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I am in love.  I am head over heels in love.

I really want this to work out.
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I'm 22 today.  Wow, hard to believe I've actually managed to live this long.  I mean, I've been living in a "warzone" of sorts for years, though the last three have been better than ever.  I've made it this far

I remember a time when I didn't think I'd make it past 17.  I really honestly believed that I would die the year that I was 17, that I would never reach 18, the age of adulthood.  I am ecstatic that I've made it to 22!  I mean, holyshit, no more legal milestones!  I get to look forward to being a-quarter-of-a-century-old, then 30, then over-the-hill!  Hopefully by then I'll be settled happily somewhere with a family of my own.

I always marvel at each birthday I get to.  It's literally celebrating surviving.  I am going to make this year the best one I've ever had!  I'm kicking off the year in an awesome healthy relationship with a wonderful man, a good relationship with my mother & her husband, I have a job that I love, I have a roommate that I never fight with who I enjoy being around-- I've even begun thinking of her as a sister, I mean, hell, we even have the same last name-- things are amazing right now!  Yes, I am working on my birthday, a 12hr shift at that, but I'm OK with that. 

I have my creativity back.  I have awesome friends.  I am so thankful for what I have.  I am alive & I am healthy, finally.  I feel normal.  I have finally taken back my power.  I am finally able to put my foot down & say "NO!"  I am determined & confident.  Though I struggled with body issues quite a bit this last year, right now I am content. 

I think this is the first birthday in a very long time for which I've been happy.  I cannot wait to see what this year holds in store for me!
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I finally finished that piano piece I've been working on.  I've named it P.S. I Love You because it illustrates my feelings exactly in the sense that it's shy, kind of like a hint, but not outright bold like a downright declaration.  I am ecstatic.  I can't wait until I have the chance to play it for the man that inspired it.  

I told him last night that I finished it.  He didn't even know I write music.  I also told him that I also write stories & poetry in addition to music, & can also draw & paint.  He asked me what I painted & I said when I paint, I like to paint landscapes, preferably mountainscapes.  He said he loves landscapes.  He also suggested that I paint the view from his front porch.  I think this is a fantastic idea!  I haven't painted in several years, so I'll have to buy a couple canvases, a palette knife, & acrylics. 

I am so happy that I've been able to get back into being creative.  I've begun working on the story of my life, finally.  I figured, I might as well start now so that I can write out as much as I can before I forget it.  I know I can always add to it should I remember something new.  I think it'll be a therapeutic way of getting everything out.  I actually became inspired to write it out through my Christmas present from my mother this year.  It is a memoire that my cousin Bubba Stahl published this last year.  He's a Baptist preacher in Texas & has been all over the State pastoring different churches.  Right before we moved from Boerne, he got involved in missionary work in Uganda, & that has become a whole separate ministry.  He's now the pastor for the First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi.

While reading that book, I've realized how much I've missed out on.  Both of his boys are grown & married with multiple children.  I totally missed out on that.  It makes me sad that I did, but I'm happy for them.  I also remembered things from my life that I had forgotten, which is why I began writing, trying to remember as many details as I can.

I am just excited to have my creativity back.  It seems like it's been dormant for a while.
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I've always heard Christians say things along the lines of, "Lord, I want to be broken for You," or "I am Yours, so break me."  I never really thought about those words or phrases until a few days ago.  I was listening to a Jars of Clay song that I usually skip over because it's one of those really "worshippy" songs, you know, the kind that are so cliched, so servile-sounding.  In it, they sang a phrase about being "broken on my knees" & it hit me that I'd be willing to bet that most of your run-of-the-mill Christians have no idea what brokenness actually is.

Being broken is a terrible thing.  It is horrifying & I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  Brokenness is not some happy state of servitude-- it is a state of instability, of pain, of torment.  Brokenness is when you're so messed up that you're terrified of being locked up in a mental ward & never being let out.  Brokenness is needing medications just to get out of bed each morning or to fall asleep at night.  Brokenness is not eating to waste away & cutting up your body with a razorblade because you can't feel anything.  Brokenness is knowing that people avoid you because you are what they would call "crazy".  Being broken is eponymous of "Screwed up, used up, crumpled, lying on the floor [Korn]" & "Don't bring me daffodills, bring me a bouquet of pills.[Korn]"  It is not something flowery & beautiful to wish for.  It is "Don't ever tell the world that I don't belong, that I can't ever change my ways, & I can't be strong.[Cold]"  Brokenness is being completely shattered, absolutely crushed, full of sorrow, consumed by misery, immersed in despair. 

I don't understand the prayers of wishing to be "broken."  It is impossible for me to believe that someone who has actually been broken before would ever wish for it.  It is a nightmare that a person lives in waking & sleeping.  You go to bed miserable hoping that sleep might bring some relief, & you wake back in the miserable world from which you tried to escape in your dreams.  It is a cycle of despair because nothing ever gets better.  It goes beyond your run-of-the-mill blues & tarries in the realms of depression.  You become a living zombie operating on autopilot.  You feel nothing but pain.  You sometimes even wish for death.

Even though I've become more comfortable with Christianity, I'm still not able to bring myself to pray anything like this.  I don't want to ever go back to what I lived through.  Things have improved immensley in my day-to-day life & I would never wish to repeat any of the Hell I've lived through.  I am still influenced by my history, in the same way that every person is influenced by their history.  Mine is simply a bloodier history, a history with more tribulation than most go through.  I know that it makes me a special kind of person, a person much better able to deal with the darkest parts of life than someone who has not the experiences that I have.  Yet, I don't dare think that I'm better than anyone else.  I don't think of myself as arrogant simply because I do have the appreciation for the things that I have.  Perhaps it is because I was broken once that I feel this way.  Or perhaps I am arrogant & I simply refuse to believe it.

My experiences have colored me differently.  My fears are more real & much darker.  My biggest fear is being raped again.  It is a real fear, not something that is to be dismissed flippantly.  It has happened to me, more than once.  It is a rational fear, something that is not out of the realm of reality.  I've developed the mindset that if I'm ever attacked again, one of us will end up dead.  I've developed the same determination that most Police Officers have that they are for sure going to go home alive from their shift.  That's my outlook-- when I say one of us will end up dead, I mean it won't be me-- & there's no way that I'll be injured the way I have been in the past.  This fear became a bit more concrete just a few days ago.

Earlier this week, on my days off, I stayed over at my significant other's house out in the country.  I love going out there as it's a beautiful property.  It's peaceful, lots of grasses, trees, gorgeous skies-- both at night & during the day-- though my favorite is during sunset or sunrise.  There's a stock tank with wildlife, a bit of brush, & enough room between neighbors that you feel you have your privacy, yet also have ease of access to contact friends.  His house is on the same property as his mother's house, which is the one he grew up in, only on the other side of a treeline & a couple of barns, & down a hill.  Technically, it's a trailer, but it's a large well-built, very nice one with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a dining room, kitchen, laundry room, & living room.  It's very comfortable &, when the furnace is cooperating, can be very cozy.  He has an alarm system installed &, like all country boys, has plenty of weapons at his disposal, not to mention the fact that he's a Police Officer.  This is a fact for which I am beyond grateful-- it has saved our properties & possibly even our lives.

On my last night there this week, we were at home.  We'd just had a wonderful evening together & had retired to bed around 2320.  His Acid Reflux & old back injury were bothering him, so he decided to sleep on the couch, & I slept in the master bedroom.  I was tired, as was he, & it didn't take long for me to drift off to sleep.  Every night I stay there, I go to sleep to the sounds of the family of possums that live under the house scratching around & making noises just under the bedroom.  My significant other has been battling them for months & still hasn't figured out a way to scare them away, outside of shooting them when they wander up onto the porch at night & begin going through the trash.  On this particualr night, I heard them scratching across the house where the laundry room was, though they were louder than usual.  I vaguely remember hearing a thump, & then I drifted away into sleep.

The next morning, I woke up around 0735 & went into the living room to wake my significant other & cuddle for a little while before he had to get ready for work.  We talked & cuddled for a bit, discussing how we'd be working the New Year's Eve shift that night & how busy we thought it'd be.  We watched a little morning news, talked about some of the stories, then he hopped in the shower to get ready to go to work.  I went into the laundry room, which is just off the kitchen, to make sure I'd not forgotten any of my clothes, & to make sure there was no more laundry to do.  The back door in the laundry room was wide open.  I thought, "That's odd.  It's never open."  I didn't touch the door & I retreated back into the master bathroom to ask my significant other if he'd left the door open for some reason.  He was listening to his morning talk radio while showering, so he couldn't hear me talking over the noise.  After getting him to turn off the radio, I asked about the door being open.  He thought I was yanking his chain, that I was full of shit & just messing with him.  I wasn't, I was serious, so he turned off the shower, grabbed a towel, & followed me into the laundry room.  Sure enough, just as I said, the door was open.  He pulled the door shut & saw that a stool that he usually has leaned up against a pole across the yard had been propped against the house.  He threw on some jeans, a shirt, & a jacket, then went outside to sleuth the scene.  He discovered pry marks on the house & door frame, & came to the conclusion that someone had broken into the house during the night while we were sleeping. 

He told me that right before he'd laid on the couch to go to sleep, he'd pulled his uniform out of the dryer to hang it up so it would be ready for work the next day.  He told me that he almost draped it over the back of a chair in the kitchen area, but instead decided to hang it in the doorway between the kitchen & the laundry room.  He told me he thinks that the person broke into the house, saw the uniform, realized a cop lived there, turned tail & ran.  That certainly seems plausible to me.  This is the time that I'm thankful that I'm dating a cop.

Things could have turned out so much worse if his uniform had not been hanging in that doorway.  My worst fear could have become reality again & things could have been even worse as we could have lost both our lives.  I am so thankful that we're both alive & that the only harm was a door pried open.  Ironically, this is the only door that does not have an alarm sensor on it, though it's blocked by the dryer, but obviously can still be opened.  The alarm system had been set that night, but didn't trip because of the lack of sensor.  He told me that he'd heard the same scratching noises & the thump from the laundry room area that I did, but didn't think anything of it as he, like I, thought it was just the possums again.  Needless to say, a sensor is going to be installed on that door promptly, even if I have to pay for it myself. 

If the person who broke in didn't care that a Police Officer lived there, they could have easily murdered my significant other in the living room & then done unspeakable things to me.  I had no way to protect myself.  All of his firearms are in the living room & kitchen areas, & there are no weapons in the master bedroom or master bathroom in the house, with the exception of a pocket knife he left in the bathroom on the counter.  I would have been completely vulnerable.  I have decided that I'm taking my handgun with me when I go there, that way I have a weapon with me.  Most of his neighbors are his family or practically family, & it never occured to me before that this could happen as I felt safe there, even with just the alarm.  I suppose that one cannot be too careful.

My significant other is angry that he didn't get up & investigate when he heard the noises, & that he missed out on the chance to defend his property.  He & the deputy that came to take the report were joking that if my significant other had discovered the intruder, things could have gotten a whole lot bloodier.  Though there is truth to this, I am thankful that things turned out the way they did-- no one got hurt & we, as well as our "stuff", are safe.  I told my significant other this, but he still said he was disappointed that he did not investigate when he heard the noises.  I told him things could have turned out much worse if there had been a confrontation, like he could have been killed or I could have been raped, & that it scared me.  He just looked at me & said that he didn't think anyone could take advantage of me that way.  I guess I need to have that talk with him soon that I've been putting off.  Of course, my attitude is a bit different now than it was back then, but does that really make a difference?

I am dismayed the intruder wasn't caught, but all of the neighbors have been warned to keep an eye out for suspicious persons, so hopefully whoever it was that did this is not coming back to the area.  I certainly hope that whomever it was knows that it's not a good idea to piss off country folk, but I don't think they were really smart enough to consciously think about that.  I can only hope that whomever it was learned a lesson & won't do something this stupid again.

I am so thankful to be alive, I am thankful that he's alive-- we get more time together. 
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I am sad today.  I had nightmares all night again & I woke myself up screaming a few times.  It's been a long time since I've had nightmares of that caliber.  I hate my father for this is because of him.  He took away the first precious moments that I was supposed to have.  He took away my virginity, my first orgasm, my first experience with oral sex, my first pregnancy...possibly my only pregnancy... These are things that are supposed to be beautiful & celebrated & instead mine were painful & shame-inspiring.

My heart is still sick over this.  I've been crying since I woke up.  I feel so violated.  My child would be about 10 years old now.  Perhaps I'm not meant to ever be a mother with biological children.  Perhaps that pregnancy & any others subsequently that I should ever have are simply not meant to be.  I see families with small children & though I find them to be things that make me happy & bring me joy, I also feel pangs of sadness.  What would my baby have been like?  Would they have been artistic or analytical?  Would they have had birth defects or would they have been completely normal?  How would my family have dealt with a child whose parents were blood related?  What about my baby?  Would I ever have revealed who their father was?

Some of these questions are so painful to think about.  The thought that my baby would have been not only my child, but also my sibling is horrifying to me.  If my mother had known & believed the truth, it would have destroyed her.  Perhaps that is why things happened the way they did-- because she could not handle the truth, denial was so much better a cushion.

I want to believe that fathers love their daughters above anything else.  I don't understand how my own father was able to do something so damaging to his own child.  He was a doctor for Christ's sake!  He knew the consequences of abusing a child.  He knew that the child would have a lifetime of problems.  He knew pregnancy was possible.  He knew & he still did it anyway!  Maybe he just wanted one teenager that was so screwed up that he could put on display.  Maybe he wanted a child that he could medicate with an anti-depressant that would make their problems worse to maybe make him feel as though he wasn't the sick one.  Dad did that-- he put me on Zoloft, which only made me more suicidal. 

It is because of my father that I was terrified of oral sex for so long.  It is because of my father that I have sexual dysfunctions.  It is because of my father that I both have a huge fear of never getting pregnant & pregnancy itself.  It is because of my father that I have nightmares that make me wake screaming.  It is because of my father that I have these problems when I open myself up to another person. 

I hate my father.
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I had a flashback this morning after waking from yet another nightmare starring my father as World's Biggest Douche. The nightmare was a surreal, monster-filled, gloomy, humid argument. We were in this strange house in the midst of a storm that was rolling in. My dad was just being an asshole & yelling at me over minute things. I looked out the window & saw these large dinosaur-looking cloud monsters coming towards our general direction & they scared me. I told my mother that a bad storm was coming & she went to a garage-type room & switched the breakers from 5 to 6. She then said she was going somewhere & I was welcome to join her in the car & I could even sit in it while she was inside. My brother piped up saying he wanted to go & she told him no. My dad began yelling again at me over something & I turned to my mother & tearfully asked her to make him stop being a douche. Then I woke.

I don't know what this dream means, but it triggered a flashback to something extremely unimportant. It was around the time we moved to Amarillo. We went to visit someone named Jesse for Christmas. I think Jesse was a woman & was related to us in some way, or maybe she was just a close friend of my parents. I don't know. They used to call their close friends by "Aunt" or "Uncle" or similar, so I have no way of knowing if we were related. She was in her 50's I think & had this house that was an older one-story. All I remember is that it was cold outside, there was snow & ice on the ground, & it was dark. I think we stayed the night, but I'm not sure. I do remember she had no toys except for a couple of board games & we had to play with them in the living room.

This memory is so generic to me. There's nothing negative that I can place, but it came back attached to some very strong feelings of sadness & despair. I don't know what this means. I hate the holidays & I wish I didn't have this problem.
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Also, new experience--

It feels fucking wonderful when there's someone to miss you.

XD
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So I have memory problems.  As far as I know, I always have.  It's a problem that is also a symptom of C-PTSD, so if I had problems before the trauma-- which I have no way of knowing-- then the result of the trauma magnifies that problem two-fold.  That fucking sucks. 

I have a hard time making new memories in triggering situations.  For example, I cannot recall statements made during arguments.  Arguments trigger me to dissociate & I cannot remember things that happen while I'm dissociated.  I can remember that I was involved in an argument, & roughly what it was about, & am usually able to know the outcome as the outcome affects the relationship outside the argument, but I cannot remember the "meat" of the quarrel.  I certainly cannot quote back exact phrases the way my ex could & it was an ability he used often to twist my words & arguments against myself, all the while accusing me of not making sense.  In essence, he took advantage of my weakness to make me out to be the crazy bad guy that had no grasp on reality, therefore elevating himself to be in the right all the time.  I know that sounds really petty & cannot be true all the time because I know some of the time I was indeed at fault in arguments, but it was a tactic he used often enough that I began to doubt anything that I thought-- I began to wonder if the thoughts in my head were actual reality or if what he said was the true reality.  Maybe, in an existential Freudian light, both realities are simlutaniously correct as every person makes his own reality, but perhaps that's a concept that is not altogether based on reality.  Eh, it hurts my brain to think about it.

Ironically, I ran into him a couple of weeks ago & told him about my memory problems.  He said he was unaware that I had honest-to-God problems with memory & said he just thought I was being "choosy" on my recollections during arguments.  He seemed horrified that he took advantage of me that way, but I think part of that is because he was in "Please come back-- I love you" mode.  Maybe therapy is doing him some good.

Over the last few years I've been able to recall memories that were "blocked".  I'm finally able to put faces on the people that my mind was protecting me from.  I am finally able to remember every single sexual abuser I've ever had & the situations surrounding the abuse, as well as the probable extent of the abuse.  I'm going to chronicle them right now so that I never have to wrack my brain to remember each one ever again.  They are in no particular order:
  • There's my father.  Every form of abuse imaginable.
  • There's my high school ex-boyfriend.  Rape.
  • There's my ex-husband.  Abandonment, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Rape.
  • There's the guy that stuck his hands down my pants & groped my breasts while I was engaged.  I was at a party with one of my friends from high school & had some alcohol to drink.  He wanted to have sex & I didn't, & as soon as his hands went down my pants, I got the fuck out of there.
  • There's my ex-husband's best friend who routinely made sexual comments to me that were unwelcomed, stared at me like he was undressing me with his eyes, & then groped me in front of my ex-husband who didn't do anything to stop it & never spoke with him about it.  When I confronted my ex-husband, he simply said, "Dave was drunk."  It hurt that he wouldn't stand up for me & protect me like he swore he would (being my husband & all).
  • Then there's the guy named Ek Ott who sexually assaulted me when I was watching a movie with him at his house & then stole my most prized possession that I had at the time-- my special edition Tekku No Escaflowne Movie: A Girl In Gaia-- which completed my Escaflowne collection.
Before I went to sleep this morning, my mind was racing through my memories.  I've been preparing to tell the man that I'm seeing about my history or as much as I can remember.  There are so many details that I've been able to recall & I've spoken aloud my story over & over the last few days trying to figure out just what to tell him.  If we had the time, I'd tell him everything that has happened, but I am both afraid we won't have the time to have a conversation that long, & that he may look at me differently.  I don't want him to see me as broken or wounded.  I want him to continue to see me in the light of someone who is courageous, strong, & independant.  I don't want him to think I'm insane because I've a psychological illness that makes me a little bit different than everyone else.  I want him to still think of me as a girl who has all her shit together.  I don't want to seem as though I'm not solid.

He's a good person & very understanding, but has one of those crazy ex's.  I don't want to emulate her in any way & I'm afraid that by telling him the full extent of what I've been through I will scare him off.  I've told him so far that my family & I have a bad relationship.  I've told him that my father abused me.  I also believe I told him of my miscarriage.  He also knows of the abuse that my ex-boyfriend put me through as he was one of the many rational voices of friends telling me what I already knew-- that I needed to get the fuck out of that relationship for my own sake.  I suppose the "what if's" are really bothering me-- what if he ends things when I reveal what I've been trying to hide for a while? 

I always joke that everyone is trying to hide their crazy.  However, in my case, it's true.  I have a psychological problem that people who have not experienced real trauma do not have.  I'm always trying to control my triggers & hide my reactions so that I can at least appear normal to others.  I still scream inside whenever I see a woman being attacked in a movie & I'm able to at least keep my reaction down to maybe a few silent tears.  I've been able to mask my reaction to someone coming up behind me unexpectedly by laughing or smiling even though I feel like backing into a corner or hauling off & socking them right in the jaw.  I know I've come far in my journey of recovery, but I also know I'll never be fully recovered, no matter how many years go by.  The only way that I could feasibly see that goal was if there was a way to wipe the memories completely from my mind forever.  Alas, I am not a computer, so wiping my hard drive is not a possibility; it would be nice to install Windows XP though, & maybe get rid of this frustrating Windows Millennium Edition-- maybe I could fix some of the bugs that way.  :P

Honestly, I wrestle with this same dilemma everytime I allow myself to get close enough to someone that it really matters.  I've been able to somewhat distance my "quirk" & my professional relationships, but when they branch into friendships outside of simply "work", then I struggle with whether or not I should reveal why I am the way I am.  I don't want pity & I worry that I change a person's perception of me.  I want to project the best person I can because I want to be the best person I can.  I don't know what to feel other than worry of possible negative outcomes.

I wish I didn't have a secret this big.
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I've not had good experiences with therapists or counselors. Over the years, I've been to several & have had quite an array of experiences.  They've ranged from counselors who don't ask the right questions to counselors who overstep their bounds.  In all honesty, had I not these experiences with therapists, then I would not have discovered that I can better work on my issues on my own than hashing them over for months at a time with a complete stranger that does not understand my thought processes.  When I need help from outside sources, I've the luck to have a close friend or two in my time of need to bounce things off of, but I prefer to confine my healing to my own parameter that I can set boundaries to.

When I was around 14 or 15, my family sent me to a counselor for my behavioral problems. My mother & I did not get along & would often quarrel. Of course, I was the one blamed, as a teenaged girl obviously has authority problems & should ultimately submit to the adult per the belief that one should honor one's parents & all elders as well, scripturally speaking. I never was violent, but the therapy sessions were sparked by my admission to my mother that I had attempted suicide unsuccessfully previously. It was indeed a cry for help, but no one seemed able to give me the kind of help that I needed. Granted, I didn't even know the kind of help that I needed, only that something was terribly wrong & that I was the one who was ultimately suffering.

The counselor, Katie, met with my mother & I several times. She heard of our surface history & came to the conclusion that I had grieving problems associated with my mother's illness. When I was 9, my mother was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that was inoperable due to its location in the very center of her brain. The doctors said that no matter how they would attempt to access it surgically, there would be brain damage & they felt that it was not worth the risk due to the unknown side effects. Her tumor pressed constantly upon a pain sensing nerve & she had debilitating headaches. It also caused her to develope epilepsy & changed her personality quite a bit. She became almost bipolar in her shifts in attitude. She was put on a bunch of different kinds of medication to try & control the pain & epileptic episodes; the side effects of the various medications didn't help any.  But of course, the fault of our relationship problems & my own depression was MY fault, & outside influences had no bearing upon it. Bollocks

Katie never once asked about abuse, not once was the subject broached. In my adulthood, I've learned that suicidality in a child is a huge red flag & should I have been in her place, I would have at least asked once. I think that if she had brought up the subject, then perhaps I could have been spared some pain & maybe I'd have had the chance to stay with some other family member who would not have been so quick to disbelieve me.  Alas, hindsight is 20/20 & I am left to simply write out my experiences & reasons for making the decisions that I do. 

I did learn a few valuable things from that specific therapist, like how better to navigate arguments & how better to identify the feelings that I had inside my head.  The use of "'I'-statements" have definitely come in handy in better diffusing disagreements.  However, I feel that by her not asking the right questions, which seem to me to be basic ones, that she didn't do her job to help me like she was paid to do.  We saw this counselor for a few months, & then we stopped & ended up moving shortly thereafter.

The next time I had an experience with a professional counselor, I was 17.  It was shortly after my admonition & disclosure of abuse to authorities & the removal of my father from our home.  My mother sent me to the local rape crisis center for counseling, hoping that I could be "fixed".  I had tried suicide several times since the previous counselor & had sunk so far into despair that I was using cutting as a way to feel anything almost every day as I was constantly dissociated; my mother never found out about the cutting that I'm aware of. 

I began going to group sessions in the evenings, as well as one-on-one counseling at the center.  I used to go to these sessions & things would never really go anywhere.  We always got stuck either talking about the same things over & over, or not talking at all.  Whenever I'd be picked up by my mother from these sessions (as my car had been confiscated by my father prior to that Thanksgiving), my mother would always ask about what went on in therapy & if I shared anything, my brother would make fun of me & my mother would make snide remarks.  I refused to tell them anything after that. 

The group sessions were heartbreaking for me.  It was a relief to feel like I wasn't the only one going through this pain & have faces to relate to, but hearing their stories & seeing their tears was something I wasn't ready to deal with.  I was already broken & still immersed in a terrible situation-- it was too much to see these people that I ached to support & console when I knew that I didn't have the capacity to do that when I had so much to work on.  All the energy I had I needed for me & it killed me that I had to be so selfish in order to regain my sanity.  I tried to make friends with some of the girls anyway, but the friendships ultimately fell through as things in all our lives were so much up in the air that circumstances drew us apart & out of touch.

In addition to group therapy, there was the one-on-one aspect.  I began seeing the head counselor, Penny, until she could decide which therapist I'd be best seeing & which one would help me make the most progress.  Ironically, the very day that I finally began to open up to this counselor, she placed me with the only male therapist in the whole building, Phil.  I was uncomfortable at first, but he often sat in on the group sessions, so I didn't completely distrust him.  For a while I saw both Penny & Phil, but then Penny had new clients to look after & Phil became my only therapist.  Things went alright for a few months, but then he began to put demands on me that I felt were outside his scope of authority & I personally felt he should have no concern about. 

I was a chronic insomniac that would stay awake for days at a time & then sleep for days at a time.  I spent my waking hours watching TV, surfing abuse sites, & chatting on the Internet-- doing pretty much anything to avoid going to sleep-- as well as doing what I could to try & spend as much time with my husband as possible as I was terrified of being alone.  Part of my insomnia was due to the fact that he worked nights & I was alone during what I perceived as the scariest time-- a time when I was most vulnerable.  Most of our neighbors were druggies that were his friends, but most of his friends made me extremely nervous, like the one who constantly hit on me & would feel me up in front of my husband who would do nothing.  What sleep I did get was full of violent horrifying nightmares that would often seep into my waking hours & would cause horrifying days of constant flashbacks, body memories, & panic attacks.  I tried holding down a job for about a month, but quit because I could not handle the stress in addition to what I was already going through; I did not keep up with the chores as I did not have the energy to do so-- I had no energy for anything at all.  Most days I didn't even want to get out of bed, but I never wanted to sleep.  It was little wonder that I didn't care about my appearance.  I showered & wore clean clothing-- that was all that really mattered to me if I was to make an appearance in public.

Anyway, this specific therapist took it upon himself to begin imposing a dress code for my sessions.  I felt that it was none of his business what I wore as long as what I was wearing was not offensive.  I never wore anything that was the least bit suggestive or obscene, so I honestly felt that his "rules" on my attire were very inappropriate.  Most of our appointments were in the morning, so most of the time my attire consisted of a big t-shirt, jeans, & flip-flops.  Phil insisted that I wear a skirt & a nice shirt for our sessions & if I didn't show up in attire that he deemed appropriate, he would refuse to see me that day & would turn me away.  He did this one day on a day that I really needed the support because I had recovered a specifically traumatic memory that week & I needed to talk to someone about it-- a memory of being raped by my father that lead to my pregnancy & miscarriage-- & that was the last straw; I was not going to put up with that shit any longer.  Instead of listening to me, Phil made me wait for an hour past my appointment time in the reception area due to a meeting that he had not told me about.  When he was finally available, he took one look at me, told me I was not dressed appropriately & that I needed to leave & come back next week when I could wear proper attire.  He then shut the door in my face.  Needless to say, I did not go back to him.  In fact, I left a voicemail for him in his office since he wouldn't even talk to me telling him that he had overstepped his bounds & I would not be returning to see him ever again.  I kept my promise.

During the time that I first began seeing Phil as my main therapist, my father committed suicide.  That day, Penny had me come in for an emergency session with her & she sent me to a psychiatrist to prescribe sleeping pills & anti-depressants.  He was a fucking asshole.  He asked who my father was, & when I told him, he said something along the lines of "Well, he was a fucking asshole."  Yes, that's true, he was, & I agreed with that man aloud, but I felt that it was not his place to say something so unprofessional.  I was not the least bit comfortable during our one session & the only good thing came from the Lunesta & Paxil that he prescribed.  The Lunesta worked for the first three days, & then it didn't work anymore.  They played with the dosage of the Paxil until it was pretty high, then I ran out of money to afford it & went through the most horrendous withdrawals when I had to quit cold-turkey.  I will never take anti-depressants again for this specific reason.

I also got royally screwed by the crisis center financially.  Prior to going to see the shrink, they informed me that Victim's Compensation would be footing the bill for the session as well as the initial medications so I needn't worry about having to afford the expensive visit.  They told me to tell the receptionist to call over to the center when I arrived & that everything would be taken care of.  LIARS.  I got a bill in the mail for a huge amount of money & so I contacted the crisis center who told me that VC should've covered it & it must've been a mistake.  I called the shrink's office & was informed that I needed to pay the bill as no one had covered it.  I then went to the crisis center & was told that VC had rejected covering the emergency visit in error & it would be remedied soon; they never did anything about it & left the bill on my shoulders, which ultimately ruined what little credit I had.  I had no money at all as I did not have a job & my husband spent all our money on video games.  I am still recovering from that financial "snag".

I do not like medical professionals anyway.  My father is the cause of my phobia & he is to blame.  It was extremely hard to cope with these people that were kinda psuedo-medical professionals (psychiatry) who kept betraying me over & over.  It is no wonder that I have abandonment issues, as I've said time & time again.

A couple of years ago, I thought about getting another therapist.  I went to the preliminary appointment & then the follow up, but then I decided that this was still not the route for me.  I am glad that I made that decision as I really feel that counseling is not for everyone, & that it would have only hindered my progress & not really assisted much in healing, only creating more problems.  I think that most people should at least start with a counselor of some kind, try it out a little, but if you decide it's not for you, then go with your gut.  Find healthy ways to heal & exorcise your demons.  I know I have found good ways to cope & have worked hard for years to become a better person.  I have my lows & I deal with the sadness & anger & flashbacks & all the other symptoms of C-PTSD, but I'm so much improved from how I used to be.  I am mentally stable now, which has been my goal all along-- to feel at least semi-normal. 

I've had people notice my symptoms & strange mannerisms sometimes & it's been suggested that I need to see a therapist by ex's that simply weren't interested in my health but in their own selfish agenda-- using the suggestion of seeing a professional as a thinly-veiled put-down.  I know what works for me & what doesn't & I haven't let anyone tell me what they think is best for me when I know better.  I am very stubborn & I do not compromise when it comes to my mental health.  I have been working on me for far longer than anyone else has & I know how I tick.  I am most definitely the authority on my issues & how to fix them.
gothicotter: (Default)
I have a few good memories of my Grammoose.  In fact, most of the good memories I have are ones that include her, like the one I have of being around 4 or 5 years old & picking blackberries on the property in Spring Branch & playing with the neighbor's pet deer, Juicy.  She & I didn't always get along, & many times I found myself jealous of my little brother because he was the one that my Grammoose doted on.  Many times we'd be fighting about something, & she'd always take his side & repremand me instead of him, regardless of whose fault it actually was.  We were very different as she was very conservative & proper & I was more liberal-minded.  One of the good things I remember was her house.

My Grammoose had this house in Boerne that she lived in. It was on our property just behind our house. It was actually a guesthouse, but it was perfect for her with one exception-- it needed a bigger closet. My Grammoose had more clothes than any person I knew. She even had more clothes than my Mamma, though Mamma had her beat on shoes.

Her house was blue & the inside was really like one big room. The bed area & the living room were the same & she separated them by arranging her couch & her little bookcase to kind of cut the room in half. Her kitchen was in this tiny alcove just to the right of the front door as you came in. Her bathroom was on the same side of the house, just in the back corner & then the closet was just to the left of the bathroom along the back wall. The closet was tiny when she first moved in, but that was remedied the first year we lived there because she needed more room for her clothes & various other things she held onto.

She had so many knicknacks & things from her childhood & I used to love to play with the old toys. Most of them were left over from my mother's childhood, but some of them were older than that. There was this pair of Native American dolls that wore teal-colored clothes that I used to love to play with, but I always had to be very very careful. She also had this wooden & glass case that hung on the wall by the front door that had these tiny things inside, like a toy soldier, a thumble, a tiny glass flower. It always fascinated me. 

Her couch was this old paisley-printed thing that one could fold out into a bed; this is where we'd sleep when we visited. Usually when I'd visit, I wouldn't even bother to fold out the bed.  Instead I just laid a sheet over the cushions & crawled under a blanket with my pillow, Mr. Bunn, Otter Buddy, & Bunn Bunn. I remember the house had a tin roof & it got loud when it would rain, but that didn't seem to bother my Grammoose, presumably because she couldn't hear it very well.

In the mornings, we'd have Lucky Charms for breakfast or soft scrambled eggs, toast with honey, & grits.  I loved the way my Grammoose made grits.  She'd put in butter & salt & they just tasted awesome.  I hate grits with sugar in them-- it reminds me too much of Cream-of-Wheat , which I cannot stand to eat, much the way I dislike Spam.  In my adulthood I've tried a few times to make grits the way my Grammoose used to, but they never turn out exactly right.

Going to Grammoose's house was always a treat.  I never turned down a chance to go stay a night with her.  It was always safe there.  No one ever hurt me there.  I knew that if I stayed there, I'd be left alone.  She was the only family member to validate me when she found out about the abuse.  I hate that she lost her memory to Alzheimer's.  I miss her.
gothicotter: (Default)
I used to play the piano all the time.  I would sit down in front of the keys & my fingers would find a melody of whatever was going through my head & it would be translated into a song.  Many times, I played the same things over & over, some of which I don't think I'll ever forget, no matter how many years go by without playing them.  Other songs I created & have forgotten.  Some absolutely amazed me that I had written them & now I look back disappointed that I cannot remember them.  I always had hell if I tried to write them out on paper & how I wished at one point in time that I had the software to write into the computer as I played so I didn't have to bother with hand-writing.  Now, I wished I had simply sucked it up & written them out.  I would probably have a binder full of songs had I actually tried.  Though, everything I've ever written sounds so similar because I used the same left-hand pattern, for the most part. 

Sometimes I get bored sitting in front of the keys & I get frustrated that I cannot create something more substantial & complex.  I want to create something so beautiful & haunting that I & everyone who ever hears it will not forget it.  I wish I had more talent in that area.  I am a bit lazy when it comes to applying myself in this way.  I think part of it is a subconscious resentment that I have towards my parents for forcing me to play the piano for all those years.  On one hand, I am beyond grateful that I can play an instrument & have a talent for music.  On the other, I hate being a creative personality because so much was & is expected of me. 

Sometimes I hate my taste in music.  It's so obsessive & complicated & emotional.  I connect to music on such a personal level-- akin to making love with someone you're head-over-heels for who feels the same for you.  It affects me on such a deeply personal level that I am extremely vulnerable & will go a bit crazy until the desire is sated.  I will play or listen to a song over & over & over until I feel like I am bursting with it.  It gets stuck in my head & even refuses to stop when I attempt to sleep.  It's very frustrating.  It plays over & over in my mind until I finally breakdown & play it on my piano.  Most of the time I get so frustrated trying to pick out the melody that I give up all together. 

I cannot write lyrics to go with my music.  I've tried, but it just turns out terrible.  I can write poetry, no problem, but not lyrics.  I wish I could because I've got some songs that would be amazing with the right words to paint the picture of the melodies, but of course, most of those I've forgotten.  Most of my music, however, I can't imagine that they'd be any good with lyrics.  My music is about feelings the way classical music is.  My music communicates feelings the way Moonlight Sonata does-- no lyrics necessary.

Lately, I've been writing this lullaby.  It's actually inspired by my current love, though I doubt I will ever reveal that to him.  I feel silly that I'm writing something for someone without their knowledge.  I honestly would be embarrassed to tell them at all.  I don't even have a name for it, though most of my music I don't name-- I just don't feel it's necessary.  Most of the time, my music has no direction, but this time I've built a melody on a basic pattern of left-hand that I've never tried in this order.  I actually discovered this lullaby whilst playing out a bit of the Beatles.  It just appeared under my fingers & then I began to develope it.  At first, I wanted to communicate longing-- slightly sad & bittersweet-- but it's developed into something deeper, more like being under feet after feet of ocean.  It's like floating away into a wave, but not in the literal sense.  It doesn't sound like a wave, but it surrounds me the way being under a wave would.

I feel silly writing about this.  It is very hard for me to describe this side of things in my head.  It doesn't translate well into words.  But I want so badly to write words right now.  I'm restless.  I have to get this out. 
gothicotter: (Default)
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." ~ Victor Hugo

The only thing that my father & I shared, apart from our feet, is our love for Jars of Clay.  Presumably, he & my mother introduced me to Jars of Clay our first Christmas when we were living in Boerne.  I remember hardly touching the CD because I had never heard of the band.  It wasn't until my father got his own copy of their self-titled album & Much Afraid & began listening to them non-stop that I finally gave it a chance-- they are now my favorite band. 

I love Jars of Clay because it sounds like poetry put to music.  It's the stuff I wish I could write.  It speaks to my soul, my entire being.  It's the feelings & emotions that are in my head that I wish I could project.  Sometimes the words mean more than face value.  Sometimes they are directed to different people.  They are songs about love, songs about sadness, songs about longing, songs about being inadequate, songs about thankfulness.  I love the imagery, especially on The Eleventh Hour album-- that entire CD is basically a love letter.  I have loved Much Afraid & their self-titled album for years & recently picked up a copy of If I Ever Left The Zoo.  I have been listening to this album practically non-stop.  I had forgotten how addicting their music is, especially if I haven't heard it for years-- it's like hearing it for the first time all over again. 

I had to reconcile myself to the fact that everytime I hear Jars of Clay, especially their Much Afraid album, I think of my father, but only the good parts of him.  His taste in music was on par with mine.  He listened to Enya, Beethoven, Don Henley, Jars of Clay, etc.  The only difference in musical taste that we had is that he could not understand my love for Korn.  Korn, for me, is about imagery & raw emotion.  Lyrics have a huge impact on me, as well as beautiful melodies.  If the lyrics paint a picture & the music is haunting, then I am bound to love it.  This is also the reason for my love of Cold-- such haunting lyrics.

I have worked through my issues regarding this little hang-up on my musical tastes.  I am happy to say, this I have reconciled.  I just hope that my father understood the lyrics in the way I do.  I wish that he'd only seen it from my point of view.  Then perhaps, he could've understood me.
gothicotter: (Happy Otter)
I want a family more than anything. I want a husband & children, mother-in-law, uncles, aunts, cousins. I want everything that my father took from me. I am tired of being alone. I am tired. I just want a family.

I can't have my family back. My mother & I are fine as long as my father doesn't come up in conversation. We can't talk about what happened to our family. I lost my brothers & sister over it. I wish I could have them back. I have missed out on so much. My sister has two boys & a girl, whom I've only met once. My older brother has a new wife, a stepson, & a new son that I've never met. My little brother has a steady girlfriend of a year & a half that I've never met as well. I haven't seen my Grammoose since 2005. I miss her. I don't think I'll get to see her again before she passes on. Anyway, I don't think she'd know who I am. I miss them all. I don't see how I'll ever get them back. It's been 3 years & I don't think we'll ever get past this. We'd have to talk about it to get past it & that'll never happen.

I just wish everyone had taken my side. I wish they'd have believed me. I don't see why any rational person would think I'd make any of that up. I don't understand how the people that I love the most could believe me to be such a malicious liar. I'm not; I'm far from it. I just don't get it. In what twisted reality would a person's family be able to think such an atrocious thing about a child? I can't really remember a whole lot of my childhood, but I must've been a terrible person for my family to think so ill of me, a real Mary Bell.

Or maybe everyone was so wrapped up in their own miseries that they couldn't see past it to the person that was being thrown under the wheels? I honestly don't know. I have all these abandonment issues because of my family & all that transpired. I don't like thinking the worst of people, but what else am I supposed to think? Why was I painted as the bad guy? I just still don't understand.

I wish I knew the answers to my questions. I wish I had a solution because I would walk out the door tomorrow & fix everything if I could. Do they even miss me? I know my mother did, but my brothers? My sister? Do they miss me at all, or do they pretend I don't exist? Do they sit around & talk about how bad of a person I am? Or do they even discuss me at all? Am I even missed or asked after at family functions? Does Gonnie remember I exist? Or JoJo or Amanda? Or Debbie? How big are Charlie & Scout now? And what about Korah? Does she have any siblings? How about Aunt Kelley? What about her family?

I miss my family, my aunts, cousins, nephews, niece. I just want to be loved again. I wish that I'd have never risked it. I've lost too much. I wanted to be left alone & I got it-- the death of the person that hurt me the most, by his own hand no less-- but at what cost? To be shunned by all of my family, save one? Does any of the extended family even notice my absence? Do any of them miss me?

I certainly didn't have much of a welcome at the funeral. Only a couple of cousins even noticed my existence, though I'm sure it was hard to not notice my reaction at seeing my father's corpse. I reacted terribly. I was angry & crying, at that. And the whole time I was being shushed by "family". That's probably why my sister hates me so much-- because I didn't act right in public at the funeral. Because I didn't want to sit with the family in the front, because I'd rather have sat with my ex-husband & the friends that came to the funeral, to be surrounded by people that loved me & were there to support me; people who knew the truth & didn't hate or blame me.

Don't you see why I have such issues? Don't you see why I carry around so much pain? Of course the abuse hurt, but it was the aftermath that did the most damage. It was what the people that were supposed to love & protect me did to tear me down when I was finally ready to fight for my rights as a human-- they just kept stomping on my fingers as I was trying to climb out of the deep hole I'd been buried in.

And what hurts the most is that for all they've done, I miss them more than anything & would give even my life to be part of the family again. I know that'll never happen-- Hell would have to freeze over first. Is that even possible?
gothicotter: (Default)
I hate the holidays. They make me so unhappy. I envy everyone around me for their families. They're all tightknit & spend much time together. They're expected to be at every family gathering, no invitation needed. They celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, & vacations together; their lives are full of family memories.

I don't even get an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner nor Christmas-- none of my family wants me there. I'm still being punished for a sin that I did not commit. I just wish I'd kept my mouth shut & never breathed a word to anyone. If I had, I'm sure I'd be with my family right now. I wished I'd have been strong enough to just bear my burden in silence. I wish that I would have been able to just keep lying to myself & everyone else that everything was OK & that nothing was wrong.

I am so alone. I have friends, yes, but I have no family of my own. That's all I really want. I want the stability that comes with the phrase "Blood is thicker than water". I want to be able to get together with the same people every holiday every year. I want to have a family that loves me & wants to be with me & is disappointed when I cannot join them. I want a husband & in-laws. I want children & cousins. I want love & faith. I want to be able to get up on Sundays & go to church, followed by lunch with the family. I want to have long family trips with screaming children in the back of the car fighting over whose turn it is to play with the GameBoy. I want romantic anniversaries complete with roses & champagne. I want an excuse to use my comp time to play hookey from work & be with my family. I want everything that I've been running from for so long out of fear that I would somehow ruin it.

I try so hard to hide my insecurities & pain throughout the year, but it becomes too obvious to me how alone I am around the holidays. I begin to really self-hate & I question every decision I've ever made in my life. There is so much self-doubt in my constant train of thought. I literally cry every day from the beginning of November to the middle of January. There are so many painful memories.

Thanksgiving 2003 is the day that I first breathed a word to anyone about the abuse & that was the day that I lost whatever family love I had. No one wanted anything to do with me as I was the one that was blamed for destroying the family, not my father. Christmas 2004 is the first holiday that I spent alone because CPS had kicked my father out of our house right before that Thanksgiving, & my family hated having me there & him gone, so I was moved into an apartment 3 days before Christmas so that he could come home. January 2005 is the first birthday where not only was I alone, but I didn't even get a birthday card from my own mother. Then, of course, there's my Rape Anniversary on November 5th, 2005.

I am alone again this year. I am sad. I've just come out of a relationship & I'm kind of in another one, though I am afraid that I will lose that one, & I don't want to ruin it because for the first time ever I have been seeing someone that I'd be proud to take home to my mother. I know I've some things to deal with that resulted from my last relationship, mostly the feelings of betrayal & anger towards him, but all the other baggage is the same thing that I've been dealing with every year. I've so much pain that needs to be excised & I don't know how to keep my PTSD well-concealed.

Ex's have told me I'm clingy, but that's not my intent, & I certainly hate being categorized that way. I do want approval, to know I'm doing a good job making someone else happy & that it's appreciated. I thrive on pleasing others & I think that my pleasure in doing whatever I can to please a lover is misconstrued as clinginess. I take pleasure in making others happy & doing what I can when they're not. I am a caregiver & I try to be as selfless as possible, but it seems like I'm not allowed to be selfish during the part of the year that's the hardest for me.

I know that I am different during the holidays-- sadder, quieter, I don't eat quite as much, I contemplate more. I want compassion & understanding that I am different during the holidays than I am throughout the rest of the year, & reassurance that I don't have to worry that if I get clingy & vulnerable during this time that I'm going to be abandoned. I want what I perceive a good healthy family to be-- to be there through thick & thin as support for one another & acceptance of shortcomings. My failures are blindingly obvious to me & I abhor the fact that I cannot be perfect.

I've always gotten the impression from people that when I'm sad like this, they want nothing to do with me. I know that it is very hard to see someone you care about in pain & to know there's no way to take the pain away. I know it's draining to be around someone that is sad a lot. I just wish that I could find someone who would be willing to be there with me through it, who would just be compassionate & listen to me, talk to me, encourage me, & build me up during the hardest 2 months of the year. I know that's selfish & I hate admitting that I am ever selfish. I hate that term so much because it was constantly hurled at me as an insult for so many years, but there it is.

I want to be there for others in return, & indeed I am for 10 months out of the year. I do not ignore other's needs in those harrowing 2 months, but I am less sensitive to them. I wish there was a way for me to be the same person I am during the rest of the year-- the one who is even-keeled & relatively happy & loves to do what she can to put a smile on the faces of others-- during this time. I've been dealing with all of this for years & I know I've made much progress, but I don't know how to get past this specific obstacle in my way. I keep circling on the same track of recovery every year, & my life does get easier, but every time I come back to this bump in the road, it throws me as if I've never encountered it before. I know pretending that I don't have this burden only makes it worse. I conceal this "crazy" pretty well most of the year, but always at this time of the year I live through pure Hell.

I am under constant pressure to stay sane all the time. I've allowed myself to express my "crazy" in constructive ways, like writing poetry or stories, drawing, playing or listening to music, or dying my hair crazy colors. I only seem to write now when the pressure has built up so much that I cannot conceal it any longer. I haven't picked up a sketchbook in months. I've only recently been able to sit down in front of a piano. I've stopped dying my hair as it's taken a toll on it & I need to grow out & trim off the damage.

I try so hard to hide just how fragile I am from the people around me so that I can be looked upon as "normal". It tears me apart every year when this time comes around & I am not able to hide the pain, & it never fails to really threaten my relationships. People have a habit of pulling away from me, saying that they cannot handle it & that I need to deal with it alone, when really what I need is someone who will stay. I wish that I was that important to someone that they'd be willing to stick by my side.

I keep hoping that I won't be alone in my life tomorrow. I want love so bad-- the kind that is always guaranteed to be there upon contingency of faithfulness. I am faithful, I've got that down pat. I just need to find someone who will love me like that. I am tired of being alone. I am tired of being so exhausted from this burden. I am tired of feeling broken when I know I'm strong & a damn good person.

I wish someone would just love me the way I need to be loved.
gothicotter: (Happy Otter)
I am proud to say I have finally accomplished surviving for three years without being raped.  I have been happier than I have ever been in this time.  There is no joy like living without the constant threat of being attacked in such a way.  I have attained a level of confidence that I didn't think I would ever achieve.  I know what I am worth.  I am a human being with rights, & like all humans, I am priceless.  I know now that I do not have to bow to that kind of pain ever again.  I am beautiful. 

It amazes me how I have done a complete 180.  I am so happy that I am contributing to society in a positive way & for the fact that I can simply function.  My PTSD is better than it has been in many years.  I haven't entertained thoughts of my own suicide in quite some time.  I am on the right side of the bars.  I am not where I thought I would be. 

I didn't think I'd live past seventeen.  I fully thought that I'd end up murdered on the streets or that I'd simply decide one day that I couldn't stand to live in Hell any longer & I'd end it all.  I never would have thought that I'd be in Law Enforcement & I really believed that one day I'd be a teenaged hooker who was simply trying to score another hit.

I am proud to say that I did not live up to any of my expectations.  I am the proud holder of a High School Diploma.  I have my own car with my name on it.  I have a good steady job that is respectable.  I still have my three kitties & they are fat & happy.  I have done well for myself & now I have even better goals.  One day, once I have enough money, I will go to college.  I want to get married & maybe have children.  One day I may become a Police Officer.  I have hopes & I have dreams.

I watched Speak again today.  It's an amazing movie about a girl in high school who was raped at a party by an upperclassman & then she calls the cops who bust up the party.  The entire school thinks that she called to narc on the party when in fact she had called because she needed help & then didn't get the chance to report the attack.  The entire movie is about her PTSD-- she cannot tell anyone what has happened to her.  She has panic attacks & she loathes herself.  She has no friends & her family treats her simply as though she's being rebellious as they are unaware of what has happened to her.  She finds solace in art & that becomes her avenue to finally break her silence.  In the end, she regains her power & is finally validated.  This movie is so empowering.  It makes you cry & smile.  I love this movie & I relate to it so much. 

I am victorious today.  I am a survivor.  And I'm opening back up to religion.  I have to celebrate!

gothicotter: (Happy Otter)
I'm doing much better.  Things are calming down a bit even though they are still up in the air in reference to several aspects of my life. 

There was a huge blowup last Thursday between Chris & I that resulted in my moving in with Daysha.  She had offered her extra bedroom a week prior & I had been thinking it over.  I finally decided that I could take no more of his bullshit so I called her up & she came over right then with her parents in tow & we emptied that house of my things in just a couple of hours.

The argument that sparked that final decision was very messy.  I had been hoping that things would not get quite that bad, as they are comparable to the way things ended with my ex-husband.  That'll teach me to date Scorpios.  I think that's my main problem anyway-- I need to stay away from personalities that are so, for lack of better adjective, flammable & quite abrasive to my own personality.  At least I didn't have to go through a divorce this time & it was simple to get my title for my vehicle transferred into my name as I didn't even need his signature because of the way it was worded.

The cats were not very happy being moved into a new environment without warning & Daysha's cat, Effie, is still pissed about my kids intruding on her domain.  Things are slowly improving though.  She didn't even hiss at them today, so it's definitely a step in the right direction.

Also, I've a new love interest in my life.  I am optimistic.  :)
gothicotter: (Default)
I'm single again.

Chris & I finally came to blows earlier this month over all of our issues.  Most of it was set into motion at the end of last month on the day that we went to the State Fair.  We just did not have fun at all.  He kept insulting me & I kept getting irritated.  I finally got so angry that I seriously considered just walking home, which would have been really stupid considering we were at the fair grounds in OKC & Purcell is a LONG walk home.  He refused to apologize, but we managed to smooth things over long enough to get from the fair grounds to his kickboxing class that afternoon.  As we arrived in the parking lot of the doujo, he made the comment that maybe we should just start seeing other people.  That hurt.  Alot.  My life revolved around him & it felt like he had no appreciation whatsoever for me.  I, of course, began to cry because it was the last thing I expected him to say.  As soon as I did begin to cry, he said he was sorry & gave me a hug.  Things were not OK, but I know how much he prefers to wear a facade in public that everything is fine rather than airing our dirty laundry, so I dried my eyes & put a smile on my face.

Ever since then, that statement marinated under the surface of my thoughts until one day I realized how all we ever did anymore is fight, how when we go out together we don't have fun, how we don't make love anymore, how awkward things were between us.  I came to realize that I was so unhappy.  I realized that I never really laughed or cut-up anymore. I realized that we actually had very little in common.  Occasionally we could agree on music or food, but we liked mostly different things.   He immersed himself in martial arts & I preferred to pursue more scholarly hobbies like reading or playing the piano.  His idea of fun is coming home, smoking a cigar or cigarette, drinking beer or whiskey, & shooting the shit with our roommate while they play a video game into the wee hours of the morning, then passing out in his chair.  Mine is going out to an art exhibit or travelling to a new place or going out to a new restaurant, then coming home to cuddle, make love, & then finally fall asleep together.  His personality is not about displaying affection physically-- cuddling, kissing, hugging, sex-- it's more along the lines of just being there around him, like background noise.  I realized that I knew things would not work out between us.  We were too different in the languages of that we spoke-- I used big words, he just said, "Huh?"  Our love languages are different as well as our sex drives & so many other things about us.  We don't operate as a single unit-- there's me & then there's him.  I don't want to be a single entity in a relationship-- I want to be in a partnership of love & trust & honesty.

Outside of all those reasons, there's also his anger problems stemming from his issues with his childhood.  He asked me once how I would describe him, & the first words that came to mind were angry, aggressive, scary.  He didn't like that & I couldn't help how I felt.  I know that in a healthy relationship that there is a squabble here & there, but there are no holes in the walls, no bloody knuckles, no refusing to eat to match the pain of misery.  I know that our relationship is toxic-- everyone that cares about me has told me this-- co-workers, my best friend, my gut (especially when I'm lamenting misery from flashbacks & nightmares & he refuses to comfort me & even goes so far as to make fun of me or berate me).  I've just been too afraid to step out & put my big girl panties on.  But I'm wearing them now & I'm taking action.  He's also taking action-- he finally made the effort to seek help & is seeing a therapist.  However, I don't have the fortitude to be by his side while he begins his journey, & I do feel guilt about abandoning another survivor.  Right now, though, I have to worry about me.  There are things that I have to work on in me as well & I know I can't do that while in this relationship.

A little over two weeks ago, I said it out loud.  I told him we should see other people, that I knew there was someone better out there for him, someone who was better matched to him in every way.  I told him that I did not share his interests anymore-- like I used to when I was younger.  Had we met years ago, we'd have been perfect & could have possibly evolved together, but we are leagues apart in the people we are now.  I want someone that I don't have to teach how to treat me & keep me.  I want someone that I could bring home to my mother & not have to worry about her judging them as not meeting her standards.  Being in this relationship has taught me so much about what I really want from a mate.  I really want all the things that my mother said were what she wanted for me in a husband.  I do want the happy ending with Prince Charming, I just want my Prince Charming to be educated, successful, handsome, witty, kind, compassionate, encouraging.  I've found that I can't settle for a man who is a high school drop-out that won't even consider getting his GED even though he has all the resources at his disposal & it is a clear way to better himself.  I don't want someone that I have to beg & beg & beg before I get the things that I need.  I don't want someone that I will go nowhere with, who will hold me back from continuing to grow into a better human being.  I know that I want only the best for me & that I'm finally ready for that person to come along.

So, I ended our romantic relationship on October 5th.  I've been looking for a new job & new place to live since then as I can't afford to live on my own with the job I have now & the things I have to afford.  I've got some prospects, just got to set things in motion, I suppose.  Searching for new employment & housing has proved very hard at this time as there's nothing really available, but I might have a break coming soon.

Chris informed me yesterday that he & Jimmy may move out to his sister's little house out by Lake Thunderbird.  He said it's convenient right now to be living where he is because it's just up the road from his first stop, but he did not like that I was still here two weeks after our break-up.  I told him I'm working to find a place as fast as I can, but it's proving very hard, & that I did not like living with him after our break-up either, so he wasn't the only one rarin' to get away.  He told me that his parents suggested the move & that he was seriously considering it, though it would add extra to his commute.  If he did, I would be able to afford the rent, but I'd still have to get another job, though what I would do with a large three bedroom house, I have no idea.  I only have enough stuff to really fill my one bedroom, plus a small kitchen table with two chairs, & a small piano.  Not to mention, I'd rather have one job that allows me to afford what I need instead of two jobs, so really I'm ultimately going to be moving out of this house.

I understand how he feels.  I hate the fact that both of us hurt every time we see one another in passing.  I hate that he tries to beg me to change my mind everyday & that he's finally doing everything he should have done a long time ago when it's already too late to salvage our relationship.  He thinks that we're going to get back together one day, & he's doing the things he's doing because he wants me back.  In other words, he's getting help for his issues to make me happy, not for himself, & I've told him that he can't do that-- have me be the reason-- he has to want to heal all by himself, which is another reason that I have to leave this relationship.  I can't allow him to make me the reason for recovery when I will only break his heart again & I don't want to usurp whatever his foundation for convalescence.  I don't mind if my actions are the original fire lit under his ass, but he has to want it for himself.

Things are so complicated.  I hope I catch a break soon & hopefully it will be in the form of a shiny new better-paying job & a nice low-rent vermin-free place to live where myself & my three kitties will be accepted & welcome.
gothicotter: (Default)

Ugh.  I think I'm coming down with something.  My throat has been killing me the last few days.  I thought it was just my tonsils doing their normal lith thing, but alas, my head is pounding, I'm cold, & my throat feels like I'm swallowing razorblades that are refusing to go down.  The longer I talk, the worse I feel, & the more hoarse I get.  I swear it seems like I'm talking so softly that it would seem to me like my poor guys on the other side of the radio shouldn't be able to hear me, but so far they've been able to understand everything just fine.  I think it may be from the sunburn that I got Wednesday from being out at the State Fair for a few hours.  I forgot my sunscreen & I guess I'm paying for it now.  At least that's what I'm hoping is making me sick & that it's not something worse, like the flu, though part of me wishes that it's my tonsils finally crapping out on me so I'll have to get them removed, like I've been gunning for for years.  I just wish someone would take them & my wisdom teeth out in one fell swoop.  It would make things so much more pleasant.

I wonder if I go home & crawl into bed & not wake up early if this will just pass.  I hope so.  I may even eat some chicken soup while at home before work.  Too bad I've 2 days left of work before my off days come around, but even then I won't be able to rest much.  On Monday I have to do laundry & I have to get started right after I get off work because we have extra laundry this week due to Zumer deciding that our clean clothes were a good litter box, the little shit (no pun intended).  Then, Tuesday I have to get my blood drawn for my Life Insurance company & getting blood taken from me always makes me icky.  I used to give blood all the time, but I haven't done it in a few years & I always get woozy.  The last time I gave platelets only & that was better than them taking everything because at least I got some of my blood back.  I'm getting sick just thinking about having blood drawn.  I hate needles on top of that.  I don't like the feeling of them puncturing a vein; it's so ugh

Anyway, I think I'm actually getting nauseous.  Maybe I'll puke before I go to bed.
gothicotter: (SinFest Snail)
I am so fucking confused as to who to cast my vote for.  The closer it gets to election time, the more crap comes out about the main candidates & their running mates, the more confuzzled I get.

I align myself with the Democratic party.  I believe that a woman has the right to choose.  I believe in marriage equality for everyone.  I believe that children should be given comprehensive sex education instead of this abstinence-only crap that takes away their right to learn about what to expect from life, like how to arm themselves to make good decisions to protect their health & prevent unwanted pregnancies.  I believe in taking care of those around us without infringing on their personal rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

I would support the creation of a universal healthcare system supported by the government to lift the burden on private citizens to shell out hundreds of dollars just to get a check-up.  I would support a cap on what pharmaceutical companies may charge for medications so that the people that need it may be able to access it without having to choose between medicine or food.  If these things mean a relative raise in taxes, then I would support that.

I suppose my only Republican trait would be my support for private citizens to own firearms.  I can't help it; I love my Glock 19.

Anyway, the only candidate that I was interested in voting for was the Libertarian candidate Mike Gravel, but he didn't make it through to the top, so I, just like all Americans, am stuck having to choose between a man who professes non-patriotism & improving foreign policy with countries known to support terrorism by doing nothing to eradicate it, & a man who may well pass away before his term would be over only to be replaced by a power-hungry woman who has no respect for women's rights & advocates forcing survivors of sexual violence to fork over hundreds just to have the police collect evidence in a rape kit.  Neither candidate sounds wonderful to me.  Neither supports marriage equality nor a woman's rights to choose & it sickens me that the only woman in the mix would wish to take that right away from another woman. 

In the places I've grown up my opinions on women's rights (i.e. abortion, birth control, sex education, victim's rights, etc) have been not popular, but then again I wasn't in an ideal environment that would be even minimally accepting of these basic human rights.  I was in the Bible-belt & everyone around me was vastly Republican & would talk about the evils of the Liberals & Democrats.  In school during a time set aside for discussion of these things, I was often shushed by faculty when I argued in favor of these "non-Christian" ideals.  It was not the popular belief there & a person that would speak out about homosexuality & abortion to dispel myths wasn't exactly welcomed.  I even think that if I had tried to argue anyway, I may have been given detention or a trip to the Principal's office for a meeting with the School Administrator & my parents.  God knows what my parents would have done, considering my homelife was less than ideal.

It simply amazes me that people are so shallow & ignorant not to understand simple humanity or to even try.  It is not right to tell a woman that she can't have birth control, so she's not allowed to participate in the wondrous thing called sex unless she is going to raise the child that may result.  Birth control is made too expensive & unavailable.  A woman is told that she can't even have the option of abortion even in the situation of a pregnancy resulting from rape.  It is not right to tell two women or two men that their relationship is an abomination & they can look forward to rotting away in a non-proven place of spiritual torment.  It is not fair to deny them to be legally recognized to have the same benefits that two people of opposite sexes are entitled to in the same type of union.  It is especially abominable to tell a traumatized person who has just been brutalized in the most heinous way that a person can be that the people that can help them won't until they've been penalized with huge amount of money just to gather the evidence. 

These things appall me.  I don't know which candidate duo is the lesser evil.  I can't seem to really sift through the lies to find the truth on each platform.  I don't know which evil would be less of a threat for my country.  I'm truly terrified to claim either one.
gothicotter: (Default)
I'm still here, though I'm mourning still. 

I've been insanely happy the past few weeks.  Things have improved immensely in my lovelife.  He's managed to curb his nicotine cravings somewhat, though he hasn't stopped using nicotine altogether.  He's slowly weaning himself off & it's been glorious.  It's wonderful not having to inhale smoke all the time, but I do have him brushing his teeth more often because I refuse to go to kiss him when he's had tobacco in his mouth.  He's like a completely different person.  I joke that the aliens came & took away my boyfriend then put someone else in charge of his body.  I kidd, I kidd.  But things are wonderful.  So, things are looking way up there.

But I'm still in mourning.  I miss Anna so much.  I was numb for a few months.  Didn't feel a thing when I thought of her, but I never thought of her-- tried to avoid it.  Now I spontaneously cried over her tonight.  I think part of it is reading about Brad traipsing through the places that she had been.  His pilgrimage.  It touches me so deeply because I desperately want to be there, to see what she saw & know what she knew, but I know that with most certainty I will never go there.  I won't be able to capture Anna's spirit nor her light. 

I've discovered a few of her writings on her DeviantARTs.  I read through them, squeezing every word like drops of blood from a wound.  Painful, saddening, but strangely satisfying.  It's like I've been walking in the desert desperate for her words & I've found a small springs-worth to whet my gullet just a mite.  I know that it won't last for long, but I'm savoring each word as it cuts through me & draws tears.  My perfect make-up from earlier tonight is mussed because of my sudden re-occurring grief; even my hair is thrown haphazardly upon the top of my head.  And I'm freezing in this uncontrollable tempered room.

On one side of the coin, I'm happy that my relationship has improved with my boyfriend.  On the other, I'm still torn up inside over losing a girl who I have never physically met who lived half-way across the world & died in my country. 
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