Partly Cloudy With a Patch of Fog

partly sunny with a patch of fog

Just a typical Saturday morning. So I thought. It was sunny outside, blistering cold I’m sure, but it was nice to have the sun shine through my bedroom window. Yet, I just didn’t feel right. Something was off. I didn’t feel like myself at all. My forecast for the day, partly sunny with a patch of fog. That’s the life of someone who has PTSD. sometimes we have days where we just feel out of it. Sometimes we know the triggers, other days we can’t seem to grasp what caused us to feel this way. That was what this episode was for me. I couldn’t pinpoint it. I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling the way I was feeling and because I didn’t know I actually became angry at myself.

I didn’t share my feelings right away. How could I get guidance with something I couldn’t yet describe? I was in a funk the whole weekend. I felt weird, I felt out of place. I knew that this wasn’t me. I was super sensitive to anything and just about everything someone said to me. I was an emotional wreck. At one point Sunday evening I just couldn’t take the feelings anymore. I began crying.

It wasn’t until Sunday evening where I was able to break it down. Thankfully I have an amazing support system to walk me through it. We were able to talk about what I was feeling and even understand that there will possibly be other days like this. I remember at one point during our talk, I got really mad at myself. I felt like because I was having an episode, that I had given my ex another victory over me. Like as if I was still his prisoner in my own mind. I was mad at the fact that I would have to always deal with having PTSD while he is probably living life Scott free.

During this talk, I was told that that was not necessarily the case. Although my PTSD is a result of the abuse I suffered from my ex, my episodes don’t give him anything. Definitely not a victory.

I had to come to terms with the fact that this is something that comes along with my PTSD. It was reassuring knowing that this person still sticks by my side even during my ugliest moments. Knowing that they don’t completely understand it yet they do their best and are willing to be there for me meant more to me than I could ever possibly begin to describe. Now if these foggy episodes were to happen more frequently, then that is where professional counseling would come in. Maybe even more so now before it were to ever get to that point. It is good to be able to have someone to talk to, sometimes we do not want to share every little thing we go through or are feeling with those who are close to us.

I am a work in progress. I am learning new triggers and new ways to cope and get through them. I am learning even more about PTSD on a more personal level. I used to be ashamed and a little embarrassed to admit having PTSD. I cannot be ashamed of something that is a part of me. In the end, if people find out I do have it there is only two things they can do. 1) Love me through it. Or 2) keep it moving! There is nothing to be ashamed of, especially your past! Your past is a testament of your strength. Your scars are your story of victory! It is okay to have a day that is partly cloudy with a patch of fog. As long as we don’t allow the fog to thicken and consume us!

The Phoenix Never Dies

It’s a rough road. For those who are going through or have gone through any form of abuse. The task of surviving day to day. As the one enduring the abuse. The unknown of whether or not we will make it out alive. The unknown if we can ever escape. The unknown of what will happen to us if and when we do escape. What will he or she do if they find out? What will happen to me? For those who have children; it ups the ante 100 folds. Why don’t people leave right away? It’s easier said than done, there are so many factors and reasons. Some may call it excuses, but as a survivor I tell you, it isn’t that we are making up excuses. It is due to the immense amount of fear we have towards this individual.

Then one day. It happens. Literally. Maybe it doesn’t just happen overnight, but because we are so brainwashed and have no self-control we don’t quite recognize it until it is practically boiling over. This fire burns inside of us. An unstoppable strength, After being beat and torn down for so long we don’t quite understand how we got this strength or where it came from. It is as if something inside of you just wakes up all your senses.

For me, it happened after my ex choked me and I passed out. Now, for the critics out there, you must understand that before physical abuse occurs usually mental, verbal and/or emotional abuse have already been set in motion for quite some time. No I didn’t leave after the first time he physically or sexually abused me. Why? Because he had already gained control of my mind. I was a prisoner in my own body. The daily verbal beat downs. Being told that no one loves me, or that I am not pretty enough. Being told that I get what I deserve.. The threats of what he would do if I try to leave, threats he made to me about hurting my family. No one wants me. No one loves me. I am nothing and will be nothing without him. Being reminded of how my biological father abandoned me by saying things like “Your own father doesn’t even want you”. The list goes on and on.

So on this one particular evening, we had not been on speaking terms for a couple days at this point which was pretty much the norm for him. I had the day off so I had spent the day doing laundry, running errands etc. I was sitting on our bed, watching t.v. when he had come home from work and entered the room. I didn’t like when we were not on speaking terms, I knew I had to be the bigger person and start some sort of conversation with him. I simply asked, “How was work baby?” He slams the wardrobe door shut, I look up at him and see his teeth clenched. I knew exactly what was about to happen next so I got up from the bed, thinking I would just walk out the room to avoid any more confrontations. It didn’t work out that way. He grabbed me by my arm and pulled to where I fell on to the bed. Like any other time, he pinned me down and punched the bed on either side of the bed. Like so many times before he said. “If you move and I hit you it’s your fault not mine.”

I thought I had memorized the whole scene. Every move he made I knew by heart. Then the scene changed. He got behind me and put me into a choke hold that I could not get out of. I passed out. For how long? I do not know and will never know. When I came too, I woke up with my head in his lap. You want to know what he was doing? Playing video games. As if nothing had just happened. It was as if I had fallen asleep there. When he had realized that I had woken up he began laughing and petting my head as if I were some sort of lap dog. It was in that moment that I finally realized I had to go. It was in that moment that I had realized that things were never going to change but that they were only going to get a whole lot worse. If I didn’t escape hell that night or the very next day, I would become a statistic. I had to fight and subconsciously I knew that I had to fight for others who were/are in a similar situation.

When it was time for bed, he told me to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed (as if I were the one that did something wrong). My rage boiled over. The phoenix within me was starting to wake up. I looked at him and said “I ain’t your dog, and I will NOT sleep at the foot of your bed, either you can sleep at the foot of the bed or you can sleep out on the couch, but me? I ain’t moving. Good night!” I had found my voice again. He was the one who slept with his head at the foot of the bed.  In something so small and simple as having the good spot in the bed, I felt victorious. My power had returned to me. That there was the first time I realized the strength I had within me. I stayed awake for a while until I knew that he for sure was sleeping.

The next morning I woke up pretty much just as the sun was rising. I had probably slept for only a few hours. I quietly and softly got up out of the bed, grabbed my towel and my cell phone and headed to the bathroom. When I got into the bathroom I looked at myself in the mirror and could still see my ex’s fingerprints on my neck. I ran the bath water and sobbed as I dialed my sisters phone number. It must have been around six o’clock so I knew she would be up. If she wasn’t heading into work, she was at least getting ready. When she answered the phone she had just entered her work place. I told her I needed to talk to her that it was very important and then began to explain what had taken place the previous night. She told me she would be right on her way and to begin packing everything that I possibly could. After we got off the phone I stayed in the bathtub a little longer. I had so many emotions raging through me. I was scared. I was hurt. I was nervous. I was angry.  I began crying again. I was doing my best to not cry loud enough that someone in the house would here me and come to the door.

I got out the bath, got dressed and walked back towards the bedroom. While walking down the hallway I was praying that he was still sleeping. While opening the door to the bedroom I literally held my breath. As I entered U looked over to find him still asleep. Thank God! I went to the kitchen for some trash bags and began emptying out the closet, stuffing my clothes in the bag. When one bag was full, I tied it and put it in front of the apartment door.

My sister kept me up-to-date with her location. I think that was her way of making sure I wasn’t in any type of danger. Whenever I heard him move or breathe different I would freeze. All I could think was what will he do if he wakes up?

I had almost finished getting all of my things when he woke up. I must’ve looked like a deer in headlights. He turned his head and looked at me saying “Shauna, are you leaving me?” It felt like my throat was closing up. I mustered up the courage to tell him yes. I told him my sister was already on her way and should be here any minute. He got up, and I prepared myself for what I thought would happen. I was expecting him to either hit me, punch me or even drag me around the room. I was expecting him to do all the things he had threatened to do to me. All the times he said I wouldn’t make it out the front door unless my legs were broken. Telling me I was lucky if that was all that happened to me. Every time I would look at him, I would have flashbacks from the night before. Flashbacks of when he clenched his teeth together and then lunged at me. Flashbacks of him putting me into a choke hold and then of myself waking up with my head in his lap. He had grabbed his towel and gone to the bathroom. While he was in there I started grabbing everything of mine that I could and continued placing the bags by the front door. I called my sister to see how far away she was and told her that he is awake and in the shower. She said she was just a few minutes away.

When he came back to the room he finished getting dressed, grabbed his keys and with his back turned towards me he said “Goodbye Shauna”,  and walked out of the apartment. I stood there for a minute kind of dumbfounded. Maybe even in a bit of shock, I didn’t expect it to happen that way. I didn’t expect him to react in that way. All the thoughts I had of how everything might play out when this day comes, all the fears of this day that kept me from leaving sooner. It crazy to me. In the back of my mind I still wondered what he may really be up to. Would he be outside the door waiting for me to leave? Would he be sitting in his car to follow us and see where I was going to be staying?

My sister called me to tell me that she was outside of the apartment building. I let her into the building so we could grab everything in as little trips as necessary. We gathered all my belongings, put them in the back of her truck and we were gone. My sister called my mother to tell her that I am safe and with her and even told my mother how I had marks on my neck still. I looked out the window as we drove off. I was free I thought to myself. Little did I know that the real battles were just around the corner.

Physically I was free. Mentally and emotionally I was still a prisoner. It has taken me years just to be able to talk about this, let alone start to heal from it. It is a long road. It isn’t a lonely road because I have learned from first starting my blog page that I am not alone and that there are many people who are there for me when I need them. I do not have to feel ashamed when I experience something for the first time. I know there is someone who has experienced it or something similar to it and they will help me thru it.

When I feel weak, when I feel defeated. Those are the times that the phoenix inside me burns brightest. The Phoenix never dies. It is apart of us, it is one with us. The phoenix is our inner most deepest strength and courage. It may seem like it escapes us but it never leaves us. It waits for its moment to shine in our lives. It waits to be called upon in our most desperate of times.

Like a Phoenix, she will rise from the ashes of despair and soar.”

Angel

 

My Broken Pieces

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When your biological father doesn’t love you, it cuts you deep.

It leaves you vulnerable and weak.

Leaving you open to predators

Who seek to do nothing but devour you.

When your father doesn’t love you

It leaves you searching for it in the wrong places.

It leaves you craving it.

No matter how it is that you taste it.

Love is all that you want.

Love is all that you long for.

To be loved.

It is all you dream about.

You fall for all the lies.

No matter how big or small.

You will go through it all.

You stick with the bad and go through hell.

You let him continuously keep you under his spell.

Because nothing else matters when you are being given what you so desire.

Whether it is real, or all a fantasy.

It satisfies your craving.

Even if it is only temporarily.

 

My broken pieces I’m left alone to pick up off the floor.

On my own to make myself whole.

No one but me.

Me. Myself. And I.

 

When the first man you ever loved.

Shows his true form.

Things you said you would never allow,

Now have taken your freedom.

He uses his tongue to cut you deep.

You lay in the dark afraid to sleep.

He wraps his hands around your neck until you pass out.

He has no fear in killing you, have no doubt.

 

My broken pieces I’m left alone to pick up off the floor.

On my own to make myself whole.

No one but me.

Me. Myself. And I.

 

 

 

 

Continuing Thru The Obstacles

obstacles

I am a survivor. I come with a lot of baggage, I will be first to admit that. Things that don’t bother or set you off, can send me into a whirlwind of emotions for days. PTSD. One of those things I had to learn to live and deal with. It is a part of me. It is not something that just goes away.

My past has made me very alert to a lot of things. It is a good thing but also a bad thing. Sometimes I tend to get defensive when there is no need for it. It is as if at times I feel like I always have to fight for myself. Like a bad habit. I had to fight to survive for so long that is almost as if I am programmed to always be ready to fight.

I have experienced new triggers, learned how to get through them instead of just avoiding whatever the trigger is. IS…not WAS! I believe that the triggers don’t simply just disappear over time but they become less frequent as we become more aware of what those triggers are and also as we learn to cope with our day to day activities.

Over the years I have learned a lot about myself, even more so thru writing my blogs. I didn’t like everything that I learned, but I learned to accept it and to change what I was able to change. I have learned to love and accept all aspects of me. How can I expect others to do so if I am unable to? How would I be able to know what I deserve if I do not even know what I am worth?

I am a survivor. I come with a lot of baggage. No, I don’t want to unpack my stuff with just anybody; that goes for both friendships and relationships. If I decide to unpack it is because that person has earned my trust. Which is hard to gain in the first place. If I decide to unpack, please be patient with me. Let me take my time carefully unpacking, carefully exposing my scars.

Continuing thru the obstacles, climbing over the walls, jumping over the hurdles and running this race called life. One day at a time. One obstacle at a time. Realizing that I may not make it through that obstacle the first time around but always getting stronger and better for the next time.

The Lost Wanderer (Part 2)

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A few minutes later she was finally gone.

Out of hell she escaped.

Without nothing, not even a scrape.

The butterfly had found an opening in the window.

And started to fly towards a better tomorrow…..

On to brighter days she thought to herself,

Not knowing that there would be new obstacles.

These obstacles would be different though.

The obstacles of the mind.

She wanted all memories erased.

Unfortunately she realized this would not be the case.

It took a long time for her to be able to function properly.

Years of torment, years of abusing herself.

Years of hating herself.

Seeking for love by any means necessary.

The lost wanderer, searching for her place.

Trying to figure out life on her own.

Through trials and tribulations she endured.

She survived.

For so long she hated the word survivor.

It wasn’t until years later she wore it like a badge of honor.

The butterfly now soars sunrise to sunset.

Freely to higher heights.

She found her path and destiny.

Each day comes with its own set of challenges.

Each day she continues to grow and strengthen her wings.

No longer lost, she now wanders with love, hope and courage.

Searching for those who are in the same space she once was.

Searching to empower, searching to encourage and searching to inspire.

Reflection Over Troubled Waters

I’ve always been drawn to water. I love the oceans, lakes, and ponds. It is as if it is my own little piece of heaven. The place where I can let all my thoughts run wild and yet at the same time I can still feel at peace. I can scream out all my pains without fear. I can cry my deepest cry without judgment. Then, as soon as I have pulled myself together I am literally face to face with myself. Looking at my reflection on the water. Sometimes the body of water may be peaceful, with my reflection gently resting on the surface. Other times the water may be rough, chopping my reflection up.

During these times where I would see my reflection over troubled waters it was like another reminder to myself. Reminding me, that no matter how rough life gets I will never be overtaken by its circumstances. No matter how large the waves they will not drag me away from my destiny. The current at times might slow me down, but it will never stop me from reaching my destination.

Life has tossed me around like an ocean during a storm trying to drown me in sorrow and depression. Just when I thought I would be lost at sea and soon forgotten about, the waves started to slowly calm down. When I felt weak and thought I could no longer keep my head above the waves a deeper strength from within carried me through.

The storm had passed but the choppy waters still remained. I had managed to escape trauma, but the recovery process was just the beginning. Through the waves of life I managed to rise back to the surface after each crashing wave had ferociously crushed over my fragile body.

I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. I made it through the darkest of times. I learned to love my reflection even if it was over troubled waters, not just when I look at it on the gently pond. I have learned to embrace myself even when I am being tossed around in the raging sea.

My reflection over troubled waters, is a reflection of my strength. A reflection of my perseverance and a reflection of my hope. My reflection over troubled waters is a storm all of her own. Never to be broken. Never to dissipate.

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