Waiting to Die in Yellowstone


I was a child sex slave for about a decade. They also tortured me and did other unspeakable things. That was my life until I escaped at the age of fourteen. Many of you know this already depending on how long you’ve been following my blog and or how well you know me. But there is something you don’t know and it’s something that I didn’t consciously realize until my recent trip to Yellowstone National Park.

I’ve been passively waiting to die almost all of my life. It’s something I noticed actively for the first time while on vacation. You see (and I am not going to go into details, I want this to be a safe post), when I was at the hands of the monsters who hurt me I would tell myself to just wait. Eventually whatever it was would stop or I would die. Either way I believed that if I was just patient eventually everything would be over. It let me feel separate from my pain and my circumstances. When I was being injured it probably saved my life by keeping me from acting out. But now that I’m older it doesn’t serve me.

Let me back up just a smidge. When I went to Yellowstone I was (and still am) suffering from a vertigo type feeling. It was really hard to appreciate where I was and what I was doing because I was so busy trying to distance myself from my physical illness. I didn’t realize it until the morning of day two. I woke up in the tent feeling less sick. I offered to walk my best friend’s dog (Cletus) because I realized I wasn’t really participating in our little vacation. When we got back in the car I was feeling ill again but for some reason this time I noticed that I was “doing my time” rather than enjoying the amazing place we were at or even enjoying my friend’s company.

I started telling myself to be active. Look out the windows. Take pictures. Ask about the music that we are listening to. Share thoughts and stories. You know, be on vacation. It made a world of difference! We had a wonderful time even though I struggled with feeling sick. I was living with discomfort for maybe the first time in my life. Actually letting myself feel awful and making a choice not to check out and literally wait for death to make it stop.

When I got home I talked to my therapist about this. I’ve been seeing her for over eight years and yet I had never talked to her about this state of mind I am almost always in. I realized the reason I hadn’t finished my last novel was because if I’m waiting for death…my novel doesn’t matter. What I wanted was death so that my struggles could end. I wanted that more than I wanted to be published or anything really.

Now there is this epic battle raging in my subconscious. Those parts of me who can’t handle the memories or the present versus those parts of me that don’t just want to live they want to thrive!

I have been acting out this behavior for almost 40 years. I know that I won’t unravel it in one road trip or even one therapy session. But I will unravel it by facing it head on. By dealing with it in therapy. By talking about it with my friends. By blogging about it. I know that each time I force myself to sit with the discomfort and be present in the moment is a win for me. I’m actively seeking out ways to be accountable for my thoughts. One such place is Smart Bitch Academy. I have a coach who encourages me to just spill it all and deal with it and if you are looking for a place to start I recommend her!

A large part of this conversation is about DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder. Something I have and a topic for more detail on another day. In the meantime, I am going to finish my current novel THE TROUBLE WITH GOODBYE. I am going to get myself to the gym and start feeling healthier. I am going to actively live my life and fight that urge to just wait out the clock. Thanks for reading. Your support means so much to me. Feel free to comment or ask questions below.


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4 Comments

  1. Kathie Fong Yoneda said:

    One way to move forward is to finish that novel ….AND…to start on the others that are locked up inside of you & aching to get out. Having your blog gives you a way to share your hopes and fears….doing the hard work includes moving towards your goals & I KNOW you have several stories worth telling!

    September 10, 2018
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Yes!!! I feel like I had chains holding me down only I didn’t know! I feel like this is such a huge change!

      September 10, 2018
      Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Thank you!!

      September 10, 2018
      Reply

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