In the attempts at soothing myself I have done fucked it up(this is a good thing, keep reading). I made a doll to represent my child self. I wrote as the “points of view” and I’m remembering more of myself now, not just the parts. I have contacted some of the parts of myself that I had previously not allowed to be in the forefront of my mind. I feel guilty about that now and accepting I was doing what I thought best to survive. I feel strong enough to move forward in integrating myself more and living more as a whole me. Those parts that were held back aren’t happy about it. I get it.
I didn’t remember what happened to me until I was 10 years old. I locked away the memories of abuse so that I could go on. Parts of me did go on. Parts of me died. Parts of me became hidden. There are many parts of me. I’m remembering more of my life now. Modes, perspectives, that joke I always made about me and my 13 personalities, people sitting in a room discussing how to proceed and what to say. Mixed feelings, opinions, simultaneous feelings that contradict each other. Almost constant conversations in my head but not all with words, with pictures, mini movie reels, emotions, body language. Sometimes, it’s quiet and there is just pain. Sometimes there is just nothing. I call this the nothing.
I’m really in a lot of confusion and no fucking wonder I need so much rest with all that going on! It’s not that I can’t multitask, it’s that I am ALREADY multitasking. That’s why I can’t focus. I’m dealing with so much plus I’m really freaked out about things I’m remembering. Writing in a journal as my different parts. The handwriting changes. Que the ANXIETY! Write, delete, write, delete. Stop that! UGH! I do this with twitter tweets a lot. Sometimes, I almost share the conversation in my head, especially if it made me laugh.
What am I afraid will happen if I accept this about myself. Mental institution? Irrationally yes, realistically no. I’m more afraid of myself and getting in touch with more pain. I’m afraid of the parts of myself that I locked away because of what they carry. I’m afraid of who I might be if I let myself be more fully myself and not very carefully moderated, held back. You know what though, fuck it. It hasn’t killed me yet. I just have to go slow and honor/protect/love those other parts of myself. I relate to DID (Dissociative identity disorder) a lot but I don’t think that is what I have. I don’t have 2+ distinct personalities as in people in my head. They are all me. ALL THE ME’s! Talking about it in this way helps me to make sense of it.
I’m afraid of who I am when I take antidepressants. I stop feeling empathy. That part of me shuts down. Mostly for other people but coldly for myself as I’m more willing to sacrifice myself. Not for my animals and family but everyone and everything else goes to the guillotine to cut the ties, the threads, the connections that link from my heart. Off with their heads! I lost time. I wrote notes about having to destroy myself and tear myself down that I don’t remember writing. I do things that are not in my best interest but in the interest of revenge. I started trying to figure out how to get away with murdering people that had hurt me. That was no happy pill. There are over 120 antidepressant medications and a doctor would have me keep trying them all until I shut up or die. The reality is worse. The reality is that I could hurt other people. there’s a good reason I locked that part of me away. I’m in touch with that part now but I still chose my actions. With the medication, I couldn’t do that.
I’m afraid really all the damn time. I live in the brain chemicals of CPTSD. It is painful but I’m working on it. I’m integrating. I’ll make it through this too. I’m scared but I’m doing the damn thing anyway because fuck it, the alternative is death.
I could tell you about my suicide attempts, the thoughts of wanting it to end, and the events that led me to want to die. I have a lot to live for though and that is more exciting. Yes, I suffer, but whatever, I’m a human. I’ve been through a lot of terrible things but I am still here. For much of my life I didn’t want to live. I did it anyway. I carried on. Four years ago I crashed hard. I made it through. Changes were made. I moved twice and I’m moving on again to another career field. I am making my life livable again and it’s exciting! I still fight every single day.
With the recent celebrity suicides in the news I realized that I WANT TO LIVE! I am not feeling suicidal or scared that I will hurt myself lately. I feel like I am on my own side and will get through whatever CPTSD throws at me while I’m healing. It’s all healing, even the shitty things like memories of abuse, nightmares, flashbacks, disassociation all part of processing trauma. I know I will get a but choked up with emotion and gratitude but here it goes…
What have to live for(in no particular order):
Pets – Have you seen my good rescue Doggos? Lily and Buster are amazing and help me so much by just loving me. They were also abused in their pasts but we all have a good life now. The good doggo life with lots of love, cuddles, hugs, play, FOOD, and peace.
Family- They love me unconditionally. I feel the same. It’s a fierce love that doesn’t seek to control but support and allow me to be me, whoever that is or what I’m going through. I know hurting myself would also hurt them and fuck that. I am the joking silly one. I want to make them laugh as much as possible with my silliness and love themselves as much as I love them.
Books to read- Since many were held back by bullshit discrimination, I’m excited to read new authors that are not the traditionally published. Dumbass humans that can’t figure out that other humans come in different colors, shapes, sizes and genders, sexuality, preferences, and it takes all kinds of people for the world to work. Anyway, there are blogs and books from people I would have never been able to learn from before producing content that I am excited to pure into my brain!
Books to write- I have a story. It will be healing to tell it. Maybe my life can help someone else.
Positive contributions to make like- Yes, I have an agenda if I am going to stay. My aspirations in life have to do with helping others to heal, sharing info, teaching healthy coping methods. I have a lot to learn still but that’s also another exciting part of life for me.
Art to create- I’m a sculptor at heart and I am making my ceramics studio happening. I’m also painting more and enjoying the chaos of watercolor. I have notebooks of sketches and ideas.
ME! – I am still figuring out who I am underneath all the dissociation, coping, and other CPTSD symptoms. Who I am is nothing like the abusive people told me I was. I don’t need anyone to tell me who I am anyway. Now that I love myself a little I want to go shout it to the damn rooftops! I LOVE ME! I’m already a loving person but I feel like my heart had grown even larger. That also means I’m more protective of myself and my own well being.
Future- Who knows what opportunities will arise? I plan to be here for it.
People(YES,REALLY? I KNOW,WTF!?) Yes, people. There are amazing people out there. We focus on the jerks but there are also people that are just well, flat out fucking amazing human beings. They inspire me to learn, grow and love. They inspire me to live. Some of those people are reading this post right this very moment! Thank you to everyone that comments and shares my posts as well as their own experience.
There is more but that’s the short version. This could be a book all in itself.
I miss touch. I don’t trust touch, but I miss it. I’m afraid of kindness and nice touches. I’m tensed up for the worst, the pain, the coldness and the searing pain. I am armored against it. I am afraid of touch. My sense of safe touch is not accurate. Like language, abusers used soft touch to lure trust and cultivate the want for safe loving touch only to take advantage of that trust. That is grooming. How can I tell who is grooming me? I realize my solution was to go extremely slow in connecting with someone and allowing closeness. I’m doing that, but I don’t think it is intentional, I’m realizing I’m doing it. Anyone frustrated with my pace can go find someone who is more compatible with what they want/need. This left me confused. Abusers gaslighted me further. Society reinforced it. Society gaslights me. All the mixed messages and bullshit and excuses for abuse.
My feelings about being a human: (This is disassociating.)
I don’t like it. I don’t feel good in this form, in this shape, with these horrible thoughts. I feel like an imposter human that must fake it, but I can’t fake it any longer. There is all the pressure to be this or that or achieve, change, grow, heal when I can barely remember my life some days.
All this pressure, all these expectations, how can one keep track. So many conflicting messages and demands and judgments that conform or die mentality. Make it stop. I can’t make the thoughts stop. The run in my mind like rabid angry squirrels fighting for territory. They shriek, and they scratch. I scream inside but no one can hear me but me.
I’m cut off from remembering much of my life. I can’t remember names of common things, not names, and…what was I talking about. Some shit anyway.
I realized lately, AGAIN, that I seem to lose connection. Like lose connection with people I care about. Like it is just gone sometimes, or fuzzy if my brain is trying to determine if they are dangerous. It is awful. I must rebuild connections a lot to keep them. It embarrasses me. I feel like people won’t understand. Some people seem to act so familiar to me and that freaks me out too. Like already assuming friendship and closeness before much discussion. Fuck that, people that try to decide how close I am to them get cut out. Cut. Connection lost. At least there is a reason there. This happens to myself. I lose connection with loving myself.
CRS…can’t remember shit. More disassociation. I just kind of freaked out about what I wrote. I write and can see how someone could take it wrong, misinterpret, see some malicious intent in my words but there really isn’t. It’s difficult to be close to me, even for myself.
How can I feel bad about what I wrote when I’m basically leaving everyone alone and not hurting anyone just trying to live a peaceful quiet life? Let me count the ways. Wait, those words in my head about how I can feel bad aren’t even my words. I’m not even saying them. It’s an echo from another time. Who said it? Who cares, it’s fucked, and I will not accept that negative talk as the truth. This is a symptom of my CPTSD. What is real? What is a symptom and what is just part of what everyone else feels that doesn’t have cptsd? Do I really need to parse that out? Nahhhh.
I think I am fractured. I feel many ways, not just the binary 2 extremes, but all sorts of ways. The different perspectives talk in my head and discuss things. They interrupt each other too. They are good at problem solving. Many times, I get overwhelmed and confused. Then I disassociate more and feel like I am the nothing. My mind spins and the thought and emotions are spinning too fast for me to keep up. This paragraph was scary to write. Post it anyway! Fuck it!
Just tried to go back and fix what I wrote so it wouldn’t piss anyone off to make some shitpost troll comment or discouragement. I’m vulnerable. I can’t tell criticism from people being assholes. I added more to the 1st paragraph but I didn’t go read what triggered the bad feeling about myself. This is honest and my feelings right now. I don’t have to edit them for anyone. If someone hates me now well then good, that means I’m still alive to piss someone off by being myself. Spits venom that I just figuratively coughed up instead of chewing on it.
May 28,2018- I hesitated about posting this but fuck it, I’m just going to share. It is mine. It is what it is. I don’t feel like the writing above today but there are a lot of days that I do feel like that. Writing it down helps to get it out of my head and can sometimes quiet it down a little. Like a release of the pent up whatever that shit is. I don’t like it, I don’t even like writing about it but it’s part of how I’m healing myself. I write a lot and don’t share much of it. Reading what I wrote on the days I’m suffering more helps me to be more compassionate. I can step aside and see myself as a person suffering. It is still very difficult for me to be compassionate in the moment but I am working on it.
I am very strict and hard on myself. I usually feel like I am not doing enough even if I am doing the best I can at the time. Yesterday, I felt worthless and that I wasn’t doing enough for myself to make a living WHILE putting in hours of work and getting a lot done. This goes back to my self-worth and my low opinion of myself. Through research I learned that this attitude towards oneself is common with survivors of abuse and very common with survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
To combat these feeling I write down what I accomplished. I measure my results. This is one way I can quickly document and prove to myself that I am, in fact, making progress. It’s a fact that I am a very capable person that is able to make shit happen. My strict non-compassionate self view conveniently forgets that I am battling Complex PTSD. This crappy self view is part of my Complex PTSD.
What I accomplished:
Put groceries away
Food, water, bathroom stuff for the doggos
Uploaded many gigs of video content
Edited 3 videos and rendered each in 2 different formats
Wrote a blog post
Created 2 animations for modulated class
Reread some marketing information/did some research
Schedule updates for 8 days with descriptions and keywords on 1 passive income stream website
Completed my Top 50 Project
Somehow fixed my wireless mouse
Took a bath and washed my hair
My takeaways from writing this list is that I am getting a lot done. That negative attitude towards myself is not based on my current reality. I can, with work, change my perception of myself by reminding myself that I am doing the best I can in my current circumstances. I am not lazy nor worthless when it comes to handling business to make a living despite all the challenges my mental health throws at me. I’m still surviving every month. My symptoms of Complex PTSD worsening temps me to be cruel to myself and berate myself for backsliding. The truth is that there really is no backsliding. There is no back. There is now. Waking up every day and doing the best I can is good enough.
Remember when I said that I am very strict with myself and I framed it as a bad thing. Here’s where I can turn this strictness into a good thing. I can be strict with how I’m allowed to talk to myself. I’ll show myself the proof that I am enough over and over again. Catching myself doing it is the key to changing that behavior. I have to stop the abusive cycle in my head. The “not good enough” feelings also have to do with anxiety and safety. It’s complicated and there are a lot of layers to everything. Life is all kinds of bastard that way.
My anxiety and insomnia are back again. I’m in another PTSD Episode. This happens and will happen again and again as I move through my life. The duration of the episodes get shorter and recovery time from the episodes grow shorter. I am becoming more resilient by practicing self care and self compassion like my life depends on it. Because it does. I feel more prepared to take care of myself now. Knowing what is happening and having a plan to take care of myself helps me so much during times like these. I’ve got this and I’m cranky about it all the same. I’m surviving on meditation, love, coffee, and a Spoonie/Goonies Never Say Die attitude.
I hope you are having a better day, dear reader, than I am. If you are having a crappy day too, know that I stand there with you in solidarity. Deep breathing and mindfulness meditation have been the most helpful for me. Art and writing in my journal when I need to express myself more. The insomnia has been creeping back as my anxiety worsened. I’m going to have to focus on sleep more this month. People talk about healing as some wonderful spiritual positive experience but the reality is that it hurts.
This month’s mantra is “Keep it Moving” and I plan to do just that. I am being more active and focused on myself. I refuse to let Complex PTSD kill me. Like I said before, I live.
I used to think being healed from complex PTSD and child sexual abuse meant that I didn’t have any lasting effects and my symptoms would be completely gone. I was told by many uneducated people to just get over it, move on, let it go, ect. Here’s the thing though: I’m not choosing to hang onto anything. Complex PTSD is not a choice. I can choose to recover but healing from trauma is a long messy process. If I could just choose to be healed, I SO WOULD! You have no idea how much I want it to be as simple as choosing wellness but the reality is that takes more time than anyone has the patience for. Relearning how to human and to learn(possible for the 1st time) healthy coping techniques takes time.
When would I consider myself healed? I wouldn’t. I know that may sound harsh but stay with me. If I could acknowledge the trigger or memory without it ruining my day or take longer than a few minutes to get back to life before the trigger. To be able to set it down as soon as it jumps on my back with love for myself and not the seemingly automatic reaction of anxiety, fear, and negative self speak. I don’t think that healing means that I forget. It will always be there. Being healed is handling the triggers and feelings in a way that is not detrimental to myself is the goal. Healing from child sexual abuse along with the other traumas that make up my complex PTSD is a lifelong process. It’s a journey and not a destination.
My focus now is to be compassionate with myself through all of this. It’s what I have denied myself thinking if I wasn’t hard on myself, I wouldn’t do it. I had and still have a whole myriad of untrue reasoning about myself that I’m working on. Basing goal posts according to someone else’s standards or their timeline is counterproductive. They aren’t me so they don’t get to judge or dictate what healing looks like for me. I get to do that. I have to do the work, ME, not them. It’s so easy to sit and judge someone’s behavior or doing the recovery work rather than fixing your own crap, right? Other people can be supportive and compassionate or shove off. There is no need for tough love, criticism of how I live, recover, suffer, live, or achieve my goals.
I am happy to report that I have been doing a LOT better when it comes to putting myself 1st and sleep. According to my tracker technology, I have been getting an average of 9 hours a night for over a month now. I still wake up a lot but the amount and quality has increased. My life and mental well being have greatly improved. In fact, according to my tracker technology I am averaging 9 hours a night. This is a huge change from the rest of my life. I’ve had chronic insomnia for decades. This is proof to me that things can get better. It just takes work and dedication. I can do that. I’m doing it! More sleep has reduced a lot of my complex PTSD symptoms including anxiety and anxiety attacks. I have a self care sleep routine that is working.
There are a ton of other things I do which I mentions in another blog talking about my Complex PTSD toolbox pt1 and Complex PTSD toolbox pt2. Check those out for more info. All the things at once are overwhelming for sure but focusing on thing at a time works for me. I focus on 1 thing and then build on that. I know I’m going to have up and down times now but I have a plan and several plans depending on what is going on.
Knowing what is happening so I can help myself has been life changing. Before I practiced mindfulness and check-ins with myself I was living in a reactionary state that was extremely difficult. I really didn’t know what was happening or what to do. I would just suffer and wait for it to pass. Taking action to help myself through whatever symptoms arise has lessened the amount of time it takes to be functioning again. There are still times when it seems like nothing helps but in those times I can practice compassion with myself.
Last night I had fitful sleep filled with nightmares. My brain is working on healing 24-7. Lack of restful sleep makes my daytime symptoms with complex PTSD flare up and become more difficult to deal with. One method of working through what I’m experiencing in my healing process is to talk about my experience. Share it, write about it, make a video or audio and talk. The other is visualization with “rewriting” what happened in the nightmare. While pacing around my house trying to cope with the energy that anxiety dishes out I decided to rewrite my nightmare. I said what happened but then I talked myself through visualizing a different set of actions that I took and a different outcome than the dream. It’s also MY visualization so I can control the whole thing start to finish.
In this new version of the now fading memory of the nightmare I was brave and stood up for myself. I did not cower behind the door and look frightfully out the window. In my rewritten version of the nightmare I opened the door, walked outside and faced the scary person in the dream. Already it went from a nightmare to a dream. I’m the hero in my dream and I tell this (no longer scary) person that I snatched their identity to make them basically faceless to piss off. I take the gun from them and they leave. I went over and over the story until I was able to tell the story out loud without getting upset. I pushed past upset and went through the dream until the end. This helped me feel more empowered and strong. The original nightmare doesn’t matter now because I rewrote it.
Visualization is very powerful and I use it a lot to help me cope but also see different perspectives of the same issue. This is my way of problem solving. This was not easy for me at first but like everything, practice creates new pathways in the brain making it a little easier each time. I think my nightmares are a way for my brain to process multiple traumas and stitch the details together into something confusing and terrifying. Even if the nightmare is something that 100% happened I can still visualize and talk myself through. The more I do this, the more confident I am with my ability to help myself. It can take what would be possibly days of being upset to a few hours. This doesn’t always work but when it does I feel like a super hero. As I said before SPOILER ALERT, I don’t die due to my CPTSD, I recover and live well.
I quit my job, my business, my career. I worked really hard for over a decade. I adapted and tried my best. I simply don’t have the emotional energy anymore. In order for me to keep going I have to put have to put my needs aside. I can’t do that anymore. I quit. I passed this test and lived. I chose myself. I’m really sick and down. I really really really don’t want to be in this dark place right now.
I’m really sad about it and it’s added to this new level of healing I’m in that includes grieving…lots of it. I almost tried to explain more but it sounds well, kind of like gibberish but that’s the healing process. I’m sad that I won’t accomplish some of the things I set out to do. I’m sad that my income will most likely suffer more due to this choice. I’d sad that I cannot do the job I love so much. I still love it and miss it.
So, what now? Well, I’ve been studying another business for a long time that will use many of the skills I taught myself in the adult industry. All the hours slaving away at updates, copy, video editing, seo, creating web pages, membership areas, getting payment processors integrated, configuring wordpress, plugins, ect will pay off in my next adventure. I’ve already gotten started but it’s not quite ready yet. What is holding me back is self confidence most of all. I’m working on it a little at a time when I’m feeling lucid along with the other hundred things I’m trying to fight with in my mind. I am way more sick than I let on most days. I do that for everyone’s benefit and to keep that little bit of denial alive so I can pretend to be ok. I can’t anymore and it’s heartbreaking.
I know I have been away and not posted in awhile. I haven’t felt like talking much. I had too much to process. This decision was very difficult and still is. I’m not going away though but I’ll be switching all my social media around for my new adventures. I still need time but I’m getting there. Thank you all for reading and the support you show me. I appreciate all of you even when I’m too sick to be online. One day at a time. I’m still here.
I wanted to let you know that I will be starting several series on my Youtube channel. I want to lean my channel away from me being a performer and for my channel to be more informative about complex PTSD. My hope is that someone else with PTSD, depression, or other mental illness and are inspired to love themselves and work on healing or doing whatever needs to be done to feel better. If a goofy Midwestern gal can heal and get better, they can too. Don’t give up, it can get better! So yeah, I do have an ulterior motive here. I want to change the world as much as I can in a positive way as long as I’m still here and breathing. That doesn’t mean that I still won’t be a performer or that I’m going to stop creating videos for entertainment purposes. No way! I’ll do both and probably challenge a lot of stereotypes and beliefs along the way. GOOD!
Anyway, here is another Sarah Blake Video Diary with me talking about my experiences living with complex PTSD. I always want to do these daily then hit a quiet patch in my healing. That’s ok because I have other videos to create having to do with coping and definitions to inform others about complex PTSD. Onward!