Halloween. A time of year where people celebrate the spooky, dress up in costume and eat lots of candy. It brings out the kid in all of us. We get to play pretend and enjoy the simple things in life. Some of us enjoy the spooky and scary more than others. Halloween used to be this way for me. I used to look forward to the dark spirited fun every year. Now I dread this day. Halloween took on a whole new role in my life in 2008.
It started out as any other day would. A normal Friday, excited for a fun filled weekend. Getting ready to have a bonfire at my house with all of my friends. Mom and I went to Grampie’s to load up some firewood. I was getting so excited. My youngest sister tagged along for the ride. She’s an observant little booger.
My family didn’t know I had recently took it upon myself to get my first body piercing, my tongue. I was a little careless in the excitement of Halloween and my sister spotted my tongue ring. Being the rebel that I am, I tried to play it off as a piece of candy. My mother knew better. I had to show her what I had done. She was disappointed. “We’re gonna have to tell your dad you know?” she said. My heart fell to my stomach. I knew this wouldn’t go over well.
We got back home to unload the firewood, my dad waiting with the chainsaw to cut it into smaller pieces. I tried to act normal and avoid what had just happened. My sister only being 5 at the time, instantly said something to my dad. Just as I expected, he was FURIOUS. The next few minutes happened so fast and was all a blur.
He began chasing me through our yard, threatening to rip out my piercing, running chainsaw still in his hands. He tackled me to the ground in the field behind our house. I felt a punch across my face. Could hear the chainsaw running. My mom, having gone through so many incidents like this herself with my dad, stopped at nothing to pull him off me. He got up, told me to leave and never come back.
The man I had grown to respect, take so much pride in his progress and loved unconditionally had turned his back on me. In that moment I learned that some people will never change. I learned that love is conditional and that the people who are never supposed to hurt you are the ones who will hurt you the most.
That day my family that had come so far, was torn apart. My parents split and we have never been a “family” since. My heart turned cold. I had nightmares for months. I felt evil and dark spirits overtake my body. They made me run for my life in my sleep and hide from the world when I was awake.
This day still gives me jitters and reminds me of the trauma I have been through. It took me longer to get out of bed and face the day today. I cried through putting my makeup on and have been losing tears about every 30 minutes.
Halloween will always be more than dressing up, being spooky and eating lots of candy to me. That day changed my life forever. I’ve come a long way and have had a long road of recovery. I’m not sure the PTSD will ever go away. But I’ve learned to not let it control my everyday life.
Having a child of my own has brought back some of my love for Halloween. I won’t let my past and his actions ruin something for my daughter. We’ve managed to have fun celebrating the holiday. Without her smiling face and her love for witches and spooky movies, I wouldn’t be able to get through this time of year.