Don’t Know Which Way To Turn?


As a child, there was so much abuse, I didn’t know which way to turn, who I could trust, who I could talk to.  Since I had nowhere to turn I turned inward.

Even as a young child I started turning my pain onto my own self, through hurting myself physically.  This happened not once, but repeatedly.  What was my rationalization for this?  I had none except for the need for attention.

I sought out attention wherever I thought I might find it.  At home, I was getting all kinds of negative attention, or no attention at all.

But the worst attention happened at night – not every night but too many nights.  I would lie in my bed, listening to my heart pound, thinking it was his footsteps coming up the hall.

When it actually was footsteps, there was nowhere to turn.  My room contained a bed and a dresser.  That’s it.  I’d feign sleep, hoping he would go away and leave me alone.  This rarely worked, the next thing I knew, I was feeling the bed sag, as he lay down beside me.

Nowhere to turn but to turn inward.  I trusted no one, talked to no one.  I left home at 17, never to live there again.

Now there was a gap in my life, an empty space that I desperately sought to fill.  Put a little alcohol in me, and I’d do whatever.  I was used to it.  It was just more of the same, just different faces.

I sought refuge in the Navy, which ironically has many more men than women enlisted.  My recruiter got me drunk . . . and you know the rest of the story.  PTSD occurs in so many of these cases, and mine was just worsened by the Navy.

I was discharged prematurely because of the trouble I got into due to my alcoholism.  From there I just bounced around, adding mental illness to alcoholism, until my life fell apart.

Today, I take a lot of medications, about 19 – 20 every day.  Five of them are for my mental illness, three for the MS, one for my thyroid, and the rest for miscellaneous problems such as acid reflux, arthritis pain relief and others.

Now, the depression is returning, and once again I don’t know which way to turn.  I’ve thought about suicide, hospitalization, or just safety at the local crisis center.  But I do none of these.  I just sit here, day after day, with my insides roiling, and not knowing which way to turn.

~ van ~

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