There was an incident in my back yard 2 days ago. My neighbor was spraying weeds with weed killer and came into my yard to spray the fence that divides our yards. However, beforehand, my neighbor was in my back yard with a hatchet and chopped down a small dead tree that was butting the fence. I understand that he is maintaining the fence that he built between the properties. He is very meticulous with his yard and it shows. It is very well maintained.
In the time that he is performing his landscaping duties, I am sitting on my bed in pajamas. I see someone with a hatchet in my yard. I don’t recognize him because he is a bit heavier than he used to be, and he has shaved his beard. In my mind, there is a stranger with a weapon in my yard, dangerously close to my house. I was on the phone with my husband at the time I spotted the back yard marauder, and informed him of what was happening. I ended the call so I could “deal” with the situation.
I didn’t want to call the police because I felt that would be ineffective. I also felt a great deal of anxiety over the idea of answering and re-answering a shitload of questions asked by law enforcement that may or may not be relevant (in my opinion). I had a moment of confusion and then I felt my mind switch into conflict mode. I instantly think of a way to defend myself, and that I have to confront this threat. I thought about weapons to arm myself with and I chose a bow staff. Its basically a wooden mop handle, but I did a small amount of training with it about a year ago for self defense.
I grabbed the stick and went outside in my ill fitting shorts and t shirt and sneaked around the house to where he was. He didn’t hear me. I know this because when I spoke to him he was startled. I had the stick in a position so I could strike his head and asked him, “Excuse me sir, can you tell me what you are doing in my yard?” He had a jug of pesticide and a sprayer in his hand now, as opposed to the hatchet he wielded a few minutes before. He replied by telling me he was spraying the fence so the weeds would not be seen on his side. I asked him his name and he told me, and I realized it was my neighbor’s name. I still had the stick in position. I asked him why I didn’t recognize him if he was my neighbor. He told me he shaved his beard. I stared for a moment, then realized it was him, so I lowered the stick and said, “do whatever you want to the yard.” I apologized, and went inside.
I called my husband to inform him of what had happened, and he was quite relieved. We were both disturbed by the fact that the neighbor just walked into our yard without so much as an inquiry as to whether or not that was acceptable. If I were the sort to believe in owning a firearm, I would have taken it outside with me when I confronted him. That could have been disastrous. As it stands I had a stick pointed at his head and was ready to strike him. Not too cool, neighbor guy. He was violating the law by trespassing. And, he trespassed onto my property with what could be conceived as a weapon.
So here’s the skinny: I am left feeling like a violent person because I aimed a fucking stick at a guy’s head and was ready to hit him. I am not a violent person, but I have PTSD. I then think, why do I have that? When I recall why I am angry. I have PTSD because I was tortured and raped by those who were also my caregivers and individuals that are supposed to be intrinsically trusted. It is not my fault. It is also not my fault that my neighbor has serious OCD about his lawn and boundary issues. Nevertheless, I must be blunt, I don’t give s shit.
The fact of the matter is I have PTSD and it is kicking my ass right now. Fuck the caregivers, fuck the neighbor, and fuck the idea that fences make better neighbors. The thing I am dealing with right now is increased social anxiety, free floating aggression, and an increased sense of vulnerabilty which equates to almost panic to me. The circumstances change but the outcome is similar each time. Nightmares, anxiety, hypervigilance, increased use of stimulants and sedatives, fear. That, my friend, is why I don’t give a shit about why I am triggered or what triggered me. The salient matter is the outcome. I don’t want it and I’m angry that it happened. I’m angry that I have PTSD.
It can turn a shadow into a monster. A sighting in the peripheral vision makes your heart stop, palms sweat, and instantly engage in planning escape or self defense. Yeah, my neighbor acted like a dick. I acted like fucking Jason Bourne. I am sick of being a prisoner to this way of thinking. I didn’t choose it, but I sure as hell “unselect” it now. I don’t know if that matters, though. It is programming that I am changing but it takes time. I don’t want it to take anymore of my time; I feel as if it has taken enough. I’m impatient. I want to feel okay and I don’t.
It fades after some time. Maybe a week, maybe just a few days. I’ve had nightmares the last two nights that have been disturbing. Hopefully now that I have identified what exactly is happening and how damn irritating it is, it will start to lessen. It has to.
Thanks for taking the time to read the words of a random human on this planet. Lots of love.