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“We shouldn’t have to out ourselves as survivors in order for people to grasp the magnitude of how systematic assault and harassment are.”~Laura Witt
On Friday night I was sexually assaulted, and I almost let it go. Sexual assault is a big umbrella, one that I am all too familiar with. I have always been quiet, not one to talk and say things. An easy target, especially when I was younger. Now, I am 36 and still, I find it hard to say things, or even force myself to recognize that it even happened. It’s easier to ignore it. Easier not to deal with it. Not this time.
I have a following on here, be it a little one, but if one person reads it that needs to see this, then it will be worth the uncomfortableness of talking about it.
It was our 3rd date. We had already had sex so that wasn’t even a worry for me. We hung out, watched movies. Well, things progressed they way that they do. Now, there is something specific that I will not do sexually. I just don’t like. Period. I am upfront and honest with everyone about it. It is a hard no. NO.
I reminded him of this, and he verbally agreed that he understood. Well. After about an hour of fooling around, and me reminding him three times, he held me down and forced me to do it. I said no, and tried to push him away. All he said was sorry.
Now here is the important part that even I need to keep reminding myself of. I 100% consented to having sex with him that night. I 100% consented to do anything except this one act. To that, I said no. I said no and he forced me to do it anyway. That is sexual assault. That is not ok. To make matters worse, it took me three days to even realize it.
If I had been raped, three days is enough time to wash any DNA that might be there away. I know this, yet I still did nothing. In Jr High, when I teacher assaulted me, I said nothing. In highschool, when my teacher touched me, I said nothing. 8 years ago, when I was raped by a guy I was dating, I didn’t say anything for five whole years. Then all of it just came out in a therapy session and I was crying so much that I couldn’t breathe. Complex PTSD they said. Lovely another diagnosis.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did and live quietly for years suffering in silence. Do something, say something.
Now this guy won’t leave me alone, He keeps messaging me, even though I have blocked him, he found a way through. I have been brushing it all off, but I just keep getting this feeling inside that something is wrong. Something is wrong, and for the first time I am going to do something about it.
Every state has a Sexual Assault hotline. In NH, it is 1-800-227-5570, and I called it. Within 5 minutes an advocate called me back. It was helpful to talk about it with someone and have them validate that my feelings were real and valid. She is finding me some information and calling me back. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I feel better knowing that I told someone what happened and that it was validated that it wasn’t something I was making up in my head.
I am still upset with myself for not taking it more seriously. If we can’t stick up for ourselves, then who will?
You know those times in your life when you are going through a bunch of crap and you can’t really figure out why you feel the way you do? Then out of nowhere, Poof! You figure it out. I call this a revelation. They don’t happen very often, but when they do, it’s awesome! I had one last night, and now I don’t know if I feel better or worse.
I have been having so much fun dating, just having a blast, no strings attached. Being my own person and meeting some great people, but since I fell into “like” with Mr. Dammit, (See my post, Dammit), things have been weird. I am no longer satisfied with just dating, I need more and I didn’t understand why this came out of nowhere. Now I do… I don’t need a relationship, I need intimacy. Or maybe both, I don’t know.
I learned very quickly after my divorce 10 years ago that sex and intimacy do not always go together. I understand, that for some people they have to, but for me, nope. They are two very, very different things, and I can easily have one without the other. I have been living in blissful ignorance of how important intimacy is to me and now that I know, I can’t get it out of my head.
I need touch: holding hands in the car, cuddling on the couch watching a movie, or laying in bed, legs tangled together just talking about random things.
Forehead Kisses. (So important it gets its own line).
I will say it again, forehead kisses.
I need someone who plays with my hair absentmindedly, texts me just to tell me they are thinking of me, and NOT how excited they are to have sex with me. See the difference?
My last boyfriend spoiled me. Not with things, but with love and feelings and touch. He always told me to wear my seat belt (something I never do, bad I know). He wasn’t telling me what to do, but expressing that he cared for my safety, so I did. He could talk me out of bed on bad days, which is not an easy task. At restaurants we would hold hands across the table, we were almost always touching in someway. I miss that.
I know that everyone is different, but intimacy is intimacy. I was doing just fine until Mr. Dammit. With him, I had intimacy. I don’t know how, time was so limited, but it was there nonetheless, and now I remember what it feels like and I am craving it again.
“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;—it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”
~Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
So now that I have this information, I need to figure out what I am going to do with it. My first impulse was to stop talking to everyone I have been hanging out with, but that seemed rash, so I didn’t do that. I really need to take inventory (silly word, I know) and see if there is potential there, and if not, move on.. Sounds harsh, but in the end it is about me, and what makes me happy. If I don’t make changes, then I will live in the same unhappy place forever.
Wish me luck!
“I need one of those long hugs where you kinda forget whatever else is happening around you for a minute”
There was nothing but numbness. No emotion, no tears, no anger or pain. Just nothing. Like an empty hole in my chest. A hole that nothing could fill. Depression.
The day started out like normal. I woke up, got some things together, I dropped off a raffle item off for a fundraiser, then I spent some time with a friend. All good things. Then it hit me out of nowhere. The numbness. It was 2:30pm.
I was dragging by the time I made the twenty five minute trip home. I pulled myself up to my apartment, then went straight to bed. So many things to do, yet I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Settled under my weighted blanket I did an anxiety meditation. I said to myself, “I don’t think my brain can handle more than fifteen minutes”. So I did twenty. Small win for me.
I faded off to sleep quickly. My alarm set for 5:30 pm so I could wake up and go to the Circle of Sound. One on my most favorite rituals put on by the Temple of Witchcraft. I never miss a gathering. When my alarm went off, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t get out of bed. I could barely lift my head to text my friend and let her know I wasn’t coming. I cried. Just a little. I could have slept all night at that moment. I ended up getting out of bed at 7 pm.
I was numb for the rest of the night. I didn’t write, I didn’t read, I didn’t even watch TV, I just kind of sat there for a few hours then went back to bed. The only reason I got up was to spend some time with the cats. The day needed to be over, and the only way to make that happen was to go to sleep.
I put the cats to bed, took my pills, and tucked myself in. I needed a hug, I needed to be held, but there was no one there, just me, me and my Winnie the Pooh bear.
Just like that, a perfectly good Sunday down the drain because of a random bout of depression. There was no trigger, there was no reason for it, it just came out of nowhere and knocked me on my ass.
Come the morning and the world was right again. This is my life, living with depression.
“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.”
Recently, I got tattoos on the fingers of my right hand. One is a pentacle and the other is a quarter moon. I posted the pic on a witchcraft group I was in and it was overwhelmed with likes. (I love when that happens!) Anyway, one woman commented asking if they were drawn on or if it was a tattoo. I should mention that she is in an older generation than myself. Once I told her that it was a tattoo she got so excited. She explained in her day it was unacceptable for women to get tattoos, never mind ones on their fingers.
I want to be clear here, I am not a feminist, (I know, haters gonna hate), but I do believe in equal rights. There is no reason that tattoos should be acceptable on men and not on woman. That is just crazy talk. I consider myself lucky to be living in a generation where this is mostly not the case.
So, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a tattooed girl. I have gotten more expressive with them over the past year or so. They are becoming more visible, a big step in the workforce, but the world is becoming more accepting of tattoos at a rapid rate.
I love every single one of my tattoos and each one has a special meaning just for me. I am not really one of those girls to pick a tattoo out of a book. I like to bring the artist an idea and let them run with it. They are the artist afterall, they know better than me.
I am one that finds a tattoo artist via word of mouth. (Is there really any other way?) I will stay with them for awhile, then someone else with give me a recommendation and I will see that person for awhile. This time, my friend Robbie (Check out his blog! My Weak Started on Sadder Days), sent me to his friend and awesome tattoo artist TJ at Null Tattoo. He is amazing! I give him an idea and he perfectly matches what is in my head. Check him out on Facebook & Instagram. I highly recommend him. (He even lets me listen to Ed Sheeran!)
Leave your tattoo pics in the comments!!
“We have started a new book. 12 new chapters and 365 new pages to make a difference, who will you be?”
The past few years have been rough. Like wow. Mental health wise, life wise, everything. It has been a constant uphill battle and I have felt that I have been swimming against the current. (It brings Just Keep Swimming to a whole new level) Well, this year will be different.
Since my hospital stay I have been finding myself changing pretty rapidly. In a really good way. My confidence is up, I have been making decisions based on what I want and not other people tell me I should do. My self -image has never been better. (This is HUGE) I have lost friendships, which was really difficult, but it turns out that it was for the best. (Bye, Bye negativity.) I have honestly never felt better in my life. I plan on keeping it this way, and I have instituted the following motto for 2019, borrowed from a very good friend:
Zero Fucks Given.
Boom. That’s it. No expectations. I am going to live life everyday, and not worry about what other people think. I am going to be me, and if someone doesn’t like it, they can move on. I am going to sing, like I am the best singer in the world. I have the voice but not the confidence. Not anymore. I am going to write everyday and not care if everyone will like it or not. I am not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and I am going to finally accept that’s ok. I am me, and I am awesome.
I am going to date without needed to pour myself into a relationship status. Who has time for that? I am going to have fun, and be me. Meet some great people, have great experiences, and love. Not the happily ever after love, but the you are important to me, and I care about you love. I am going to tell people I love them, and often. I am going to speak my mind and see what happens. Things could get interesting. We shall see.
I am looking forward to 2019 with an open heart and an open mind. This is going to be my year, I can feel it!
I challenge you to find your motto for 2019 and live it everyday. Let’s do this!
“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”
I was browsing Wish, (a shopping app with really cheap prices) and found this beautiful ring. It was a set of two, one was a ring of thorns, and the other was thorns and a rose. I ordered them and three months later, (they come from Asia), they arrived at my door. Yay! Mail that is not a bill is always welcome in my home.
Now, I have really chubby fingers so I didn’t think it would fit, but it fits perfectly on my pinky finger. Woot! Currently, I am choosing to wear the one with just the thorns. Here’s why. I am in a state of rebuilding myself. I experienced rock bottom this year, and I am digging my way back up and out. I still have rough days, and days I just feel like crying. At times I hide, but now I allow myself to be there for a time, but I don’t unpack and live there. Living there doesn’t help me grow, and I am growing like a weed, or should I say bush!
This ring is a reminder that I am the thorn right now, prickly at times, but growing into a big bush of stabby things (it is much better than it sounds). Sometimes, I prick myself and I bleed, but I wash it off and move on. Sometimes I prick others and they bleed, I do my best to make amends and we move on. As the bush grows, the thorns and sharp ends become covered with vibrant green leaves that eventually grow beautiful flowers, the most loved flowers in the world. Roses.
Life is a journey. Sometimes it’s prickly and makes you bleed, and other times it is a beautiful flower that brushes against your skin softly comforting you. Just like the seasons, the rose bush waxes and wanes like we do. Sometimes we are prickly and sometimes we are soft and comforting. No matter what , we always continue to grow, and that is the most important thing.
We must always be growing.
Bipolar disorder means waking up not knowing whether Tigger or Eeyore will be making your decisions for you.
Mania. It really is the best feeling ever, there is nothing like it. It can last for hours, days, weeks or even months. I feel happy, genuinely happy, an emotion that I don’t feel often. I am full of energy, I am getting stuff done. I am focused, yet easily distracted (Squirrel!). Hence why I have been writing this post for three days. I spend too much money (So much shopping!), and not enough sleep (Thank you 4:30 am!). I also often get tattoos or piercings. Sometimes these decisions are great, other times not so much. Luckily, this time, my promiscuity is in check… for now. The three keys to my mania, sex, spending, and pain.
I talk to fast and often stumble over my words because my mouth cannot keep up with my brain and all its ideas. These ideas, of course, are the best ideas ever. All of them, and they all need to be done right now. Without plan and without haste. In reality though, they are usually not great and I have to deal with the fall out afterwards.
I can’t sit still. I am constantly tapping my foot, clicking my pen, basically driving everyone around me crazy. To me, it’s normal, and it feels good. Everything feels good, and if it doesn’t, I search harder for the things that do. The choices I make, they are usually out of character. It is like I am two people at times. The fun one who does what she wants, and the depressed one that is drowning in emotions. Luckily, manic episodes only come every so often, and I have not had a one this intense since July.
July was a mess, no good came from July. I was completely manic through the entire death of my grandfather. There were no tears, there was no feelings. I was bouncy, and helpfully, but with no emotion on the inside. I am still trying to grieve and it is a difficult process. So many things happened over the summer that when the inevitable crash happened, I ended up in the hospital. A first for me.
The worst part of a manic episode is knowing that it won’t last forever. Knowing that the crash is coming, the great fall to depression. It hurts, sometimes for a very long time. I find myself praying that my mania will last. Like now, I just want it to last through Christmas, I can’t crash for Christmas. I have way too much to do, people are depending on me.
I have often said that the hardest part of having bipolar disorder is that I never know if I am really happy or not. Am I having a good day, or or am I getting elevated. Once it starts, there is nothing I can do. I can try to be aware, I can try to make little changes to keep myself in check, but it is often useless. When I am manic, I just don’t care. I do what I want, when I want to with no regrets. Ever.
Bipolar disorder is like living on a roller coaster. Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down, occasionally you are at baseline. All I can do is use my CBT & DBT skills the best I can to limit the damage. However, if given the option, I don’t think I would change a thing. Yea, it’s really hard, but it is apart of me. It makes me who I am. I am creative, spastic, and unique. I look at the world differently than most people. I am badass because of everything I have been through. And with everything that I have been through, I am still standing. The best part? There is no one in the world like me, and that is a great feeling.
I have bipolar disorder, it does not have me.
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”
Truth: I don’t always make the best decisions. I am an overthinker, but not in the way most people are. I make rash decisions and then worry about them afterwards. Backwards, but it is pretty consistent with me. This is something that I have recently discovered about myself and I am pretty proud of the revelation. Of course, even this goes out the window when I am manic. Everything is a great idea, in fact it’s the best idea ever. Never in the world has there been an idea better than this one. Those decisions, even scarier, I never overthink. However, I do take responsibility for them.
Of course, after a mania comes the inevitable crash. Depression. I can’t get out of bed, I am empty. I isolate, hid away in my bed away from people, everyone. Even those closest to me cannot help. I don’t let them in. Not until I am back on the upswing, which happens every time, but when I am depressed, I feel like it is never going to get better. And then it does, and the world is right again.
Of course, this is just a part of me. It is not my identity. I deal with it everyday, and it comes with positives as well. I am creative, so creative. I see the world in a childlike way at times. I get excited at the little things, and it can be infections. I make people smile. I love, deeply, with my whole heart. I am artsy with my poetry and music, and I to share myself with those around me. I have reached a place in my life where it is getting easier to be me. I am tired of trying to be what everyone else wants me to be. I am me, flaws and all. I am full of so much life and love, and is about time I embrace it.
Over the summer, I was in a pretty bad place. Life kind of blew up and I didn’t, couldn’t handle it on my own. I resisted getting the help that I needed because of the stigma. I didn’t want to be “that girl”, the crazy one, the one people whisper about. The weak one. Well, it got to a point where I no longer had a choice to make and I ended up in the hospital. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself and I couldn’t have done it alone. It is times like these where you really learn who your friends are, and more importantly, who are not. To make matters worse, I allowed those who are not, have power over me. Over my actions, and over my emotions. Not. Cool.
I’m still healing; I will always be healing, but I am so much better than I was before. I am strong, and I have purpose and I recognize that. I am not weak, oh hell no, I am not weak. I am the exact opposite. I am strong. I am loved. I have so much love to give, and now I know my own worth. I am no longer going to give people power over me. I am no longer giving into the drama. I am better than that. I need to stand up for myself, because no one is going to do it for me. Look out world, I am done being pushed around. I am here and I am beautiful, strong, and just crazy enough to keep things interesting. ❤