Category Archives: My Story

My story is getting a category instead of just a page. I’m not ok with sharing everything yet. Sometimes I don’t remember certain things. trauma is funny that way and messes with your memory. I was also 1st abused at 3 years old so I don’t always remember with words. This category is for the pieces that I am comfortable to tell.

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Low Stress Lifestyle 2016? Healing Out Loud

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The idea of trying to have a low stress lifestyle in 2016 seems a bit silly now with everything that has happened. I’d name them all but I’d rather not think about all that right now. It might send me back into that silence again. I made myself a promise the other day and I’m keeping it. The promise was to stop being silent. My silence was an attempt at more peace. The result was even more hate mail and bullshit than before. The death threats from idiot men deciding I owed them my time started back up. So out of the healing cocoon I come but instead of being healed I’m on fire! You can see some of what I’m talking about on facebook but twitter is where I really let it all hangout…for about 4 days.

My Promise:

I won’t be silent anymore. Silence is death. Silence enables abusers and continues the cycle. It protects the abusive ones(FUCK THAT SHIT)! This doesn’t mean I have to respond either but I don’t need to hold back or internalize it. Gotta just blow up when I need too. Express my pain, frustration, sadness, and joy. I’m not interested in protecting others from my pain anymore. Here it is. I know it hurts. This is me HEALING OUT LOUD. I won’t let anyone or anything(EVEN ME) silence me ever again.

Now is the time to boldly exist. Stop trying to blend in and not be noticed. If they come for you, so be it. Make it a good death! It is ok to fall apart and reform again. Do it a million times. I’m going to be loud for me. I’m going to be loud for everyone that is still silent. I speak only for me but let my loud mouth encourage others to find their strength and their voice. Be loud about love, hate, and everything in between.

 

Also in 2017:

-Take no shit

-Say no

-Be silly

-Keep healing

-Create

-Be weirder

-Be grateful

-Offer compassion

-Be a handful

-Live

 

I’m sorry that I was so quiet. I apologize to myself and to you out there that follow along if you were worried. I promise not to do that again. It really didn’t serve anyone. I feel like it was a mistake but one I learned from. I forgive myself and move forward from here, continuing to heal. I’m not able to be very consistent but I’m trying hard to get there. I hope you will come along with me on my healing journey. It will be easier if I don’t go it alone and I could really use your help. Thank you for reading and being here for me. Many things have saved my life continually and your support is definitely one of them.

If you are receiving death threats online know that it is illegal. You can contact your local authorities as well as the FBI. Federal crime (18 U.S. Code § 2261A – Stalking) (fbi.gov/contact-us). Document everything!

 

 

 

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Healing from PTSD Toolbox pt2

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ptsd toolbox pt2

First, thank you for reading my blog and all the positive responses to my blog post: Healing from PTSD Toolbox pt1  Here is part 2!

Low Stress Lifestyle– I used to be a workaholic and I still love being productive but I had to step off the hamster wheel. I also moved to a much quieter and safer neighborhood, closer to family. I moved twice actually which is actually really stressful but in a good, moving forward sort of way. I work from home and support myself completely from my endeavors online.  I don’t have a boss looming over me and can work at my own pace. Since my symptoms have really only allowed for barely part time hours for working, I’ve found creative ways to work smarter and not harder. I’m furthering my low stress lifestyle in more ways that I will elaborate in future blog posts.

Isolation– I could also call it alone time. I call it isolation because at a certain point alone time can be a bad thing. Spending too much time along can de-socialize you and increase anxiety when around people. I use isolation to focus on myself and my healing. I tend to worry about the needs and wants of others over my own. I forget that I have needs too. This is not good and not how to take care of myself. To start learning to focus on myself I have been spending a lot of time alone.

“Fuck It”- This is what I say when I’m being resistant to things that are actually good for me. I also say it when trying something new. I have a lot of self doubt and fear that I deal with. I say “Fuck it” and do it anyway. It is more of an adventurous mentality than a tool. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone. I have found most of the things I was really resistant to are very helpful! This is also how I have gotten out of really horrible unhealthy relationships(FUCK THIS!).

Compassion– This one was and is still difficult for me. I used to be very hard on myself about pretty much anything. I also had very high expectations and also extreme harsh punishments if I failed or stumbled. Compassion allows me to see myself as a human and not some super machine that doesn’t need any creature comforts, rest, food, love ect. Compassion for myself sometimes requires that I dissociate a bit to take a step back. It helps my analytical side to see me as someone who has been through a lot and ANYONE going through this has a hard time of it. When I see myself as a suffering human and not what “they” told me I was. Expressing compassion for others is also part of this tool. When I’m feeling really low and hopeless I reach out and try to be there for someone else. Not forgetting myself but offering compassion and support can be a healing experience. I show myself by example the kind of people I need in my life.

Monitoring My Self Talk– This goes along with compassion but it is all focused on that little voice in my head. The stream of conscious thought. Early on, I had adopted the voice and extreme criticism of those who had abused me. I mentally abused myself for decades before I realized that that voice in my head wasn’t me. It was a lingering shadow of what had happened, like a broken record of bullshit! I still catch myself doing it sometimes but I’m doing much better at not talking to myself like “they” did. I painstakingly go through my head and work out what is the bullshit left over from abuse and what is actually me. I’m still sorting it out daily. Here’s a useful tip, the YOU part doesn’t think you suck.

Anger– Yes, ANGER! Anger is good, it means I am alive and still fighting. It is a powerful driving force and I used to be terrified of it. I was afraid to allow myself to be angry. I thought I would lose control and hurt someone. I used to get punished for being angry and there were times when I was on the receiving end of violence for even mentioning it. Now I am better at accepting it and even using its boundless energy to refocus on constructive activities. And really, with the things that have happened, why wouldn’t I be angry? Anger is a vital part of healing from PTSD.

Writing– Writing down my feelings, plans, and lists all help me to organize my thoughts and sort things out. Writing also helps me to express things that I may not be able to say out loud yet. I use writing to talk to myself. I write to the little girl that was hurt and let myself write back to my adult self as her. I was resistant to this at first but it has greatly helped me in getting in touch with feelings and memories that are still locked away. Writing has a weird thrilling sensation when I talk about the abuse I have suffered. The act of expressing myself and talking about the abuse feels like I am going to get hurt at 1st. My mind has connected talking about abuse with danger. That’s where the “fuck it” tool comes back into play. Yes, it is scary, do it anyway.

But wait, there’s more! There is actually more in my toolbox to help me with healing from PTSD and I am adding new things all the time. I am very passionate about surviving and sharing what helps me. The way I see it is every person is unique in what will be helpful. Somethings are only helpful some of the time. It can be very confusing to know what to do. This blog has become a resource for myself when I am suffering to refer back to. Thank you for reading and I hope that some of the tools I use can be useful to you. Again, please feel fee to comment below and add any tools that you use to helped you.

 

 

 

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New Hope in Healing from Child Abuse

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I have made a lot of progress with my healing and I feel myself continuing to heal. No matter the stresses in life, I’m learning to cope in healthier ways. I feel a new hope as I put myself out there more instead of being a hermit and just keeping to myself. I’m not able to go and do ALL THE THINGS I want to. Sometimes, I feel I’m missing out on adventures and experiences but taking care of me means knowing my limits. With increased stress, even good stress, my symptoms of PTSD flare up.

My last flare up was so scary I didn’t even know what to do. I was around all these beautiful strong women. I was so excited to get back out into the world and be apart of things again! Unfortunately, that’s when one of the scariest things in my life happened. I started to hallucinate. Out of the right side of my vision, I kept seeing someone. A flicker, a sense there was a person. It is not a real person that is physically there. I saw someone looking in the window as I was sitting at the table with my friends. I felt like I was losing it. It continued into the next day. I was caring for my Mom because she was sick with a stomach bug and my brain didn’t let up. It wasn’t that someone was there, it was the feeling that that someone was coming to get me, hurt me. Talk about fucking paranoia!

Every few minutes I felt compelled to look to the right. I sat by her bedside and watched TV with her all the while feeling like someone was there when no one was. No one was going to come around the corner from the bathroom. I knew I couldn’t go back to spend time with my friends like that. I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself. I realized then I was pretty ashamed of this new development. I texted my friend the next day telling her that I was having a hard time and apologized for not being up to going out. I braced for her to be angry but she wasn’t at all. She sent me LOVE, not apathy for my situation like many have in my past. I’ll always remember that.

What I didn’t realize at the time was this started not long after moving into my new place. I couldn’t reflect when I was being startled so much with the perceived threat in my peripheral vision. I often don’t want to get others involved in my pain. It started with the bedroom door. I kept feeling like someone was there. I kept looking at it, open or closed, I kept checking. No one is there but the fear is real, the terror was all but unbearable. It was physically painful but not as much as the mental anguish. I even started looking into a PTSD facility that maybe I could go stay in for some help.

On Sunday I watch ones of my favorite shows and it was the episode where we all learn why Hodar says Hodar instead of talking. He was really saying HOLD THE DOOR. I watched it and was finally able to cry. He held that fucking door. That night I tried to sleep in my bed but I just couldn’t. I joked to myself that I needed a Hodar. Someone to hold the door for me to keep me safe or just sit in front of it so the door couldn’t be moved. I wished my room had no doors or windows, no way to get to me. I’m thankful for this wonderful scene in the show. I had a breakthrough. I also slept on the couch for a few nights before I was able to sleep in my bedroom again.

The door in my bedroom as a child was also in the same orientation as it is now. The door was on the right. I would stare at the door for hours in terror, listening to every little noise, watching for the shadows to move under the door to let me know if it was going to happen again. A huge amount of time in my life at that time has been devoted to paying extreme close attention to every little detail to let me know if I was safe or not. I barely slept. It is exhausting.

How sad is it that a bedroom itself is scary? The place you are supposed to feel safe, in your own home, in your own bed. Not for me. This is what they mean when they say normal everyday things can be a trigger. I had no sense of safety. I almost re-arranged my bedroom but decided against it. I decided that I wasn’t going to change anything and that instead of fearing the door I would tell the door that I was an adult now and nothing that could be behind it would be as scary as ME.

When I started therapy and decided I wasn’t going to take my own life, I dragged a foam mattress into the living room. I slept there for a year until I moved into an apartment. When I moved into my current home, I bought a beautiful new bedroom outfit as a reward to myself. I made the bedroom my sacred space for rest. I try my best to adhere to a strict routine. For the past 2 weeks when the alarm at 8pm goes off, I take sleeping pills. So far, this is working great and I’m sleeping better than I have in my whole life. I still look at the door but it is not as scary now. I feel hope now that I will continue to get better.

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Healing from PTSD

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I am currently healing from PTSD and I am in year 2 of dedicated healing. Below are the topics I will be discussing in the video:

Insomnia
Nightmares
Night Terrors
Flash Backs
Intrusive Thoughts
Sadness/Hopelessness/Otherness
Anxiety
Self Hatred
Anger/Hostility
Hypervigilance
Suicidal Thoughts
Disassociation

 

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Goal: Stop Being So Damn Hard on Myself

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As I started my healing process last year I made a promise to myself that I would stop being so hard on myself about every little thing I could possibly be hard of myself for. I came to realize that I was treating myself much like the people in my life who were abusive. I did not let myself rest very often or let myself have is that I wanted. I second-guessed myself at every turn and I minimized my own feelings and abilities for the comfort of others. I had a broken record of complete and utter bullshit filing cabinet in my mind as to why I wasn’t able to do things or do anything right. I would literally mentally beat myself up if that I did not meet my own unrealistic expectations that eerily matched the unrealistic expectations of abusive people that have been in my past. The words in my head were not mine. It was the echoes of the things said in the past still haunting me. Insults and untruths which I am still working on processing and accepting them for what they are.

I have gone through most of the bullshit and even proven some things wrong with concrete evidence akin to “Oh yeah? Watch this, Motherfucker.” What seems to be left now are remnants. The things that I have to be hard on myself now are nothing now that my brain is really and truly started to make some shit up. For example I was being hard on myself about not updating my clip store or my video diaries on a daily basis and nobody really gives a fuck about that. The world is not going to end if I don’t update something on a daily basis.

When I really thought about this I had to laugh. Is this really all that’s left that I can badger myself about? Is this it? Is this all you’ve got? YES! I feel elated that I have hit this point where I can laugh at what a hard ass I am when it comes to myself instead of feeling blah and continue to beat myself up. Laughter is a game changer. Immediately, it changes my focus. Laughter is cathartic like crying the more fun and less puffy face.

I filmed a video diary somewhere along the way in January that talks about this very thing. I laugh in the video about how hard I am on myself and that I don’t really have anything to be hard on myself for anymore. And this is true! The feeling of elation is now turning into acceptance and into a soft smile for myself out of love. Yep, that is me. I’m doing OK.

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Big Decision

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I’ve decided to downsize and move to a smaller place. Part of me feels like it may be holding me back to have all this extra space and stuff and possibilities of things that I no longer really want in my life. This place reminds me a bad times in my life. I don’t think there is any amount of work I could do on this place and not feel slightly disgusted with it. The positive thing about moving from this place is that it is a life-changing opportunity. It really scares the crap out of me to make this big change, but I think it’s can be for the better. I can look forward to a quieter place to work, less to clean, less upkeep, and no triggers from the new space. The new place will be in a new part of town , so there will be even less reminders. I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can go while living in the space that I was abused in. Right now, every room has some sort of memory that hits me as soon as I walk in. When I’m away from the house I noticed that I am happier and my mood is lighter. When I’m home, I tend to want to curl up in a little ball or my demeanor changes more like cranky and angry sort of tone. I don’t want to live my life like that anymore and I don’t feel like I’m running away from this place. It’s just time to move on and get on with my life and live for myself.

Here are the pros about moving to smaller space and downsizing because I’m terrified and I need reassurance that this is the right choice:

closer to family/my support system
more money to expand current business ventures
lower monthly bills
24-7 gym and pool access without having to drive
less clutter
more natural light and windows to look out of
no more sticker plants in my feet or the dog feet
no more triggers when I walk into a certain room
much quieter neighborhood so I can concentrate on work or enjoy a quiet evening
Move forward with the next stage of my healing in my life
Able to donate more and contribute to someone in need through downsizing
The new place is more private
No more home repairs or upkeep
Don’t mention that it’s quieter?

Here are the Cons of moving and downsizing, these are the things that are stressing me:

I will have to deal with a lot of people in order to downsize
I have pride issues with having a smaller, cheaper space
I will be giving up spaces that I would use for work and art projects
I would be giving up having my own space for possible shoots
If I do want to shoot with other people I will need to rent a space
Packing, moving, and deciding what to keep is frustrating

Now that I’m looking at the list of Pros versus the list of Cons, the cons seem a bit silly to me. They’re all centered around self-doubt and shitty feelings that would only be temporary with the gain far outweighing the losses. I look to what’s really inside me and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can tell that the Cons list is just me trying to hang on to an old life that I don’t want anymore. Change is scary, but it is necessary to move forward in order to heal myself and feel better. All of these temporary inconveniences scary moments are just shit I will have to deal with to move and downsize are nothing compared to continuing to live in a place that is holding me back. It’s too comfortable and too easy to stay here and live in my old patterns and remember the abuse that occurred here. I have been reading about breaking out of comfort zones and that’s what I’ve been doing my entire life. I’m really good under pressure and I know deep down I will be thankful for this decision down the road.

So this stage of my healing and journey through life begins…

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Comforting and Horrifying – Free Writing

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This is free-writing or that’s what I’m calling it and the English majors can piss off. This is a spill of my thoughts onto the page. I’m not interested in correcting it, its raw and my words, my truth. I don’t know why I still feel defensive about what I am doing but I do. Before anyone can bitch and moan and criticize me, I’m already explaining. I expect it. I’m used to it. I’m used to being told to shut up and that my pain is not “Appropriate” and no one cares. Here goes everything…

I am not alone. I am not alone in feeling this type of mental pain and anguish. I find the thought both comforting and horrifying at the same time. I wish I was the only one now as that would ease some of the pain of the world but that’s not possible. I am not alone in being raped as a child. I am not alone in once being a wife that her husband thought he could just do whatever with because he was entitled. I recommend NOT trying to find others online that have been through these things. Many are gone in an attempt to end their pain. Does it end it? No one really knows.

The decision to stay here and not kill myself is yet another selfless act of protecting those I love and care about from from that kind of pain. I’m preventing myself from hurting them. I gave a lot of thought to how I would do it and realized that if I completed the planning and carried out my death, I would damage the people that I cared about the most and more than myself. I came to realize that they would blame themselves and they do not deserve one once of the pain of self blame.

Others have used this love to hurt me and sometimes to hurt them. Not allowing certain acts and standing up for myself, threatening to tell, got my family hurt. This manipulative grooming and cruelty was never my fault yet I was told many times by the men who raped me. I hear echoes of this in our culture and its painful but do I speak out or try to ignore it? Ignoring it does not work. Once its in the engine it becomes part of the mechanism itself. It seeps into everything and destroys happiness until someone somewhere tells us that we don’t have to suffer. Its not our fault, they believe us, and that we can heal.

I don’t know if I can heal. I want to believe I can. I thought healing and getting past things was and end to thinking about it, remembering it, or being triggered. That’s not what healing is according to experts and other survivors. When I learned that healing is really just being able to deal with the memories when they come up and they are part of my life forever, I felt devastation. Devastation was followed by half-ass acceptance followed by denial and around this circle I went, mourning yet another lie of rape culture…that you can get over it and its gone.

I think about that stupid lie I was told and I realize more now about feelings and memories combined with my own life experience that my use of denial actually may have kept me more sane than I can imagine. Why did these people just expect me to be fine after this? Why is this an expectation of fall apart or be just fine and dandy, nothing is wrong, FUCK, sometimes I hate that I bought into the lies but what else did I really have to compare it too? I’m still working on forgiving myself and being nice to myself. I constantly have to forgive myself, my child self, my adolescent self, my adult self as a young woman. I have to forgive my older self now for quirky things that annoy me about myself. Yes, I get annoyed with myself and my sometimes neurotic feelings but then again, those are not my words either. Given the events of my life, how would someone be. What would they think.

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When I Wasn’t Silent Anymore…What Happened?

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So what happens when you aren’t silent anymore? What happens when you tell people you were abused as a child and raped as a young adult? I can’t tell you how your experience will be. For me, it was so scary but I felt like that’s really the only option I had left besides suicide. Keeping what had happened to me a secret was killing me. I was thinking of ways that I would kill myself. I was done. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. As self reliant and stubborn about it as I am I was lying to myself that I could heal this pain on my own. I’ve known from a very young age that people can’t be trusted. I didn’t trust people with my truth. My fears were that they would twist every word I said like others in my life had or somehow use it against me. The reality is that speaking out just made it so no one could use it against me ever again. I was public about it, no more hiding or making up excuses to cover for my depression, anxiety, PTSD. Here is how I saw others react to breaking my silence about being sexually abused as a child and raped by my ex husband.

1. Most People Were Kind

This was the biggest shocker I had while I was tearfully and fearfully spilling my guts on camera about past sexual abuse and how it was effecting me in my adult life now, years later. There was about a 2 week period of time before the roving trolls came around to point fingers and try to poke me. The outpouring of love and support left me speechless. I worked hard to voice my appreciation and not just sit there dumbfounded by feeling of love from caring people. I cried a lot of happy tears and cried a lot of tears reading what others shared with me about their own experiences.

2. Some Blamed Me

There were the typical “you asked for it” for which my response is “3 year olds and sleeping people ask to be raped?” Since the people who raped me also blamed me for what happened (which is typical of abusive people) and used very similar wording to basically treat me horribly. They were also way more upset that I had a wishlist then the fact that I was raped. I really can’t say that I was surprised by these people. It makes me wonder how many of those people that reacted by victim blaming respected boundaries. I don’t know those people and don’t want to know them. I blocked them and left a statement saying I wasn’t going to argue with them. Little rounds of trolls still come wandering by my blog, websites, or YouTube channel and try to poke at me to see if I’ll bite. I don’t. I block and move on. Life is too fucking short to listen to bullshit anymore. I don’t need to defend myself. I didn’t do anything wrong.

3. Some Were Inspired

This is the most positive things that has come out of breaking my silence. Other people have felt hope and encouragement from things that I have shared. They talked about mental illness and depression, anxiety, and other mental health topics that they hadn’t talked about before. When I spoke my truth and talked about what was going on with me, others realized that they did not have to carry their burden alone either.

Negatives:

People are jerks. We already knew this though because that’s the main reason that many survivors don’t ask for help or talk about their abuse at all. Typical bullshit grasping for anything in a desperate attempt to silence/blame the survivor(EPIC TROLL FAIL,HA!).

Positives:

I don’t feel like so much of an outsider now. I feel more determined to treat myself better. I have learned to not interact(as much) with negative people or trolls, just block and move on. I don’t shut up. I have more confidence to stand up for myself personally. I always stood up for myself on a professional level but now I feel like I can carry that through to my personal life. I take breaks from social media when I need too. I am on my own side now. I wasn’t for years but I am now. I’m healing. 🙂

I’ve worked very hard to amplify the positive people in my life. I write down what they say that really helped me to smile that day and hang it on my inspiration wall. This wall has printouts, post-its, cards, letter, ect from people who reached out to me and took the time to tell me that I matter and that they care. I look to this wall when I need a pick me up and when I don’t just because its just a great example of human kindness. I need a reminder that those people exist. Everyone really was helpful even though I couldn’t bring myself to accept the help they offered. Knowing that they were there made a huge difference.

So, that’s pretty much what has happened from me talking about the effects of childhood sexual abuse and partner rape has had on my life. I can’t say that if you tell someone or the world about sexual abuse you have suffered that the response will be the same but know that there are kind people in the world. There will be jerks no matter what you are doing, how you are doing, when you are doing, there always someone there to make the poo face and point out any perceived flaw. I tell myself remember those people are mostly projecting their own crap onto me. that’s really their own issues, and some people like to bitch and whine no matter what is happening(block them with the quickness, the sooner the better). It is my life and I decide how to live it, not them.

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The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

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My copy of “The Courage to Heal” came in the mail today. My journey to find peace and to heal from the horrors of my childhood sexual abuse is still ongoing. I’m hoping to use this book and its guidance to further myself in the process of feeling better. There are tools I don’t have yet to deal with what I’ve been through.

I had a glimpse of what it would be like to be OK about a week ago. There was a span of time when there were no nightmares, no flashbacks, and when a painful memory came up, I was dealing with it without breaking down or hiding from everyone. I felt strong and happy. I was laughing, dancing around my house, and sleeping great. I don’t know why but it was like someone flipped a switch and I was teased with 2 weeks of peace and joy. Now I’m not having such an easy time and its painful. I yearn for that peace again. Honestly, I’m pissed that I’m having a few down days again. I’m pissed at who hurt me and I’m pissed at myself.

Instead of beating myself up and mourning what seems to be a loss of peace, I’m going to take it as a sign that I need to work on myself some more. There’s always more work to be done but I am so tired. This is when my brain tries to disassociate, get cynical, and basically be an asshole to myself. Its hard not to when I’m so frustrated with it all. Depression keeps trying to weasel its way back and despite my best efforts, it still wins some days. The hardest part is being nice to myself and having patience.

That seems to be what many people don’t understand about survivors. We are SOOOOO hard on ourselves. There is a troll that lives in many of us that barks about fear and doubt. We have less patience for ourselves then society has for us and let me tell you, THAT is one of the saddest parts of this whole thing. As much as I try and am patient with others, I’m not very patient or nice to myself when I start to feel sad again because I don’t want to feel it again. I don’t want to hurt more. Of course, this doesn’t help anything and is very counterproductive. As much as I tell myself these things, old habits are hard to break.

So, from the reviews I’ve read about this book, many survivors really benefited from reading it and doing the exercises. Many of the comments about it mentioned that some survivors felt like the book was written especially for them. I hope I find help within its pages. I’ll write more about this book after I have gone through some of the chapters and exercises. I’ll share some of what I’ve written in the exercises. Wish me luck!

 

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Art Therapy

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I saw this photo on Tumblr the other day and I had to save it. It spoke to me. I loved it. I am a little bit of a art horror(but horrible with names) fan but that’s not what stopped me in my tracks when I saw this piece. It made me feel and cry and it inspires me to create artistic expressions of my pain. Words really don’t do any justice to feelings I had before there were words to articulate them. I need to make this more of a priority in my life. It would be good for me and something just for me so obviously I’m resistant.

It reminds me of a lot of things all at once and its not a bad thing but a rush that takes my breath away. I see different things in my minds and feel different things each time I see it. I don’t know who the artist is but I wish I knew. Maybe I could get a print.

When I first saw it I empathized with the creature. I saw myself, how I feel on the inside some days. Broken and hurting and yearning for some beauty in my life that’s out of reach. I saw feelings of powerlessness and of deep sorrow. Then it reminded me that most people will see the butterfly but not the scars that we suffer on the inside. Our culture says to only share the butterfly or something is wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with any of us for feeling something other than being happy. If you could see my scars, I might look somewhat like this figure.