Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'm Not Okay

I struggled for a couple days over whether or not to write this, and what to say or how much to say.  Because I've been in a lot of pain.  One of my biggest fears in life came true.  That as a sexual assault survivor, I was more likely to be assaulted again.  And it happened.

I was raped the night before Thanksgiving.  In a set of circumstances that I have been begging for a Delorean or Tardis to go back and change.  To have had the courage to ask him to leave.  To have not frozen in panic and just "deal" with what happened to me.  But all that does is blame myself for what someone did to me.  I said no.  Repeatedly.  At least four times.  But that didn't matter.  And it didn't stop it from happening.

I'm not okay.

I thought for a brief moment that maybe I was fine.  That I had wanted to have sex.  That obviously I was sending the signals for that.  But I'm not fine.  I didn't want to have sex.  I said repeatedly that I didn't want to have sex.  And the biggest part of the whole situation is that I'm fighting my own self blame, and trying to remind myself that he did this to me.  He chose to do this, after I repeatedly said no.

He told me I wanted it.  That I wanted him to fuck me.

He was so polite.  When he first tried putting his hands up my shirt, I pulled away and said that wasn't happening tonight.  He stopped, wrapped his arm around me, and kissed my hair.  The second time he attempted to put his hand down my pants.  I squirmed away and said that wasn't happening.  He brushed my hair out of my face and kissed me.  When I attempted to stand up and walk away, he grabbed at my pants and attempted to pull them down.  I wrenched them back up and said that wasn't happening tonight.  He brought me more beer, and I said I didn't want it.  But he couldn't drink it all himself so I had some.  When I said I was tired, he asked to cuddle.  But I didn't want his finger inside me, and I didn't want sex.  I couldn't move.  I froze.

I kept it together mostly on Thursday.  Same on Friday.  Same on Saturday.  It was Sunday when it all started to unravel.  And has continued into a numb existence of wanting to stay in bed, eat, not eat, sleep, stay awake, feeling like a zombie.

And here I am.

I'm grateful and lucky for the people I have in my life.  That I have friends to reach out to who care enough to check in and make sure I feel safe.  That know how to help me and when to let me have my space.  I'm going to get through this.  I know I am going to be okay.  Eventually.  But right now I'm not okay.  And that's okay.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Poem of Epic Emotional Proportions

I wrote this poem today because this past week has been really emotional for me.  I don't want to explain why but in summary, I feel like a pathetic loser who is unwanted.  Some people reading this will know what I'm talking about, and some won't.  In short, dating sucks.  I feel weak and dumb for caring as much as I do, but I do and now I'm dealing with my own stupidity.  I'm really looking forward to shutting myself into my new house and not coming out.   But here is what I wrote today.  I appreciate good will but I'm really not looking to talk about the situation.  It hurts too much right now.


Topaz eyes contain crystalline waters,
Deep the waters go.
While the surface seems calm,
Below, whirlpools rage and the storm feels uncontrollable.
The soft flesh of the beating heart within,
Holding everything together,
While always feeling like falling apart.
Fighting, fighting for every breath and every moment
To know that it is worth it,
But feeling loneliness creep inside as darkness spreads its fine tendrils.
Waiting and hoping and wondering,
If anyone will love me.
I try to hold myself together and know
That I am beautiful and worth it and strong.
But as the trees shed their leaves in the crisp fall air,
So the layers of protection slip away,
As the fight to remain positive becomes harder.
To wait for someone to think

Maybe I’m someone worth fighting for.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

30 Days of Militant Self Care: Days 12-24

This post about self care is both extremely late and extremely ahead.  In explaining my absence, I don't have much to say besides I'm sorry.  To myself mainly, for not being as diligent as I should have been.  Taking care of myself is something I easily sacrifice in ways.  And it is not okay.  I usually put more effort into taking care of others than myself.  I'm working on it.  One of the things I'm doing for myself right now is looking into buying a house, which is so exciting but so damn stressful at the same time.

Day 12: Treat Yo Self.

Probably one of my favorite episodes of Parks and Recreation is Treat Yo Self.  In the show, the idea is to be lavish and buy things that maybe you don't even need.  But in terms of self care, this idea doesn't need to be lavish.  It can be something small.  For me, I indulged in a piece of apple pie and didn't judge myself for eating it.  Which is pretty revolutionary for me.  I struggled with an eating disorder and used to spend a lot of time criticizing myself for what I would eat.  Then I sank into a point where I hated myself so much that I didn't care what I ate because I didn't deserve to be happy.  So now, I am working myself into a place where I want to do better but I don't hate myself if I fail.  And it's going okay.

Day 13: How's it going? Has this been fun, helpful, inspiring, frustrating?

I'm good.  From the beginning of the year, things have been rough.  But I am finally in a good place.  I've been able to put the Listening Ear situation behind me, knowing that I did all I could and that now it is not my problem anymore.  I still absolutely love my job and know that I'm in a secure place financially.  I am actually in a place where I'm not surviving day to day.  I'm actively planning for my future and the best move for myself and it means so much.  That is what this challenge has been for me. Using these self care prompts to really think about my life and realize that I am in a beautiful place with amazing friends and family, and that I'm genuinely happy.  It means the world to me.

Day 14: Do something Fall related.

This one was pretty easy because I absolutely adore the crisp fall air.  So I drove with the windows down and let the cool air pour over me.  It was divine.  Also all the apple cider around has been lovely.

Day 15: If you could add one thing to your day, what would it be? If you could change one thing that's no longer serving you, what would it be?

More hours!  I feel like I could accomplish so much more with more time.  I would be able to get a full night of sleep, and get up and work out, and have a full day of work, plus actually accomplish adult things like laundry and cleaning the kitchen.  One thing that never really served me besides stress relief is my smoking habit.  Which I am working on gradually.  I went almost a full week without smoking, and have since weaned myself down to only 2-4 cigarettes a day, instead of 5-7.  The most important part is knowing that it is a work in progress and that if I slip up, I can always try again.  Learning to be less hard on myself has been a huge part of this challenge for me.

Day 16: What's your bullshit and how are you going to use the next two weeks to challenge it?

Procrastination.  Fuck, I am so skilled at it.  I will wait until I have nothing clean to wear for work, and then like rewear a skirt or pair of pants, and then I'll do laundry.  So I've been keeping myself up on taking care of my responsibilities.  Although the laundry and kitchen need attention today...meh...

Day 17: Get that shit out of your face.

As previously mentioned, I'm working on keeping my shit picked up and organized.  To stop waiting until the last minute to do stuff.  It's a work in progress, but at least I'm working on it.

Day 18: Support a friend.

This is one of my favorites because it is something that I try to do daily anyway.  One thing I said to my therapist a couple weeks ago was that when I love someone, not just romantically but as friends too, I will do anything to help them.  Whether it is loaning money or buying dinner or being a listener or making sure they smile that day, I love my friends.  I want them to know how much I love them.  That I would do anything for them.  I want to know that whenever my time is up, that what people will remember most about me is that I loved people and I stood behind that love.

Day 19: Say no. It's ok to say no.

There's nothing in particular this day that I said no to, but it made me think about how much I hate saying no to people.  I have spent most of my life feeling like a disappointment, that I wasn't good enough.  So in my low self esteem, I didn't want to be another disappointment to people.  I often sacrificed my own comfort to make sure not to say no.  But I am trying to remember that in saying no, I'm honoring myself.  Not just being a disappointment.  It's okay to say no.  It's okay to say no.  It's okay to say no.

Days 20-24: Disconnect.

Here's where I get both behind and ahead.  Our fearless leader is taking her own time to disconnect from technology.  So I am going to try and do the same in some ways.  I'm going to focus more on spending time with people I love.  Working on things that bring me joy, especially working with my hands.  So I hope others do the same.  When we get to the end of our lives, it is those moments we will remember.  I'll remember the times I spent with my best friend Mary, painting and watching Harry Potter.  I'll remember the times I spent making art or writing stories.  I'll remember the times I felt loved and whole.  I'm not going to remember that random article I read on Facebook or the weird video I watched once on Youtube.  I'm living my life to the fullest, as I can, every day.  I'm even on the verge of tears just writing this.  I'm happy.  And I'm going to keep fighting for that.

Stay tuned for more adventures in militant self care after this brief hiatus of disconnection!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

30 Days of Militant Self Care: Days 10 & 11

Yeah, another double post.  I completely forgot last night.  Mainly because Facebook.  But also House.  I just couldn't turn away from Hugh Laurie.  He's just too wonderful and British.  Even though he isn't in the show.

Day 10: Dealer's Choice.  Plus someone else's.

My dealer's choice was a pretty big one and something I knew I needed for myself.  I am doing my freaking hardest to quit smoking. Yesterday, I didn't have a single cigarette.  Today either.  Everything pretty much reminds me of cigarettes, like Chandler in Friends.  Every time I want to go out and smoke at work, I drink a cup of mint tea.  Whenever I'm in the car, my usual place for smoky treats, I focus on turning up the music and singing along.  It hasn't been easy.  But I know it is for the best.

My use of someone else's self care was to watch my food all day.  I'm working on being healthier.  But not just my food intake.  I'm working on how I talk to myself a lot.  To know that if I eat something not good or break my streak and smoke, that I shouldn't shame myself.  That like so many others, I am trying.  Trying really hard.  Slip-ups happen.  It isn't the end of the word.  It's about falling down and getting back up.

Day 11: Renew a hobby.

This was a tough one at first.  All of the hobbies I am passionate about, I keep fairly active in. Well, I haven't been reading nearly as much as I should.  I have a whole bookcase full of books I have purchased and not read yet.  Meanwhile I spend all my time reading articles online that usually just piss me off and make me hate people.  And I know it isn't good to hate people...I don't really hate them.  I pity them for their lack of understanding on topics.  Just as I am sure there are people in the world who feel the same for me.  Everyone pity everyone else!! No, wait...that is too much pity.  Everyone kindly help educate people around the world in perspectives they don't understand...but always be respectful!! There, much better.

One of the best hobbies that I have ever done was creating a lampshade out of old film strips.  It was  knee jerk reaction one day when I was bored.  I found a box of film strips and some wire and made a kick ass lamp shade for myself.  While cleaning out the basement, my mother was throwing away an old lamp where the ceramic vase around the base (unintentional rhyme) had shattered.  The lamp was still functioning.  Just skinnier than before.  I decided to salvage the lamp and create a new awesome film strip lamp shade to sell.  So tonight, I officially ordered the parts I am missing.  But I still need help.  If you have extra film strips hanging around that you don't want or need, email me at alexthewitfactory@gmail.com!  I would love to take your unused film strips and make cool lamp shades! Check out my first one!


I cannot wait to make more of these and sell them if possible. As always, stay tuned for more adventures in militant self care!




Sunday, October 9, 2016

30 Days of Militant Self Care: Days 8 & 9

I'm double featuring this one, pals.  I got home very late last night because frankly, I was having a damn good time.  So when I came home late, I wanted to crash.  And that's what I did.  But here's what you missed!

Day 8: Spend time with someone you love.

I did that whole heartedly on Saturday, and Sunday!  I got to spend the weekend with my best friend Mary as we watched tv or Harry Potter and painted.  This is how we became friends in the beginning of our relationship.  We hung out and watched Harry Potter.  And now, it's our routine.  Best routine ever.

Day 9: Write someone a love letter.

I usually say things like this to her a million times a week, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

Dear Mary, 
You are the cheese to my macaroni.  You remind me that loving people is never wasted.  That I am my own harshest critic, and that I need to tell that voice to shut up.  You remind me that time spent watching Harry Potter and doing nothing is not time wasted, but time to be treasured.  That the extent of my artistry is only limited by the extent of my imagination.  You remind me to be kind to myself.  A day spent with you is a day of laughter and silliness and happiness.  Even if we do nothing at all.  I love you to the moon and back.  You've had my back and as you know...I will ALWAYS have yours.  <3



Friday, October 7, 2016

30 Days of Militant Self Care: Day 7

Stretch it out!

That is what today was all about.  Now admittedly, I needed this one pretty badly considering how much my back has put up with lately.  I don't take nearly good enough care of it.  So sometimes, it likes for me to know it doesn't appreciate this.  My right hip gets involved too because that bitch just cannot stay out of other body part's business.  Rude.

But today I took my dog's example and dedicated some time to stretching out and honoring my muscles.  They take a lot of crap from me, especially when I am not moving at all and expect them not to be sore.  It's not really fair to them that I'm lazy.  But just like this blog, it's one day at a time.

Stay tuned for more adventures in militant self care!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

30 Days of Militant Self Care: Day 6

Today's assignment is so perfect, I cannot even express how much I love it.  It's about sleep.

As previously mentioned, sleep and I are an item.  A deeply loving relationship where I wish only to spend more time ensconced in my covers, flirting with sleep.

How are you going to get your best sleep tonight? What's your routine?

Normally, I only get 6-7 hours a night.  I've found that it makes me a mostly functioning human being in the morning.  Though I do best when I get over 8 hours.  The problem is that I do so much during the day, going to be early is just not an option most of the time.  Sometimes, I have to stay up to watch a show or movie I have to review for my writing gig on HBO Watch.  Sometimes, I'm into a good book.  Sometimes, I am focused on getting a blog post done...  And then sometimes, and I will be fully honest here, I'm on fucking Facebook.  Damn you, social media.

My best nights of sleep are usually on the weekend, when I know even if I go to bed slightly later, I can sleep in late.  In college, I would sleep until noon.  It was beautiful.  My mom once called around 9:30 am during my freshman year.  I answered the phone with a decidedly snippy tone.  She didn't appreciate that.  I didn't appreciate the wake-up call.  After our quick conversation, I said, "Mom, don't ever call before noon again. Assume I'm sleeping unless otherwise indicated."  And she respected that.  Probably because she didn't want to get growled at again.  It's a real hazard.

My routine is pretty solid.  One that I've perfected over the years.  I wash my face (sometimes) and brush my teeth.  I make sure to use the bathroom right before I sleep because I can't stand waking up in the middle of the night to pee.  I inevitably bump into something.  Once I'm in bed, I take my meds and vitamins.  Occasionally a Tylenol PM if needed.  The great part of this routine is my dog Tasha.  She hears me brushing my teeth and knows it is bed time.  So she will saunter into my room and get into bed and wait for me.  It's just the cutest.
Just the cutest snuggle buddy <3

After my meds, I finish any work I need to do on my laptop or phone.  Set my alarm for the next day. I turn on my box fan and my ceiling fan.  White noise is an absolute necessity for a good night of sleep.  I have actually downloaded a fan app for when I'm out of town and don't have a fan.  I put my pillows in an upside-down L shape with the vertical pillow by the bedside table.  As I am a roller in bed, I have learned placing a pillow there will stop the inevitable head smacks in the middle of the night.  That has happened more times that I like to admit.  But this system works for me.  I stretch out on my stomach, and usually have to nudge the dog away because she's taking up ALL THE SPACE. She's so cute though so I forgive her.  What I do next is I alternate facing right and left as I fall asleep.  It actually helps me fall asleep faster than staying in one spot.  Don't know why.  But I dig it.

To me the most perfect night of sleep is one I don't get much anymore.  Those sleeps where you let yourself naturally wake up whenever.  No alarm.  No knocking on the door.  Just sleeping until your body decides it is time to get going.  Having a dog prohibits that a bit because I obviously don't want to leave my dog trapped in my room as I sleep until noon.  Not entirely fair to her.  But those are the best sleeps.  Mhmm.... And now that I have finished this, I'm going to get on the sleep train.  Good night!

Stay tuned for more adventures in militant self care!