real life. Cops just happen to be the ones that bother me most, because I rarely see any military men or men in uniform other than law enforcement. I donít know how long itís going to take me to be able to see a cop and not have a panic attack. I suppose the best I can do is to just talk myself through it when it happens. And hope that each time it becomes just a little easier.
But every time I see a cop and then rush home, it feels like Iím hiding, like Iím a coward. I donít know how long it will take me to stop feeling like that. Probably not until I stop rushing home and hiding there.
I try to challenge my memories, but they are what they are. I canít change what happened. And I still canít get the bad memories to have less of an effect on me than they do. But I try.
Dr H asked me if I could separate the good memories from the bad. I would love to. Itís easy, when I start thinking about the bad, because thatís all I think about--bad. Itís when I start thinking about the good, and then the bad creeps in. And every time, I see his face.
Oh how he controls me. I hate it. I hate him. I hate him for every time I see him, or his face. I hate him for filling in my days and nights, sometimes right in the middle of when Iím doing something I enjoy. Or when Iím having a conversation with A, for example. Or when Iím trying to get a decent nightís sleep.
Sometimes when the bad memories start, I picture myself taking my anger and rage out on him, and him not being able to get away from me. I imagine that Iím the one in control of him. I imagine how I would get revenge on him, and how good it would make me feel. But, again, imagining all of that makes me think about him.
I donít want to think about him in any sense. I donít want to see his face, or hear his words, or remember what he did.
I wonder if telling Dr H my story would help me a little. It feels like I have such a huge, horrible, burdensome secret hanging over my head. One that keeps me from telling, but one that needs to be told. I think that if I told her, it would feel like a weight had been lifted off me. I donít think it would kill me to tell her. Even though I might feel like Iím dying with panic.
But I wonder if telling would give me back some of that control.
I donít think Iíll ever stop having bad dreams. At this point, I donít think Iíll ever totally trust men, or be able to look at cops and not see him in some way. And then I think that Iíll never get through the rest of my life without having something or someone remind me of him.
So I donít think Iíll ever be totally free from his control.
I donít think I wrote anything that makes me feel better tonight. But itís what I was thinking, while I sat in that gazebo and stared down at the valley.