Life After

I managed to catch up a little bit on my word count. I ended yesterday about 875 words short of being back on target. Today was a day spent out with the girls, it was definitely needed! So of course, being gone all day I am about 2500 words in the hole for the moment. According to the NaNo site, I need to write 1740 words to finish on time with 50,000 words.

BUT….that is not what I want to write about in this post tonight. There was an article I came across on Facebook a couple of days ago that I found really interesting. I guess it is not an official thing like PTSD is. This was called PNSD. Post Narcissist Stress Disorder. The two are similar, but yet are different is what I am understanding. It might seem that some people are thinking this new designation is unnecessary since a lot the same things fall under C-PTSD. Maybe it will earn a spot in the disorder category, maybe it will not.  You can read the entire list of symptoms here.

There are three main symptoms. One of the main symptoms is Emotional Numbing. As I mentioned in a previous post, I got real good an numbing by detaching. Something I learned about in High School when I attended about a year or so of Al-a-teen meetings. It was a big thing that was talked about back then, we are talking 1984, 1985. I learned how to get pretty good at detaching by the time I was married to a narcissist.

Then there are the self-esteem issues one develops. I have a hard time with reliving events like arguments and such. I have trouble believing if people are genuine or not. I am the one who goes to the worst case scenario on just about any matter. I can be jumpy and have panic attacks, I have sleep issues, self doubt is a big problem as well as self blame. I tend to keep people at a distance, sometimes I avoid things that I would typically enjoy or used to enjoy. I can identify with several others on the list to varying degrees.

It started early in life for me, I was raised by a narcissistic mother. I was an accident, I should never have been born. I was told those over and over again. When I was sixteen and started working, she said I owed her for all the years she had to take care of me. Nothing I did was ever right or good enough. When I asked her to show me how to do things, she would say no. Then she would turn around and tell people I was lazy and never did anything to help her.

She tried to control my life and everyone in it. In high school, if I went out with friends I could not go alone. She had to go every where with us. It was embarrassing! And frustrating. I do not know how the few friends that I had put up with it.

The guy I dated during that time was controlling and abusive. I have talked about some of the things he did in a post a few days back. And how she kept trying to keep me with him. A couple of years after it was finally over with him and he was out of my life, some kindly souls felt the need to tell me that they believed he and my mom were a thing. Either during the end of out time together or after we split. After awhile, I stopped listening because I just did not care and I did not want to know.

Then I got married. Little did I know at the time I was marrying a narcissist. Maybe I had an inkling? I  honestly do not know for sure if I did or not. Things were subtle, which could be why I did not have a clear idea of it happening. A year after we were wed, we moved out of state. Now it is not that I did not want to move, I did eventually. I just did not expect it to be that soon. I had other thoughts on how it would all go. I never expected to be so homesick for my neighborhood and family. So I called them….A LOT! And he would get super pissed about it. I could spend hours on the phone with them because I missed them so much.

Eventually his complaints led to me calling less and less. It would be three years before we went back for a wedding. It would be four years before I got to spend a week at “home”. Just before I left for that week with my oldest, he made sure to tell me that if I even thought about leaving him that he would have me arrested and declared unfit. That he would make sure that I never saw her again. Up to that moment, I had never even considered the thought. But when he said it, it was like a light bulb went off. I just could not make any connections yet. I was confused. During my stay that week, my Babci did ask me to stay. To not go home. Little did she know how much I wanted to, just because I missed being back there. But she had no idea about his threat, I declined her offer because I had to.

More and more, he would tell me how I was not good enough at things. I did not cook right, or wash clothes right. I did not vacuum right or clean right. Everything I did was never good enough. He would spend money needlessly, but it was my fault that there was never enough. I had no friends down there. And even if I managed to make a friend here  or there, he would eventually drive them away. I always felt like I was walking on eggshells with him.

As the girls got older, he would just as cruel.  He would tell me youngest she was fat or chunky even though she was neither. He would tell one or both they were stupid or dumb for not knowing something. If they expressed their dreams or desires, he would shoot them down much the same way he and my mother did to me with my own dreams. My oldest wanted to study photography at SCAD in Savannah. He would tell her that photography was a nice hobby but she should think about getting a “real” job. She still works on her photography, but I think she gave up her dream of going to school for it. I would try my best to counter his narcissistic treatment to them but I think I may have failed anyway.

It has been seven years since I left. I still struggle. I still can hear them, him and my mother, in my head. It is no wonder I have so much trouble following through on my dreams and desires. It is so hard to get them out of my head after years of not one but two people being the resident narcissist in your life. With so much of my life being under a narcissist, it is no wonder that I struggle with even the simplest things sometimes.

I feel so much safer in my cocoon with the walls up, keeping people at bay. But that gets so dark and lonely. And then, I miss out on some possibly great friendships. Everyday, whether I realize it or not, whether I acknowledge it or not, is a struggle. Some days I feel like I am waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, even if there is not one TO drop. It is just all those years of conditioning.

I can only do what I can do. Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time, one second at a time if need be. I have to learn to be gentle with myself. I have to learn what self care methods work for me when I am triggered and then put them into practice without feeling guilty for doing it. That is hard to do, because I feel guilty for having been triggered, then I feel guilty for having to practice self care to get through it. Then I feel guilty, even angry that they even after all these years are still in my head. I am trying to learn how to ignore them if I can’t silence them.

Someday, I will be triumphant. It may not be today or tomorrow, but someday I will be.

 

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Oh Look! Squirrel!

That is pretty much how I feel wanting to do all the things but can’t do them because I can’t focus on any one thing. I know part of the lack of focus I have felt the last few days has been due to a flare up with anxiety. My writing has been suffering since Tuesday, which is about when I started to feel it coming on. I have slacked off on word count for the fiction project, struggled with even writing a back story for a character I play, even blogging has taken a hit.

Things looked up a little bit yesterday when I was actually able to add word counts to every thing I have in the works, as far as new projects go. As of this moment, I am about 3,000 words behind total. I guess we shall see where I am after this post but it will probably be about 2,000 plus behind.  I am finding it hard to write during the day this last week or so. I have been trying to get some writing in before bed, but then I just feel too tired to write.

I am leery about next week though. Thursday is going to hit me hard.  I just know it is. Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the States. But for me, it is not the same anymore. It has not been for some time now. I can tell you when it changed for me, exactly.  It was Thanksgiving day, November 23, 2006 at precisely Noon. This Thursday it will be eleven years to the day that I lost my rock and biggest cheerleader.

It is going to be hard for me. I may not get any writing in at all that day. It is supposed to be our day of feasting here at the house. But I do not know how well it is going to go. I expect it will be a pretty emotional day since this will be the first Thanksgiving without Granny here for my S.O. and his family. It will be just a bit over a month that she will have been gone.

And then there is just so much shit going on in general. They are still trying to close on the house. Every time they fax stuff in, they turn around and ask for more and more stuff. Then they fax those in, and guess what….they want MORE stuff. Christmas is coming, the new year is coming. It feels like we are in a holding pattern and a waiting for the other shoe to drop scenario. Which of course adds to everyone’s stress levels.

It does not feel good, but some things are just out of our control and just have to take their course. We do not have to like, but we do have to ride it all out I suppose.

So the question remains will I be able to make up word count and hit the 50,000 by November 30th? I truly have no idea. I can hope I do and try my damnedest to make it. But I will not make myself sick in the process. Where ever I end up in the race for words, it will be more than I have written in a long time, and in my book that is a win for me. I have managed to added over a thousand words to the fiction piece and about four hundred to the character piece in the last couple of days. So that is a good sign. Maybe something I need to do while I am trying to figure out where the story is supposed to be going is write out character pieces. Tell about who the players are so far, maybe they will open up some to me and tell me about themselves. If they do that, then maybe I can move the story forward.

All good ideas, in theory, at least. But I as I said, not going stress or panic. Just going to do what I can and hope for the best. It might sound as if I am giving myself an out and an excuse to give up. But I am not, I promise you. I am just going easy on myself.

When Anxiety Strikes

Many years ago, when I was just about seventeen, I began experiencing chest pains with some difficulty breathing. The kind that feels like you can’t get enough air into your lungs no matter how deep a breath you take kind of feeling. This went on for a few weeks, but I did not know what to make of it. I was scared of course, my maternal grandmother had heart problems and died of a massive heart attack when I was eleven years old. One night as my mother and I were walking home, the pain got so bad I had to stop and sit down. We made a choice then and there that I should go to the emergency room.

I think we took a cab there. We went in and checked in at the desk, explained what was going on. I guess chest pains and difficulty breathing in a seventeen year old warrants a four hour wait in the waiting room. When I finally did get back to a room/exam area, they barely checked me over, ran no form of tests whatsoever, but had no problem sending me home with a prescription. I, to this day, feel like I did not get the care I should have that night. I can’t remember what they were, the pills. I just vaguely remember them being bright  yellow. And of course got told to follow up with my primary doctor.

I went to him as soon as I could. He was quite pissed off that the emergency room doctor gave me whatever that pill was. He said that they had no business giving me that pill to take. While he did not order any labs on me either, he did check me over more thoroughly than the doctor at the hospital did. His diagnosis was anxiety. And I may have pulled muscles along my sternum, so I was ordered to not lift any heavy boxes at work for up to two months. They were not pleased by this at all, though in my defense, it was not in my job description to do heavy lifting. He did not want me on any medication for the time being. And eventually the pain subsided and went away, breathing got easier.

I have had other signs of having anxiety attacks. Such as feeling like I was burning up but being cold and clammy, my ears would start to buzz and ring, my vision would be affected and everything would look like it was closing in and going dark. I think that right there scared the shit out of me more than the chest pains and trouble breathing!

It seems though, when ever I start having anxiety issues, it always starts with the chest pains and trouble taking deep breaths. And that is where I am now. Been like this for a couple of days or so. I think, if I give it some thought, it has been building up to this since all this sexual assault stuff has been coming to light. I know I am safe. I know that those that did things to me cannot hurt me. I am over two thousand miles away from them. But I guess the simplest explanation is that have been triggered far worse than I thought I was.

I am not a panic attack level, thankfully. At least, not yet and hopefully it will not get to that point. So I do not want to go to the doctor for it, not now anyway. I dislike going to the doctor and being put on medications.  Plus, I am not so sure this guy actually listens to me sometimes on the occasions that I have been to see him. Without insurance and an income, I am kind of stuck with where I go and who I see.

So I guess it is time to practice some self-care. Though, the problem is, I have yet to figure out what works. Thirty years of this, on and off over that thirty, and I still do not know what works for me. Most times I just ride it out until it goes away. Sometimes, that can take a few weeks or a couple months or so.

I guess I will just do what I do. Cocoon, drink lots of tea, listen to music, watch shows I enjoy. And trying working through now with art and a journal. Those two I am still trying to figure out what works for me there.

Do not worry, I do not get all dark and twisty as Meredith Grey would say. I just go inward.

Don’t Panic!

It is now day sixteen and as of last night we are half way through NaNoWriMo. And…I am almost 3200 words behind target! Okay I guess maybe it is safe to panic. Right. RIGHT? Well I am even if it is not okay.  I do not know how to get back on track.

Even if I do not try to “catch up” I would have to write almost 1800 words per day to finish by the end of November. That seems almost a bit more doable, does it not? Considering, the daily word count goal is 1,667.

My main story that I was working on is still stalled. I still do not know what direction the story should be going in. The characters still are not telling me what they want to happen. So they are still sitting in the same places. One is at the inn, two are on the road arguing, one is being held captive, two are the captors, and then there is another who is the other bad guy, I think any way. At least that was the idea. Now, I dunno.  I am not sure if it working right.

So, I paused and switched gears. I thought I would try to work on a back history of my game character. Sounded easy peasy when I thought of it. But now, not so much. It is a little harder than I thought. Maybe I have gone too far back. Instead of going with her “being born and growing up”, I should start with where she “decided to be a druid” and went in search of training. But I feel like I am cheating myself by not telling a story of how she grew up and what made her want to be a druid and a healer. It really has a lot of options and hurdles at the same time. I can’t decide what to do.

Which brings me to the blog(s). I should have been blogging every day. And I have not been. I am supposed to be doing a NaBloWriMo this month too, and I have not been consistent at all. It is frustrating, to say the least.

So this all makes me feel like I have no business doing this. That maybe I do not have it in me to be a writer after all. Or it is just those pity party gremlins that like to give me shit and tell me I am not good enough. Because that is a very plausible explanation too. They are pretty good at messing with my head and telling me that I can’t do something. Even when I know they are all lies. I always have a hard time not believing them. It’s hard! So hard to change the mind set of the lies.

Still Writing

For the first time in fourteen days, yesterday, I fell behind with NaNoWriMo. UGH! I just did not have the motivation to do much yesterday by way of writing. I did manage two hundred and one words though, so at least I wrote SOMETHING, just not enough to make word count. I was bummed about it, but not at the same time. But it is a slippery slope, if I stay on it I will surely fall into the depths of not writing at all and that will be that….again…..for this year. So far, not including this post or anything as of last night my word count is at 22,356. Not great, but not bad either. It is probably more then I have written all year! So sometime today, I have to get 2,644 words written!!!!!!!!!! OR, to finish on time by November 30th, I have to write 1,728 words. A bit more doable but I also know I can do the later number.

I have let my fiction piece sit for a couple days because I still do not have a clue what direction it might be going in. The characters I have so far have yet to clue me in. I do not want to just abandon it, I have too many stories that I have done that to. But oddly enough, if I took all my bits and pieces of incomplete stories and molded them together I could probably make it all work together. It would just mean blending characters and such things like that. Well maybe not all the stories, but most of them.

One of the things I did the other night because I was so stuck on my fiction piece was I decided I wanted to write a back story of my World of Warcraft character. In the lore, all the players have such a rich history it seems and I really want to read all the books some day. I always wondered what my character’s history would be if she had one. When I started playing way back in 2007, I had no idea what I would be getting into. I thought it was just like any other video game. The first time my character “died” in game I kept waiting for the “GAME OVER” to pop up and have to start over. It was several minutes at least before I realized that was not going to happen. I was so green about what an MMORPG game was.

Any how, I started playing when I was looking for some way to be the character of my story that I had in my head. I did not know anything about the game. I was a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I had watched it so much, extended versions of course, that my daughters and I could practically quote the movies verbatim. I knew I wanted to be an elf and a healer, so druid seemed like the best choice for me since I was also interested in herbalism myself. And so my character was born and that was ten years ago.

I wanted a history for her, I have tried to imagine what it might be like for her as a child and growing up. So to light up my creative juices I decided to give it go and see how I would fair. I am about one thousand words or so into that, but I know I can go back to those and add more details where things are too vague. I suppose this would fall under fan fiction, which is fine to do. I want to do what ever it takes to get the words flowing. So if writing a story about my in game character is what gets me going great. If one of my other story characters that are currently collecting dust decides to wake up and start talking that would be fabulous. If the ones in my current piece decided to clue me in to what is going on in this story and where it is going, that would be fan-fucking-tastic!

But I suppose that the real bottom line here is that I.AM.WRITING. Regardless of what the stories are or are not.

Trust The Process

“Creative Surrender is a state of being present and embodied in the creative process, it’s the moment of letting go while making art, when a deep listening to creative intuition occurs, and it’s about giving space and allowing the piece of art to unfurl, emerge and breathe as any living organism would. The saying “trust the process” is central to this approach of art making.”
~~~Tamar Swartz (from an interview she gave here)

 

AAAAAAAAAAND………….that is where I go wrong! Every! Single! Time!!!!! I find that more often than not, I do not trust the process. I have not learned HOW to trust the process. I have not learned how to let go and just let it happen. I tend to stay in my head too much, too often, too long. If you listen to any of the artists out there, almost all of them at some point will say “Trust the Process!” I have not figured that part out yet.

I am guilty of it in everything! Writing, journaling, art whether it is on canvas, BIG paper, or in my art journal, photography, even cooking. I always feel like I need to maintain some sort of control. Those moments, and they are  few, when I do get out of my head and out of my own way, the results are amazing (I think). But when I do not, everything is muddled and a mess and comes out awful and wrong.

That is where I usually end up sulking and having a pity party for myself. I know what the problem is but I do not want to acknowledge that I am the problem. Then I feel like a fake and think: who the hell do I think am? How can I possibly call myself an artist or writer? I know, I know….if you make art and you write than you have the right to call yourself those things, even if you are not doing it every.single.day. But that is the problem, I want to be doing those things EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! Yet I can’t get out of my own way and own head long enough to trust the process and be fucking amazing! I can be you know, fucking amazing. It is in there, I just need to learn how to get it out there.

I Wanted To Write Today

I wanted to, I did. Just not what I intended. I wrote one thousand seven hundred and twelve (1712) words in an effort to brain dump some shit. All stemming from what I wrote about the last couple of posts.

I am seeing from quite a few people that the whole “Me Too” movement has shook them up, dredged up stuff for them. And now, more and more and MORE are being called out on their shit. More stories are being told. It is like an avalanche of stories of “me toos”.

Even as a wrote the words tonight that for now will be for my eyes only, I felt like no one would believe me. Then I started thinking about why I forgave my dad. Why was I able to forgive him but not the others?  Is it because both times he was under the influence and maybe truly had no control or did not even recall what he did? Is it because those two times never went further than attempts? I do not have an answer. It is something I will have to give a lot of thought to. And he can’t make amends because he has been deceased for almost twenty three years. I think part of my answer was I got wrapped up in the whole ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ concept. I remember I had written him a letter, also one to my mother at the suggestion of a church lady. She did not know what I had experienced. But she said, I think, it has been so long ago, that by me offering them forgiveness we can bridge the gap, heal, and in the end get them saved. I never understood why to some being Catholic was not good enough and you had to convert everyone. Even though, they were once Catholic too.

But any way, I am going off track there. The letters….right. Well he took his to heart and welcomed it openly. I really believe he was sorry for all the shit he caused because of his drinking. He lost everything, home, family, friends, jobs. The last time I saw my father, he was the shell of a man that I knew as a little girl who would tuck me and play hide and seek with me. I think I chose to remember the happy memories, but learn from the bad. Just not hold on to them because they served neither of us any purpose. He was fifty four that last time I saw him. He walked like he was ninety four. He was skin and bones. He was always a thin man to start, but this….this was different. He was like a ghost. I could see the pain and heartache in him as he tried to play with my then toddler, his first grandchild. He was so weak, he could not even pick her up to sit on his knee. When I left his room at the boarding house that day, I knew somehow that my father, the man I knew was gone. Little did I know that three months later he would leave this world.

I keep sitting and thinking about all this stuff. Trying to make sense of it all. I know, I keep saying that. I keep thinking that nothing that I have been through can help anyone else. You know how when you are trying to get the victim of abuse to get out or get help, and they tell you “oh no, it is okay. it is not really that bad.” I think that is where I am at in my mind. I know, in my mind and heart, and with all my being that no amount of abuse is okay. I know that it is all bad, no matter how many times it happened. But I  keep thinking that. And who am I to think that I can have an impact on someone?

A quote came up in my Instagram feed today, it is by Richard Rhodes. (Ironically, my dad’s name was Richard). The quote was this: “If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent. Who Am I? Who will listen to me? You are a human being with a unique story to tell. You have every right.”

That right there….IS GOLD! Because every word is true for me. I can write, sure. It absolutely scares the living shit out of me. The talent part, well I dunno about that one. I ask myself all the time, who will listen to little ole me? But I do have a unique story and it is my right and my choice to tell it.

There is a lot of stuff I have buried and can’t remember. Some things I do not know if I even want to remember. But then I feel like I need to remember so I can work through it and heal from it.

I do not know how I will put my story into words yet, but I will work on it. Maybe, I dunno. (sigh)

Trying To Make Sense Of It All

I am struggling to find words today.
I have spent most of the day playing Facebook games, catching up on Law & Order: SVU and Will & Grace. I needed Will & Grace, I needed to laugh. Even the sad episode made me laugh. But the line that Karen said near the end, struck me. And it is true, oh so true.

When you lose someone to death, you will have people asking you what they can do or what do you want. And the reality is they can’t do anything. The only thing you want is the person you lost to come back, you want them there for just one more moment. To say a few more words. To hug them and love them just a little bit longer. You do not want them to be gone, forever.

But what happens, what do you do when people say they are should have been there more, they should have visited more, called more? And they claim all these feelings of guilt and sorrow. And post things like “spend time with the people you love while you can” type things. Then turn around and act like spoiled children and do the things to same things to people left behind. Or they just want to come in and get things promised to them, without so much as a how are you holding up? How can people be so selfish?

I think back to when I lost my Grandma. How many people claimed to love her and when I needed people the most, they forgot I existed. It hurt. But the sad thing was, I expected it. Now to see it happening to someone else, it hurts and it is like salt on a raw wound.

So many things I thought I had gotten past. “ME TOO” has hit me way harder than I thought possible. The old pain, the hurts, the scars have torn open. I thought I had healed. I thought I was healed from how hurt I felt by others after losing my Grandmother. I feel myself wanting to go back to my old way of thinking. To put up the walls, shut everyone out, let know one in. Trust no one, love no one. All the pain brings up the feelings of being unlovable.

One of the things you learn when you attend meetings like Al-a-teen, is to detach from the situation. You are not at fault, you are not the problem, you did not make them drink. I got so good at detaching, I got numb. I think being so numb is what made it easier to stay in an abusive situation. If I detached and was numb to the pain, then it was not as real. And I felt like I could save my abuser(s), I could help them get better. It did not matter how I was feeling or doing, because I was detached from the situation.

So all this has me thinking and turning things over in my mind. Wading through the muck. It is all so jumbled I can’t make rhyme or reason of any of it right now. I can’t find words to go with my thoughts. I do not know how to feel the feels. I still try not to feel things too deeply, just on the surface is enough. But it is not, not really. Is it? If I allow myself to feel all the feelings then it will really hurt. I will feel like I am drowning, like I can’t breath. I will cry the ugly cries and I do not want to cry like that. I end up exhausted for days after.

I am not an analytical person, so I do not know how to sort shit out that way. And since I can’t find the words to express myself, journaling seems difficult to me.

Have you ever been in a room filled with people, but yet you feel alone? As an introvert, I thought I would welcome that sort of feeling. I am rarely home alone, but yet I feel alone sometimes. There are times I want to talk about something but I can’t because there is no one that understands. I do not want some one to fix it or analyse it. I just want to….FUCK! I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it. I know there are a couple of my online friends that have said I can talk to them anytime I need to. But everyone I know has their own stuff they are wading through. And if I go to someone, then I feel guilty for laying my shit on them. And so the cycle goes.

I have to find words, I have to learn how to journal it out. I have to learn how to art it out. It is just so frustrating that I feel like I am grasping at straws. I know I am not the only one that is struggling and not the only one who has been triggered by the “me too” movement. I know I am not alone there. But it sucks balls that this has opened up shit for us in unimaginable ways.

Now I have to go fish for 765 more words so I can hit my word goal for the day.

Survivor

Possible triggers in this post. I do NOT describe events in detail, but if you are sensitive or easily triggered, you might not want to read.

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Ever since the “Me Too” movement started it has weighed heavily on my mind and heart. So, so many women, and men too, have been coming forward. They are still coming forward. There is victim shaming left and right. There is blame being laid at the feet of those who knew and said and did nothing. Abusers are being called out, some fess up and others deny they did anything wrong.

I am one of the silent victims. I am one of those who never spoke about it. Even when I finally did, I felt like I was not believed. I honestly do not think I was. I used to think that I was only victimized once. But as I thought about it, I realized that I was wrong.

The first time I was ten. It was a family member. He wanted to make out. I did not want to. We were sharing a room, a sleep over because I was visiting distant family. We eventually got separated so nothing went further than the attempted kissing.

The second time I was twelve. I was at the kitchen table doing homework. My mother was doing dishes. My father was intoxicated and asked me what I was doing. I told him my homework, which was obvious. He tried to touch me. He never tried to do something like that before….EVER. I freaked and screamed, my mother confronted him and threatened him that if he ever. You get the idea.

He tried again when I was sixteen. He was so drunk. I swear my then boyfriend slipped him something. I was in my room with a migraine. He came in and started saying I was faking it. He started to come at me. I kept trying to get him to “See Me” but it was like he was seeing someone else. Which is why I think something was given to him. It wasn’t until I slapped him hard that he saw me. He shook his head like he was dazed and woke up. Turned and left my room.

When I tried to tell my grandma about these two incidents. She wouldn’t believe me. Or couldn’t. She didn’t think my father would do such a thing or even try to. But I know what happened to me and I wouldn’t make this shit up.

I was sixteen when I was raped by my then boyfriend. My mother always threatened me with physical harm if I had sex or if I got pregnant. How could I possibly tell her? So I didn’t. This is the same guy who hit me. The same guy that held me at knife point and gun point on two separate occasions. The same guy that every time we broke up, she wanted us back together. I can still remember the exact day it happened.

When I was seventeen, I was sexually harassed by a manager at work. He liked to grab my arms or try to rub shoulders. He would say things that were inappropriate. He made me very uncomfortable. So I went to the general manager and asked to not be on that manager’s shift any more. He asked why and I told him. HE believed me! I tried speaking with this manager more than once. Then I think a couple of other girls came forward with the same complaint. The manager kept saying we were overreacting. The GM asked me if I wanted to make a formal complaint when he still did not stop. I did, I don’t know if nay one else did. The company didn’t fire him though. They just transferred him to a different store.

When I was eighteen, I took an office job while I was going to college. I came in one day with a skirt on and from that day on my boss harassed me. Saying things like I needed to dress like that all the time or I should show off my legs more often.

At twenty, I moved to Florida. I took a job in a field I had experience in. I was the only female manager at the store. All of them harassed me endlessly. I stuck it out three months. They all laughed when I turned in my keys and quit. They said they knew I couldn’t hack it and actually took bets about how long I would last.

I didn’t realize then that these work place incidents were sexual harassment. In the late 80s and early 90s, it wasn’t something that was discussed. Looking back it almost didn’t seemed frowned upon. Now I just feel stupid that I didn’t know what it was. But even if I did, I doubt my claims would have been taken seriously. Except for that one, but then I wasn’t the only complainant.

I have had doubts about even writing a post about it. I did not know if I should or not. Did it matter? Do I have the right to claim to be a survivor? Even as I write I am still thinking, maybe I should just delete the post. Another part of me feels like if I get out there, maybe I can heal those wounds instead of trying to bury them.

What Makes Me (You) Come Alive?

The Day You Finally Start to Do the Thing That Makes You Come Alive Is the Day Everything Changes
(From Jennifer Blanchard’s newsletter)

 

This was the opening line of the her newsletter yesterday, which I opened today and I paused to reread that line several times. I feel like I have heard it before, but I cannot place where or by whom. I have tried a Google search but came up empty.

The important thing is that it made me pause and think. What is that makes me come alive? Making art and creating in my journal. Writing (when I am not staring at the blank page like a zombie lol). Finding the beauty and trying to photograph it. Talking about things I love, like my favorite show or novel or book series. But what is it that if there is something I am doing that makes me feel alive in the moment that keeps me from doing it everyday? Where is my passion? Why do I not chase my dream daily?

Creating! Creating makes me come alive! It does not matter what form it takes, whether it is painting, writing, photographing, crocheting, etc. That is what makes me feel the feels.

So what holds me back? The fears. Fear of sucking at what I do. Fear at not being good enough. Fear of being terrible at it. Fear that every one will hate it. Fear of rejection. Fear that my dreams will fail and wither. Fear that if at some point I do try to make it a business or try to get published (if I should actually write something and finish it) that I will fail hard. Fear of crashing and burning. I am just scared shit!

I do not know what “normal” fear feels like. Is it all basically the same when it comes to chasing a dream? I kind of know where mine stem from, I think. But does the root of your fears, the source of which they come from change them? Does it make fear feel different?

Will I ever push passed all the bullshit and fear and find my way out? Will I ever be able to follow my dreams? Or will I be suck with just a dream that I cannot follow?

 

 

 

 

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