The Joys of Living with PTSD

learning how to cope

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Wednesday Challenge: “Need” versus “Want”…

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

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

READ THIS. Seriously.

Confession of a Buried Self-Loathing

I’m sick today so have spent the day sleeping, and when awake, listening to songs that inspire me to choreograph or watching videos of dance. I have always loved aerial ribbon dancing, and would love to do it myself. In order to do this, I need to strengthen my core and seriously lose the rest of the weight. Not a big deal. Right?

Wrong. After my assault I was told that it was normal to lose the desire to be found attractive. That it was a defense mechanism. I swore I would not let that happen to me and worked out like a maniac for about a year afterwards. I was not going to be fat. A year later, I decided to actually begin to feel some of the feelings I had been suppressing and they were overwhelming. I discovered I hated myself. I did not want to be seen as attractive as I did not see myself as attractive. I wanted to make me look the way I felt. I gained weight. A lot of it. The military forced me to toe the line and I was stuck in this yo-yo of hell, constantly losing weight and then gaining it back. I felt terrible about myself, and was throwing myself into row after row of destructive habits. This was only one of many.

It got worse after I got out of the military, as I no longer had to worry about regulations concerning my fitness. I gained even more weight, it was disgusting even to me. I had no willpower though, and the more I resented myself, the more I ate. When I started dancing again, I felt even more self-conscious than ever before. Those pink tights you wear in ballet are not merciful or forgiving on anyone, so if you have fat in your thighs, you’re just screwed. There’s nowhere to hide it. And the black leotards? Oh yeah, black is a slimming color, but when you wear it in a skin-tight ensemble, it can’t help you. I was forced to deal with my body image, and I hated it. I forced myself to stay there though, because the second I walked into that dance studio, I fell in love all over again. I have literally cried, sweated, and bled in that dance space, and it has become my sanctuary. I started losing weight thanks to the hours spent in that studio, and regained self-confidence, but discovered I still had a large dose of self-loathing. All of my self-blame over the assault has manifested itself in this unhealthy fascination I have in keeping myself overweight. I will not let myself get too big, because my self-disgust kicks in and I work my ass off to lose some of that extra weight, but I will not let myself lose all of the weight. It’s as though I’ve decided this is my penance for being assaulted. What the hell is wrong with me? In this respect, I’m a complete masochist, and I’m fucking brilliant. There is no one in this world who can torment me greater than I can. I want so badly to lose the rest of this weight and regain my former technical proficiency in dance, yet I seem so determined to destroy myself, inch by inch. No more.

I am publicly denouncing my self-loathing. It is not okay. I have nothing to be ashamed of, and no reason to continue to punish myself for something I had no control over. I did not ask to be assaulted. I did not ask to be made to hate myself. I’ve always said I wanted to take back everything he stole from me, and this is just one of the many things I need to reclaim in the name of me. I’m hoping that by being this brutally honest via this medium (holy shit, a bunch of strangers could be reading this!), I’ll realize on a daily basis the truth I’m telling myself now: It is not my fault I was raped. It is not my fault I feel this way. However, I can do something about it- I can reclaim myself, and I do not need a self-defense mechanism of being overweight in order to prevent a second attack. I am allowed to be beautiful. Being beautiful is not an invitation to others to harm me.

Fuck you IK. You took enough from me that night, you can not have any more of me. I am not waiting until New Year’s to make a resolution, as I’ve always thought those were silly anyhow. I am allowing myself to be free. I resolve to allow myself to be as healthy as I can be, and in that health, find an inner freedom to be beautiful. I invite any of you reading to do the same, or just encourage me when you think of it. I’m not a fool, I know this is going to be hard. It’s always hard when we tear away the destructive habits we build up around us as a defense. I have to do this. More importantly, I finally want to do this.

Lots of love to all of you in this holiday season, and may you all find happiness and peace, even if but for a moment, during this season.

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