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.

20171130_221935.jpg

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.

20171119_181748

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.

bw20161018_151926

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

 

B&W Challenge Day 5

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.

Yesterday I challenged Amielle at Love Amielle.

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.

bw20161201_144142

I challenge Kashyap because he was kind enough to recently follow my blog and like several of my posts, and I am honored to be able to connect to bloggers across borders and languages (and I’ve been tagging people with cool names!).

 

I Finally Had an Open Conversation with My Mom

She accepts that I am not ok, and may never be.

My Mom had it hard growing up. I’ll likely never know how hard. She deals with things quietly and doesn’t often show emotion.

I am about as opposite as it gets, with one exception. I can act, and I can make anyone believe anything. Even her.

We had a long talk today. Yesterday I had multiple stressors, and it was all topped off by my notice that my health insurance premiums are increasing AGAIN by 21% while my coverage is decreasing by an average of 27%. Just try to justify the Affordable Care Act to me. I’ll destroy you and your paltry stance.

Yesterday was also the first time that “suicide” crossed my mind. Twice. Because I am tired of fighting a condition I can’t seem to beat. Tired of not feeling like I can achieve anything, that I can’t get ahead, that I can’t live the life I want. I have never been suicidal, and am not suicidal, but that was the first time I’ve had the thought. It scared me, and I prayed hard. I was able to tell Mom that had happened, and she completely accepted it with no judgement, just an offer to always be there if those thoughts happen again.

She acknowledged that what I have is real, that it’s exhausting and that it has changed my life. She thinks it’s ok if I have to tone down some of my ambition, if I push responsibility onto others. She also said that even though she doesn’t understand my work, she knows I’m really good at it. My Mom is one of the most talented and hardest working people I know, and that was a really uplifting compliment.

I’m reminded in this that God provides. He always has for me. He did today too.

Saturday Morning Rocket Math

It will take a lot of math, the level I like to call “rocket math” (“rocket science” is really just a bunch of math, in my mind).

I was texting a friend last night in between him prepping for a chili competition today and me being the driver while out with my girlfriends. He asked how my love life was, which made me laugh because that’s about the last thing on my mind. I think he was checking to make sure I’m still single but I have cognitive distortion so there’s no telling. Ha!

I responded with how I felt in the moment, but my own words stuck with me:

Sitting in the ICU for 9 days while we waited to see if they could save my brother’s fingers was horrible. Doing nothing but care for my family and try to keep my company going for three months was hard. The transition month going back to dealing with my trauma was almost worse. I have had no business dating.

I’m just about through all the shit I’ve had to slog through in therapy, and I think I’ll be open to dating in another month or so. Just hasn’t been important while I’ve been in survival mode.

You know the best part of my week right now? A coffee shop opened downtown. It’s run by a surfer hippie. I know you don’t drink coffee but their cold brew is the best I’ve had and doesn’t cause me anxiety. They have a bagel guy who makes the best bagels I’ve ever had, and I get up early on Saturday morning no matter how exhausted I am and go get coffee and bagels. That has been my thing just for me for a couple of months.  As much as I love coffee and bagels, I would like to have more in my life that’s just for me than that.

Which is one of the reasons I was up early this morning after a late night out doing “rocket math” with my business partner. We have a passion project that we first cooked up in graduate school that we are now starting to formalize into a written theoretical framework. It will take a lot of math, the level I like to call “rocket math” (“rocket science” is really just a bunch of math, in my mind).

I used to think I couldn’t do math like this. I used to think I couldn’t do a project of this intellectual magnitude. Yes, I can. And if I can do rocket math, I can have a few more things that are just for me.