Before I left the house early this morning, I packed a bag.
Not just any bag. A safety plan bag for my son.
I used his school backpack which has been sitting solo on a shelf in his closet since March 2020. Since our world as we knew it shut down, just like everyone else around our hurting earth.
It is a blue backpack with tan leather straps. Very boxy old timey European school boy vibe, but with modern zippers and pouches for electronics, water bottle, keychains etc.
Our impending winter kept the outside dark, full of heavy asthma inducing fog, and eerily quiet just before the sun has had a chance to poke its bright, “Good Morning!” smile up over the horizon. Sometimes when my sweet SonHerisme awakens too early in the morning, he tells me that he tries to stay quiet as possible to not disturb anything in the universe or spook the sun from rising. He gently slides across his bed and over to his front window to peel the shade aside very carefully and spy on the sun rising over the hills and trees to the East of our perch on the side of our tiny mountain retreat. He says he knows it’s going to be a good day if he hasn’t spooked the sunshine away. I love his amazing poetic brain! I love the way his brain brainiacs!
My sweet puffin giant newborn baby bear hockey bat superhero. Now 12. Now 5’9″. Now US size 13 men’s shoe. Now needing to learn about razors (among other things *sigh*). Someone hand me a baby to squeeze STAT!
I wish I could’ve had more. The more died either with my dreams or with my failed body.
I packed a bag in the very early hours this morning for SonHerisme because I have transported back to safety plan mode with the current climate in this country as we all (most of us, sweet beegeezus, I hope MOST of US) attempt to separate from our collective abuser. The most dangerous and lethal time for an abused person is when they attempt to leave. Unfortunately I have first hand experience as does SonHerisme.
We survived. We had safety plan upon safety plan upon safety plan upon backups, supports, and contingencies for safety plans.
It is a most dangerous time here in the US and I felt the familiar call for a safety plan for us.
We have regular everyday safety plans, like you, for fire, inclement weather, school transportation, etc. Being a single completely solo parent, I also have an added COVID-19 safety plan in case I end up severely ill, hospitalized, or … I’ll just say it… dead. I do still have in place some of my safety protocol from MrexH times, but have lapsed in areas compared to my prior levels of vigilance.
As I packed a bag for SonHerisme, I could feel the tension simultaneously rise and fill up my entire body to the point of it completely disappearing thanks to disassociation. It’s still my superpower, y’all. Then again, it is a tell for me to recognize when things are getting really bad. When I am not feeling something when there are big things afoot, I am disassociating, which means something is very very wrong for me emotionally, physically, or both. But, disassociation can be so very relieving for the strong terror. When disassociation washes over me, I sometimes wonder if it isn’t unlike the rush of relief an addict might feel. I love it and crave it so much sometimes, just for any relief from the pain, anxiety, and terror.
I packed one change of clothes, an electronic device charging cord with plug adapter, tetra pack monkey milk (don’t worry – it’s cow’s milk with extra protiens and a picture of a monkey on the container, it is not milk from monkey mammaries. Although, I once told me niece it was monkey mammary milk and she refuses to drink it to this day), two cliff bars, house key, some cash, and emergency contact information. I also included a note from me which says how much I love SonHerisme and how his job is to take good care of himself until I can return to him.
The bag is hanging on the inside of my closet. SonHerisme does not know about the bag because I did not want to cause him any possibly unnecessary pre-event anxiety. My plan was to contact SonHerisme if there was an issue, then have an emergency contact go to the house and pick him up so that he would have emotional support until I could get home.
Hells yeah, I have backups. This ain’ts my first rodeos, son (BEAST BOY!).
That’s right. Georgetown. Up the hill from the concrete barrier-ed current president’s residence. The one who incites violence and spreads viral death – yeah, that guy. Like some of you, we had a local voter intimidation parade of flag bearing vehicles yesterday, with some still going around today.
I grew (and am growing) more and more concerned about our attempt to separate from this abusive regime. I thought about the highway possibly shutting down (which it did very briefly this morning, for the usual I-270 accidents). I thought about roads being blocked. I thought about my sweet baby alone in our house on the side of our tiny mountain hill with no neighbors, no neighborhood buddies, no place for him to walk to (other than the cool goat/fowl farm way at the bottom of the hill), and me not able to get home and make sure that he is okay.
Enter safety plan. Enter packed bag ready to leave the house quickly. Enter emergency backup friends, and backups to them. Enter all devices fully charged before breakfast. Enter all doors and windows locked, alarm set for stay with SonHerisme inside. Enter hopefully casual usual review with SonHerisme, of regular safety plans of what to do when mommy is gone far away for hours and he is home alone.
Once on the road, driving to Georgetown with MotherHerisme in the car (post typical MotherHerisme tears and meltdowns *sigh*), disassociation began to wear off and the red hot fire of anger swept through my body.
I am angry that this is where we are. I am angry and I resent having these feelings of needing a safety plan AFUCKINGGAIN. I hate going through separating from an abusive relationship AGAIN. I HATE the potential exposure to a deadly virus for a check-up MotherHerisme puts up a fit to go to. I also hate the traffic on I-270, which is inching back up to pre-COVID-19 levels.
I like the coven. I like the valet parking people. I like the stone walls and canal stations lining the Clara Barton Parkway. I like the occasional reroute through the Palisades. I like passing my friend’s street and saying, “hello over there!” every time I pass by the entrance. I like saying, “Guten Tag,” past the German Embassy and, “Bonjour,” past the French Embassy. I like the word, “Georgetown,” because it is a compound word with hard and soft sounds.
I am angry at the generation who got us to this point where we are having to extricate from a seriously dangerous and deadly abusive regime. Once again, with their dying breaths, they are sending us all a big f you – I am okay and you are not which makes me morally superior and more deserving of my privileges than you will ever be because you are a super loser dummy.
If they are not resoundingly rejected with the election taking place today, we must carry on with helping our neighbors who are suffering and prepare for restructuring our voices for the next election cycle. But I am angry and resentful about having to contemplate that outcome.
In the meantime also have a safety plan with backups and pack a bag just in case.
In my experience a safety plan can save your life.
Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo
ps made it to and from Georgetown and am now completely exhausted helping SonHerisme with virtual school. He will remain unaware of the safety plan packed bag element, for now.
pps please take good care of yourself. I like you – especially you over there!