The way my work schedule is set up right now I have about five minutes after my daughter arrives home from school before I have to leave. Usually Hubs and I will wait for the bus together so I get to see her. Yesterday: my Little did not get off the bus.
As a parent when your child doesn’t arrive somewhere they’re supposed to be it is one of the most terrifying things you can ever experience. This was the first time she’d just not gotten off the bus. Hubs and I stood there dumbfounded for a moment as the neighbor kids walked home. Thankfully they were able to tell us that she was on the bus so we calmed down a bit, but I was still freaking out as mothers do when their babies are lost. So I hopped in the van and chased the damn bus for three blocks like a maniac.
First of all, I adore our bus driver. He’s former military and always punctual which is a wonderful change from last year when we never knew who was coming/driving or when. He’s strict, but compassionate and he genuinely cares for the kids in his charge. I’m following him in the car honking and waving and he didn’t bat an eye. He didn’t stop he didn’t waver he was going to do his job. He had two more stops after ours, I missed him at the first stop but at the second I leapt out of the car and ran half a damn block to catch him.
Once I got to the front of the bus he explained that she was on the bus but he couldn’t let her off until he went back around to our stop. Which was totally fine with me, as long as she was accounted for and I didn’t have to drive across town to the bus barn. Little had other ideas and bolted through the doors before he could stop her neglecting all the basic bus safety rules.
Which lead to the conversation with the driver that she had been neglecting the bus safety rules most of the year. He was frustrated. As he should have been, but hadn’t yet had an opportunity to speak with me or relay the message to the school. He took the opportunity to say something while we were blocking traffic lol. Priorities am I right?
Anyway… after I collected my errant Little and took her home Hubs and I set about trying to figure out what the hell happened for her to just not get off the bus at her stop. My first grader, who just turned seven, failed a social studies test. She was devastated and didn’t want to come home to tell us.
Which broke my heart into a million pieces. Hubs and I have never told her that she should be ashamed of failing a test. We hold her accountable for finishing her home work and paying attention in class, of course, but never have we put emphasis on her grades like that. I don’t know where on Earth she got the idea that she couldn’t come home, or that grades matter so much in first damn grade. This is actually her first year receiving grades at all, and she’s excelling in almost everything.
What made things even worse is that she only failed one subject out of all the tests she took this week. The other ones were all B or above with two A+! She did so well on everything else, but that one bad grade ruined her entire day to the point where she didn’t even want to get off the bus. This was her first experience with failure at school, and after a good conversation with Hubs and I she seemed to be feeling better.
Parenting is hard. If you’re too strict it breeds hatred and malcontent toward authority. If you’re not strict enough it breeds entitlement and laziness. Finding the balance is next to impossible.
Sometimes my Cosmic Joke life is pretty hilarious. I had the opportunity to bump into Target Jerk again this morning. He was at work. He just so happens to work at a local Starbucks, and whadda ya know, I just happened to drive through there this morning taking the Twins to the apple orchard for Champ’s very first school field trip.
BAH HAHAHA. It was great. I recognized him immediately, but he wasn’t paying attention. Our interaction was priceless. I made sure to be extra polite and got to revel in the look of terror that washed across his face as recognition set in after he handed me my drink. I just smiled and wished him a good day, using his name which I took notice of from his name tag.
It’s especially amusing because I rarely visit that particular Starbucks. It’s out of my way any other time, but it happened to be en route to the orchard and I had just enough time for a quick trip through the drive through.
*sigh* It made my day, and hopefully will teach the young man to be more mindful of yelling at strangers in public. Our community isn’t small by any means, but it’s not some giant urban sprawl either. I figured I’d run into him again sooner or later, but I never imagined it would be within the week lol.
Crash and Champ loved the orchard. I was so thankful that Crash was allowed to go with us even though he isn’t enrolled at the school this year. Champ’s school is a perfect fit for our family right now. He’s finally thriving developmentally, and they’re very accommodating of his sensory needs and siblings. Crash has enjoyed his one on one time with me during the week too. He’s much more articulate now that he has the opportunity to actually talk to me without being interrupted. lol.
Neither of them really slept last night because they were so excited. They loved watching the apple processing, and loved picking an apple even more. They also really enjoyed their apple cookie and fresh cider snack. Bonus for our family: the orchard is across the street from the county airport and about six different planes flew in and out low enough for Champ to hear the engines. He was over the moon and asking a million questions about them. It was the first time he was able to see the pilots bank while turning and he was determined to figure it out. I’m going to have to get him up in a small plane here soon. As much as he loves swinging and spinning I’m sure he’ll feel right at home. If we can get him over the noise anyway. lol.
Crash was indifferent to the planes, but we had to drive past the local rail yard heading home and he was very excited to watch all the trains pulling on and off various tracks. I love their individuality. It’s a little weird sometimes because as they grow older they’re actually becoming more alike instead of growing apart. I can’t believe they’re almost 4. It seems like yesterday they were kicking around my intestines fighting over growing room.
So I’m on my way to Target to pick up a few things for Hubs this evening. I got over in the turn lane at a five lane intersection. It’s a mess, and always has been so I’m very careful when I go through there to pay attention to the other cars on the road. Out of nowhere dude in a Cobalt tried to cut in front of me. I didn’t let him and honked a polite “hey, I’m in this lane you can’t come over” honk thinking maybe he didn’t see me.
Dude lays on the horn back, and immediately cuts over right on my bumper. I thought he was going to hit me he was so close. So I continue on to Target. I’m not going to let this jerk try to intimidate me, and if he wants to follow me to the very public place whatever. Let him. We make it to the parking lot and he parked a few aisles away. We both get out and start walking toward the door. I arrived first and walked through the door. He jogged to catch up which now has my fight mode on deck and yells: “hey, it’s nice to know your brakes work.”
I turned around to face him and kind of chuckled with the response: “yeah, nice to see your turn signals work too.”
He then proceeded to make a few other snide remarks, which I fired back at until he decided to attempt to intimidate me with: “well I have you on video and I’m going to call the police and report you for a hate crime.” While waving his rainbow sunglasses around in the air.
First of all, I don’t give a flying fuck about his sexual orientation. I didn’t honk at him, or return his snide banter because he was gay. To be honest until he waved them in my face I didn’t even notice he was wearing rainbow sunglasses, nor would I automatically assume he was gay just because he was wearing rainbow sunglasses. Like dude… that’s reaching, but if you’re going to try to scare me with the police and bullshit accusations I’ll save your time and call them right now.
Which is what I did. I dialed 911, followed him down a few aisles; then headed over to customer service to wait for an officer to come and deal with the ridiculous bullshit that I found myself in. Yes, I followed the Jerk a few aisles in the store because if he was going to be stupid and try to threaten me I didn’t want to let him out of my sight. Once I lost him, I didn’t care to find him again and made my way to a safe location because OH MY GOD HELL NO TO ALL THAT BULLSHIT.
I waited about fifteen minutes for the police to arrive, which is understandable since the call was so asinine in the first place, but once the officer arrived and I relayed why the hell I had to interrupt his day everything calmed tf down.
The Jerk ran as soon as the police showed up, which I kind of figured he would after his little stunt “hate crime” ploy, but whatever. I don’t care. I wasn’t out to ruin the guys day, I just wasn’t about to be threatened with absolute bullshit like that. To be entirely honest, I’m revising (editing for clarity) one of my books and happened to be on the chapter where my ex tried a similar stunt several years ago. (My ex called me, I hung up on him and then he tried to say that I was harassing him and called the police) I was already fighting off the PTSD symptoms before this Jerk tried to spar with me, so I think he got the full brunt of them.
Normally I’m apt to ignore stupid people yelling stupid things. He just happened to catch me on the wrong damn day, with the wrong damn line. 🤷🏻♀️ If I had the kids with me? I would have ignored him. If I hadn’t just edited the chapter with my ex and all that police bullshit? I probably would have ignored him, or left it at one little sarcastic quip not bothering to waste my time with wanna be Billy Badass.
But I didn’t, and it turned into one whole fucking giant mess of drama for no real reason. All for a 24pack of soda for Hubs. Lol. Uuuuuuuuuugh. It presents a good lesson though. Boundaries are important, and treating everyone with respect as much as possible could quite literally save your life one day. On the surface I don’t look like a PTSD survivor who will throw down when accosted, but Mom in the Minivan isn’t going to put up with your shit. On the same token, Scrawny Kid in Cobalt didn’t look like a terrified gay man willing to use his sexuality as a manipulative cheap shot trying to scare me after I responded to his snark in kind. He just looked like a kid who wasn’t paying attention to where he was going or the other traffic around him.
Apparently we both misjudged one another. He bit off more than he could chew, and I wasted an hour of my time tonight making sure I wasn’t going to end up in court over some stupid frivolous lawsuit. No one wins in that equation.
Many of you have already read this story, but as my audience continues to grow year by year and I continue to reflect on how much my Little has grown each passing year, I’m choosing to share her birth story once again. I’m looking forward to what the next year has in store for us.
Happy birthday, Baby Girl! I am so proud of the young woman you are becoming. I can’t wait to support you in all of the wonderful adventures that lay ahead of you as you continue to grow.
Everything started on Wednesday the morning of the 12th. I woke up in a cranky irritated mood, with some mild stomach cramps. Nothing painful, just sort of a dull ache like I had eaten something that didn’t agree with me. I dropped Hubs off at work and had planned to take a walk around the park in an effort to get the Little in gear. As I was leaving the parking lot after dropping Hubs off, I noticed that the brakes in the car were extremely spongy. My foot hit the floor when trying to stop, which was odd I thought. Hubs drove into work, so I assumed everything was okay, and perhaps I just hadn’t noticed the last time I drove. It had been a week since I’d last had the car, so I adjusted my driving and continued on toward the park and Walmart in search of a bottled water and some brake fluid.I drove all the way across town, only to find out that I didn’t have the debit card, so I turned around and headed home. I still wanted to walk, but I definitely didn’t want to walk around without some water on hand. Especially since I was already thirsty before even starting the walk. I lounged around at home for a while, watched a few movies, took a nap and cleaned up a little. I was still having the annoying cramps, and trying to figure out what had changed in my diet to make my stomach so upset. The only thing I could think of was that I had eaten a spinach salad every day for the past few days. So, I ignored them. I did have the forethought to download a nifty contraction timer app to my phone, but other than that I went on about my day.
Eventually Hubs’ lunch time rolled around, and I set off to meet him with bologna sandwich in hand. When I got into the Jeep and began to back out of my parking space I heard a loud snap as I applied the brakes and then the dreaded brake light came on. Now, the thing about Nowheresville is that the entire town only consist of about 10 square miles. We live less than three miles away from Hubs’ work. I mean in a dire emergency he could walk there in less than an hour. So instead of rolling back into my parking space and calling some one to bring me brake fluid, I went on over to meet him. With no brakes. Like I was coasting to a stop most of the time, no brakes. There are only three intersections between our apartment and his plant, and because he works second shift he goes on “lunch” at 7:30pm. There wasn’t a whole bunch of traffic, so I wasn’t really worried about it. I had driven cars with no brakes before farther distances in worse weather. lol. It probably wasn’t one of my brighter moments, especially considering what all was really going on with my body at the time, but hey.
I coasted to a stop in the plant parking lot and waited for Hubs to make his way out for lunch. I told him I thought we might need brake fluid, and explained the situation. He gave me a lecture about driving over with no brakes 9+ months pregnant, and then called his sister to come pick me up. lol. She came, drove me to Walmart to pick up brake fluid, back to Hubs’ work to drop it off, and then home. I fixed dinner, took a shower, watched a movie and got ready for bed. I got a text message from Hubs saying that he would be home earlier than expected, and our night progressed like any other Wednesday night.
Until about 3am. Hubs had fallen asleep on the couch, and I had made my way into the bedroom. I was laying there sound asleep, when I woke up with an awful pain in my abdomen. I rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. I mean what else would you do if you awoke with a crazy abdominal pain, right? I returned to bed shortly after. Before I could fall asleep, again I was struck with this intense pain. I was kind of annoyed and confused at this point. Not only was I trying to get enough sleep to make my doctors appointment at 9am, but I hadn’t felt well all day. Then, after about half an hour of enduring this weird pain it donned on me that these could be contractions!
I whipped out my phone and contraction timer, and started timing them. To my surprise, they were only about 2 minutes apart. Two minutes apart?? Already? I thought to myself. So I gradually got up, and went out to the living room. I tapped Hubs on the shoulder and woke him up. I told him that according to my nifty phone app that we would probably be heading to the hospital in the next half an hour. Now, honestly we both thought that this was just false labor. Especially since the Little is my first child. Everyone had always told us that because she was my first child that my body was still trying to figure things out and false labor wasn’t uncommon at all. When I was eventually in true labor it would take hours to even days just because it was something that my body hadn’t done before. You know, all those don’t be surprised that labor takes forever it’s not like TV things.
So Hubs and I reluctantly drug ourselves out to the car at 4am hospital bags in tow just in case, and made our way to the hospital. We arrived, and sat in triage for about two hours. Just as we suspected, the first nurse that examined me had said it was probably false labor, but they would give it an hour and see how far I progressed. They hooked me up to several monitors and away they went. Hubs and I both sat there patiently waiting for the verdict. My contractions were getting ever more intense, but not exceptionally close together. When I arrived they were close, very close, but after sitting there for a while they started to fade. I was disappointed, but again. Hubs and I went into the trip assuming it was just false labor, so it wasn’t too disappointing.
Then, at about 6:30am, everything kicked into over drive. Up until that point I had been able to yoga through every contraction with only minimal discomfort, but as another nurse came in to check me before making the decision to admit me or not it was crazy insanely uncomfortable. She actually ended up doing the exam during one of my ninja contractions, which is a good thing. If she hadn’t I would have been sent home.
When I first arrived, I was at 2cm with that looked like minor contractions on their fancy monitor. An hour later, when checked again I was at 7cm and even though my contractions still weren’t showing up on the monitor as anything other than a basic muscle twinge I was in visible discomfort. They called my doctor, who was actually already heading to the hospital to check on another patient, and he gave the go ahead to admit me. It was shocking and surprising to Hubs and I, but it was also a relief. Little was 13 days over due, and if I had made it to my doctors appointment instead of going into labor her induction would have been scheduled.
Before we made our way to the delivery room, the nurse asked me if I had intended to get an epidural. I asked how long I had to decide, because it was so early in the day and I assumed I would be in labor for hours. The pain wasn’t UNBEARABLE, I just didn’t want to deal with it all day on less than an hour of sleep. She said the way I was progressing I should decide now, because if I waited there wasn’t any guarantee I would be able to get one. So… after several moments of thought, and one heck of an intense contraction later I said yes. Go ahead, drug me up.
Good news, I don’t have an opiate allergy! I also have insane muscle control apparently, because for being completely numb I could still move relatively freely. So freely in fact that instead of bringing in a whole team of nurses to help with the delivery it was just one nurse and Hubs. Yep, Hubs was there the entire time, and actually assisted in the delivery. lol. He did very well, and thanked me profusely for getting the epidural.
We got settled into the room around 8am, still with no contractions on the monitor. My doctor arrived, did some initial assessments, and gave us the good news! We would be delivering our little one sometime during the day on September 13th. He also explained that it could still take hours or even most of the day because: “It isn’t like the movies where you labor for an hour, push for ten minutes and your baby arrives.” I was completely okay with that, thanks to my wonderfully spontaneous decision for an epidural. lol. Little did anyone know, that less than an hour after I started pushing my Little would be born. 10:31am she made her entrance into the world.
It was pretty intense in those first few moments after birth. Because she was over due she had passed her first stool inside the womb, (which is what I was worried about with attempting castor oil and the pitocin induction) and because her head was so low they couldn’t do anything about it until after she was born. There would be an increased risk of infection, but they would do their best to clear her airways before she took her first breath. Which meant that instead of having her birthed, and hearing her cry right away there was a few moments of nothing but silence as they whisk her away to be cleaned up. Everything happened in the same room, so it’s not like they rushed her to a different room, but it was still scary until she started crying.
Once I heard her first little wail, everything was okay. I was SO relieved. Both to have her finally outside of my abdomen, and that she was safe and after they got her all cleaned out otherwise healthy. It took the doctor almost an hour to get me all put back together, which Hubs said was insanely brutal, but I was just floating on cloud nine the entire time. I don’t know if it was the epidural, or the fact that I had just “officially” become a mom, but either way I felt nothing other than happy, and as soon as I got to hold my Little and see her for the first time other than as my protruding belly button it just made everything that much more awesome. *sigh*
So, since she was born on the 13th, after all of those crazy circumstances we have affectionately dubbed her our little Lucky 13. Still even almost a week later, she has been nothing but a wonderful little blessing. She even sleeps through the night most nights. ALREADY. Her feeding has taken off with out a hitch, she hardly cries more than a few minutes at a time, and she is bright eyed and alert. I too, bounced back insanely quickly. We’ve already been out and about on the town several times this week, my house is clean, the bills are paid and we’ve all settled in to our new lives. It’s going to be a great ride Bloggies. I’m so glad she’s finally here.
I was also able to finish my latest book release over my small blogging hiatus. It’s available for pre-order now on the Kindle Store, with a scheduled release date of November 1st.
Stay tuned for more info as the release date approaches. I’m really excited about this one as it’s my first complete work of fiction. I tackled NaNoWriMo at 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter. She’ll be seven (?!) on Friday, and I’m really excited to share this with her when she’s a bit older. It’s not written in the typical young adult genre, but it’s not a children’s book either. It’s like a… I don’t really know. Lol. It’s kind of an adventure fantasy thing.
I’m a blogger. (Obviously) I’m an author. I love reading when I have a spare moment, and so 90% of the time my very mild dyslexia doesn’t bother me. Every once and a while it will get me with a reversed letter or backwards phrase, but most of the time I’m okay.
Until it comes to functional organizational writing skills. Then I drawn one large blank. I can read the instructions. I can understand the concept. I get it but when it comes to the application of these concepts, ideas and such my brain just short circuits lol
So this semester started off on a rough foot. I needed to take a break blogging wise, and I had the whole plagiarism thing to content with again. I was supposed to take four weeks for this class, but with all the extra time I had not blogging (ironic no?) I was able to finish it up in two. As challenging as it was I passed with an 88 maintaining my 3.7GPA 🙌🏻
I am so close to being done with my GedEd classes it is infuriating that time will not go faster. Lol. I’ve got like one more science class, one more math, and literature; then I can start working toward my actual degree. Which will probably slow me down a bit. GenEd stuff is easy since it’s basically repeating high school. When I actually start learning vs simply reviewing I’ll need to make more of an effort with my studies.
Hubs and I got a lot accomplished around the house this past week and a half too. We finally got rid of all the junk left behind by the previous owners of our house, got the Twins’ room redone and moved Little into one of the actual bedrooms and out of our dining room.
While we were in the process of figuring out Champ’s sensory issues we needed to separate the Twins into their own rooms. Little Crash was the butt of most of Champ’s aggression and I wasn’t about to have him suffer if I could help it. They needed their own space for a while. Now that we’ve got an action plan for Champ, they can safely share a space again, which gives Little more privacy and me a formal dining space!
I haven’t had a formal dedicated dining space since my second apartment waaaaaaaaay back in like 2007. Lol. I am excited to get everything put together. We’re getting things together to renovate our kitchen in the Spring. New paint, new cabinets, and possibly new floors although I haven’t quite made up my mind about that yet.
It’s nice to have our own space again. There are many things I miss about apartment life, but I really love our little home too. The kids love the yard, and it’s nice not to have to worry about a landlord or maintenance staff. I got lucky with Hubs who’s pretty handy when it comes to general contracting and repairs. Lol.
Once we get the inside all squared away we’re hopefully going to get the driveway resurfaced and siding replaced next year. We have the siding in the garage, we just have to find time and energy to install it… or the funds to hire someone to install it. Hopefully… next year. But, a lot of things can happen in a year so we’ll see. 🤷🏻♀️
There is a skill most survivors of abuse possess. It’s not exactly something to be proud of, but something engrained and very difficult to overcome even in the midst of recovery.
We can be absolutely savage assholes to those who repeatedly ignore our basic requests for various boundaries. I’m not immune to the use of this skill. It’s almost a reflex especially when my buttons have been pushed eighty bazillion times. Something clicks inside my head and the compassionate, caring, empathetic Kelli goes right out the window replaced by cut throat savage asshole Kelli.
I’m not proud when that aspect of my personality pops through, but I’ve learned especially over the last year and a half that it isn’t entirely something to be ashamed of either. It’s something I need to take responsibility for and be aware of for certain, but it’s also a valuable part of defending my self worth against those who would take advantage of me.
I guess it’s part of my larger fight response. Having such a hearty fight response kept me alive in many of my more violent instances of abuse, but now that I’m not in an abusive environment finding a productive healthy use for my very valid F the F off when I’m annoyed is difficult.
It really boils down to self control and understanding what deserves my response and what doesn’t. It’s still a balancing act that I’m working on. Often times I slip off and my savage comes out in full force which can damage relationships. Of course, not all relationships are worth having in the first place and sometimes a little savagry is necessary to completely end lingering connections to toxic people dancing around the fridges of my life.
My therapist explained that sometimes to really end a toxic relationship especially with a bully or someone who tries to manipulate your feelings, you have to use the skills gained from your abusive past and strike back with as much snark, apathy and ferocity as you can muster. I still don’t really know how I feel about it, being one who opts for kindness 90% of the time, but the way my therapist described it makes sense. You can tell someone the stove is hot and will hurt if they keep pushing buttons, but some people just don’t believe it until they get burned.
*sigh* Well I wanted to be okay. I sincerely wanted to be okay this year as Labor Day approached. My broken brain had other plans. I took part in mountains of self care, scheduled all sorts of projects to keep my mind busy, addressed my most recent trauma last week to avoid them and still the panic attacks came. The nightmares, the migraines, the whole nine yards. It’s been a rough week in PTSD terms for me.
Labor Day Weekend 2006:
My ex and I both took time off work to attend a local fireworks display in celebration of the holiday. It was the annual ceremonious end to Summer. I’d never been, but he had once or twice before. We headed down to the venue early in the day to secure our spot. We ate lunch, grabbed a blanket at a local mall and made our way into the venue to claim our spot.
For some reason my ex was in a particularly rapid cycling mood. One moment he would be joking, the next he would be fighting with any and everyone about trivial things that didn’t really matter. He almost got tossed out by security over a water bottle, and we briefly argued over the paternity of his ex wife’s youngest child. Or rather we discussed it, which only proved to sour his mood even further.
God only knows what was truly troubling him, but over all the evening was pleasant. We fought our way out of the crowds after laying next to one another in a cozy embrace for the duration of the show and made our way to my apartment. Once there we immediately shed the days sweaty clothes and snuggled into our pjs before promptly falling asleep.
A few hours later my back began to ache and I moved out to the small love seat as I usually did anytime I couldn’t sleep. It was generally understood when one or the other of us disappeared from the bed in the middle of the night we’d moved out to the couch for a variety of different reasons. That night something was different. Almost as soon as I shut off the living room lamp and closed my eyes my ex began to shuffle around in the bedroom before eventually wailing my name and stumbling out into the hallway, tripping over himself in the process and smacking into the opposite wall before collapsing to his knees in tears.
He was sobbing and yelling my name with repeated cries of: “don’t leave me! Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone. Please don’t leave me.” I immediately rushed to his side to assure him that I hadn’t gone anywhere and that’s when I realized he wasn’t really there. His body was there, but his mind was lost somewhere entirely different. His eyes were open but instead of the usual bright glint of awareness and intelligence, they were dull, dark and flat. I can only describe them as dead eyes because that’s what it seemed like as he stared past me while looking right at me as tears streamed down his face and he continued to beg me to stay with him.
I’m not sure how long the moment lasted, but I held him until his rhythmic sobs and pleas faded before eventually coming to a complete stop. Like a damn light switch he was back. Disoriented, and exhausted, but the light returned to his eyes, he wiped the few remaining tears off his face and returned to bed. I joined him and held him the rest of the night.
It wasn’t the first night terror/split of consciousness I’d experienced with him and it was far from the last. I have no idea what triggers it. Maybe it’s his stress threshold, maybe it’s the aftermath of smashing his head into one too many windshields. I don’t know. I just know that those eyes are permanently burned into my memory, and I don’t like it one bit.
I actually gave his two personalities different names so I could speak to my therapist about it without causing mass chaos and confusion. One is J and the other is JNathan. J is a fairly good natured, happy, albeit a bit insecure but generally a nice guy. Impulsive and dishonest, but overall decent. JNathan is the scary one. He’s cold, distant, callous and dangerous. JNathan has the dead eyes. J has the sweet sparkle and smirk to match.
JNathan broke into my apartment and didn’t give two shits if I knew he was there. J fought for dominance and surfaced a few times. He was terrified that he would get caught. J hid. J (thank God) spoke to my daughter. J eventually won and got the hell out of there. JNathan fought with me in my bedroom. JNathan laughed after I punched him. JNathan smirked when he grabbed me and held me down.
The same way that JNathan almost threw me down our townhouse staircase, grabbed me by the ankle and tossed me across the bedroom directly into the dresser dislocating my hip. More recently JNathan spewed caustic veiled threats at me while J complimented my hair, and kids. “God I fucking hate you” *breath pause* “but your hair looks really cute blonde. You should keep it that way.” *breath pause* “God why can’t you just die already?” *breath pause* You have a daughter! That’s really awesome. *breath pause* I would love to see you get hit by a bus crazy ass bitch.” Etc etc. JNathan’s voice is about a pitch and a half lower than J’s voice too. It’s not just what the words are, it’s how they’re said and watching/hearing him flip back and forth with the ever so slight pause in between has really left it’s mark on my own psyche.
I think the most disturbing thing aside from the physical differences is that J has no memories of when he loses control and JNathan takes over. It’s almost like a blackout. Although, with J’s chronic dishonesty maybe he does remember and just denies it to avoid taking responsibility for JNathan’s behavior. I’m not so sure it’sIt’s simply denial/dishonesty though since J has other memory issues related to his head trauma. I don’t know. I used to vehemently defend J due to the simple existence of JNathan, but now… it is what it is. Whether JNathan is the dominant personality and J developed as a way to hide in plain sight or J is dominant and JNathan was born out of trauma I’ll never know. J is the only one who really knows (or maybe not if he really has no memory after the fact) and JNathan only appears at random overwhelming stressful moments. The memory thing might work both ways too. They may not be aware of each other to begin with, J’s compulsive dishonesty aside.
I’ll never know. I’ll just go on hating this trauma because those eyes are by far the most painful and terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s one of the only traumas I haven’t been able to overcome yet. It’s frustrating as much as it is triggering. Arggggghuggggh.
Last week I had the extraordinary opportunity to volunteer at a show sponsored by A Voice for the Innocent. AVFTI is an organization that is extremely close to my heart as they’ve been instrumental in my personal recovery as a victim of sexual violence and abuse. As soon as I had the opportunity to represent them I cleared my schedule. Before I was asked to volunteer I wasn’t aware of the upcoming show. There were two local bands and the headliner, a relatively new project Rebel Rampage.
I’d never heard of any of the bands before last week, but I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. The show was really well put together, everyone played very well and having the opportunity to talk to the band was really cool, especially considering the passion behind the project itself.
Rebel Rampage is classified as protest rock and styled after the likes…
I’m publishing this early to get it out of the way before the holiday weekend. I intend to enjoy my three day weekend and I don’t wish to get entangled in a mess.
August 28th, 2018:
My daughter was struggling during her first year of school. I was working a crazy swing shift overnights and unloading deliveries. I was tired, stressed and had a respiratory infection that would not die. All of my energy emotional or otherwise was stretched to the max dealing with my current circumstances when out of the blue comes Stalker Pants with a message on Facebook.
I’d unblocked everyone from my extensive social media block list as part of my healing process. It was where I was at, and it was fairly pointless to have them blocked anyway when you can just create another account to bypass 99% of security features on social media. I mean, yeah it ads to the case that they won’t leave you alone when you have them blocked, but really there is zero point to it all.
ANYWAY… she was unblocked and had been unblocked for several months without incident until the random ass day of August 28th. I didn’t read her message at all. As soon as I saw it I called the non-emergency dispatch number to the local police and filed a report. The reporting officer was kind enough to call Ms. Pants on my behalf and tell her to leave me alone (like the SIX officers in different jurisdictions before) and that was that.
The next day I went to work and when I left work a few hours later I made my way to the ER in the most excusiating pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. YES. I was in even more pain than LABOR. Legit… most physically painful thing I’ve ever experienced is sepsis. Apparently my respiratory infection was actually pneumonia that untreated had sent me into sepsis for the second time in my life. Being the second event it was much more severe than the first and I was admitted to the hospital after a hellacious few hours with tests galore as my organs were clearly shutting down but they couldn’t figure out exactly why.
Three tests later they discovered double pneumonia hidden in the bottom of my lungs. It didn’t show up on the standard chest xray, but only made itself known on an abdominal CT scan. Once they figured out the problem they were able to quickly administer treatment and I rebounded in about three days. I was hospitalized for two and spent the third resting comfortably at home.
During those three days I had a hell of a lot of time to think about Ms. Pants. Of course the whole near death thing was traumatic in itself which stirred up a lot of my other traumatic memories. It also happened around Labor Day which was a fairly significant trauma anniversary in itself. It was the perfect storm of emotional chaos to create a retraumaizing event. Which is a really long reason to explain why I’m addressing it today.
After I was feeling physically better as the infection and my rogue immune system began to subside I revisited Ms. Pants’ message. Still feeling under the weather and emotionally fragile I opted not to read her public posts about the incident and instead had a trusted friend read them for me and relay the important plot points without any of the bs detail ranting.
I was told that Ms. Pants wanted forgiveness for her behavior and to apologize for invalidating the previous trauma I experienced. She did want to apologize, but she never wanted forgiveness. She just wanted the self gratification of spewing an unecessary apology at me against the advice of every law enforcement officer in South Western Ohio. Which would be noble if it wasn’t for such selfish motives.
Still being emotionally exhausted I responded without ever reading what she said myself, and pulled zero punches about my own feelings about the recent interaction. I was not kind, but really all things considered kindness wasn’t required. Firm, unwavering boundaries needed to be upheld/established and often it’s impossible to do those things while sugar coating your own feelings about the matter.
Pants did not take it well. I just recently went back and read what she had to say surrounding the entire incident and whew did I dodge a bullet with that one! I was called everything from a coward to a hypocrite. Selfish, manipulative, dishonest… lol. If there is a negative adjective to describe an interaction with another human being it was included. Which, okay, fine. Her feelings were hurt, and she was shocked at my blunt response when I’ve been fairly forgiving and understanding in the past.
The thing is, in her very first message she said: “I hope this isn’t triggering” and that’s really what I want to discuss in this post. I am still struggling a little with the emotional after effects of the trauma from my hospital stay. That’s the nature of a PTSD brain. I’m going to be stuck on them for a bit and I’m going to include every aspect of the trauma in my recovery process which includes the brief interaction with Ms. Pants. The fact of the matter is, no matter what her intentions might have been it was fairly triggering to see her name pop up in my notifications attached with several messages. Pile that seemingly innocent event on top of the other already stressful things going on in my life (like LITERALLY dying) and my PTSD kicked in to over drive leaving the emotions lingering far longer than any other minor conflict that might arise in my life.
When someone comes to you and says: “I hope this isn’t triggering” they mean one of two things. A) They genuinely think that it might cause you harm, and want to be cautious or B) they know damn well that what they’re about to say is hurtful or insensitive but don’t really care about YOU they just want to make themselves feel better. It’s exactly like the phrase: “No offense, but…” Whatever you say after “no offense, but…” is going to be offensive. It just is. There’s no way around it. It’s a stupid passive phrase. Just state your opinion and continue the discussion after the fact if someone is offended. Don’t try to skirt your responsibilities by tacking on “no offense”. It’s lazy and dismissive really.
Now, of course there’s really no way to tell what Ms. Pants’ true intentions were outside of my own perspective. She might have genuinely been concerned about triggering me and the negative effects, but based on her subsequent reactions it’s safe to say that was she was really worried about was how she, herself, might suffer as a result of her actions. IE She didn’t want me triggered because it would lead to this down the road. Me blogging about my trauma as a result of her short sided actions. WELL OOPS.
To some, I can see how it would look as though I’m being hypocritical. I mean, by writing this post I understand that there is a risk of Ms. Pants reading it, getting upset and reacting somehow. In essence writing this could be a trigger for her in the same way she triggered me by sending me a message. The DIFFERENCE, (and it’s a very important one) is that I’m not seeking her out. Yes, I am responsible for my choices. I can only control myself. I’m choosing to post this, fully aware of the potential consequences.
However, I’m not FORCING her to participate in my healing, or witness my emotional instability and/or reaction to her. Unless she makes her own conscious choice to click on this post and read these words? She will never know they exist or what I’ve said. While my writing can be a catalyst for her own triggers, I’m not the CAUSE of the trigger itself. That rests squarely on her own shoulders. If not her, whomever is telling her that I’m still writing about her involvement in my past.
And I am. I am still writing about the chaos and conflict surrounding her brief involvement in my past. As I already stated a few paragraphs ago getting stuck emotionally is the defining difference between a normal conflict or inconvenience and a traumatic experience. Trauma is subjective. It’s different for everyone which makes it difficult to navigate in the public at large. What might seem a minor inconvenience to one person can be a devastating life altering event to another. It’s really easy to unintentionally come off dismissive of the depth of another person’s emotions, especially if it’s something that you can’t relate to on a personal level. That’s the outward difference.
The difference when it comes to science and medical researching facts is trauma causes a disconnect between both hemispheres of the brain. Nonessential cognitive function is shut down and all energy is redirected to the things necessary to survive whatever emotionally overwhelming event is happening. In essence the neural pathways are severed which causes short circuits down the road. Almost all symptoms related to PTSD can be traced to these broken neural pathways and the “short circuits” resulting from them. Trauma is a physical injury manifesting in emotional ways.
Run of the mill conflict, on the other hand, doesn’t travel those severed neural pathways. It’s easy to “move on” from conflict by ignoring it, or not giving energy to it. If you stop thinking about it, the emotions/effects will eventually fade and everything will go back to systems as normal. Conflict is not a physical injury. Trauma is.
Conflict doesn’t require investment or years of therapy and discussion to resolve. Trauma, like any other physical injury, does. Writing is the best way for me to process my trauma and repair the broken neural pathways. It’s worked wonders for me over the past six years in addition to my EMDR. Ask any trauma therapist and they will tell you that writing is one of the best ways to capture and reign in those rouge traumatic emotions. Is it the only way? No. Some people process better by physically speaking about their traumatic experiences. Some people process through music or painting or other forms of artistic expression. There are a million different ways to overcome trauma each as unique to the individual as the trauma itself.
I choose to write. I understand that it may be painful for my ex and Ms. Pants to read. That truth is why I kept my own healing on the back burner for so long before coming forward and sharing my story about the rape and abuse I suffered at the hands of my ex. Yes, I completely understand and even sympathize with them both. What I will not do, is tolerate or accept the responsibility for how they choose to react and/or respond to my words. They are making the choice to be here reading this, and if it upsets them stresses them out or even hits their own emotional triggers that responsibility is their own.
Yes, I have reached out to them in the past. I’m guilty of my own surprise inbox message BEFORE I started working with my therapist and realized how inappropriate and inconsiderate an out of the blue message can be. The last direct contact I’ve had with Ms. Pants or my ex THAT I INITIATED was in February and October of 2014 respectively. I’ve sparred with them since then, yes, but I’ve never initiated the conversation by sending a message or making a phone call. I’ve kept to myself here, or my own personal social media. I’m not tagging them, I’m not trying to get their attention, I’m just focusing on my healing the best way that I know how.
A really big part of my grieving process with the entire trainwreck relationship and severing my trauma bonds to my ex has been misplaced guilt for the suffering he’s endured due to my writing. I don’t care that he treated me less than shit while we were dating, or has done some really irrational and stupid impulsive things since we’ve split up. I’ve never wanted to hurt him back aside from a few sarcastic barbs out of pure frustration. I’ve never hated him, and in all likelihood never will.
I understand the difference between what I thought was love and traumatic bonding now so I won’t say I still love him, but he’s still a human being and he still deserves compassion and empathy even if doesn’t appreciate or understand it. I’m as over it as I can be. I’ve dealt with it and will continue to deal with it to the best of my ability. I’ll probably write about it a thousand more times. I’ll probably realize some other stupid mistake I’ve made along the way and address sadness or regret for it. This is how humanity functions. Everyone has moments that they can reflect on. Some of us choose to share them, and others keep to themselves. I’m a sharer. I’m probably an over sharer to be honest lol. What you, Ms. Pants, choose to do about it is entirely your own prerogative. If you want to keep tearing open your own wounds reading this, and stirring up drama hither and yon by all means: continue, just stay away from my family. That’s all I ask.