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.


  1. I'm reading both posts at the same time and after reading the first one, I was going to say just that: Hon, the fact you get out of bed every morning, ever feel like smiling, and keep on going make you one hell of an amazing woman!

    I know having other people admire you for your strength isn't enough to make you feel like a strong and stable rock inside permanently. But my brain is just churning with wanting to say something that will fix something and heal things. sigh.

    I will say that you inspire me to get to work and start making myself the better person I want to be.

  2. Thank you so much for the loving words, Ang. It is hard for me to take compliments/praise/positive feedback/etc. but when I can let the message sink in it really does help me to overcome the negativity that was ingrained into me at such a young age. My therapist and I have this term for how I talk to myself - old dialogue vs. new dialogue. The old dialogue would be to listen to the negative messages in my head from long ago and feed them.... new dialogue is something I am constantly writing now, a new script for how to talk with myself, how to react & relate to circumstances. It's quite the project but I think I'm getting good at it. Especially when I have friends like you who can help me see the good stuff. Thanks!
    And the fact that I've inspired you, well, you made me teary eyed... that's the whole reason I started this blog (and future book) in the first place, to help others as well as myself. I know we can do great things.

  3. Hopefully as we move forward together, we can be a support to each other, a salve for past hurts and healing for today. I am better with you, then without you and I'm glad were together.

  4. Hello,
    Just a little message to thank you for such an inspiring piece of work.
    Trauma is a very strange thing and far too many times it is considered to be untreatable or incureable.
    I came across your blog whilst looking for people with similar interests and it was a very well put together piece of work.
    As you will see from my blog I am a trauma life coach working with the spiritual aspect of trauma and mental health as opposed to just the physical. For this reason I work from a spiritual but non religious perspective using non medical methods. Having experienced my own trauma I am aware of how little is understood and actually how PTSD is often viewed as a mental illness when evidence shows it is not.
    Thank you again for your blog it was refreshing, maybe you could check mine out for further info.

    With respect Tenzin Dasal.