Trauma Literally F*cks with Your Brain…

When I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) I was shocked, truly. I had never thought someone like me could have something like PTSD. I remember my therapist sitting there and reviewing my test, a 392 question test which had question after question which seemed like the same 50 questions reworked in different ways. He kept nodding and scoring on his computer. Finally, he looks up and tells me I have a TEXTBOOK case of PTSD. Not just yes I have it, but I have a textbook case of it. He started using words like, “classic case” and “textbook symptoms.” All the while I sat there trying to focus, but struggling because I was lost in the whirl of thoughts circling in my brain. I was experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, negative association, brain fog, inability to focus, severe anxiety, and depression. I left the office trying to digest my new diagnosis and what it meant for my life. I decided I needed to learn about PTSD and began doing some research at home, and asking questions in therapy. I was shocked at what I would come to learn about trauma, PTSD, and the way society treats people with a PTSD diagnosis which are not military.

As I started learning more about my diagnosis of PTSD I began to learn how much PTSD impacts the brain. Trauma literally changes your brain. I had no idea. I was shocked. Trauma impacts several areas of the brain, including the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. Trauma causes an increase in cortisol production and in norepinephrin response. Essentially, trauma changes your brain. Think about that. It literally, physically, changes your brain. When we can understand this concept, we can then understand why it is so frustrating to PTSD sufferers to be told things like, “You just need to get over it,” or any variation of the same sentiment. It’s like telling someone who lost a limb, “You just need to forget you ever had that arm,” or, “You should pretend you never had two legs.” Not only would people find that to be insensitive and rude, but the person who said it would probably catch a verbal beat down for having been so callous.

Meanwhile, in the world of mental health, it is completely normal, and acceptable, to most to speak like this to people with not only PTSD, but also, depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders as well. Ignorance to mental health issues is certainly to blame, but in today’s technology day and age, it does not hold water for long. Finding information on mental health issues is relatively easy to locate online, and it takes but a simple search to find. The wealth of information available is vast, and most of it is reputable and easy to understand. Knowledge is power, and the more we know, the more we can express empathy to those dealing with mental health disorders and contribute to helping instead of increasing the burden. A small glimpse into the life of someone who’s been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc., offers a wealth of answers as to why their behavior is what it is, and why. Have you ever known someone who spoke of feeling lonely all the time, despite being surrounded by people? Perhaps he is suffering from depression. If he is, the last thing that is helpful for him mentally is to be told to get over it, or to join the mass of people around him at any given time.

Trauma occurs and leaves people devastated. It is not the type of devastation you necessarily see. Whether someone loses a home, a spouse, or causes an accident. Perhaps childhood abuse, or an abusive marriage, or childhood illness is what precipitated their PTSD. The truth is you may never know or understand what CAUSED someone’s PTSD, but you do not have to understand how to show empathy and compassion for what they are going through. In addition, it is not uncommon for traumatized people to have several instances in which traumatic events happen to them, only for people to label them as “drama,” and walk, or run, away. When we understand how trauma impacts the brain, and the emotional and mental states of someone, we can see why these things happen. It is as easy as having compassion and empathy. Look at people the way you want to be looked upon. Care for a stranger in need as you wish to be cared for, and do unto others as you want done unto you.

Who’s That Girl??

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“Be the woman you needed as a girl.” So many thoughts spring to mind when I read that. I feel sorrow because I never had the woman I needed as a girl, and I feel happiness because I feel I am the woman my girls need as girls. I feel confusion because I don’t really know HOW to be the woman I needed as a girl to myself. I know, silly right, just be the same person I am for my girls, for myself, duh. Easier said than done for some reason…well, not some reason, trauma reason. Now I feel angry because I hate that I use the word trauma so often in my life. I hate that I experienced so much trauma in my life. I hate that trauma feels more comfortable, more normal, than peace and tranquility. I hate that part the most. I hate that trauma has caused me to push away people who are healthy for me, while allowing toxic people to reign supreme in my life.

In order to be the woman, I needed as a girl, I need to look at the girl as I do my girls, not as I look at myself. If I stop and think of my daughters when I utter that statement, and not myself, my perspective softens. I have a great deal of anger towards myself, obviously. But over what? Logically, I know the things that happened to me were not my fault, not my doing. But since when does logic rule over emotion when dealing with traumatic disorders?!?! Yeah, never. Perhaps I don’t need to think of myself when I picture that girls. What happens if I picture my own girls, or some stranger. A child is a child, every single one precious, innocent, and fragile. I know, I know….what makes me different?!?! It almost sounds narcissistic, or at a minimum martyr-ish. Every child is innocent, precious, and fragile, except me, I was worthless, unlovable, and easily abandoned. Seems rather silly; actually, it seems cruel.

So what the hell, why do I keep punishing myself for something that I KNOW was not my fault?!?! Why do I keep up this self-loathing, self-hatred, everyone is better than me, and everyone deserves happiness but me….blah blah blah. I sound like a frigging broken record at best. Whining about why God gave me this life, why me? What the fawk did I do to piss him off to the point of dealing with trauma since birth?!?! Some people say, “He knew you would be strong enough to handle it.” *Insert blank stare* I really have no rebuttal for this one, other than, “Gee, thanks?” I mean I can think of a multitude of ways in which I could handle a great deal and not have to bring trauma after trauma into my life. Are you as sick of that word as I am by now?? TRAAAUUMMMAAA….I am almost to the point where it makes my skin crawl to say it or hear it.

How do I let go of this toxic bullshit way of thinking, and embrace the fact that I KNOW I am worthy, I know I AM lovable, and I know I AM amazing? Do not pull a Nike on me and say, “Just Do It,” because let me tell you, my friend, that does not work. I often feel like I need to take myself hostage, and instead of torturing myself with negative things, I have to force myself to do only positive, self-growth, empowering things. Things that I consider spoiling myself, and would never normally do, because…ya know, self-loathing. I feel like the only cure is to kidnap myself, proverbially speaking, and torture my negative-thinking brain with positive, affirming actions. Just bathe in it until I damn near drown in self-love. Only stopping when I reach such a kumbaya-like state with my self that I am borderline obnoxious.

The only thing standing in my way, me. I don’t know that I could actually force myself to do that for a day, let alone a week, or more. I would feel guilt over being selfish, and I would feel so far out of my comfort zone. Yes, I know, that is the point. Maybe I should….just give it a try. Make a list of things I would NEVER normally do for myself, and force myself to do all of them, and even more so, make sure I actually enjoy them. Maybe then I could be the woman I needed as a girl.

 

Some Random Thoughts…

As an over-caffeinated, work from home, mom of three, going through the separation/divorce from a narcissist, and dealing with CPTSD, I have many random thoughts. So I thought I would share the randomness of my mind for those of you brave enough to endure the journey….

All morning I have been sitting here crying off and on about faith. How do I maintain or have faith ever in a celestial being who has allowed so much damage, disease, torture, and just evil in the world?!? I mean, who has faith in a world so fucked up, anyway…but then a friend said, “do not forget, there is free will, and with it comes a multitude of problems. It breaks God’s heart to see people mistreating others and seeing people suffer.” I sat there crying some more thinking I had been so awful to be judgemental, and God is sitting there crying with me. But then I thought, dude, you have all the power to make it stop, so stop the crying and do something, dammit. Some locusts, a well-placed plague, something!

Of course, if I expect God to do something about the worldly injustice, I should be doing something about my own personal injustices…right?!?! Well, I am so back off okay. I am in therapy, and yeah…right now that is about as much as I can handle, and even that feels overwhelming at times. Some days I cannot even manage to focus on anything, at all. Other days I just kill it! Of course, the do nothing days far outweigh the kill it days.

So I still don’t know if there is a God, or not, or some other universal energy being, or not. I still do not feel compelled to have faith in anything or anyone, even myself. I feel tired, worn down, and too tired to give a crap. On the other hand, my brain really wants to have something fulfilling to do all day while my kids are in school. Work is no longer challenging me, or even sustaining me. I am feeling bored, uninspired, and totally out of shape.

Yoga, I need to get back to yoga…or running. Or both. Of course in order to do either I would have to have the energy to do anything besides cry and look for jobs online, most of which I am not qualified to do. I think about grabbing my camera and going for a walk, maybe start a project in which I write about a picture I take, something new every day. Nah, I am way too exhausted for that. I really should do something about my fatigue….oh wait, therapy.

Speaking of therapy, my youngest has her therapeutic visitation with her father tomorrow afternoon….ugh. This is a huge source of anxiety for her, and thus, for me. I hate making her do something she does not want to, and long for the day the court says ok, we tried, but she is not doing well with this, and she needs a break to completely heal. I would pray for that day, but to whom am I praying?!?!

Oh crap, now it’s 2:15pm, I have to pick up the little one in an hour, and I don’t know what we’re doing for dinner. And my oldest has a game tonight….ughhh….I would pray for a rain out, but ummm, yeah.

The better part of my afternoon was this random trail of thoughts bumping around in my head, over and over on a loop. I know a great deal of my issue is my CPTSD, but I really want to get to a point where I feel well enough. I know I will never be “normal,” since CPTSD impacts brain volume, function. But I want to be okay. I want to be able to figure out what I want to do and do it. I want to find passion again in my life. I want to do things I love, and feel good. I want to be fearless in my pursuit of what sets my soul on fire. I want to know what sets my soul on fire. I want to have energy, faith, happiness.

If you have made it this far, omg, you really are bored….lol. No really, thank you.

Old Habits Die Hard…

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I feel blocked. No, not constipated, blocked. My energy, my potential, I feel blocked. I know it is because of the way I was raised, and the old beliefs I still hold on to because I am too afraid to let go. Blocked feels comfortable, as odd as that sounds. It feels frustrating, fearful, and yet, comfortable. It is what I have known my entire life, since birth. So how do I let go of this feeling, these stale, crusty beliefs that hold me back? How do I learn to release the krakken….no, I mean fear, and move forward? The other day I tried to listen to healing music and journal myself clear. Let me just say it rings true, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” By day’s end I was spiraling into a sea of negative thoughts and fear.

I believe that the world is made up of energy, and this energy flow determines what we attract, or repel, in our lives. I believe my energy is stuck, is blocked. I truly believe I am stuck because my subconscious refuses to give up the old, negative thoughts that were instilled in me as a child. So now, everything I want feels just beyond my reach. Everything I want to accomplish seems daunting and almost unattainable. Have you ever felt that feeling? Have you ever felt like you could see yourself at the finish line, but you have no idea how to get there, and the path along the way just keeps hurdling obstacle after obstacle?

How are we to keep moving forward when our own selves are raging against us, raging against the change we truly know we need? I listened to a podcast in which the speaker said to change your life 1% every day, and in a year you would be where you want to be. I feel like I am making small changes every day, and then, my old self, the self that is terrified of the new self, rages against me dragging me back to the starting line. How do we let go of fear and find faith, when everything we have ever had faith in has failed us, and we are fearful above all else? What is the cure for this?

I find myself exhausted, mentally and physically. I find myself distracted and missing things that I should not be missing. My blocks are inhibiting my progress, and I hate this feeling. How do I heal 40 years worth of neglect, fear, anxiety, and blockage, from my parents, my significant others, myself? How do I stand up to my subconscious and say enough is enough? How do I finally get what I want, what I need, to be happy? At what point is the change less fearful than remaining the same?

I need healing, I need to put myself on the top of my priority list, I need to set the example to my kids instead of just talking the talk. I need to show them what a strong woman looks like, instead of telling them how to become one. I need to face my fear, and shove it off a cliff…my fear, not myself, don’t worry. I need to be the strong woman everyone sees me as, and not the helpless, scared little girl I feel like inside. I need to empower myself, and stop focusing solely on empowering my daughters. Right now, as I write this, the one word raging in my head is, but, but, but, but….but nothing. I have to stop sabotaging myself.

And here I sit, waiting for the next words….but…nothing. I have to find the way. I have to find my way. I have to stop obsessing about this, living in fear, feeling blocked, feeling unworthy. I have to allow myself the same opportunity I want for my girls. I have to see the good in myself the same as I see the good in them. I cannot talk the talk and not walk the walk. They deserve better, and so do I, whether I want to believe it or not. So now what? Honestly, I have no damn idea.

Help Me Mom…

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I cannot fathom losing one of my children. I cannot even consider what parents who lose a child go through during the grieving process, and for the rest of their lives. Yet, I feel as though I was close to losing one of my own children. Two weeks ago, my oldest daughter had homecoming. She went to the football game Friday, slept over at a friend’s house, and attended the dance the next evening. I picked her up from the dance, she looked so gorgeous. The next two days she spent in bed. I thought she had overdone it over the weekend when she spent Sunday in bed. When she stayed home from school on Monday, I knew something was wrong. She stayed in bed, complaining of exhaustion and joint pain. The pain is something chronic, we have spent years dealing with the issue. The exhaustion, I attributed to her hectic schedule. I did not give her a problem about staying home, but I did let her know Tuesday she would need to get back to school. She never made it there, because by Monday evening we were in the emergency room.

Late Monday afternoon my daughter came to me, crying, saying she needed help. I sent the other girls in the other room, and tried calming her down. She was inconsolable, but I could not understand why. I know we have been through a complete upheaval and trauma for the last 8 years, but I honestly thought we were all on the path to repair. She was crying, and hiding under her hair. She was rocking back and forth telling me the bad thoughts would not stop. I kept asking questions, calmly, trying to understand what was going on in that moment. Then she uttered the words, “I do not want to hurt myself, but I cannot control all the thoughts anymore.” At this moment I realized, my daughter literally was struggling for her life. She was battling thoughts in her mind that were telling her to kill herself. My child was battling suicidal thoughts. I struggled not to break down.

I sat there, shocked, scared, and struggling to keep talking to her without having a nervous breakdown. What do I do? I have to help her, I have to protect her, even if it is from herself. I tried to calm her down, and assess the situation. Could she be calmed enough to wait until the morning for help? She said no. Should we go to the emergency room? Is there somewhere else I should take her? Do I call 911, or take her myself? What do I tell the other two kids? My mind was swimming. She was alternating between complete silence, and borderline nervous breakdown. I told her I would take her to the emergency room if she felt she needed help right now, and it could not wait. She said yes. I made sure a friend could keep the other two kids, and we left for the emergency room.

I sat there filling out the papers, looking at my beautiful, tortured soul of a child. Her hair was greasy, but still borderline perfect. Her eyes were red from crying, but still captivating and deep. Her body was twitching and anxious, but still in peak, athletic condition. My daughter looked so together, and yet so broken. I wanted to trade places with her, I wanted to take away all her pain, and make sure she never hurts again. They took us back, and I watched as the nurse systematically removed all the long cords and sharp objects from the room. I watched my daughter as she began to realize why the nurse was removing items. I watched a bit of the reality set in, and I watched her face fall a little bit.

Blood work, urinalysis, and mental health interview done, and here we sit. The mental health professional sits us down to review our options. Inpatient treatment at the local mental health facility. Three-five days of treatment, possible medication, and therapy set up after discharge. Option two, partial inpatient, ten days of 8-3 in the mental health facility, but she would come home at the end of the day. Long duration, and more school missed, but she would come home every day. I looked at my daughter, and I let her know I would support whichever decision she wanted to try. She asked me what I thought she should do, so I told her, let’s talk through it together and decide. Ultimately, she decided to go with inpatient. It turned out to be 7 days, not 3-5.

The first two days I was a disaster. I cried, uncontrollably. Guilt, sadness, and fear took over my soul. I visited her as often as I could, almost every single day with little exception. She is home now, and seems much better. She is on antidepressants and antianxiety medication. She is also starting therapy, and back at school. I have dealt with depression throughout my life, as well as anxiety. I have never felt suicidal, but I see how it impacts a person. I see the struggle in her eyes. I will always be her biggest cheerleader, her greatest supporter. I will always be her champion.

Mental health issues are still taboo to a point in this society. My daughter was scared for her life, scared about losing control and hurting (or killing) herself. She came to me for help, she came to her mom to fix it. Watch for signs in your children, and other loved ones. Let them know it is okay to struggle and need help emotionally. Support your loved ones in their emotions. Give them the support they need, and do not be afraid to seek emergency help. Suicide is irreversible. Do not wait until it is too late.

When I Grow Up….

When I grow up, I want to be a famous author. When I grow up, I want to be a social worker. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher. When I grow up, I want to be a super-star athlete. When I grow up, I want to be a famous artist. When I grow up….wait, when is that again?? How can I be 40 years old and have such little idea about what I want to do with my life?!? How is this possible? I think about the possibilities, and then the idea of making a choice scares the shit out of me. The idea of making the WRONG choice scares the shit out of me. So then, I choose nothing, and stay where I am, and that aggravates me, and round and round I go.

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I love writing, I have always had a passion for sharing my thoughts, ideas, my soul. When I start to put it down, with intent for greatness, I freak out, get writer’s block, and cannot seem to convey any of my thoughts well. I have started my book, which will be a best-seller, approximately 25 times in the last 10 years. I have finished about 10 pages maximum at any given attempt. They all reside on my Google drive, sitting there taunting me, like the several hundred craft projects I have started in my lifetime that never got done either.

I worked in childcare for quite a while. I do love children, but the rest of the job, well, I got burned out dealing with people and situations that I loathed. I hated having to keep my mouth shut and smiling when I wanted to scream about how wrong some situation was, or how much a particular person had no business in the business. Plus, the pay is crap, benefits suck (if you get any), and I go home completely and totally exhausted every single day….can you tell I had the toddler room???

I have sought help with this situation, from friends, family, my therapist. I cannot think of any one thing I want to do forever. I think of lots of things I would like to do for a while. I can think of things I would never want to do in a million years. So I guess progress can be made through elimination, to a degree. My support network tell me to just keep trying to find something that I love, whatever that may be. My therapist tells me to focus on fixing the issues from my PTSD and the rest will come in time. Time…do I have much time?? I mean, I am 40, not 22. *Sigh* I get confused, and then frustrated, because I do not see other people having the same issues I do, with attention, with focus.

My attention span is that of a 2 year old on a sugar high. My therapist assures me this is normal considering I have PTSD. I have always been like this though, and he retorts that I have been dealing with trauma my whole life. Ok, touche Mr. Therapist, touche. The fact remains, I have a history of starting and not finishing, unless it is a cup of coffee….that gets finished in 30 seconds flat. Oooh, I could have my own line of coffee, and products, and become the most famous Coffee Mama in all the land…coffee world domination, here I come.

But seriously, it is so frustrating to deal with this every day. I love my job, virtual assistant, because I am constantly doing different things, and dealing with new people. Plus, I love helping people, and my clients are all really great and compliment my work a lot. BUT….you knew there was a but coming, I do not necessarily feel completely fulfilled. I feel as though there is something more, something greater out there for me. I just don’t know quite what that is….yet. Hopefully I will figure it out before I am 50.

 

On the Cusp….

Have you ever had that feeling that you are on the cusp of greatness? No, really? I have this feeling that comes and goes, mostly around times of great change. It feels like a rush, excitement, anxiety, fear, intensity. I feel as though I am on the verge of some huge, great breakthrough, but I just cannot quite navigate the path ahead.

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I am at that point right now. I feel as though the world is open to me, whatever direction I want to go. But then I look around and feel as though my obligations are obviously something to consider, not to mention I am not 22 anymore. At this point I second guess my thinking. Am I just becoming negative, or is it realistic? I want to do great things, but then, I do not know what these great things are yet. I am a great #mom, that I have going for me. I want to take my strengths and turn them into the greatest life I have ever known, work wise. But when you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, it is kinda hard.

I cannot shake this feeling like there is more to life than what is going on now, and I am right on the other side of the door. I just cannot figure out how to open it. Maybe I am meant to break it down, but I feel as though there is a key somewhere that I am missing. I hate that feeling. My therapist would probably tell me to meditate on feeling complete, as though I am not missing anything, and have all the answers. And he would he correct. Soooo, I guess I will try that first.

Remember those parent/teacher conferences where the teacher said you (or your kid) were not working to their potential? That is me. I am not working to my potential….but I do not know in what direction I am meant to aim my potential. Plus, I still have insecurities about where my true potential lies. I work hard at whatever job I have, and always have. I want to feel passion, fire for what I do. I like my job, Virtual Assistant, but it is not where I am destined to be. It is a placeholder, for what, I do not know yet.

I love helping people, and I love children…but I got burned out on childcare long ago. Perhaps, after everything I have been through something in the advocacy realm for abused women and children. Hmmm. Social Services? Non-Profit? I don’t know. I suppose I have to have faith in the journey, and remind myself that I am where I am meant to be until I am meant to be somewhere else. Of course, that is easier said than done.

Flashbacks…

Due to the trauma I have experienced in my second marriage, and throughout my life, I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD. My second marriage is responsible for the brunt of the issues, but I allowed that relationship to continue due to unresolved issues from my past. Anyway, I have flashbacks, not all the time but often enough. The triggers are anything, or nothing. I think this aspect is one of the worst of PTSD because it can trigger a panic attack at any given moment. I am then left feeling vulnerable and out of control, which is not what any PTSD sufferer needs.

One of my most common flashbacks is to when my now ex kicked in the bathroom door on me. We had been arguing for several hours, about nothing because all the arguments are about nothing. At this point I usually just take the screaming at, occasionally throw in my own retort, and wait for the switch to flip and the remorse to set in. But lately, things have not been going that way. He has been raging for longer periods of time than usual. What was once an hour is now half the day. He is becoming more aggressive, more explosive, scarier.

 

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On this particular day, I told him I was done fighting for the moment and needed a break. I told him I was going to the bathroom to compose myself and just take a break. I went into the bathroom, closed and locked the door. I sat on the toilet and just cried. Within a minute he had followed me upstairs, and screamed from the other side, “We’re done talking when I say we are done talking, and you’re gonna listen to me God damnit!” He then kicked in the door, and continued screaming at me, berating me. I almost vomited from the anxiety.

To this day, everytime I close a bathroom door, I flashback.  Every. single. time. Sometimes are worse than others, but every time I visually recall that moment when he kicked in the door on me and showed me once again I was the bird trapped in the cage and I was not going to escape if it was up to him. Some day I know these flashbacks will stop, and I long for that day, but for now, I am where I am, and it is going to be ok.

The Little Victories….

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I have learned on my short-lived journey little victories are going to lead me to the ultimate success. In leaving the abusive relationship I was in for 7.5 years, I have found just how much I need to fix in my life, and just how difficult it can be to do so. I have to fix my credit, reduce my debt, increase my income, all while working my current job, and juggling three kids, and let’s not forget all the court it entails to leave a marriage with kids, and keep those kids (and myself) safe in the process. I have also learned I am stronger than I give myself credit for, I can rely on people for help, and it IS GOING TO BE OK.

Yesterday was a tumultuous one. Actually the whole week has been a roller coaster (see yesterday’s post). On Sunday, I filled out an application for an apartment where the leasing agent assured me she would do everything in her power to get me in and my situation was nothing new, and she herself had been there. I got them all the necessary paperwork by Monday, and waited. I called the next day, nothing….the day after, nothing…finally on Thursday the leasing agent actually answered my call. “Oh, I’m sorry but the manager said no, and I pretty much cannot do anything.” I asked about the possibility of paying a large deposit, or even paying a full year up-front (borrowing the money from family and paying them back monthly instead of paying the rental office). She turned it down…yes, CASH, rejected. I was speechless, which is probably a good thing for this leasing agent.

So yesterday I was hunting again, and mind you, while I am apartment hunting, I am NOT WORKING, and thus LOSING MONEY. So basically yesterday was a frantic journey. At the end of the day, I secured an apartment, and the kids and I will be in a safe, clean, quiet, neighborhood that is in the same school zone as what we need. So there incompetent leasing agent, I don’t need you anyway. I count that as my small victory. I can now focus on working, getting through the impending trial and protective order hearing (trial because my soon-to-be ex broke the emergency protective order six times from jail 30 minutes after being served).

I am now checking off the list ‘find place to live,’ and moving every item up a notch in the priority scale. A top priority is finding a job that is Administrative, which is what I do now, but not independently contracted. I need to establish reliable, stable income, hopefully with benefits. But I am not frantic, since I do have a job. I can relax a bit, and not feel that sense of urgency, that impending doom. For far too long that has been my feeling every moment of every day.

Being married to an abusive, narcissistic person drains you of all your hopes and dreams. It leaves you a shell of the person you were. My children are excited because fun mom is back. She is still strict and has lots of rules, but she is not as anxious and on edge as abusive relationship mom. I can take a deep breath, and let the energy course through my body, without fear that an emotional, mental vampire is going to rob me blind. That is a victory.

Relish every victory in life, because the smallest ones can yield the biggest results. I have a big mountain to climb, but I am not climbing it alone, and I have surpassed some of the roughest points. I can feel the refreshing air in my lungs, and I can see the peak. When I get there, be ready, because I intend to scream from the mountain top that I have arrived.

Want a Ticket For The Roller Coaster??

Leaving an abusive relationship is almost as scary, difficult, taxing, and anxiety inducing as being in the damn relationship to begin with, at least for me. I have to rebuild myself from the ground up. I have a job, but as an independent contractor, and only for the last 5 months. I have 3 years into my college degree and desire to finish, but uhhh who has the time and money for that right now?!?! No, really, WHO?? I need a place to live, with my 3 kids, but I have very little credit, and apparently some medical bills I was unaware of from like 4 years ago….so, that is another pile of dog poo poo I am trying to deal with currently.

You know that saying, “God only gives you as much as you can handle,” well, I think he fell asleep with the remote, because I feel overwhelmed regularly. He must think I am freaking Wonder Woman to keep piling it on like this. Either that, or he knows I have questioned his existence, and he does in fact have a mean streak in him. Who knows, and quite frankly, who has time to worry about that….not me.

I am dealing with PTSD, finding a new, more reliable job, finding a place to live, keeping myself and my children safe, working my current job in the meantime, and trying to sort out the issue prohibiting me from moving forward. It feels like I am drowning. I always pictured this time as feeling like I regained my freedom, and yet, I feel as though I am now a prisoner to my life. If that makes sense. I have these moments, like what I am in right now, where I just ramble in my head, not quite sure if I am making sense.

I will say this, to anyone reading who is contemplating getting out, but reads this and is now scared shitless….do it anyway. Because as scared as I am right now, I was more terrified living day to day with an abusive, narcissist. Get out, whatever you need to do, just figure it out, and get out. Do not second guess yourself or wait until…until is now. The rest can be figured out.

It is 5:09 am, and so far, I have filled out 4 job applications, vented on social media, applied to a couple more apartments, and found 4 more places to go see soon. Oh yeah, and written this little gem. I feel like a full day has already been accomplished and yet, there remains so much more to do.

I just keep saying, “It’s going to be ok.” I also ask everyone in my support network to tell me the same thing, over and over on a loop.

I have always said I perform best under pressure, and this is certainly pressure, so I guess it is just an opportunity to show myself just what I am made of. Hey, maybe I am Wonder Woman….where’s that damn lasso??