Just a Girl and a Plan

I’m working on something I think is the hardest undertaking I have tried. This includes admitting to people I attempted suicide, was raped which resulted in a pregnancy that lead to a miscarriage, was sexually assaulted, abused, and have mental illnesses. Harder than trying to determine the start of anything I write.

I’m starting a journey. Queue music.

Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world.  …  Streetlight people, looking just to find emotion… Don’t stop believing hold on to…

I am on a journey already. I’m working on myself, on self acceptance. This is different than self esteem, which is like being your own cheerleader, using accolades and achievements to build yourself up. In layman terms, self-esteem is  giving yourself high-fives. (Seriously, you might dislocate that shoulder of yours if you keep patting yourself on the back so much buddy. I’m sure though if one little thing went wrong, that esteem will plummet and you’d feel shattered, and need to start all over again.)

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Self acceptance is different. It’s about accepting yourself. You don’t pat yourself on the back or try to high-five yourself. (After all, that looks silly and you might hit yourself in the face.) Instead, self-acceptance is looking at yourself, everything about you, and learning to accept it, live with it, embrace it. Or something like that anyways. You learn your strengths and weaknesses and you’re okay with them. Think of the dictionary definitions — willingness to tolerate, action of consenting, action or process of being received as acceptable — and apply that oneself. That’s what I’m trying to do.

That’s what I’m trying to do.

There’s so much about me that I need to accept. A fraking laundry list of issues to deal with, to accept. (Oh BSG how I miss you.)

This isn’t to say I haven’t started to accept myself, or that I’m just beginning. It’s a journey that has been ongoing for a while actually, but I’m only just realizing that this is what I have been doing.

So, that laundry list. Would you like to see some of it?

Depression and anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, being raped, assaulted and sexually assaulted, abuse, relationships failing one after the other, suicide attempt, self harming, miscarriage of my rapist’s baby, being cut off from family, losing friends, that time I was homeless for a bit, a lifetime of being bullied, at times having issues with alcohol…

This isn’t the full. I mean, let’s be real here, dealing with all of that, I’ve never had self-esteem, never been my own cheerleader. So, how can I actually accept myself or start to?

By realizing that while the past has changed me, I cannot change the past. It’s as simple as that. Some pretty shitastical things have happened to me and there are only two choices presented.

First option:  play the victim and let these things dictate my entire life, keeping trapped as the victim.

Second option: realize and accept that these things have happened, put on my big girl panties, and keep on moving.

I have chosen. I’ve chosen to accept accept and keep moving. I’m accepting, well learning to accept myself. This includes the past events and the things I vastly dislike about myself. They are what create me, this beautifully ugly, quirky, scarred, person that is writing this.

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I am getting semi okay with this acceptance thing. Take for example my self esteem level. It’s never been high, okay, it’s closer to non existent than anything else. I’m not okay that it causes me to shy away from a lot of things, including trying to expand my circle of acquaintances, but I’ve accepted that I am like this. So this mean though that I just shrug my shoulders at it, let it be, and keep doing what I always do, right?

Wrong. Catastrophically wrong.

This is where the hard work part starts for me. See, I’ve learned that with self acceptance, there is more than just stating to yourself “That’s just how I am” or “That’s just life”. Some work is involved. Ugh, yes one of the worst four letter words to ever be used. Work. You need to accept the reality, the reality of the situation or aspect that you are accepting.

So, I have accepted that I have almost nil self esteem. I’m just going to ignore this now, okay? Guess again, I need to now look at it. Why is my self esteem in such a state? Bully for almost my entire life, especially when I was younger caused this. Most importantly the constant put downs from a sibling hurt my self esteem the most, making me feel worthless. Great, so now I’m just not going to talk to anyone to avoid any further damage. Not quite. I’ve now realized where this came from, which is improvement, however I now have a fork in the road. I can shrug it off, pretend that it doesn’t exist, and stay as I am, complacent, OR I can give the bullies the middle finger, and see if there are any changes I can make.

fork

Honestly, I haven’t quite made a move at the fork. This is the start of journey, and as much as I love showing people my amazingly crooked knuckle middle fingers (I have broken my fingers just a few times, or 10), I don’t know how yet. Am I going to just sit there, or will I try to make changes? Can I change how I feel regarding my self esteem or the way I think people perceive me?

This is really where my journey is beginning. I’m just past the dizzying circle of the Yellow Brick Road winding through town, and I’m now outside, heading towards the Emerald City, with a long way to go.

What will I discover and accept? What further choices will I make?

 

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I Am Tired

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I’m not a stranger to suicide. Yes I think about it from time to time, and yes, I’ve attempted it before. People have told me how suicide is selfish, it’s not the answer, there are better ways to handle things, but have they ever wondered why I’ve felt it was the only way out, my only option?

Because I couldn’t be strong anymore. I was tired. Emotionally, mentally, and physically tired.

I was forced to be strong, I didn’t acquire this because I wanted to. I was forced to by other people’s actions. When I was raped and too afraid, too embarrassed to tell anyone what happened. When my rape resulted in pregnancy and then later a miscarriage. Or the former boyfriend that was abusive. What about having family stop speaking to me. Or even the most recent assault that happened last week.

I had no one to rely on. No one to lean onto for support. My support came from me. If I didn’t stay up, didn’t keep moving, there was no one behind me to assist me. I had to do this on my own. Had to be my own backup support system, my own cheerleader, and was fucking tiring.

My mind was a dark place. Full of self doubt, criticism, victimization. If I wasn’t thinking it, I had heard it from others, and it was on replay in my head. It wouldn’t leave. The nightmares were constant as I kept replaying everything that happened to me. I’d hear others talk about people in my same situation, blaming them for what happened, reemphasizing that it was my fault, I caused it to happen. cv

I could no longer control how I felt or thought. I would cut, hit, scratch, or burn myself just to control how I felt and when I felt. I would scream as long and loud as I could into pillows or in the woods trying to get the empty out of me, releasing the blackness.

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Not having anyone, made it so much easier to decide what to do. No one would miss me. No one even noticed all of the changes in me. Withdrawn and quiet. Not interested in anything. Drinking a lot. Sleeping if I wasn’t working. Increasingly was doing things more and more dangerously, recklessly. It wasn’t noticed. So it was so easy to slip away at a party, take those pills and alcohol, and wish for sweet oblivion.

It was an escape from the never ending hopelessness that I was going through. It was a way to finally take a break from being strong. It allowed the mind to become quiet.

Funny thing is, I can look back on what it was like then, and see myself in the same situation now. I can easily turn those verbs from a past tense into a present one, and have how I am today. I’m going through the same situations, and again, have only myself for strength and support here. Who is here to turn to but myself.

I’m tired of being strong. I’ve been strong too long.

 

Speechless

**Rape/Assault Triggers Possible**

WeHeartIt - Broken Angel

WeHeartIt – Broken Angel

I’m in a state of shock. It doesn’t happen often, it’s rare. I’ve been through a lot, rape, abuse, miscarriage, having family turn away from me, having “friends” turn against me, so for me to be in shock over something is hard, but that’s where I am.

Would you like to know why?

This past weekend, I was assaulted. I don’t know how else to state it, except I was assaulted.

It’s probably partially  my fault. I invited this person over, allowed them into my home. I trusted this person. So there must be fault with me for this. Loneliness and feelings of abandonment can do wonders to a person. They let you invite demons and the devil into your life.

So the weekend before I destroyed me knee, which I’m still waiting to find out what’s wrong. Needless to say, it’s swollen to twice the size and the skin color is not right whilst I’m in more pain than usual, you know, that fibromyalgia thing I deal with as well. So I’m to stay off of it as much as possible. I’ve tried inviting people over, but I get turned down all of the time. Seems everyone wants you to go to them, or they’re just too busy. The people I talk to the most, don’t live anywhere close to me. So I’m on my own. I’m cooped up in my house or at work and see either coworkers or my pets. Depressing and lonely.

So this person who I hadn’t talked to in a while found out and offered to come visit. I said okay, because let’s face it, at this point anyone is better than no one. I’m talking to myself and sleeping nonstop if I’m not at work. I need human contact. So I said fine.

Do I need to go further? This were fine until he started to choke me and slap me, calling me a dirty slut and whore. I told him to stop, but he didn’t. I shut down. I didn’t know what else to do. I had to. I cannot go back to where I was before. I refuse to be that person again, but what else can I do? I just wanted him gone.

I tried to not think about it and keep going afterwards, but that night my collarbone was hurting a lot. My voice was hoarse, but I was already losing it, from screaming at a soccer match, so it wasn’t really noticeable. The bruises are covered easily by not wearing scooped neck shirts or tanks. Now how am I to deal with the PTSD that will resurface? How can I tell the guy that I currently like and want to know better, hey, guess what, I had sex with another guy, but a little bit into, he started abusing me. Sorry? Kinda fucked up isn’t it?

People are urging me to go to the police, but here’s the thing. I’m scared shitless, he said she said. I consented. I want to do the same I did for when I was raped, and forget this happened. I know I need to talk to someone, but guess what, I have no one here. The few I talk to, they wouldn’t want to most likely, or they would continue to ignore unless I’m there with them. Even then, they probably wouldn’t care. Being the only one you can rely on is never the best of situations, but it’s all I have to go on right now.

So I’m going to have to cry this out now, and then put on my tough exterior again. I need to keep going. Guess I learned my lesson though.

If I was to die tomorrow, would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Most likely they wouldn’t. I’ve learned that people who I had believed I meant something to, could not care any less than they already do about me, and probably would not try to care more.

Apparently it’s believed I am nothing more than an old, computer obsessed, comic referencing shirt wearer, cat lady, and am very boring. Apparently for some, drinking is the only way to be around me to have a good time. What about the person that says I’m their best “female” friend, and yet, as soon as someone who has an issue with me comes along, I’m dropped faster than you can say “Bye Felicia” being told that it’s probably best to not be around. I can tell that this friend cares deeply for me. I’ve noticed with a lot of people also, that I have to initiate any conversations. It’s tiring always having to be a person that reaches out, and never have anyone check in on you. It’s good to know that you are on people’s minds.

My pets, the ones that annoy people, and they believe that they’re all I talk about, are probably the only reason I have not attempted suicide a second time. They give me love, they make feel like someone cares about me, as no one else does. Each as come into my life when I’ve needed love the most, when I’ve felt the most unloved, they came into my life.

Lately, it’s impossible to not want to start harming, to not think of suicide again. I’m alone. I really am. I invite people over, I’m rejected. I get into relationships, that self destruct, they check out or talk behind my back about me. I have people that say they’re friends that drop me the moment they think someone better comes along, however they think I’ll still be there for them later. Well, I’m tired of always being put in the fucking corner by everyone. I am tired of being fucking ignored and wasting my time with people.

Maybe I just need to start saying Bye Felicia to myself.

12 Years Later: An Open Letter to My Rapist

 

Mr Ironic for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
The Jerk That Destroyed Me
The Guy That Raped Me
My Rapist


To The Guy That Changed My Life,

Twelve years ago today, you possessed me, took me, and started an invasion that went into my  mind as well. Do you even remember me? Do you remember what you did to me

You took advantage of me. You drugged me and didn’t take no for an answer. There was no consent given, but that didn’t stop you. You raped me.

It was a week before my 21st birthday, and you destroyed the girl that I was then. Shattered her beyond repair.

Do you know that you were almost a father again? That’s right, you left a “gift” behind,  a constant reminder of what you had done. I found out on Mother’s Day. Ironic isn’t it? Ruined that holiday for me as all I had wanted was a family of my own, yet the only family I was going to have was the child of the guy that raped  me. It’s okay though, apparently fate took control as I had a miscarriage right after I had decided I had wanted to keep the baby. It was not that child’s fault.

I would scream and cry, wasting tears on you, while I was in the shower or had music up so loud so no one would hear. I felt dirty, used, worthless. I hurt beyond words and had no control. I shut down, becoming an emotional zombie, allowing no emotions to be felt.

When I wanted to feel something, on my own terms, I would cut, punch, scratch, or burn myself. If it hurt me, then I would do it. I had control that way.

I bet you didn’t know that I had made a New Year’s Resolution at the end of that year? I tried to commit suicide. TRIED. I was rather unsuccessful, obviously as I’m here writing this to you. I didn’t want to be in the darkness I had fallen so far into. I wanted the hold you had on me gone. The anger and hate, sadness and hopelessness, I wanted it all gone. I needed the memories and images gone, the flashbacks that wouldn’t end to disappear.

 

I never told anyone what happened to me. I was embarrassed that you had this control on me. I didn’t want to admit that I needed rescuing to anyone. I didn’t like that I was now a victim, helpless. I thought I was better than that. I could not bring myself to say “Save me, I need help.”

I did it though, despite you. I saved myself. I became a survivor, a fighter. I grew stronger and took control. I fought for my survival. I had to, as my only other choice was taken away from me, suicide. I sought help at the rape center. I learned that the only hold you had on me was the one I created in my mind.

I broke it.

I tore you away as if you were nothing, because that’s what you are. You are not worth a single thought. You don’t have control of me. You mean nothing to me.

How does it feel to have the tables turned? You treated me as if I was nothing, and now you are nothing.

You know, if it wasn’t for you, I would not be the person that I am today. I wouldn’t be strong. I would not be the fighter that I am, nor would I be able to love and accept myself, in turn letting myself love others. I now believe in myself. I kick ass now.

For that, I thank you, but I still hate and despise you, like the worthless fuck you are,
Your Former Victim
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Escape

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Angel of death, come take me away
Remove the sorrow and emptiness surrounding me
Release the pain, erase the tears, destroy the heartache
Let your sweet black nothingness be all I see

Oh Sweet Girl, why do you think it’s your time
You are yet so young, with life in front of you
What will those around you think
When you have decided to pass on through?

Oh Death, Those  around me are soulless and cruel
Their hearts are empty, mouths spewing hatred
They hide the evil they contain with a smile and lies
Always reveling in the horror you have tasted.

Sweet Girl, put those pills away
Come over here and let me hold you for a moment
Take comfort that not all is lost, not all are as they seem
Tell me again, why it is that you are so broken

Death, there is so much emptiness within.
When I slowly remove that with some with love and joy,
There are those that wrench it away from me,
Laughing all the while, like my life is just a toy.

Sweet Girl, put the alcohol down,
Take hold of this hand of mine and rest your head
Letting me kiss your painful tears away
And please finish telling me all that has yet to be said

My Angel of Death, this one told me he was an angel
He said he loved me and I was his one.
I didn’t see the evil he possessed, he didn’t hear my NO
Now that my innocence is gone, his cruelty done.

Sweet Baby Girl, can you please put that razor down
Look me in the eyes, tell me again why
Why do you seek to end it all this way
Are you going to give up and not even try?

Kind Death, Another one told me I was his World
That we were going to be Heaven on Earth
What he showed me was hell with a fist
To all who could see, I was nothing of worth.

Sweetness, can’t you see, that there is hope.
Step out of that water and listen to this.
You still have life left in you and years to go
It might not look like it but soon there’s bliss.

Death that’s what I’m asking for now, sweet bliss
Give me what I seek, for nothing else has proven true
Love and hope have failed, people prove false to their words.
Faith is worthless, and ending this is my way to get through.

Oh Little one, What lies you have been told.
For what I see is one so strong from trials you face
A beacon of hope for those struggling as well
You have been living and surviving with so much grace.

Death, I do not see this grace and strength
Pain, darkness, hurt, betrayal, and anguish are what I know
Where do you see this survivor, this one full of hope
For here all I see is hopelessness, loss, and nothing left but woe?

Sweetest Baby Girl, You have survived and battled on
You can still be here, showing them how wrong they are
Fights and battles, you’ve made it through them all,
You haven’t lost yet, though you carry some scars.

Death, why do you care so much for one wanting to die
One ready to surrender all that they are to you
I’m seeking a way out, to finally be at peace,
And you’re turning me away, have I no true value?

Sweet Little One, sorry to deceive you, but Death I am not
You overflow with love, a soul so sweet it’s hard to find
A warrior’s spirit you have, strength abounding within you
Death does not deserve you, for he would be so unkind.

Sweet One, you have life and love to experience still
There will be heartache and pains, failures and losses along with lows,
Scars and bruises, but you will win love, hope, and faith.
You are the author of this story, now show me how it goes.

Heroes in my Life

I posted on Monday that I’ve been losing myself in this world of depression, I didn’t think things would get worse, but somehow they were able to.  I’ve reached the point where all I want to do is sleep and not wake up, to finally have peace. While you are reading this, I’ll be getting ready to go to the viewing of my one of my grandfathers.

About an hour after publishing the piece on Monday, I received news that my mother’s father passed away a few moments before I was contacted. I knew he was not doing great. The day before I spent at his bedside talking about the good times we had when I was younger and crying and apologizing for not being around the past 3 years out my own stupidity. He had been bed ridden since a stroke a few years ago that left him paralyzed on his one side. Friday night he became violently ill and would not recover.

This amazing and remarkable guy meant the world to me, still does. He introduced me to history, painting, calligraphy, photography, sketching, classic movies and music, and my first set of tools. (Ok they were both mine and my brother’s, we had to share.) We would have marathon games of Monopoly, and watch the home movies he took of my mom and her brother, of them building the house they lived in. We’d take walks in the woods behind their house, or go swimming at the pool, pony and balloon rides at my Grandmother’s company picnic. He would be at every ballet recital taking photos and handing me flowers after.

There were family vacations that I’ll never forget. Always to the beach where we’d see the wild ponies, and dolphins. That one time we saw a pregnant mare with a stork sitting on her hindquarters making jokes that it was her due time. Sitting with him and his brother after dinner listening to stories of when the were younger and causing mischief, not that they ever stopped either (explains a bit about my brother and I and that we just didn’t inherit from our father). The love of motorcycles was born from my grandfather. The pictures of him and his brother with their Harley’s is pure love. He never lost that care free attitude and love of living.

He didn’t just introduce me to the arts, he gifted them to me. If it wasn’t for him, my writing, painting, photography, all of it, would not exist. I inherited this through him, as he did from his family. He comes from a line of artists, writers, musicians. My dad’s side of the family were not artists, and my grandmother wasn’t either. It came from grandpa. I do it all but singing. Trust me, my kitten sings better than I do, however I do write, play instruments, sculpt, paint, draw, craft, photography (though the writing is much harder at this moment).

He taught me to see the good in everything, to look at life through the viewfinder. That’s where you will see the magic. Even when he was bed ridden those last years, he always had a camera with him to take photos. An artist ’til the end. I miss him each and every moment. To that end, I’ve pulled out all of the art supplies, and the drafting table he gave me that have been to each and every new apartment, and have begun a series of painting some of my photography, so I can have all he introduced me to with me always.

Sadly, the tale doesn’t end there. As I was finally wrapping my head around his death, and trying to pull myself together, I received more news. My father’s father died. He had been sick since the winter and slipped into a state that made him weaker and weaker. Dementia took over, and he finally slipped away. That was Wednesday. Within the span of 3 days, I lost 2 of the men in my life that helped to shape who I am.

Growing up, I was always Lindsay or Linds, but to my dad’s father, I was Linnie. I would smile each time he’d say it. I was his Linnie. I’m crying just thinking about it. He’d see me and give me the biggest hug and kiss, and yell “Linnie” when he’d see me. He was also at all my ballet recitals smiling and full of hugs. He had a harder life, so he was a bit rough around the edges, but I loved each of those edges just as I loved my other grandfather as well. He was a steel worker, and before that, a US Airforce man. That’s where he met my grandmother. They both were military people when they were younger.

There were always animals living in his house. Dogs, cats, birds, they all lived there at different times. I was never without seeing a pet when I visited them. Because of that, my dad and mom always had pets as well as we were growing up. I also learned by observing that when your parents get older, you take care of them. Until she died, his mother lived with them. I got to see my great-grandmother quite a lot as she lived with my grandfather and grandmother.

My dad and grandfather are the ones that introduced me to whisky, the cure for everything when you’re sick, well just about everything. I also learned, which it’s funny to think about, but being raised in a Steel Town, when the mills were working, you knew who worked at which mill by the beer they drank. My grandfather, he was an Iron City man. The 2 other beers were Duquesne and High Life I believe, though PBR might have been in there too. I’ve always been a beer and whisky girl thanks to this.

I learned to play cards from Grandpa. I learned Spades and Hearts and a version of Aggravation Rummy. We loved playing cards.  We’d watch old movies and westerns together. Family vacations meant both Grandfathers getting together and we’d have John Wayne marathons. Though I’ll be honest, I have 2 favorite Westerns, and while one is a John Wayne (McClintock!), the other is not. Magnificent 7 just wins hands down for me. I would love family vacations where I’d have both Grandfathers and my Great Uncle together because we’d have movie marathons. We’d have the westerns, and we’d have the Tom Clancy movies, and the Bourne Series, and anything else. We just loved movies.

Still waiting on arrangements for my father’s father, though in the meantime, this glass of Tully’s is for you Grandpa.

They both taught me so much, work ethics were instilled to me, as well as having an open heart. Neither of them gave up, and they gave their all. They were fighters and stubborn to the end. They both accepted so many people, and I watched my one grandfather over come prejudices and become friends with people he swore to never befriend.

If only I can live up to their legacies.

First, I need to live.

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