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Showing posts from 2018

I think I'm going crazy: The Day I Faced PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD, is a widely misunderstood, rarely discussed disorder that an estimated 7.8% of Americans suffer with. Society came to know PTSD as a combat disorder, something that our military men and women suffered with upon return from Active Duty. It is defined as "a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world". Upon recognition of the disorder, psychologists and researchers began to discover that PTSD can be caused by almost any event in which an individual feels that their life is truly in danger. Experiences range from C-sections gone wrong, a family member flat lining in the hospital, a car accident, a robbery, and of course, an abusive relationship. The latter is what caused my PTSD.

I knew from my extensive schoolin…

Stop Making Excuses for Mental Illness

I think it’s pretty clear by now that I’m okay with talking about mental illness. I myself struggle with anxiety and occasionally depression, both of which I have been prone to since my youngest years. I have a regimen with my doctor now and we work together to find a solution for me. The solution often changes as the course of my life changes.
The interesting thing I have learned from having a mental illness is that people like to make excuses for me when I disclose my struggle. The conversation often goes like this:
Me: “Yeah, I have anxiety.”
Person: “Oh, I bet you’re just low on B12. I take this B complex I got from Wal-Mart and it picks me right up! Cures my own anxieties.”
Me: “Well, actually I was born with the propensity and then I was beaten, raped and held hostage by a raging psychopath for over 8 years.”
Person: *awkward pause*
Me: “But yeah I’m sure B Vitamin Complex will fix me right up.”
Why do we do this? Why is it when someone discloses something about themselves that is outs…

Life After Abuse: The Adult Version

Abuse is a tricky thing. A therapist once told me that the things that happen to you often will not surface in memory until your first stable, intimate, safe relationship. The bitch of it is, is that just when you start to feel great about life and things are looking up, here come the memories. The awful realizations of things that happened to you that you didn't understand until now. And holy shit does it destroy you.

Suddenly you are sad often. You are confused about why you are having these feelings when everything is going so great. You feel guilty because of your sadness in times when you seemingly have everything. The nightmares start and you don't know if they are reflections of what has happened or if they are just nightmares. Now on top of being sad you are tired, oh so tired. Tired from not getting good sleep, tired of the confusion, tired of feeling sad all the time and not having a way out.

The shittiest part about adulting is that you are required to work and pay bi…

"I would never be with someone who hit me"

I was sitting at a table eating lunch when I overheard the conversation. Three women sitting behind me were talking about their relationships. One woman admitted that her man had slapped her for something she said and she slapped him back. Another woman responded with, “I would never date someone who hit me” to which the woman responded back with, “well I hit him back so it’s okay”.
I don’t know what the rest of the conversation was. I was too lost in my own trigger. “I would never date someone who hit me”. Are there any little boys and girls out there dreaming of a relationship where their loved one hits them occasionally? Does Prince Charming order Cinderella around his house, making her pick up after him since he is the breadwinner of the two? Does Eric slap Ariel across the face from time to time because she wants to go out and have a drink with her friends? Does Snow White keep up on her self-defense practice because she doesn't know when she'll need to use them against th…

My Life With A Stalker

Having a stalker is something I joke about on and off because that’s how I deal with trauma (and because I have a dark sense of humor). But the truth of it is; life with a stalker is not funny. It is terrifying. I didn’t realize how much my stalker affected my life until I watched an Investigation Discovery show about stalking incidents. I listened to the survivors’ stories and how the experience with their stalker had such a large impact on their life. As I watched I felt a piece of me surface, a piece that I had been suppressing for years because I did not understand what it was. It was a feeling but not one I can describe very well: it is a fear combined with an anger combined with an open wound that you want people to acknowledge is there and that it must hurt like hell. I wanted someone else to know that I have a stalker. Stalking is real and it is life altering, even after the incident passes and you get away from the person.
A stalker does not have to be an ex –lover (although i…

Would YOU Be Quiet? A Question For Domestic Violence Victims

My heart has been heavy these past few weeks. We had a setback in court; the judge’s ruling was neutral. No change. And we need change. Desperately. So of course I looked into an appeal. I sought out one of the best appeals attorney in the state. He found things that we could bring to light and ask the judge to consider. He quoted me a price. I asked about my blogging. He advised against it. His justification? “Although we’ve come further than we have over the last 25 years, there are many judges out there who don’t like a talking victim”.
I told my friends and family about the ruling and my appeal. I told them about the money and how we were going to struggle coughing up another $5000. I talked about how I thought I should take down my blogs because God forbid one strange man or woman with a title might possibly see my words and feel prejudice against me and base their ruling on that prejudice. They might doubt me because I have never said anything about my abuse or they might doubt…

How I left an Abusive Relationship (and you can too)

Leaving an abusive relationship is scary and confusing. Furthermore, it's hard to get advice on what to do. After all, no one understands your situation better than you. I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years. I had two children during the marriage. I decided to leave 5 years ago. My hope is that by sharing my experiences, it will help someone out there in need. Please know up front that I am not a counselor, lawyer, or doctor and my advice is not meant to replace theirs. I am simply one person with an experience reaching out to another.

The face of domestic violence is different in every case. The offender can be male or female. The extent and type of control varies based on socioeconomic status, religious background, cultural standards and other external factors. I want to warn you that there are a significant amount of old biases out there and if you're planning on leaving an abusive relationship, you're bound to encounter them. Never allow someone else's opini…

When Your Loved One Has Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood diagnoses in the world of mental health. It is difficult for practitioners to diagnose and more difficult to treat. Bipolar disorder is a complicated mixture of genetics, environment and experiences. Basically, if a person is genetically predispositioned to become bipolar, there is a strong possibility they will develop it regardless of how nurturing or positive the environment and experiences. As a society we see it simply as a “mood disorder” characterized by someone who switches emotions easily. Then we laugh and make jokes, “Oh man I’m so bipolar today” and go on with life. In reality, everyone has “mood swings”. We can go from happy to sad in a short amount of time. Things happen. Hormones happen. It’s life. But life for someone who has bipolar disorder is so much darker.
Bipolar I disorder is the more well-known of the two states. It is characterized by periods of “mania”. Mania is a confusing state for those witnessing the behavi…

Raising Children Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence

Raising children is difficult, without a doubt. There is no manual, no ability to prepare what you’ll face, and worst of all no way to know if you’re doing a good job. Things get tremendously more complicated when you’re faced with raising children who have experienced domestic violence. It’s hard to know what to say. You live life in a state of constant analysis, wondering if you’re doing the right thing. You worry about the future and what life your children will live. Help is often hard to come by. There are many who support, but few who understand. It’s a lonely, sad, and sometimes angry world.
When a child has lived through domestic violence they are a ticking time bomb. You never know when they might explode and divulge things you never knew. My daughter once said, “Mom didn’t leave dad because the house was in his name and she couldn’t kick him out”. This sentence was a stab to the heart. In essence, my child was stating that I was powerless to help her because her father contro…

We Need To Talk About Death

American culture is a very curious thing. From a young age we are filled with ideas and knowledge that will prepare us to become super citizens. Young adulthood is about idealism, thinking that somehow we’re going to make it to the level of the elite where we make enough money to not have to worry about anything…ever. Then we get old. Then something happens and we lose our ability to care for ourselves. Then we fall off the face of the planet. Why? Because no one wants to talk about the last phase of life; death.
I can’t tell you how many deaths I have lived through in my lifetime. The odd thing is that none of them were my direct family members. No, I was a bystander, watching from the outside as families cried and crumbled to pieces over the death of a loved one. It never ceases to surprise me how unprepared we are for death. Even if the person who passed was well into their nineties, even if they have congestive heart failure, cancer or COPD…somehow people convince themselves that t…

I Have a Good Life...And I Still Have Depression

Oh, depression. You asshole. I have spent 70% of my life battling you and the other 30% trying to explain you to others. You make my life a living hell and yet many of my abilities are a direct result of dealing with you. I hate you. But I thank you. You are my pet monster, and as of now I don’t anticipate you will ever die.  
I have a good life. I have an amazing husband. No joke…he’s the Prince Charming who is handsome, romantic, affectionate and sensitive. He cooks, he cleans, and he’s a phenomenal dad. We have 3 children. Our girls are smart and funny and have friends. Our son is often mistaken for a cherub, even though he can act the opposite. He’s also funny, far too smart for his age, and very loving. We live in a big house in a nice little suburb in a quiet Midwest town. We are not rich by any means, but our income is about twice that of those around us and that makes us blessed. We have nice cars, food on the table, health insurance…everything we Americans dream of. With all o…

Yes My Blog Post Is About You

It's been a minute since I've written to you all and I could provide a thousand excuses as to why I haven't had time. I've been busy at work or with kids; my house is still under construction, yadda yadda. But I've decided to unveil the real reason I paused: my blog has been used as ammunition against me. It has caused a rift in family and friend relationships. It cost me an entire day of interrogation in court ($3500 dollars for that day, to be exact). Yes, there are people reading, copying, printing, and texting my blog to others in an attempt to accuse me of starting shit. I have written blogs specifically about them. What an awful person I am. To say such things. To speak such truth.
First, I will not apologize for not "going along to get along". That type of behavior led me into some of the scariest, darkest times in my life. Years and years of lies and cover ups and fake smiles just to keep the boat from rocking. It never worked as the boat would alw…