Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today

You finally had the last say

But still you plague me deep inside

Never really able to hide

Words so harsh they made me cry

Words so mean I wondered why

Why did no one know

A way long time ago

That mental illness can be passed

Even to the very last

I thank you Mom, for this gift

I hope it gave you a lift

Did It Really . . . ?

So many years have passed since I left home.  I moved out at 17, when I went away to college.  Even the memories from that time are vague.  I soon learned I could drown it all out with a bottle of vodka, missing classes due first to hangovers, then the fact that I was too drunk to go to class.  My fourth semester, I totally bombed out at school, which resulted in the loss of two scholarships.

It only took me about a month to decide I had to move away again.  I joined the Navy.  Boot Camp was difficult for me.  I was going through withdrawal from the alcohol, but I didn’t want them to know that.  I wanted to get through it as quickly as possible, so I could move on to a somewhat less strict environment.  When I was diagnosed with mono, I was afraid that would hold me back in my training, that I wouldn’t graduate with the rest of my class.  But I did, though I wasn’t actually at the ceremony, due to my illness.

This proved to be my downfall however, which eventually led to discharge from the military.  Their reasoning  – “Unsuitability due to alcohol abuse.  Not recommended for reenlistment.”  That took me all of nine months to accomplish.  I was drowning in alcohol uncontrollably, with no clear way out that I could see.

Those memories though, continued to haunt me.  Some were very distinct, while others were just vague memories that I couldn’t bring to the forefront, but still knew they were there.  I remember fear.  At night, my heart would pound from the fear,  causing me to think that I was hearing his footsteps coming down the hall to my room.  Sometimes they were, sometimes not.  But this was tearing up the insides of a young child, eventually a young adult, with no clear path that would lead me to safety.  I dreamed of running away to live in an abandoned cabin in the woods.  I had read a book when I was in Second grade, titled, “The Boxcar Children.”  It was a story about three young children, who ran away from their grandfather’s house.  They lived in an old boxcar that was still on the tracks, in the woods.

It has taken years upon years to reach the point where I am today.  I’m not sure I know exactly where that is, but I now have psychiatric diagnoses, which explain why my life is the way it is now.  It explains the odd symptoms, which in the past led me to attempted suicide, more than once.  Thankfully, i survived those attempts.  I have been in psycho-therapy for more years than I can even count.  But I have progressed greatly. 

My blog clearly describes my life with childhood sexual abuse.  When your abuser is your father, well . . .

Taboo Word Challenge for 9/22/16

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

 

 

The Queendom

Taboo Word  9/14/16

Once upon a time, there was an evil prince, and he found himself a princess.  Neither of them knew the other was sick, or just how sick they were.  They were together a year before they had a child.  The child was a girl, a princess, and now the woman was a queen.  She was a queen_mary_of_romania_3wicked queen.  They had another child.  The child was a boy, a prince, and now the man was a king.  He was wrong.  He thought he was still the king but the queen was a wicked, evil, queen and she ruled over the kingdom, and she ruled over the king as well.

So the queen and the king had another child.  The child was a boy, another prince, and the queen continued to rule of what was now the queendom.  The two princes both wanted to become the king some day, and they battled with each other, each attempting to be the better prince.  The queen continued ruling over the queendom, and the princess seemed to be pushed aside, forgotten.

So the king decided that his only resource was the princess.  He would take the princess around the queendom, showing her all the wonders that existed within the land.  There were trees and lakes, hills and valleys, and all that the princess saw overwhelmed her. 

But one cold night, the king crept into the bed of the princess, and he held her, touched her, told her how beautiful she was.  In the queendom, the princess was not well liked.  The two princes would fight with her all the times, and the other children in the land would pick fights with her as well.  This made the princess feel bad, and sometimes she would even cry.  She would cry at night when no one could hear her.  The king thought he was at least powerful to the princess, if not the queen, and that made him happy.

The king went to the princess many, many nights, and the princess became scared, especially at night.  The king started to hurt the child, because his sickness caused him to prey upon the little girls.  Having the princess right there in the palace made his visits very satisfying to him.  When he would leave her, the princess would become very angry any time the king came near her, and he did every time that every chance he got when the queen wasn’t around.

The queen was very evil and she treated the princess and the princes very badly.  She gave them very little to eat, and kept all the good things for herself.  She was angry with them and would treat them very roughly.

One by one, the souls of the princess and the princes became very dark.  They had learned from the queen and her lessons were very well absorbed by each of them.  None of them wanted to continue, and all wanted to flee the palace.  But there was nowhere to flee to.  One by one, as soon as they were old enough to make this a go on their own, they left the palace for good.

The king died from loneliness, and the queen ran off with another king.  The children of the king and queen, unfortunately became as evil as the queen, and took their anger out on every one in the kingdom, until one night, and group of princes crept upon them very quietly, and ended the misery they were causing, and the misery that lived within each of them.  Then once again there was a prince, and he waited, and waited to find a princess….

 

 

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

Share Your World #37

rocksHave you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?  I used to carry around a Tigers Eye, oh, back in the 80’s I guess.  I loved that stone, and I still do if I happen to see one.  But as far as pet rocks?  I was too old for those (or so I thought).  When I was younger (quite a bit), I used to collect interesting rocks, particularly during the summer of 1989, when I was taking a 2-week Geology class.  We packed up our camping gear, and spent two weeks, roaming through the rocks and geological formations in southern Illinois.  I know, who would have thought there were any kind of hills or canyons in Illinois?  I still have pictures to prove it, but not the rocks.

What is your greatest strength or weakness?  I believe my greatest strength, which is my mind, is also my greatest weakness.  Due to mental illness, even as a young child, my weakness was the mind, and that as I grew into adulthood, was plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, fears of things, real or imagined, which prevented me from living a fulfilling childhood, and caused me to live as an adult, still caught up in the mire of mental illness.  This lead to alcoholism and other behaviors that caused me to lose one job after another.  I believe that my mental illness was caused by both parents, as well as a gene carried by my mother.  My father was a pedophile of the worst kind, not that I’m sure there are varying degrees of pedophilia, and I was his victim – at least the only one I knew about.  My mother was a narcissist, who I believe also carried the gene believed to be needed in order to develop Borderline Personality Disorder.  This form of mental illness continues to plague me even today, causing irrational fears, inappropriate emotional responses to certain triggers, short, highly emotional relationships, fear of abandonment, and many other symptoms.  I also suffer from anxiety and depression.  Combine those with the MS, stomach issues, thyroid, parathyroids, and gall bladder problems and the results of all these problems, and I take 22 medications every day.

But my mind is also my greatest strength.  It got me through school with high grades, and then making the Deans list when I went back to school in the late 1980’s.  It is where my love of music, singing it and playing the guitar, saxophone, clarinet and the piano, originates from.  It is where my creativity stems from, allowing me to take a good look at myself, learning, understanding, and growing from my past.  My creativity has led me to writing, and then writing poetry, but also the ability to sit and look at an abstract design on the page and color it in, never knowing from the starting point where I will end up, but it is almost always something I feel is really good. 

firefliesWhat makes you feel grounded?  I think what makes me feel grounded, is being out in the country, or the woods or a forest, all of which make me more aware of this world that God created, and created me to live in, enjoying the ‘fruits of His bounty’.  Watching the fireflies blink bright green in the darkness of my campsite, or in the back yard when I was growing up (I don’t see them much now, since I’ve become city-fied. I don’t even have a backyard now.).  Or rolling down the bike path in my power chair, with only the sounds of the birds and insects that are all around me, when I am in areas that are overgrown once again with grass and bushes, and in wooded areas that I pass through.  The feel of the sun on my face in the Spring and the Fall, since I can’t be out much during the summer due to the MS, as I sit, stretched out in my chair, talking with others whom have come out to enjoy the nice weather, and the company as well.  Nature is what it is that makes me feel grounded, I guess I’d have to say if I was to put it all in one boring sentence.  😄

 

Would you rather never be able to eat warm food or never be able to eat cold food?  Oh this is an easy one.  You’ve all heard of comfort food?  Well, to me, comfort food is food that makes me feel good, and this is warm food.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my bowl of ice cream in the ice-creamevening, no matter if it is in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  But cold ice-cream-conefood can get warm, and then definitely loses its appeal so just does not apply when talking about comfort food.  You can reheat a cold dish of chili, but you can’t put melted ice cream back onto the cone.  😬

 

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  From last week, I am grateful for that monthly government check which just plops itself right into my bank account every month.  I’m grateful I was able to pay all my bills for the month, and still have some money left for groceries, as well some to put towards my upcoming trip to San Antonio, TX.  

This week I am looking forward to cooler temperatures, when I will be able to go outside and enjoy myself once again.  I look forward to practicing for the events I will be taking part in, at the Valor Games Southwest, in San Antonio, TX.  The Valor Games are adaptive sports competition for disabled veterans as well as Active Duty members.  It is a time to celebrate old friends and make new ones.  I need to be able to get outside and practice for the air rifle event, find a Senior Center where I can practice my table tennis from a wheelchair, and to just go bowling.  A healthy body is a happy body.

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature and all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

 

You Wouldn’t Like Me If You Knew Me

Taboo Word 9/9/16

Mental health is getting more attention today, than it has ever gotten before.  Why?  It affects something like 1 out of 3 Americans today.  More and more soldiers are coming back from war, forever damaged due to what they have seen and experienced during their service for their country.  It affects children, abused children, and these children, once they have grown are affected as well.

I was one of those children, and I was also in the military, and am now diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, MST or Military Sexual Trauma, anxiety, and depression.  Including medication for MS, I take like 22 different medications daily, and have been unable to work for two decades now.  

My symptoms, besides those due to the MS, depression and anxiety, include fear of abandonment, intense, unstable emotional responses like anger, anxiety, that are difficult to control, and often inappropriate to the situation, and chronic feelings of emptiness.  

I often have anger, anxiety and feelings of emptiness.  I went through many self-damaging acts such as unsafe sex, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior which includes self-harm, attempted suicides and even excessive spending.  I have caught myself more than once pouring through catalogs or across the Internet, looking for something to buy.  I went through an entire catalog yesterday, before I realized what I was doing and threw it away,

The image I look at in the mirror looks back at me with sallow skin and sunken cheeks.  Sometimes I go for several days, or even a week or two, eating maybe one or two meals a day, and not eating the foods I need to stay healthy.  

After running up several credit cards, hospital bills, and store card bills, I eventually declared bankruptcy in order to survive, financially.  Ten years later, and I was signing paperwork, agreeing to the conditions set forth by the debt-management agency that I turned to, cutting off all my cards and agreeing not to apply for any new ones.  Mounting vet bills led me to apply for a Care Credit card which is used for vet bills, etc, and even dentistry bills for myself.

Now, several years have passed and I have three, active credit cards, a store card and close to $5000 in debt again.  I sacrifice groceries, to pay more than minimum payments for these credit cards, trying to get the balances reduced and eliminate this newly acquired debt.

A service-provider calls in sick, the day of my appointment and I take it personally, which results in chronic fear of abandonment, and inappropriate anger, thinking that the appointment was cancelled because I felt it was because I had an appointment that particular day.  This has happened more than once within even just the last six months.

Relationships are something that are also affected, often very unstable and intense.  I have been through three such relationships, each lasting only five years, before I do something that ends the relationship.  This has happened every time, and I have spent more than 12 years by myself, avoiding another relationship that will inevitably lead to the same, sad end.

Today, we need to look into suspected cases of child abuse, and listen to our friends, partners, spouses and children, listening and looking for signs that all is not right.  I have managed to stay sober 17 years, and I quit smoking nearly nine years ago.  But that doesn’t mean that I am okay, because I am not okay.  

I experience irrational fears, go through sometimes lengthy periods of depression, and live in a constant state of anxiety.  I live alone, and can spend days, not leaving my apartment or seeing anyone.  No one comes to visit and I do not visit others.  I sit here with my laptop for the entire day, then spend all evening listening to the TV, still using the laptop.  It’s a wonder that I haven’t burnt the hard-drive, with all the constant use it gets throughout each day. 

Noises outside my apartment, I take personally, as though someone is deliberately trying to annoy me, and often do get very annoyed.  I get symptoms which suggest my MS is getting worse, that I have forgotten to take a dose of medication, or something has caused my blood pressure to shoot through the roof.  This often causes me to lie awake for hours at night, unable to sleep, with my mind racing a mile a minute.

If I had a choice, I would not choose to live this kind of life.  But I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it myself, so I suffer in silence, with only the words that come racing from the ends of my fingers and onto the keyboard.  This is my main outlet for these feelings I have to excess.  My search for others out there, who are living lives like mine, is something that starts my search through my email, looking for the emails about new posts, by those who are like-minded, and we share our experiences and help support each other through the trials we go through every day.  Yes, I am one of those who suffer from mental illness, and I no longer want to keep it hidden in the closet, the naked secrets I feel would be exposed if you really knew me.

You wouldn’t like me if you knew about all this stuff, and so I keep it hidden.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

The Man Took Me

Taboo Word 9/7/16

I don’t remember how it began,
It was so very long ago
This was the one certain man
That would not let me go

I was so little at the start
And so my memory fails
The man who had no heart
Prevented my tiny wails

No one heard me cry at night
No one knew my fears
My heart beat fast with so much fright
My face so wet from tears

The man who never let me show
How loudly beat my heart
No one was to ever know
My words, they would not start

The man is gone, for all time
Never again, will cause me pain
The memories now forever mine
I will never be the same

~ van ~

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

Inside My Head

Taboo Word – 9/5/16

Things are rattling inside my head
All the things were never said
But now they’re ready to come out
And shock us all without a doubt.

Even I do not know when
I’ll be ready for this again
I cannot do this all by myself
It will end up on a shelf

Listen close and learn to hear
All things I’ve kept due to fear
Here today I’ve set a goal
Reaching deep inside my soul

I must do this, but no, not fast
Or this chance will not last
Talk, no write it all right down
Before the thoughts do make me frown

Alas, I think, the time slipped by
I cannot say it, I know not why
So what it is I’ll do instead
Keep it tightly in my head

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Being A Survivor

Taboo Word – Day 2

What is it that you can find, deep within the mind of a survivor? Being a survivor myself, I’d have to say that the answer is not that simple. Some things that remain, are often things that you don’t want to remember, ever. I believe that I have some of these myself.

I have been going to therapy for a good 30 years or more, and I am still working on getting past thoughts and patterns that affect my behavior on a daily basis. Some of the memories that I have recovered, have helped me to understand why I’m the way that I am.

These memories are ones that explain why I have the diagnoses that I have. Some of these memories explain the poor self-image, poor self-worth, or inappropriate emotional responses, causing poor reasoning, avoidance of people or places and exaggerated emotional responses.

They can also cause the impulsiveness that leads me to spending in excess, emotional outbursts, and relationships that are short, and often over emotional. My long-term relationships have lasted for five years each, and I’ve been through and used up three of them.

Now I live alone, and everything that I act on, is still based on exaggerated emotional responses to the stimuli around me. This has been my life for the past 16 years. I take part in outside activities, like Bible studies and wheelchair sporting events, but everything is done (hah!) in a way that protects me from experiencing those emotions that are almost always inappropriate to the situation.

So I spend most of my time alone in my apartment, with only my cat, all the things I take part in on the Internet, and Netflix and my big screen TV. One person that lives in this building, understands a lot of my interactions with others, and the thoughts behind my actions.

But now, my therapist wants me to start relying more on my peers, and less on professionals for support. This is very difficult for me to carry out, but I make it seem to her, that I am changing this behavior. This is not easy for me.  Not at all.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge

Wearing A Face Kept In A Jar By The Door

English: Child in Tiger face paint
English: Child in Tiger face paint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This so describes me totally.  When I’m at home, I don’t need that face, for there is no one to look at me, except for my cat Mittens.  All those feelings that are roiling around inside of me are there for no one to see.

When it is time to go out, I take the face out of the jar, and wear that one over my real one.  No one then can see the pain, anger, sadness, sometimes rage, and fear, that I feel but are not visible.

What if someone saw the real face?  Would they go running, scared?  I think I would.  When it’s in the jar, I only look in the mirror to brush my hair.  I don’t even want me to see that face.

It would make me very, very sad, but then, I’m already sad.

~ van ~

Run.Rabbit.Run.Ptsd award

I have been nominated for this award by a wonderful blogger and mental health advocate,   mychildwithin at  https://mychildwithin.wordpress.com/ , and I thank you so much for recognizing me.

run-rabbit-award

 

Previously Known As The Blogger Recognition Award.


The rules:

Thank the blog who nominated you, share the link and award on your blog.

Write a brief story on how you started blogging and

any advice you would give to a new blogger.

Select nominees (max 15)

Advise nominees.

How I started writing this blog:  When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it, and there were some odd little posts where I did a little ranting and raving, about some of the rudeness of people, such as those who use handicap parking spaces, when they have no handicap at all, to the rudeness of a hotel I stayed and the staff were so rude, to the WalMart shoppers who have no clue that there are those of us who motivate around in wheelchairs.

I gradually fell into a pattern of looking at the child abuse I went through, in the form of poetry, which I had no idea I could write (the poetry I mean).  I eventually reached the stage of recognizing my blog for what it was.  It allows me to look at the abuse, how I felt about it then and how I feel about it now, and how it has affected me throughout my life.  My hope is for other survivors of abuse to read,  and look at themselves and speak out.  This is a subject that often no one wants to speak about, but everyone needs to write, read others blogs, identify with me, and that I can reach out to them and help them in some way.

I would advise the newcomer to become comfortable enough with themselves, and write about what it is you feel, or want to say, in some way that you and others will enjoy, identify with or just laugh at some humor.

I would like to nominate the following for the Run.Rabbit.Run. Ptsd award:

https://mandysmithsthoughts.com/                  

https://survivorroad.wordpress.com/

https://confessions92.wordpress.com/

https://noimnotok.wordpress.com/

https://patriciajgrace.wordpress.com/

All of these blogs have helped me to see what others have gone through, are going through now, or with advice and writings which moved me, or inspired me to look at my issues, and shown me other ways to look at what I’ve been going through since childhood.