Olivia Benson: The Other Wonder Woman

I decided I needed a pink unicorn onesie, because, who doesn’t?
To get your own, head to One Onesies!

“You can’t face a reality you aren’t used to living in”
– Coroner, Law & Order: SVU

I am watching L&W: SVU. And it’s funny because you’d think that a show like that would upset me, considering the things I have been through, and that it would be triggering. But it’s not. In fact, I ENJOY it. I love Olivia Benson. And Elliot Stabler. And Captain Kregan. Oh and Ice T, he’s just awesome. But I enjoy the show mostly because there is someone trying to get the bad guy. Which in my life experience, does not happen often.

My “bad guy” will probably never be brought to any kind of justice (I am entitled to a portion of his money to pay for my tertiary education. But I will not touch that money, it’s blood money. Yet, if it was so ordered by the legal system, that HE were to pay for my medical costs and most specifically pays for my health insurance so I can get the help I need to UNDO WHAT HE DID, that money I would take. Atonement for his crimes, and to make me life better, if at all possible.) and that makes me toss and turn a lot. It causes me angst and pain in my heart. But with this fictional show, someone is trying to get the bad guy.

I would love to meet Mariska Hargitay, To tell her how much strength she has given me, in her acting as Olivia Benson. In the way she treats the victims and survivors of sexual assault and violence. In the dark moments when I am haunted by the horrors in my mind, I sometimes imagine what Olivia would do if she were with me. That sounds weird. But she has a comforting presence, and also a strong presence, a protective one. Nothing bad can happen to you when she is there. Forget guns and knowing self defence, just her force. Her presence (yes I know I am talking about a fictional character).

The “R” word gets used a lot too. The word that rhymes with “tape”. The word I still have trouble saying. The word I feel I need to be able to say, one day.

A lot of people talk about being “desensitised” to violence and disturbing images, after experiences in their own lives. I would have to say I am not one of them. And often this comes up when it’s to do with imagery that is gory or violent, such as horror or “gore” films. I am not the same. I do not find these movies/entertainment distressing because I have a history of trauma, but more because I don’t like to be scared for fun. Same as rollercoasters and other thrill rides. I don’t like being scared for fun.

I had a moment tonight. I was in the pet food aisle this afternoon with Mr Hippo, looking at treats for Levi to chew on, and I felt this tug on the back of my shorts. I spun around and there was no one within at least 2 metres of me, and in fact Mr Hippo was the only other person in the aisle and he was easily 2 metres away from me.

It was a hallucination. I have them. I have visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. I am not “crazy”, I am “cray cray in the best way” haha. But seriously, I am not psychotic and I know that – not only because my psychiatrist has confirmed it, but also because typically (not always, but a large portion of the time) if a person is in a state of psychosis then they are usually not aware that they are.

I know that the hallucinations are not real. And I know I can challenge them and often have other people assist in that. I know they are not real. But they still fucking scare me.

Anyway, got off topic a bit there.

Olivia Benson, she is the Other Wonder Woman.

 

 

Freedom


The above image, ‘I choose to be free.’, is from an app I have Unique Daily Affirmations. Everyday is a different affirmation, with a different background. Fairly often, the affirmation is relatable, but occasionally I find them frustrating.

Freedom.

When I was at high school, my English teacher asked the class to pick a word out of a collection she gave us. Most everyone chose something similar to ‘success’ (or synonyms). I was the only person who chose a different word, I chose ‘freedom’.

I have always craved freedom. Freedom, to begin with, from my abusive childhood, and the MGC.

Freedom then from my increasingly suffocating mental illness – that went unnoticed (by the people who could’ve helped, teachers, doctors, nurses and other people who could have stepped in) and when it was noticed and I started my very long recovery path, it was misdiagnosed for a very long time – which I sought in ways that just continued the cycle of abuse.

Freedom from my, largely self-inflicted, isolation and loneliness.

Freedom. 

Freedom … from myself.

Freedom.

Freedom (as defined by the online Dictionary.com)

[free-duh m]

noun

the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint:

He won his freedom after a retrial.

exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.

Freedom.

What to do when you’re struggling

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 4.24.17 pm

I am not in the best of headspaces. I tried to get an appointment with a doctor for my gallbladder, sooner than the 25th of July. But, apparently because I am “only category 2” (which is the second highest category for the public system) I am not considered “urgent”.

The only way I may get my category bumped up, is if I continue to turn up to the ER whenever I have pain. But as any person who has any knowledge about cholecystitis (Acute Inflamed Gallbladder) and the variety of pain associated, will know that unless I am having a severe attack (known as “Biliary Colic” or “gallbladder attack”, when a gallstone gets temporarily lodged in the bile duct and the body attempts to dislodge it. The pain has been compared to childbirth) and am writhing around in agony, I will wait for hours in the ER waiting room and then be sent home with paracetamol (which does nothing).

The last time I considered going to the ER for an attack (actually 3 attacks in the space of 4 hrs), I called an ambulance at 6am, and by 7am no one had arrived (and I had explained the severe pain, my cholecystitis and the fact I need my fucking gallbladder removed!) so I just rang back and said to forget it.

I’m having pretty much consistent pains. But while they are quite painful, they are not “bad enough” that going to the hospital will do anything.

And this is just a small part of my physical issues. And I’m not going to go into my emotional shit that’s happening.

I’m just so tired. When is it supposed to get better?

Broken Title for a Broken Heart

It’s been nearly exactly 30 months since we last spoke.
Since I saw you
Since I told you my very deepest
darkest
scariest
most horrific
secret that only few people know.

I did contact you after that,
Some months later and said things that you didn’t want to hear then
or now,
or possibly ever.

I was embarrassed,
I wrote those messages when I was not myself.
I spoke in rough, aggressive ways.
I was not myself, but I still spoke the truth, my truth.

And you did not respond.
Well, you couldn’t.
I made sure you couldn’t.

Because I was afraid that you wouldn’t believe me,
Because of the way I spoke.
That you wouldn’t believe what I had to say,
I mean, there was already a track record of that.
When I told you the truth when I saw you, face-to-face,
You didn’t believe me. Or couldn’t.

I miss you more than you can ever possibly know.
Without you, I am not whole.
And I think about you. I think about the fun we had,
How you could read me like a damn book.
And how I think that might be why you were so mad at me,
When I was really unwell.
Because you were mad at yourself.
Angry that you somehow didn’t pick up in me what was going on.
So you took it out on me.
And it’s okay. I’m not mad.

My future looks… well it looks like I might actually have a future.
And it kills me, it kills me that you won’t be a part of it.
That you don’t know the love of my life.

It’s funny, because the person that you used to be, and the person I am in love with,
You two would have been great friends.
Even your hand writing is similar.

I sometimes wonder if that’s part of why I love him.
Because there is a glimmer of you in his eyes.

Funny, because they say women usually marry men like their father.
Yet, the man I love could not be any more different than my Male Genetic Contributor. (he did not earn the right to be called my “father”. He is either “MGC” – Male Genetic Contributor – or Assface)
In fact, even though my love has blue eyes and yours are the deepest chocolate brown,
It’s more like I have chosen a man like you, my brother, than my MGC.

What’s more is that he was there in the aftermath.
He was the one who held me
As I sobbed, every single night
for three months.
I don’t know why I stopped crying after that,
I think maybe I ran out of tears.

But I cry now.
Now that my life is different,
And that I am different.
Now that I understand more, not only about myself
But about my life
And where I want it to go.

Now that I am growing.
Now that I am changing, for the better.
Now that I am learning who I really am,
who I am underneath it all.

But you won’t ever see that.
Won’t ever get to meet me.
The me I am becoming.

You need to know what happened.
I know you have made your choice.
Just as I have made mine.
It’s funny, actually.
Out of the children in our family:
Two have chosen one side,
Two have chosen the other side,
and
Two are “on the fence”, so to speak.
And it’s easy to figure out who, just look at their surnames.

You need to know,
Pretty soon, we won’t even have that in common.
Few know my “secret” that still connects me to all of them.
But soon, that won’t exist anymore. I am changing it.

It’s beyond even possible
But I still wish somehow
That you see this
And realise how much I miss you
How much I love you
How much I hurt
And how much I wish you would,

Come back to me.

 

Adventures in Seroquel, Chapter Two.

At time of writing, it is 8.42am. I refuse to get out of bed before 9am on a Friday morning. 

So this is the next instalment in my ‘Adventures in Seroquel‘ series. I am writing these posts mostly to poke fun at myself but also so hopefully other people who take Seroquel (the actual drug name is quetiapine, Seroquel is just one brand name) won’t feel so silly about some things they do in their sleep.

So since Part 1, it’s been a little while and I don’t have an accurate list of all the weirdo shit I’ve done. Though I do have these:

  • Started cleaning my face like a cat
  • Flailing arms, like a Muppet (Kermit most especially)
  •  Recurrence of ‘Possum Elle’ (‘playing possum’ which is where I pretend to be a possum and pull the blanket up to my nose-area and tuck my hands under the blanket

I’ve asked if Mr Hippo witnesses any more weirdo behaviour to please keep a record and tell me later so I can continue this series.

Seroquel has a pretty nasty reputation, and I can’t say it doesn’t deserve some of it. One thing that freaks people out about it (I may have written this before but whatevs) is that the class of psychiatric drug it’s in is ‘antipsychotics’. Often people who have very little knowledge of medication and are new to their mental health recovery path, think that taking an ‘antipsychotic’ must mean they are psychotic.

This is NOT TRUE. I think drugs like Seroquel need to be re-classed. I think ‘antianxiety’ or something trauma related would be better.

Originally, yes, Seroquel was developed for people who suffer from illnesses such as Schizophrenia or other schizo disorders. Often these people take HUGE doses of the drug.

But, like many other medications, Seroquel has many ‘off label’ uses. It is used for people who have trauma symptoms and/or PTSD to help control the symptoms (flashbacks and other triggers etc). It’s used as PRN* for people who have anxiety. And because of its side effects, it’s often used as a non-addictive sleep aid.

In my case, as discussed before in Part 1, I take Seroquel for a couple reasons. I take it as a trauma symptom assistant, utilise the sleep side effects for my horrible insomnia and as PRN.

And now it’s coffee time!

Bye

*Because the medical field love Latin, PRN stands for ‘Pro Re Nata’ which means ‘as required’.

Look out for the…!

… Thinking …

I have 12 unfinished draft posts. And I really should finish them off. Especially as some of them are about the treatment I was just in hospital for, TMS, and I personally wish there was more information available for when I was going through the treatment. But I am a notorious “un-finisher” (which I’m not even sure is an actual word … ) and I start something and don’t finish it. Obviously.

I feel stuck. I feel kind of … unsure? I’m not even sure what I’m unsure about. I’ve had some things happen lately, personal relationships I’m not going to go into detail about online, that have upset me. And I am trying to “just go with the flow” and “move forward” and just generally not focus on the bad parts.

But is anyone ever able to do that 100% of the time?

If so, then why are there so many therapists and psychiatrists and counsellors? Wouldn’t they be obsolete?

I have grown a lot in recent times. I have managed to get a (relative, sometimes I can’t :/) grasp of my anger and am able to step back and not react in as much of an aggressive way as I used to (again, I say “relatively”! I still have issues with it!). I have learnt not to overthink every single damn thing. That’s hard to do sometimes, NOT overthink, but I’m getting better at it. And over-analysing too, I’m getting better at recognising when I am getting too far in over my head about a few things.

I am not perfect. I never will be. I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t want to have zero faults, certainly I’d like if I could pick and choose what those faults are buuuuuut that’s not how it works. I like the fact I can make mistakes, and I am learning that it is OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES!!

I am going to discuss a recent argument I had. The person involved, while not named, will know that it is about the argument we had and I just hope she can understand that this is not an attack at her nor is it me trying to have my say and defend myself publicly what I’m saying and at least take it onboard. And also forgive me for bringing it up here, but it is distressing me.

It was suggested that I am “addicted to being (the) victim”. And that I let things that have happened in the past control my present day actions/choices/etc.

I wanted to address the second part, about past effecting present. Because, I don’t understand really what the first part (about being the victim) is about, I need more information.

Okay so I, like many many others, had some shit happen in their past. I had a terrible father. I had an abusive childhood, which has resulted in an adult who has PTSD and is emotionally under-developed (and more than okay about admitting it). Because my father’s “discipline” was varied and never predictable, it’s resulted in the adult me having (more than) some issues with consistency, and forever seeing the bad before even looking for the good in any situation. I am working on it.

Some people suggest that a person can choose how they feel, literally you can choose your feelings. No. Completely, no. You cannot choose how something makes you feel, you CAN choose how you react to those feelings. For example, there have been so many situations in the last year that normally would have resulted in me self harming. Because that was a long held reaction to my emotions, I had developed over 13yrs. I have not self harmed in over a year. That does not mean I have not been in situations and had times where the emotions and feelings I would normally hurt myself to deal with, weren’t there. The feelings, emotions and situations that would have normally resulted in hurting myself, have all been there. Those have not gone away. They are still alive and well. But, what has changed, is how I react to those feelings and emotions.

I have also been dealing with some of my trauma with my therapist. That is not fun.

I agree that your past should not define who you are as a person now. And there are many things that happen in our lives that we can hang on to and bristle and prickle over. And that’s fine, it’s okay to be mad or upset about bad things that happen. But you shouldn’t let them control your present life. Be mad, be angry, complain and groan. But then, when you are ready, let it go.

There are some things I will never be able to fully “let go” of, I will never fully “get over” them. And it’s not just me. Everyone has an old wound that won’t ever fully heal. And you should never let anyone force you to let, whatever is upsetting you, go before you are ready. Yes it might be annoying to your friends and loved ones to hear you go on about it, but chances are there will be something that each of them will also go on and on about until you want to rip your ears off and swallow them.

Just like dogs, when we train them to sit or go pee out in the yard and not the kitchen floor, the things we experience and go through in our lives will condition us to react a certain way to certain stimuli. Meaning that if you fell out of a tree from a height and hurt yourself, then it would be perfectly reasonable for you to have a fear of heights. Similarly other behaviours are conditioned in people by the experiences they endure as they grow up. Both positive and negative.

I’m not sure if any of this has made any sense to anyone but myself. But what I am trying to say is that we are all products of our pasts. Your past is part of what has made you who you are today. YES some of those things need to be let go and moved on from. But that takes time and hard work, to undo the way we have been conditioned to feel based on past experiences. How did you learn that a flame is hot? By being burnt. Instead of letting the burn become a horrific scar, learn from it.

I’m gonna quote Disney now….

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King.

I used to run from my past. I ran as fast and as hard as I could. Sometimes I still get spooked and run. But I am getting better at staying put. Another quote, but from an Australian author and a book I’ve had since I was 12yo:

[About having problems and wanting to run away from them]

“And when you’d finished running you’d be thousands of miles away from people who love you and your problem would still be there except you’d have nobody to help you.” – “Looking for Alibrandi”, Melina Marchetta.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s okay to be upset about something. It’s okay to be upset about something that happened yesterday or 10yrs ago. What is not okay is letting your past control you. And I freely admit I have been guilty of letting my past control me. I am learning, slowly, how to let things go.

Just as it took time for me to learn certain things, it will take me time to unlearn them too. Not as much time, not 10yrs to learn and 10yrs to unlearn, it won’t take as long to unlearn because I have help. I have people who love me, I have doctors and other professional supports. I have more support to unlearn the things I was conditioned towards/against, which means my road to recovery (or just “getting over it”) will be smoother.

To You,
You are loved.

Update!

IMG_0348

Hello!

Okay! So It’s been awhile since I was able to get on here to make a proper update. I have some cool things to share!

Firstly: I AM GETTING DISCHARGED ON SATURDAY 10th JUNE!! THIS COMING SATURDAY! WOOHOO! My last TMS treatment is on that day and then I get to go home!

Secondly: I had tech issues (computer had hardware failures that had to be repaired, at no cost to me! Yay for Australian Consumer Law Warranty!) which have all been fixed now *fingers crossed*.

Thirdly: I’ve started making “mature jewellery”. I’ll be adding a new menu link to my new line of plastic beaded jewellery. I’m still not sure what to call the line, but at the moment it’s “mature jewellery”.

I am pretty sure that’s all the updates for the moment. Talk soon!

When your life/art/will to live/future is a hot mess

That is a ‘dream catcher’ I attempted to make in art this evening. You can see it’s on the floor, not because it fell, because I threw it there. That’s where it belongs.

And, it’s where I belong too.

At least, that’s how I feel anyway. I feel so completely useless. I don’t even know why I am even writing this? It’s just going to generate 1 of 2 outcomes: 1) People will comment and tell me ‘I’m worth so much more!’ Or 2) People will see it as an attention seeking behaviour. Yes I am predicting judgement, once bitten twice shy.