Exactly a year ago today I got on a plane with a dog that wasn’t mine to fly to Bethel Alaska to get away from the Hell my life had furthered down. I left everything thinking I’d only be gone for a few weeks. I left River, I left Lorien and I somehow managed to forget important things like underwear and my camera… I was simply not in my right mind when I left. I was still in some sort of shell-shocked world of pain and grief and other’s selfishness that I couldn’t begin to understand. Thankfully Lorien shipped my camera to me. The rest I went without. It was only going to be a few weeks right?
Not so much. I found that life was infinitely easier four-time zones and thousands of miles away from Eastern Tennessee. In fact I might have even felt alive for the first time in two months. With the ugly truth of the trial having come to a close and leaving nothing but bitter resentment of how our world works now fresh in mind I sought to forget society for a few weeks out on the tundra. I was also running from the very people who I thought loved and cared for me. My ex bastard of a boyfriend showed me that man’s potential for selfishness knows no bounds and many other friends simply decided that they could no longer deal with me. Along with the trial, losing my place to live and no job I felt that I had found a whole new kind of low. When I decided that I was going to move to Alaska the original plan was to go back to Tennessee and say a proper goodbye along with collecting River, more clothes and such to survive to the winter with. But the twist and turns of life happened and with how my family was reacting to my decision to move I felt that a plane ride back might be impossible to find. So I never showed up for my flight and went to Seattle for job training instead. I spent the next 3 months without much more than a duffel bag of clothes fit for Autumn and little else. It was hell not seeing River but I had little choice with how few people were supportive of the move. As we all know things worked out (took a good seven months but I got there) for the rest of the story of how I made a life in Alaska.
I sit here and ponder those couple of days last September. The unreal blur of everything. The way people treated each other in a chaos of pain – both good and bad. I have never in my life drank and smoked and gods know what, like I did that week before the trial. I didn’t eat. I also didn’t sleep at all. I’m pretty sure I came close to liver damage… I had Lorien and Hillary Hogg to keep me company and to not fall too deep into despair. We sat around the campfire blaring music to try to keep the demons at bay. My brothers were much like I was, ghosts around the farm never stopping and never sleeping. I spent time with my Roissier family and had fun with them in spite of the pain everyone was going through. Even with all the time that has passed it almost doesn’t seem real. I guess that is part of the dissociation that happens with the PTSD. My life doesn’t seem much like mine, just a fictional story made up by someone with a darker mind than Stephen King. I often don’t know how this makes me feel.
Today many things are better. I have a job, a life, a car, a place to live and my dog by my side (literally as I write this). But many things haven’t changed at all or are simply just different.