Doctor’s Appointment

So, over winter break, I went back and forth with whether I should schedule a doctor’s appointment or a tattoo.

As of January 1, 2019, I intend to not do any sort of clothes shopping until January 1, 2020. With that plan came a to-do list I’ve been putting off for a while. I signed up and paid for my first half marathon race that will be at the end of April and now kind of need to get my health in order before that point.

I did actually schedule a tattoo for this last Saturday, then canceled the day before. After waking up this morning with more awful cramps, I made a list of all my symptoms, how long I’ve had them, what foods I can/can’t eat and the reactions, and the intensity of my PMS symptoms.

I will be calling my primary doctor tomorrow (Monday) to schedule a doctor’s appointment to finally address my gastro issues. I will also be calling local counseling offices to finally find a psycho counselor.

I’m worried that pursuing the cause of all my stomach issues will just be another long chase like the depression diagnosis was. But, I need to go and just do it.

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Rape

Is a strange experience.

There are some days it feels like it happened this morning, not almost 8 years ago.

I can feel perfect for hours; I can have energy on the grayest of days and an appetite that makes me believe I might break 125 for the first time in years.

Then, a quick distraction, a daydream later, and I’m not okay anymore. I can’t move or bring myself to get anything done.

And it’s strange. It’s not a daydream flashback of the exact memory. It’s just the feeling I had all during those 8 years. It’s the confusion and cold emptiness. It’s not remembering who I am or what I love. It’s not wanting to run or eat or spend time with family, even though I’m aware that those things would help.

Solution: I will be driving to the local park with my mother who will walk 2 miles while I run 2 miles the opposite direction. When we get back, I will shower for the first time all day then do laundry and get ready for dinner.

I’ve found that the key to living with a rape experience is to do the things that will help no matter how much I don’t want to. That the good things don’t always help, that I may feel gray for days, but that the good things are the ones keeping me alive in the end.

Playlist: 

Feel Your Ground – Leah Woods

Navigate – Lorne

Baby Blue – Rence

I’m making it

I’ve got this, guys.

Back in August, my Bipolar II diagnosis was dropped. I now officially am being treated for Major Depression, PTSD, and Panic Disorder.

The PTSD is for the sex abuse as a kid, the rape at 18, and the sexual assault at 21.

I sexually identify as fluid, bisexual, or pansexual. I haven’t slept with a man in almost 2 years and I accept that it may be many more before I can see sex with men as more than just a coping source or a way of seeking control.


I work as a special education “teacher therapist” in a therapeutic day school for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities. My job  is ridiculously intense and the trauma my students have been through sometimes feels like too much to be around daily.

But, I love my class. I love them and my coworkers so much that I intend to work with them next year as well.


Liz may very possibly move states at the end of this school year. She knows I’ll be here for another year, then will join her.

My family knows that I may be moving to live with her then. My coworkers know. I feel more at peace with moving away someday soon.


Slowly, strongly, and deliberately I am making it.

PS. So far, I’ve run a 5.7 mi trail race, a 10K with family (beating my personal record), another 10K this weekend in the snow, and a 5K somewhere in mid December. I’m so proud of myself.

“I feel like I annoy you”

Instead of answering that, I told you that there are some times I want to know how you’re doing. Just some times.

I don’t know why I keep track of him, or message him occasionally. I feel so far away from the girl I was when him and I were meeting up. He was the third person I slept with.

The girl in deep v-necks and short shorts meeting up in dark parking lots or abandoned fishing spots by the lake. The girl who liked sex best in public spaces or at night on his bed in the blue glow of the TV static.

He private messaged on Facebook almost exactly as Ben and I stopped sleeping together for the summer. I went home and added Seth as my number three. Seth and I met up on and off for the next 4 years. Every time we just got a little closer as people, never dated, just there for each other through the years.

Sometimes he did annoy me, but never for reasons that were his fault.

Back then, more than anything, I wanted control over my life. I don’t blame myself anymore for wanting that. Just, when I look back and think of Seth, that need follows and I don’t like it. I don’t like all my memories from those years where the rape was still so fresh.

Thank you, Seth: “Well I think pretty highly of you to be honest. Always made me feel like I had your attention when we were together which I do cherish. I don’t often feel like I matter to ppl but you always made me feel like I have value to you. If that makes any kind of sense.”

It does. I tried to answer the best I could.

 

 

Remind me where that is

I don’t know how to hold myself together anymore.

I don’t recognize myself, who I’ve become in the last 6 months.

“Remind me where that is” was the name of my old blog. It’s the saying I repeat to myself when I feel lost like this. Lost at sea.

Like the waves of the sea, help me get back to me. bd6866bbe7b7547b436dad6ffb566b4a.jpg

Clear view

It’s amazing how fuzzy the world gets when I’m in a depressive episode.

About a week in is when I realized it was depression, but realizing it didn’t make it better. The depression was like a tranquilizer; slowing all my movements, my speech, blocking my memory, stealing all my energy or motivation to do anything, convincing me I was a disappointment and should just quit my job and give up…

Work is still stressful and hard. I still have little chest flutters every now and then when I think about school and going back for another full week. HOWEVER, there hasn’t been any panic attacks today at all.

I can think again. I celebrated my little sister’s birthday with her by going to a vegan lunch (her dairy allergy), taking profile pictures via informal photoshoot out at the lake, watching a new Netflix movie together, then going out for beers that night and playing scrabble at the bar. It was perfection. I still depressed and anxious, but those feelings were on the back burner the whole time I was home with her. Coming back, I attended my church, did laundry, changed my sheets, made chickpea salad for the week, relaxed with a movie, and didn’t start school work until 7:00.

I was able to relax for most of the weekend. Like, whoa, huge progress from a few days ago.

I wrote all my birthday thank you letters and mailed them along with all my bills.

I did all of this and I actually feel hungry at meal times and a little tired for bed now. I’m not done with lesson plans yet but this feels so good! I can breathe normally again and be happy about my life and feel like I can make it until May and I’m only a little, normal amount of anxious when I think about work.

I didn’t even go to the school today to do my planning because I knew I couldn’t print anything, so I’m doing it all from home.

Life is so much easier without the weighted feeling of panic attacks and depression. I can think again! The anxiety isn’t at a perfect point, but the depressive episode is mostly over so I feel like I can mostly manage life again.

It’s lifting

And just like that, the anxiety is slowly lifting. There’s still the thoughts of what I need to do in the morning and which students I need to talk to, but the overall crushing, headache-inducing anxiety has almost faded.

I’m back on medication; just antidepressants this time, and counseling. My coworkers are amazing, and I’m making some strides with my student’s behaviors.

The weights will lift, things will get better, I will start to enjoy this job at some point.

My teachers brain is slowly coming back and the constant state of panic is dissipating.

As much as I hate the ocean, I can sure relate to the waves.

Not a choice

I don’t want to be writing tonight.

I will not quit my job. I did take sick day yesterday with my supervisor’s advice, which means I did tell her about the panic disorder and the back-to-back panic attacks I had all of that night and into the next morning.

She said she told our overall principal about the panic attacks, which I am okay with. I ended up telling my supervisor and TA about the bipolar in addition to the panic disorder. I told them that I feel so overwhelmed with planning and the behaviors so my TA agreed to take over planning for 2 of the 7 classes, and my supervisor assigned a float staff to our classroom for most of the day to help with behaviors and help teach. I didn’t have a panic attack at school, though in the morning it felt like I would. Some of the stress is relieved and I think it’s all from the support at school and the way my coworkers and supervisors responded to my disclosure.

I’ve never told a workplace about my disorders before. The thing is; I’ve never had to. I’ve not always been the best teacher, but I’ve covered up my low moments to where I didn’t need to admit to any reason behind strange behavior.

It scares me that I can’t control the panic disorder. Is it the job that’s so intense that’s bringing out the worst in the disorder? Is it just that I’m older and the disorders are now starting to take effect and take over my life more, like is there any way to stop how intense these feelings and thoughts are becoming? Is it just a depressive or hypomanic episode that I’ve never had panic attacks attached to so I didn’t realize it was the bipolar all along? What the fuck is happening and how do I stop it?

I saw a new counselor today, but didn’t feel comfortable disclosing more than just the stress happening at school. That seemed like the most immediate need and I didn’t feel like I had much time. I should probably talk about the rape next week. That would be smart to open up the other triggers.

And I’m back on medication. Just the antidepressants from before; the new doctor prescribed me another months worth. He says it should help with the anxiety and depression (obviously).

I just want this intense anxiety to be over with. All the things I really know about myself are just above a surface I can’t quite keep my head above. All of the anxiety delusions of not being good enough, being a terrible teacher, not controlling my student’s behaviors, being weak, being too fucked up to maintain a career…are the thoughts pulling me under, minute after minute.

I feel so desperately at a loss for how to make the anxiety and hopelessness stop.

The choice

This is probably the hardest choice I’ve had to consider in the last 5 years. Do I quit my teaching job?

I’m not even a full week into the school year (not counting summer school weeks) and I HATE this job with such a severe passion that I’ve never felt in any other teaching job. I feel this constant, anxious, panicked worry that I’m not enough and am not teaching the students worthwhile material in an interesting way and am not controlling or fixing their behaviors and am overall not good enough.

My anxieties are worse than I’ve ever felt them and its constant. I can’t sleep anymore and it’s not bipolar swings, but just anxiety all the time, waking me up every 2 hours, reminding me every other minute I’m awake that I’m not good enough, that everyone hates me…

I’ve never seriously considered quitting a teaching job. I’ve never hated my job this much and dreaded work even when I’m there and in the middle of it.

I can’t tell if I’m just burnt out on teaching (which is what I also fear it is) or if this job is too much for my mental health (which I definitely think it is).

As much as I love the coworkers and want this job to work so badly, I can’t even see myself getting through the rest of the semester without a mental breakdown, in all seriousness. I don’t see myself getting through this year.

Do I quit and do that to my resume and have to figure out work for the remainder of the year?

What I feel in my gut without question is that I couldn’t have anticipated this job to be this bad for my mental health but that it is and I shouldn’t stay here.


Whenever I’m running and it’s getting hard to breathe or my muscles start to cramp and ache, I always repeat to myself a little question/chant; “What’s harder; to quit or to keep going? To keep going is harder, so let’s keep going.”

For once, I think quitting would be harder. I think staying and hating my job and my life for a year would be hard, but I wouldn’t have to look for other work or find a job with benefits or worry about my resume, etc. Quitting is harder and scary because my life would fall into an unknown territory and my family would worry and how would I deal with bills? But, all that seems quite minor compared to how I feel about how bad this job is for me.

I need to talk to Sue and Miranda (my bosses) about this. I need to follow through with this for myself.

Take me home

His eyes though…

So I met a couple over Tinder recently who are bisexual and trans and we just all sort of clicked the minute we met. Cory moved down to Missouri for school and Trevor stayed here and while I messaged Cory, Trevor took me to a beer tasting festival and we drank and walked and met his friends and talked alone in the bleachers until it closed.

They’re both physically and emotionally attractive people and for the first time, I wanted to be with both of them. They’ve been in an open relationship for the past 2 years and are pretty experienced with it. I explained I’m open to the mindset, just never had a partner who was also willing to try it. Trevor explained to me last night how their relationship worked and how they were both seeking additional sexual and emotional relationships to have as a couple or independently (especially since Cory just moved again).

Sex is a weird progression for me and I feel like I’ve been all over the place over the last 10 years with nonconsensual sex to coping with too much sex to sex for power to sex for pleasure to a break from sex to celibacy out of fear to just queer sex to maybe accepting it’s still okay to sleep with men to realizing I don’t care what gender I’m with to moving past stereotypes and accepting that I like sex and I want it with multiple genders in multiple relationship forms and it’s okay to be fluid like that because it’s all for me in the end. That kind of weird progression that’s still developing.

The only thing I’m pretty confident about is that I don’t want to rush into a monogamous relationship at the moment. I’m comfortable with meeting people and sex, but I don’t want to be locked down to just one person again for a while.

It’s a super happy feeling.