The Joys of Living with PTSD

learning how to cope

badthings07:

New song I wrote for an ex. He’s never been too far from my mind.

Originally posted on From the Abyss:

Softly nibbling at the frayed edges of my mind
I feel your presence slipping
Slipping away somewhere I can’t follow
Take me somewhere far, let’s go road tripping

And I can’t bear to hear your name
Your words are like a steel knife
Haunting me, haunting you
When does the pain end?

Memories call out to me, and I answer them
I’m swaying with your ghost again
Your hands on my hips make my body move
Rocking with you, is my only wish, my sin

And I can’t bear to hear your name
Your words are like a steel knife
Haunting me, haunting you
When does the pain end?

And I can’t bear to hear your name
Your words are like a steel knife
Haunting me, haunting you
When does the pain end?

When does the pain end?

-Barbara DeAnne Evans

View original

Baring Scars- My Refusal to Numb Myself

I think sometimes that we have a tendency to forget just how hard it is to keep going. It’s so much easier to cave, and fall back into old habits. They’re so comfortable, and they know us so well. Moving forward, almost always means getting rid of the stuff that will only hold us back, and this is no more evident than in the life of someone who has endured great trauma.

I do not ask for sympathy, nor do I ask for leniency. Instead I ask for you to just try to understand. I may not show it, but inside I am hurting. On the inside, I’m a complete mess, and there are moments that I would do practically anything to stop from feeling. The pain is an enormous ravenous beast, and it feeds on us. It feeds on me. Simply put, it drains the life, the energy, right out of me, and I can’t find a way out of its grip. Not always. What’s worse is I get so tired, that I stop caring about fighting it. I just want it to end, whether that means letting it drown me and then ebb away of its own accord, or it deciding I’m no fun anymore now that I’m not fighting it, and then moving on to someone/something else. Sometimes I wonder if the pain itself isn’t too familiar. Too comfortable. What would I do if I had the time away from it, and could just be. How would that feel? Would I be a different person? …Would I be “normal”?

All introspective questions aside, when the pain gets bad, the soul wants numbing. Just like any physical ache, where you take some pain reliever to ease it, the emotional pain also wants relief. Unfortunately, they don’t really make anything for that. Sure, there are anti-depressants, but since this isn’t a pain that heals fully, it’s the same thing as taking pain killers for a chronic condition. You’re not kidding anyone, including yourself, the pain is still very much there. This opens the doors to some pretty scary places. For me, I rely on pills. No kidding. I’ll admit it, fully and openly. When the emotional pain becomes too much, the only thing I want to do is pop pills. Numb myself. If I’m high on some narcotic, I can’t be bothered to feel whatever ugly memory or thought has decided to show up. Sure, the come down sucks ass, but damn if the world isn’t a brighter place for the brief moment in time that I’m high. I almost feel like I’m okay. Like… like, I belong for just the briefest of moments. I’m not some fucked in the head female who over-analyzes everything, and is a bit too sensitive to slights. No, I’m a woman again. A woman who doesn’t give a fuck what you think or say. I’m on top of the world, and baby, I feel no pain.

Pain. I feel your presence. I cry. I remember. However, like the past few times now, I will not let you push me back into habits that while comfortable, are no good for me. I will not pop pills. I will not numb myself. I will find that same confidence, that same attitude without them. I don’t know how, where, or when, but I will. You beckoned to me tonight, and for a second I thought I would cave… Not tonight though. I won’t do it.

I did not ever want to admit publicly to this struggle I have with pills, but at the same time I don’t feel like this is something I can stay quiet about any longer. I can honestly say the last time I popped pills to cope with emotional pain was last year when I was being kicked out and just shut down. Before then it had been 3 years. I am stronger than the lure of an easy out. I am. So are you if you’re reading this and have the same struggle. We can kick this habit to the curb, and we can find a way to remain confident, even in the face of pain.

A thought that has been circling my mind: perhaps what makes us beautiful is actually our scars. Bare them with pride. They are a constant reminder that we have survived to live another day.

Hearts Held Together With Duct Tape and Superglue

    One of the things you begin to realize as you go through the healing process after an assault, is that there are parts of you that are irreparably broken. It’s not that you don’t want to fix them, it’s that they can’t be fixed. Other things can be fixed, and they get fixed in time… if and when we are ever ready to handle those broken pieces. Regardless of whether or not they can be fixed, we try to superglue and duct tape the pieces back together anyway. This usually causes deformed shapes.  Honestly, most of the time I wonder if on the inside I’m like the hunchback of Notre Dame, just instead of physically being deformed, my emotions and means of processing the things around me are deformed. These internal deformities cause me all kinds of problems, but this even more compounded when a man is in the mix.

 From what I understand, no one likes to be rejected. You can correct me if I’m wrong, and you either are or know someone who greatly enjoys being rejected, but I have never met anyone who does. This sense of rejection, whether falsely or not, is heightened in the walking wounded. Every little action, behavior, and word is analyzed to death. What did he mean by that? By this? Obviously he’s rejecting me. Whether or not I was really rejected, probably remains to be seen. However, that is how *I* see it. Rejected. Every little slight, perceived and actual, beat down on every chink and hole in my poorly held together emotional state of being. It turns out that a heart held together with duct tape and superglue while missing pieces, has no real defense. Like any good captain though, I remain at the helm. I will go down with my ship.

     You may wonder why a person would allow another in anywhere near the chinks in their armor, if they’re not sure if they’re going to be rejected or not. Valid question. In my experience, it is better to open yourself up to the possibility of pain, then to keep everyone out until they have shown they will not reject you. Besides, they’re humans. Humans hurt humans. That person is going to hurt me eventually, might as well see what they do from the get-go, right?

     I have been up since 8am on Thursday. PTSD triggers have been pulled, and I can’t sleep. I feel insignificant. Unimportant. Unattractive. I want to vanish. It would be great to pack up my bags and just leave. No telling anyone, just leaving. Unfortunately, I can’t. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t run anymore. I will face this monstrous beast of laughing insecurity and torturous self-loathing head on. I want to bleed. I am feeling less than human again, and bleeding always serves as a release and reminder that I am human. I will not cave. I will not start a fight, nor will I harm myself. I can’t. I always feel so weak afterwards, like I might as well just concede defeat. There has to be a better way to remember I’m human; to get that release. These ugly things that I am reminded of as this latest episode rolls across my life like a tsunami, pick their way through the holes in my defenses even more, creating huge, gaping holes. I feel so beat up and used. I can’t seem to remember what it feels like to not feel like a broken doll. Again, I torture myself wondering, who the fuck could ever love a woman such as I? A woman who will not be able to love the way she wants to every day, as some days the dissociation is so bad, that I can’t feel a damn thing? I remember that I am supposed to feel something, but I don’t- nor can I be bothered to care that I don’t feel anything. 

     Some days, I can’t help but still wonder if it wouldn’t have been kinder and more humane if he had have just gone all the way and beat me to death. I was so physically changed anyway after he raped and beat me, what would a little bit more have done? I don’t know. Maybe if I could ever get to fucking sleep, I could feel differently. 

The Awkward Duckling

I’ve been left to my own thoughts for most of the day pretty much. My back went out early this morning, and I have been left in a lot of pain all day, including now. It’s probably time for me to make an appointment with the doctor and get referred to a chiropractor. None of this is the point of this post though, so let’s move on.

As I said, I have had a lot of time to think today. Most of my thoughts have not been the most pleasant. I refused to let them get me down though, and strove to remain positive. Insecurity is a bitch, and when it decides to make itself feel at home, it can be a pain in the ass to make leave. Like any unwanted guest, it’s oblivious to any and every hint that it’s not wanted. Most of my insecurities (and I’m willing to bet most of everyone’s), stem from perceptions and events in my childhood and adolescence.

I almost hate to write this, because I know some of my family follow this blog and they will disagree with my perceptions, or feel like they need to let me know otherwise. However, I know I’m not the only one to feel this way, and I’ve always believed in being honest. So here goes nothing. Growing up, I always felt I was ugly. I had my first boyfriend in high school, though he didn’t last long. Turns out, I hate clingers. After him, I dated a total of… drum roll please- one other guy. I just never got asked out. Seriously. I assumed this was because I was simply not attractive, however, I know guys I went to high school with who were attracted to me back then. They just never bothered telling me or doing anything about it. While the common sense part of my brain says that I should then not be affected by it, being told after you spent four years believing you were ugly that you were not, doesn’t help much.

That belief that I wasn’t very pretty carried on past high school, and still exists to an extent today. Even when I was in the military and actually had a pretty active love life, I believed that they were with me because I made them laugh and there wasn’t a prettier woman around. I do have a pretty good sense of humor, it’s been my saving grace many a time. After I got out of the military, I had men that I had served with who finally felt like it would be appropriate to tell me I was beautiful. I was shocked. I’m always shocked when a man tells me he thinks I’m beautiful, because I do not see it myself.  So, apparently I am not as ugly as I seem to think I am. Which brings me to my next question.

Why do we wait so long to tell someone they’re beautiful? Or sometimes not tell them at all? One guy told me after he found out I was shocked that he had just assumed I knew. Is that what it is? We assume someone knows how they’re perceived? Oh friends, family, and strangers, listen and listen well: do not assume. None of us are mind readers, and perceptions can be colored in so many different ways. I’ve talked about this with a very few other women I know, and I am not alone. Many of these women who I think are beautiful, have no idea they’re beautiful. No one has ever told them.

In a world where we are told to strive for perfection, but perfection is airbrushed, is it really so surprising that so many women have no idea how beautiful they are? After years and years of men assuming I knew the way they perceived me, but me never knowing, is it really so surprising that I get so insecure when I’m interested in a man? Since they assume I know the way they perceive me, I always assume that means they see me as not attractive. I’m not asking for anyone to decide to come up to me and tell me, “You’re beautiful”. It’s ok. One of these days I’ll figure it out for myself. I think. What I’m asking is for you to stop assuming things about people in general. Don’t assume they know anything you think or feel. Like I already mentioned, NO ONE is a mind reader. You have to let people know how you feel. I think if we all just spoke our minds more, and assumed less, our relationships would be so much stronger and easier.

Just a thought.

Stream of Consciousness Post #1

I don’t know if I’ll be doing any more of these, but I was in this weird place and couldn’t think of any other way to get it out. So I did a journal entry in the stream of consciousness style. This is what was the end result.

And no, I’m not going to explain it. Or apologize for it. Sometimes what goes on through my head isn’t pretty. Go read someone else’s blog if you’re looking for pretty.

 

Rage.

Cold, hard rage.

Breaking.

Breaking down.

FUCK.

Smashing shit, smashing your shit.

Fuck you.

Bleed.

Make me bleed….

I need to feel the pain,

The sweet fucking release.

HURT ME.

Why isn’t anyone listening??

Fuck fuck fuck.

Cold.

 

In other news, I now feel better. Still spun up, don’t know if I can sleep, but I feel better. Which brings me to my next point: do whatever is therapeutic for you. Those of us with PTSD can’t always control the way we feel, but we can work through it. Sometimes that means doing something, writing something, or saying something that others either can’t, or don’t want to deal with. Fuck them. The goal is to release, not make everyone else feel all happy and fluffy. Sometimes, you feel like what I just wrote above. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think it becomes a problem when you ignore it, not when you recognize it and find a way to release it. That is all.

I also should probably state that the way stream of consciousness entries work is that you write everything that pops in your head. You don’t question it. You don’t edit it. You don’t stop. Anything that comes into your head, you write it down. Sometimes you have a time goal, and you just write something like “I don’t know what to write” until your mind pushes something to the front. Other times, like the way I did it, is you just keep writing until your mind stops pushing things forward and there are no more words, just silence.  Have fun, and be well.

I’m sure I’ll hear back some interesting things if anyone has the balls to say anything.

-D

badthings07:

Poem I wrote. Not sure it makes sense to anyone else but me, but I wrote it and shared it anyway.

Originally posted on From the Abyss:

Blue fire raging through my veins,

It fuels this seemingly

Spinning

Chaos

Bloom.

 

With eyes wide open I see

Streams of red criss-crossing blue

Melting

Seamless

True.

 

Kind eyes searching from his face,

Cool, collected marble tastes

Breaking

Heartfelt

Love.

 

Racing through the outward spheres

Time slows down to tick tock tick-

Halting

Easy

Pain.

 

Arms sweeping wildly down shore

Collecting pieces of hearts

Healing

Secure

True.

 

There are no judgments found here,

Just understanding and ease

Molding

Careful

Trust.

 

Together, breathing as one,

We find ourselves moved to here

Warming

Laughter

Joy.

 

Accidents move so swiftly,

As to bind our confusions-

Calming

Solid

One.

 

-DeAnne Evans

View original

I Like My Eggs Unfertilized, or Adventures In The Meat Market

I was talked into going to the club. Those of you who have known me for a few years now know I hate the club. It’s a walking, grinding, thumping meat market. So much worse than bars. I went anyway. They’ve been trying to get me to go for a while now, because who doesn’t love dancing? I love dancing. I just don’t love clubs.

The biggest complaint I have about clubs, is everyone seems to feel they have a right to reach out and grab. It’s like if you enter a club, there’s this imaginary, invisible sign on your person that says “Grope me!” or “Cop a feel!”. It’s always bugged me (just ask my friends how I react to something simpler, like a cat call…. I lost count of how many shoes I’ve lost from throwing them at people and cars cat calling at me), but it’s even more disconcerting for me now. When you’re with someone you’re attracted to, you want them to want to touch you, but when in a club setting I’m pretty sure I am not attracted to and wanting that attention from 98% of the people there. Logic. Get you some. It is one thing to appreciate the looks of someone else, and an entirely different thing to think you’re entitled to touch. I’ve decided next person who grabs without asking is getting a fist to the face. I’ve been nice lately, which should weird out some of you, but no more.

Another thing I have a problem with is the sheer number of people in a space. Let’s get real, I was assaulted at a huge party. What do you think I think of when I’m at any other huge party? Yep. Freaks me the fuck out. I can’t relax. I can’t enjoy myself. I’m always on alert, making sure no douche is going to come up and feel entitled to even more than a grab or feel. I also don’t drink. How can I? I’m terrified I’ll get too drunk to do anything about an assault, should it happen again.

There are a few people that even in a fairly large crowd, I feel comfortable and safe enough with that I will let loose and drink. Even get drunk with/around. Something just says to me, “They’re not going to let anything happen to me. I’m in good hands.” I know some friends think I should feel that way around them, or more of them. How can I? I had other friends that I trusted there the night I was assaulted too. They said later that they felt something was off, but did they do anything? Say anything? No. And while I don’t outright blame them for what happened to me, I’m not trusting enough to just let loose and relax around a good 95% of people I call friends when alcohol and large groups of strangers are involved. I’m sorry if that’s hurtful. If you had have been through what I’ve been through, I think you could understand.

Anyways, now I’m all wound up, tight like a watch that’s been over wound and is about to burst from pressure. I’m stone cold sober, and I can’t sleep. Hello insomnia. How nice of you to drop by again. I’m hoping that since I caved and went out to the club, people will lay off from asking me to go for a while again. Maybe I can go another 2-ish years without stepping foot in one.

Wednesday Challenge: “Need” versus “Want”…

Wednesday Challenge: “Need” versus “Want”….

via Wednesday Challenge: “Need” versus “Want”….

READ THIS. Seriously.

What Good Is Being a Bird, If You Can’t Fly?

I was going to write about how being forced to talk about events has made me feel lately, but not now. I was recently informed that a friend of mine’s sister was murdered a few days ago. There are not enough words to aptly describe how I’m feeling right now. I remember listening to him talk about her… and this feeling of sickness overtakes me. She is about the same age as my own younger brother, and I just can’t… I can’t even begin to imagine how I’d feel if he were taken from me like that. I just can’t. It angers me to know that there are people in this world who are so selfish that they could end another’s life without even bothering to think about how this will affect the families and friends left behind. And don’t tell me he didn’t consider killing her a possibility… when you decide to get in a car and follow them several miles away WITH A GUN, the thought has crossed your mind. When you decide to pull that gun out and point it at them telling them to do something or else, the thought has crossed your mind. This wasn’t a spur of the moment reaction, this was to some degree, premeditated and if he hadn’t killed himself after taking this beautiful young woman’s life… you don’t even want to know what I’d want to do to him.

Friend, if you happen to be reading this, know this: I wish with every fiber of my being that this hadn’t happened. I also wish I could be there, because even though I have no words to act as a salve in the wound, I could bring you a beer. Or a tissue. Or shit, I dunno, SOMETHING. I’d give you the biggest hug I could and just be there. I know how much she meant to you, I remember our conversations at Offutt. I am so sorry.We talk as a people so often about how certain notions are romantic. One of those notions is the idea of a love that if it can’t have the other, no one else can. That isn’t romantic. That isn’t even love. That’s selfishness exemplified. It’s the ego, wounded by rejection, arbitrarily deciding whether or not the “offender” gets to live. How is that love? Men and women, listen. If you love someone and they decide to leave you, let them go. If you claim to really love them, then you must mean unconditionally, and if you love them unconditionally, them leaving should have no bearing on your love. It will hurt, yes, but as I have quoted before:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Do you see that? Do you understand that? I don’t give a flying fuck how much you thought you loved her, stalking her and then getting angry when you saw she was in a new relationship via her facebook was not okay. To get into a car with out-of-state tags and follow her for miles, to her boyfriend’s house was “seeking its own”. Getting into an argument with her and pulling a gun on her because she wouldn’t do what you wanted was “being provoked”, and ultimately pulling that damn trigger was not only thinking, it was DOING evil. I could have forgiven you for stalking her, and even for violently confronting her, but I can not ever forgive you killing her. I might not have ever met her, but what you did was irrevocable damage to my friend, her brother, and the rest of her family and friends left behind. Not to mention your family. You had a wife… did you even think about what this would do to her? You selfish bastard. May you rot for all eternity in hell.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Now that I got that emotional rant out of the way, how does that tie in to my title? Simply put, I’ve always felt like a bird, who flew away whenever and wherever she wanted. It’s one of the reasons I have never married, because I always felt like my would-be spouse wanted to put me into a gilded cage, and no matter how gilded or bejeweled, it was still a cage at the end of the day. Today, I feel like a bird who can’t fly, like a penguin. If I could fly, I’d fly to be with my friend. Instead, I’m stuck here, writing this blog. My heart hurts for him.

I’ve been feeling flightless for a little while though, to be fair. All of these appointments for my ratings board have taken their toll, and I have been on edge. Normal, day-to-day tasks have been difficult if not outright impossible. This is the longest amount of time I’ve been able to focus on any one thing/task in about a month. I’ve been having problems sleeping, and this lack of sleep causes even more stress, not to mention its effect on my speech. I hate it when my speech slurs and I can’t remember words. I feel like an idiot. This, of course, only exacerbates my stress levels and my speech worsens even more. I can feel so stupid, even though I know I’m not. I’m intelligent and capable of intelligent conversation, but on these days when I can’t count on my speech to be clear or understood… I feel so incredibly stupid. The lack of focus makes it impossible to get through my coursework, and then I feel guilty and ashamed of not having it done. This makes me want to hide, because I feel terrible for letting my teachers down. This- you guessed it- creates more stress, which means I won’t sleep, again, creating more stress, creating more problems…. Such a vicious, vicious cycle.

I am so tired.

I need to fly away. I need to spread these wings and just go, but I don’t know where to, and I don’t know when I can. For now, I really have to force myself to get these tasks done, because failure really isn’t an option. Failure would just be allowing myself to fall victim again, and I’m tired of that cycle. I’d love to find tips and tricks for making this easier, but so far haven’t found any. If any of you have any that you use, please let me know. I’d love to hear them.

On Being Objectified/The Walking Wounded

There is just about nothing I hate more than being objectified. If you are trying to get me so angry that I want to break your nose, openly objectify me. I triple dog dare you. It makes me incredibly angry.

Today while walking around this small town’s idea of a mall, I came face to face with being objectified. I walked into a store and came across a small group of male soldiers. One of them was looking at posters of a naked woman bent over and said “That’s my kind of woman!” I wanted to respond with, “And that’s why you’re single!” but I held my tongue. Then he saw me. His eyes immediately went to my cleavage and I knew what he was thinking. You don’t have to be Einstein to figure that out. My blood boiled. He and his buddies went quiet as I walked by and he continued to objectify me. It was humiliating and angering. I wanted to bash his face in, and if he had have made the slightest move towards me, I probably would have. I was so angry and could feel the desire to commit violence rapidly rising.

Even after I left the store, I was livid. I could feel every inch of me just seething. It took all I had to not turn around, march back into that store and punch him in the face. I forced myself to keep walking and left the mall. I couldn’t be in the same building as him, not when all I wanted to do was commit violence. So I left. I removed myself from the problem.

Some might say my reaction was overboard. Let me tell you why it was not. Jackass douchebags like that prime example are the asshole who statistically rape and abuse women, especially in the military. If he has not already committed a crime against a woman, I don’t give him that long before he does. The military will cover him though and hide the crime. They always do. My rapist was a lot like him. Arrogant, condescending, and objectifying. I know that type and I know it well. Breaking his nose might not have changed his ways, but it would have made me feel better. I wish a woman had have broken IK’s nose. Or has. If that makes me wrong, tough cookies. I’m cool with being wrong. One thing I am not wrong about is that douchenozzle. I wish that by recognizing asswipes like him (I refuse to refer to him as a man, as I believe men are respectable beings and there was nothing respectable about this asshole), we could take care of them, as in removing them from society, because I know that if he has not already, he WILL assault a woman. That is guaranteed. If we could remove him, we could prevent some woman from having to go through hell, but we can’t. He is allowed to walk around, objectifying women, before he finally snaps and assaults a woman and it will be “all her fault! She was flirting with me, she wanted me!”. Trust me on that one. I think that’s what sickens me the most about this. Some poor woman could have been saved, but won’t be. She’ll be another walking wounded. Like me. Like some of my dearest friends. Perhaps even like you.

Doesn’t that just make you sick?

Now that my blood pressure has gone down, this situation makes me want to cry. Cry for me. Cry for those that I love who have been through this. Cry for the people that are affected by what I’ve been through indirectly. Most importantly, cry for the unknown, unseen woman who is about to go through what I’ve been through. When are we going to say enough? When are we going to change our culture in order to ensure that there are no more walking wounded from sexual assaults? When are we going to hold our military accountable for the crimes against women they have committed, continue to commit, and will commit? When do we let them know that it’s not okay?

How much longer will you enable our attackers?

Post Navigation

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: