Month: October 2015

Stories

Hey friends!

Two posts in one week! What is this magic?!

So. I want to kind of give an introduction to the next series of posts and also explain the content of my last few a little bit. Because I like to talk about this shit. In a strange way, I really like to tell my story even if it brings up feelings I haven’t felt in such a long time thanks to my incredible ability to bury the hell out of my responses to trauma.

TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE 

I love stories, guys. I love listening to them, watching them, reading them, and recently I’ve found out that I love telling them. My story, to be exact. It is cathartic for me to tell my stories. Whether they’re about my day or about the trauma I’ve survived, I love it. And the best things that has come from my posts about my trauma are all of the stories people feel comfortable sharing with me. Women and men who I have never had a real personal connection with have messaged me on Facebook to thank me for my story and to share theirs. And that is amazing. Because I hope people share their stories in any way they can. Write a book, paint a picture, sing a song- whatever. The fact that I have been able to help even one person share his/her story makes the difficulty of sharing mine completely worth it.

Aaanyway, I’ve been to three sessions with my therapist, now. And we’ve gotten through the preliminary talks and we’ve done the “easy” homework. Now we are going to shortly begin what is called my “trauma narrative;” AKA My Story. We have discussed how I am going to do it and I’ve decided that I’d like to blog about it. Because I want to share my story with the world. And because I want people to see that it is okay to share your story.

So here is blog number one, I think. A general introduction to my narrative. I don’t know how these posts are going to unfold. I never really know until I write them- which is totally my favorite part of blogging. Having a conversation with myself a little bit and being egotistical enough to assume that other people want to read it 😉

My Story is a long one. It is pretty intricate and it involves so much outside of the actual incidents of rape and sexual assault. My Story starts with my childhood, really, and the fact that I was always pushed to be beautiful. I remember really shitty talks with my mom about how I would be beautiful if I lost weight or how I could solve my issues of boys not liking me if I could fit into a smaller size. Now, my mom is not a bad mom. She just doesn’t word things the best sometimes. And I don’t blame my mother for anything that has ever happened to me- because my mom is fucking amazing and she now knows how much those conversations hurt me and has apologized for saying things that didn’t help my self-esteem. Of course it would have been better to be told “your problem isn’t that boys don’t like you- it is that you don’t like you,” but maybe she didn’t know that. I know it took me a while to learn that. And, all-in-all, I’m a pretty okay human now. She (and daddy-o!) did a pretty good job making me not an axe-murderer.

I digress.

(Next up: my first traumatic experience. Skip this if you’re squeamish) 

Anyway, my story unfolds into a night with my best friend at the time. I was allowed to spend the night at his house because he seemed to be a good kid, my mom knew exactly where he lived, and his parents and my mom were friendly. They weren’t friends, but neither party had a problem calling the other if the kids got into shenanigans. So it was a Friday night and I was spending the night. We got into our usual shenanigans of playing videogames and cussing like we had just discovered those delectable words, which we sort of had. I was fifteen. As I began to get tired I complained of a headache and he got up, went to his medicine cabinet, and came back with two blue pills. He told me they were Tylenol P.M. I thanked him and then took them. We went to bed- I on the futon in his room and he on his bed. I remember tossing and turning and not being able to fall asleep. After what felt like hours of electrified muscles and crazy physical sensations, he asked “are you still awake?” And I said yes. I couldn’t sleep. I felt weird. He sat on the edge of the futon and asked how. I explained that I felt as if my body were turning to silly putty and I just felt fluid and restless. So he got into bed and began massaging my shoulders and told me that would help. I don’t remember the next transition…

Then he raped me. I remember feeling physically good but mentally uncomfortable and I tried to push him off I don’t know how many times. I said “no” often and the only thing I remember him saying during the act is “your cherry is already popped, I might as well keep going.” It seemed to last for days, but I’m sure it was only a few minutes. He got back into his bed, leaving me alone, confused, and terrified. He said “you’ll come down in a little bit and sleep like a baby.” I went to bed thinking that at least I was pretty enough for him to want to have sex with me. I am so sickened now when I think about how, in some fucked up way, that made me feel good. It made me feel wanted. What the shit.

It didn’t hit me until the next morning when my mom picked me up that he had drugged me.

He fucking drugged me! I was no longer sad, I was furious. My mom asked what we did and I told her about the videogames and the going to bed. I never told her about the other half of my night. I never told anyone (except my bff S) about that until after I came back from Spain.

(Retelling over, you can resume. Still TRIGGER WARNING for the rest of the post. I don’t know your triggers)

Losing my virginity to rape set the stage for my sex life. And I’m still trying to recover from the fucked up notions it gave me about sex. It told me that all I was good for was my body and how well my body could please someone else. It told me I was only worthy of love if my body was worthy of sex. It said that I couldn’t make my own decisions about my body, that I had no rights to my body. It seriously fucked me up.

I never saw a therapist for my trauma. I never acknowledged the trauma. I just decided the best thing to do was to push on and pretend it never happened. To focus on other things so I wasn’t bogged down. Which is so freaking unhealthy. After seeing a therapist for other reasons I realized that I really needed to do some work on my self-love.

Which opened lots of more discussions and thoughts and realizations. But I’ll leave this for now. This thing is long enough as it is and I can’t tell my whole story in one go.

Plus, I have a date to go on with this awesome dude. 😀

Until next week, folks. Let me know if this made you feel uncomfortable or sparked a new line of thinking. But ESPECIALLY let me know if it has made you think about sharing your story. I would love to hear from any or all of my readers. Thank you!

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No Excuses

Buenas noches my darling friends!

Today began my journey to taking my life back. I’ve been coasting these last few months and I can’t allow myself to do that any longer. I’ve been ignoring pain, evading responsibility, and giving up on my physical and mental health. And in no way do any of those things ever make you feel good.  So I (and my new therapist) have decided that I should probably get my shit together at least a little bit.

Last week I told you about the goals I had to do for homework in therapy. They were: Start creating once a week, stop making excuses, and change how I prioritize decisions and remember to make sure I’m accounting for my feelings.

Today I’d like to talk about my stop goal. I need to stop making excuses for myself. “Excuses are the nails that build the house of failure” is one of my favorite quotes by my favorite college professor. She’s right. Excuses allow you to cut corners and get lazy. They insult you and the expectations of those around you. They say “yeah, I could do that, but I simply won’t.” And that’s silly. Because I should work hard every day to be the best fucking me there is.

So today, I re-started my journey to fitness. But this time I’m not going to focus solely on my physical fitness. This time I’m going to remember that my emotional and mental fitness are just as (if not more!) important.

So, no more excuses. No more “I’m tired,”  “I walked an extra mile today,” or “but it’s easier to not think about.” No more “Chinese is more convenient,” “I woke up late,” or “I deserve to feel this way.” No. No more of that. Because it is bullshit and I need to call myself on it.

Basically, my biggest excuse is that I’m really just afraid. I’ve been getting really anxious these past few months. For my entire life I have been fat. I have been able to hide behind a screen of stereotypical unattractiveness. I have been able to develop a rapier wit and charming personality so everyone who got to know me did so on a basis of them being a relatively awesome person and actually getting to know me for how awesome I am. I had good friends and anyone who pursued me romantically did so because they liked who I was. Guys. I hated myself every day for waking up and being society’s opposite of defined beauty. Because society also told me that beauty was all I could ever get.

Tangent aside- I have been able to shield myself for a long time and the people who I didn’t want in my life sort of weeded themselves out before they actually met me. In all actuality- it was pretty awesome. But since my journey to fitness began last September, I have chosen more often than not to love myself. And to put work into myself. As a result, I’ve lost over 40 pounds and I look damn good. Add a hair cut, great friends and family, and a solid year of feeling like I was being a successful college grad and you’ve got yourself a hot-and-ready confident lady.

The thing is, that confidence shows. And it makes cat calls happen. And it makes general harassment happen. And it has opened my eyes to the fact that when I walk out and about in the world I am 100% unabashedly me and that makes me feel so damned vulnerable.

So I’m afraid. Since I was assaulted again recently all rules for my fitness have flown by the wayside. I guess I figured that if I just stopped caring about my food choices or working out that I would just get fat again. And that would help keep me safe again.

But hey… then I remembered that I was assaulted when I was 15 years old and I was the fat kid in my high school. I was bullied daily for how ugly I was- but somehow I was desirable enough either in lack of self-esteem or in body to attract a rapist. Then I remembered that I was assaulted again when I was 16, in the same context but at a different high school. Then I remembered that when I was in Spain I was almost at my heaviest weight and I still managed to attract an asshole with no regard for others.

Then I remembered that no matter how beautiful or ugly you are, how skinny or fat, how tall, wide, fit, or weak you are, you are always vulnerable if you don’t love yourself. My fat never saved me, it only gave me the illusion of safety because it gave me slight anonymity. Loving myself is the best protection I can give me because it tells most people “hey, fuck you. I won’t stand for any of your bullshit.” And that is a better safety net than a plus size.

I didn’t expect that to get so deep. Sort of sorry. Also I don’t know how to conclude this post so it’s probably just going to be continued.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, gorgeous humans!

P.S. I worked out for forty-five minutes today! And I did 30 burpees! THIRTY! Even if I don’t wake up early and work out tomorrow morning, I’ll definitely work out again after work like I did today. I feel electric. 😀

Stop. Start. Change.

Hey folks!

Holy shit, it has been wayyy too long. I’m sorry for that. I’m not sorry because I imagine you pining away the hours until I drop some more me into your life- I’m sorry because I find this blog very cathartic. It helps me dissect myself and my life and the world around me in a way nothing else does. And I’ve been feeling very unfulfilled. So here I am.

News!

I got a new job! I teach at a private Christian day care in Arlington, VA. I’m in a toddler Montessori classroom. It has its quirks. The kids are amazing and I am learning so much. There’s some not-so-great stuff I might get to later.

I have an interview for a new job! Tomorrow! Because where I work right now is actually pretty awful when it comes to how they treat me (and other employees that aren’t related to the main group of administrators).

I went on an awesome date yesterday! So awesome that I was completely unstressed all day today!

I got a therapist!

That last piece of news was actually the inspiration for this post. I had my first session last week at the DC Rape Crisis Center. My therapist is male. He is amazing. And he gave me homework! My homework was to come to this week’s session with a list of goals. Something I want to stop, something I want to start, and something I want to change.

And, to hold myself accountable. I figured I’d write about those goals in a post.

Stop

I want to stop making excuses for myself and my body. Every morning I snooze past my 6AM alarm because I’m still tired, or I got to sleep late, or because I hate my job and don’t want to get up. Instead of just waking up and working out. Like I did for a year. I am making excuses and that is making me lazy. I’m not happy with myself. This will be my hardest goal to meet. Because I am really good at making up excuses.

Start

I want to start creating once a week. I want to write a blog post, or paint a picture, or take a photograph that I’m proud of at least once a week. Because creating makes me happy. And because it keeps me in touch with my thoughts and feelings…and that’s pretty important.

Change

I’m going to try my very hardest to change the way I make decisions regarding people. To put it simply, I’m going to try and change how “nice” I am all the time. I will change the way I evaluate what is important to me and put my comfort and my wishes before others’ happiness. Because trying to make people happy and glossing over my dislike or discomfort toward a situation has gotten me into trouble before. And because I really need to make myself happy.

Soooo I finished my homework! And I am super stoked to talk to my therapist about these goals and about this date I just went on yesterday because I was straight-up respected for five hours straight and that has never happened to me before in my entire life. I am so thrilled.

That’s it for now. Super short update on my life. I’ll share more later about how Montessori is so strange to me and how my babies say the darnedest shit.

Until next time, friends!