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PTSD Final Chapter

The Final Chapter

By Kathleen WilliamsPublished 6 years ago 17 min read

Here is the final chapter of my story. In my last post I told you about the end of my mother’s reign of terror. Keep in mind that this is only part of what happened. If I were to tell all, I would have to write a book.

After she left I ended up in an off-again on-again relationship. I lost my virginity at the tender age of 13. I was raped shortly after that. I began lying to my dad about where I was going. I started drinking and partying. With my mother gone I wasn’t needed to protect my sister. Not that I felt it was a burden. I love my sister and will always make sure she’s ok. But, I was free to be a kid. At that age I was doing a lot of things a kid should not be doing. I was eventually caught at 15. I was brought home by the police. My father, of course, was very angry. I was so ashamed. I couldn’t even look at him in the eyes when I was crying. That stuck with me. I knew I never wanted to feel that way again. I had joined the soccer team. I was doing good in school but that changed. We ended up moving to truth or consequences. My father said I had too many bad influences in Hatch. He also wanted to be closer to a VA hospital and shopping.

My father had just had surgery when he decided we needed to move. We ended up in a hotel for a few months before he found a place for us to live. He worked for them to compensate for our lodging until we did. The terms of the agreement where that he had to be the manager of the trailer park. Of course he took it because we needed a real house. I started school here. I only ended up going for about a month. I had stopped going to school in middle school. I even failed the seventh grade, due to absences. The only reason I was in the proper grade for my age was because my dad raised hell for me to get a placement test. I passed with A’s, one B, and one C. So, they let me skip the eighth grade. However, I hated going to school. My self-confidence was so minimal that I covered myself up with clothes. Most where so baggy you would only know I was a girl because of my hair and face. I was very depressed, struggling. My dad did everything he could to help me. I was still on unsupervised probation when we moved here. So I was still trying to stay out of trouble. My father made an agreement with me. If he signed the papers for me to drop out, I had to get my GED. At that time, the laws hadn’t changed. Now you can’t drop out until you’re 18.

I got a job at the local Denny’s as a waitress, my first real job. I worked there for a while. I ended up quitting. I don’t even remember why. I started spending a lot of time with a girl that lived in our trailer park. We would walk down to the local park. I found out pretty quickly it was a great place to get in trouble. I stopped hanging out with that girl when I realized she was sleeping with the older guys at that park. I started walking a dog that we had originally got for an elderly woman. She ended up being the best dog I ever had. Her name was Luna. She was the beginning of my healing. I spent a lot of time with her and my little sister. I started feeling like myself again. Then a woman years older than me moved into the trailer park. She introduced me to a whole other world. Along with her little brother.

We moved to another house after that. My father planned on buying it. However, it turned out to be not livable. We struggled to stay warm. This was when I started talking to my first boyfriend. He was so nice, not like the other guys I had known. So I continued to talk to him. Around this time, a man that had known my father started coming by. He would end up on charges for child pornography in years to come. He spent a lot of time at the house. My father had given him my phone number so he could get ahold of him. This wasn’t uncommon. A lot of people called my phone for him, since he didn’t have one. You know the kind, the old-style flip phone, with a crappy camera. As time went by he started texting me. Good morning beautiful, that kind of stuff. I ignored him. Until he sent me a picture of his privates. I told my father then. He didn’t come by anymore. I never got another message from him. Just the fact that he was around so much was enough to creep me out.

We finally found another trailer for the rest of the winter. Here is where I started my trek for independence, and self-destruction. I started dating the boy I had been talking to. The word love passed between us. We then decided we wanted to live together. I got a job at a local shop in town and started planning. I ended up spending a lot of time with our neighbors. Who where much older than I was. We would smoke weed together and drink. I even let one of them ‘touch up’ a handmade tattoo. I had given it to myself when I was 13. It came out horribly, of course. He had made a tattoo gun. He was drunk when he did it. There was no chance of it coming out well. Through them I met a few other people that would help me along my destructive path. We all went out to the lake one night after receiving back pay for child support. We had taken my beloved Luna dog with us. We got robbed that night. They took everything we had bought with the money. It was devastating. We called the police, of course, and made a report. We never got anything back though. One night when we where out at the lake, the neighbor that had assisted in the robbery camped next to us. I had told the people we were with what had happened. A fight broke out. The neighbor lost and was very upset about it. The next day he rushed our neighbor's house with a chain wrapped around his hand, acting like it was a gun. They came out with their own gun and shot at him. He barely missed. The cops where called. Moments later, there was a line of Mexicans lined up across from the trailer. With a line of us standing on our side. The cops showed up just before it ended up worse. The man was arrested. The neighbors moved to Albuquerque.

The grandfather of that neighbor offered my father an opportunity to buy one of his properties on payments. He jumped on it and we moved to the conjoining town of Williamsburg. I only lived at that house for about a month. I had gotten a job at the local retirement home. I used my first check to move out with my boyfriend. He was 18, so we put his name on the lease. A co-worker of mine had been renting out camper trailers. Of course, I handed my money right over. I lived there with my boyfriend for about six months before I realized it was a bad idea. We where way too young to be trying that. We were doing drugs and drinking all the time. He was very brutal about my appearance. I was trying so hard to be in control and failing miserably. Eventually, we worked out a deal with his grandfather to buy a motor home from him. We thought it would be great to travel. Not. It ended dramatically. He left and moved to the other side of the state. I had been fired form my job at the nursing home. I found myself working for my GED teacher. She had a cleaning business. I worked for her until I was 18. Right before my 18th birthday, I worked for a friend of my father's on his ranch. I had him save my money for me, then asked him to buy me a bus ticket to Georgia. I had a friend there that was willing to let me stay with him until I got on my feet.

Well, to begin, everything went wrong. I missed the bus the first day. Luckily, I got to stay at a friend’s grandmother's house that night. The next day I got on the bus to El Paso, Texas. When I got there I was stopped. They went through my bags and told me I smelled like marijuana. My response of course, “I bet I do, I’m from T or C.” So rebellious. They let me get back on the bus. I was frightened but determined to go somewhere. I was stopped again in the middle of the night. I had no idea where I was. They took me off the bus and went through my bags, again. I had bought some spice in Las Cruces. This was just before it became a national problem. I gave it to the man at the checkpoint. He informed me I could go to prison for having it. Federally, it was illegal. I told him I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to have it and that he could take. Luckily, he did and let me get back on the bus. Three days later, I end up in underground Atlanta, GA. That was scary. I thought Las Cruces was bad, I had no idea. To top it off they wouldn’t let me get back on the bus. I had made it halfway across the country. I was stopped for having too many knives. So, I called my friend, at two o’clock in the morning and asked him to come get me. After all, I only had one stop left before my destination. He and his friend came to pick me up. I hadn’t slept since I left. So, a hot shower and soft bed were amazing. However, it just didn’t feel right. I found out he had told the friend he was staying with that I was his girlfriend. So I could stay there too. I slept in my clothes with my back turned to him for weeks. Finally, I felt obligated to say yes. We started dating. He started fighting with his friend. We moved not even a month into being there. I called an old friend of mine. She wired me the money to get home. I told my now boyfriend I was going home. He wasn’t supposed to come back to Sierra county after he got out of jail for an assault charge. Not to mention the warrants he had. But, he paid them off and came with me.

We lived at my dad’s house for about a month. Then his mother and grandmother came to take him back to Texas. This is where he was from. I ended up going with him. We spent a year between Weatherford and Burleson, Texas. There’s a saying that goes around, "once a victim always a victim." That is not entirely true. Yes, you are more prone to be drawn back into the same situations. But, once you recognize those habits you can learn to avoid them. This man would put the final blow on my mental status. I finally had hit rock bottom. We ended up living in an apartment, in the wrong part of town. This was after moving back and forth a few times. I got a job at Denny’s, thanks to a friend of his. He found work at a Waffle House and Applebee’s. He was very abusive. He beat me down physically and mentally to the point of no return, or so I thought. He isolated me. Called me every name in the book. He constantly accused me of cheating. Took most of my money and had a drug problem. It got to the point where I wanted to die. I felt like I had nothing left. I had nowhere to go, I had no money, and no friends. I felt like I was an abomination. I started to believe all the terrible things he said to me. I was truly broken. We broke up and agreed to live together until one of us found somewhere else to go. That didn’t stop his abuse.

On the night I changed for the good, he nearly killed me. He wanted me to go to a party with him. I decided it was a bad idea. He asked to borrow money for some alcohol to drink together. I was only 19 at that time. Instead he bought beer. He took me to Applebee’s and spent my money on getting him food, then decided he was going to the party anyways and was going to drop me off. I was pissed of course. He had my money, my beer, and had already spent my money on him. I shook it off and went to a party myself at a neighbor’s. It got shut down and the police sent me home. I asked them if I could stay at my friends even though the party was over. I told them if I went home there would be problems. They told me to go home and if anything happened to call them. I didn’t have a phone. I did as they said. Later that night, my friend came to check on me. She was drunk and passed out on my bed, so I slept on the couch. He came home about 5 AM. He was drunk. High on who knows what. He was pissed that I had not rolled his newspapers, he should have been leaving to throw at that time of morning. I was not going to roll them for him after what had happened that night. He went into a rage yelling at me, pointing at me, and jabbing me in the chest with his finger. I pushed him telling him to get out of my face. He pushed back and I ended up on the couch. At this time, I only weighed maybe 115-118 lbs. At 5’7” I was tiny. He started lunging at me trying to tackle me. I kicked him back until he finally got me. Later I learned I had broken his ribs. At first, I was scared I would kick him out the window, but the look in his eyes was dangerous. Once he was on top of me he started choking me and punching me in the face. At some point I think I passed out. He finally let go. I punched him in the nose, breaking it. I tried to get past him. At this point, my friend made a noise in the bedroom. He changed his focus from me to her. He grabbed her by her feet and pulled her off the bed. She was still drunk and woke up swinging. She was a big, Texas woman. She had a better chance at winning a fight with him than me. They ended up fighting, yelling, and throwing things at each other. Somehow, in all this, a wooden box/end table came flying at me. I caught it, set it down, and took my opportunity to tell them to leave. I opened the door and yelled at them to get out. He ran out the door, jumped down the stairs, and into his cousin’s house. They lived directly under us. She followed him out. I looked for the keys, cigarettes, and a phone. I couldn’t find any of those things, so I went outside. There was a group of people and police everywhere.

The police arrested my neighbor for public intoxication and took our statements. I was calm. Probably more in shock than anything, but it was better than hysteria. I told the police what had happened. They told me I needed to leave. He ended up going to his mother’s, so I could stay in the apartment. Neither of us pressed charges, even though I wish I would have. I borrowed a phone from someone and called my dad. I told him what happened. I cried my eyes out. We set up a plan to get me home. He had his friend buy me a bus ticket. I just had to get myself to the bus station in Ft. Worth. Luckily, my now ex-boyfriend’s mother offered to take me. She drove me all the way there. I got on the bus and came home. I wasn’t prepared to face my father in the state I was in. I was so skinny from walking miles to and from work each day. Not to mention only eating small amounts every other day. I looked terrible, and I could tell my father was worried when he first saw me. He came to pick me up in Las Cruces when I got of the bus. I had promised myself I would never put myself in that position again. I would never do drugs again, and that I would work on myself. I relied on my family to support me even though they didn’t know what I had been going through. I managed to get my GED, driver’s license, CNA, and CPR/AED licenses. I started working at the nursing home again, this time as a CNA. I got back in touch with religion. I stayed away from anyone associated with my old life. I gained weight again, and finally started looking healthy.

That was the final turning point for me. I had to be broken before I could begin healing. It took so much work, because now I had had a lifetime of nightmares. Those nightmares repeated themselves every night in my dreams. I was always on guard and didn’t trust anyone. I kept to myself and started going to the river to just exist. I loved it, it reminded me of when I was a kid exploring the mountains. So peaceful, and a great place to think. I thought about everything I had been through, and how it had changed me. I thought about what I was going to do about it. I decided I was not going to let them win. I was going to fight to be the person I should have been. I kept a diary, everyday I wrote something different, things I was happy about, accomplishments, etc. I started posting to Facebook. I even went to church for a while. I made new friends. I decided I was not a church-goer, but that I was religious. I became independent. I stopped focusing on all the bad things in life, and started being thankful for each new day. Focusing on myself and who I was. I made myself my number one priority. And that, is what healing is all about. You have to make yourself your number one priority. You have to change the way you see the world. The way you think and how you react to things you have no control over. You have to accept that we live in a world full of other people. We all have our own struggles in life. You have to forgive the people who hurt you, and move on. You can’t hold on to the past or it will forever haunt you.

I have spent years pretending I was like everyone else. Not realizing that it only made me stand out more. Not only to ‘regular people,’ but also to predators. I have spent my time in hell. I am determined to make the rest of my life a paradise. Because, I deserve it. We all do, we all deserve to live in peace and happiness. Sometimes it takes a lot to realize it, but once you do, run with it. Take those small steps to a better future. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks about you. They’re not paying attention to you anyways. They’re more worried about themselves than you. Other people’s judgments and actions towards you do not define who you are. No matter what you go through, take it and grow with it. Take that energy and make it strength. That’s all it takes, just a little willpower. Trust me, you will surprise yourself. It only takes thirty days for something to become a habit, or so they say. Take a month and dedicate it to self-growth. Make a habit of doing things that improve your self- healing. Join a self-health group, open up to a friend, go see a therapist, it doesn’t matter how you do it. What matters is that you start and keep trying. Your only enemy is yourself.

To those of you who have never had to struggle with PTSD, take a moment to reflect on your life. Be thankful you have had the life you live. Try to be a little more considerate of the people around you. We don’t always advertise what we’re going through. Some don’t even know what they’re going through. Take those few seconds to compliment that person on their hair, clothes, makeup, etc. You may just make that person’s day a little better with those few kind words. Regardless of their mental health that person might just need that confidence boost. In a world that constantly judges and rarely gives out compliments, be that person making the difference.

Mental health, regardless of its creed, is very important, and has become a large problem in the US. We have seen rising levels of untreated mental illnesses. As a result, we have seen rising crime stemming from this epidemic. If you think someone close to you might be struggling, don’t ignore it. Be kind to them, ask them if there’s something they want to get off their chest. Be that rock they need in the storm they face. Sometimes that’s what makes the difference between life or death. I have known several people that kept it all inside. While they showed the world a façade of happiness, only to take their own lives. You never know the battles people face, you may never know. As the levels rise we need to be advocates for those that don’t have a voice. Those who choose not to have a voice. Those who are ignored and shamed. Speak up and be the friend they need.

So many people are overlooked in the healthcare system that truly need it. My mother was one of them. She did constantly seek help, but she was not taken care of. All those therapists that claimed to be helping her, overlooked the fact that she needed more care than she was receiving. She’s still out there, living her life. Hopefully, she has found her peace. I only wish someone would have recognized the problems she faced sooner. Or even when she spent time in a Mesilla Valley. Had they only seen how truly sick she was. She might have found her happy medium, proper medications, and a good support group. My father did the best that he could for all of us. He took her to her appointments, he supported her to the best of his abilities, while he worked to provide for us. In the end, he had to choose between his children and his wife. A choice no man should face, but he chose us. He chose to raise their daughters to be strong women that can face anything. He has always been my rock. And will forever be my hero.

This is a true story, it's a basic timeline. There was so much more that happened. But, for now, that's all I will say.


About the Creator

Kathleen Williams

Hey everyone! I post things from my thoughts to the adventures I take in my busy life! Come check me out, if you like what I have to say leave me a gift!!

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