Relax.

15 Sep

Over the weekend lots of decorating and crafty stuff was done. Feels great to be in this home where I can see the sun light pour in through the windows  and feel at ease. In that regard, I realize how much my environment affects me. Of course not completely, but I have more of a sense of how crucial it is for mental health.
I feel my feelings and know that I am in a safe place where I can deal with them and examine them now. They are not so overwhelming. It is very empowering. When I feel triggered I can deal with it in a safe place and in doing so, I am allowed some breathing room between myself and my feelings. It is then that I am able to discern what the fuck is going on as opposed to reacting by rote.
In the former environment I felt threatened and unsafe. I would experience triggers and feel as though I was not working hard enough to heal, and that had to be the reason I was not feeling better. It took some time to realize that idea was fucked. I try HARD at making a go of things and yes, there’s a lot one can do to make things synergistic, but at some point I had to acknowledge that I was trying, but the environment was sickly, and I had to disengage from it.
At some point, I began to believe I was not the problem. That means at some point I stopped believing that I did not deserve comfort and safety. For that I am thankful.  Thankful for feeling like a toad in a pot of water that is slowly heating because instead of boiling, I got angry and got out of it. I am thankful for the knowledge that even though I was told most of my young life I did not have worth, I know that is a big, ugly, sinister and manipulative lie. I recognize the feeling of that lie more than I ever have. For that I am grateful, because it means I care about what happens to me.
Somehow the grand mystery of self care is becoming less of an enigma. It does not mean getting drunk and/or going on a cruise, or getting a manicure. For some that may be a good idea, but self care is all about yourself, so it’s only what is restorative to you. I kept wishing someone could give me a manual on self care and I could call it a day. However, it is something we must learn for our own health and safety, and something we learn from self exploration and self awareness. I don’t find the idea of getting a massage pleasant at all, so that is not self care to me. I may have to watch a few Joan Crawford movies and paint my own nails. The point is self care is as varied as the people practicing it. The manual, so to speak, seems like so many other things…to be written as you go through it. Which brings me to a quote from Ricky Gervais, which I will use to close this post:
“Relax. No one else knows what they’re doing either.”

Hang your head, or hold it high.

11 Sep

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, there was a young woman who fancied herself an expatriate. Surly in her regard for her home country, she would tout her non-belief and share it with anyone willing to listen. She, like many other inhabitants of her country, was not poor, but not wealthy either. She did have just about everything she needed and yet she found contempt for this place.

One morning, after a lack of sleep and and motivated by obligation, she geared up to take care of some personal business. That was the morning the inhabitants of her country (including her) sat with bated breath as a thousands of citizens died a senseless and horrible death. Glued to television screens and radios across the world, people saw horror manifest before their eyes. Bodies flying from skyscrapers and transmissions from the poor souls that knew their last moments were ahead, the sounds of large structures slowly giving way to become rubble, shaky amateur camera feeds showing the horror was real and hearing people cry out in disbelief, pain, and fear-that was what filtered through her eyes and into her mind.

It took a few days, but after the shock began to dissipate, she began to reassess the way she felt about this place in which she lived. The bad mouthing stopped. The generalizations about her country stopped.

I became happy to live in the United States after September 11th, 2001. I saw so much compassion in so many people that it changed me. We were all devastated, and I noticed people being exceptionally kind to one another.  I stopped believing the United States was just a bigger version of Texas and started to look at the privilege I have by being born in the U.S. I am grateful for my change of perspective.

This day, however, is just a collectively dark one. There is  a solemnity that is almost palpable. We will never forget those we lost. We cannot. It is embroiled into our minds as a flashbulb memory and a collective one in a way. It will always be with us. Our culture changed that day, as did our perspectives.

Weil Weil Weil…always a because, always something.

2 Sep

I could start out by saying “some things have changed,” but that is the nature of life. I see the tendency to look for certainty or fixed things and/or ideas, when there truly is none. However, I can’t take that shit straight up so I need to believe that sure, everything changes, but some things change so slowly that they seem fixed, and maybe that is what I need to get through the night.

I have a lot of preconceived notions (as I believe most of us do) about ethnic groups. This could be construed as stereotyping, but I do not mean it in such a way. I guess what I am hoping is that I do not offend anyone if I say something to the effect of “Germans are excellent with engineering.” I mean, they are! Look at those beautiful cars! It’s not to say other peoples do not excel in engineering, but the Germans are known for it.

I do not know what I would attribute myself or some of my characteristics to, because it is all such a typical American “smoothie” of ethnicity. German, Czech, Irish, and a bunch of other stuff. If I look at my ethnic make up as a pie chart, there’s a quarter German, a quarter Czech, and the other half of the pie is “insert common American Caucasian ethnicity here.” I bring all this up because I have this idea that I can call on different parts of myself to deal with certain situations. I could use ethnicity, gender, geography, or whatever to construct in my mind “where I get my work ethic from” or “don’t be a cold German bitch.”

After dealing with triggers that I didn’t anticipate this last week, I feel like I need to call upon the German portion of my construction and state a hearty “GENUG!” My discipline dictates that in this situation when I feel like I am not being heard, respected, or understood, Achtung, Baby- because my compassion has now become second to my survival.

In this state, those I trust are exempt. Those that have slighted me, hurt me, stolen from me, or infringed upon my loved ones, I actually pity you. You don’t know what you are dealing with, and little girls and little boys are told not to play with knives and scissors. YOU MAY GET CUT.

Here’s a crack of lightening.

19 Aug

Yesterday I spent most of the day trying to sort through my feelings. I could not be sure what I was feeling. I felt a lack of energy that was almost immovable. I found that once I sat and stopped trying to avoid feeling, that I was able to detect what it was. I was really angry. I am in a safe and healthy environment now, and looking at the environment I have physically had to occupy for the last four years is like looking at the opposite.

Dilapidated house with a yard that is slowly enveloping the structure itself, filled with insects and mold, be gone.

When I sat with my feelings yesterday, I pulled out a pencil and wrote in a paper journal, which is something that I have not done in some time. I let out the bile that I have held back. There’s more, but let’s start slowly.

Upon leaving, I felt oddly similar to how I felt after the maelstrom last year. I felt like I am recovering from being violated again.

Your complacency is damaging. I hope all the people you DO find the time for understand the gift you bring: your fickle attention and doddering self loathing, the nervous grin hiding the general ineptitude for LIFE. Making clams with nothing to support you but your own magical thoughts. Sign yourself away, you noble and damaged woman.

Feigned nobility is a feeble attempt at hiding your nature.

I take offense that you consider yourself a philanthropist. Philanthropist heal thyself-seething with hate behind frumpy dated clothes.

Bitter women that don’t smile belong in their stale hate filled worlds behind desks or with rulers ready. Thwarting kindness and self esteem like the pinched wrinkled faces of women praying incessantly in pews (no doubt for the demise of their enemies and neighbors).

I felt small. Abandoned. Worthless. Smited. Forgotten. Unloved. Burdensome. Guilty. Angry. Confused.

GASLIGHTED.

I felt as though your lack of responsibility inadvertently made me your enemy,

AND THAT IS NOT MY FAULT.

I didn’t do anything to deserve the way you treated my family and me. Maybe when you stopped you needing me you stopped caring. Does that make you an opportunist? Perhaps the worst kind, the kind that doesn’t own it and tells herself and the rest of the world the opposite. Perhaps then an opportunist and a hypocrite to yourself.

You have no enemy in me. I have no feeling for you. Neither enemy nor friend are you. The rare opportunity to meet a facet of me many do not lies in your hands. The diamond like facet that shines and blinds one’s eyes, freezes the skin. The cold, smooth gaze that looks through you, and recognizes more than you would like.

Enjoy the view.

Don’t Fence Me In!

31 Jul

There was an incident in my back yard 2 days ago. My neighbor was spraying weeds with weed killer and came into my yard to spray the fence that divides our yards. However, beforehand, my neighbor was in my back yard with a hatchet and chopped down a small dead tree that was butting the fence. I understand that he is maintaining the fence that he built between the properties. He is very meticulous with his yard and it shows. It is very well maintained.

In the time that he is performing his landscaping duties, I am sitting on my bed in pajamas. I see someone with a hatchet in my yard. I don’t recognize him because he is a bit heavier than he used to be, and he has shaved his beard. In my mind, there is a stranger with a weapon in my yard, dangerously close to my house. I was on the phone with my husband at the time I spotted the back yard marauder, and informed him of what was happening. I ended the call so I could “deal” with the situation.

I didn’t want to call the police because I felt that would be ineffective. I also felt a great deal of anxiety over the idea of answering and re-answering a shitload of questions asked by law enforcement that may or may not be relevant (in my opinion). I had a moment of confusion and then I felt my mind switch into conflict mode. I instantly think of a way to defend myself, and that I have to confront this threat. I thought about weapons to arm myself with and I chose a bow staff. Its basically a wooden mop handle, but I did a small amount of training with it about a year ago for self defense.

I grabbed the stick and went outside in my ill fitting shorts and t shirt and sneaked around the house to where he was. He didn’t hear me. I know this because when I spoke to him he was startled. I had the stick in a position so I could strike his head and asked him, “Excuse me sir, can you tell me what you are doing in my yard?” He had a jug of pesticide and a sprayer in his hand now, as opposed to the hatchet he wielded a few minutes before. He replied by telling me he was spraying the fence so the weeds would not be seen on his side. I asked him his name and he told me, and I realized it was my neighbor’s name. I still had the stick in position. I asked him why I didn’t recognize him if he was my neighbor. He told me he shaved his beard. I stared for a moment, then realized it was him, so I lowered the stick and said, “do whatever you want to the yard.” I apologized, and went inside.

I called my husband to inform him of what had happened, and he was quite relieved. We were both disturbed by the fact that the neighbor just walked into our yard without so much as an inquiry as to whether or not that was acceptable. If I were the sort to believe in owning a firearm, I would have taken it outside with me when I confronted him. That could have been disastrous. As it stands I had a stick pointed at his head and was ready to strike him. Not too cool, neighbor guy. He was violating the law by trespassing. And, he trespassed onto my property with what could be conceived as a weapon.

So here’s the skinny: I am left feeling like a violent person because I aimed a fucking stick at a guy’s head and was ready to hit him. I am not a violent person, but I have PTSD. I then think, why do I have that?  When I recall why I am angry. I have PTSD because I was tortured and raped by those who were also my caregivers and individuals that are supposed to be intrinsically trusted. It is not my fault. It is also not my fault that my neighbor has serious OCD about his lawn and boundary issues. Nevertheless, I must be blunt, I don’t give s shit.

The fact of the matter is I have PTSD and it is kicking my ass right now. Fuck the caregivers, fuck the neighbor, and fuck the idea that fences make better neighbors. The thing I am dealing with right now is increased social anxiety, free floating aggression, and an increased sense of vulnerabilty which equates to almost panic to me. The circumstances change but the outcome is similar each time. Nightmares, anxiety, hypervigilance, increased use of stimulants and sedatives, fear. That, my friend, is why I don’t give a shit about why I am triggered or what triggered me. The salient matter is the outcome. I don’t want it and I’m angry that it happened. I’m angry that I have PTSD.

It can turn a shadow into a monster. A sighting in the peripheral vision makes your heart stop, palms sweat, and instantly engage in planning escape or self defense. Yeah, my neighbor acted like a dick. I acted like fucking Jason Bourne. I am sick of being a prisoner to this way of thinking. I didn’t choose it, but I sure as hell “unselect” it now. I don’t know if that matters, though. It is programming that I am changing but it takes time. I don’t want it to take anymore of my time; I feel as if it has taken enough. I’m impatient. I want to feel okay and I don’t.

It fades after some time. Maybe a week, maybe just a few days. I’ve had nightmares the last two nights that have been disturbing. Hopefully now that I have identified what exactly is happening and how damn irritating it is, it will start to lessen. It has to.

Thanks for taking the time to read the words of a random human on this planet. Lots of love.

 

 

Cinema Inferno

21 Jul

Should I start this post with an apology for my absenteeism? I am sorry for the lapse, but life has done one of those things it is notorious for…knocking you on your ass. That is really only thing I can say is the reason for not posting. I have wanted to many times, but I didn’t have the energy. I also asked myself, “what are you going to say? More of the obvious? That I have a perspective different than most because of events during my development?” That gets old.

I am writing today to express some things because I need to, and writing is the “go to” for me. Fuck books and shit, I really write just because I have to. Why the hell would I have a blog for 2 years otherwise? But back to today’s need for expression. Today is the birthday of my mother.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANITA.

I know you worked with what you could, darlin’

But I can’t find any respect for your avoidance. I know you had to do what you had to do…

And I know I did not inherit my courage from you.

Know I feel free of guilt

Not that it would soothe you

But that is not my intention.

I came to throw salt

on your winter walkways and wailing wounds,

To declare “FIN”

on this documentary of the damned.

Roll credits…of which you get none.

 

 

What It’s Like To Starve Yourself

15 Jul Featured Image -- 1263

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Starving yourself is a lot easier than you might think. You start out with an itch, but one that comes from the inside, a feeling that fingers can’t reach. That feeling turns to pain, but not the pangs you’ve been promised. It’s a more hollow pain, like that ringing after you hit your head on something, the moment where everything hurts but is strangely clear at the same time.

After awhile, though, you just get tired. You find yourself wanting to go to sleep, even though it’s only 6:00 P.M., and you wonder why you feel this way. You had a full night’s sleep last night — actually, you overslept. You overslept the night before, too. In fact, you’ve been sleeping a lot lately. You stop to consider this fact and then you realize can’t remember the last time you ate. You know that you had to eat at some…

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