• ZuZu

It Was Just One Halloween

Hello. I've never properly introduced myself. My name is Suzanne. Some people know me as Sue, only one person I allow to call me Suzie, and you'll learn about that soon enough, some people call me ZuZu. It's Suzanne in Arabic, but like a nickname used by your family and friends. Like Sue or Suzie. Most people associate me with Wonder Woman. Some even call me, Ms Prince. I am Romani-not 100%, obviously, so most people associate me with being a Witch. I will admit I have a crystal addiction and have closed a portal, banished a few demons, and made a sour jar or two in my time. I am an empath and I am psychokinetic, which is why I do a lot of online shopping. I'm an introvert, but I'm a fucking fabulous introvert.


Right now I have Coldplay in concert playing while I write this. I'm originally from the East side of Michigan. I grew up in Oakland county, but came of age in Wayne county-Detroit proper-when I attended University Of Detroit Mercy from 1991-1993.


I finally graduated from Oakland University in 2007. If you go to the Sociology (my major) building, by the elevator, they have the recipients of the Laura Robinson Kuzniar Award. She was an OU student and she devoted her free time to helping the underserved any way she could. I won the award in 2007. So, my name is on the plaque by the elevator. Really proud of that award.


Then, I moved to the West Side of the state- CULTURE SHOCK!!! I was an MSW candidate. There was a staff member that hated ANY woman who currently drank or was in rehab. He threatened to black ball me from the university, because my paper read "Like a story, but it's in APA style!" I asked around after I left. I didn't leave, I had fallen in love- crazy, passionate, all consuming, mad, bonded love, and I jumped ship. I asked around to a few mental health professionals, "Was his mother the alcoholic?" The consensus was yes. So, I'm thinking, Mom's drunk and out of it, so Daddy will truly play with his boys. Apparently, this staff member's brother works in an underground SuperMax prison here. I would've caught a case if I had stayed at that damn, bullshit, preschool, toy store of a graduate program.


So, I came out the chute mentally ill. My mother is Bipolar Type I, Anxiety, and she can't remember the majority of her childhood. Not remembering certain parts of your life, especially your childhood, is indicative of some type of trauma as a child. My father has Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and the famous McMullen insomnia. Which I inherited. WEEEEE. Both parents grew up in low socioeconomic homes, most of my family were teachers, they both grew up with their grandmothers in their homes. My mom's mom, my grandmother, Zorza, was born on the plains of Saskatchewan on February 13, 19....15? And as her two elder brothers aged and married, my grandmother was forced to drop out of high school in tenth grade to take care of her mother, Flossie. WHO WAS A COOK FOR A LOGGING CAMP. I come from pretty hearty stock. That's just one reason I'm doing this. Truth is stranger than fiction.


I didn't remember much of my childhood. I just knew something God awful had happened. It wasn't right, it wasn't good and it wasn't going to be easy to maneuver. I let my true love go, because in his profession, I would have been a liability, and NOT an asset.



So, my parents ordered wine from Pieroth wines. They would come to your house, and give you samples of wine, and then you'd buy however, whatever you wanted. The sales guy used to give me the bottom of the little plastic shot glasses to have. I remember the first time I had that first sip. I'd had alcohol before, but I just liked the taste. Just like I loved to smoke. I was a smoker. Fancy ones, foreign ones, cloves, marlboros- but my favorite? And they don't fucking make them anymore- Lucky Strikes. Gat Dahmn that was a "Dessert smoke", as I called it. But, I digress. You'll find I do that a lot. So, I had a sip of this mellow, red wine. My solar plexus warmed up, I felt instantly relaxed, I felt calm, the voices stopped. I felt, what I perceived, as normal.


Now, among many of my father, or Baba (Arabic for Daddy) talents, was photography. He made a darkroom in our basement. Red light, I learned how to develop pictures. Take the 8 x 10 piece of photography paper, put it in the developer with tongs, and sway it around the developer, and it was pure magic. The center of the paper would start to come into view, then the sides, then the whole picture. You'd keep it in the developer as long or as little as you wanted the photo to look. It was pure art. I'm lost now with technology. I remember computers having, like, audio tapes in them. PET Computers. One of our assignments, probably like our final, was to write a DOS program. I felt like a super nerd bad ass when my program ran like silk.


So, I started drinking about age 14. I got my period in 7th grade. 8th grade I had my first major bout of depression. I weaseled up my courage, and went to talk to her.


Mom?

Mom?

Mom?

What?!

Something's wrong with me. I think I need to go to talk to someone.

You're fine.

And she went back to typing. Apple for Teachers!!


So, Like every good Super Hero, an Amazon Goddess has a few special weapons up her wrist armor. The dark room, ie "wine cellar". I went into our basement- I was 14 at this time, had just started High School, so we all know how awesome that was! Snagged a bottle- even back then, I was a snob. Not the Riesling- that's a dessert wine. I'd already been smoking. I was a smoker. I loved to smoke: fancy, foreign, gutter punk cigarettes, Marlboro,Capri, More!! But! My absolute favorite cigarette, and they no longer make them: Lucky Strikes. I called it my, "Dessert Cigarette". Best fucking cigarette ever. I've been to Greece. I smoked Silk Cut and all that shit. But, damn. Nothing like a Lucky Strike. Fuck. I digressed again. Only to show you what a snobby alcoholic and addict I was to become. Well, I came out the chute being an addict. The Pieroth guy just gave me the ammunition.


So, my dad would wake me up, leave for work, I'd stumble into the shower, goth hair and makeup, no self esteem, no sense of self, I would be looking in the mirror, and not even see myself. It's weird. Very weird. Hard to explain. So, I would put my Trapper Keeper, or whatever the fuck I had, in the bag. And, of course, my wine. My secret weapon. I was the only person on the bus one day, in the morning, I got bold, as alcoholics are wont to do, and opened my back pack, took out the wine bottle, popped the cork, and tilted my head back to let my facade go rolling down my throat. I had my eyes on the bus driver the whole time. Remember they had those little mirrors back then? She fucking busted me. Caught me mid gulp. If looks could kill. So, I put the cork back in the bottle, bottle to back pack, zip, look out the window like that neeeevvveeeer happened. She never ratted on me either.


By tenth grade, I was getting good. My bus was one of the first buses to get to school. My room was right by a biology teacher's room. The teacher suffered from narcolepsy. But, I'd come in, walk up the stairs to my locker, put my back pack on the hook- mind you, NO ONE was around. Ok? So, I'd unzip the backpack, bullshit, half ass take some books out, take my leather coat off, pull out the bottle, stick it in the sleeve of my leather jacket, and ABOUT FACE!!! The voices were quiet, I was relaxed, my mask was on, and it was off to spread cheer. Even though I was dying inside.


This was the beginning of my drinking career. I drank from age 14-35 with two years off. My last drink was August 8, 2008. I was left for dead.


I woke up the next morning, in two point restraints, with a social worker shuffling papers at the end of my bed,


Do you think you need psychiatric help? (At this point in my life, me being in psych units-note that- ECT, therapy, group therapy was just a way of life from at that point.)

Ya think?

We have two, psychiatric hospitals here: Forest View and Pine Rest.

Hospitals? (I volunteered for NAMI. to me hospital=institution).

What do you mean hospitals?

They are free standing, psychiatric hospitals.

(My mind was racing, the only two institutions open at that point in Michigan was Caro or Kzoo). Don't they have psych units here? You know? On the top level of the hospital? Doesn't someone here have one of those? (Little did I know, I'd eventually wind up there one day)

Thats only for people with mental and physical disorders. We just have the two hospitals.

What's the difference?

Forest View has better food.

Alright. Let's go there.

Well, you need to sign this involuntary admission sheet. Because we're transferring you by ambulance, and you have agreed, if you don't sign it, you could say we kidnapped you.

Covering your ass, eh?


So, I'm at Forest View. Except all I remember is phenobarbital, the DT's, and B vitamins. By the third day, the nurse comes down and yells:

You've been asleep for three days. You have not ate or drank anything. Get your ass down to the cafeteria and eat!

I'm like, "Bitch, I don't even know where I am!!" Ask the staff, "Where's the". That way. they all say in unison and point. Remember: Been a daily drinker from age 14 to age 35, with only two years clean. My brain was slop. It was probably liquified at that point. God knows I was probably well preserved by that time.


Okay, the point of all of this hx and shit, is to get to today, October 31, 2021. Two days in, after I regained walking and talking in my new repertoire, I was thrown into the Trauma Program. I had no clue. I didn't remember my childhood, except for one incident, and at that point in my life, it was a no big deal.


But, as I learned in the Trauma classes, which, apparently this hospital was one of three that Dr. Colin Ross, one of the foremost experts on Dissociative Identity Disorder or, from here on out DID. Some of you may know, but by it's old name? Multiple Personality Disorder. Yeah, the psychologists and psychiatrists figured out the etiology of the disorder was different than previously believed, so they changed the name from Multiple Personality Disorder to DID.


Two weeks sober, I get diagnosed with DID. Do me a favor, cuz I'm getting tired and I'm nowhere near done, Google Kay Redfield Jamison. This Monster of a scientists/researcher wrote THE BIBLE on, at that time, the two inch thick, hardcover book, was called Blah Blah Manic Depression. This woman drown herself on researching Bipolar Disorder. Several years later, she wrote a memoir entitled, An Unquiet Mind. She discovered through a manic episode she had to be hospitalized for, I think, she was given the dx of Bipolar Type I. As a result, she wrote An Unquiet Mind. How she submerged herself into the research and science of Bipolar Disorder, all the while, not having a CLUE that she, herself, was Bipolar. I was the Kay Redfield Jamison of DID. I studied, I read, I did reports, I taught the latest social work treatment modalities as recommended by the NASW in a class presentation in 2008. I'm the DID version of Kay Redfield Jamison.


So, August of 2008: no more drinking (Celebrated 13 years this year), I have DID, which, my love of my life relationship was already in the shitter. He was a meth addict. He went back to his meth whore, Ash. Five minutes alone, God. Please, just 5 minutes. So, he basically cut me off because the,

"ZuZu I knew and lovED its gone and she will never be back". Cue "She's Not the same" by his bromance, Gordon Lightfoot.


Anyways, I've come through...I started having flashbacks in 2001. My perpetrators/abusers/pieces of shit psychopaths because they left bodies. Yes, this is not for the light of heart. This is not for the faint. But, in 2001, they moved off the block.


2 weeks after they moved off the block, I was flooded. With flashbacks of, what I thought, at that time, was awful, disgusting stuff. 20 years later, Halloween is an "anniversary" of sorts for me. Once, I started to work on my DID, with fucking therapists who claimed to be trained in trauma. Listen- the only way you can help DID, is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and then get creative as hell, and when you work with the mentally ill, you better be fucking whip smart, wicked creative, a therapist of your own, serious boundaries, and great self care. I have a therapist like that now.


But, back in 2014, I started having flash bulb memories, memories and then full on flashbacks of my babysitters/perpetrators, oh yeah, involving me in a satanic cult known as The Brides of Satan. I was 5. Long story short, 5 is a master number in most religions, including satanism. I was 5 in 1978. And 43 years ago, I stood in my special, ceremonial, crushed blue velvet robe with a hood, and decorated with gold bric brac, and Erik, the cult Leader, with quite a big sword. This whole ceremony took place in my perp's living room. There were about 20 or so people in their griege robes with hoods- it's a must have satanic fashion accessory-and then, out of fucking nowhere comes the mother perp, Elizabeth, drunk OFF HER ASS, and she yells at 20 robed-including her husband- satanists that:

Why is she so great? What the fuck is wrong with me?


The next thing I know I hear the sword drop, Erik shoots into action, and a sea of griege robes just swarm her. Out of nowhere comes their 9 year old daughter-the one they groomed me with-hand, I grab it, we get into her room. There are bunk beds. I'm on the top bunk, I'm helping her put the dresser in front of the door, a book case, a chair. Anything we could find. And man...it was eerie silent. I mean like, not funny like hear an ant fart quiet, but like sinister quiet. The SOB used to drink Miller Lite. I never drank it, and after having that memory, I know why. But, he came back. Oh, yeah. He was such a SOB, the only thing worse than him that could take him out was 2020. He died 9.7.20. And that SOB was doing vacation Bible studies with kids. Once again! I digress.


So, I'm in therapy last week.

Halloween is Sunday.

But you've tried to decorate and make it fun.

I never know what's going to happen until I wake up.

Well....it was just that one halloween, right?

Yeah.

Are you older than me?

Yeah, I'm 48.

So, out of all those other halloweens, it was just this one, right?

You son of a bitch! That means I've had 43 other, most likely, awesome halloweens. Good job, Call Colin and tell him you cured me.


So, today I wake up at 2:49 am to my neighbor having sex. It dawns on me that it's halloween. McMullen insomnia, terror, fear, dread start creeping up. Fuck, I may or may not have a stalker. The jury is out. But I have motion lights on my front door, since I live in the, "Penthouse". Pretty fucking fancy for living over the garage. I can't remember, but I went out to Speedway-no, I'm not brand ambassador material. I'm fuckin joking! Anyways, on my way back inside, my motion lights were on, and I could smell cigarette smoke. Deadbolt and lock the door. I cannot attract a normal guy. They've all had hitches in their giddy yups. Dave? The ZuZu I fell in love with blah x3? He was David Dean Smith. The AIDS Killer. My ex fiancé was a fucxking serial killer.


Anyway, I fell asleep at 4:30, and woke up at 8 am. I thought ok. Today is Halloween. My peeps-what I used to call, "the voices" are my alters and their parts. And their parts parts. It'll all make sense. My peeps were quiet. But I felt weird. I got a sort of magic pill that has completely reduced my pain by 90%. So, for the past 2.5 weeks, I've been cleaning and purging the shit out of my condo. But today? I was just apathetic. I couldn't figure out why. I didn't even want to go to Marshall's. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY, but I fucking love Marshall's. It's like how TJ Maxx used to be before they stuck their nose up Micheal Kors cheap ass purses. Oh yes, bitch. You will hear shit like that too. Anyways. My mom came over cuz we were going to work. Fuck. Friday we pulled out, rolled up, and chucked my bedroom area rug over my balcony, then we rolled it all up, and put it inside the dumpster. Yes. We did leave room for other people's trash. Anyways, I told her:

I don't know what is wrong with me. I actually do not have any laundry to do- I've finished my laundry. I don't know WTF is wrong with me. She's got a huge kitchen Reno going on, so I told her, just go home.


I fell asleep. In my heart and chest and in the pit of my stomach, I had a feeling I could not explain. You see, us trauma survivors aren't good at explaining and expressing emotion. Because, if we did? We'd be dead. That's why we created the parts or alters, or if you want to get real basic? Imaginary friends, to take the pain, while you stepped back, or floated above, you know what I mean? So, I just laid there and sat with my whatever the fuck I was feeling. "Feel your feelings, but stay safe." That was on the trauma therapy room the first couple years. Then, it disappeared. Too bad. It's really good advice...for anybody. So, I'm lying there, and I realize what the feeling is: Grief. I'm finally, since 2014, How many years is that? 7, 8? I can grieve now. I can put it in my rearview mirror. I gained a yard. Some people are movers and shakers and hustlers. Busting tall deals and sales with a huge smile and hearty handshake.


Me? I'm just glad it's over. That it's no longer on the repeat playlist. It's been shelved with the oldies but goodies.


Good night. Happy Samhain. Happy All Saints Day. The veil is thin; now more than before. Reach out to your ancestors. They help you more than you know. At least mine do.


Good night, little ones.

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