Weekly Boost 7/5/16

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes!” (Brown)

 

Blessings for your week. ‚̧ūüíô‚̧ūüíô‚̧ūüíô

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Safe Places

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After the emotional shit storm of destruction caused by the stalker, nothing and no where felt nor feels “safe”.
The stalker served no jail time for a Class 5 felony, apparently it was his first run-in with the law, so he walked away “free” in my eyes. I don’t believe I was the first woman he stalked with obsession, but it was the first time he was held accountable. In my eyes…he could find me at any moment and finish me off.
He didn’t have the repercussions I did. I don’t even know if the conviction stayed on his record. He was married when it happened, and to this day still married to the same woman and now has children with her. He got to move on, live his life…with no one hiding in the dark shadows for him.
I on the other hand developed a horrible fear that has been wreaking havoc in my life for 15+ yrs now. ¬†I read the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker right after he was arrested. Hands down the best book for a woman walking through this type of experience, I also read The Psychology of Stalking: Clinical and Forensic Perspectives by J. Reid Melloy. ¬†The stalker and me never had a romantic relationship between us, we just worked together. His obsession was completely created from his own sick twisted version of reality. ¬†These books gave me a sense of “armor” for my future. How to be safe, recognize red flags and be more aware of my surroundings; fantastic skills all women should have.
The experience made me weary of everywhere I went, including just being at home. I could no longer go to any event with more than 50 people attending that I didn’t know. ¬†I drive with such an acute awareness that any distance of more than 2 hours away wipe me out for 12+ hours once I arrive at my destination. ¬†I have insomnia still, but back then the insomnia was so bad that a night of 3 hours of sleep was a good night. I’d stay in such a hypervigilant state that I’d check my windows and doors every hour through the night. I’m still hypervigilant, just don’t obsess over the doors and windows anymore, unless my husband goes out-of-town.
Needless to say, no where felt safe during that time, except for 2 places. 1. My bed with all lights out, 3 inch dowels jammed into each window, doors deadbolted, alarm system activated, wolf hybrid dog by my side and my .38 snub nosed pistol loaded under my pillow. #2. My dad’s place high in the mountains, where a cars headlights will wake you, our great pyranese would bark and growl at any human or animal she would see, smell or hear and knowing my dad was in the same house as me and has always protected me at all costs.
I’d been an extrovert my whole life, outgoing, talkative, curious and explorative. Now I’m mostly an introvert, quietly observing, assessing, reviewing, analyzing, plotting my escape if needed and processing how I would kick someone’s ass if needed.
This type of PTSD does not go away, not completely. I worked hard seeing a psychologist once to twice per week for a year, did EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy), psychiatric medications and time. ¬†Again 15+ years ago and still today only these 2 places make me feel safe. As I lay here in bed at my dad’s mountain home feeling safe, feeling the “let down” of the hypervigilance leave me; I realize that I have a lot of work to still do.
Will I ever feel safe again? Will I ever go to concerts again, state or county fairs? Will I ever not need to conceal carry my gun? Will I ever stop looking over my shoulder?  Will my agoraphobia go away?  Will my panic attacks stop?  Will the bumps in the night subside?  So many fears and questions that spin through my head.
Hopefully the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping treatment will allow the original ME to return, the new medication will help and I’LL feel “free” once again. ¬†Wouldn’t that be nice.
Until then…I guess this is my normal. ¬†Dear God I hope this isn’t forever.

Victim

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Victim
vic·tim
ňąvikt…ômnoun: 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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Bowing Out

2016-06-05_14.05.42-1If you came back to my blog after my previous post, I want to thank you for not bowing out after reading my trauma list.
I have experienced over time the impact my story has on people. There are 3 specific ways people have responded to my story.
  1. 100% interested in my story Рthese people want to know me and what has happened to make me who I am today. These people invest time in me, want to learn from me, want to walk through life with me. These people represent less than 1% of the people I know.
  2. Silently interested in my story – these people know what I’ve been through, they’ve listened. These people are my friends, but with limitations. They know I struggle with severe depression. They tell me to let them know if I need anything. They typically don’t ask how I’m doing with my PTSD or depression. Not because they don’t care, but because they do care and it hurts for them to hear how I am; because they feel helpless. These people bow out gracefully and I completely understand why. ¬†These people represent 24% of the people I know.
  3. Not interested at all in my story – these people have heard a fraction of my story, but don’t want to hear anymore. It’s too overwhelming for them. It’s not believable. It screams “train wreck” “run away” “don’t get involved”. Or the person feels they need to “one up” my story and follow-up¬†with “yeah you think you’ve got it bad, well listen to this”. These people bow out ungracefully and I never hear of or see them again. Which I completely understand, but wish they had the ability to own up to their response. Take responsibility for once. These people represent 50% of the people I know.
  4. The remaining 25% – I don’t trust you and you’ll never hear my story.

 

What really really hurts is to think that my friends are my true friends, yet they refuse to accept me into their inner circle. Don’t ever invite me to go places even after I’ve shown interest. ¬†I’ll do anything for anyone at all times when they are in need, this is not reciprocal with most of my friends.

If you’ve been through any sort of trauma, I believe the above examples of people hold true for you too. I don’t damn¬†or shame the latter type of people, not all of us were born with resilience. It’s just that some of us don’t mind another person’s “muck” especially when we’ve lived a life covered in it.

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.