depression, insomnia, PTSD

Can’t we all just get along? 🤣

It’s so quiet. Even the dogs are asleep. I hear my husband softly breathing as he’s in dreamland after a long day of work. The kids have had their snacks, drinks, and stories. All questions about the mysteries of the universe are on hold until tomorrow,  and then there is me: stuck in this silent battle between my body and mind. 

Mind: We should sleep. You have to get up with the kids in the morning and then go to see your psychiatrist. 

Body: I will, once the medication kicks in. In the meantime,  it’s going to rain soon. Every joint needs to transmit pain signals to set the rain alarm. 

Mind:  Ouch! My toes, ankles, knees, hope, back, neck, jaw, and….sciata?! Really?!

Body: Don’t forget the wrists…

Mind: Fuck you. I hate my body. 

Body:  Like you’re any better? You make me feel worse by stressing me out all the time. Starving me, tensing me up…getting scared of strangers in public. Oh!  And let’s not forget your procrastination on your huge assignments! It’s your fault I’m messed up.”

Mind: Everything is my fault…time to take a few trips down traumatic memory lane. 

Body is tense and hurting,  and my heart is racing. My mind is so loud among the silence. I’m afraid that when my medicine kicks in, I will miss the sleep train because I can’t relax. 

Mind: Remember the YouTube video your overpaid therapist suggested on Guided Meditation…

I’m too tired to look that shit up right now.

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PTSD

The Purge

I remember everything. My husband was blessed with a poor memory, so he doesn’t recall a lot of the damage, but I remember everything. We are working on rebuilding our marriage, but I feel that in order for that to happen, I need to get some things off of my chest and out of my mind. 

When we would go to take the trips to visit his family, I was the one who would do all the packing and ensure everything was ready to go. One of the times he was griping at me for not having everything done, and (this was before he knew about what his dad did to me) I came to a breaking point. I told him that it wasn’t worth it-going through all of that and listening to him bitch-and that I wouldn’t be going with him next time. He said something about what his family says about me, and I said “Fuck your family! All they ever do is talk behind my back!” He flicked me really hard on the side of the head, and then started yelling at me when I began to cry.

On the way back from one of the trips, we stopped at a hotel for the night. The kids and I weren’t moving fast enough for him, and he was bitching. Our daughter threw up in the backseat as we were loading things up and getting ready to go. He slapped me in the back of the head as I was cleaning up her vomit. I didn’t cry, but I was angry, and I began to emotionally detach from him.

Shortly after we returned, he started looking through my Facebook. He saw that I complimented a transgender woman on her makeup, and got mad at me for referring to her as a her. He started accusing me of wanting a gay man and looking for other things that he could accuse me of. When there was nothing else, he started talking about my initial trauma and not only minimized it, but started blaming me for it. 

Who was this monster ranting and raving before me? I didn’t recognize him. When the conversation went back to the transgender woman, I referred to her as a  her again, and this time he slapped me in the back of the neck. 

I screamed because I was already having neck pain, and then I fell to the floor and sat balled up with my arms around my legs. This is the position I get into when my anxiety attacks begin. I was sobbing uncontrollably and he was still yelling and trying to justify his actions and words. I kept begging him to stop and to just go away. 

I remained detached from him for a long time after that. I began looking into divorce lawyers and apartments. I didn’t want to be with him anymore. 

Then, a while later, I told him about what his dad did to me. We grew closer,  and I thought for sure we’d be okay. That is until he told me about his infidelity which happened during the time he was treating me like dogshit. 

Now,  he doesn’t want to be the person he was. Now, I’m supposed to try to forget it all and take him at his word that he won’t hurt me anymore. I feel like the stupid woman I vowed I’d never be. I’m afraid to make him mad. I’m afraid I’m not measuring up. I wonder if he’s afraid at all. 

Maybe the fact I’ve stuck around through it all will make him think that I will stick around after he has one more episode because “it hasn’t happened in a long time.” I want to believe him. I want to give him a fair chance, but I have so much hurt and my heart is too guarded to let him in completely. 

Maybe this purge will help to get it out of my mind. One can only hope. 

Uncategorized

How do we know when we’re enough?

We know when we’ve eaten enough because our bodies have a way of letting us know. What about the immeasurable aspects of life? How do we know when we’re loving enough, kind enough, or strong enough? What is the determining factor? Who gets the ultimate say-so in letting us know that we’re measuring up to immeasurable qualities and assets? 

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m not enough. I’m swamped with big projects and homework, the housework never ends, the kids constantly need something, and then there’s my marriage. I’m overwhelmed with hurt and memories, and it feels like somewhere in that whirlwind of life, there’s just me.

I’ve always been set on being a strong role model for my children. I grew up watching my mom struggle with an eating disorder, and recall looking at myself when she’d say how many pounds she thought she needed to lose. 

If she’s fat, I must be too.

As my feelings and thoughts try to process after finding out about my husband stepping out of the boundaries of our marriage, I find myself feeling increasingly weak, stupid, and insecure. The irrationality of my mindset is growing with all of that. 

If I was this, he wouldn’t want to do that.  

 I broke down in tears to him when I was talking about going to a NASCAR race-something we used to enjoy together. Now they are sponsored by Monster Energy, and the Monster Energy girls are showing off their perfect bodies. I started crying when I told him I’m all fucked up and insecure now. 

He tried rationalizing my thinking by reassuring me that there was nothing I could have done or changed. It had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him being stupid. 

I know this. Strangely, knowing doesn’t help my feelings. I find myself questioning everything, and at the root of it all is fear. I don’t want to get hurt again, and being the proactive and hypervigilant person I am, I guess I’m trying to find ways within my control to prevent myself from getting hurt. 

That in itself is irrational, because I can’t control what other people do. If I get a Kylie Jenner surgical overhaul and still get cheated on, then what? When will I be enough? 

It pains me even more to feel this way, because I don’t want my daughters to ever question their worth, much less at the expense of the stupidity of their significant other. I feel like such a hypocrite. 

I feel like I’ll never be enough.

Suicide awareness and prevention

The fallacy of “spreading suicide awareness” on anti-social media 

Suicide is not a light topic to discuss. Having lost loved ones to suicide, and dealing with my daily struggles of suicidal ideation, I have  a pretty solid understanding of its effects on both sides.

Although people mean well, when they share posts about suicide awareness, I get angry. I don’t get angry with the people specifically, but with society as a whole–for several reasons. 

Generally speaking, we have become disconnected due to social media. I see people on dates or having coffee together, and their faces are staring at screens. We rarely talk face to face with people, and generally choose to text instead of call. Surely this doesn’t apply to everyone, but even if it doesn’t apply to you, I’m sure you have witnessed it.

Suicide has been glamorized as an attention-getter to teens and young adults. When  a person is tragically lost to suicide, there is a tendency for people to flood their facebook pages with posts of grief. People who are closest to them naturally get messages and posts with words of condolences and love. Next, we start to see people who went to school with that person, but never actually talked to them, post about spreading suicide awareness, and getting their satisfactory amount of “likes” and attention. Which leads to cases like this. 

Suicide prevention is a serious issue that deserves attention, as it is quite literally a matter of life or death. The approach to spreading awareness, however, is ineffective and shallow. The people who mean well by sharing suicide hotline numbers and thinking they’ve done their part in suicide prevention are quite unaware of the topic for which they are trying to advocate.

Just weeks ago, when I was at what seemed to be a dark point of no return, I tried calling a suicide hotline. The answer was automated. I HUNG UP. If my husband didn’t answer the phone,  (I was just going to leave him a voicemail) I wouldn’t be here writing this today. 

Despite seeing countless posts from “friends” saying to call them or a suicide hotline in their efforts to prevent suicide, I didn’t think to call them. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to. How can anyone feel comfortable calling a stranger (even disconnected friends can feel like strangers) in their most vulnerable state? 

I still see posts mourning people who have been lost to suicide, and my heart shatters for them, whether I know them or not, I grieve heavily for them. One of them was a mother of three, and that shook me to the core.

My children could have been enduring the pain her children are in. 

My husband once asked me why it affects me so much when I hear about people whom I’ve never met committing suicide. The best way I could think to explain it to him was to compare it to the experience of a cancer survivor. They’ve survived cancer, yet they still lose people to it, and there is that looming fear of it coming back to get them. They understand the pain the person endured before passing, and the thoughts and feelings they possibly experienced as well. They see the pain the loss causes the families, and worry about possibly causing their families the same. 

Cancer is a disease, and suicide is a choice.”

Touché.

This brings me to my next point about the lack of understanding. Suicide is a fatal symptom of a disorder more than it is a choice. There is an umbrella of mental illnesses that each come with their own stigmas. 

People with depression are labeled as hating the world and wanting to kill themselves and everyone around them. People with PTSD are most likely back from combat and are ticking time bombs waiting to explode. People with bipolar disorder are unpredictable and unstable. Get the picture? Society labels people who suffer from mental illness as generally dangerous. In that same breath, they try to prevent suicide by saying to open up and talk about it. 

So we can be labeled more? No, thank you.

The only way to truly prevent suicide is to break the disconnection among humanity. Reach out and actually talk to people. Get to know one another. BE PRESENT. 

Furthermore, we need to end the stigmatization of mental illness. Just because it isn’t visible doesn’t mean it isn’t painful. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean you have to fear it. Mentally ill does not equate to criminally insane or unfit to be a parent or other contribution to society. 

To truly prevent suicide, we need to spread compassion and efforts to understanding. 

It may not be the most popular approach, but I believe with every fiber of my being, that it would be the most effective in saving lives.