As long as I belong to you

NSTASIA – Belong to You

I just like this song. It sweet and sad and I don’t really know what to feel right now.

There are still the same good things in my life as there was on Thursday when I reflected everything to my new counselor. Then on Saturday morning I had a 2 hour coffee break with Cassie, Saturday afternoon my sister came up to visit and we actually had a really fun time downtown, and finished that night with a lovely date and another with him planned for later this week.

I still have all my lessons set for tomorrow and a beginning Spanish class at our community college starting tomorrow night.

But, tomorrow night and Tuesday morning are the 8 year anniversary days of my first rape. It’s the first year I’ve been able to talk openly about those hours and the first year I’ve really acknowledged how destructive it’s been in my life.

Like I said, I have a busy day planned for tomorrow. Tuesday is less busy and I’m unsure how I’ll feel or how much of an impact it will really have on my day. I don’t know and I don’t know what to think or feel right now.

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New counselor

Ok, so tonight is huge.

Got a new counselor, something I’ve been meaning to follow through with since August, and it’s the first time I’ve been in the right place. Not location (even though I’m terrible with directions).

Since the trauma from growing up, high school, and the rapes; I haven’t told the full story to any doctor or counselor. When I was first raped, I talked to a later counselor about friend drama. When I was diagnosed, I talked to my counselor about my wavering sexuality. I tried to talk to partners about the rapes and usually ended up telling random people while drunk about the traumas or my sexuality. Nothing’s ever lined up in my life that I was able to linearly explain my life to a counselor, using direct language, and while in a decent headspace with life that I wasn’t lying to cover a severe depressive episode.

Tonight happened and I couldn’t feel stronger than this. I told her about my current work and amazing coworkers, struggling with the panic disorder and depressive mood swings, my bisexuality and dating history, the rapes, the promiscuity following, the celibacy, the diagnosed years, the moving to a new city, the family of mental health disorders, and the going about these stresses with friends instead of family.

She was extremely supportive and reassuring that I am a strong, independent person, regardless of how my family perceives me. She told me that I was experienced with my anxiety and was the first patient she’d received in a while who wasn’t in crisis, but was there to see her as a proactive measure. She made me feel smart and strong and like a survivor.

I left her office feeling thankful for her and justified of how I’ve handled things the past 10+ years. It’s a really good feeling to know you’re okay and will continue to make it.

Talking through everything tonight to her made me feel whole.

Red heart emoji playlist

I made a playlist on Spotify that is under the red heart emoji. It’s my self love playlist for all the moments I feel love for myself.

Like Friday night when I got so drunk with coworkers then Ubered to Connor’s house and had sex with a guy for the first time in 2 years. And when he stopped and sent me home midway through because he said I was too drunk just before I unloaded the rape stories and how he was my first in 2 years and all the other trauma related word vomit I could erupt in that moment. I’ve heard from him since, somehow couldn’t scare him off, or he just wants sex and can ignore the other stuff.

Also I regret going home this weekend. It was nice to see family but I really just needed to be alone. I felt distance and irritable and had no appetite and could just feel the emptiness creeping in.

My first counseling appointment is this Thursday. It’s shocking to me how much I don’t know what to do with myself now that sex is back in my life. Like how I keep forgetting how strong I’ve convinced myself I am. I have moments where I completely forget what person I’ve become since the rapes and the celibacy years and the dating different genders and coming out and working and moving and taking care of my silly brain.

I sound dramatic, but I know better than to take this lightly. No one knew for 7 years as I coped with my 2 rapes. Somehow I managed for 5 years without medication. Even within 2 years of celibacy, I found it almost impossible to get emotionally close to anyone. I feel like within all these years that I should’ve professionally faced my traumas at some point and I didn’t and so when things like sex start happening again, that I don’t know how to live as this new person and fall apart like last time.

I literally have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just hovered on the tip of another depressive episode. There’s things like exercise and friends and therapy and water and good food that I’ll do consistently this week to keep away the depression so yes, I know what to do.


Within all the fear and anxiety though, there’s also a lot of relief. I started the celibacy to detox myself from all the bad habits and self destructive behavior. It worked, and then I was too afraid to break the streak. I was too afraid I wouldn’t be able to control myself or that I’d be terrible or hurt even worse. So it became easier to just not have sex with anyone.

Breaking those 2 years reminds me of the Andrea Gibson quote/my foot tattoo; “Breathe deep and dive.”

Deep down I know that in order to continue past the trauma I would have to be able to start balancing sex in my life again instead of staying afraid of it.

And this is the self love I mean. Not the bubble bath self love, but the kind when I could be crying or depressed or panicking and all I can really manage is to calmly be thankful for making it this far and realizing that somehow I will get myself through everything else.

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.

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.