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It is as though someone inserted a large ice pick at the base of my skull on the right side. It juts up and through my right eyeball. Whoever did this to me also lifted the muscles of my shoulders and mid back and tied them in knots as I slept. You can feel the large, raised balls all over my neck and back, and I fear that if I move wrong the tightened muscles will literally snap like a taunt guitar string.

I was just marveling yesterday at how my pain levels have decreased tremendously since the divorce became final. In fact, even through illness and difficult cleaning jobs, I have remained pain free. Until today. Now I feel like screaming and dying. The pain is so intense I fear I’ll go insane.

I cannot believe that I survived like this for years when R lived here. Day in and day out. I rarely slept. The demon clung tightly to my back every. single. day. digging his claws deeply into my neck.

The first chiropractor I saw joked that my head wasn’t screwed on straight.  He explained that the vertebrae in my neck were twisted completely around and snaked backward and forward from side to side.  The next chiropractor was horrified and set up a plan to make my life livable once again.

The first massage therapist I saw was very aggressive and hurt me in spite of saying that I appeared to have sustained multiple traumatic injuries. The second one made great gains with craniosacral release and his various gentle forms of massage therapy.

A naturopath, who was convinced I had MS and had possibly suffered a transient ischemic attack, said that my atlas is so far off that my brain stem is pinched. She recommended I see a specialist in the next largest city.

My new family practitioner concurred with the massage therapists and chiropractors regarding multiple traumatic injuries.  He said that my neck is full of scar tissue.

Whatever.  All I know is that I CANNOT take this pain in my neck!

I stood in the  hot shower, begging the water and steam to release the angry knots.  And, it occurred to me why I was suffering today after several glorious pain-free weeks.

I dreamed about R last night.

He has three days to come pick up his belongings that are taking up so much room in my yard and driveway.  He has three days to pay me my share of that fraudulently obtained tax refund he received over a year ago.  On Monday, a judgment and lien will be entered.  On Monday, I’m free to dispose of the junk that has encroached on my space for nearly two years.  The junk that he spent $10,000 fighting for.  The junk my attorney asked him to remove last summer, but whose letters he simply ignored.   He took me to court twice, demanding these items I’d already agreed he was welcome to have just as soon as he could get them out of here.

I know the money will never come through.  I’ve known that all along.  But, now I’m faced with fixing the ’72 Dodge pick up that doesn’t run, the one he HAD to have, in order to take all of the rest of the now rotted and water ruined junk of his to the dump.

I’d been elated at the idea of his brother simply backing up, loading it, and hauling it all away.  It has served as a constant trigger for me.  The first thing you see when you round the corner of my long driveway is his old, broken down pick up loaded with his personal belongings.  It is an ever present reminder to me that he is still here, lingering, refusing to completely go away.

Last night I dreamed that we were on the Parkway, heading home, when R passed us in that old Dodge.  The bed was half loaded with his belongings.  He had thrown the other half out into my yard for me to deal with.   In my dream, the kids happily waved at Daddy, but he smugly turned away and literally drove off into the sunset toward the coast.

Standing there in the shower, it occurred to me that seeing his face in that dream was what set off my pain.  Just as I had lived with chronic pain in his presence, that pain can still be set off by seeing him, even if only in my sleep.

R is literally the pain in my neck.