Mental Health Growth

not Broken. Still Surrendered

A few years ago, I desperately needed to not be alone. Fear and pride stood in my way however and I walked away from someone trying to help me because my heart hurt so much. 

I was in crisis and made a poor decision to crawl into a bottle looking to become numb. It was that night I learned flashbacks and booze do not mix well at all. 

The skills I had learned to help anchor myself in the here and now when flashing were completely forgotten in the haze of drunkenness. When someone arrived to help me, I was lost in my past abuse. 

They were out of their depth in trying to help and reached out to 911. First responders aren’t trained in how to approach someone in a flashback. 

In my flashback I was being attacked by someone who I’m still terrified will kill me if given the chance. The responders didn’t know that I wasn’t seeing or talking to them. I suspect they just thought I was drunk. So despite me repeating “don’t touch me” they did. 

I fought. Hard. I still don’t know how my abuser had so many hands but I fought him for my life. Then he choked me out. 

When I came to, I didn’t know where I was but strangers were carrying me. I struggled again. I was no longer flashing but I was very confused. No one was answering my questions. 

Then I saw my Master of Origin (MOO) standing in the corner and I stopped fighting. I was in my own apartment was very, very scared. But seeing him told me whatever was happening was OK. I knew he wouldn’t let anyone harm me. 

He did try to be there for me but by the time he realized how badly I did need the company and that what I was dealing with was not some weird form of jealousy, I was already drunk and flashing and no longer able to respond to him properly. 

Some people have told me I shouldn’t share such things. I am choosing to ignore that advice. That night is part of my story. It is part of how I have stumbled on my life’s journey and on my Leather journey. 

Sometimes sharing our failures is just as important as sharing our successes. For me, that night, I failed hard. I needed company; I couldn’t ask for it and reach out in a way people could hear me. 

Years later I have learned many things. That was the first and last night I have tried to drink heart hurt away. I have learned many more ways of catching myself if and when I start flashing and I manage my cPTSD much better than I use to. More importantly, however, is the fact that I have gotten much better at learning how to reach out and ask for company.  I have also gotten better at accepting the support and love offered me by my communities both in-person and online. 

Then, I stumbled and fell hard. Today I stand, still tender sometimes from that event, but stronger and able to be more compassionate to others in need. I still feel fear and pride at times and sometimes struggle to not push people away when I’m hurting. I am a work in progress and still growing. And I am OK with that. 

If you have read and witnessed this part of my journey, thank you. Part of overcoming fears is facing them. That night still scares me. By sharing this with you all, I am facing my poor decisions in self management and my fears of my cPTSD. 

“Fear knocked. Love answered. No One was there” 

Thank you all for showing me a reflection of me as someone human, that I can love, to help me remember to face even my own fears in love and thus watch them fade away. I am blessed to have you all in my life. 

-xiaoyi
(the incident took place around 2014/2015)

xiaoyi