Yes, I appropriated the title of this post from Halsey. Because Nightmare is spot on how I feel today. And I’m not even sure I’m going to publish this. Right now I’m thinking aloud, trying to trap my unwelcome thoughts on an electronic page.
So here goes: It’s a bad anniversary for me. Five years ago today, around 10pm the man I loved with all my heart, the man I’d devoted fifteen years to tried to kill me. He was drunk and abusing Adderall. No excuse. And it wasn’t the first time he’d hurt me.
Mentally, emotionally, physically. He’d find a way to beat me down. But five years ago he went beyond just the usual torture and started strangling me because I made a joke he didn’t like. Or at least he says I did. My memory of the incident is patchy. The weird thing is we were having a good day, until…whatever.
Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about any of it anymore. I’m no longer under his spell. I cast the evil one out of my life. I’m a different person. And the most wonderful man in the world blesses me with his love–real love. Sweet, kind, generous, thoughtful, beautiful love. In fact, Charles taught me the meaning of the word love. After what I’d been through that was no small feat.
So what does any of this have to do with gaming, you ask? This is a blog about video games after all. Well, in the wake of what N (that’s what we’ll call the prick to avoid too many pronouns and he’s a bit like Voldemort. Saying his name would give him power). So after N did what he did to me, I couldn’t get out of bed. To the point that my son, who was a young teen at the time, asked me if I was ever going to get up. So I knew I had to. But how? Resident Evil 7: Biohazard got me up and moving. I hadn’t had time to play it when my whole life revolved around N. But now i had the time so I decided I would try to focus on something besides the pain and shame and guilt I was drowning in. Yes, guilt…for not ridding myself of the bastard sooner.
I started by gaming in bed and it turned out immersing myself in a world so foreign to my own nightmare helped. It helped so much I started to function again…sort of.
Gaming became a huge part of my recovery. I’d get up, get dressed (yes, yoga pants and a t-shirt count as getting dressed), make breakfast for my son and once he went to school, I’d game. I’d actually set a timer and every two hours I’d pause the game and do one chore like put on some laundry or clean the kitchen or pay bills. And then I’d return to my XBox. The system meted out the time I’d have to spend in reality and made it possible for me to function in measured doses. And it was far healthier than drinking my way through the day. Okay, I did still drink way too much, but not so much that I couldn’t game. Again, the desire to conquer the T-virus overrode the desire to self-destruct.
Once I’d beat RE7, I moved on to Rise of the Tomb Raider. It sounds silly but Lara Croft’s badassery inspired me. She was a strong woman and so was I. I’d been viciously attacked, but I’d survived. This rediscovered love of gaming carried me through the bullshut that was yet to come. All the horrible things N did in an effort to get my attention. Or just to hurt me because I wouldn’t reunite with him.
See, it didn’t just end with him choking me and me banishing him from the house. There were financial and legal attacks. And other stuff I’d rather not put into words. The only place I could escape him was my XBox and PS4. RDR2 and The Witcher 3. Those games, both with vast quantities of content, became my safe space.
I know it sounds melodramatic, but gaming saved my life. I’ve no doubt I would’ve drunk myself to death or OD’d. When the pain got too much to bear, I turned on the XBox and its chirp as it awakened told me I could be free. If only for a little while.
And now I feel exposed because I’m talking very publicly about something very personal. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not sure I want to publish it. But if I don’t then it feels like a dirty little secret. And maybe one person who reads it will feel less alone with their trauma. Still, it’s a bad day full of bad memories. I’ll definitely be running for the XBox and the shelter of my beloved’s arms when I get home today. It’s all I want to do. And all I should do because my other inclinations only hurt me. And I’ve been hurt enough.
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3 thoughts on “Broke Down and Put Myself Back Together Again”
I’m so sorry you went through this. 😔 And I’m so glad you survived, you found a way to deal and cope and recover! It took a lot of courage to write about this and I think you did a great job.
I’m sorry we keep missing each other online due to my weird schedule.
I did play some ESO, think I’m level 13 now. 😊 I’m going very slowly. But I’m trying when I feel up to it.
Hope you’re doing well and wishing you a lovely weekend 🎮
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Thanks for your support. I appreciate you! And we’ll have to work out a time. Not sure about the time difference plus I’m usually on the XBox now, but we’ll definitely have to figure out a way to play ESO 🤗🤗🤗
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You’re very welcome! And yeah there’s definitely a time difference and I have weird times in my routine 😔 I don’t have an Xbox so it’s just PS for me. Hopefully we can work something out!