The Stalker Part 3

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By this time in the story John was served his Temporary Restraining Order by the Sheriff’s office.  During a gullible state I hoped he would see the fear he had caused and choose to walk away from me and never contact me again.  However, the TRO fueled the psycho’s fire within and he became worse.

I lived across the street from my sister, and she had her own business which she ran out of her home.  I had spoken to many people at my work in the past about her and her business, helping her drum up business.  Little did I know John had also inquired about her by speaking with others we worked with before he left the hospital.  In psycho stalker fashion he called her under an assumed name and set up an appointment with her.  She had never seen a picture of him, this was way before social media, all she knew was he was a psycho stalker and he had worked with me.

He came to her house with an assumed name and spent about 20 minutes speaking with her about “business” stuff and then started asking all sorts of questions about me.  She felt it odd and strange that he kept circling back around to me and then her gut hit her hard about the unsettled feeling she realized she had with him; she asked him point-blank “You’re not Stan, you’re John aren’t you?”  He stumbled in his response for words and she immediately got up and yelled for her husband in a panic while leaving the room.  Within moments of her husband and her walking back into the room together, John was gone out of the house and walking through of the gate of their yard.  Her husband ran out there and yelled at him to never return as he was driving away.

My sister called me in a panic and told me everything, I couldn’t even speak nor respond to her.  I jumped in my car and went home and called the police.  They came over, took the report and said “Since you weren’t home at the time and the restraining order doesn’t include her, there’s nothing we can do.”

The mantra I kept hearing from them was “there’s nothing we can do”…

 

Desperation, Frustration….a little rant

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It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  Life can really get in the way of being able to see ANYTHING!  What does life look like for Katy right now?

  1. Diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases.  Able to manage one with diet.  The other 2 are apparently managed with medications, one is prednisone the other hydroxychloriquine.  Prednisone can’t be long-term, causes crazy bruising and causes other health concerns, finished my second course and now it’s out of my system and all symptoms have come back.  Hydroxychloriquine takes months to work, and that’s if it decides to work.
  2. Daily symptoms: extraordinary pain in my feet, burning pins and needles with swelling, swollen painful hands, headaches, low back pain, body shaking uncontrollably from the inside out, insomnia, mood swings, brain fog and confusion, ringing in my ears, fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness and abdominal pain.
  3. Recently had to move because our landlord decided to sell our house AFTER we signed another 4 year lease agreement.  Have to love the little clauses in a lease.
  4. Husband’s employer decided to reorganize their departments, which left him out of employment, so we lost our health insurance.  We also lost our church, our second home and a lot of our community.  A churches words on stage only run that deep, integrity doesn’t always run deep behind the closed doors of the church.  I haven’t lost my faith in God, but I have in the people who teach it.  Yes they are also human and sin and make mistakes, but actions speak louder than words.
  5. New health insurance is crap and beyond expensive, so I’ve lost my psychologist and psychiatrist, back to a conglomerate healthcare system that has the WORSE mental health department.
  6. Just had the one year anniversary of my brothers tragic death, which is still so fresh I can’t even touch the surface of speaking about it.

I’m done with seeing and experiencing all of this.  Who gets me through it?  God.  I know He has a plan for us and everything we are going through, I know there is a light and I am seeing glimmers of it in the distance.  But-it feels so far away and hard to catch up to.  I want to feel energy again, unity, pain-free, confident and directed.  Instead I feel slow, alone, pained, uncertain and reeling with desperation.

One step at a time, one day at a time, one prayer at a time…it’ll all come back.  Yet my patience runs thin.

Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Blogiversary

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I started this blog one year ago in an effort to work through my past and present realities. I’ve grown in knowledge based on putting my feelings and experiences into words. I’ve made some amazing “blogging” friends who have similar experiences in life. I’ve even managed to piss some people off.

My goal was to create a space where I could raise awareness to CPTSD, and it evolved from there. I wish I could be writing more currently, but my health isn’t allowing it. My “brain fog” is a mother fucker at its best. So while I’m not able to put feelings and thoughts into words, I’m still going to do my best to raise awareness.

Thank you to those of you who have been loyal readers, without you…I have no voice.

Letter to 30 year old Katy

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Dear Katy;

It’s me, 46-year-old you, and I want you to know something deep from my heart.

During the time of the stalker, not only were you in trauma from him, but your mother was dying as well. You had double the trauma happening to you with no support or advice on how to handle it. This combination is a rare occurrence and you need to be recognized for that.

Every step you took to protect you and your son was spot on. It’s not your fault the stalker became obsessed with you and terrorized you. You had no coping skills except for what you were taught, which was very little. I recognize your pain and desperation for help, how helpless and scared you felt.

As mom was dying, you had the same feelings about that. You felt helpless and scared, you’d never experienced anything like this. It was your first grieving experience with death.

If you’re feeling shame because maybe you’re choices during that time weren’t the best, IT’S OKAY! You have nothing to be ashamed of. I give you full permission to grieve these traumas. I support you in all you did and why did it.

Katy I love you no matter what, I forgive you, I’m proud of you and I’m sorry you had to experience this. I have to forgive us for any shame or guilt you felt during this time. You were a child of God then, but our eyes have now been opened about His love for us. I’m proud of you for doing what you had to do to survive. But you need to see YOU MADE IT! You’re alive today and your mind and choices are at their healthiest. You’re an example of God’s love and grace. Your heart, soul, mind and strength was God working through you. You are now a queen, lover, magi and warrior because of what you’ve been through and you came out shining! I have so much empathy for you, because you didn’t do anything to make this all happen. You were a victim of circumstance and a scared young woman. Although you didn’t receive empathy from your family and your friends walked away from you, please know THAT was NOT your fault. Not everyone can face that ocean of shit and have the strength to move through it. That ocean has been cleaned up and dried up, it’s now clean, refreshing, relaxing and Gods beautiful creation.

This ocean of life can be unforgiving through the storms, but you now know how to navigate through it better. When the storms pass, you come out a bit scathed, but You’re alive! That’s badass!

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You are loved and supported by me no matter what. Katy I’m proud of you and I love you. 💛  Now move forward and keep fighting because I’ve got your back! You’re safe and I will protect you at all costs!

I love you and God Bless you,

Katy at 46 years old

Motherhood and Anxiety

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Anxiety seems to sneak up on you like a virus that attacks your stomach. One minute you’re feeling great and then you feel tired or tummy becomes achy then the next thing vomiting your guts out with explosive diarrhea. Over the past couple of weeks I have been exhausted, irritable, frustrated and now explosive. Not realizing what was happening until just now.

Why is it (anxiety) here now? What triggered it? What am I afraid of? All of these questions with no answer is the most frustrating experience.

I’ve been extremely short-tempered and have no patience when it comes to my 3-year-old. The anxiety in me says “Why can’t you just behave Calvin? Why are you so naughty right now? Can’t you see I need peace?” How fucking irrational is that? He’s 3 years old, he has no clue what I need, he only knows what he needs. I believe he’s feeling my energy field of anxiety. Calvin’s simply reacting to my shit behavior…or I’m perceiving his behavior as bad because I’m just so anxious.

The mom side of me feels an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. “I have to be better at this mom job, he deserves it, he deserves my full attention and guidance. He deserves to feel my energy field of love and patience.” I’m a stay at home mom for 2 reasons: 1. We want him to receive our parental influence and guidance during these first 3 years of life, which are critical foundational and bonding years. 2. My CPTSD and anxiety are so bad that I can’t come close to working and I suffered moderate to severe postpartum depression and being away from Calvin would have done us both a great deal of harm.

My precious Calvin has the kindest heart of love and compassion. His love is pure and unconditional. His personality is simply amazing, he’s funny beyond measure, his imagination runs deep, his memory blows us away daily of what he remembers and his learning and following instructions is spot on. He’s an amazing child and we are blessed beyond words he is ours.

God gave me an opportunity in life at 43 yrs old to be a mom again, 20 years later after my first son. Calvin IS our gift from God and Gods gifts are precious.

With all of his amazing gifts why do I feel like such a failure? If I was such the failure as I feel, Calvin wouldn’t be who he is today. I’ve apparently done something right…I just can’t see it.

So where is this anxiety coming from? Is it the stalker? The death of my brother? The thought of starting Calvin in preschool soon? The EMDR starting in a couple of weeks? I seriously have no idea what is causing it, but I fucking hate it.

I honestly would rather be vomiting with explosive diarrhea than have anxiety. Let’s look at some ways I can calm down and hopefully be less anxious.

  1. Yoga (almost impossible with a 3 yr old crawling on you)
  2. Meditation  (same issue as #1)
  3. Bilateral tapping (works for 30 minutes max)
  4. Benzodiazepines (addicting & too sedating for safety purposes)
  5. Exercise  (too exhausted)
  6. Find the source of the cause (stuck on this one)
  7. Pray (not working)
  8. Breathing technique (can’t focus long enough)
  9. Serenity Prayer…

That’s as far as I’ve gotten on ideas. Working on finding more but feeling stuck in the moment. Feeling helpless to help myself is a miserable feeling. I have repeated the serenity prayer over and over in my head, it helps a little, just not enough.

I know I’m not unique in this feeling and time in life, I just hope by admitting it can bring some peace to me. Maybe help another mommy not feel so alone. Would like to hear from you if you have or are currently experiencing this anxiety.

I’ll end with my final prayer of the night.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Good night.

Migraines After CPTSD Emotional Release

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Jettison

Until this past year I hadn’t experienced many migraines and I certainly never put two and two together for their cause. In the past I’ve had chronic pain associated with severe depressive episodes, I grind my teeth when sleeping during high stress moments which causes jaw pain and broken teeth and gone through chronic fatigue syndrome right after traumatic events.

It’s been proven by medicine that pain is typically a side effect of emotional trauma.2  What I hadn’t known nor anticipated were the crippling migraines that would follow after working through a severe past emotional trauma. At this point I can’t count the total migraines I’ve had this year, which seems bad, but it’s actually a good thing in my eyes. It tells me that I’m really working hard to get through the really tough shit buried deep in my thalamus4. Those memories that I thought I had moved through before are clearly coming out in my psychology sessions. I’m  seeing a correlation though, it’s typically associated with crying.

The crying isn’t a cry like an unfairness, anger or physical pain directed at me.  It’s a cry that comes from deep within my soul, that bellows out of me like a grief I had never experienced before. A grief I didn’t know existed until my brother traumatically died this past year from a hiking accident. That loss alone has destroyed me this year and I can’t put into words what it’s like losing him. My own mothers death wasn’t this painful. But I can’t get into his death just yet on my blog, it’s too fresh and too painful.

The grief I felt and still feel losing him, is like the grief I feel when I finally open that closed trauma that I thought I had worked through. Opening that door again and touching that emotion again from the trauma is kicking my ass. My psychiatrist calls it a “body memory”, where my body is helping me process the emotional pain and it’s literally hitting me with physical pain.

After some trips to the emergency room in the evening, trips to my doctor’s office during the day..I finally put the two and two together. The downfall for me is that the migraine is not caused by dilated blood vessels, therefore typical migraine3 medications don’t work for me. The other option is a narcotic, well that’s not a good choice because I had a 3 month addiction to Percocet after a PTSD trigger. My only option has been to go to the doctor and get a cocktail of injections, which consists of Torodol, Phenergan and Benadryl. If that doesn’t work fully they add some Valium on top of it. Knocks me on my ass! Then I wake the next morning to a rebound headache and have to pound water and ibuprofen.  Thankfully my doctor found a new combination of meds we’ll try so I don’t have to go in for injections and I can take these medications at home, haven’t tried them yet or should I say I haven’t had to try them yet.

I’m learning through this process that this type of grief goes away after opening that door to the trauma. Death grief on the other hand is an unrelenting asshole and I can’t shake it.

CPTSD is destructive and I believe to be life threatening if you don’t treat it. It’s scary as hell to face, but I would rather face it – fight it – kick its ass, then to let it paralyze me from experiencing true happiness and freedom. So I may have to deal with migraines for a while and drool all over myself from the treatment of them, but it’s better than the alternative of living with that trauma closed behind a door in my thalamus.

 

The photo used in this blog has been approved by the artist as long as I provide you a link to her work. I find her Jettison gallery fascinating.

jet·ti·son noun \ˈje-tə-sən, -zən\: a voluntary sacrifice of cargo to lighten a ship’s load in time of distress.

http://www.mollystrohlphotography.com/

How The Grief Stole Christmas

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Christmas has always been most special to me, because it was always celebrated near my birthday. Since I was two years old it’s been family tradition to put the tree up on my birthday and we’ve never faltered from that. Christmas ornaments have been collected by me since I was a little girl and I’ve made sure to never lose nor break the ones that mean so much to my heart.

Though after dad left and moved out, Christmas lost its wonderment and magic.  I looked so forward to putting up the tree and celebrating my birthday and the start of Christmas. Let’s face it, Christmas is what a child waits for all year round! When dad left, especially that first year, my mom went through a level of depression I’d never seen before nor knew existed. She lost an extreme amount of weight, lost her smile and her infectious laugh.

Yes my mom was a narcissist and I don’t have many good memories of her, but her smile was big and beautiful and her laugh could be heard miles away. These are a couple of things I’ll always cherish about her.

That first Christmas was rough..and every year after that. Before the divorce on my birthday I would come home from school and find all the Christmas boxes and tree pulled out from the crawl space and in the middle of the living room. Pure bliss would course through my veins! This first year without dad started a landslide for me. I came home from school fully anticipating to find the boxes in the living room, I walked inside with a smile ready to yell “yay”; instead I came home to an empty house and no boxes.

Befuddled, I sat down on the stairs and just stared. About an hour later mom came home with a store-bought cake and a card. Before she had always baked a cake for me and there were always presents to open, but not this year. I was 11 and I was beyond heart-broken. I asked if we were going to put up the tree and she told me that if I wanted to put it up I could have at it on my own, but she wasn’t in the mood.

Now as an adult who suffers with depression, I can completely understand where she was at the time, but as a little girl I felt completely rejected and lost. The divorce was the death of my childhood in so many ways. I couldn’t wrap my head around the rejection and at that moment didn’t realize it was the birth of grief that I have felt every year on my birthday.

I did do just what she said and I dragged those boxes up the stairs one by one. I read the directions for our fake tree and put it together. I wrapped those lights with such care, learned from years of carefully watching my dad. I hung the ornaments with design and meaning. I created a tree of beauty in my eyes and it was lit in brilliant colors.

I finished with decorative nuances around the house, displayed the nativity scene, hung lights in the window and just opened my creative mind. Then I turned all of the house lights off and laid under the tree. As I looked up and gazed at the ornaments I hung inside the tree and the twinkling lights, I day dreamed about being in the movie Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Like Rudolph, I felt rejected, but hoped in the end I would be seen as useful and I would be loved.

From that point forward in my life I made it my tradition and decorated alone every year after that. Each year I hoped she’d join in and want to be a part of “my day”, it never happened. I was a misfit and although I had hope, it didn’t fill the loss deep in my heart.

Friends would invite me over knowing Christmas Eve and Day were hard for me. Their parents knew my life, they knew my loneliness and they knew my grief. They all did their best to include me, I’m still friends with all of these people to this day.

A couple of years I got to spend my birthday with my dad and he made it all Who-ville for me. Singing, laughing, joking around and celebrating. Moments far and few between, but engraved in my memory.

Unlike the Grinch, Joan didn’t try to make it miserable for me, but she sure didn’t try to make it nice either. Her pain was deep and it wasn’t from having a tiny heart like the Grinch.

However, like the Grinch she didn’t want to appear “bad” to Little Cindy-Lou Whoo, so she tried to be kind and complement my decorating. Would brag to her friends about the beautiful job I did. Unlike the Grinch she didn’t steal anything of monetary value, just made me feel robbed of the happiness of family and love.

I never let her see me cry when I was sad, but I was in deep pain. I grieve for the 11-year-old little girl to this day and I still have moments of pure disgust for Joan at Christmas. This year I told 11 year old me that it’s okay now to have been so sad and I had every right to have expected love, excitement and celebration on Christmas tree day. This year my husband surprised me and jumped right in without me having to say anything. He brought all the boxes in, he helped decorate and he celebrated my birthday like we did when I was a little girl. This year is an extremely healing Christmas tree birthday.

Grief on the other hand is an asshole and I hope someday grief see’s how much more important unconditional love is,  and hopefully grief will learn to love and not be so mean.

No matter the gifts, wrapping nor ribbon…I am in awe of the magic of God’s love for me. 

Merry Christmas to you all, now go enjoy your roast beast.