Video blog from me, Sarah, an abuse survivor and its another great day today! You also get to see more of my furry family including some playtime with Buster. He has really been helpful to me when I’m having bad days. As many adult survivors of child abuse know, having a dog can be a great source of love and comfort. Check out Buster in the video above.
It was the perfect day. I believe there are many ways that they can be perfect so there isn’t just one perfect day. Yesterday was definitely one of those days. What made it so perfect? The anxiety that I’ve been feeling for the past several weeks, all of the sudden, lifted. I wasn’t worried, I was having flashbacks, and I wasn’t feeling that stress that comes along with anxiety. It’s kind of like when you have a really bad headache and then that pain finally goes away.
I also got a lot done with my blogs and websites that I’ve been working on. The advice I’ve received in the lessons from the Click Bank University course that I’m taking have been paying off and web traffic is starting to increase. I’m getting a better understanding of what I should be doing to help myself transition from my current career into a new one.
I’m starting to feel more confident in myself and my abilities. Being an abuse survivor and an adult survivor of child abuse can be tough in this regard because it made me feel like I was being treated with abuse because I was not a good person. It’s very difficult to get out of that mindset. I still have trouble sometimes but I feel like I’m really making progress in feeling like that I CAN accomplish the goals and dreams that I want to. I’ve been holding myself back for too long.
I see a lot of other people holding themselves back as well. I try to do my best to encourage others to follow their dreams and get out of their own way too. Anything is possible and if I really wanted I can make it happen. What I want for my life now is peace. Yesterday was a very peaceful day and I’m grateful.
I’ve read that sitting with being grateful every day can improve your outlook on life. I’ve been trying to do think about what I am grateful for every day and to tell others that I am grateful for them. It was a little strange to do it first but now it’s pretty natural and I think it is really given me a more positive perspective on my life.
In the video above is the result of anxiety lifting in me feeling much much better. That’s why it was a perfect day. I was in pain anymore. Other days might get hard and I might feel that pain again. Even remembering past days of pain bring tears to my eyes but I’m doing better. I’m getting better. So if you haven’t watched the goofy video already check out my crazy hair!
My anxiety today was much better. I had a few moments but my neighborhood has been quiet today. My thoughts have turned to getting more out the projects I have been working on. I have a bunch of domains and now is the time to put things into action since I’ve decided to get out my own way. Less naysaying and more doing!
Sometimes its hard to feel like I’m capable of doing things the right way but there isn’t really a right and wrong way. Life is fluid like that and I am trying to learn to roll with it. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to myself and my own life and I an doing my best to turn that skill of massive self control to better my life instead of hinder it. I still have those days where the “can’t” seeps in but I’m making progress in believing in myself again.
In the video above I reveal this blog to youtube and my general audience. I’m really proud of myself for starting this abuse survivor blog to share my experiences. Please feel free to comment or ask me questions. I was letting people interview me and now I’d like to open my video answers to also cover not just my professional life in the entertainment industry but also to answer questions about PTSD, anxiety, depression, my experiences, ect. Please note that I can only speak from my own experience and I in no way am claiming to speak for all survivors.
If you have a question please post it in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to my list of video answers to do. Thank you for reading!
Being kind to yourself is not always easy. We tend to tell ourself so many negative things like we have a trol inside us, and we are the troll. Are you being cruel to yourself? I know I have been awful to myself in the past. I recently took about 3 months off during a bought of severe depression and realized I was treating myself just like my abusers did. I added their awful hurtful untrue things that they said to me to my own internal dialogue. I believed it too!
I realize now that those mean things I kept repeating to myself was not true and not how I see myself when I really took a hard look at who I was and what I stood for. Those introjections are not me and I don’t have to accept them or repeat them. I can discard them if I wish, I just need to get out of the habit of repeating it and accepting. This sounds easier than it really is. First I had to listen, really listen to myself and hear what what was being said to myself in any given situation or when I was just sitting quietly. Then I had to question those hurtful things I was repeating to myself. I then asked myself if what was being said was true or not. I have to repeat this many many times and I still do it today.
This greatly helped me and sometime I give myself pep-talks like the one in the video above. Sometimes I need to hear(even from my own self) that I’m doing ok. The video and the process above may aid in feeling some compassion for oneself. It has certainly been a powerful tool for me.
I have struggled with “forgiveness” for a very long time. It isn’t what I thought it was and certainly not what I was told it was by my abusers. I had a revelation the other day and I started to understand what forgiveness really means. On wikipedia it states that forgiveness is an intentional and voluntary process. It is a change in attitude and feeling about the offense and the ability to start(TO START) to wish the offender well. Talk about a difficult thing to do when you are still feeling so much pain!
I thought to forgive someone was like saying, “That’s ok. I’m not hurt anymore.” My abusers told me it was “forgive and forget” and “starting over like it didn’t happen” and that jusy pissed me off. This wasn’t like I had my foot stepped on by accident. Many times my abusers tended toward minimizing the incident and my pain. This also pissed me off. It was impossible to even think about forgiving them or moving on until I got some distance of time and space between me and them.
I realize now that emotions are revolving and not a static state of being…neither is forgiveness. I am still hurt, still angry, still searching for peace that I can have for the majority of the time instead of a very small part. I need this feeling of forgiveness and I am so glad that I am willing to explore it now that little by little, I am beginning to heal.
To forgive doesn’t mean that “its ok” that they hurt me or that they are allowed to be around me anymore to have any opportunity to further cause me any pain. Its for ME. Its about ME and how I feel, not really about them so much. Its about me putting those bricks down and loving myself enough to give myself permission to understand what happened and move forward. Again, this sounds nice an all that but I remember when I didn’t understand and the mere mention of forgiveness would enrage me. Now, I feel a little sad about remembering that feeling.
I am starting to let go of my feelings of vengeance and revenge which I REALLY want to indulge sometimes. The person those feelings hurt is me. I’m still working on this but I wanted to share my feelings and what I wrote about forgiveness. I’m not a religious person but there is a certain spirituality that can be found in this even for those that aren’t interested in organized religion, like me.
Most of what I need to work on is forgiveness for myself and empathy for myself. I need to see myself in the same empathetic and loving way that I look at others that are in pain. This goes along with not being so hard on myself and treating myself like a machine with no emotions. I’m starting to forgive myself too.
As difficult as it is to do video blogs let alone daily or weekly, they really are helping me to process what is been going on in my brain for all these years. I would like to say that I’m than to be doing daily blogs but at this point I think it’s going to be more of a weekly thing. Is a daily log something that you would like to see? I think it would be good for me to dedicate to something on a daily basis. Life is daily, surviving his daily, healing is daily.
So I’m in a try my best to start releasing more video diaries on a daily basis. Once I opened up and decided to share my journey with others it was like the floodgates had opened. The more I share the more I want to share. The encouragement I have received has been amazing. I’m not saying the word “amazing” lightly. As a matter of fact very few things impress me so when I say something is amazing I mean it.
If you view my YouTube channel you will realize that I do post a lot. There’s a lot going on in my life and I’m surprisingly really enjoying sharing the parts of me that I’ve hidden for so long. I know that a lot of other survivors are out there hiding themselves, being isolated, depressed. You are not alone. I am here doing many of the same things that you are in order to cope with daily life.
Please let me know what you think and how you feel about seeing more and more daily vlogs in the comments below. Thank you again for your support through all of this and the impact that you have made on my life. I’m sure there will be some days where I just don’t know what to say but those will be rare because I talked the whole lot. Sometimes I get writer’s block but it’s less about knowing what to say and more about having too many ideas at the same time.
So I like to make you a promise that I will be uploading at least one video diary a week if not daily so that I can share my life and my journey with you. Hopefully I can inspire you, inform you, show many of you that you’re not alone and you’re definitely not crazy!
When I started to share about my past and surviving childhood sexual abuse and partner rape I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of love and support. I certainly wasn’t expecting the “thank you” I received from many who also have PTSD, are going through depression, and have anxiety. It felt great to not be alone but then I was a little sad too that SO MANY people are suffering and suffering by themselves, not telling anyone.
Let me tell you what I thought might happen which freaked me out a little and made me reluctant to post the vids. I thought the trolls were going to come out. I was waiting to be further verbally abused by the many people who have taken time out of their day to write me hateful emails. Thankfully, that’s not what happened. In fact because of the outpouring of support and love I now feel like I have a shield around my heart. That shield was built by strangers. It was built by people I’ve never met in person and many that I have met in person that I’ve kept at arms length.
So I want to thank everyone for being awesome instead of ass holes. Through that support that I received my faith in humanity’s restored a little. Through that support I started this blog. I feel that sharing what has happened to me and how I’m handling it can make an impact on someone else’s life. It would’ve made a huge impact on my life if I had seen someone just lay it all out there and be themselves no matter how crazy they felt. I think it would’ve helped me to realize that I’m not crazy.
I was diagnosed with PTSD at 11 years old. I wasn’t told much about it at the time other than its what the soldiers have. To my 11 year old brain, this meant I was a soldier and then I thought I was a BADASS(if only for a brief moment). Remembering this makes me smile. I didn’t realise until later how true that was. Living with PTSD is very difficult. The anxiety I feel that comes along with it can be paralysing.
I filmed the above video to show others what a rough day for me looks like. Its a full on bought with my PTSD and I’m able to keep it together for most of the video. I still have issues with expressing myself. I have always felt I needed to hold that back, to protect others, to not inconvenience them with my pain.
I’m also going to medicate myself with french fries which I have heard that medicating oneself with food is a bad idea but its a basic comfort to me and sometimes..it works. I have to do what is working for me to cope with PTSD and if french fried does it, at least I am eating.
I could bore you with a bunch of facts about PTSD but that will be in a later post. Lots of websites have all these fact sheets but the numbers aren’t emotion and doesn’t show you what really happens. The video does. I can tell you that the rate of PTSD is higher amongst women and higher amongst survivors of sexual abuse. I don’t know why this is but I do plan on reading more to find out. I will be updating with things I learn as I go through my journey.
This was a question that a someone recently asked me about being in the industry and if it was repeating my abuse. This comes up occasionally when someone finds out that I am an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. They associate the 2 as cause and effect. I know many people that were not abused that have made similar choices. I don’t think the 2 are mutually exclusive but instead of the industry hurting me or causing me more pain, it has not. In many ways the industry has helped me to heal, feel good about my self, and meet a whole new world of people that I would not have had the privilege to otherwise. I entered into the industry for the adventure, beautiful women, and of course, the money.
In this video I talk about my positive experience and how, to me, it is not repeating my abuse and I don’t consider it abuse in the least. The reason behind this opinion is that I gave my consent. With my childhood sexual abuse and my experience with partner rape, there was no consent. I may have been in the industry if I had not been abused for the simple fact that I was not shamed about sex or nudity. To me, nudity and sex is beautiful. Its the abuse that is scary and ugly. I gave consent and continually gave consent throughout whatever experience I was having in whatever scene I was being filmed in or touch I received. If I said stop, people stopped. If I needed a break, then I got a break. If I needed to stop altogether or needed some care, then I received it. I felt a lot of love in the industry. You may not see it that way, but love doesn’t mean falling head over heels kind of love. I mean respect and caring about another’s well being…to me, that is a form of love.
Sure, not everyone likes me, and that’s ok. I’m not going to die if others don’t like my personality or whatever. I’m just me and going to keep being my true self. I was afraid to show some of my more goofy side because in that lies vulnerability. I didn’t show that side of myself to many but I’m changing that now. People are seeing the real me now than ever since I opened my youtube channel and have been letting myself out to play. See for yourself in the 17 minute, no cuts video above of my experience in the industry and I answer the question: Am I hurting myself?
Something traumatic happened in my neighborhood this week. I can’t really talk about it yet since it just happened but as per usual during a crisis I was pretty calm and collected during the night of the event and then the next day, when all was calm again, I was a wreck. After doing some reading about this I’ve learned that many people with PTSD are calm under pressure, calm during a traumatic event and then feel the effects afterward when everything is more back to normal. The trauma I can handle because I’ve experienced trauma before. When others panic, I can make decisions and react how is needed, like when dialing 911.
Maybe this is a perk of going through some horrible events in my life? Is there an upside to PTSD? I’ll be writing about this more but I like where this is going in my mind. I want to think there are some good things that have come out of my abuse and of course being calm during a scary event is a great thing to be able to do. Its the falling apart later and having paralysing anxiety that’s not so great.
I’m going to do some more research, write in my personal journal, and talk to my therapist about the possible upside to all of this. Its not easy but I think being able to see the positive aspects of something instead of concentrating on the pain could do me a lot of good.
If you have been through abuse or have PTSD, have you found that you can handle stressful situations in a calm and collected way until you don’t need to? I’m curious if this is common.
This is the course I was talking about in the video above: