Lukewarm Memories

So you know the feeling you get when you start reminiscing about years gone by? That warm gentle feeling of nostalgia that washes over you like a wave. You know, that feeling you get when you hear an old song, see an old item, or go to a place you haven’t frequented in some time. I generally love that feeling. Remembering gives me a warmth.

Unfortunately, tonight.. remembering feels cold.

I’m not sure how my brain came to this place. I was thinking of such good days and good times. Those memories life’s my head with joy. That is, until I found conflict in my memories. I found bad things in a good memory. Can it still be a good memory if it is filled with bad things? Should I still hold on to these types of memories or work to let them go altogether?

Here is an example. I remember spending many summers on Lake Michigan at my Grandpas property. I think so fondly of that place. I remember imagining growing up to take my husband and kids there. Alas, that never can happen. Now should this negative effect such a positive memory? No? Well here is a harder one.

One of my favorite things about high school was how extroverted I was. I loved being social, hanging out at friends houses, going parties, and honestly doing some things I know I should feel guilty about. However when I remember some of these times, I still find a sense of warmth. I’m glad I had those experiences because I think they shaped me into a well rounded person, I’m even thankful for some of the memories I have with some less than wholesome people. Shouldn’t I inherently dislike the memories if the I dislike the people?

Do you see why I’m conflicted? I don’t want to give up these parts of my past. I often feel like in order to heal, I must erase certain things completely out of my life. Problem is.. I don’t want to erase everything out of my life.

Of course I want to erase some terrible awful detailed memories that come to haunt me. However, to erase people, places, or things would take away a lot from what makes me, me.

I think I made some pretty poor choices over the years. I also think I have made some extremely wise choices over the years.

So, should I be in conflict? Should I let go of people who hurt me? Should I even let go of the memories we have shared (especially good ones)? Should I continue to hold on?

I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. All I can do is keep being strong and being the best version of myself.

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Sandy Toes and Autumn Leaves

I’ve given up before. I’m actually pretty good at it. Things that don’t come easy for me I tend to just quit. I think it’s the curse of being a gifted student growing up. I’m extremely smart. I retain information just from hearing or reading it once. I grasp concepts without having to put much effort into it. It’s a blessing. It’s also a curse.

My gifts put me in good standing at school. I didn’t even have to try. I was the envy of my brother who put hours into his school work while I completed mine hour before it was due and I would still get and A. I can’t imagine the type of scholarships I might have received had I actually tried.

It was a blessing. It was also a curse. College was easy the first couple years. Much like high school I could breeze by in many of my classes. Then I started taking classes that I didn’t get. I tried desperately to understand but I couldn’t. I needed to study, but I didn’t know how. I wanted so badly to give up because it because overwhelmingly hard. I was failing. I couldn’t give up because I had too much money and my future seemingly riding on me doing well. It took me some time to figure out how to study and learn. But I did, and I was able to continue on. This is the first time I experienced the struggle of holding on.

In other ways I would give up when things got hard. Taking piano lessons was hard as I never wanted to practice new music because I hated the process of failing. I have many projects that were left unfinished when I decided it took to much time and effort.

In my adult life I feel that inner voice telling me to give up. When my job is overwhelming I so often want to quit. When I don’t feel like facing the world, I will sleep all day. When I’m struggling with my mental health, I will want to end it all.

All these things plague me. One thing I’m wiser about now, is giving up is a double edged sword. If I gave up on any of these things, the rest of my life would crumble with it. Giving up simply can’t be an option. Unlike learning how to study, this will take more than a couple months. This is a lifetime of work.

Life isn’t easy. The choice I must make is life must be worth living. Life is worth living for my husband and family. It’s worth living for my friends. Life is worth living for travel and adventure; for vacation and sandy toes. For the autumn leaves and the delicate snowfall. Life is worth it.

When you let the good outweigh the bad, only then will you have the willpower to conquer your inner demons. You can silence that voice that says, “It’s easier to quit.” Because yeah, it may be easier to quit. But it sure as hell isn’t worth it.

Good and Bad Days

I honestly hate thinking about healing or being in remission. It terrifies me to no end. I’ve heard it described like a constant upward moving roller coaster. It has highs and lows but it is steadily moving up. The problem is a huge word that I hate to think about. Relapse

Relapse happens every time I think about grabbing a knife, crashing my car, or just a passing thought that I hope I never wake up. Each and every time I start to spiral, I feel like I am back to square one. I know this isn’t true, but if healing exists so does relapse.

Perhaps I like the idea of being sick and I hold on to my illness like a security blanket. Perhaps that means I am still very sick.

Regardless, I think that instead of thinking I’m getting better and hope I don’t relapse, I will start thinking in terms of good and bad days. So the past 3 days have been bad and today has been a good day. If I track everyday as a good day or a bad day, I feel it will help me remain more comfortable with my progress. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to have good days. This way of tracking my my health helps me take my emotions out of it.. which is obviously a a hard thing for me.

I judge myself so harshly. I think we all do. The problem is when I become paranoid about every single thing I do being wrong. It becomes this self fulfilling prophecy. I feel judged, I judge myself more harshly, I look for ways people could judge me, I feel judged. It’s a cycle. A deadly cycle.

What do I hate most? The never knowing. It’s like I’m constantly living my life on the edge. A good day could become a bad day at any second. Even this thought scares my to the point of wishing I could just give up. Today was a good day but I hate thinking that at any moment it could make a turn.

How am I supposed to live a normal life. How am I supposed to hold a job? Buy a house? Have children? I’m living in fear of my own brain. My own body wants me dead. That’s why I have to try so hard to take it one day at a time. When that is too much, one hour or one moment at a time. I’m tired, no… exhausted just trying to get through each and every day one moment at a time. But what other choice do I have? Certainly not a good one. I must continue this mundane existence because that’s what I am supposed to do, but why?

In 200 years, my name will only be a name on a gravestone is some cemetery. Hopefully, that gravestone will reflect many, many years of life. Even though “hopefully” is hard to say when I dance with the thought of death so often. Right now, I’m not living for myself. I’m living so I don’t hurt others. That’s a daunting fact to face. So I’ll keep thinking about my good days and bad days. I’ll live moment by moment. I’ll live. Even if I really wish I didn’t have to.

What’s the Point

I’m not going to sit here and lie about why I haven’t written in a while. This has always been a place I can clear my head space. Lately it’s not that I haven’t needed it as much as I have found other outlets. Not to say this isn’t also a great one. But hey, I’m not here to excuse myself. I’m here for one reason now.

I’m probably a freak right? Like what I’m about to say might blow some people straight out of the water. As some may know, it’s Mental Health Awareness Month and many are voicing out about suicide prevention. Let’s talk about that. Last year, I was right there with them, screaming with all my might. Now, I look at all of these stats and information pamphlets and it all just doesn’t click in my head.

Maybe it’s because to me, Suicide, is the most attractive word. I imagine most cringe when they hear it spoke. But me? I listen to it. I let it slowly waft into my ears and roll down my spine. If depression is a prison then suicide is my get out of jail free card.

I know all the things people will say when someone is thinking about suicide. I know. I’m not ignoring those things either. I don’t have a plan or even intention. However it’s something that I can’t rule out as an option. I wish I could but truthfully, I think that would make every single day that much more unbearable.

I don’t care if I make sense. If not one person reading this understands what I’m going through then the world is just that much of a better place. Denying my pain seems to be part of my treatment lately, but it’s not something I can do in my own time. I know my pain and my husband sees it. My healing is stagnant or progressively getting worse.

Why am I even writing this? Is their much of a point but to clear my mind? Perhaps someone will read it and relate. If so, please let me know because I feel completely and utterly alone.

Can You Hear Me Now?

It has been a while since I have posted publicly to my blog. At times I feel it is best my thoughts remain private, but right now, I only feel I need my voice to be heard.

I don’t know how many tines I have written about the invisible terrors mental illness causes. I have probably spoken on this topic far more than I could count. One thing I often don’t talk about though sexual assault. Now for those who may be triggered or have a hard time reading about these types of things, I do encourage you stop now. I would never want anyone else to relive trauma.

Now, every form of abuse I have suffered still causes me problems in my life. This very specific form of abuse however hurts me in ways I can’t even comprehend.

I want to tell a brief story. There was a young man who came to my work place looking for a home. Now, to everyone else, he probably seemed normal. If anything, maybe he seemed to be a tad bit conceited. To me, he was different. This man’s personality, his actions, & his mannerisms flipped a switch in my head. In my mind, I have seen him before. Even though I probably had never actually met him, my mind knew him. My mind recognized his mannerisms and set off a warning alarm. My body’s fight or flight defenses turned on because all of a sudden, It wasn’t a stranger. This man wanted to hurt me, degrade me, rape me.

I don’t know him and he probably is an okay guy, but from past experiences, my mind and body thought this man was threatening. It pulled to mind gruesome memories and details that I never wanted to think. Now, do you want to know the worst part? It was noon and I still had to work six more hours before I could go home and cry.

One of the worst feelings a sexual assault victim can feel is degraded and unheard. My mind screams internally and my body feels numb. Those same describing words could be used to describe several of the sexual assaults I have survived. I’m fighting this deadly feeling and I can’t say a word.

Why don’t I say something? Well, times like these happen more often than I care to admit and if I said something every time, I would surely turn into the boy who cried wolf. That is why I stay silent. I keep quiet until I get to a time that my body produces a physical reaction: sobbing, yelling, convulsions, hair pulling, etc. I wait until this happens because I know people will see something is actually wrong. They will be able to hear me. They will be able to understand. It’s like my mind is screaming “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?”

I hate living life like this. I’m in constant fear. I wonder if anyone can relate. My therapist suggested I get a doctors note so if I feel unheard, people will believe me. My everyday life consists of trying to stay calm and trying to remain normal. I practice many coping skills throughout the day just to function.

Sometimes it’s even worse after I go to therapy because it brings things up that I would rather ignore. I have been hurt too much and I’m mad that it’s able to control me. I’m mad it can hold me hostage. I’m mad it can take me away from my work. I’m mad that it effects my intimacy with my husband. My mind is mad and now it’s screaming at all the men who hurt me “CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”

That is why I wanted to make this public. I want people that know me, to hear me. I want them hear the silent screams for help. I want others who read it to relate or to hear others. Think of the four closest women to you. Now pick one. Statistically one in every four women are sexually assaulted in their lives. Let our voices be heard. Because sexual assault isn’t just a “me too” Facebook post and then let’s all forget. Sexual assault is a monster that devours its victims daily.

So this goes out to those who feel like they can’t be heard. And I ask those around me, can you hear me now?

Nightmare

I closed my eyes only to see a monster staring back at me.

I have seen this monster before only not in my dreams.

His name is… Hell if I say his name; like Voldemort, it gives him power

My brain has a leach sucking my happiness, my joy

Like a mosquito in exchange filling me with an itch I can’t scratch

I scratch as hard as I can, I claw my brain until it’s left in shreds

You couldn’t tell with the naked eye that I’m at war behind my smile

Assaulted daily by my brain all because I was abused and raped and refused to speak until their was nothing left inside of me

It was all hidden in the nightmare of my brain

I wake and sleep ignoring the noose that is silently lurking by

I’m done I want to scream but I don’t because I’m not that person

Because I’m stronger damn it.

I’m stronger

Waging The War Behind My Face and Above my Throat.

The war for the brain is a fight that is hard to win. For starts, you are fighting your brain by using your brain. How do you fight off the flu using the flu? I’m my case, my mind is constantly under the control of a mafia of sorts. This mafia has one goal, to destroy and kill. The Mafia stand guard at all hours though anyone that saw me wouldn’t know it. Their favorite time to attack is when I’m alone or at night. They see quiet and darkness as their greatest ally. My brain can put up a fight, but after a while the attacks drain me. Imagine being stabbed in the shoulder and it starts to heal a little but then you get stabbed in the shoulder again, over and over, and this open wound never has a chance to fully heal so it begins to fester and get infected. Now the simple stitches won’t work and you need to find medication and refuge to stay away from that damn man that keeps ripping your shoulder back open. The thing about the brain is no one can see the wound, no one knows what’s happening with it, and there is absolutely no way to turn off your brain. Trust me I have tried. I could sleep 18 hours a day to avoid thinking; to avoid feeling. I could distract myself for hours but the second I’m alone, the second I try to take a breath, I’m being attacked in all directions. Depression is not some “oh I’m sad, just get over it” Depression is a war. I’m not fighting sadness. I’m fighting a battle that has left me as good as dead This mafia will not give in until either they are destroyed or I am destroyed. Am I’d be a fool to say this is easy, but I’d also be a fool to give in to the fight. Not this time. No, this time, I have far too much to live for.