4:07pm EST
my name is J

they were nervous. there was a movie playing. the radio was on beside us and we sketched and rocked. it wasn’t enough to manage the anxiety. that’s what i’ve felt like for awhile now… i, ? anxiety has been very high. i’m trying to swallow memories and function despite bouncing around like a rubber ball.

it felt like i got dropped in the middle of my own life which i left at some unknown time. when i got back it was hard to recognize this place. its almost like i had to reorient myself to the apartment. when i finally felt the connection to here i had a lot of damage control to do.

i told dr. d that when i was here solidly i looked at my bedroom which is 20 x 16 and the floor was covered with clothing and candy wrappers. the house looked like one would expect it to look if they happened upon abandoned children in the house. it looked like kids had been left to manage themselves. how many times did my mother leave us to manage or to just survive?…

my mother tried to kill my sister, the one who never left home. sometime in the last 2 years my mother attacked my sister with a knife, when that didn’t work she poisoned her food, slowly building it up until my sister was hospitalized. when i heard i thought, so what, she did this to us when we were kids. i was threatened with knives and to be gutted so often its not funny. backed into a corner with a knife to my stomach was experienced on more than one occasion.

it took a bit to hit me that my sister has truly been captive all these years and that daily her mind was broken. any confidence she had was sapped out. she gave up everything and anything that made her happy, including sign language, to be secluded with my mother.

despite my mother and my sister and i taking classes at the Deaf school and despite living with a translator, my mother didn’t pick up ASL the way my sister and i did. it was perfect because we, for once, had the upper hand. we could speak to one another without her understanding. when i realized that too had been taken, i was saddened by it. those feelings conflict with the anger i have for my sister still telling me that what happened to my mother is all my fault. when my mother tried to kill her, that too was my fault. i’ve not been there in 25 years, how can anything be my fault?

hearing what happened to my sister and other things brings back a lot of …???…… i am given a clear view of exactly what my sister and i survived. i sit here watching this little blinker. i feel dazed. when my sister told me about the knife and the poisoning i felt so little but it’s hit me now. the truth of who she really is, felt like having the lights turned on high, shinning directly in my face until it burned my eyes out. there was no way on earth there could be mercy involved, not if my mother is in the picture….. mercy. yeah, ok…

i’ve read our entries and see that Jordan and Faith have been out. They’ve noted what’s going on in their head and in the world. they’ve held conversations, managed to get up to meetings and have done the best they could to keep their heads above water. i see someone must have made a snide remark to us about foodstamps. that’s typical. today is another day some total stranger asked why i’m wearing an upper body vest.

therapy felt long, and hard. we looked at some of the art therapy stuff. i did a painting there. i bring my own supplies now. I’ve got pens i can fill with paint or water. I have watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons.

i’m tired now. i’ve cleaned this place up over the last few days. i’ve got a nice dinner for us to eat after we wake up. Jane stays close. she always kneads on the bear before laying on his belly. she’s ready for nap time, too.

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