Essays, Family Trauma, Isolation, Murder, Personal Essays, Suicide

His Hands Around My Throat: The Reasoning Behind My Detrimental Procrastination Habit

I go to the doctor but don’t take the prescribed pills when alone.

I make progress in therapy then become stagnant until the next session.

My dishes pile up in the sink for a century before I think to actually do anything about it.

And my job-hunting falls flat until I am reminded of how broke, hungry, and barely out of homelessness I fee.

I have this thing in my head that doesn’t take the final measure in achieving a goal or completing a routine. My brain makes the final step much bigger than it really is. I will wait and wait until the last possible minute to do anything about it. The anxiety and stress that has collectively built up inside of me is what drives me to complete that step, not my actually wanting to attain the desired outcome of doing the thing. Toxic positivity and productivity circles would call me lazy. Capitalist-enthusiasts would tell me to work harder and think like a boss.

But all I can think about is how my dad broke me.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on

The closer I got to being eighteen years old, a realization was growing stronger inside of me. I learned brutally over the years that my dad will want me dead and in the ground one minute and then alive, by his at all times side, the next. I know that shouldn’t be said with a normal face but I am able to accomplish this feat. That’s how normalized this was in my household growing up. No matter who I told, most people told me to be a good girl, shut up, and bend my ass over for him. I did that until I couldn’t anymore. And that gradually became more obvious with each moment of my life being taken and obliterated by him in his complex sadism.

I live with the memory of him nearly succeeding in murdering me with each moment I live beyond that event. It sometimes feels like I am still fighting to free myself of his vice grip around my throat. I spent the better part of the next 24 hours fighting the ghosts of his hands still choking me as I fled to safety, dealt with crooked cops, and heralded my moving out of that damned house for good. Once I moved into the dorm room, with the help from then friends and their acquaintances, I was once again alone. I didn’t think about money, getting a job, worried about COVID-19, or even cared to eat a meal. My body was ready to give out. I didn’t want to be murdered by my dad. However, what he did, what I went through the past three months alone, made me wish I was dead, and that I could have done the job myself.

I was barely alive. And if I could not take my own life in that moment, the most I would settle for is sleeping on a sticky dorm mattress with a light blanket and orange Halloween pillow with a scratch black cat stitched to the front.

This critical event in my recent timeline created my procrastination habit based out of terror. I am afraid that anything that causes or potentially causes me pain will brutally destroy me if confronted directly. I left the cyst on the left side of my face for weeks before finally going to the hospital emergency room right outside of my apartment building. The monitors have yet to be replaced for my desktop computer station. And I have bills that need to be financed by my own means now that the financial assistance used to get me this far is now unable to carry me any further in terms of security.

Photo by Karen Lau00e5rk Boshoff on

When my father charged after me and began choking me with a vengeance, I felt my inner child die momentarily. I realized with a start, “My father is truly a monster, and after tonight, there is no coming back”. I had thought that if my own dad wanted me dead, then it would not matter if I let things hurt me no matter the intensity of the pain. Avoiding anything that made me relive that treacherous time in my life was safer than facing the agony of the now. My CPTSD overestimates the discomfort of possible solutions to problems and my ability in handling issues that require immediate resolution longer than necessary. Yes, I go to therapy. Every week. I never miss a session. I journal. I read literature. I do research. I dance. And I sing. Taking walks is something that helps me get out of my head, but unfortunately, it is a challenge while living in a city with weirdos and people who want to harass you for something. In essence, I have done things to change the way my brain thinks. Still, I feel the same hands that held mine so many times putting pressure on my neck in blind rage. I see his eyes, almost black in the night, having no emotion for his child. At times, he is as real to me as the white walls surrounded me.

I have to teach myself the desire to confront issues, heal pain, and resolve conflict. Otherwise, I view everything as a possible death sentence.


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