Timey Wimey

Every year since I began taking medication to control my PTSD symptoms Daylight Savings Time destroys my brain chemistry. Usually in the spring it tends to fall on the week of Lady Time, it’s always right around our anniversary, and things are just a hot mess express (more than usual lol) in The House of Hale.

This year has been exasperated by the Great Facebook Outage. Not because the site itself was down, but because it happened almost immediately on the heels of discovering my account has been compromised for months. Since freakin September in fact! Someone managed to either clone my friend’s phone, or steal my password from her phone and sneakily log in, and REMAINED logged in undetected until last week.

In all honesty they probably could have remained logged in for the duration if another Facebook SNAFU hadn’t grabbed my attention and piqued my curiosity. Put on your tinfoil hats for this one, friends!

I live in Indiana which is a rather small state known to lifetime residents to possess somewhat of a boomerang or vortex quality about it. Secrets don’t really stay buried here forever. They eventually bounce/swirl back to the surface no matter who’s attempted to bury them. Hoosiers are a proud lot and they tend to document EVERY THING for posterity, especially when it comes to the various universities.

I don’t go to IU, but I know people who’ve gone there or are going there and as such various IU pages, groups etc etc often pop up in feed as sponsored posts. I live in Indiana. It’s going to happen. ANYWAY… so I’m on Facebook and this IU Greek Life group pops up with a photo of young freshmen who just got accepted or whatever the proper term is into a notable campus fraternity. I’m scrolling along; then BAM this name jumps out at me.

So I click on the photo and read the rest of the caption and find the hilarious OMG deer in the headlights face of this kid bearing the name which caught my eye.

Now the last time I saw the guy has been a decade ago and he was in his mid sixties. Looking at the face of a college freshman versus my dusty ass memory didn’t immediately ring any bells, but this kid did bear enough resemblance that it got me started down the rabbit hole of late night internet searching based on the very limited information I have about my random acquaintance from ages ago. Lol. I made a random Facebook status about my odd find; then about an hour later I was tired, closed my computer and went to bed resolved to look at the entire thing with fresh eyes the next day.

Life happened and I wasn’t able to get back to it for a few days. I didn’t think it would be an issue except when I go to look for the photo again to pick up where I left off I can’t find it. That’s not entirely shocking thanks to Facebook and google and their wonky algorithm, especially considering I didn’t actually look for the photo in the first place it just appeared in my feed. So I spent a good while looking for the photo with no luck; then I turned my attention to the fraternity to see if I could find the actual group and go that route. Nothing. I found the fraternity, but I never did find the group that had been sharing their photos in sponsored stories which was very unusual.

Of course it just piqued my curiosity even more having this mysterious photo even more mysteriously seem to disappear into thin air, so I started digging around outside of social media. I found out some interesting things that I hadn’t really known specifics of before, but still the photo wasn’t turning up. After exhausting what limited resources I had I began to speculate that someone else might have access to my account somehow and be able to manipulate my algorithm via random searching or erasing of certain places and such. Sure enough: I go to investigate my log ins and there we are. Rogue log in that wasn’t me from an iPhone in Ohio.

So I logged everything and everyone out and changed my passwords. I’m not entirely sure how much access they had since the log in was via messenger, but if they had my password there really is no telling.

That pissed me off, but wasn’t entirely surprising. My main suspect often does stupid things like that to get my attention so I went looking to see if anything was posted “at” me as there generally is after they go poking around in my business. Nothing aside from a vague reference to posting nudes really stood out this go around, but then again the breech happened last year and I just discovered it so whatever perceived kerfluffle inspired it was probably long over with, and I didn’t care enough to go digging much beyond the surface. I addressed the nude fiasco even though the likelihood of that particular reference having anything to do with me is fairly irrelevant. I’d rather be proactive than reactive at this point so I took a preemptive stance on that one. It is what it is.

All of these things are simultaneously happening with my social media. The post with the college kid appearing then randomly disappearing, the hacking, the vague reference to nudes and then… fizz pop bang… the next day Facebook slowly screeches to a blinding halt along with Instagram. I didn’t know it was a world wide outage for a while and I spent a good portion of the day stewing, plus time change exhaustion, plus Lady Time and I was about to rampage with fire and fury. Thankfully I took the time to do a through investigation and found out it was, in fact, a worldwide outage.

It was still one hell of an emotional rollercoaster week this week and I am over it. I never did find out if College Kid was the same person I knew back in the day, and I don’t care to find out specifically who hacked into my Facebook or if they thought they were sly vaguely threatening to “embarrass” me with leaked photos. Hello! I have a blog. I embarrass myself on the regular lol.

In Your Face

The really “awesome” thing about dissociating during a traumatic event and your brain temporarily blocking the memories until you’re safe enough to emotionally address them is that the most cozy, comfortable, intimate times are suddenly wrought with flashbacks.

Hubs and I have our 8th anniversary coming up in a few weeks. We’ve already exchanged gifts (just because they arrived and we’re too impatient/curious to wait lol) and we’ve been planning our get weekend away. Things are going great in the House of Hale of late.

Hubs and I were in bed the other night cuddling. I was safe, warm, happy and secure. It was past our usual bed time and I had my eyes closed. He rolled over from his back to his side effectively making me the “little spoon” in our cuddle and all of the sudden

Flashback. I wasn’t with my husband, I was pinned down to the mattress in my apartment, one hand on my neck and the weight of my intruder on top of me. I startled and jumped enough to wake my softly snoring Hubs. He rolled over and that was that.

As I settled back down from the initial shock a few minutes of the memory before and after the initial WTF in my face flashback moment came around. It’s a nice little chunk of the entire puzzle of the break in, but otherwise hasn’t been too emotionally taxing.

I think this event is a lot easier to decompress than my first recovered memory because I’m not grappling with conflicting feelings toward my attacker. I’ve accepted that he’s just not a healthy person capable of making rational or healthy choices. As long as he remains unhealthy, he’s dangerous and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Looking at him through that clarifying lens instead of the blur of love and compassion makes it much easier to wrap my head around the horrible crime he’s committed against me in recent years.

I think it’s also easier to handle my flashbacks now that I understand that they actually are flashbacks and not just “bad memories” that I can’t get rid of. Before I always felt guilty when I had a flashback especially in an intimate moment with my husband. Like I was somehow being subconsciously unfaithful or something. Now I understand that I really don’t have any control over them and the only thing I can do is try to remain grounded and engaged to avoid them, or pause for a few minutes to emotionally address them before moving on.

Today and Tomorrow FREE BOOK PROMOTION

Rebecca MacCeile

Before she wrote her memoir Candy Apple Butterscotch, Rebecca MacCeile had a library full of dusty notebooks with long forgotten fictional tales. Each one of these short stories encompasses a different world, and different ideas. Most of them are light hearted, some of them are fantastical, and still some of them have echos of her own struggles as she used her creativity to cope with her undiagnosed PTSD.

Take a peek into her raw private texts with Novelties: A Collection of Unfinished Short Stories, meet some of her most endearing characters and get a glimpse into the world of an author seeking to find the “one” story deemed good enough for the masses.

Now through March 5th Novelties: A Collection of Unfinished Short Stories is available for FREE in the Amazon Kindle store. Stop by and check it out!

Novelties

Kindle and paperback editions available NOW on Amazon! Audiobook…

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Praise for Candy Apple Butterscotch

Rebecca MacCeile

“I love it! It’s easy to follow and i think it’s perfectly balanced in terms of descriptions and plot flow. Those might not be the correct terms to use but I’ll explain what I mean. I hate when authors are overly descriptive and spend too much time on small details. Stephen king does it. Now Stephen is one of my favorite authors but I never read his books because the only reason they are so long is because he painstakingly overly describes every single thing and it makes me lose focus. Like the first chapter of the dark tower series gunslinger is all about the sand and I’m like come on lol I hate that. This book definitely doesn’t do that. The author gets to the point while still painting a very clear and definite picture for the readers and I love that. The accounts of the trauma are laid…

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Fledgling

My youngest baby boy is off to pre-school next year. My sweet sensory kiddo Champ. We’re working with his OT to get him prepared for the transition and I finished up his enrollment today. He’s ready for school, I know he’s ready for school, but sending my littlest little off into the world still tugs at my heart strings.

I’m completely at peace with our decision not to have any more children, but I do often find myself reminiscing about the infant days with a twinge of longing. Looking back at their baby pictures and seeing how much each of my children has grown over the years.

Little is getting ready to graduate Kindergarten in just a few weeks. She passed her mid-year assessment with flying colors not only catching up to her peers but surpassing them. She isn’t quite the top of her class, but is will above the required benchmarks to advance. Hubs and I aren’t a bit surprised. We knew going into the whole school adventure she was highly intelligent it was only a matter of getting Little to understand how to fit into the competitive world of academics. She’ll perform right at a B or C average because she gets so incredibly bored in class. lol. Very much like her mama.

I’m nervous and excited to see how little Champ performs and adjusts. His OT thinks he might actually be placed in the gifted classes if we can get him to effectively communicate with his teachers and peers. Even if he doesn’t get the gifted label by the school system we have a very smart, sensitive, and energetic kiddo on our hands. Keeping him engaged in the learning process is going to be interesting to say the least lol.

Oh how time flies. My little fledglings spreading their wings. ❤

Church Bells

I read an interesting article today. You can find it at the link below.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/as-churches-struggle-to-help-christians-with-mental-illness-many-flee-230022/

In a nut shell it basically speaks to the problem with the Church at large: discounting very real mental health issues and contributing the symptoms to spiritual matters; often times spiritual warfare.

This is why I left church and have had a difficult time going back. Yes, I acknowledge spiritual warfare exists, but I don’t think mental illness should be completely ignored as a cause for “visions” and other emotional struggles either. For the longest time I thought I was having visions, simply because I began having vivid nightmares after a minor out patient surgery and allergy testing when I was very young. The nightmares continued well into my young adulthood and I really focused studying demonology because I felt so conflicted and attacked  even when I was very active in my faith.

Turns out it was just my out of control PTSD brain made worse by the invalidation of my very real mental injury from my church family. I’ve never wavered in my core belief that God exists, nor have I discounted the idea that spiritual warfare *could* be the cause of emotional struggles, but I’ve found the most peace with medical intervention for my damaged brain chemistry.

It’s been very difficult to go back to the church body who inadvertently contributed to the severity of my mental illness even with the best intentions behind their actions. That’s, at least I feel, the defining difference between mental illness and a spiritual battle. I can’t medicate away my aversion to returning to church. I CAN medicate my brain to control my nightmares and anxiety attacks.

Residue

I hate the part of PTSD that hijacks your emotions and creates racing thoughts and turmoil for no visible or tangible current reason decades after the traumatic event.

My current life is still going great. Nothing has changed about the peace and stability I enjoy on a regular basis outside of this one day overloaded with emotional residue. It gets me every year, and has really started to piss me off for the past two or so. I can *feel* the emotional residue surrounding a traumatic event but I can’t freakin *remember* what the hell the event itself was! If I can’t remember what the circumstances creating the trauma were in the first place, I can’t address the trapped emotions and it’s a vicious annual cycle with no foreseeable end.

There are a few events that come to mind, but none of them really seem to release the trapped emotional energy when I discuss them with my therapist or even when I use EMDR to reconnect my synapses. Whatever it is, is buried very very deep and only bubbles up in racing thoughts and odd emotional flux. I can *feel* it I just need to unlock it from my subconscious and bring it forward to my consciousness to release it.

It sounds simple, but unfortunately the mind is an intricate mess even in the best of circumstances. This day/wave of frustration with myself will pass and things will return to blissful routine soon enough. At least until next year… :/

Hold the Diapers

It’s official: I am DONE with diapers!! The Twins have mastered the public potty which was the only thing holding them back as far as potty training went. NO MORE DIAPERS HALLELUJAH!! I’ve spent the last near seven years changing other humans’ diapers and now I am FREE. Hey, it’s the little things that get me excited anymore around the House of Hale. lol.

In other news, Hubs has finally found a medication cocktail that seems to be working which has lowered my stress levels to near zero in the first time I can ever remember in my adult life. In the past when things got quiet and peaceful it made me nervous, like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak, but now? Now I’m just sitting back and enjoying life in all it’s blissful simplicity.

Unfortunately, our European vacation has been postponed. Hubs injured his knee somewhere between work and cleaning out our garage. He’s in the process of getting everything evaluated now, but it looks like he might need surgery in the coming months. It’s a little disappointing for sure, but thankfully we were able to get our tickets refunded and since we also paid off the entirety of our small debts with our tax refund this year planning another trip overseas doesn’t seem like such an abstract concept anymore. This year just isn’t the right time. We still plan to take a weekend trip somewhere over our anniversary weekend, it just won’t be as far away or as lengthy as we originally intended.

I’m okay with sticking a little closer to home this Summer anyway because I have a great opportunity with my books. Being here this Summer will free me up to work on all of that. My most recent signing went really well and gave me an opportunity to volunteer with a great fledgling organization in support of survivors of sexually based crimes. They’re a local-ish organization based out of Cincinnati Ohio. Indianapolis is a near desert when it comes to resources for survivors of sexually based crimes, and I aim to change that. At least as much as I can with my books and free time.

My third little book is scheduled for release this April. It’s a baby book by comparison coming in at just under 70 pages, but I’m proud of it just the same. After this release I’m going to take a break from publishing for a while and really focus on editing some of my other stories. I have three more projects that I’d like to get on shelves by 2025, but all of them require major editing.

Trying to balance time to edit and time for school and time for mom life is a challenge. It’s possible, but damn is it difficult lol. School is going well over all. I’m stuck on my current course because it’s as boring as snow in Alaska. It isn’t maintaining my focus and dragging on FOOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEVER. Even with the speed bump I’m still on schedule to finish by mid 2021. If I survive this course anyway… lol.

Broken Shards of a Shattered Dream: I Shot A Man In Reno Just To Watch Him Die Vol #6

Things Carla Loves

So what is the purpose of mindfulness?

Maybe you can see that it’s worked a bit for me, and maybe you’ve even noticed that taking a few minutes out every day to de-stress and just think about what you need has worked for you, too.

And maybe it hasn’t yet, and that’s okay.

What works for some doesn’t always work for others.

However, it is a process, and if you find something that works for you, even a little bit, I think it’s something you should consider sticking with.

So, other than my therapist’s suggestion, what made me consider practicing mindfulness?

Well, to be honest, it’s this constant, toxic “be positive” mentality that too many people have, and how so many physically healthy and neurotypical people think that chronically ill (either mentally, physically or both) people are just not positive enough.

No photo description available.

And before I tell you exactly why chronically ill…

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Ignoring Racism Won’t Make it Go Away

bookmarkchronicles

“The only way to end racism is to stop talking about it.”

In case you didn’t already know, this quote is complete bullshit. Let me explain why:

Ignoring a problem is not the proper way to handle it. For example, if you find out that you have cancer, you don’t just wait for it to kill you. You start treatments and take medication to slow it down and stop it. In other word, you fight. Obviously, I’m comparing apples and oranges here but the concept is somewhat the same.

The quote above was said by Morgan Freeman and it makes a lot of people think that if a black man said it then it must be true.

Wrong.

Morgan Freeman was wrong.

That is not the way to deal with racism.

In my experience, the people who repeat this phrase the most are white people. This is an issue…

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