The platform is rapdly filling with angry, frustated people.  I can hear their anxiety; it is a clarion call clanging in my head that I can’t escape.  Her blood is on my hands, on my clothes and in my nostrils – it competes with the anxious screams I hear all around me.  The walls of my mind are caving in and I can’t breath.  My vision dances with snakes and stars disrupting the reality reel running in front of me on that train platform.

Funny how a trip to a fun park with my two young children, the stuff that other mothers (normal mothers) dream of, is a nightmare in the making.  I am not normal. I will never be normal.  But why can’t I just pull off a day like this, just once, without feeling like I’m barely holding on with my fingernails dug into the sides of the fleshy walls of my broken brain?  Normal mothers faced with a train break-down, cancelled trains, nosebleeds (albeit gushers that resemble chainsaw massacres) and cranky scratchy children appear to me to shake it all off, focus on the fun they will have later and onwards they march.  Me?  I want to run.  I want to hide.  I freeze.  My body no longer moves to commands.  I am frozen in the spot wishing I could simply walk off the merry-go-round of life.

I am working on a commission for @CanPraxis to assist in their message on Meds.  They’ve lost too many, as we have all, to that devil in our heads that tells us to drop the meds, self-medicate and walk off the platform into the oncoming train.  I am working on correcting a great wrong done to a Thin Blue Line Warrior as flawed as the rest of us, who took a gun and blew his brains out – leaving behind him a grieving wife and child who want his life honoured instead of the ignorant cruelty that his suicide dished out to them from Toronto Police Service.  I am working on settling my small family in another new place, another new home, in another new world – hoping that this time we have found our final place in this world I have no hope of ever understanding or belonging to.  I am working on ridding myself of the demons, alive and dead, who have hurt, abused and taken advantage of me – I have made it remarkably easy for them to do it.  I am working …

And standing on that platform, I am failing.

Then something miraculous happens.  I have only ever been met with anger, frustration and violence when I froze, withdrew, turned to uncommunicative stone to all but my children.  Today there is a gentle, understanding, guiding presence who knows and loves.  One step at a time, following carefully, watching and walking by my side; lending strength when I have none.

Relationships can work, they can come from many different sources in our lives.   For the first time I can honestly say that I have experienced support that asked nothing in return, that understood with a quiet patience and a gentle care that speaks of a goodness in the world that I have only hoped existed when kneeling at a pew.  I’m still nuts.  I am not cured of either my broken PTS brain, nor am I never going to be overwhelmed again – but there’s a hope that I no longer walk alone.

Normal Mothers?  If indeed they exist outside their Stepford Wife World of SubUrban Perfection: I avoid them.  They make me itchy.

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Kate Gillie
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