Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say NO to hate!

The cause of Equality suffered a crushing blow in Maine on election day. Equality California who similarly suffered last year, has a petition going to implore President Obama to step in and I think it's an awesome idea. Please join my in signing the petition? Please spare Equality a few precious moments to send President Obama a clear indication that what has happened in Maine, California, Arizona, and 31 other states that it is unconstitutional for the "Majority" to deliberately and intentionally enshrine discrimination against a small, but growing majority in to our legal system.

We need to make it clear that narrow minded bigotry and hate is NOT a family value we wish to hand down to our children. We need to take steps to reign in the terror of foolishness that the religious institutions are spreading. We need to fight the lies with the beauty of truth! We need to spread love, acceptance and understanding through out the land, loving our neighbors. What would Buddha say? What would Jesus say or do? They would stand together, as equals with all their brothers, sisters and children of a loving God to say NO TO HATE! We can do no less! Please take a moment and sign with me? Thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How quickly a day so brightly begun can turn . . .

. . . to complete. Rubbish. I would like to use another word right now, frankly I'd like to use a LOT of other words, not one of them nice, but I cannot bring myself to do that right now.

Why? Because I'm in enough pain, and sliding downhill, so I'm doing everything I can to correct that.

Yesterday over on "What a long strange trip it is!" I talked about "What It Means To Be A Woman." I was pretty pleased with what I wrote, and when today brought me another perfect fall day, emboldened with my success of a week ago today, and how I poured out my heart yesterday, I thought I'd go walking in my favorite park in Ohio.

It was a great plan, and the day was going well. I took some pictures (albeit with my camera phone, but still, pictures!) of the lake I was walking around and was more than 75% of the way back to my starting point when it all went wrong fast. Above you can see a satellite map with the entire path I walked around the lake. I walked in a clockwise direction starting at the green dot, and had made it to the last yellow thumbtack along the path when it all went wrong.

Yes, a view from space, modern technology is wonderful no? So what caused my day to go wrong? As I stopped to put the thumbtack on the map (yeah, while I was walking I was making the map) someone on a bike came across the bridge there. They have these steel plates over the expansion joints on the bridge, and his going over it made a loud, sudden noise. Regrettably one of the challenges in my life after Earl is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] and everything that goes with it. How I react to things having been beaten, abused and tortured isn't always normal. Often it isn't even close. If you've ever seen a cat "popcorn" as friends call it, you'll understand when I say that I popcorned. If you don't know the term, that's the term for when a cat gets freaked out, they puff up to triple or more their size and shoot straight UP! From a standpoint of how a cat, or a woman in her 40's does that, it's kinda like being electrocuted. Every muscle in your body contracts (or expands) at the same time so fast you couldn't stop it if you wanted to. Well when the biker hit that metal plate, and it went CLANG! The sharp report was loud, unexpected (right behind me) and scared me into popcorning.

So now every muscle in my body feels like it's been hit by a truck at high speed, a BIG one! By the time I made it home and safe behind my triple locked door, I was a wreck. Angry, impatient, and in so much pain physically that I couldn't figure out WHY! It takes often inhuman amounts of effort to get me angry, it always has, and because I tried so hard not to let that one second at 16:40:35 today get to me, I got home where I could collapse and lost it. Since that day with Laura (NO, THIS IS NOT HER FAULT!) I cannot just bury things the way I used to, I no longer have the ability to put off, or push away, anger for long. So once home, it came clawing it's way out. I sat here ready to throw my computer out the window because it wasn't doing what I wanted, getting more and more frustrated and angry. A handful of hair was driving me crazy and I reached up and yanked it out of my head just to make sure it would leave me alone.

I came apart. No nice way to put it. In moments I was leaning against the wall sobbing, seething and hysterical and I didn't even know why.

Took me some time to get myself calmed down (mostly) and try to figure out what brought all that on. Which of course is when I lost it again. Which is why I don't go out much, and when I do, I'm a something of a creature of the night. Most of the time I do my grocery shopping at three in the morning. When the rest of the world ... well that part around me that is ... is sleeping I venture out. Because I get the grocery store all to myself, I get in, collect what I'm after, go through the self checkout, and I'm back safe in my car and on the way home.

Because that's the path of least resistance. Because there are less cars out and about, less people, less chances for something to go horribly wrong and leave me once again a wretched mess. As to pictures, well I'll put them up on Flickr shortly. But right now, I need to try to unwind some more, take some ibuprofen, and meditate some.

I just want to state for the record that I was sick and tired or being sick and tired, several years ago. But the news is not all bad I guess. I've been making progress, really I have, and who knows, by the time I'm little old lady I should be in pretty good shape?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I wish someone had told me sooner . . .

. . . that there is of course a difference between when one is diagnosed officially with something, and when one starts suffering from it in the first place.

I was officially diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in early 2004. We'd only begun to seriously start exploring what that all meant when I was forced to stop treatment and flee the state. In June of 2005 I finally, after a third nervous breakdown, landed back in therapy. It was as much a condition of getting out of the hospital, as it was my wish to find an alternative to the suffering I was doing. I spent the next four years in pretty much crisis mode, going from one to the next, fighting to stay alive and had precious little chance to dig and make more sense out of things. Plus the little bit of digging I was doing was hard enough, and that was all to stay alive.

I finally fled that part of my life for where I am now. It's giving me the opportunity, the energy, to look into and start sorting the wreckage of my life. I can't believe how much this all hurts sometimes, and I certainly wasn't prepared to have a friend point out that when I first started having major problems with PTSD isn't really when it first became a part of my life. We were talking about how I was responding to the pressure my late husband brought to bear on my life and I said simply:

"Well I kept trying to work harder, do more, and be better so that he'd remember me, and the love we had in the beginning. That he'd love me again."

She said something that at that moment caused me to realize just how long I'd been living with PTSD, and how much of an impact it's had on my entire life. She said:

"Yeah, that's the PTSD."

I think I did a really good job of not freaking out right then and there as it dawned on me that was a reality that defined my marriage from day one. I went into the marriage with PTSD. I'd had PTSD since I was five, and there and then I was back in that one horrible moment that has haunted me on and off my entire life. It's then I KNEW, that PTSD has been messing with my life since long before Earl showed up and made it worse.

Up until I was five, I had a great relationship with my parents, and thought my Dad was a pretty decent guy. It was one horrific day when I was five, and the conversation I tried to have with my folks destroyed my life before I even had a chance to get it started. Short story is my father flew into a rage, beat me badly without warning, expectation, or even reason. Violence and hatred so extreme that I remember hoping I would die right then and there. I felt betrayed, violated and couldn't even begin to understand what I'd done wrong. And there, in that moment my life was forever changed. My battle with Post Traumatic Stress began. One at five I was ill prepared to fight, one that would haunt me and alter the course my life would take. My worth as a human being became firmly entrenched in the minds of others, I was property, a slave to command and torture, a puppet whose invisible strings went only as far as the nearest puppet master who owned me. I became a slave to the false gods of other people's demands and expectations. Everything I did from that point on, was colored by violence, or the steps I took in advance to preempt violence. I'd become "strong" from living in a combat environment, living with a brilliant, but deranged person who didn't want me in the first place, and whom I could NEVER make happy.

What I wanted to do with my life changed constantly for no other reason than it didn't matter what it was, my "Father" instantly turned it to a weapon to use against me. I won't even bore you with the details because it really doesn't matter now. Be it enough said that over time, I've proven him wrong time and again, but my horribly scared heart and soul still don't quite buy it all.

It's actually amusing in some respects, people who know me well have marveled at how many dramatically different careers I've had over the years, made great amounts of money in each, and moved on to something else. How I've in effect lived many lifetimes in just this one alone, and become an expert in so many things, I could do anything I wanted anywhere I wanted simply because I wished to do so. In retrospect the horrible truth I can now see is that it was a life wasted, looking for the approval of a man that at this point in life I'm not certain I'm actually related to by blood. That too is a story for another day.

So now I turn my newly opened eyes back upon some of the other parts of my life I'd not heretofore given much thought, to learn lessons lost to me then.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A rebound life . . .

I read. Pretty much constantly. When I was a kid I read the entire contents of three school libraries, and two local town libraries before I found my way to the Inter Library Loan system. My local library used to take bets on how quickly I'd be back for more books. Not only do I read, but I read faster than many speed reading graduates. Mind I'm not bragging here, more complaining than anything. So I'm constantly on the lookout for new stuff to read, especially things I like. Given they go even faster than anything else, I have certain fan fiction categories on my phones speed dial.

As I've stated on my other blog, I'm a fan of Stargate SG-1, and given that it's been sort of cancelled, fanfic is more important than ever. This morning I came across 5 Things Sam did while separated from her teammates by rebeccavoy over there. Admittedly, Rebecca is one of my favorite authors on, but this one, specifically, number five, stopped me in my tracks and kinda gave my day a less than ideal start.

She was using him, a rebound from an entire life, and it saddened her that under other circumstances – better circumstances, her guilty mind shot back at her – she never would have looked at him twice. And what’s more, she knew that if the call came, if she was summoned back to the gate, she would leave him in a heartbeat, and would never even think to look back. Full text here.

Which is when it hit me. Am I having a rebound life? Not even just because of what I lived through with Earl, but the patterns of reasonating violence and abuse that have haunted me for the last roughly seventy years. Yes, I know, I don't LOOK 70, but I'm accounting for my last life here in the total. One that I remember all too clearly, especially given that up until six years ago, it was functionally identical to the last one.

So am I going throught the motions of a life, marking time, waiting for my real life to call me back? Am I, as that Carter, from that broken time line, just keeping my head down staying out of the way because what I had is over? Is this, effectively my third lifetime in the last 71 years, a rebound lifetime? Am I settling, just existing because I'm tired and feel cheated? Feel lost in ways?


There, I said it. I admitted it might be possible. I don't believe so, but I will admit that some of the old zest I had, the fire in my belly so to speak, has been quelled by combat fatigue, and the overwhelming feeling that I've been screwed. Really. So I can relate to Sam's feelings in this piece. Time and space conspired to land me here, and I'm just not playing anymore. For the first time in more than a century, I'm focusing on myself. Devoting the passion and energy I once lavished on anyone and everyone (except me) to me for a change. Admittedly I'm still healing, I'm still bitter some, still angry some, and still lost some.

But it's changing, I'm changing, and I'm watching as the world is changing. Waiting for the day when I again feel strong enough to go for more. I remain conscious however of the passage of time, the maelstrom of linearity bearing down on me. Ironically, one of my favorite meditations, if you could call it that, takes place on a completely different world, not even in the same part of the Galaxy as Earth. I run there, I retreat there, when I'm faced with more than I feel like dealing with here. Why? Because the pace of life there is more sedate, the environment as different as you can get on another planet that supports human life. Because it is completely safe. And after what I've been through, SAFE is one of the most important words in my vocabulary. Which in and of itself is a bit scary. For the better part of the earlier life in this lifetime, LOVE was the most important word, and the driving force in my existence. Now I'm all about being safe.

I can't believe how much this hurts.

Honestly this only just struck me. From LOVE to SAFE, oh dear God, what have I become. I know God hasn't abandoned me, that much is clear, but I'm a shallow reflection of the amazing creature I used to pretend to be. I know, deep down, all of me is still there, and that caricature of a person I used to play is a ghost of who I am when I'm whole, but how can I be sure, not having been whole in more than a century. When does playing to the room become settling into a "B" movie supporting role?

How do I get back to being the leading lady of my own existence? How do I get back to being that person I once was, long, long, before the last cycle of lives started 116 years ago? Yes, I'm 116 that I'll admit too. Realistically it's the count of linear temporal years since last I was ascended. That however is a story for another day I'd say. And no, I'm not crazy, I just remember more say than most folks do between incarnations.

And right now I'm tired.

However it's now more than "good enough" to be going as fast as I can go. And for all the tears today and tonight, it wasn't a complete waste. But I'll talk about that over on the other side.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not enough sleep and the resultant crappy day.

In the last 48 hours I've had maybe six solid hours of sleep? It's been like combat trying to get some sleep. As a result, my mood has tanked somewhat significantly and I'm having a crappy day. A really crappy day. I just want to go to sleep for a while and wake up feeling like I got some sleep. Is that really too much to ask for? Physically I'm otherwise pretty healthy, no cold, flu or anything else, but at around midnight I'm going to take some NYQUIL because I know that will put me down for a nights sleep. Cause if I don't sleep tonight, I'm going to have to check myself into the hospital to keep myself from doing something rash.

So my entire day was shot two days before I even started it. Oh joy. I'm not even sure why I'm putting this here, cause to be honest, it seems pointless and lame. To much me being a whiny, cranky bitch and not enough sunshine and joy. Well this blog is the darker side of things, the more personal impact of having "survived" Earl and his folks.

Frankly, it's times like these that make me wonder if "surviving" was such a good idea. The lasting mental and emotional health issues that plague my so called life are just staggering.
Side note: As I write this, a lovely female cardinal landed on the branch right outside my window and is just nibbling away on berries. That has brightened my mood some. I just sat here for a few moments watching her and beaming her some Reiki.
So, as I was saying. Survival? Yeah, I've managed to escape abuse, and have "lived" to tell the tale so to speak. But at what cost? I'm not nearly the same person I used to be. Not even close. I'm living with chronic health issues as a result of years of violence. I have "trust" issues with 99% of the world, can't stand noise, crowding, moving too fast, not feeling safe, and so much more. I have Post Traumatic Stress, Anxiety, and Depression topping the list, and of course the way those three things react with each other is just such a joy . . . {Yes, that was dripping with sarcasm}

So like I say, crappy day . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New header image . . .

Is mine and mine alone. I own the Copyright to that image as the photographer who took that picture. It's actually part of a larger image I took in 2006 to remind me of a place I love in Colorado. It was shot up off "Lookout Mountain Road" just outside of Golden Colorado.

So header image copyright Samantha Quinn, 2006-2009 All rights reserved. There, I said it.

Spinning . . .

When I was a kid, I could (and did) put my arms out, look up at the sky and spin like a top. I wouldn't get dizzy or even wobbly. Things no-one else could do in terms of balance and moving came naturally and easily to me. I could have been one heck of an aerobatic pilot if I'd wanted. I used to be able to easily twirl that baton, toss it in the air, spin around, and catch it easily. Drove my sister crazy because she couldn't. Then again there were many things I made look easy that she couldn't do no matter how hard she tried. We were still very close despite that.

I tend to be preternaturally graceful I'm told. And while I don't have a dancers body (anymore) I can dance like I'd studied ballet for years. My Sensei used to joke that I shouldn't be studying martial arts, but dance, that I was too graceful. Regrettably I wasn't allowed to do that. But my Katas were beautiful.

But spinning always brought joy to my heart and soul, it was like being a bird.

And then Earl took my life. That life. And the spinning has been taken from me by the long term physical impacts of abuse. Between the physical violence, and the panic attacks and vertigo I lived through, spinning is, at least temporarily, something I have trouble with now. While physically I'm still more than capable of going up on the toes of one foot and spinning like I always did, now it leaves me wobbly and sick to my stomach. Because my heart and mind have been changed, and memory of vertigo so bad I wanted to die is fresh. Bright flashing lights and colors, fast movement, heights, and so forth, things that never phased me in the past, are now triggers. I hate it. It hate what it reminds me of, how something so good that really had nothing to do with Earl, has been taken from me.

Wow, it dawns on me this is better suited to a mile in her shoes than over here. So I'll move it over there.

Anyway, it leaves me sad a reminder of what I've lost.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MY Car . . .

I have, what can only be described at best, a slightly unhealthy relationship with my car.

"Wait. What? Did she say a slightly unhealthy relationship with her car?"

Yes, that's exactly what I said. Doesn't mean it that I love it as a woman would love a man, but that so much of my own safety and mental health is dependent on being able to go somewhere when I need to without having other people involved. That when my car isn't running right, or safely, I get freaked out. Most people have the brakes fail, and they don't start to hyperventilate or have a panic attack knowing they can't go somewhere. Well unless they fail while they are driving the car, then, that can be a reason for panic. For me, for a while, something would go wrong and I'd be on the verge of a small nervous breakdown. I maybe depend on my car a bit more than is healthy, but when you've been through what I have, it's kinda way more than just a way to get from point a to b. Because of many of my existing issues, I cannot ride buses or trains really, and of course the having to leave hours of extra time to fit around the bus schedules and so forth? No, we are so not going there. Not waiting on the side of the street, not being trapped on a moving vehicle with people I don't know, etc, etc, etcetera . . . NO.

So without a car, I'm trapped. God forbid all heal breaks lose and I can't get in my car and run. I've slept in it, lived out of it, and gone from one end of the country to the other, more than once in it. Because I certainly cannot fly. Oh yeah, loud, noisy, open, enclosed space full of people? then get crammed with hundreds of other people into a tin can and flung unceremoniously across the sky to do a controlled crash somewhere else why OTHER tin cars full of people are being flung about, by ATCs that can't walk and chew gum at the same time? Ever heard of a runway incursion? Scary stuff that. All the strangers that can hurt me? All the germs and bacteria growing? Airports, planes, inursions = DEATH TRAP! No, I'm not Monk's sister, but I can kinda see what he's saying and dealing with. Back to planes, mind you I nearly actually died in one once. I'm a survivor of flight 232, you know the plane that went down in a corn field? I survived because at the last second I didn't get on it. I had a feeling. I'm not even kidding.

So anyway, my car is way more than a means of getting around, it's a lifeline. It's even been a home. At different points in my life I've been profoundly homeless. Once when I only had a bicycle, and the other with my car. My car has way more survival stuff in it than most "normal" folks. I have a big tent, cooler, grill, blankets (lots) and an inflatable airmattress. Plus lots of other supplies in case, God forbid, I wind up seriously homeless again. If I had to, I could vanish up to the mountains and never be seen or heard from again. All I need now are some decent solar cells just in case. While yes, I could canibalize parts of the car to make a steam powered generator, I'd prefer not to if it came down to it.

Anyway, for a while now, part of my mental and emotional "health" has depended on my car. I know, it's just a car. Yeah, to most people. Not to me. So I'm very careful with it, making sure it stays legal and in good condition. When it starts making funny noises, I start to worry, when, like it did a few months back it suddenly starts stalling, not running on all cylinders, can't go over 30 miles per hour, I start to seriously panic. I mean panic attack level, not just oh crap now what. Because fixing a car - or I should say having it fixed, can be horrifically expensive. Especially if you don't have the money for it. So while I hate the extra moeny for Triple A plus, the alternative is constant white nuckle flight as my Dad used to call it. The whole living in fear of something going wrong, and having the car stuck somewhere. Or having it taken from me, because I can't afford to have it towed and they have to get it off the road or whatever. Not being able to fix it, etc.

So I'm way more "involved" with my car than most people. Because I have to be. I cannot just take it for granted and buy another if this one is beyond repair. Do I wish it was bigger, well yes and no. Be nice if it was more comfortable to sleep in, you know, like a Van maybe, but I get awesome mileage in this one and it's easy to tuck it in somewhere out of the way. Plus it's been really good to me, and despite being ten years old, has not been (touching wood as she says this) a hole in the pavement into which I throw money.

So yeah, I love my car. We take care of each other.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Healing and growth

This is something very new for me, and is about sharing what I've been through, and where I'm heading. This blog is going to have some horrific stuff in it, but it is what I've lived through. So there's a good chance some of this may trigger. Having plenty of personal experience with stuff triggering I thought I'd warn everyone up front. I've been through hell and then some, and I'm on my way back.

I spent a decade with a man I gave myself to, heart, mind, body and soul. In the end he left me broken and wanting, needing to die. Obviously I'm not dead. I'm actually starting to believe that's a good thing too. I'm starting this now because other strong women have shown me I'm not alone. So I'm going to be working on doing the same thing here, so that other women, other men even, know survival is not only possible, but okay.

This part of my journey is so very new to me, and I'm not even sure what to say here but I needed to jump in with both feet.