Sunday, March 27, 2011

Before I fall asleep...

Sometimes when you just hang in there and have faith, good things do happen. I would love to elaborate on this but I am out of spoons and am slowly becoming one with the couch. Very good weekend, very happy with life, very tired... more later.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birthday post for Oaky

Tomorrow is my Oaky's 40th birthday!!! So I just wanted to take this opportunity to say...
I love you more than I ever thought one person could love another. I am so grateful that we are getting another chance at happiness, together. I loved you from the first moment I laid eyes on you 7 years ago, and I've never stopped and I never will. Though we've had a rocky road, it's all been to bring us to where we are now, stronger, wiser, more gentle with ourselves and each other. And I am so damn proud of you for how far you've come and what you have accomplished. You amaze me. You inspire me. You light up my world.
I love you, Kip Jason Rabidou.
Happy birthday, my love.

My thoughts for the day...

I don't like bleeding so much that I become anemic.
I don't like the amount of pain my lady parts are in.
I don't like having to defend myself when it comes to having a disability/being on public assistance.
I don't like having to deal with money because it makes me very anxious.
I don't like the fact that money makes me so anxious.
I don't like the fact that I feel inferior to people who have "real jobs" and receive a "real paycheck".
I don't like the voices in my head telling me I am worthless.
I don't like the fact that I have to battle those voices every damn day.
I DO like that I have a good support network to help me along.
I DO like that my cats never judge me or shun me (except when they are being snots the way cats do).
I DO like that the sun is shining today.
I DO like having medication to control my pain AND anxiety. (I will not admit to saying this later on but Gods bless Big Pharma!)
I DO think I am quite stellar at times... and have to remind myself of that a LOT.
I love watching my cats nap in the sunshine.
I love that my boyfriend laughs at my dorky jokes.
It's ok that I'm not getting all dolled up today because I am in pain.
I don't want to let other people's judgements and feelings dictate how I feel.
I am me and I'm ok.
That sounded really corny. Fuck it. I stick by it. I AM ok.
Pancakes sound really good right now but I'm gonna be good and not eat carbs. Instead I'll dream about them. And eat yogurt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I have survived...

So my last post made me think. A lot. Made me think about how we don't give ourselves enough credit for the things we deal with. On any given day I think about what I've gone through and I just shrug, thinking well, that's my life. However, If someone else were to tell me that they went through all of this stuff, I'd be in awe of them. So maybe I need to give myself some credit. The life I have lived seems ordinary in one moment and completely foreign and overwhelming the next. Which is why I am in the process of putting it all together in some form of booky type thing. Please understand this list is NOT bragging rights. This is a list to encourage myself, and others, to keep moving forward because Look at what I've come through so far! If I can do that, imagine what else I am capable of! 
So here is a list of stuff I have survived.
  1.   Sexual abuse from age 3 to 11.  
  2.   Living with chronic pain and physical disability (fibro & arthritis) since I was 10 years old. 
  3.   PTSD, anxiety and depression since childhood. 
  4.   Being raised in an abusive religious cult until the age of 11.
  5.   Constant bullying in elementary and middle school because of being in said cult.
  6.   Being parentified at an early age due to dysfunctional parents & their divorce, as well as both having serious health problems.
  7.   Coming out as bisexual at age 16 in a not so liberal town.
  8.   Constant bullying in high school - I was a pudgy bisexual geek.
  9.   Raped at 18 by trusted friend.
  10.   The loss of fiancee (my first adult love) to suicide when I was 24.
  11.   The loss of my best friend of 20 years due to a car accident, the same month as my fiancee's death. 
  12.   More than one physically and emotionally abusive relationship.
  13.   Numerous stays in respite, 2 outpatient hospitalizations and 1 in-patient hospitalization for psych.
  14.   The mental illness of my current partner, the love of my life, which caused us to break up for almost 2 years.
  15.   The suicide attempt of my partner when we were not together, and his subsequent forced 6 month hospitalization.
  16. 7 years of college, part-time due to disability/anxiety/depression.
  17.  A slew of other physical ailments (*see last post).

I really struggled with whether to post this or not. But in the end, I maintain that survivors don't give themselves enough credit for simply surviving. And when I get overwhelmed and think I can't do even the smallest task, like do the dishes or vacuum... well, then I can just point myself right back here and say, Girl, look at what you've survived! If you can't pick up that sponge or vacuum, you're just giving up.

Stuff that's wrong with me...

So, someone posted something about Invisible Illnesses on their FB today and it made me think - how many of these I.I.'s do I have? More than a few.  And some aren't easily talked about - in fact, some are very taboo. It makes me wonder why I am so hard on myself sometimes, when I have a "bad body day" (as I like to call them). It's pretty much expected that with a list like this one, I'm not always going to feel great.

Fibromyalgia/Myofascial Pain Syndrome/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Cervical Dystonia (neck injury)
Migraines -Atypical migraines with cluster, ice pick & tension headaches, possible Familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) and predisposition towards Bell's Palsy
Asthma (result of a toxic mold exposure)
Anxiety/panic disorder
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
Diabetes, Type II
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Severe shellfish allergy
And the latest and most painful AND taboo addition to the list: possible Pudendal Nerve Entrapment/Vulvodynia

I know you can't tell from looking at me, but I am usually in pain/discomfort of one sort or another. And I don't mention it all the time because when you are in pain 24/7 you get used to it and there's no sense in whining. But when I DO say I don't feel good, you'd better believe I mean it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

**NSFW** You may not want to read this at all: gynecolgical & mental health

I'm done. Seriously. I have had it with this mysterious "female problem" that the doctors can't seem to figure out. Ultrasound was clear, no ovarian cysts, tests all coming back normal. And yet, in 2 months, I only had about a week of pain-free, no bleeding, regular activity before round 2 started. When you have to sit on an ice pack just so you don't feel like crawling out of your own body because your cooter can't stop spasming, cramping, bleeding, and generally feeling like it's being stabbed with knives, well, I think you're beginning to get the picture. It's not fun. And it's not a socially acceptable topic of conversation, the way a cold or flu is. I had to cancel on my friends at the last minute tonight because round 2 was in full effect and I couldn't even drive home from Oaky's house, never mind drive to visit with my peeps. I was torn, should I just go because they are expecting me and if I cancel, well what the hell do I say to them? "I'm sorry, friends, but my vagina feels like it's being murdered so I'll be on the couch all evening with the ice pack down my pants." How would that go over? Probably not so well. In the end I opted for a more delicate and PC approach. Something to the effect of "My lady parts are in disarray and the docs don't know why and i'm in pain so i won't be there. Sorry." I hope they understand. And I hope I feel better soon so I can see them again because this is getting to be really fucking annoying. I've missed out on a lot friend/family functions - didn't even get to celebrate my birthday with my family yet and that was a month and a half ago.
And of course the experience wouldn't be complete without the anxiety getting triggered. This kind of pain is horrendous for any woman, but especially for those with sexual trauma histories... let's just say I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. The pain goes away and I am ecstatic and I can move - then it comes back and I turn into a basketcase because it physically reminds me of traumatic incidences in my past.Yay PTSD. So it's not just physical pain I am fighting here (which believe me is MORE than enough, TYVM), but emotional pain of a scab that keeps getting picked at. It's really fucking with my tolerance and sanity right now.
I feel like a leper. No one talks about these things and so I feel like I'm supposed to suffer in silence. Well, fuck that. I've been there & done that and no good comes of it. Tonight I pull out the megaphone and proclaim to all my friends and family - I HAVE A BROKEN VAGINA, and if you can't understand that I can't make it to every function, well than you can go suck eggs because with this level of pain I have a low threshold for dealing with idiots.

Friday, March 18, 2011

You can't get taller.

At the ripe old age of 37 I have finally accepted this fact. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. I am just shy of 5'2'' and the modern world is not built for people under 5'7''. That means I have at least 5 inches to conquer before I can move on with most tasks. I use a step-stool in my own kitchen to get things out of the cupboard on a daily basis. Hell, there are even cabinets that I don't use because even with the step-stool I still can't reach them.
My love is 6'4'', more than a foot taller than me. He forgets on a regular basis that I am short. When I am in his kitchen, if I want a paper plate or a juice glass I have to ask him to get it for me. Brings me back to childhood - “can I have a cup, please?” - yeah, not so sexy. He does make me feel small and dainty, though, so that's a plus. 
But seriously, most of the time I feel like a frakking smurf. The up-side to this is that I am a lot closer to the floor than the rest of you. Do you need someone to paint your baseboards? I'm your gal! Drop a pill and can't find it? I'm on it. And if I spontaneously catch on fire, forget about it, I only have to drop a few inches before I roll away to safety. Of course, I will also probably catch on fire before the rest of you because my legs are shorter and I can't run as fast - so you know what? Fuck you all, leaving me to burn while you run away to get ice cream. You can suck it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shekinah - a poem by Angel Feathers Tickle Me

I found this poem while blog-surfing. I thought it was worth sharing.

Shekinah is She Who Dwells Within,

The force that binds and patterns creation.

She is Birdwoman, Dragonlady,

Queen of the Heavens, Opener of the Way.

She is Mother of the Spiritworld,

Morning and Evening Star,

Dawn and Dusk.

She is Mistress of the Seas, Tree of Life,

Silvery Moon, Fiery Sun.

All these are Her Names.

Shekinah is Changig Woman, Nature herself,

Her own Law and Mystery.

She is cosmos, dark hole, fiery moment of beginning,

She is dust cloud, nebulae, the swirl of galaxies.

She is gravity, magnetic field,

the paradox of waves and particles.

Shekinah is unseen dark, invisible web,

Creatrix of complex systems,

expanding, contracting, spiralling, meandering,

The beginning of Wisdom.

Shekinah is Grandmother, Grandfather, Unborn Child,

Shekinah is life loving itself into being . . .

Shekinah Visits Me In My Dreams

Taking care of ourselves...

...why is it so hard to do? I have a friend who has a myriad of health problems including heart disease. With all the problems she has she should be on several medications. But she refuses to even take an aspirin for a headache, never mind anything else. I am not judging, far from it. I am guilty of self-neglect, too. I am diabetic and lately I haven't been eating well, even when I know I have already damaged my kidneys. I suffered with depression and anxiety for a year before I finally decided to go back on anti-depressants. I understand how hard it can be to do what we need to do to care for ourselves, but WHY do we let it continue for so long? And when do you step in where someone else is concerned and say "Hey, I'm concerned that you're not taking your meds/eating right/etc", and when do you say "Enough complaining already - shit or get off the pot!"? I want a manual. 

more survivor stuff

One of the things I think about is, would the rape I lived through at age 18 have effected me so profoundly if I hadn't already experienced sexual abuse during my childhood? I guess there is no way for me to know. In some ways I feel like it was the straw that broke the camel's back, as it were. But I have not met a survivor yet who has NOT been deeply wounded by even just one assault. That's all it takes. One time, and it messes with the rest of your life.
Today I choose to live and not let fear rule me. Just for today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Survivors are like Ogres... complicated, with layers, like an onion...

Being a survivor sometimes sucks. Hitting another layer of the onion that is my trauma seems to be my perpetual work. Mistakenly, I am always under the impression that this layer is the last and I'll be done with things for good and now I'm cured, Yay! And I'm always surprised when I hit another layer and have a meltdown.

The realization I had last night (that really pissed me off) was that the man who raped me almost 20 years ago probably has no memory of me or what he did to me, or if he does, no awareness of how horrible a thing it was that he did. He's risen the ranks in the military, has had what looks to be a successful life and career... Meanwhile, I have had panic/anxiety/depression/PTSD issues, been in and out of therapy, off and on medications, struggled with not blaming myself (because we always seem to blame ourselves for what happens to us), and have generally had a very hard time struggling day to day with living a "Normal" life. I have been unemployed for years, collecting disability because of my emotional and physical struggles, while he enjoys a life of recognition and achievement. He has probably not thought about it since it happened, yet I can't forget about it no matter how hard I try. It's not fair. Not by any means.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pick a card, any card...

So I just did this quick little reading thing and the first time I clicked nothing came up. So I clicked again and this is the card I got:

Coincidence? I think not. I have been struggling with my own issues as well as with the process of applying to grad school, and now waiting to hear if I've been accepted. Tonight I had a panic attack while I was out in public - at WalMart of all places. I am so thankful that my partner was there to comfort and support me. It's all tied together. I'm fixing myself so I can help fix others. Why does this seem like such a LONG f***ing process? Sometimes I feel it's right around the corner but other times I feel like I may never get there...