It feels like every traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced is happening to me right now (to name a few):
That time in 2nd grade when my friend’s stepfather took their two dogs, leashed them to the back of their pickup truck, and drove as we helplessly watched. I’ve never been more horrified in my life.
Landing chest-first onto the balance beam and having the wind knocked out of me. Landing face-first into the water off the high dive. But quitting both because I was told my body wasn’t right for those sports.
All the times my dad yelled over small and big things.
When I found out our dog was given away. That dog knew all my secrets.
At my first middle school dance, where it got back to me that I was too ugly to dance with.
Puberty, all of it.
Being the one girl in a circle of friends not invited to a 13th birthday party.
Specifically hearing my dad’s raised voice at the dinner table, over all the meat I didn’t eat, over having a sarcastic tone to my voice, over rolling my eyes, over finding out that I’d lied about eating disorder behaviors.
When my mom was silent as I tearfully got in the car, knowing the school nurse had called and she only said; just wait until you speak with your dad.
When my dad found and read a journal but didn’t discuss any of it except the part where I said I hated him.
Being forced to third base. Then finding out the whole school knew.
When, at midnight in January, freezing cold and exhausted, I thought I’d lost my car at the Denver Airport economy parking lot and couldn’t reach anyone to help.
When I got so lost driving in circles trying to get out of New York back to Virginia.
Every time I submitted something to my boss at my job in DC, because I could never get it perfect and was constantly harshly criticized.
When I came an inch away from sliding into another oncoming car coming from work in Germany.
Being paralyzed near the bottom of a black diamond ski run, as a beginner, because the fog lifted and I could see what was ahead.
As Athletic Director, when one of the volunteer coaches I signed off on was being wildly inappropriate, I asked him not to come back. He retaliated with a change.org petition saying I was racist, which reached the whole community and beyond, and required an investigation. He is in jail now. I am afraid of a career now.
While representing a very well-known baseball player, going completely blank during a presentation.
When my 1-year-old almost got run over by a car immediately followed by a stranger screaming: “you shouldn’t of had kids if you couldn’t take care of them, you fucking WHORE! You are a shitty mother!…”
It’s hard to eat when your jaw is clenched.