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But…In The Meantime….

… in the meantime I will make posts.

That sentence should be the last line for this post but I thought I would start off with it because it has been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog. For the past two years or so I have been focusing on my therapy and my healing. I realized while I was posting that I was triggering myself and decided to cease posting until I brought myself to a stage where I can write and not be triggered. Therapy has been a necessary tool for me on this journey as I have found that while I’m in therapy, a great deal of my symptoms are easier to deal with. I started off this blog by saying “in the meantime” because right now I am on a waiting list to get my next round of therapy and it is quite irritating. It is irritating because while I am waiting on the waitlist…in the meantime what do I do? In the meantime while I am not in therapy, I find that my PTSD symptoms begin to slowly slide back into my mind and body all over again. It is irritating because one has to ask themselves how many more times can I go through this? If therapy really does work (and I can say it is very helpful) then what happens when we’re not in therapy? Yes, therapy does give you the tools to learn how to cope with the symptoms that are attached to PTSD but it is definitely easier when you are attending groups and sessions with other people having discussions about this subject. However, that support system clearly cannot be there 24 hours a day therefore forcing you to learn how to become your own support system.

The timing of this couldn’t be worse because I am going through a milestone right now and I will be experiencing many other milestones in the near future. You see, my daughter is now 8 years old and will be turning 9 pretty soon. It was at the innocent age of eight years old that my grandfather began molesting me and began his grooming process. When I look at my daughter and see how young she is; and see how small she is; and see how she processes things, it sort of drives me crazy to think that this is what I looked like when my nightmare began. Once this thought comes to mind then it suddenly opens the floodgates. After that thought, you cannot help but to ask yourself “how could he have even contemplated to do what he did to me?” My mind then goes to the next thing; “he groomed me for two years before he decided I was old enough to be raped…” and so on and so on…until I catch myself and put a sudden stop to the madness that crawled into my mind. No matter how hard I try not to think about it or not to go there, it just seems to happen. PTSD will not allow the trauma from these experiences to go away. I have the amazing ability of being mindful of what I think about. I am vigilant when it comes to self-awareness and monitoring one’s thinking; yet the one thing in my life that I seem to have very little control of, are the moments where I’m taken back to spending weekends with my grandfather. I have to view the pictures  in my mind that are reminding me what took place when he was supposed to be caring for me. I cannot begin to describe to you what that feels like because if I were to use words to explain that moment of a flashback, the words would absolutely betray me. I wish there was a magic pill for this condition because I would take it in a heartbeat.

As I have said many times before, I have come to accept the fact that this is my life that I may always have to deal with the symptoms of PTSD at least until my daughter becomes an adult then it may become a little less triggering to me. The truth is, even though I get triggered by witnessing my daughter growing up, I am grateful for her. I am grateful because without her coming into this world the trauma that was buried within my body and mind would have still been buried. The toxic emotional, psychological, physical and mental baggage that goes undetected, still contributes to your life even though it has yet to surface. Until my daughter came along, I was not able to see how the buried baggage was influencing the way I saw the world; how I saw people; it influenced how I made choices and prevented me from understanding the one thing that we all live to understand better, which is ourself. I have learned to accept that my healing process will be a life-long journey and I am still working on being okay with that. How will I know that I am okay with it? I think when I can stop becoming angry at the fact that I have to try so hard to include this part of my childhood into my life. I cannot cut it out. I cannot forget about it and I cannot pretend that my weekends for six years was spent being sexually abused by my paternal grandfather. My PTSD is an inconvenienc; one that must be okay with eventually…in the meantime…I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other; step by step and keep posting.

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Memories…New Ones…When Will They Stop?

Four weekends per month (sometimes five); twelve months per year for six years (continuously). This is what gets repeated in my mind when I ask the question: how many more new memories can possibly resurface? When I look at the all the memories of my abuse that have showed up so far, it makes me crazy to think of how much more I have buried in the deep corners of my mind. I wish I could write in my blog more than I am currently but with each entry, I risk triggering myself. I risk triggering new memories of my grandfather’s bad behavior. Nothing can be more devastating than recalling a memory that renders you in a state of disbelief.

For those of you who are lucky enough to never experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, let me share with you how these memories work. First of all calling it “memory” is probably misleading because there is “memory” which is recalling an incident of the past while having some control over what you are recalling. Memories can be recalled at will or stopped at will. However, the memories that I am speaking of is better known as “flashbacks”. Flashbacks are very different because once the memory pops up (especially new ones), there is no controlling them. These flashbacks do just that – they take you back. It is as if you have travelled through time back to the past and you re-live the moment as if it were happening today. You hear the sounds, you smell the smells and the worst of it is feeling the disgusting horrible feelings all over again. Each time this happens, it takes a day or two for the numbness and anger to disappear and hopefully, I don’t have another one for a few days but this is rear.

I consider myself to be quite brilliant and nothing more perplexes my mind than the mind itself. It never ceases to amaze me how I was able to block out so many horrible memories. It amazes me even more that when the flashbacks come, it comes without warning. A screen pops up in front of me and everything around me goes black and silent; everything except the scene that is about to rip me open like a five-year old with a Christmas present. The flashback “pulls me in” to the moment and I re-live this over and over again. Once the flashback is over, it takes time for me to get over the shock of what I just recalled. Then I freak out over the fact that “I forgot that” and I ask myself ” how did I forget that? How could I have possibly buried something like that”? After that question comes the realization that I do remember; I remember the smells; the sounds and yes, even how it felt as if it were currently happening. Nothing could have prepared me for this method of recollection. I use to think Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was a poor excuse not to let go of bad events; I thought “that only happens to those who love being a victim”, but now I take it all back. Ignorance is bliss. How much I wish I were still ignorant because this is far from bliss. I am a bit of a control freak…okay I am more than a bit of a control freak and I pride myself on having control of my life and myself. Yet, this seems to be the one thing I cannot control. I cannot stop the flashbacks nor can I bring one on consciously. I have to be triggered but at times I don’t know what the trigger is until long after of course. My triggers are everyday things like washing dishes (he would hug me from behind and put his hand down my shirt); taking a shower brings on the numbness feeling if the water hits my nipples because my breasts were his “go to place” when I was eight; I am triggered by the smell of urine because….I’ll save you the disgusting details on this one. I have two boys and they were taught not to miss the toilet and they usually don’t, but when they did…flashbacks.

The most disturbing aspect of this is that I have accepted that this event may continue for the rest of my life. I can say this because my mind constantly reminds me…four weekends per month…twelve months per year for six years. This is an indication of how many more memories may resurface from the corner grave of my mind. My only hope is that with my trauma therapy, I will learn how to avoid feeling like I’m being ripped open. I now know that I cannot fool myself into healing because I did that once before. I thought I was “over it”; I thought I was “good” and after giving birth to my daughter ten years after having my second son, the joke was on me. It was as if my mind said “I have protected you enough but if you are going to protect your daughter in a healthy way, you must deal with this.”

Nothing could have prepared me for this…nothing. Four weekends per month…twelve months per year for six years; THIS MY FRIENDS, IS MY REALITY.

 

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A Comical Look At Women’s Issues

From the heading of this post, you must be wondering what would so comical about women’s issues being posted on a blog that speaks about incest and sexual abuse. Well I have something that I would like to share with women about us and the title of this Post is actually the title of a little book that I wrote. Let me explain…

Most of us are aware that women or men who have been sexually abused as a child tend to be promiscuous and/or have anxiety around sex and sexuality. I have definitely had my issues around sexual behaviour and some of the choices I have made since the age of 14. As the years went by and I grew in wisdom I began to realize that most of us (women) abused or not, have experiences with our bodies that we don’t share with each other in fear of being judged. However, I have had a great deal of therapy and over time I have become very comfortable with myself and though issues with the body still arise for me, for the most part I enjoy having conversations with other women about things that happen to women in the bedroom, bathroom and with our bodies.

My openness and love of speaking allowed me to be comfortable enough to share some experiences that I’ve had with myself (and men); these experiences tend to be embarrassing or so I thought. What I discovered was that my experiences were not just happening to me but others as well. I also noticed that these stories and experiences were funny and created so much laughter and common ground. Whenever this would happen I would say “you know, one day I’m going to write all this down in a book”.  I have been saying this now for about twenty years and I am currently in the process of writing a book about something else that I am passionate about but I am at a “standstill” with it. I was worried about losing my writing inspiration that I decided to do something else in the meantime.

I finally wrote “the book” I have been talking about for twenty years. This book is pretty raw and honest but it is hilarious! It is a very short read, just over 30 pages. There are 10 scenarios in the book and I am sure that you will relate to at least one of them. The book is for pure fun and if I were a comedian this would be my stand-up. There is so much more material that I could have written into the book but I wanted to produce something that could be read in one sitting…its blunt and to the point. It is also a side of me that only a few of you get to know. I do have a great sense of humour/humor but only those close to me would know that fact. This was the easiest project I have ever worked on because I am not attached to the sales of this book or how well it’s received. I simply wanted to do something I said I would do…and I did.

The Book is now available on amazon electronically and the printed version will be available from amazon in the next couple of days. I am hoping to write a second volume but this time I will be adding experiences from women who have been and will be sending me their stories. The information for this is in the back of the book but email your own experiences to comicalissues@gmail.com and books can be purchased on amazon.com. They will also be available at bookstore at a later date. I made the book affordable ($8US) for a book copy and ($6.50) for Kindle/ebook.

And yes I will be sending copies out to my biggest supporters. I will have copies available for those interested but are not in a position to purchase right now. Send me an email at the above address and I’ll get back to you.

WORD OF WARNING

As I said this book is raw but does not contain profanity or sexually inappropriate language. It will, however, make some people uncomfortable to read about masturbation and sexual encounters with you man but if people were comfortable reading Fifty Shades…then this is a “walk in the park”. Trust me, women will be entertained and men, well it will make men wonder about what we are thinking about when they’re being with us. If you are a “born again Christian” you may not want to read this book because it may make you uncomfortable but how fun is life if we can’t laugh at ourselves. Remember it’s a short book; you can read this in 20 minutes and you will enjoy it… a lot.

Book Quote: “…I better give it to him now and hopefully this will hold him off for another couple of days. Okay, I can do a quickie and still have time to watch Scandal.” 

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FROZEN IN FEAR & BREAKING THE ICE

I am not afraid; not any more. I am not afraid of what others may think of me. I am not afraid of the guilt and shame of being molested and raped by my paternal grandfather. I am not afraid of the backlash that will come from my extended family; especially because for 28 years I have been on my healing journey alone with NO good support. I am not afraid that this may very well destroy my extended family; but in saving my family’s good reputation, I am destroying myself. I am not afraid to be strong, courageous or confident beyond measure. I am not afraid to let people get close to me or to be transparent; allowing all to see the good, the bad and the ugly. I am not afraid to be me.

I’ve been on a journey, a very long journey of self discovery; one that seems like it will never end. Though I may not see an end in sight, I can start over. I was frozen, frozen in fear. Locked away in my own self imposed prison. For 28 years the key to the locked prison door hung around my neck, available at all times; yet only now am I able to release myself. For it has taken me this long to truly know myself. Now that I know myself, I love myself. I love myself enough to tell the TRUTH.

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