Liebster Award Nomination!

Pancakes are my love language.

I started blogging on my birthday earlier this year. I had to shut down that blog because of a stalker, and for a couple of weeks I really struggled with whether blogging was a good thing for me. So many thanks to Girl With The Paw Print Tattoo for nominating me! She shows stunning and raw vulnerability through her blog, and she is what the world needs more of. Blogging has connected me to some incredible humans, and I appreciate this so much.

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What is the Liebster Award?

The Abroad American described it thusly: “Bloggers are a funny bunch. We read a lot, write a ton, scour the web for new content to consume, and even give ourselves awards for this stuff. That’s what the “Liebster Award” is – a recognition of bloggers by other bloggers. It’s only coincidental that the name is derived from the German word that means “beloved, or dear” in English. It’s been around in some form or another since 2011, so I think there is at least some credence to its name.”

 

Rules of the Liebster Award:

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award.
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nominations.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

 

Questions for Me:

  1. Why did you start blogging?

I was looking for connection. I was looking for an outlet to express myself, a way to be honest in a space that wasn’t connected to my everyday life and all of the stress in it. I wanted to see how other people deal with PTSD and anxiety, I wanted to talk about my experience and I didn’t really care if a single person read my blog, I just needed to get it out of my head.

2. What is your favorite movie?

I really like Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller before they made it big. Craig’s character is so frustrated by everyone around him and he just wants to do his thing on his terms. It’s fantastic and surprising.

3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’m a Texas girl and here I stay. I would consider New Zealand though.

4. What is your favorite season?

I like fall. It’s often hot here, but the air feels different. There’s a relief from summer heat and it’s before holiday stress kicks in, so in my mind it’s the perfect time of year.

5. What is your favorite holiday?

New Year’s! I don’t make resolutions or do anything crazy, but a lot of memories for me are from New Year’s, good and not so good but experiences I learned so much from. It doesn’t have the stress for me that comes from other holidays, and half the time I stay home and am sound asleep before midnight, which was my first conscious foray into ignoring the expectations of others and doing what was the best for me at the time.

6. Dogs or cats?

Dogs. Recently an adorable muppet named Falkor nosed his way into my life, and you couldn’t replace him with a cat.

7. Coffee or tea?

Earl Grey with a splash of half and half.

8. What is your favorite book?

I just read Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, and it is a stunningly beautiful book of illustrated poetry. It was recommended to me as a rape survivor, and I will continue to benefit from reading it.

9. If you were only given one meal to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Chips and Guacamole.

10. What is your favorite hobby?

Dreaming up business ideas. It seems to be a good creative outlet.

11. Who is your favorite band?

Shinyribs! They are a hoot and a holler, and the amazing human I’m dating got us tickets to see them. So excited!

 

11 Things About Me:

  1. I’m a 6th generation Texan.
  2. I love to eat butter and sugar creamed together.
  3. I have a large collection of art that includes painting, sculpture and jewelry.
  4. I won’t sit on a toilet seat I haven’t cleaned myself.
  5. I love to give gifts outside of holidays and birthdays.
  6. I have thus far out-lawyered every attorney I have interacted with professionally, and I am not an attorney.
  7. I love bamboo fabric.
  8. I don’t like Christmas music.
  9. I am not nearly as sexy in a baseball cap as I would like to be.
  10. Pancakes are my love language.
  11. I read really fast.

 

Now I Nominate:

These blogs have all made me think or make me want to do me better this year, I hope they impact you too!

 

Questions for the Bloggers I Nominated:

  1. What is your favorite food memory?
  2. What is your favorite way to get outdoors?
  3. What are you having for dinner tonight?
  4. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
  5. Do your family and friends know you blog?
  6. M&Ms or Skittles?
  7. Do you think pennies (one cent pieces) are necessary?
  8. Can you curl your tongue?
  9. What would get you out of bed on a day you could otherwise sleep in?
  10. What makes you happy?
  11. Do you sunburn or tan?

 

So grateful for what y’all write, and looking forward to reading your answers!

Reliving the Worst Day of My Life

I can take care of things in the moment, but then who takes care of me? 

My brother was working on his truck bed yesterday morning. He had a hand-held grinder, and the grinding blade hit something that jerked the tool out of his hand. The blade cut across the back of two fingers on his right hand…the same hand that is very slowly healing after his accident in May.

I was upstairs on the phone with my business partner when I heard both of my brothers hollering for me to come help. I was at the bottom of the stairs when I saw the trail of blood across the floor. I quickly hung up and ran to the kitchen sink, where my youngest brother had his hand under running water, groaning in pain.

Thankfully the cuts were fairly shallow, and after some bleeding, cursing, near-barfing and fainting on his part and a few laughs, I got him bandaged up and on Tylenol. He was back at it a short time later after the pain and shock subsided.

Then it was my turn.

His accident was the worst day of my life, and reliving that by seeing his fingers cut, hearing his pain and bandaging him up – we’re not that far removed from when we weren’t sure if we could keep his fingers healthy enough to avoid amputation. I could respond calmly and quickly in the moment, sure. I wiped up the blood trail from the garage to the kitchen, scrubbed the doors and floors, bleached the sink and the dishes nearby and threw the towels in the wash. He didn’t need stitches, but he did need a good bandage job, which I did carefully to avoid putting him in more pain.

I freaked out later. I wasn’t even willing to drive.

Handling my own triggers is one thing. Supporting someone I love dearly while they deal with a trauma trigger that is also a trauma trigger for me? Almost more than I can handle. 36 hours later I am still shaky, still distracted, still just wanting to sleep it off…for a week. This is so hard…and it will happen again.

External support systems are so important for this very reason. My family has experienced trauma together, so when we get a trauma trigger, like my brother’s mishap yesterday, it’s hard to learn on each other because we can’t hold each other up, at least not for long. I can take care of things in the moment, but then who takes care of me?

If you don’t say what you need, people don’t know. I was not at all excited about trying to learn to lean on David when our relationship is still new and I was a hot mess, but he needed to know. I wasn’t willing to drive, I was not in a good place and I was not interested in surface conversations. I needed to connect, I needed reassurance and I needed to not further burden my family. I didn’t even tell my mom till later in the evening so that she wouldn’t worry while she was working. So I said what I needed, and got more than I asked for. Find your tribe and appreciate them for what they do for you. When people are willing to be a gift, accept it with gratitude and keep moving forward.

Not Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

When you’ve experienced some pretty epic relationship failure(s), it’s hard not to expect the worst is just around the corner. When you live with anxiety, it’s hard not to anticipate the worst. When you’ve survived cruel abuse, it’s hard to believe that someone can be that authentic and that good to you.

I’m choosing to go with hard and believe that this is really that good.

Getting Me Back

Sex and dating have been the last big issues I haven’t really dealt with post-PTSD. I didn’t have to, so I didn’t, and figured I’d deal with it when I had to. Well, now I have to if I want this relationship to continue. Which I do, because Client’s Brother is an incredible surprise, and I’d like to see where we go. He knows I still have a lot of shit to work through, and he’s kind and compassionate about it. Since I have a giant question mark about my reactions to everything (post-assault I am pretty skittish about, well, everything), I have no idea what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not. I have so many negative emotions about sex and dating, and changing that is going to take time and energy that I don’t yet have available for this. He’s walking through this with me, and I couldn’t really ask for more. It’s quite wonderful.

As I’m rolling into the end of the work year and things slow down for about a month, I have some space to step away from the office and focus on myself. It’s time I really need to do this, to get ME back. I need to form different coping habits, need to resolve some background noise and pursue some things that bring me joy, things that I haven’t had the energy to pursue. As much as the recovery process is central to my life, I’m ready to move beyond recovery and be more than the anxiety and scars. I think that identity was ok for a while, and I think it gave me a bit of shelter, but I’m more than the scars and want to be more than the anxiety. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I don’t start things on Mondays and I try to avoid high-expectation change scenarios. I’d rather start something on a Tuesday in April. So no end-of-year or new year plans, just seems like the right time to push myself forward a bit and regain some of what I like about myself.

Sharing Some Love

The good people never really die.

Don’t miss the beautiful stories because they don’t fit within your preconceived ideals.

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The yarn in this piece of wall art – and five other pieces I finished today – belonged to a friend of mine who lost her battle with cancer two years ago. Yesterday was her birthday.

After she passed her husband gifted her yarn to me, and yesterday I began to use it for the project to raise funds for an orphanage. She was a social worker, a mental health advocate and one hell of a woman. Kathy, I hope you enjoy seeing your love continue to be shared, as you were so generous yourself in sharing it.

B&W Challenge Day 7

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge. Thanks, Laken! This has been an unexpected bright spot for me and caused me to rethink my willingness to share my life.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Thursday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

Friday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

Saturday I challenged Kashyap.

Yesterday I challenged AnonymouslyAfroIrish.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge Sadie at Sadie the Wallflower because her blog is a ray of thoughtful sunshine!

I now return to my normal blogging schedule…

 

B&W Challenge Day 6

I am normally not a joiner, but I like these bloggers, so…

I was challenged by Laken on Dazed and Still Dreaming to participate in the Seven Day Black And White Photos of Your Life Challenge.

Tuesday I challenged Haylee at Stumbling Around Our World.

Wednesday I challenged Laura at LF Books.

Thursday I challenged Alexis at Untangled.

Friday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

Yesterday I challenged Kashyap.

I’m not a joiner, and I generally don’t do anything the internet tells me to do, but I appreciate the connections I’ve built with several bloggers and this seems to fit that. Also my week is turning into an endless hell and this is an excellent break from that.

No people, No explanation & Challenge someone new everyday for 7 days.

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I challenge AnonymouslyAfroIrish because her blog has a lot of great texture, and I think that would translate well in black and white photos.