The First Decade

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I look back on my childhood and I can say to you that it was pretty good. We wanted for nothing, clothes on our backs, roof over our head and food in our bellies. It’s more than what most children in this world have or had.
We grew up with what appeared to be a normal childhood. My sister was mom’s little girl and I was daddy’s little girl. I hated dolls, Barbies, cooking or being frilly. I was more interested in building things, painting, yard work, music, riding my bike fast, playing dodge ball, talking to neighbors and working on the cars with my dad Clint. Then in the summer, it was camping, fishing and road trips in the camper.
It’s either because it’s part of my DNA or because my dad loved me “outwards”, showed and said his love for me. He has always been special to me and there is a bond there that cannot be broken.
My mom, Joan; was a frilly, Christmas cookie baking, up to date fashion with perfect hair type of gal. She despised camping, fishing and road trips. Everything had its place and had to look a certain way.
My mom loved me, I know this, but her love was distorted. It was a conditional type of love that had great expectations. With Joan I was either “the best daughter in the world” or “not important enough to waste time on” or “you WILL love me and respect me because I AM your mother and I deserve it”.
For example, I won a huge competition at a young age and was in the newspaper for it. She told everyone about it. How she has the best daughter ever and it’s because of her hard work as to why I won.  Typically at “field day” I would clean up with blue ribbons, I loved field day; but if I got anything less than a blue ribbon then that’s all she would focus on. Telling me that I shouldn’t be happy because I didn’t do my best. On her birthdays, if I didn’t wake up first thing and acknowledge it was her birthday, didn’t “buy” a card or bend over backwards for her, then I was a rotten child. That I should respect her more and do better, because she was in labor with me for 15 hours and endured a lot of pain for me.
I remember nights where she and my dad would fight, and I could hear him yelling at her for treating me so poorly. Or asking her why she didn’t love me like she loved my sister. It was extremely difficult to be the cause of their fights, but worse when she’d blame me the next day in her own passive aggressive way with the silent treatment. I all of a sudden…didn’t exist.
My childhood was “normal” to me; but back then people weren’t honest about real life at home. We didn’t speak of these things, and if we did, it was brushed off. Better to pretend “it’s” not there or happening because no one wanted to cause any problems.
Putting lipstick on THAT pig was utterly exhausting, but it was a normal childhood to me.
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Victim

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Victim
vic·tim
ˈviktəmnoun: victim; plural noun: victims
*a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
synonyms: sufferer, injured party, casualty; fatality, loss; “a victim of crime”
*a living creature killed as a religious sacrifice.
synonyms: sacrifice, offering, burnt offering, scapegoat “he offered himself as a victim”
I never knew how it felt to be a victim of a trauma. It’s not taught in school, it wasn’t spoken of growing up and it’s not something you think about until you see or experience it first hand.
After my initial experience of a personal trauma that I recognized as a real trauma…my life would never be the same because of it. To me the act itself is & isn’t important to being a victim, just being labeled “victim” impacted me severely.
The word “victim” has been thrown around society and used as such a cleche. Like the word “love” for example. It’s used in so many different forms that it’s lost its luster of its true meaning.  For example “I love that movie” to “I love my son”.  Same word two meanings.  Same goes for “victim”. I hear it used so sarcastically like “Oh geez you’re such a victim” to “The victims of 9/11”.  Same word used so differently.
My trauma impact was 90% emotional. I didn’t have any proof via broken bones, physical bruising, amputation, physical paralysis, no gushing blood or surgical incisions. Isn’t that what a victim is supposed to have?  Wait…no?  So how will anyone know I’m a victim?  How do I explain this to people like my doctor, family, pastor, banker or employer?  What the fuck am I to do next?  Stand up on a soapbox on a street corner yelling I’M BROKEN PEOPLE! SOMEONE HELP ME I’M BROKEN!  Since that option is apparently ridiculous what else can I do?  Ah ha…the police is who I tell right?  For some of my traumas…yes I tell or told the police. Did they believe me?  FUCK NO!  Did they care?  FUCK NO AGAIN! Why?  Some of what happened to me wasn’t illegal, some of what happened it’s validity was questioned, some of it was lack of training for the patrolman sent to my home and only one on my list came to a conviction of the accused…which took a year to prove was happening to me.
I thought if I was a victim people would believe me once they knew “my story”. One of the most painful things in life is to be a true victim and no one believe you nor the impact it has / had on you. It’s like being victimized all over again. Then maybe a year goes by and those that know you and what happened to you say things like “Aren’t you over this yet” “Why are you still dwelling on this” “You just need to move on” “The past is the past”.  Please know that by saying this to someone who was victimized is revictimizing them again, it’s destructive, inconsiderate, rude, uncaring and quite frankly FUCKED UP!  You’re also at risk of getting throat punched by me.  Whether the trauma happened 1 to 80 years ago…trauma is extremely difficult, healing takes time and the PTSD it caused can or will rear it’s ugly head down the road.
Whether or not you can see the trauma physically or not, it’s the victims reality and their truth. They didn’t purchase it nor ask for it, but they now own it….like a painful cancer that can’t be cut out easily.  The healing process is as hard as the event (s).
By the way…I HATE BEING A VICTIM;;;;;
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WTF is CPTSD?

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CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) is what a person can suffer after being traumatized or victimized over and over and over for long periods of time; or repetitive traumas that aren’t related and a person never gets a chance to heal in between them, which puts the person is in a constant state of victimization.  PTSD usually refers to 1 to 2 events in a person’s life that they experience. CPTSD can be a number of things a person experiences long term such as:
  • Prisoner of war
  • Concentration Camps
  • Child physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Sex trafficking / Prostitution
  • Child exploitation rings
You read my list of traumas and some of them went on for years. The symptoms, pain and self destruction that came with it made it all even worse. Like myself, people with CPTSD experience symptoms and difficulties such as:
  • Zero Emotional Regulation. Consistent sadness or anger outburts and rages.
  • Dissociation. I detach from my feelings as if having them is too painful to have.
  • Self destructive beliefs. I carry shame and guilt like it’s super glued to my body. I don’t feel like a normal person or that I fit in.
  • Vengeance takes control of me. I plot in my mind how I could physically hurt my abuser, stalker or perpetrator. Become obsessed with wanting to know where they are.
  • I have no REAL friends. I’m afraid to be close to anyone, just to protect myself. I’m afraid to leave my home because something bad might happen to me or my child. No one I know can relate to me.
  • Short term memory doesn’t exist. In as little as 24 hours I forget what we talked about.
  • Body image. I’m ugly as sin on the inside so I must be on the outside.
  • I’m the butt of every joke. No one takes me seriously.
  • Psychosomatic physical ailments. I have physical pains with no real cause identified. I want to be saved so maybe someone will find what’s physically wrong with me.
  • I’m an addict. Percocet and Ambien are incredibly awesome in my eyes, but are incredibly destructive to me.
  • Hypervigilance. I’m on edge at ALL times. Always over aware of my surroundings, who’s behind me, where the exits are and what the atmosphere of the room is. I will not sit anywhere with my back toward the door. I must be sitting on the end of a row at church, never the middle.
For me, I’m an alien living on this earth. I take everything way too personal. I’ve been called a drama queen by my family over and over. Been verbally & emotionally attacked so many times the minute someone yells at me I shut off like a light. If you walk up behind me and unintentionally startle me by touching me you are most likely going to get physically assaulted by me. I can’t attend concerts or large crowd events. I believe I’m insignificant and don’t matter. My friends are surface friends, no one includes me in anything. I can remember moments in my life like they happened 5 minutes ago, but forget a conversation we had 24 hours ago. I feel like no one believes me nor cares. I cry because no one ever just asks how I’m doing, and if they do then they wish they didn’t. I’m a brutally honest person, my honesty comes in punches, soft and kind or served on a silver platter. I’m not “normal”…whatever that means.
Welcome to my hell.
Photo credit:
Molly Strohl
 

The “trauma” list

The list of traumatic events I am sharing with you are not going to contain dates nor specific details. I feel that the details are not important to discuss with anyone at this time, I may share some details down the road, but I need to protect myself and my recovery process. Plus I need to protect any one person or group of people involved, as I have not asked for their permission to use their names nor do I choose to want to.
The list will be in chronological order, but again dates will not be used. I also know that I am opening myself up to judgement, criticism and doubt; which has played a huge role to hindering my recovery process in the past. However, if you are reading this and find it to be fake, false, pathetic, ridiculous, shameful, ignorant, you can’t agree with it or some other form of negativity; do yourself a favor and stop reading my posts and don’t waste your time sending me an email or comment.
This is my story, my experience and my truth; no one can take that away from me. I am not here to convince anyone of MY truth. I am here to hopefully help another human being suffering like me to not feel alone.

 

Deep breath…..holy shit……here it goes:
  1. Father moved out / parents divorced
  2. Abused by narcissistic & alcoholic     mother
  3. Date raped as a teenager
  4. Infant son kidnapped by his father under false motives for 3 months
  5. Stalked for 2 years by an acquaintance through work, convicted, served no jail time
  6. Mother died of cirrhosis from alcoholism
  7. Attacked & strangled by unknown  assailant
  8. Casualty of domestic violence / verbal  & physical
  9. Personal addiction from PTSD relapse
May I never have to add another item to this list. I believe it would be the final straw to break this camels back.