Fate be Damned

I wrote this last year and for some reason it never made it to publication. I’m not sure why but I’m trying to clean up my draft folder and thought it was a good post. I don’t struggle with this issue anymore since my stalking nightmare is finally over, but it was a continuing theme in my life for many years. I do still get little prickles of intuition here and there, but instead of struggling with my head trying to decide if I’m running from fate like I did when I wrote this piece, I’m able to brush it aside as exactly what it is: an attempt to reel me back into the cycle of abuse. I’m precisely where I need to be in life right now. I’m with the right man, I’m in the right home, I have the perfect family, and a good job. It isn’t exactly where I wanted to be, but it’s where I need to be. 

Do you ever have one of those days in the middle of everything else that just strikes all the wrong nerves? Yep… Yesterday was one of those days. I don’t have time for these shenanigans, especially trying to move.

The day started out like all of my other days. Wake up with the Twins, get them changed, feed them, hop in the car to get my Starbucks, log on to my various social media sites and check my email. First thing, my Facebook page and blog stat report comes in from the past week. I read through it, generally annoyed by what I found. It wasn’t anything unusual, just the regular creepers creeping, and fans liking. My creeping ratio has been a little higher than usual, but that happens annually in February, so nothing that was immediately alarming.

Then I switched over to my personal Facebook scrolling through my feed, and the On This Day post popped up with a memory from several years ago referencing creepers. Which made me pause, and my intuition perk up a bit. So I scrolled through the rest of the memories and found a few more that also made me go: “Hmm… 🤔” After a few more posts I encountered, I decided perhaps it wasn’t a good day for social media. Lol. Algorithms are awesome for many things, not so much when you’re trying to control your emotional flux and have weird random triggers that can send you to either end of the spectrum at the drop of a hat.

So I logged out of everything and decided to forego any sort of social media for the rest of the day and busy myself working on the plethora of projects I have to do before we can list the house. I enjoy listening to music while I’m working, so I opened my music ap, Spotify, and hit shuffle. After about half an hour I had to turn it off. Everything that shuffled in was about fate, or goons, or revenge, which brought me right back to the start of my day with the breadcrumbs in my stat report. I turned the music off, and had to sit down for a moment trying to collect myself.

It’s been a difficult few weeks anyway with the additional stress of preparing to move, the last thing I need is to lose focus on my present and fall back into the traps of the past or anxiety about the future. Yet, life was throwing all of those things at me, and my intuition was tugging at my heart more and more with each sequential event. In the past I would have followed those breadcrumbs in my stat report to find any number of things that would be triggering and/or upsetting. Believe me, there have been times in my blogging career when there are more breadcrumbs than a goddamn bakery in my reports. I used to think they were left for me intentionally, especially considering what I found at the end of the trail. There’s still a small chance that they might be, but I’m leaning more towards the fact that Hansel and Gretel simply don’t understand how the reports work or realize exactly what they’ve left behind for me to see. Honestly, it’s mostly Gretel. Hansel could care less about me, my blog, or anything else. He just wants to find his candy house in the forrest and be happy. Gretel is the one causing all the problems, leaving the trails and hoping I take the bait.

Now that I realize that, it does make things easier to ignore, but some days like yesterday it’s still incredibly hard. Mostly because I’ve always been the type to immediately follow my intuition no questions asked, so turning around and ignoring it or trying to turn it off so to speak is incredibly hard. It’s something I need to do, because blindly following my heart keeps getting me in trouble. Emotionally, in regards to my mental health, and often times physically with confrontations and fights. I know I need to reign it in.

But then I always have to wonder, am I trying to run away from fate? Are these signs imaginary, or a glimpse of the path I’m supposed to take? That’s where the curse of being truly in tune with yourself and the world around you comes in. Mindfulness is only beneficial to a certain point before it tips over into something else. I am forever riding the line, and probably always will be.

Me too.

Only See Your Good Side

Me too.

Me too:

slow erosion of confidence

over the decades.

A secret’s corrosive; it lies

in your stomach and burns.

And I’ve lied, compulsively,

to myself: it didn’t happen.

Better to lie than lie down

and let it take me.

I thought.

But they churn out

excuse after excuse

for abuse upon abuse

of trust

of power

while we:

shower off the shame

that should be theirs

and hold their names

(the ones we know)

beneath our tongues for years,

as if the bitter taste, held down

could help us swallow fear.

Me too.

And maybe you,

it’s hard to say but every single day

it’s done.

And every single day my lips are sealed

they’ve won.

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Darker Nope

Somehow, even in the midst of all of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, E.L. James has managed to release another book in the 50 Shades of Grey series. Darker is the second book in her series of “rewrites” from Christian Grey’s point of view. In the few pages I was able to read before becoming physically ill I discovered a disturbing new trend in this book. Coming from Christian’s point of view makes the abuse even MORE obvious than it was in the original 50 Shades series. His predatory, psychotic nature is highlighted. Might as well put it on a neon flashing sign. Christian Grey isn’t “troubled”. He is intentionally predatory and psychotic. He completely understands that his behaviors are inappropriate, he just doesn’t care and nothing makes it more obvious than this series.

Anyway… I’m republishing my take on the original series AGAIN, because apparently it still needs to be said: these books are dangerous. Normalizing predatory behavior is dangerous. Glamorizing it is even worse.

Okay… so this is something I’ve stayed out of until recently for several reasons.

1) I’m not exactly the poster child for healthy relationship dynamics.

2) What people like in the bedroom is as different and unique as the stars in the sky, and I don’t like to place judgement on anyone’s personal preferences as long as no one is getting hurt or taken advantage of.

3) I used to be that innocent 20 something just sort of starting out in life inexperienced, curious, and adventurous.

4) In 2011 when the book was first making it’s rounds, I wasn’t in a healthy place emotionally or mentally and couldn’t read it.

Now, on the eve of the movie release after skimming countless pro and con reviews (I still refuse to read the entire book and I’ll explain why here in a moment) I feel that I should speak up about this. I shared another article earlier this morning on my Facebook page which is in essence exactly how I feel.

These books do NOT portray a healthy BDSM dynamic. Not even a little bit. They are clearly a predator/prey scenario and it makes me insanely uncomfortable to read even the little snippets scattered through out the reviews, articles and opinions I’ve been scouring. That is the primary reason I refuse to read them, the secondary reason is that the writing is just BAD. I mean my blogging is very casual and relaxed, I let my grammar and spelling slide a lot of the time, but it’s not a published work. It’s just here sitting on the interwebs for anyone who wants to read it. I’m not representing anyone aside from myself. 50 Shades feels like it was written by a 13yr old locked away in a basement somewhere… but starting out it’s roots in Twilight fan fiction, perhaps that was why it comes across that way.

The third and really most important reason I refuse to support this book in anyway shape or form is how it romanticizes abusive relationships. Those who haven’t experienced one will now be looking for one. Great for the abusers out there, not so much for the hapless victims. Abusive relationships are NOT FUN. Not only are they not fun, they are NOT HEALTHY. Even the relationships where the abuse isn’t outright physical abuse still have a profound effect on you mentally, which in turn affects your physical health as well. Speaking from experience when you are in the middle of an abusive relationship it’s pretty difficult to see. Infatuation, hormones, manipulation will do that to you. I can see where the character gets lured in and I understand the way she felt, that part of the book is accurate. It’s the inaccurate parts that scare me. The way that she is somehow eventually empowered and turns the tables on whats his face? Yeah. No. That most definitely doesn’t happen.

Abusers are abusers are abusers. There is no saving grace that any partner can give them, no amount of empowerment that will suddenly shift the paradigm and save the day. Sorry charlie, it ain’t happening. In fact if we’re being 100% honest here, the only reason I’m not still with my abusive partner is because he left. (Yes, he left me. Christian Grey he is not) Even after I figured out the dynamic between us was less of a relationship and more of a some one to keep the sheets warm I chose to stay. I knew he was abusive, I knew he was seeing other women, and I chose to stay. Why? Because I knew WHY he was abusive. I saw right through the lies and bullshit to who he really was and what was really going on. Anyone who has been through the things he had been through would end up jaded, apathetic, looking out for no one but themselves. It didn’t matter to me. I wanted to be the strength and stability lacking in his life, wishing, hoping and praying that in a safe environment he would mellow out. Which he did for a while, until the rug got pulled out from under him and he lost control. Still… there I was forever by his side. A coin toss, some threats, midnight screaming at my front door, cyber stalking, slashed tires, two states, 200 miles, what feels like a million years and more threats later… here we are. He’s still damaged, and I’ve lived in hiding for the past three years. The blog is the only thing I have remaining of my old life and I run it through a million security measures just in case. Even with those security measures in place anything I write here is a risk to my safety, especially when I mention him or my past. What did my loyalty, understanding, and compassion accomplish, hmm? Absolutely nothing. Teaching young women that “all it takes is love” to change an abusive partner is DANGEROUS.

I had to figure it out the hard way, and I’ll be damned if pop culture is going to normalize, and glamorize this type of behavior. I have a daughter. I don’t want her growing up in a world where that type of behavior is okay. Where she thinks to be a strong empowered woman she has to put herself through hell, when she falls for a super cute boy with a little extra baggage. The only thing that can change an abusive partner is their personal choice to make a change. Which IS POSSIBLE, but very rare, especially in adulthood. Undoing years of psychological damage and inappropriate coping mechanisms takes time, and dear God is it painful. Convincing someone that enduring months and years of emotional pain so they can properly heal and stop being abusive takes nothing short of a miracle. You want to see empowerment after abuse? Here you go. This is it. It’s not some happily ever after relationship bliss. It’s messy, it’s frightening, but it’s also important which is why I’m here publishing this.

I understand the books are fiction. They aren’t meant to be taken literally or seriously, but in a day and age when people idolize the mundane, and get 90% of their education from satire or fictional sources, who’s going to sit here and distinguish between fantasy and reality? How many young girls are going to inadvertently victimize themselves in order to “save” abusers? It happens all the time NOW, before the dynamic was thrown into the public eye as an acceptable alternative life style. What’s going to happen after all of this?

And let me clarify again, I’m not talking about BDSM. If it was an innocent display of BDSM okay, whatever. People like what they like and as long as both partners are completely consenting more power to you. If that’s what this book and movie were truly about I would have no complaints. BDSM is hijacked by this book/film and used as a mask for inappropriate behavior, and yet for some reason the mainstream media is completely okay with this. It would be like using interracial relationships to say that it’s okay for men to abusive women as long as they are of a different race. Would that go over well? No. I don’t think so, yet for some reason representing BDSM a fairly taboo and misunderstood relationship dynamic as an “excuse” for abuse is totally okay.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY. I know there are a few people reading this thinking: “Sure, sit there on your Mega Traditional Heterosexual Relationship high horse and pass judgement on all the rest of us.” Um… yeah. Maybe NOW I have that, but what I have currently and what I’ve experienced or enjoy are shockingly different. (Yay Borderline!) Being submissive, adventurous, pursued is fun in the right context. Being stalked, raped, abused, and taken advantage of is NOT. There is a DEFINITE difference. Night and day. Black and white. All I see in this book/film is abuse, but I suppose if I were to play the devil’s advocate, maybe all I see is abuse because the author has such bad prose and no idea what she’s actually talking about. One can only hope…

“Grey”: Chapter One (Monday, May 9, 2011)

I can’t believe this book still has so much momentum with the recent Harvey Weinstein revelations. My mind literally can not comprehend why this book is even making sales… apparently it IS because the next book in the series has just been released. I don’t know that I’ll be sharing every chapter from the recap I’ve found here, but I encourage my readers who are interested to go on by and give 50 Shades is Abuse a follow! There is some excellent content in addition to the recaps.

50 Shades is Domestic Abuse

Grey

If you’ve been online today, you may have heard the news that EL James is releasing yet another book next month.  Darker is the sequel to Grey, and will re-tell the events of Fifty Shades Darker from Christian Grey’s viewpoint (in case you thought she’d come up with literally anything original… Nope).

Here at Fifty Shades Is Abuse HQ, we believe in knowing what we’re criticising.  That’s why we’ve read all three of the original Fifty Shades novels.  But I’ll level with you: I could never finish Grey.  I tried (oh, how I tried), but when you’re a survivor of abuse, it’s just ever so slightly distasteful to read a novel in which an author is writing as an abuser, but explaining away and excusing his behaviour on every page.  It was horrible.  So, I stopped.

But with Darker just around the corner, I realised that I was…

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Mystery: Solved

So my crazy dreams weren’t the product of a mental detox like I thought they were. It was an anniversary date of an overwhelming event, and it was actually the first anniversary ontop of a busy stressful week at work. After the weekend my brain seems to have calmed down and the dreams have stopped. I’m still having dreams, just nothing noteable. The usual random things my subconscious comes up with lol.

I don’t even really know where to begin talking about trauma anniversary. It’s still really fresh in my mind and I haven’t processed through it yet. I’ll probably make an appointment with my therapist in the upcoming weeks and see what we can come up with together. I’ve come to some of my own conclusions to a few of the triggers we haven’t been able to discuss yet so it’s time to go back in to her office. I’m pretty excited since this will only be my second visit this year and I’m working on more of my childhood trauma now vs my most recent trauma.

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad that I can finally begin on that part of my recovery journey. I think publishing my book really did put the end to my revolving door and loose attachment to my recent traumatic past. I still don’t really understand why, but I just feel better about it. Apparently it’s some psychological thing that tripped a switch in my brain somewhere. I’d read about it before I really committed to sharing my struggles here with the public, but I’d been blogging/writing for so long that I didn’t quite believe it was real.

Apparently blogging wasn’t enough in my head, I had to commit to publishing a book about it. lol. I don’t know?

PTSD Time

One of the more annoying symptoms of my PTSD is the skewed sense of time that I have. Like not current Real Time, but of my past experiences. This is one of the main reasons why I started writing everything down to keep track of everything and have a readily available time line of my life when I need it.

Y’know, like when my boss is asking me about my work experience and she’s like: “how much experience do you have?” and I immediately defaulted to nine years because I’ve been dealing with my trauma for nine years even though I only have about eight years of  work experience total, including the three years I didn’t work in food. I realized my mistake, but by then it was too late for me to say “oops. No, my bad. That’s wrong.” and correct myself because she had moved on to her other duties and didn’t have time to continue the conversation.

So now I’m in line for a promotion and pay rate increase based on the wrong amount of years for experience because my PTSD Brain was too frazzled to keep an accurate track of time. I’ll get the promotion regardless because I do have some experience. I just feel bad that I messed up on the actual number. I didn’t do it on purpose to inflate my ego or try to weasel my way into a position that I didn’t deserve, but trying to prove that without going into the finer details of my diagnosis is going to be impossible.

I wanted to sit down and actually explain that I have this disorder before I took the position, but we’re so busy and short staffed that we haven’t had time to have an official conversation about anything. I’m confident that I can perform the duties of the job. Food is all the same. Serve the guests, count the money, control portioning and product quality. It definitely doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to do it well, but I still hate that I misrepresented myself, even if accidentally.

Now I’m stuck in this weird twilight zone of how long is too long to wait to correct my mistake, or should I just roll with it and hope no one ever sits down and actually does the math? ARGH I HATE THIS DISORDER. I hate it, hate it, hate it! Especially when it’s these little trivial symptoms that attack me out of nowhere and fuck up all the things. -_-

Marginal 

In the middle of my publication adventure I’ve discovered something: writing the book is the easiest part of the entire process! I understand now why so many good authors never get anything published in their life time and those that do are exceptionally lucky. 

I got the first quarter of my book back from my editor last week. Part of this is my own fault for being a Mac loyalist lol. Somewhere between emailing everything back and forth, the formats got lost in translation between Word and Pages. All of the edits were done, but I had to go through and reformat everything before I could submit it to the printer. I went through it once and got everything cleaned up, only to lose every stitch of my formatting when I uploaded it to the printing service. 

The margins of my document were set up for a home printer 8.5 x 11in, and when it went to the printer half of my work was lost. It was a mess. Not too terribly difficult to fix with a little tweak of the margins in the doctument, right? Well it would have been if I hadn’t set all my chapter breaks and page introductions for 8.5 x 11in. 

Now I have to go through everything for a THIRD TIME, and reorganize it to fit within the printer margins. Lol. There is far too much tedious math involved in becoming an author. That’s why I’m an author. I can’t math! If I could math I’d be a physicist. 

Thankfully I should be able to get all of these little bugs worked out with this quarter of my work, and once the rest of it arrives from the editor it shouldn’t be difficult to correct. At least I sure hope so, because this stuff is for the birds! 

Brock Turner vs Sophie Pointon

I’d like to get the opinions of my audience on this issue. I think there needs to be a mandatory minimum sentence for both rape and those who falsely accuse of rape. Where I tend to get stuck is how we could come up with a “fair” minimum sentence that serves justice for both crimes.

False accusations of rape are most definitely just as serious and cause just as much damage to innocent men and their families as the crime of rape itself. But how can you punish a physical crime and an emotional crime with the same severity? Thoughts?

bookmarkchronicles

If you’ve followed me for a while then you know what I think of Brock Turner, his case and how despicable our justice system can be. If not, read this.

Any form of sexual assault is vile and perpetrators need to be punished for their crimes. On the other hand, I also believe that anyone who makes false claims of sexual assault should also be punished.

Most people know who Brock Turner is, if not please read the post linked above.

Now, I would like to introduce you to Sophie Pointon.

Sophie is a 22 year old student in the UK who falsely claimed that a cab driver raped her  because he refused to accept money that she spilled food on and then threw at him. Intoxication is not an excuse for being disrespectful and sexual assault is NOT something that you lie or joke about. Sophie cost this man…

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Damage Runs Deep 

I love my kids. I would do absolutely anything for them. I do my best to keep everything fair, give them all individual attention, and spend one on one time with them as much as the 24hrs of the day will allow. 

I try, and I still fail. I know I’m human and I can’t be everywhere at once or do everything that they want to do. And I still feel like a failure. Trying to maintain my own sanity in the midst of tending to the emotional needs of three tiny humans becomes a battle that I often lose. 

It’s easy to explain my disorder and how it affects me to adults. I can effectively communicate how I’m feeling and what’s happening without hurt feelings or too many misunderstandings. I can’t do that with the kids. I can’t apologize for snapping at them when their noise becomes too overwhelming and I can’t think. They don’t hear “it’s the noise making mommy upset” they hear “it’s me making mommy upset”. 

They don’t understand when I’m having a really bad day and I need to rest and recover by taking a long nap that I want to spend time with them, but I physically can’t until I rest. They think I just don’t want to. They don’t understand why some days everything is great and we play outside, and color and play games and do fun things together, but other days we don’t. 

They don’t and won’t understand how damaged I am until they’re older and adults themselves, but by then they’ll be confronting their own wounds. The damage by proxy that I feel a million times responsible for, even though I’m doing the absolute best that I can. I’m working so hard to get better and be better for them, but it still isn’t good enough. 

All the Signs

One of the biggest steps I’ve taken on my road to recovery in recent months has been going back to school. Even in just the few classes I was able to complete before we found out about the Twins, have been immensely helpful in learning how to defend myself against predators. As anyone who has survived an abusive childhood knows, it’s extremely difficult to get out of the patterns of abuse, especially when that’s all you know. Being able to recognize the subtle signs, in addition to the obvious signs has helped me a whole bunch. It’s a lot easier for things to roll off your back when you see the toxic abusive nature with which they are spewed at you.

It’s been especially helpful in dealing with my mother. She still throws out her guilt trippy narcissistic barbs out, but they don’t phase me nearly as much as they used to. It’s actually kind of amusing to watch her try so hard to upset me with things the way she used to, as I respond with a smile or blank stare and change the subject. We actually haven’t gotten in a heated argument since last September. Fingers crossed everyone! lol.

Anyway… I wish I hadn’t sold my text books so I could quote from them, but I found an article online that outlines the signs of a predatory abusive person pretty well. It gets the point across, although if these signs are present with narcissism or any other psychosis with delusion, they unfortunately won’t be able to see it in themselves. I’ve shown my mother countless times and instead it just gets thrown back in my face as if I’m the guilty party. Narcissism 101 right there. Which of course, leads to the smile and/or blank stare.

It’s also helped me a lot to understand that 75% of the time people who display abusive behaviors are simply hurting themselves. There is only a small percentage of the population who truly enjoys toying with the masses via manipulation and abuse. Most abusive behavior is learned, which of course means it can also be UNLEARNED, but one has to be willing to accept their responsibility in the cycle of abuse to reach a solution. Anything else is simply a form of control, which in itself is abusive.

Really humanity is such a complex system, I could carry on for days about the facts, and research blah blah blah. No one wants to read through all of that. lol. If they do, a wealth of information can be found online or they can contact a licensed therapist. I’m just sitting here with the tip of the iceberg.

  • Humiliation, degradation, discounting, negating. judging, criticizing:
    • Does anyone make fun of you or put you down in front of others?
    • Do they tease you, use sarcasm as a way to put you down or degrade you?
    • When you complain do they say that “it was just a joke” and that you are too sensitive?
    • Do they tell you that your opinion or feelings are “wrong?”
    • Does anyone regularly ridicule, dismiss, disregard your opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and feelings?
  • Accusing and blaming, trivial and unreasonable demands or expectations, denies own shortcomings:
    • Do they accuse you of something contrived in their own minds when you know it isn’t true?
    • Are they unable to laugh at themselves?
    • Are they extremely sensitive when it comes to others making fun of them or making any kind of comment that seems to show a lack of respect?
    • Do they have trouble apologizing?
    • Do they make excuses for their behavior or tend to blame others or circumstances for their mistakes?
    • Do they call you names or label you?
    • Do they blame you for their problems or unhappiness?
    • Do they continually have “boundary violations” and disrespect your valid requests?

*taken from an article on psychcentral.com