Author: PTKT

Summer Nights

Working late at night doesn’t leave a whole lot of options for socializing after work, but once or twice a week a few co workers and I go out for an hour or two and relax after we close the restaurant. We’ve gone to a bar or two, and more recently we’ve switched it up to late night diners and such.

This week I returned to a nostalgic piece of my young adulthood. It’s not the first time I’ve been back to a late night Waffle House meal with friends, but it is the most recent.

Our local Waffle House is basically aesthetically perfect. It’s in a quite empty plaza parking lot next to a junk yard on the West and train yard slightly South, snuggly nestled up directly under a bill board advertising a local drug rehabilitation program. And all of this is situated across the street from a rundown Walmart. Lol. Which is honestly really out of place for the rest of the neighborhood, but it is what it is.

I sat in the parking lot with my windows down just enjoying the warm night air, listening to the sounds of trains moving around and watching a light on the billboard flicker. It was comforting in a way and brought back happy memories of carefree Summer nights wasted driving around aimlessly or haunting diners and other 24hr establishments simply because we could.

I think that’s really the only thing I miss about my days before becoming a parent. Well that and sleeping naked lol. I’m glad I’ve found a nice balance between responsibilities and my youthful adventurous spirit. It makes coming home to the demands of three tiny humans much less draining, and my secondish shift schedule fits much better into my natural circadian rhythm.

It’s nice to enjoy my Summer Waffles again without sacrificing the life I’ve built here with Hubs. It took a while to find my balance between the two, but I think I’ve finally got it. I can’t wait until the weather stays consistently warmer and I can break out my flip flops and sun dresses. It’s going to be a good year this year. I’m excited. 😊

SAAM 2019: Thank You Mr. President?

Rebecca MacCeile

April 2017

“In April 2017 President Trump made a declaration about April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To be clear, I was staunchly opposed to him being in office with so many allegations of sexual assault against him. Yet, SAAM and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center were trending for the first time that I could recall in all of my years of involvement with the project.

I was offended by the blatant hypocrisy, and obvious insincerity. I was also kind of excited that SAAM was trending, simply for the sake of awareness. I’m not going to call it a silver lining, because that’s unfair to the victims. Not just victims who made allegations against the President, but any victim who hasn’t reached a place where they can comfortably be bombarded with discussions of sexual assault in the media.

I don’t know what I would do if my assailant…

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My Baby Did a Thing

Yesterday was my Littlest Little’s last occupational therapy appointment. All things considered it was a joyous and positive experience. He’s grown so much over the past 10 months and he really didn’t need to go anymore, but he really loved going and he really loved his therapist. So much so that as we were getting ready to leave the house I explained to him that it was his last appointment and we would have to say goodbye to Ms Becky. He looked at me and got tears in his eyes as the realization sank in. He went from mega excited to go to his appointment, to very quiet and upset.

Gosh if that didn’t make ME all weepy and upset for him even though I understood going into it that it wouldn’t last forever. I also understand that this is an amazing thing for him to be flourishing and the therapist to be confident that he will continue to do so without her help. And it still crushed my Champ’s spirit and smashed his little heart into a billion pieces.

Uuuuuuuugh… if I’m this upset when he has to say goodbye to a therapist, what the hell am I going to do when the first girl breaks his heart?!

He handled it fairly well overall. He was upset, didn’t really want to say goodbye or leave the session, and he had a mild meltdown at bedtime but nothing like the epic meltdowns that inspired us to seek treatment in the first place. He’s growing up, and maturing. *sigh* My Baby did a thing.

Scrub the Decks!

Do you ever have one of those days where one thing after another just piles up on top of you and just brings out the Hulk Smash? Yep. Yesterday was one of those days.

It started with the news of a coworker who has been trying for years to conceive both finally receiving a positive pregnancy test and then subsequently losing the pregnancy a few weeks later. It was a very private affair, only a handful of people knew about it and it was absolutely devastating to find out about the loss. I cried and pulled out a few of my quotes and special moments that have helped me grieve my own pregnancy losses to share with her.

That was emotionally draining; then I headed off to work itself. Pulling out of the driveway I noticed my neighbors celebrating their son’s birthday with a cookout and piñata. They moved here from Mexico (LEGALLY I might add. They’re fully law abiding, naturalized, and on their way to citizenship) several years ago settling first in Georgia and eventually moving up here to Indiana to be closer to family. Their son was turning eight years old and like most other 8yr old boys he is very into all things Marvel and Avengers right now. So the theme of the party was Avengers and the piñata happened to be a likeness of Captain America.

SOME ASSHAT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD CALLED THE POLICE AND COMPLAINED OF ANTI-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES. The local detective was just pulling up to the house as I was leaving and when I returned an hour or so later the party had all moved inside and the piñata was gone. Like… seriously? SERIOUSLY?? The kid was BORN HERE. He’s just as much an American as anyone else in the neighborhood and just because his parents came from Mexico and speak Spanish doesn’t mean celebrating with a piñata makes them evil anti-American criminals.

I, being spiteful as I can be when irritated, want to hang a bunch of Captain America piñatas from my front tree for everything my family celebrates and leave them there indefinitely. Hubs, the more rational of our partnership, has discouraged this idea but dammit if the desire isn’t there. Do you want to fuel legitimate anti American activity Racist Neighbor? BECAUSE IGNORANT BULLSHIT LIKE THIS IS HOW YOU FUEL LEGITIMATE ANTI AMERICAN ACTIVITY.

But the icing on my emotionally charged rage cake was learning that my niece was assaulted. That I can’t go into any amount of detail about pending the ongoing investigation, but it tipped me right over the edge passed Hulk Smash and straight into Calm Rage, one of the few perks to my PTSD. I was hyperaware, and physically tense but otherwise completely composed.

Yep. That was basically me for the duration of the evening. I Rage Cleaned the house, ran two miles, and flew through two chapters of homework before my adrenaline wore off and I passed out in an emotionally exhausted lump where I have remained for the duration except for getting Little on the bus and feeding the boys breakfast.

S.A.A.M. 2019

Here we are, April 2019. For those that don’t know April is the month set aside by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center to bring awareness to sexually based crimes. For the past several years I’ve participated in SAAM here on my blog sharing different articles I found interesting, and adding my own two cents here and there on the topics often brought to the surface during SAAM.

This year, I’m going to do something a bit different. Instead of writing my own posts I’m going to share this wonderful little booklet here with you all.

This is a peek inside Turquoise Boot Straps: A Survivor’s Thoughts by Rebecca MacCeile; available now on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback format. Check it out!

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL SEXUAL VIOLENCE RESOURCE CENTER

* 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
* In the United Stares 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
* 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance.
* 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger.
* 49.5% of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
* 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and 9% are male 
* 1 in 8 out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator.
* 8% of rapes occur while the victim is at work.

The problem of sexual violence runs rampant, and yet rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. Of the remaining 37% reported less than 10% are found to be false claims. The facts are clear, and still the culture that would rather victims of sexually based crimes remain silent prevails.

Join Rebecca MacCeile as she throws off the shackles of silence and raises her voice. Turquoise Boot Straps: A Survivor’s Thoughts provides a glimpse into her journey of self-discovery while tackling many controversial topics at the height of the MeToo era.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca MacCeile is a loving wife and mom to three rambunctious kids, twin boys and a girl. She has been an avid blogger, blogging about her life and the challenges of marriage since 2011, motherhood since 2012, and the recovery process she went through after being diagnosed with PTSD in 2013.

ALSO BY REBECCA MACCEILE

Candy Apple Butterscotch: A Memoirh

Novelties: A Collection of Unfinished Short Stories

You can find the most up to date information about Rebecca and her upcoming projects online at: www.rebeccasbookshop.com

PRAISE FOR CANDY APPLE BUTTERSCOTCH

“This is one of those books that really hits home if you’ve had a terrible relationship. Not like a bad breakup over something stupid…but the kind where you’re totally convinced that this horrible person is your soulmate.”

“The accounts of the trauma are laid out in such a way that you know what’s happening and are able to imagine it but you aren’t bombarded with intense graphic imagery, which I appreciate as a survivor myself. Would definitely recommend!”

“This amazingly written gem takes you inside the author’s world and keeps you there, making you feel like a discreet “bug on the wall.” I could not put it down.”

Champ

It’s been a big month for my Littlest Little. He’s being discharged from his occupational therapy program after meeting and exceeding all of his goals, he’s enrolled in a private preschool to begin his academic career in the fall, we’re in the process of setting up his 504 with said preschool which is more than willing to work with his sensory needs, and he’s really begin to take an interest in all things airplanes.

The last thing is fairly typical of a three and a half year old boy, but it’s slightly more significant for my Champ. Maybe not him so much as it is for me. lol. Ages ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of the pilots who flew a record breaking flight in the SR-71 among others. We didn’t get to know one another very well, but the few short times we spent together left me with several amusing anecdotes and his endearing quirks inspired me to make Champ his namesake. Although more than just his quirks that come from a lifetime of military service, what really stuck with me all these years later was his humility.

I honestly had zero idea of the scope of his aviation accomplishments until fairly recently. I knew he flew the SR-71 and I knew that he held one of the records, but beyond that I was pretty oblivious. Of course coming from a military family myself, everyone had their war stories. My uncles who served long tenures also accomplished notable feats, and my grandfather was a POW of WWII. Anyone in my life with an extensive military career was a hero by civilian standards. The Pilot never offered any of his stories, and I never asked.

In fact the few times we spoke he merely offered wise advice and inquired about my own career. He reconfigured and upgraded an old PC for me, noticed I was driving with a headlight out, and offered to replace it for me. Just the most random, mundane, Midwestern Suburban neighborly things to do. There was never any of the “back in my day…” moments even when he was offering advice. At the time it never really struck me as unusual, but after looking through the public information on the SR-71 program in an effort to teach my son why he shares a name with a random person he’ll likely never meet I’m even more impressed with such small insignificant favors and tasks the Pilot willingly did for me without complaint.

That’s how you know you’re in the presence of true greatness, and I hope to instill the same values in Champ as he grows older. He’s already very excited about everything to do with “his” plane. It’ll be neat to see what he does with the inspiration as he gets older and grows into his personality.


Bad Man

This song shuffled into my playlist last night and brought tears to my eyes. I’m a little emotionally fragile at the moment on the heels of a visit to Ohio, but even listening to it today made me a bit weepy.

I think it’s a beautiful portrait of the grim acceptance and grief that comes with falling in love with someone with questionable morals. The song speaks of someone involved in a life of crime. It’s something I don’t think you can really understand if you haven’t experienced it.

Sure there are a myriad of psychological reasons people stay with criminal partners. Cognitive dissonance, adrenaline addiction, codependency… but that’s not what I got from this song. This isn’t a psychological lack of awareness, or denial. This is acceptance.

In a way it reminds me of how I came to terms with my ex’s behaviors during our time together. The most consistent criminal things he ever did during our time together were some small scams, and a few instances of petty theft. His violent side was expressed in the ways he abused me, but to my knowledge he never participated in any other violent crimes while we were together. Before we were together is an entirely different story but it’s lost to the juvenile court system, sealed records, and years of his compulsive dishonesty.

Still, even in the small ways he chose to dodge the law it was evident that he has a skewed moral compass. It was something I accepted about him fairly soon into our short lived relationship. I knew the end of our relationship wasn’t going to be easy, smooth or peaceful by any stretch of imagination and I dreaded it’s inevitable arrival.

As the years wore on and our heated emotions regarding the break up and relationship in general dragged along I wasn’t surprised to see the small glimpses of his true colors expressed in small acts of vandalism or heated emails. Everyone else has been relatively shocked by his behavior but to me it’s “Just Ex” that’s who he’s always been most people just never see that side of him as he does his damnedest to put on a morally superior facade.

I’ve always known, and I loved him anyway with grim acceptance and grief that lingers even though we’ve since parted ways.

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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