Journal

tornado

46.tornado

I was looking through my older posts, and noticed how often I talked about forgiveness as the cure-all for all those painful things I talked about. I wonder if I sound(ed) as hypocritical and condescending to you as I did to me. I might go back and just erase the “forgiveness lessons” I left at the end of so many of those old posts (what feels like a load of garbage), but then I’d think how that’s also part of my story. If I do go back and edit it out, at least you’d hear it here as to why.

I was very angry at work today today. As you could tell from the times I posted those last two posts, I didn’t get much sleep at all, adding to my discomfort. The thing that tops it all, though, is that while I’d gotten better at dealing with damp/sweaty money, my hand made contact with something white and viscous (lotion maybe? I hope so). That just made all those memories involving male abusers flood in, and I had to try hard not to scream with my voice like I was in my mind. After about 1 1/2 hours, I finally got to scrub my hands of all trace of that alien substance, and just hold my head in my hands. “I hate them, I hate them, I hate them!!!

I thought over and over until I felt a little better, though that didn’t last long; I was soon very disappointed with myself, and despairing. “When will this end?

Just yesterday, a hurt and anger I thought was long gone came back full-force, making the already frustrating situation I was in (trying to put up my new curtains to separate my “bedroom” and “living room” without making holes in them) a subject of rage. I was confused under the fury, wondering where it came from when I thought I forgave him from the bottom of my heart. Is forgiveness even real? Where’s that peace and healing everyone promised I’d find when I’d forgive?!

Not long ago, I wrote a post with that title and image. It was in response to, among other things, a tornado dream I had after a long break from that recurring natural disaster in my nightmares. I wrote how I figured it to symbolize (along with what the dream dictionaries would say about “emotional upheaval”, “destructive behaviors”, and “sudden change”) how I felt at home, sometimes hearing my mother’s voice screaming abuse in the winds, or seeing it tear the house apart.

I also wrote that, like the other times I had tornado nightmares, I’d research about tornadoes; the more you know, the less scared you are, right? This time, I found out something that only frightened me more: tornadoes are sometimes invisible. These invisible tornadoes would only be noticed not by that terrifying funnel, but from a rotating cloud base above, and the tearing up of the ground below. Otherwise, you can’t see it coming, and thus have even less forewarning than what their more visible cousins offer.

I don’t remember what I compared the invisible tornado to in my original draft (I think it was about how abuse thrives under secrets, and how the world doesn’t want to see it, making it like an invisible tornado), and I don’t particularly care. The comparison that comes to mind now is how I feel, trying to forgive, get over it, live my life, whatever, only to get tossed and torn apart by an invisible tornado from hades!

This isn’t fair! I’m doing everything I was told to do, everything that was required of me, why does it still hurt this much? Why am I still so angry, sad, and scared?!

I don’t know. I just keep pushing it, everyone, and everything away. I want to just stay in the eye of the tornado where it’s safe, quiet, and numb. I don’t want to go in that monster storm…nor, I guess, do I want to leave it.

I used to think the ocean was safe from tornadoes, then I learned about water spouts. I guess the only safe place from tornadoes are the mountains; kind of hard for hot air to come up to invite a super-cell’s inner vortex down with all those crags in the way, like what happens with lightning being attracted to the charge in the ground. There’s so little one can do in the event of a tornado, though; the best we can do is go to the lowest point, ideally underground, in the innermost room. Basically, we have to go to the heart of our shelter to not be carried off by the winds, or buffeted by the debris.

Have I not gone deep enough? Didn’t I repeatedly go to the heart of all that stuff, worked through it, cried and shouted it all out? Is there more? What could possibly be still hiding in here? Sure, I keep getting hit with doubts, and they’d be comforting in the sense that it’s less painful to pretend it all didn’t happen. That keeps biting me in the butt later though, like an ourborus, or…a tornado.

…Come to think of it…I think out of all my fears and nightmares, tornadoes are the only thing I’d never actually seen or encountered in person (well, except for parasitic worms). I mentioned how it came in part from a tornado tearing through my neighborhood around the time of the kindergarten abuse, killing a young family with a baby, and also from the movie Twister:

I watched that opening scene that scarred me, and realized it didn’t match up with how I remembered it at all: it was set in 1969, predominately red/earthy, very high energy/emotion, and the little girl’s father gets swallowed up with the cellar door that gave way to the very loud and visible F5 tornado he was trying to keep out. Meanwhile, the scene that haunted me since that first viewing was set in a 1990’s basement, predominately blue/rainy, no dialogue or emotion, and the father is blown out of the loosening basement window he was sitting next to by an invisible, silent tornado that tore up the grass.

At first, this made all the doubts come back about my recovered memories, particularly that one involving my father. A friend assured me that this is common even for people who didn’t experience what I have, but I didn’t take much comfort from that. If it was a dream, it would be the very first time I mistook a dream for a memory…but then, I realized that the father in my version of that scene looked like my father; same light hair, that soft blue polo, no red farmer cap or dusty clothes, and instead of being blonde, the little girl’s hair was brown…like mine.

This, and the modern setting (resembling a basement from one of our houses as I look even closer), tells me that this was the recurring daydream (or day-mare) that came from that disturbing scene. I was about 8 or 9 when I watched that, too, after my father told me that story about the little girl whose daddy died when she left, and about the time my uncle came into my life.

As I look past the scene, I can feel the emotions I had recalling it as both the typical feelings of little girl fears of losing her daddy, but also…this feeling of failure to save him. The little girl in my version just quietly started to cry as the rain fell in the background.

In the actual scene from the movie, the mother sort of stared, dazed almost, as the father hollered and gave everything he had to keep the door closed. The only time she acted was after her husband was swallowed up by the F5, and the little girl ran screaming after him; she grabbed her up in her arms so she didn’t get swallowed up, too. I don’t remember if there was a mother in my version, and if there was, I don’t remember what she looked like. Maybe in my version I was both the mother/wife and the little girl. Maybe.

It’s hard to keep track of my thoughts. I try to think straight, be a rational adult, but there’s all this in the background, unseen but destructive. Just kinda want to look up at the rotating cloud overhead, and shout, “Are ya done?!

How pointless; I already know the answer’s, “I’m just getting started.

At least now one less confusion is being buffeted about in here.

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2 thoughts on “tornado”

    1. Wow, thanks. I actually never really considered myself a writer so much, so that was a super nice compliment! thanks a lot for commenting, and I hope you get a taste of peace today, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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