Tag Archives: ptsd

When I never was a person

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Mirrors didn’t matter, but neither did my presence
Insanity chased me more when I had to live in silence
Stuck in the spider web, tangled in the  shadows
The black widow came along, and jammed in its teeth
I climbed through a window as the room spun around me
I couldn’t make it to a shower, I could not let anyone see
Hide below the blankets and sob in the quiet
You remember the only thought pounding in your mind
“What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?”
“How will I wake up tomorrow, how will I face him?”
I’ll do it by disappearing, I’ll pull an abracadabra
Before they know it, I’ll be gone and nothing can touch me again
My skin won’t exist, and my body isn’t real
With lips sewn shut, and nonexistent tear ducts
I won’t feel and I will not be, because of your choices imprisoning me
There is no one in here anymore, that girl you used to know
She went away, into the sky, and all that remains is me
I’m not a person, people can make choices and I certainly didn’t
If you want to speak to her, let me know, I speak for her
Because her voice isn’t real, and neither is she
But when you stare hard, into my soul, you can catch a glimpse of a girl
Just a shadow, an outline of her, but then blink, she flies away
I grit my teeth, keep her hidden, because the last time she was a person
She turned into an object and that pain is too much to handle
So again I say, she is not here, you have to go through me to get to her

Exposed: My Story (Update Nov. 19, 2014)

Eating. Drinking. Smoking. Snorting. Weighing. Hurting. Burning. Cutting. Starving.
Purging. Praying. Stripping. Weighing. Binging. Dying.

These are words are verbs, actions. These words are not who I am, but things I have done. These things don’t make up a person or even describe a person. They are things that people DO. Why? For myself it is how I survived in the world starting in my very late teen years. These things were my way of living, dying, punishing, forgetting, numbing, functioning and coping. These are my sanctuary, my safety and at the same time, a double-edged sword that was jabbing away at my soul, my spirit and my life. (Read full story)

Hang on little fighter, life is bound to get brighter

It’s been quite a trial attempting to navigate through life, recovery, and christianity. I throw in christianity, because that is a huge part of my sobriety, and life. Without my faith, I’m nothing. Being sober is a gift, but it does not mean that there are not situations I’m forced to deal with staying sober.

tumblr_n30v3wjSIp1t5fu3io1_500Trauma is one of the most difficult things to mentally grasp. It’s like this shadow that hides and pounces when you least expect it. As a journalist, I’ve been in many different intense situations, sometimes scary, other times boring. But last week, I endured probably the most ground-shaking experience to date. I was covering a town meeting — typical night, introduction of the budget, swearing in of a new chief — when suddenly, I am being evacuated into a safe hall due to a “gun situation.” First I am shaking, then I’m hyperventilating. Before I know it, I pass out and I’m taken to the emergency room. While I don’t remember feeling anything; not even fear, my life has been shaken and I’m completely scared all the time.

People have stepped up to support me, and that’s wonderful. But I’m not myself. I don’t understand how, but it’s brought out all these feelings I already try to manage on a daily basis about my sexual assault. Regardless, I’m preparing for Take Back the Night, Stand-Speak-Empower in two weeks. I’ll be speaking about consent and taking back your body.

I’m falling behind in classes, constantly late; still managing to get my assignments in and doing well on my exams, but I’m barely hanging on. I keep trying to cling to what I know about God, and that the answer is there. All I have to do is bow my head, pray, open my Bible, read. But I just don’t do it. I know I’m so much stronger when I feel like a warrior, taking on the world with Jesus by my side, but something is getting in the way. Maybe it is exhaustion. I don’t know, honestly.

And my eyes are constantly turned to God because He is the only person who makes no mistakes, no disappointments. People who are near and dear to my heart, who I have continuously back up, loved unconditionally, are slapping me in the face. That’s painful, to only feel needed when someone else is in a crisis or dealing with their own shit. But what about me? Who is going to be there for me, to help me cry through pain, and to deal with all the trauma in my life? I know God is there, but where are all my people? I’m trying not to feel disposable and used, but if I’m 100 percent honest, that’s how my heart feels.

Adios, New Jersey – Hello Dover, D.E.

I found myself driving down the highway, inching close and closer to my destination. I hadn’t seen my roommate from treatment in a full year – to the date. I didn’t plan it that way, it was just meant to be. I met this friend when I was in residential treatment in Arizona one year ago, and since I have missed her terribly.

When I finally had the opportunity to take a few days off from work, I began to take off out of state to reunite with my beautiful soulmate. Since getting here is has been amazing to escape my life in Jersey. Hanging out, not having a responsibility, a fear, a life, it was a gift. We went to the beach yesterday and prepared dinner. I haven’t laughed this hard in such a long time. We crack up over nothing, silly minute things that make life joyous and innocent.

For the past two days, I have done nothing but eat like a normie. Consuming meals, cooking, laughing, eating, snacking. Real true life, outside of an eating disorder. The thing is, I find my head swirling around the thoughts of, when you go home-stop eating all together – just be done.

I try to fight that voice, and I am doing well so far today. I found myself talking to my friend about not returning to New Jersey. I thought about moving in. Starting life over. Completely. Not living alone, struggling all the time. I may still do it, I don’t know. I’ll give it some time. The truth is — I’m afraid to come home, back to New Jersey, back to my single apartment, to my small life, working three jobs, never making enough money, back to the trauma in my head, the fight against the fork.

I’m afraid to return to existing.

I’d like to stay here. I would like to stay not hurting, not broken, not shattered in fragmented memories of the past.

Nook

tumblr_m7t347G11y1r3055wo1_500One of the old behaviors I had when I was really sick at 19-years-old was to create my own special “spot.” Or a place of hibernation where I would camp out and shut out the rest of the world. Due to my compulsive behaviors, I quickly became glued and ritualistic — safe. No one touched the blankets piled up or the pillows walling me into myself. I was untouchable, in a cave no light could find me.

I’d surround myself with books; piles and piles of them. I’d lose myself, my identity and morph into the very characters I read about. I became them, and they became me, our lives intertwined. We were each other. I had a lamp, in the corner of the floor and I lost myself in other stories that were pieces of my own.

That was when I was really sick, to where my parents were helpless and so was I. The strange thing is, I have tendencies to repeat this behavior when I am deeply struggling emotionally. When I lived in my old apartment in a run down city, I pulled the mattress off the bed, into the living room that morphed into the kitchen. It was a tiny apartment so every room was connected with a door shutting off my bedroom and a door closing out the bathroom. Covered in blankets I slept away from my bedroom, creating my own isolated home within my home.

Now, in my newer home, the home that I’ve built since coming home from treatment last summer (and yeah, it’s been almost a full year since I left), I find myself, once again in this self-protecting behavior, wrapped in blankets, sweating from heat, but no poking any part of my body with the exception of my toes. I’ve read three books in the matter of a week or so, and I can’t stop. Reading about fictional characters that are described so well, that I once again blur my realities, my identities, to simply feel like I belong, like I’m understood and not crazy. The only thing is that I’m the only one who sees myself getting wrapped up in worlds so similar to mine.

I guess it’s safe to say that my apartment has become a complete disaster and I’m left, camping out in my “nook” — a corner in the living room in a recliner that fully pulls out, sometimes waking up with a stiff neck. I’ve begun to lose myself in characters, fiction, but not.

Now I have to get out.

Memorial Day Weekend — Remembering tough times

Memorial Day has come and gone and I have learned a heavy amount of insight between the weekend and the actual day that is one I would rather forget.

While this may be a long blog post, I believe I must continue to document my life story — good or bad. One of the biggest things I must relay is that no one can truly recover from any trauma without love.

Memorial Day weekend, and into the actual day, is one of the only days of the year that I’d like to avoid. Four years ago, to date, was marked as the day I was changed forever. When I was 19 years old, I was violated and traumatized by something I would not learn to comprehend or understand until the past couple years. I was sexually assaulted by a customer at a store that I worked at for more than two years.

In brief description, this was a man that I knew and had crossed my boundary lines, broke my trust, and caused my heart and mind to fracture. For the past several years, I have been diligently working to recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction, self harm, anorexia, and bulimia.

With the trust of my therapist for the first two years of talking about this, I had learned to name it for what it was. Since, I have been stripped of a self-destructive behavior every year, making the actual date more and more difficult to manage.

This year, I was faced with the trauma sober, clean, and self-harm/purge free. That is some seriously scary shit.

However, the hope in this post is that I was able to move through the weekend with support and love from those around me.

For the first time this year, my mom was filled in on the truth of what happened — the full story. She not only validated my experience but shared some things from her life and encouraged me through remembering that through God, bad things bring good things.

That’s a hard truth to trust, but there is no other option, is there?

Beginning that weekend, my mom and a large amount of the women from her church gathered to share encouragement and experience. Not only that, I had women from AA who knew of this date and texted me throughout the weekend offering an ear and a shoulder.

Saturday night was one of the worst throughout the weekend, for I was hit with a frozen numbness that completely took over. I had spent the day down in the town that this all happened and coming back from that I could only stay as strong as possible. I spent the remainder of the day obsessively cleaning my house and would not leave until I was finished. I had some people from AA calling me to get me out but I refused to leave until I was done.

Finally finishing my cleaning, I ventured to the AA club house and simply sat on a chair, under a blanket, quiet. I had no words and I had no motivation. I literally just sat for an hour. Then my new sponsee came up and we did some step work. After, I went home, went to sleep.

I managed to make sure I was awake in time for church, and it felt so great to be back. For me, connecting to my spirituality and God is key and important, and church helps me do that. It was a great morning, filled with lunch and fellowship.

Throughout the evening, I was struck with another panic attack due to some financial issues (which I will write about in my next post) and then went to my sponsor’s Big Book meeting. The topic — fear. Now, I’m pretty positive that my higher power — GOD — had bigger plans. The meeting was really beneficial and I connected with the concept that fear is a blockage that keeps God out — it’s self-reliance not relying on God and faith is courage.

That evening, I managed to get my laundry done and I stayed over one of my best friend’s house and we baked cookies and brownies for the AA Memorial Day BBQ.

That morning, we picked up my little sponsee and drove to the BBQ and it was a lot of fun. But then, a girl can only handle so much. After doing everything I could, I finally went home for the night after running my Monday night meeting and shit hit the fan.

My anxiety was the worse it had been all weekend. Suddenly I was overcome by this extreme terror and fear, anxiety, and no matter what skills I used, how much I prayed, it would not ease. I finally fell asleep and since my anxiety has been very edgy. But I’m working on it the best I can.

The support I received this year from family to my church family, to my AA family was remarkable and their love is the only way I survived this year without hurting myself in any way.