Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get out of my way

I sit here at my desk-the place where I do many things in my life-work, relax, plan and the things that surround me are meant to inspire, strengthen, and encourage me. I have the card my therapist gave me when I graduated with a beautiful story she wrote for me inside. An incredible letter from a dear friend with pictures of when we were young telling me how awesome I am is taped above my computer screen. To my right I have my 2013 Vision Board reminding me to be DELIBERATE this year. And finally my personal favorite-Oh, the Places You'll Go! By Dr. Seuss. But carelessly tossed on top them are bills, books, and budgets; receipts and reminders: tiny burdens that when added together weigh me down so far below the well intended promises from those who mean the most to me. And as I look at these things I am able to see my internal world-a stark representation of my private and painful battle. I am a fighter...there is no denying. Fighting myself, however, is a battle I can never win. I do not know how to surrender.

I continually find myself standing at the precipice of my every desire, with strengthened wings so ready to see what they can do...just begging for the chance to fly...and I can't figure out how to get out of my own way.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Okay just let me yammer on a bit to get this mess in my brain organized...
It seems that I stopped to tie my shoes or something for a brief second and everything that I have been working on and towards came stumbling over me and knocked me into a pile of my own healing. There have been work changes, therapy changes, life changes, personal changes, weather changes, emotional changes, physical changes all in the last 15 months. -I remember  the day because in February of last year I took a picture of myself the day I believed I started healing because I felt different. I even looked different and I wanted to document that change. (side bar, I have taken a few other pictures like that to prove to myself that there is a difference in me)- Now, from the outside looking in, these are all extremely hopeful and positive changes, things I have been working really hard for...what's the problem? But now that I'm not *just* working on them anymore it's like..."whoa okay life, let's relax for a minute." Now I have had a feeling that 2013 was going to be a fabulous year for me. I could and still kind of can feel it in my bones. But I still have a saboteur for a subconscious and it ruins everything! It makes me panic, makes me focus on how things are going to become more difficult despite the "positivity", focuses on the negative and tries to convince me that I'd be better off staying stuck, in a place I am not satisfied with, doing things that hold me back, and continuing with things that I really don't need anymore (or perhaps won't need in the future). And let's not forget the lovely thought, "what if you FAIL? what if it all comes down in flames, crash and burn. hahaha and you thought you could win this? Who do you think you are?"-it says to me...

So I understand how trauma works and all but this radical shift is mind blowing. I went from being "unaffected" by change in years past because I was so numb and hypervigilant that the chaos was expected and stored with the other traumas...I just knew how to keep rolling I guess until I finally stopped running and allowed it all to settle in its place, deal with any triggers and re-traumas, and eventually heal and continue on. Until this point in my life, however, I don't think I have ever hit that stopping point to allow everything to settle and fully heal in that plateau in order to regain strength and trek on. Now that I think I might finally be there, changes and good things are now terrifying and triggering and traumatizing in itself! What the heck? How messed up is that? Whatever.

Okay in true me fashion, I will abruptly stop talking now. When I look at these pictures I get the same feelings that I'm experiencing with all of these changes...

Sunday, April 7, 2013


This tattoo is in honor of myself. It is in my own handwriting. It represents everything I am free to do and everything I am now free from. The following is my version of a compilation of quotes and phrases I have read over time that inspired and strengthened my vision for this beautiful representation of my growth and healing. 

There are two kinds of freedom: freedom to... and freedom from... I think the purpose of knowing freedom is to free someone else. What good does it do to wrap up our heart ache and loss, fear and anger, even joy (if it appears to be boasting) and hold these emotions captive for a private showing, preferably behind closed doors with a licensed Keeper of Secrets. It's a cultural norm and a family tradition and I make no judgement at all. I just don't follow the rules anymore.


Sunday, March 10, 2013


The only thing I can think to say today is: I am tired of secrets.

 I am done holding these things captive. These things that hurt me. Memories burned into my body. Haunting images that billow in like mist while I sleep. Strange experiences on and within my body that shame has kept quiet. Voices in my head that say such horrible things that I must shout at the top of my lungs in my car just to silence them. The only thing that helps these days is sitting among thousands of people singing so loudly to a band that plays their songs so fervently, in a room where the acoustics are so clear and the speakers are so close to my ears that even for only an hour and and fifteen minutes, I can finally hear nothing else. As an intelligent and capable woman, I am done feeling powerless over this. I am so over being limited by this. I am finished with the embarrassment. I will not be brainwashed into restraining myself anymore. I am exhausted and pissed off. I will learn to annihilate these patterns. Some day I will believe that I am worthy of all that is good in this world. I must believe that I deserve to have complete faith in myself and in those that mean the most to me. I deserve to believe. I deserve to believe. I can believe. I will believe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


For the past two weeks I've been thinking about something that was said in my last counseling session. It was such a fleeting moment, but the words resonate with me and I keep hearing them over and over again. It was a really powerful moment, and I think I really needed to hear it.

After reading aloud my proclamation of being a survivor and what I have survived two times I had a moment of clarity. For some reason I remembered a childhood moment of survival. She said something along the lines of, "If you were in here today as that little girl you know DCFS would have taken her." ... bam! I had grown up wishing and praying to be taken away. I couldn't tell you what triggered it, but I rode my bike two miles away to a payphone behind a dance studio. I called the child abuse hotline that I saw on a shopping cart at a local grocery store. I instantly memorized it when I saw it. 1-800-4-a-child. Terrified and desperate I called that number thinking it wouldn't go thru because I didn't have any money...but it did...someone answered! I started trembling and crying. The woman sounded so kind-I'll never forget it. But my voice failed. I had no idea what to say. Would they think I was just playing games making prank calls? That's what happened when I called 911 from under my bed...So I just hung up and rode my bike forever. It gives me chills just thinking about it....but I just let myself think about it and feel whatever comes up with that because I believe it's really important. It's strange to think that I might have been a foster child if only someone had recognized what was happening. If only I found the words that day...who knows what would have happened? My entire life would be different. I'm grateful for the life I have now, and I obviously can't imagine anything else...but I can't help but let my imagination wander a little bit.

Then I think about the stairs at the lake house. That is absolutely my most favorite place in the whole world. I used to lie down on one of the stairs because it fit my body so perfectly. From head to toe I would be able to completely fit on the single stair-my head in the corner and my feet against the post. I can't bring myself to take a picture of it. Lately, though, I keep picturing myself there... I.was.so.small. How could someone that small go through so much and fight like a bamf the whole time? I am so amazed with myself. It's a horrible reason, but seriously...look at what I survived and I was able to stay relatively healthy and take care of myself. Damn.

When I found this picture months ago I felt like I was pierced right through the heart. I resembled this little one when I was small. But I think I have to post it today...it just seems fitting.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Unbreakable reflections

Her spirit sparked and those eyes of hers ignited after a long wait lifelessly hanging on the ledge. So many exhausting years spent holding up that leaking dam only moments away from crumbling...desperately waiting for someone to help hold it all. But there was another way. A humble safety net was just behind her. It certainly will keep her afloat. All she had to do was...let go and turn around.
Her soul flew freely, finally released from the chains--the words, that bound her. Something so simple, a connected...shared witnessing of experience captured permanently in a photograph and I am free from those words forever. 
She used to close her eyes to memorize the pain...it was the only truth she knew. But now, when her eyes are closed, she reaches for the memory that made her feel strong.  One week ago, I stood in a park in the middle of the city holding a poster covered with painful words written by my trembling hand for a single photo... I am not ashamed of the fear I felt and the anonymity I wanted to keep. Even though my hands were shaking I wrote those words. My face was covered, but I stood confidently as the photo was taken.


Thanks for the inspiration, Jess

Monday, September 3, 2012

Verbal vomit

It's no surprise that I've been struggling off and on the past few weeks. There are many things on my mind, but it's hard to wade through all of the bullshit my brain puts in the way. It's very disappointing because I've been doing so well lately. I've been upbeat, positive, optimistic, motivated, and strong. I can't help but feel that this is a set back.

One particular struggle I'm having is the constant fear and terror I feel just being home. I've set such firm boundaries with the abusers I still have contact with, that I'm anxiously anticipating their retaliation. I shouldn't have to live that way, but the fear is very strong and I immediately go into survival mode: walking around my car checking for people or damage, driving around the block before pulling into the parking lot, checking out the window before going outside, locking my car the minute I sit down. If I see any of the same model of car they have I feel the panic surge through my body. Every time my phone rings, an alert comes through for my email or there's a knock at the door or I can hear a car in the parking lot...I panic.

Another issue is tutor. I think I disgusted him as much as I disgust myself. Long story short, I confessed that I have clammy hands when I'm nervous when he tried to hold my hand. That date ended awkwardly (and the was also the day my dad showed up at my apartment uninvited at 10 pm). Then I was busy when he tried to contact me, then my phone died, then I contacted him explaining and no word from him. Several days later I reached out to see how he was doing. He tried to flirt with me via text message and I made an awkward joke about my clammy hands again (just teasing myself) and no response. I reached out one last time and he responded very curtly and did not continue the conversation. I'm disappointed. I'm confused as well. I don't know if this is my crazy train or what. it feels like he's completely lost interest. Yes we are both busy. Yes he's been very bad at communicating via technology. Last week he admitted he was stressed and exhausted (which lead to the flirting text message and my subsequent bad joke and no response) but the whole vibe is different. I feel like the crazy stalker girl who keeps texting despite the obvious disinterest and short responses. I have been honest and upfront without crossing my own boundaries or giving too much information. I have respected my own comfort and feelings and responded accordingly. I guess it is what it is. I'm not going to keep trying. "He's just not that into you." ...but this leads to crazy train of self-disgust, anger and hopelessness. No need to get into excruciating detail about how mean I've been to myself.

Next is the latest flashback/trauma memory issue. I remembered some new details about my survival tactics. The abuse memories are the same. However, I have been reacting to them more intensely. I have felt the pain again, the feelings of intense fear and confusion, and the sensations on my body parts....and felt the urge to clean myself...disinfect. That has only happened a handful of times. But I suppose it's cause for concern-rubbing alcohol is not supposed to be used for feminine hygiene, but that was all I could think of to do to clean myself when it happened. That's what I did whenever I was injured, though. But this could never be spoken of...ever! I can't stand those sensations. When it's the first thing I experience when I wake up in the morning, I'm in a weakened state to respond appropriately. The trouble is, however, that the disgust, shame, and self-deprecation linger. I internalize them. Then they pinball off of the other stresses I've described and others that I will not. They intensify and get out of control. Now please refer to my "Kryptonite" and "Next stop crazy town" posts, because that's what happens next. It becomes a vacuum and I get trapped within the cyclone.

All of this happens randomly, with or without my awareness, and the next thing I know hours have gone by. One last thing on the change to the "cycle"...It's very hard to explain, but I feel sideways? Like my body is one direction and my brain is another. For example I was sitting on the couch last night just enjoying the crazy train ride and it felt like my head was to my right, next to me. I felt a bit dizzy and really "out of it". That's how I've described it to my friends. Today my mind is slow (no I didn't have my usual coffee so that could be it...) but it's just odd. Different. I'm still trying to pay attention to my body, what my mind is doing, and trying to differentiate crazy train from reality. I have tried reaching out when I need to and taking care of myself when all other options were exhausted or failed. Hopefully I've processed through this enough and I can get a sound sleep, without nightmares tonight. Last night's dream was sick...too vulgar to post. All I'll say is my mom was watching something happen. Just gross... and that's where things begin. The dream, wake up with that feeling, shudder...then it lingers and everything follows.Then it bounces back and forth with every other issue I'm struggling with abuse related or otherwise, financial issues, job stress, friend stress, fear...

Sorry for the length of this post. I just needed to vent. Thanks for reading if you made it through.

Until next time,