NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Surviving the Survival

September9

Hi. *Waves* How’s it going? *Smiles*

I just wanted to provide a bit of an update, assure folks that I’m alive and well and honestly doing much better than my previous post would lead one to believe.  (Referring to this and even more so this post.)

11696573_10152977128616078_3404802837182861263_oSomewhere in SoCal, across the street from a gas station…I just love this!!!

I am doing and feeling MUCH BETTER! Thank you all for reaching out, checking in, sharing your stories with me and just being fantastic readers and people, too! Please keep reaching out and doing all your good things! Write to me directly here: notblueatall@notblueatall.com if you’d rather not comment on a particular post. I don’t share the emails I get from my readers with anyone ever. Your confidentiality is important to me. I do believe that human connection is a necessity of life and the world often feels like a very isolating place, especially when you don’t have anyone close to trust or lean on. Hugs! <3

When someone lives with PTSD as a result of extensive and traumatic events, it becomes difficult to relate to others. When the demons you’re battling 24/7 are in your own head, you begin to wonder if there can even be a winner. You question who you are, what you want and why you choose to persist in your existing-ness. You wonder what will be left if you ever break out of the cycle of badness in your head. It had been so long since I had had to live with my PTSD symptoms and having so much happen in my life in such a short amount of time certainly triggered more than I could ever have imagined. Moving back to where I suffered the abuses I did so long ago was more than my brain could handle.

It’s hard to explain because intellectually I knew the who what when where and why, but I couldn’t stop the flood of terror that was my special version of reality for awhile. I never let on to my loved ones how bad things were. That’s part of being a survivor, I think. You learn real quick how to act and how to act like everything is normal so well that even those nearest to you can’t tell that anything is amiss. Sad, but true. I am so grateful to the people in my life who do and can support me in ways that I need to be. I am lucky and know this and do all I can to never take these amazing people for granted. Myself included! I wondered how much worse it would have gotten had I not intellectually known what was going on with me suddenly.

Looking back at the last two months I am astonished at all that has come to pass in my head. My new apartment is a tiny studio. It’s just me and my puggo, but my demons are always there, too, ya know? I have come to accept this rather than deny its existence. Just as depression is always waiting to tap me on the shoulder and creep back into my being, so is all of the memories and traumas I have survived and continue to process and struggle with. To my knowledge there is no cure for PTSD. It’s a journey of exploration, processing and healing. One I doubt will ever end so long as I live. But it is a journey that I am committed to taking in order to live the best life that I can live today.

After some really bad times, like a few weeks of absolute misery and fear, my bf very spontaneously insisted we go on a road trip with our pugs down to SoCal (southern California). I have famously said, “SoCal is No-Cal for me!” and typically hate pretty heavily upon that region of my home state. But you know what? SoCal ain’t so bad! (Ya hear that J?! :P) In fact, a road trip was exactly what I needed, though I fought it at first. I’m a planner and worrier and sudden and spontaneous travel is Stress City USA! But I said fuck it and laid all of my trust in my bf and my own ability to handle whatever situation I found myself in. I decided it had to be better than my own insanity (I was convinced I was truly losing my last hold onto sanity for a bit there) and packed very lightly and just went!

I am so fucking glad that I did! I needed to get the hell outta my home town and more so, out of my own fucked up head! It was hot but we had a great rental car with a fantastic air conditioner! The two of us and our two little pugs made our way down south and stopped at all kinds of ridiculous road side attractions along the way. It was an adventure for all of us! At the end of our first night I nearly had a panic attack. I was severely triggered by the visible drug abuse and other disgusting but apparent things happening at the hotel we ended up in (the very last room in the very last hotel in Oxnard – – fitting name, I’d say). I had to just go to the bathroom and cry and breathe it out and just deal. My bf was doing his absolute best but we were all exhausted and it was so hot and gross and what could ya do? But the next two days were bliss! I wouldn’t trade them or my boys (the pugs and my bf) for the world! We stayed in a wigwam the next night and had the best time! When we got back I felt more like myself than I had in months! (Pics at the end)

Being on the road and caring for the dogs and seeking fun-silly attractions and weirdness forced me to get out of my head and be in the present. It all could have gone horribly wrong, I realize that, but it didn’t and I always have an escape plan, I can’t help that (thanks PTSD!). I began to feel very ill halfway through our first day on the road and so I listened to what my body needed and spoke up as soon as I knew what that was. It took about an hour, but in the end I felt so much better and was able to make the rest of that day’s journey bearable.

Being present and mindful is easier said than done. It sounds so simple and yet it is so fucking hard!!! Living in the moment is not just carpe diem and all that jazz. It’s more about intent, compassion, impact and mindfulness. It’s about listening to your body and mind and doing what needs to be fulfilled in the moment. It’s sometimes having to sit through an entire day unable to move because anxiety won’t let you. It’s reminding yourself constantly, “It’s okay!” no matter what is happening in reality or in your head. It’s knowing that just because people tell you something “can’t hurt you anymore” or “you’re not the person you were when that happened so it can’t possibly happen to you again” doesn’t change your traumatized brain and neural pathways. It’s admitting you know this and yet you can’t leave the house. Why? Because it feels like the world is closing in on you and everyone knows you’re crazy or marked or wrong or trying to kill you…

No one told me I was a survivor of abuse. No one told me I was being abused or had to escape. No one told me a fucking thing! Friends dropped away one by one. Soon the world really did grow smaller for me and my abuser caused and took advantage of this to continue to control me. I used to wonder a lot about what might have been had someone intervened or insisted I get out or whatever. I can’t waste my time/energy/thoughts on what ifs now. What happened has already been done and cannot be undone. There was no knight in shining armor or prince charming or whatever the fuck ever! It was and is and always will just be me. I have my back! I can trust myself to survive! I have instincts that can get me out of danger. I will continue to survive. (This goes for you, too!)
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I find myself often telling my friends who date, “If they’ve got you questioning your shit, that’s a red flag!” and seriously! If someone makes you question your own reality, sanity, memory or how you feel about yourself DROP THEM!!! I wish I had known about “Gaslighting” and it’s signs back when I was suffering at the hands (and mind) of my abuser.

READ THIS ARTICLE: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/gaslighting-is-an-abuse-tactic/ know the signs and watch for them!!!

I cannot reiterate this enough. It could be your life, or someone you love, who gets caught up in something they don’t want to be in. It’s something you think will or could never happen to you or nowadays. IT DOES! And don’t fool yourself into thinking that you know weather or not a friend is in an abusive relationship or not. This is a great article about a woman who didn’t tell anyone her husband was beating her and why: http://www.damemagazine.com/2014/10/29/why-i-didnt-tell-you-he-was-beating-me

Believe someone when they tell you things about their relationships, romantic or not. This extends to anyone you have a relationship with! It could be a boss or colleague or neighbor, someone who just fucks you up inside and you’re just not sure what is going on. Examine that shit! Be mindful of how that person’s mere presence makes you feel. Be mindful of the energy you’re bringing into a room with you as well. We all are responsible for our own underpants, as the saying goes, but it’s deeper than that. Our behavior is a choice, conscious or not! You can choose to be an asshole. You can choose to be friendly. You can choose to drop trou and do a jig in the middle of the food court at your local mall. The point is that it IS a choice. Know this when folks make you feel like shit, they do it by choice and will continue to do so until you create a boundary. (I realize that some behaviors are far from a choice, such as anxiety and depression, but I do believe that how we treat others is a choice.)

And fuck do I wish someone had told me about boundaries and how to set them in like KINDERGARTEN!!! Holy shit that would have saved me so much pain and anguish! But what’s done is done. I now know that it’s okay and perfectly reasonable to let someone know that their behavior is unacceptable and that you will not tolerate that type of behavior any further and it is up to them to do better or do away with themselves. This is a hot button issue in my world. I have had to learn (the hard way, always) that cutting assholes out of your life is the best thing you can do for yourself and your health! True facts! I didn’t say it was easy. But I can promise you that you will be a better person for having done it!

People who take, drain you, use you, you dread, belittle you or your accomplishments, say things about your body or your life, they may not know how their behavior is affecting you. I know this sounds ludicrous, but our society reinforces assholery, so it is possible that they truly have no idea that they are in fact being an asshole. It really is up to you to let them know that you will not tolerate this behavior. There in lies the problem. How do you tell someone they are being an asshole without making the situation worse? Well, you have some options. You can explain yourself, but chances are they will make you out to be the asshole. Gaslighting!!! Stick to your guns! If you tell them you will not tolerate their behavior towards you, it is up to you to create that boundary and stick to it. Meaning, drop them like a cold turd! You can only do so much, you are not the asshole whisperer. It is not up to you to win them over or retrain them to behave like a mature adult human person.

I have been made to feel like the biggest weirdo ever for having to do this in my life. People don’t understand that this is something that anyone can and probably should do at some point in their life. If a relationship isn’t mutually beneficial then what is the point of the relationship at all? YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE ANYTHING!!! You don’t owe anyone your time, attention, energy, love, kindness, money, support…You don’t owe anyone anything! REPEAT IT! YOU DON’T OWE ANYONE ANYTHING!!! I don’t care if it’s “family” or someone you’ve “known forever” where is that loyalty showing up in how that person is treating you? It may not be their intent to make you feel like crap, but once you make them aware of this fact, it really is up to them to change or  not. If they choose to continue, you don’t have to! You do not have to interact with anyone who treats you like garbage! If it is someone at work, talk to your human resources department. Talk to someone! We all need to talk more about this shit because, like I said, some people don’t know how terrible they are to others until they are told.

I used to hate that old saying about you can’t truly love someone until you love yourself. It sounds cheesy, but what it really means is, you won’t find fulfillment in others, you must find it within yourself. That’s hard! Especially when your brain is broken like mine. Seeking acceptance and validation from others will only hurt you. It takes a ton of work, but you can find acceptance and validation within yourself. It’s worth it because you are worth it. I wish someone had told me these things when I was fourteen! When we feel empty or broken or worthless we are more susceptible to abuse. I hate this but it’s true. When I hated myself I only met assholes. When I finally found that loving myself was the way to fulfillment I also started to attract some of the smartest and most incredible people into my life than I ever even knew existed!

Trust yourself, your instincts are there to protect you from harm. Only you know what you need and only you can live your life.

There is a Crisis Text line that you can DM for free directly to a trained therapist:
http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/crisis-text-line/?fb=ss&prtnr=xojane

Thank you for witnessing my journey. Your love and support really does mean so much to me.
Rad Fatty Love,
<3
S

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