Your Will Be Done
I threw my body to the ground and wept.
This isn't me. This isn't me. THIS ISN'T ME!
I tried to convince myself, but it was futile.
Maybe some other day this wasn't me. Maybe some other day I was that fearless viking warrior queen: tall and proud and lacking even the ability to shed a tear. Maybe some other day I was a woman who evoked feelings of fear in others-- a woman who men shrank away from when she stood at her full height-- whose shoulders were set wide-- whose eyes squinted in permanent cat-like glare, angry at the world and anyone who might dare to tell her no. Maybe some other day. Maybe every other day. But not today.
Today I was small. Today I wanted to curl into the caverns of my heart like a snail retreating into its shell. Today I would bargain with God almighty. Today I was broken.
Broken by three words:
Multi. Organ. Failure.
God. Please. God PLEASE. Please. I know, God. We don't bargain. I know.
But God, please. Please don't take her from me.
Please don't let her die.
I will do anything.
I was afraid. Horrifically afraid.
I wanted to throw up and then hurl myself out the 3rd story window.
I wanted to scream.
I wanted to melt into nothingness.
I wanted to drown my tears in the folds of her Minnie mouse nightgown and never emerge again.
But I didn't.
I hid in the bathroom for all of five minutes, threw myself to the ground, silently wept, bargained her life for mine, and then wiped the snot off my face and pasted on a smile.
I climbed into the hospital bed next to her, held her, stroked her flaccid hair.
I whispered in her ear. I begged her to wake up. I promised she could have that kitten she'd been wanting. I promised we'd make those necklaces she'd asked for. I promised the extra story before bed, and the extra kiss, and the one more drink of water. I promised her four candles on her birthday cake this summer.
I promised to never forget again.
I would never forget again the value of her life to me.
I held her all night, flinching at every monitor beep, praying, pleading, forsaking every physical and mental need. When the sun was slicing through the curtains, I got out of the bed and stood.
Enough. God. I have had enough.
Pass this cup from me.
I laid my hands on her small body. They nearly covered her completely. My hands are large and she was so, so small.. barely three years old.
I felt power coursing in my veins. The exhaustion of the last two weeks fell away as the shafts of sunlight burned into the small room, enveloping us both in blinding light.
Oh Lord, my God.
You who are able.
Let not my will, but your will be done.
It felt as though my hands were afire, and the moment stretched into eternity. A peace that passes understanding flooded my spirit.
And when I opened my eyes...
She was smiling up at me.
I was a 12-year old latch-key kid. I had had a half day at school. It was around 1pm when I climbed the steps to the front door. I opened the screen door and the main door blew slightly open.
It was not locked.
I thought to myself, Mommy must have been rushing this morning.
I entered the house and every hair on my body stood up.
Mommy? I said even though I knew she was at work.
Silence. Even so, I felt a presence. A malevolent one.
I took off my shoes and started tiptoeing around the house. Through the living room, I dropped my backpack in the kitchen, turning on the light and making sure the doors to the basement and the pantry were locked. I grabbed a knife from the butcher block.
I continued quietly: linen closet, empty. Bathroom and shower empty. Mommy's bedroom, empty but clothes strewn everywhere. I wondered what she couldn't find.
My room was upstairs but I ran out of nerve while my body was still ice cold with fear. I went back to the kitchen to call my mother at work.
"Hi, baby. Are you home?"
"Did you lock the door?"
"Yes, but I don't think it was locked when I got home."
"Were you looking for something this morning?"
"Stuff on your bed...The house feels weird. It think we may have been robbed."
"Don't be silly, darling. It's the middle of the day. Sorry, baby, I have a call. I'll see you later. Don't forget I have a wake to attend tonight. But I'll come home first."
I sat at the kitchen table for the next five hours. When my mother came home, she went to her room to change. She came back to the kitchen, ashen-faced.
"Pooh bear, did you do that to my room?"
"You were right. We were robbed."
There was very little to steal. My mother’s wedding rings she'd kept even though they were divorced. Perhaps some cash although that is unlikely unless that's when she started hiding money in books.The biggest thing they stole was our peace of mind. Any sense of feeling safe in one's home was wiped away.
Within a week, a nice craftsman from Sicily had installed beautiful iron bars on all the first floor windows.
One thing I did gain from the experience was confidence in a certain sixth sense for danger. It has, fortunately or unfortunately, served me well.
Have you ever seen someone fall down an escalator? It’s fucking awful, every bit of it. Ever seen how much a human head bleeds? Chances are if you see the reality behind these falls and the aftermath, the rush of people storming over to save someone’s life, you may think twice taking those magic stairs. You may be more careful. I hope to God that you are.
Three days ago, I get back from my lunch break, and someone’s fallen down the up escalator. I haven’t seen the footage, I didn’t see him fall, but there was an elderly man who missed a step, fell backwards, and hit his head hard enough that he started bleeding heavy. When I got back from lunch, they got a defibrillator out, the escalator had been stopped and blocked off as well as the nearby stairway, and right at the top of the escalator, they had him kept as well as they could while the paramedics showed up.
Apparently, no one thought he was going to make it. He was bleeding so hard from his head that he bled through two different shirts they pulled out for him. The guy who brought over the defibrillator thought he was gone, our LP thought he was gone, and even my head manager thought he was gone. By some miracle, the paramedics came just in time, and using a defibrillator of their own, they got the guy back to consciousness. They asked if he knew where he was, what day it was, how many fingers were they holding up, everything. He was breathing and moving his eyes with a pulse when they carried him away on a stretcher. Somehow he survived.
There was a mess to clean, for sure. Have you ever seen how much a head bleeds? Through two shirts, this guy bled, and before the shirts had even come out, his blood had trailed down and hit every single fucking step on the escalator. Every single one. After the guy fell and stopped halfway down, they had it ride him back up to the top so they’d have room to help him out. And while it took him back up, he bled on every stair.
I helped our maintenance guy clean everything. So many streaks of blood, the process took us upwards of half an hour if not longer. It was brutal, and it was reminder, seeing that there, that blood is life. How much of his life had left him on those stairs?
Finally we got it done. He sprayed any small bits we couldn’t fully get to with chemicals to at least prevent pathogens, and the job was done.
So we’re finishing and an older guy comes up to us, seeing that we’ve turned on the escalator again, and asks if we’re getting it open. The maintenance guy said it was good to go, stepped out of the way, and the guy got going up the escalator. I look up to the top.
There’s a fucking sign at the top of the stairs, and it’s right in the guy’s way. If you haven’t experienced that slow motion effect where alarm bells start ringing and everything feels slow as you mentally piece together the unraveling scenes, know the rush when you realize that you are the only fit person that can do something. The hit that you have to do something, or the guy that’s going up could get hurt just as bad as the guy you just saved. I have never been so afraid of the well-being of someone that’s not my immediate family.
I threw the escalator key to the ground and ran up the stairs faster than I’ve ever ran up a flight of stairs before, I grabbed the sign and moved it out of the way before the guy hit it. He thought it was funny.
“Show-off,” he said, and laughed. I laughed too.
When you’re genuinely scared in a setting of people who are simply living their lives, they will never understand you. It’s like complaining of migraines in a room of people who have never had one. When you fear for someone’s life, there is only their life, and the only person that can prevent them from safety is you. I ran not because I had to but because I was afraid. Because what if I didn’t? I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night or even now if I allowed that guy to try and move the sign himself and not fall down.
Please, for the love of yourself and others, please be safe on escalators. I’m not saying that guy wasn’t, but bad things can happen if you aren’t careful, and it’s not worth the pain of falling down. The escalator will not stop if you bleed, it will stop when you get to the top.
I was losing control of my car. The highway was slick with rain, shining like spilled oil over the nighttime road. I was angry, with the divider on one side, pinning me in, and a barrier on the other side. I was angry and I was out of control.
I had had a day. Work sucked, in the way that not only mentally drains, but emotionally cripples. I hated it. Stewing in likewise crippling PTSD, in which I lashed out at strangers, I had my foot on the gas, and I kept accelerating, like a mad man. Like a mad, angry, crippled woman.
I had encountered a blue minivan on the highway, going forty. Forty! I had to get around them. I had to get around them. I had to SHOW them they were wrong, oblivious, worthless.
I floored the gas. Here’s what is fun: that giddy feeling of getting away with something. Of being bigger than stupidity.
But here’s the thing: I lost control of my car. Suddenly, like a switch somewhere in the cosmic universe had been flipped, my wheels couldn’t hold traction. I was sliding all around the highway.
I was going ninety five miles per hour.
At this point, I had passed the blue minivan. The blue minivan was truly, in this moment, seemingly oblivious - it was going the speed limit, maybe sixty five or seventy miles per hour. In desperation, I floored the brakes. My car skidded even more. My wheel jerked all around like it was having a seizure.
The blue minivan was coming up right behind me. I closed my eyes. I closed my eyes, like it made sense to give up. I thought: I hope there aren’t children in that car.
Just then, a wide patch of grass appeared out of nowhere, on the righthand side of the highway. My car perfectly skidded onto it, coming to a complete stop right in the middle of it.
I was shaking. I was shaking like I myself was having a seizure, like the steering wheel had passed it on. My hands gripped the steering wheel like I was trying to crush it, break it into a million little pieces. A million little horrible pieces of agony.
I had never prayed, but in that moment I put my hands in the prayer position. I watched the blue minivan go by, unscathed. I would never learn if there wete children in it. I looked around for cops: none.
I was at that point supposed to be on my way to therapy. I continued to drive there, shaking. When I got there I told my therapist everything that had happened.
I asked her to take my drivers license. She didn’t.
My anger issues back then were rife. I know that. I really do. I can talk about my mom, how it’s all her fault. But who had the car, in the rain, with their own decisions completely their own?
I still think about that sometimes. The rain, the moment I put my foot on the gas: eighty, eighty five, ninety. Ninety five. How I didn’t care at all about the consequence. For anyone, but least of all myself.
Things Nightmares Are Made Of
When you grow up in a small town you have a built-in sense of safety. Everyone knows everyone and everything. On a hot summer night when we were sixteen my friend and I encountered pure evil. We lost not only our sense of safety but were exposed to pure evil. It left us both very guarded and it taught me to be aware of my surroundings at all times. I had picked up my friend Liz and we had gone about three blocks from her house to a Circle K to gas up.
The store was on a large corner lot with the store being to the back of the lot and the gas pumps angled at the front corner edge of the lot right next to where two streets formed a T. Liz had gone to pay, and I was just finishing gassing up when she crossed the parking lot. I literally had just put my cap on and was going to place the hose back on the pump....it was dusk, and we saw car lights coming down the street in our direction so fast, in fact we commented on how fast they were going. I guess they noticed us standing under the lights at the pump and were in their sights - at a high rate of speed they swerved into the parking lot heading towards the back of my car. As they approached, we heard them yelling some really horrible and vulgar comments that we had never been exposed to. By the grace of God, we jumped in and truly just got our doors locked.
These men who were probably in their late 20s or older had jumped out of their car and were pulling at our door handles and we are sitting there terrified and screaming. Besides being so purely evil, it seemed like they were intoxicated or on something - they all had a dirty disheveled appearance...their behavior was what nightmares are made of for young girls....I didn't think to start honking the horn as the men were literally grinding and thrusting their bodies against our doors and pulling our handles all the while saying some really disturbing things. Two were on my side, one on hers and one at the back of my car. Our terrified screams fell on deaf ears. Evil never hears the pleas of those they intend to harm. We just wanted to get the hell out of there - I started my car and peeled out. At this point we are mixed crying and screaming but thought we were safe as we headed back to Liz's house.
In my rearview mirror I just couldn't believe I saw their headlights coming behind us. I screamed, "they are behind us." So now we are both screaming again...We couldn't stop at her house as we would have never gotten a chance to get in - her parents were not at home so we did not have that safety net and I think we were shaking so badly we knew we just never would have stood a chance to get that door unlocked.
They quickly were right on our bumper. At the end of the street was a stop sign. I ran it and almost caused a wreck. My car was in the right lane of the street the other car had gone into the left to avoid hitting us. Being a small town, of course we knew the people - we jumped out screaming and ran to them as the car with those four evil men quickly backed up and turned around. We knew they weren't local....our small town was on a main highway that connects those coming from the north to the coast. We had no real description of the car other than it being big, brown and old. The store clerk was unaware of what had transpired because after Liz paid, she was carrying out other duties since we had been the only customers at that time. Our Chief of Police said they would be looking but that he was confident they were just passing through and happened to see us...he felt they had taken the business route instead of staying on the main highway and just shook his head at what we had experienced. He told us the important thing was we were safe...but we felt anything but safe. We truly met with evil that day and I always prayed to keep anyone safe who crossed paths with any of those monsters.
No one I know really talks about memory gaps due to trauma, but most of my family has them. The two main ones for me are when I was six, one of my older brothers was dying of leukemia, and the other was in 2020, when my dad went insane.
It honestly is a terrifying feeling to have literally months of your life be blank. My family doesn't really talk much about what happened with my brother (he is alive and doing well by the way), but recently it has been up for discussion. I have discovered that almost a year of my memory during that time is missing: I mostly remember people crying (especially my baby sister) and visiting the hospital several times.
But the most terrifying time of my life was probably when my dad went crazy.
He hadn't been mentally stable for years, but we hadn't realized anything was off. (He mostly sat around like a rock and did nothing.) We discovered that he was crazy when he was on a trip with my oldest brother about halfway across the USA from us. My brother ended up calling 911, and when they made it back home we found out that my father was Bipolar.
It is a really terrifying feeling when you realize that you have a dad, but he doesn't do anything a dad should do. My dad is pretty normal now (he still gets kinda weird sometimes), and I simply am not used to it. If I am going to be honest, I and most of my siblings no longer have a good relationship with our dad. For too many years he didn't care about us, or what we did, and I simply don't have the level of respect for him that I should have.
I have a memory gap of several months, and only recently have I opened up to several people close to me and let some of the trauma go. I've kept it locked inside of me for so long, and I don't really know how to let go. I am afraid of letting people see my vulnerable side, and I'm afraid of building a relationship with my dad because I'm afraid that he will go insane again.
So I guess for me, the most terrifying experiences of my life are from when I went through trauma, and I'm afraid to go through that again. I'm slowly healing, but I've got a long ways to go.
I can’t escape
Someone is controlling me. I don't know who, and I don't know how, but someone is controlling my body. He controls what I say and what I do. He even controls my emotions. I'm just a spectator in my own body. I'm watching my life go by through a dirty window. And no matter what I do, I can't break through it.
It started when I was ten. Life was bad. The thing I wanted more than anything, was a way to escape. To get out of the yoke of my horrible life. I suppose I got what I wished for.
They started as isolated episodes. Only a few hours here and there, where someone else would take control. All I had to do was sit back and relax. I could escape. But the monster I released wasn't happy with a few hours. He wanted everything. He wanted my life.
I realized much too late what I was dealing with. I tried to send him back to where he came from, but it was too late for that. He was a part of me now. And he wasn't going anywhere.
The monster wasn't done ruining my life though. He brought two other friends of his to help. The first one told me that I was a failure. That I would never amount to anything. It told me that I would fail at anything I ever wished for. That everyone was laughing at me. According to him, the earth revolved around me. And everybody hated me. He wasn't so bad. He would shut up every once in a while. I called him George. But the other friend he brought was more insidious.
His name was Bobby. I was sure that we were friends. He protected me. He would comfort me after George would rant at me for hours on end. He allowed me to rest. He told me that it was ok to stay in bed all day. It's ok to stay alone. He allowed me to feel... not good about being a failure, but he never made me feel as bad about it like George did. He told me that he cared about me.
Of course, at the time, I thought that Bobby was my friend. I didn't realize that he was even worse than George. I could get George to stop talking. It was never easy, but it was possible. But Bobby never left. He was an invisible weight on me, that never moved. He wasn't happy until I collapsed on the bed and stayed there, for days on end. And eventually, even that didn't make him happy.
Those two made me hate my life even more. I would give it up to him more and more. Eventually, he would control me for months and months. I didn't know who I was. I couldn't remember who my friends were. Or if I had any. I would lose patches of my life. To this day, there are months of my life that I don't remember. People that I don't remember. A life that he took from me. He turned my life into a hell. When he was in control, he wouldn't allow me to feel anything. I didn't care about anything good. I didn't care about anything bad. I couldn't feel anything at all. I started cutting myself. I wanted to feel something. That didn't work, but I continued. I thought that would allow me to escape. As if the blood escaping my body was my soul, escaping his clutches.
I started sitting on the rooftop of my building. Wondering at first, why I shouldn't jump. Then why I should. I must've decided to kill myself dozens of times there. But I could never get the courage. I would sit on the edge, trying to force myself to jump. Not being able to. Crying about how I was such a failure. I couldn't even die properly.
This might have gone indefinitely. Until he intervened. It was just a normal day for me. I was even having a good day. My first one that year. George was quiet. Bobby didn't feel quite so heavy. I was watching the clouds that April afternoon, half napping.
The voices woke me up. The voices that told me that I would never be happy. That I was going to be alone forever. That no one could ever cure me. I knew it wasn't Bobby. These were different voices. Maybe because I didn't know them, I trusted them. Maybe I thought that at least some of my voices would help me. Or maybe I trusted them because I needed some way to escape. And I didn't care how. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter why I believed them. The only thing that matters is that they forced me to decide. Decide if I wanted to live or die. They promised that the only way to end my suffering would be to jump. If not, I would be crazy forever. Sad forever. Alone forever. This was the only way, they told me.
"Trust us." they whispered. "We want only the best for you. We want for you to stop hurting. Jump. Right now. Now! Now! Do it! Do it already!"
But if I was going to die, I would do it on my terms. I got a coin from my room and headed to the roof.
"Ok" I mumbled to myself. "Heads I jump. Tails I don't." Crazily, I was happy. I was deciding something by myself. I was in control of my body for the first time in two months. I took a deep breath of air. It was nice feeling like myself again. I had missed it. If only I could stay that way forever. But I knew that I couldn't. Already, I could feel him, waiting patiently for my focus to drop, allowing him to take control. I know what he would have done. And I wasn't willing for him to make that decision for me.
I flipped the coin. It didn't stay in the air for an eternity. It didn't land on the edge. It didn't do anything special. It just landed, like a normal coin. Like it was a normal decision.
I looked at it and smiled. I had always wanted to fly.
The clouds were beautiful that day.
A few weeks ago I had a panic attack. I had been suppressing my feelings for a while and I guess that's what caused it. I had rushed to the garage so my parents wouldn't hear. I sat on our golf cart sobbing. I was hyperventilating, and shaking and I was fuggin terrified. (Ug reliving this is not fun) I kept getting up and walking around. I was muttering the words 'just stop' over and over again. Then, I suddenly felt like someone was there. I felt like I was actually in danger, I backed myself into a wall to make sure I would see everything. God, I was so scared. Now I know I was being irrational, but in that moment, I felt like I was back in my childhood, defenseless and constantly in danger. (I really hate thinking about this, but I kinda need to right?) So yeah, that is a time I was truly terrified.
This may be, perhaps, the stupidest thing you'll read all year. Be that as it may, read it and remember it. Read it twice if you have to.
As far as I know, there are only two types of ear lobes-- those which connect to that lovely space just above the jaw directly, without sloping back upward; and those which do slope back upward, forming a distinct, dangling lobe which little children enjoy flipping back and forth as they're held aloft by an adoring adult or... perhaps an older sibling, or what have you.
Imagine, if you will, some circumstance whereby a person with ears featuring a distinct, dangling ear lobe could somehow transform into one whose lobes terminated without the upward turn. What could possibly cause an ear's lobe to suddenly (or even gradually) change from one type to the other? Obviously, surgical reconstruction could accomplish the task, but why would anyone do such a thing? What about the ravages of time? Would mere aging cause a lobe to merge with adjacent skin at a lower point on the face? That seems unlikely. An injury--perhaps a burn, or a malignant lesion--could justify surgically attaching the lobe. That seems innocent enough. That's probably what they'll say.
What is absolutely ridiculous, however, is alien interference. That's just plain silly. An ear lobe, changing from one form to another, having anything to do with alien life forms visiting Earth... that's just ludicrous. Asinine is what it is-- complete and utter nonsense.
Unless the aliens were actually fake. It makes perfect sense.
The only time I have ever been afraid.
My ex came home drunk around 3 am.
He was loud and obnoxious and my 3 children were asleep so I told him to be quiet. I was also seven months pregnant with my youngest son.
My ex was mean when drunk, he didn’t want me telling him what to do so he hit me hard enough to knock me down. My mistake was getting back up because he beat me so bad.
All I can remember thinking was don’t let him hurt the kids! Over and over.
I woke up in the hospital, I was told my neighbor found me unconscious, I was dead on Arrival when I got to the ER.
I do not fear death, I’ve been there, my biggest fear was not being able to protect my children.