The PTSD Tag

I was tagged ages ago now on YouTube to answer the “PTSD Tag” questions.  I have actually filmed this twice yet I have never put my footage, and ultimately my answers, out there.  I decided to blog it instead.  Maybe I will eventually re-film it and upload it but for today let’s just blog it and see what happens.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF YOUR PTSD?

The cause of my PTSD is childhood trauma, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.

WHEN WERE YOU DIAGNOSED? ARE YOU IN TREATMENT?

I was misdiagnosed for a number of years as mildly bi-polar.  In and around 2012/2013 is when I was re-diagnosed with PTSD which made a lot more sense then the previous diagnoses did. I am currently in treatment and have been for about 4 years now.  Every 2 weeks or so I go to Therapy.  For the past year or so I have been getting EMDR Treatment.

WHAT IS EMDR?

WHO KNOWS ABOUT IT?

My family is aware.  My boyfriend knows.  A few close friends might know.

WHAT ARE YOUR SYMPTOMS?

My symptoms range from mild to SEVERE anxiety, dissociation, and depression.  SO NOT FUN.

HARDEST PART ABOUT LIVING WITH THIS DISORDER?

I find the hardest part about living with PTSD is a combination of never knowing when an anxiety attack or depression is going to hit and feeling like a failure.  I feel like I am failing in life, no real job prospects, living in my moms basement, hating where I live… but I am here, failing, because of PTSD, because I have been hit too many times with crippling anxiety and/or depression and I needed to take some time out.

COPING SKILLS THAT HELP YOU?

Therapy has helped me immensely.  Not everyone needs Therapy, but I did.  Talking about it helps me sometimes.  When I start feeling anxious I can get overly chatty about it.  I also like to lay in a hot bath and try not to think about anything.  Or hide under a soft and cozy blanket in front of my space heater, I like the noise of the heater.

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT PTSD?

That we need to be medicated.  That is not true.  I tried medication for 3+ years and it was terrible.  Medication does not treat the root of the problem : TRAUMA.

That we need to “just get over it”.  Honey, if I could just get over it I’d be way past it, believe me.  I have made my Therapist cry with some of my life stories.

That is is mostly a Military issue.  Yes, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT our Military men and women suffer PTSD, and I feel for them, I really do.  They deserve our utmost respect and they should be entitled to the best care that can be given.  It is an absolute travesty that we let men and women fight for our Country(ies) and we tell them we support them.  But who supports the Veteran who is fighting for his life in his own head?

At the same time, THIS IS NOT JUST A MILITARY PROBLEM.  It is a PEOPLE PROBLEM.

People are fucked. Not all, just some.  Sometimes a really fucked up person comes into your life and really, well, fucks you up.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO OTHERS WHO SUFFER FROM THIS DISORDER? ADVICE?

Wether you are a Veteran, a regular person, hec, Lady Gaga – you are not alone.

YOU

ARE 

NOT

ALONE.

We are NOT failures and it is NOT our fault.  Don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad about something that you cannot control.  And if they do, your better off without them. Yes, even if that person is a parent, a sibling, a boyfriend, girlfriend or a spouse- if they make you feel bad about something you have no control over then that person-whomever it may be- is not good for you and is not healthy for your healing.

My advice is to cut out toxic people, which can take time.  And to look into EMDR, who knows, maybe it could help, maybe not, but I figured it was worth a shot.  I may not be healed yet but I am on my way to living a healed life.  I really do not want to know where I would be right now had I not decided to pursue EMDR… but that’s just me 😉

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Thank you so much for stopping by! Please feel free to take these questions and answer them for yourself (if you suffer from PTSD), I would love to read your answers!

FUN FACTS ABOUT THIS PICTURE:

My Dad bought me that KoRn sweatshirt when I was 16.  For my birthday.  It’s almost 17 years old now but I still love it!

This was a video still that I was going to use as a thumbnail for a YouTube video I never ended  up uploading because I got too stuck in my head about it.

I crocheted myself that yellow scarf.  I don’t even like yellow that much but I love that scarf.

That’s 2 studs you see in my nose.  Currently I only have one in.  I can’t decide if I like 2 or just one.

 

Thank you for calling me Brave

To the teller at the TD Bank in Fonthill, whose name I did not catch, thank you.

You asked what I was doing [for work] and I decided to, for ONCE, be honest.  I said “I write a blog”.

“About what?” you asked.

“About anxiety, depression, mental health” I replied.

To my surprise you seemed impressed with my response.  You said I was brave to talk about these things and get them out in the open.  I think you even thanked me! I had no idea that admitting that I write this blog would have such a positive impact.  If I was smarter I would have given you a card with the name of my blog on it but hey, one day at a time.  Maybe that could be a goal I work towards, feathering my cards to potential future readers.  Hmmm. Interesting.

I feel like this is a sign.  I took the leap and decided to stop making up some “normal” job that I do not have and just admit that I am currently writing (instead unemployed and on Disability).  I am not currently making any money from it and that is FINE.  I do not write to make money.  That would be nice, of course.  But I write for the love of writing, venting, and typing.  If that goes somewhere I’d be over the moon but for now I am just happy that someone I don’t even know is happy that I am writing about mental health and the struggles of having a mental health problem.

I will never forget the feeling I got talking to the teller at my bank about my blog.  I will never forget the way she looked at me, very genuinely and almost with respect.  For that I will be forever grateful.

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I just started Typing (and this came out)

I am sad.  Again.  The kind of sad that keeps me in bed all day, sometimes sleeping, sometimes crying.  The kind of sad that prevents me from eating or bathing because I just don’t care.

I had a pretty good weekend and Monday wasn’t that bad either.  I filmed for my channel iCarlaVlogs and even re-edited some old vlogs to put up because I felt they were actually really good and I did want to share them.

As far as I know I have a microblading appointment tomorrow morning that I WAS over-the-moon about.  Now I am worried that I screwed up the date or something (I have already send a confirmation text to my eyebrow professional).  I am also worried that I won’t have the $300 to pay for it.  I had some money saved but for some (STUPID) reason I thought I would be paying $200.  It’s funny to me how this all seemed so “do-able” yesterday, last week, even 2 months ago and NOW I am feeling like the walls are closing in.  The walls of disappointment are closing in on me and I wonder why I ever thought I could or should try to improve my appearance and ultimately, my self esteem.

Am I just a boob for wanting to try to make myself feel better ? And for thinking about YouTube again?  It always comes back to YouTube.  I thought I could improve my self esteem whilst also saving for and acquiring some better tools – lights, that DLSR I have wanted for 2 years now, that cool background I can’t stop thinking about.  I want to make videos and I LOVE making videos but that little yet loud voice of negativity stops me in my tracks every time.

I don’t even know why I listen to that little voice.  It’s not like it has been all that helpful.  I started making videos for a reason.  I wanted to be able to see my journey and I also wanted to start documenting more of my life so that I can look back at it in the years to come.  Show my [future] kids who I was before them, remind myself of the bittersweet journey through therapy and life, what did we look like? What were we doing? I also wanted to potentially reach out to anyone who may be dealing with the same thing(s) or even similar thing(s) that I am, let’s form a positive metal health community.  Let’s talk about it and share our experiences.

PHEW.  My eyebrow professional JUST text me back.  I do indeed have an appointment tomorrow, I did not miss anything.  WHAT A RELIEF.  Now I just have to locate the rest of the funds I need.  Ok.  Ya.  That makes me feel a little better.  I was beginning to picture myself not going anywhere tomorrow and having to stare at my terrible brows for who the hec knows how long.  Perhaps it’s because it seems too good to be true.  Maybe that is what my WHOLE problem is.

I am not really used to things working out well in life.  I kinda taught myself that whole disappoint-from-the-start (s0 you are never surprised when you are inevitably disappointed) sometime around 7th grade.  I can surmise that it came from many years of disappointments.  As a kid (and even into adulthood) I was not allowed to partake in any after school activities or clubs.  I was yelled at a lot especially if I tried to express my feelings, I feel like I was always in trouble for something even though looking back I really didn’t do anything wrong.  My mom just was not a happy camper back then, she had good reason but it still doesn’t excuse her lack of emotional presence and overall encouragement.  I spent half my weekends here, in Tiny Town, Canada but I spent the other half with my Dad, wherever he would be.  Newmarket, Toronto, Sharon, Woodbridge, I have stayed in all of these towns for various lengths of time.  This was my escape.  My escape into a more positive world where it seemed anything was possible.

My Dad and my grandparents supported my creativity and always encouraged me to be myself.  They never made me feel bad about being me.  When I would return home to Tiny Town (p.s. this is my made up name for my “town”),  I always felt like I was leaving something behind.  In a sense I guess I was.  I was leaving my true self behind.  My true self was safe with them.  Back in Tiny Town I would put my shield up and hide inside myself.  Things I wanted to do or create, places I wanted to go, all seemed so unattainable sitting in my bedroom in our old farmhouse.  I suppose one day I just gave up.  Before becoming a teenager I gave up.  So sick of getting excited for something only to be crippled with disappointment.  It happened ALL THE TIME.  So I said f*ck it.  I got you beat.  I will just stop expecting anything therefore I can stop feeling so shitty when nothing happens.

It took some time to get used to but by high school I was getting used to living in the land of don’t-expect-anything [positive].  By college I got so depressed thinking “what’s the point” that I dropped out of my Art & Design program a year and a half in.  This became on ongoing pattern for me. I would start something and inevitably it would cave because I would become so wrapped up in feeling like nothing-good-can-come-of-this.  It seemed anytime something positive would happen, Captain Negative was there to smash it.  That is what my mom turned into- Captain Negative.  I realize now it was a protective measure meant to inform and warn us but I got too stuck in the negative zone which mixed oh-so-well with not expecting much.

This problem has followed me into adulthood and ultimately prevent me from doing things-such as uploading videos or feeling that I deserve to fix my eyebrows (just quick examples).  And man am I sick of it.  I hate feeling this way.

I want to live.  I want to create.  I want to be me and not feel bad about it.

I need to be my own escape now.  My Dad is gone and my Grandma lives too far away to visit regularly.  I am an adult now.  I am no longer a child or a teenager.  I can and need to learn to support myself in a more positive way.  If something doesn’t work out SO WHAT?! It’s not the end of the world.  But it is a sad world, to live waiting to be disappointed.

 

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The Careful Clouds of Doom

Thanks to early childhood trauma and and ongoing battle with anxiety and depression, I have learned to be entirely too careful.  With EVERYTHING.

I am worried if I don’t worry something bad will inevitably happen.

This, of course, is no way to live.  It takes the fun out of a lot of things.  It causes a lot of dark clouds to form and gather in my conscience.  The clouds build into a storm of doom that then follows me everywhere I go and influences everything I do.

I try to be careful enough to avoid the doom but sometimes I can’t.  It all becomes too much and it overwhelms me.

I don’t want to be SO CAREFUL all the time.  I don’t want to worry about things that may or MAY NOT happen.  I want to change my life.  But it is hard.  It is hard to change your thinking after over 30 years of learned thinking patterns.  This of course is one of the many reasons that I am in therapy/receiving EMDR treatment.  I don’t want to be stuck inside my head anymore.

I am sick of the voices of my past in my head.  And I resent those who put them there.  Now I am spending countless hours and dollars trying to essentially put those voices away.    As the voices and memories become reprocessed and put away I am seeing so much that I was too emotionally stunted to see before.  It is frustrating and liberating all at the same time.

Where has careful gotten me? Sure, it’s kept me out of trouble but at the same time it has kept me from living.  Careful keeps me at home or in bed all day because I am “safe” there.  But am I safe really?  I am starting to feel like I want to break the cocoon I surround myself with and see where it takes me.  I want to clear the careful clouds in my head and bask in the sunshine of making and achieving my personal goals, and ultimately loving life.  I feel as though I can see the sunshine peaking through but I am impatient, I want the whole damn sky to clear, like, ASAP.

There are rays of light breaking through and these rays are slowly starting to do something.  I have a few goals I would like to achieve.  They may seem mundane to some but their mine and I need not CARE what those who are not me think.  It is the first time in years, possibly ever, that I have real, genuine goals in mind.  I want a Cavalier again.  I love ’em and I feel good in ’em.  I want to get the hell out of this house.  The negativity here is suffocating.  I want to explore University.  I am now realizing if I want the kind of career I think  I want that I need to upgrade my skills.

I have absolutely no idea how I am going to get to where I want to be but I do know that if I continue to be too careful I will never get there.  This is terrifying but the thought of dealing with doom on my back for the rest of my life is even more terrifying.

Take a hike Careful, you have done enough damage already.

via Daily Prompt: Careful

The Fighter in Me

The fighter in me is tired.

I don’t want to fight anymore.

I feel as though I have been battling my entire life and I am sick of it.  I am sick of hiding my true self and my true feelings.  I am sick of being someone else just to please those around me.  I want to live my life.

I am sick of feeling bad about myself for wanting to be myself.  I am sick of the anxiety and depression eating away at me, always reminding me it’s there and that it can and WILL ruin anything and everything.  I am sick of feeling like “the little engine that can’t”.

I have been off of work (and on Disability because of my illness) for over 2 years now.  It’s almost up and it worries me.  Part of me wants an extension, part of me doesn’t.  Disability, though helpful, really sucks.  I seem to have the case-worker who never calls me back and doesn’t seem all that willing to help me.  I want to be helped.  I want to be better.  Why do I always get the shitty case worker?

When I was first off work and looking into Disability, I had to temporarily go on Welfare whilst I waited (over a YEAR!!!) for my Disability claim to be accepted and begin.  While on Welfare I had a case worker – a different one then I have now.  I went on Welfare to get Disability (this is what they tell you to do) so I could focus on getting better and become a strong member of society.  My first meeting with my Welfare case worker I was told to “go on medication and try harder”.  Thank you.  I NEVER thought of that! I haven’t already been over-medicated, over-worked, and out of options.  I was literally treated like dirt on this woman’s shoe.  This is what we get for trying to help ourselves???  To add insult to injury I had to pretty much tell this woman against my will that I had been victim of sexual abuse as a child, my mom is crazy (not literally speaking) and my dad is dead.  I will never forget driving home from that meeting.  I cried the entire way home.  I seriously considered slamming my beloved red Cavalier into a telephone pole.  End it.

I perservered and I indeed was accepted to receive Disability payments until early 2017.  Great! The bullshit is over.  WRONGO!!!  I literally have to chase down my case worker via telephone if I have so much as a simple question.  I have had to get my local MP involved because I felt as though I was being completely ignored.  Here I am, a few months later, being ignored AGAIN.  I have questions I need answers to.  I have been calling and leaving messages for over 2 weeks and have yet to receive a call back.  Now I know not every case worker is like this, I just seem to have this incredible luck.  I try to help myself and I get these assholes who make me feel like I have taken 2 to 12 steps back.  I went on disability to help myself.  Is that not what it is for?

I have been crying all afternoon and some of the night.  I feel like I have completely screwed myself with all of this.  In a few months I will be kicked off.  I no longer have my beloved car.  I had to sell it because I needed the money more at the time.  The confidence I was hoping to gain is non existent.  I find myself wondering why the hell I even bothered trying [to help myself].  The fear, anxiety, and depression still cripples me and I am so sick of it.  I am sick of it all.

Something needs to change.  The system sucks all the way around.  I know this from a lot of experiences.  It’s not right.  We tell our children “it will get better”.  Why are we lying to them?  How does it get better?  You become an adult where nothing gets better.  The bullying doesn’t end, it just appears in other places.  Grow a thicker skin? Fuck you.  Learn some compassion and have some understanding.  My brain is already against me.  I don’t need validation from assholes that it’s right.

When my dad died in 2013 I promised myself I would make my life what I wanted because life is too short not to.  I still believe that but I am tired.  I have spent over a decade making decisions based on fear and agoraphobia (and what my mother will say but that’s another story for another day…).  I am tired of the fear holding me back.  I am tired of being afraid. I don’t want to cry anymore.

I feel as though I am either giving up or just starting to move forward.  I am honestly not sure which it is.  I have not given up yet but if I can’t get this ball rolling I can’t promise I won’t [give up].  I can’t live the next 10+ years the way I lived the last 10+ years.  I can’t because I won’t make it if I do.

 

THERAPY THURSDAY | July 2016

I started therapy before my Dad died, before I quit my job, before everything got really bad.  I am still here and I am desperately trying to finish what I started.  I have quit a few times only to return in need of help.  I went with the goal of receiving and completing EMDR Therapy (what is EMDR? click here to learn more ).

I am currently pretty much smack dab in the middle of reprocessing.  I am in the third and final stage, the home stretch if you will, and I hate it.  I want to be finished.  I want to be finished and I hate it not because of the therapy itself but because of how I am feeling physically and emotionally towards my environment and surroundings.  I am starting to see certain people for who they are and it makes me very sad.  I hate living in the my mother’s basement and I need to get out.  I should have gotten out a long time ago.  I should of used my inheritance to get myself out of here.  This environment is crushing my soul.  It is very negative, tense, and close minded here, it makes me feel like I am suffocating.  My boyfriend lives with me and for that I am forever grateful.  Without him I would crawl into bed and just stay there.  But we both know we need to get out of here.  We want out so bad.

EMDR has been monumentally helpful to me since the very beginning.  What is hard is seeing people and situations differently.  Realizing you need to and want to make changes but you can’t yet.  Feeling yourself change.  I am feeling myself change.  I was really worried about this change in the beginning – who will I be? what will I like? will I like me?? – essentially WHO THE HELL AM I REALLY? but the more we press forward in EMDR the more solid in myself I feel.  The more I understand why I feel so overly sensitive, why I decided to silence myself and essentially just give in to the constant yelling.  I understand why I was giving up.

A person can only take so much before they give up and after living through multiple traumas since the age of 2, by 28 I was out of gas.  I was out of gas and my best driving buddy – my dad- had just left me.  Needless to say, I trashed the [metaphorical] car.  I stopped sleeping, I stopped eating, I started drinking because nothing would take the pain away.  I looked worse and worse, I bleached, coloured, and dyed my hair so much I had to chop it all off a la pixie.  Somewhere along the line I plucked almost all my eyebrows out, which I am STILL trying to grow back.

It was in that time period when I looked and felt my worst that an Angel came to me.  To this day I truly believe my Dad had some hand in it, I think he was watching from above and knew what I needed.  Who I needed.  It was a few weeks after I had started drinking. I was already (back) in therapy but I was struggling.  At this time I should also note that my father was an alcoholic and I never really enjoyed drinking, I stayed away from it, everything about it turned me off.  Then one day I just stopped caring.  I found a bottle in the house and just started drinking.  My days became a routine of waiting for the liquor store to open so I could get home and drink … Until it dawned on me to buy BIGGER bottles (oh geez…).  I spent a lot of time alone, with my short hair, drinking on the deck listening to the oldies.  I do believe that is one of my most sad times in my life.  I was very sad and I felt very alone.  I felt like I was dying inside.

And then something happened.

One day this lovely and incredibly handsome Facebook friend I had insisted we meet at the beach.  We had been fb chatting and texting each other for months but being so preoccupied in my grief I didn’t want to think too much of it only to become more sad if he wasn’t interested in me.  Luckily he had caught me before I made my first drink of the day and I could still drive.  I blogged about it here!

I did not know then but I know now that he was my Angel.  I did not drink that day.  Nor did I drink the day after.  He became my other half and inevitably saved me from going down a very dark road.  He built me up when I was weak and enabled me to continue therapy, he inspires me to get better and to do better just by being there and caring.

My therapy sessions improved immediately.  Finally feeling like I was loved and supported made it so much easier to go to therapy, to actually want to do the therapy.  See, I did not realize then and I am just coming to realize NOW how little love and support I was feeling and getting before he came along.  I was made to feel like my feelings didn’t matter, my anger was unreasonable, that I was being dramatic, when really I was crying out for help.   He could see it and he did not run away from it.

My therapy session this week involved this topic of feeling very dismissed by certain people and learning that it’s not really their fault.  They simply do not have the capacity or willingness to understand my feelings.  This saddens and angers me but at the same time has brought me the decision that those people shall not need to be informed.  They cannot understand so why waste my breath?  It is a new and interesting decision for me but I want to be happy.  I am sick of being weighed down by other people and their ignorance towards mental health.  Especially when those people are family members.

I now need to focus. Focus on finishing therapy and building my life with my Angel.  I am terrified because I do not know what is on the other side.  At the same time I am grateful because without therapy and his love and support through all of this I cannot fathom where I would be or what I would be doing.

That’s all I have for this, my first instalment of “Therapy Thursday”.  Today I just let my thoughts come out regarding this week’s therapy session.  I am not sure where this series is going but I plan to keep writing and find out!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I write, I appreciate it more than you know.

 

Grandma’s House

When I was a child I used to have this reoccurring nightmare.  I would wake terrified and disoriented, feeling a stress I could not understand and would not understand until 20 years later.

The nightmare was always the same.  I can still remember it.  I can see it.  I almost feel it.  I am at my Grandparents house, as a child I frequently stayed at their house as my father lived with them at the time and I visited my father on weekends and vacations.  I loved staying there.  I was treated nicely and made to feel wanted; my father and grandparents often called me “Princess” – not because I was a little Princess but because I was THEIR Princess.  I was allowed to be myself.  Nobody yelled at me unless there was a good reason. It felt good.  It felt safe.

In my nightmare I walk into the house as I always have, excited to see and hug my Grandparents – I was especially close to my Grandma.  As I walk in it appears no one is there.  I look around and I feel alone.  I realize my father is not behind me as he usually is.  “What is going on here?” I ask myself.  It’s quiet.  It’s so quiet that it is deafening.

I’m standing in the kitchen, it’s small but cozy, still has that 1970’s vibe to it.  I can still see the ever popular “Harvest Gold” refrigerator, brown accents, and dark wood cupboards  when I close my eyes.  So warm and inviting.  Always a buzzing place… but not this time.  This time it is not buzzing.  Grandma is not fluttering around cooking or baking something for Grandpa.  Grandpa is not in his chair with his tea and cigarette.  Something does not feel right.

I try to walk but its as if I have no feet.  Instead of taking steps I feel as though I am gliding.  I glide to the hall, everything looks dark.  I start checking rooms.  Every one – including mine – is empty.

I find myself unexplainably in the basement.  My Dads room.  The whole basement was almost all my dads room aside from a small laundry room to the right of the stairs when you reached bottom.  It was a neat laundry room, had its own chute from the bathroom and everything.  Oh how we loved to throw clothes and toys down it, rushing down the basement stairs and into the laundry room to see that our items had indeed made it into the basket. It was almost magical.

Nothing is as it should be.  There is no laundry.  My dads room looks bare.  Where are all of his things? Where’s the t.v.? The Bed? My Family??

I feel as though perhaps they forgot me.  But how?  They would never forget me.

This is when the Orbs show up – I get goosebumps just thinking about the orbs.  Three of them.  Three bright, white, circular orbs.  They came together floating down the basement stairs.  They approach me, they get so close I can almost touch them.  I feel like I know them.  Their presence is all too familiar.  Is this my dad and grandparents? Why are they like this?

We are not together long, myself and the Orbs.  They begin to bounce all around me as if in celebration.  I am still confused.  I don’t have time to make sense of it because the Orbs decide to hover by the stairs.  I move towards them.  I hope that maybe they will lead me to where everyone is.  I get near to them only to have them bounce back up the stairs.  I run after them as fast I can.  I’m back in the kitchen.  I look around and there is no sign of anything or anyone.  I suddenly feel very alone and very sad.  I feel abandoned and lost.  Sometimes I start to cry, sometimes I call out for them hoping they will come running from somewhere to hold and comfort me.

This is always when I wake up.  I would wake up in my room, at my grandparents house.  I remember thinking of how horrible it would be if that really happened.  I would always feel a sense of sadness after these Nightmares even though I was relieved to know I hadn’t been abandoned and I was not alone… Yet.

Over the years my Grandparents retired, they decided to sell their house and move a few Provinces over.  My Dad got his own place and I started just visiting him on weekends and vacations, sans g-ma and g-pa.  I got to go visit my Grandparents during summer vacations which I always looked forward to.

I did not know at the time but this was the beginning of my Nightmare.  My Grandma was my best friend and she moved away.  Without the glue of my grandparents holding the family together, we fell apart.  By my early 20’s I had stopped going to see my Dad because he was drinking too much.  I found out I missed my Grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary because NOBODY REMEMBERED TO INVITE ME.  As time goes by I find out my Grandfather is not well and neither is my father.  I have called all over Canada more then once to track down my Dad so I can find out if he is okay.

My Grandfather died before I could say goodbye.  It breaks my heart that I could not even afford to fly out for the funeral.  My father predicted his own death and I did not listen.  I spoke with him only 6 months before his death and had no idea it would be our last conversation.  He told me he was going to die.  I told him that was crazy talk.  I had not seen him in years.  He told me he’d be in my Province for summer and would love to see me, all he wants is to see me.  He never gets to.  By summer he is gone.

I watched my father die.  He spend a month in ICU, lost both of his legs, and due to complications did not survive.  I went to visit as often as I could, I talked to him, I held his hand and begged him not to go.  On July 3, 2013 he left me.  It was not long after this that I realized my Nightmare is now my reality.

My Grandparents old house still stands but no one I know lives there.  No one will be coming to take me there.  No one is waiting to shower me with hugs and love there.

My Grandma is still with us, but lives out East. I talk to her on the phone from time to time.  I don’t call as often as I should because as happy as I am to talk to her I get very sad.  I am sad for all the time lost.  I am sad I need to jump on a plane to go see her.  I am sad that she left.  I miss her.  I miss Grandpa.  I miss Dad.  I want them back, I want it all back.  I want to wake up in my room at Grandma’s house and have it all just be a Nightmare.

DAILY PROMPT : Nightmare 

The Morning Storm

I hate mornings.  I always have, and quite frankly I think mornings hate me too.

Every night I go to bed knowing that the Storm in my head is brewing.  I don’t even know what happens to my brain while I am sleeping but there is SOMETHING going on there.  If I wake up too early – regardless of whether I have had enough sleep or not – I feel anxious, nauseous, angry, confused, and agitated.  It is a lovely combination that makes for one hell of a Storm in my head every. Single. Morning.

It is frustrating and depressing.  I hate feeling so nasty in the morning.  I wish I could feel as good at 7am as I do at 10pm.  This problem has plagued me for as long as I can remember, even as far back as pre-school.  It’s like as soon as my eyes open I am precipitately anxious.  I am worried and anxious about my day before it even starts.  It got so bad [when I was still working] I literally threw up before every 7am shift I was scheduled for.  It makes no difference if I go to bed early, try to catch a nap the day before, eat breakfast, don’t eat breakfast, snack before bed, no snack before bed, bed location, gravol before bed – nada.  NADA.

I have learned that I need space in the morning and I need to give myself time to relax and process the upcoming day – wether I am busy [that day] or not.  The morning Storm usually only lasts about an hour but has been known to knock out power until well after lunch.  Either way, it makes it very difficult for me to get motivated and moving.  It takes so much energy to battle to storm and not let it get out of control (HeLLoooo morning PANIC ATTACK !), that by the time it clears I am mentally drained.

By mid-afternoon the skies are always clear and the morning Storm is but a memory.  A memory I know I will repeat again tomorrow.  I also find I need to be wary of evenings and certain lighting (i.e. The Keg’s dim dinner lights) because for some reason both can be intensely triggering.  The storm can re-appear and riek havoc on whatever it is I may be doing.  I have a few places I avoid – such as The Keg – as a safety measure against the Storm.

I find it best to not ignore the warning signs, my mind gets foggy, the winds of too many thoughts pick up, the spiddle spaddle of anxiety drops fall throughout my body and the tremble of nausea begins like thunder rolling in the distance.  At this time it is a good idea to get myself to a sheltered, safe place quickly.  Once in my safe place I can ride out the waves of the Storm, however long and exhausting that may be.

I am lucky.  I [now] have a few life preservers that come floating to me when the Storm begins to flood, and good grief, does it flood.  My main preserver is my boyfriend, my best friend, my soul mate – he loves me unconditionally and is not at all intimidated by the Storm.  He helps to remind me that I am not my illness and I can [and am] capable of being loved.  He accepts me for who I am and never judges me because of the Storms.  He has taught me how important it is to feel loved and supported.  What an incredible gift that has been.  My second preserver is therapy.  With [going on 3 years of] therapy I am learning to cope with the devastating effects of childhood trauma, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.  I am also learning to cope with my Fathers death which was sudden, unexpected, and absolutely crippling to me.  Though distant, he too was a preserver and I lost him.  Without my boyfriend and without therapy I would never stay afloat.

It is a battle. Sometimes it’s daily.  But I refuse to give up.  The eye of the Storm is fast approaching and I will fight it.  I will fight to see the rainbow at the end.

DAILY PROMPT : Storm 

I am sad. Sad I am.

Depressed again.  It comes and goes as it pleases and I hate it.

I tell myself I am only ruining my own day (my mothers words actually), but sometimes I just get in a rut and I need to be left alone… At least by certain people.  Also, I have now learned that when one is loathing one’s living arrangements, it can really weigh on one’s mind.  “One” being me.

I so desperately want to move out (of my mothers basement) with my boyfriend.  Just the thought of not living at home feels SO GOOD.  I want out so bad.  Due to unforeseen crappy jobs and [until recently] planning on paying for everything myself kind of put me 10 years behind schedule in the moving-out department.  Right now I am on a short term disability which hardly provides enough to pay my bills, never mind cover my therapy appointments.  Though this is temporary the lack of jobs in my area combined with my severe anxiety towards leaving the house for 6-12 hours a day does not help the situation.  I have no idea what the hell I am going to do when I am off disability.

I love people that tell me I need to move – Ya, because I don’t know that.  You need money to move and I have no money.  I have tried many little projects to generate money on the side; eBay, Etsy, YouTube, Storenvy; after 3 years none are worth my time.  I either have what nobody wants or I am just making and selling what everyone else is.  It is very discouraging.  I would love to work from home somehow, in some way.  I would work SO MUCH if I could do it from the comfort of my own home.  I have tried a few online jobs too- Swagbacks, Megatypers, Surveys … again NONE are worth my time, or yours for that matter.  I’m NEVER eligible to take a damn survey, oh the frustration.

I still love Youtube thought lately my viewing and interest has been dwindling.  I don’t know if this is something to do with therapy or perhaps my extreme disappointment in myself regarding my own Youtube channel.  I want(ed) to film regularly, if not daily.  I want(ed) to talk about therapy and anxiety and all the lovely things that go along with that.  I want(ed) to create [more] outfit videos and get back into one of my first loves – fashion.  But then part of me doesn’t care.  I hate that part of me doesn’t care. Who am I if I don’t love these things anymore?

Then again… back to moving out – I feel like I would feel more inclined to do these aforementioned things if I was not here (sitting in my mothers basement, fracking FREEZING from the a/c).  I stay down here because well, there is no room for me anywhere else in the house and I feel comfortable here, its my comfy cave, but at the same time I hate it.  I am grateful- don’t get me wrong- but just because I am grateful [to my mom for putting up with me and my mental instability] does not mean I am happy.  It could be worse but it could also be better.  I am trying to seek out the positivity in life and ignore the negative.  That is very hard here.  Good test I must say, but hard.

I actually worry that I might die before I get to move out and live independently.  Who knows what could happen between now and whenever the hell we manage to get outta here.  I’m 32, another 5 years and I’ll be 37, if I am still here at 37 I really don’t know what I will do with myself.  I didn’t even want to start working again while living here (unless online/from home).  We live SO FAR from everything.  Just driving to a town where there might be work will take over half an hour AT LEAST.  I hate it.  I am stating to see how condo living in a town or city can be appealing.  I want to be able to walk places for crying out loud.  The only place I can walk here is to the end of the driveway to the mailbox which at times CAN be exciting not gonna lie, but only when I am expecting something and thats never these days.

Sometimes I wonder if its just me.  Maybe I was just born this way.  I was born in February of 1984, 3 months earlier then I was due.  I spent the first weeks of my life in an incubator and I feel lucky to have not only survived but to have been blessed with no physical or mental damage.  Then I got Kawasaki Disease when I was 2.  Very rare, can be deadly but thanks to Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto I lived.  Again, without physical or mental damage.  I cheated death at least twice now and sometimes it makes me wonder.  Maybe I am having a hard time finding my place in the world because I wasn’t suppose to be here.

I plan to stay and see what happens.  I like to hope I am here for a reason.

Retiring Piercings

Today was the day I decided to remove my tongue piercing.  I had it over 12 years – and LOVED IT until recently.  The last few months I have been considering removing it for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons was I just plainly did not care to have a metal bar through my tongue.  I was doing some random research and learned that Acrylic may not be the best material to have in one’s mouth as it can release toxins when it inevitably gets warm.  I went back to metal balls promising myself I’d buy a gold one (as I also learned gold is softer then your teeth).  At the end of the day wether it was plastic, metal, or gold I just could not stand the feeling of something in my mouth, always clinging and clanging around.  Having had it for over a decade I felt as thought it had run its course and I have gotten as much use out of it as I possibly can (NO PUN intended lol).  I honestly thought I would never remove it and I am surprised I have actually decided to take it out.

I also took out my lip piercing(aka madonna/monroe) a few months back, again, loved it – could not stand it rubbing against my teeth (after 5 years).  The first few years it never bothered me, I couldn’t feel it, I thought it was cute.  I don’t know how or why but suddenly it seemed to drive me nuts, I could feel it, it was bothering me, and (on my face) its just not that cute.

Oh and I almost forgot that I removed my top navel piercing.  I had that one since I was 17, its been overplayed, over trendy, overdone and I missed seeing my bellybutton.  I have the bottom of my navel pierced, I kept that one because its different, not as popular as the top and I still like it.

My tongue and bellybutton piercings were things I wanted at 16 & 17 years old (my lip was a random mid-20’s purchase).  I don’t like all the same things that I did back then, multiple piercings being one of them.  I still love piercings and the people that rock them but for me it was time to retire a few.

I can also only assume that this is a part of my mental health transition.  As I proceed in therapy and am working on getting better I am finding some things I never thought would change are changing.  I feel good about removing 3 separate piercings – NEVER THOUGHT THAT WOULD HAPPEN. I don’t have the desire to dye my hair every other week (it happened at a point.  Every. Other. Week.).  I just want to grow in my natural hair, as grey as it may have gotten (thank you stress of 2013).  I am not so addicted to YouTube and don’t have the desire to create, edit, and upload my own videos anymore (or at this time).  That’s just weird.  NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED.  Plus I have realized the reality that YouTube is flooded with new channels and people everyday and I just don’t know that I have what it takes to set myself apart nor do I desire to put the work into doing regular videos (it’s A LOT of work, more then you would think).  I wish I could be a Youtuber, I applaud those who have made it and those who can survive off their earnings, I do, but I just don’t see how I’d ever get to that point.

I am not sure where I am going or where I will end up but I am hopeful.  Terrified, but hopeful.  I don’t know what I want to do or even what I like to do but I am interested to see what I find.  I am realizing I am not the person I used to be (which is a good thing).  That girl was very lost, depressed, confused, and felt very unloved.  This girl is finding herself, treating my depression, finding my way out of the confusion, and is very loved.

 

PLEASE NOTE I wrote this to remember when and why I removed my piercings.  I am not saying that you should remove or keep yours or that those that get piercings do it because they are sad or depressed.  Getting and removing tattoos and piercings is a personal decision no matter who you are. To each their own 🙂