“My mother wasn’t the best person in the world. She was hooked on heroin for most of my life. She sold our childhood home for drug money. She left me alone to raise my brother and disabled nephew. I used to wake up every night to feed him and change his diapers. I supported us all on the $5.15 an hour that I earned from the grocery store. My mother passed away a few months ago, and I think I’m just now coming to terms with how awful she made my life. This is the most stable I’ve ever been. I have a permanent address. I have someone who legitimately loves me. But my anxiety has never been worse. I’ve been having panic attacks recently. I think I've never had to deal with the trauma because things were always coming at me. And now I’m not sure how to handle the quiet.”
"...I'm not sure how to handle the quiet." That is one of the hardest things to do when your life has been chaotic for so long. You can do it, it will take work, but you can do it.
You got a strong woman behind you. I can tell by the look on her face. Trust her, confide in her, reach out for help when you need it. This too shall pass.
Edit: I guess I need to clarify. To me it seemed like the man was talking. Maybe the woman is. Maybe it's her brother. Maybe it's not his girlfriend. Regardless if they are friends or cousins or an alien pal from planet Ork, the main point of my comment I feel is universal. Confide in each other, reach out for help, don't feel like you're alone.
There's a true story from New York's Emergency Services Unit that became an episode of Homicide: Life On The Street. A man is pushed in front of a subway train and sliced nearly in half when he is thrown between the train and the platform with his torso upright and his hands on the edge. He is clear headed and protected from the pain by shock. The emergency crew asks "Who is your next of kin?" He responds, "Just get me out of this and let me go home." They say "You are only being kept alive by the incredible pressure of the train against you. When the train is removed you will bleed out and die." With respect, I think you have always kept going because of the incredible pressure of "the train" (your life) against you. Now the train has been removed and you're understandably disoriented and afraid. Please hang on. Unlike the man in the story, you have a chance. You've answered every challenge (you raised, fed, changed and supported them) and can make it. There are people who can help. Find those people. Don't be afraid to ask. The calm can be harder than the storm. You are a survivor. And an inspiration.
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