2014: The Empty Cup

It is now April 2015.

I am just now getting around to doing my 2014 update. What happened in the year, what I learned, how I survived.

Literally, how I survived.

I want to share with you from a vulnerable spot today as I am feeling emptiness. It reminded me of my past year and the demons I fight, the ones I still fight.

Being alone with myself is hard. Harder than it needs to be. I used to love being alone, I needed it. Now I try, I try hard to enjoy it or at least I survive through it.

There are days I enjoy it now and then but for the most part it leaves too much space for the emptiness to creep in and I just have not figured out how to fight it.

Last year was a very hard year I will tell you why soon.

But first I will tell you half way through 2013 was when it started. I had flashbacks creep back into my life of being sexually abused. Things I had separated myself from began to resurface.

I found myself reliving everything. Sounds and smells were triggers. It felt like every corner I turned or person I met was a threat. I remember vividly driving my car with my legs shaking from pain crying on the phone to my lovely dear friend that I did not know what to do anymore. Inner pain can be destructive.

2014 rolled around and I was still having flashbacks although not as bad, but something was happening to me psychologically and I literally feared for my sanity. I started counseling at a place where they work with mild Dissociation through body awareness. I stuck with it for four months but for every gain I took several steps backwards. Finally after a highly sensitive session where my counselor began to look like someone who had abused me I ended up in the hospital for suicidal thoughts.

I remember the breaking point where I was about to write a letter and I finally called my roommate at the time and she knew it was time to take me to the hospital we had spoken about it prior to the event.

She seemed so worried and scared. I was worried and scared. I spent two and a half weeks in a hospital. Words cannot describe it right now and maybe as I continue to open up about this I will find the strength to let you in on just how terrifying and hard and yet how I learned so much from it.

I ended up in the hospital three more times for suicidal thoughts. For less of a stint than the first. I watched friends come out of the wood-works and support me as I lost the power to function at work, cried constantly, and drove to every counseling appointment.

Finally I gave up and I moved to Florida to be with family I thought would help. In their own ways they offered me a hand and did their best. The fourth and final time I was hospitalized was in Florida when I first got down there. Immediately after I ended up in a beautiful log cabin in the middle of the woods where I lived with a friends parents for a while. While I was there good and bad took place which is life. I got a little more on my feet.

I was still so lost and afraid of the different states of consciousness I experienced due to depersonalizing and all those other fancy words they diagnosed me with I started going back to church. The circles I ended up in were very charismatic and I let them pray over me for demons to leave. After about a month of not feeling better, and it felt even more my fault I got tests ran in the hospital like MRI’s and CAT scans to make sure everything really was okay. Part of me wanted something to be wrong. I wanted an answer and a way to fix my brokenness.

My dad flew down to Florida and we packed me up and moved me back to Ohio. There I lived with two dear friends and I got a job cleaning stalls for five months. It was a rough time but I was stable and my rent was manageable. I had friends I had known all my life to walk through things with and I went to bed early and watched a lot of TV.

I made a lot of progress. 2014 was the year of the empty cup for me. I only saw the bottom, even when I was getting better I feared the worst. I still struggle with weird body sensations and dream like states of mind. I still feel a sorrow I can’t seem to let go of or grieve through.

2014 ended on a high note as I was offered a job at my old university in California and my old roommate opened up her room for me. I learned the day after Christmas that I got the job.

I wake up everyday.

I go to work five days a week, I go to counseling once a week and take some medicine. I am transitioning here slowly. I have things I am sad about and I am still afraid of ending up back in the hospital of back in Ohio. I can’t promise it won’t happen, but I can promise I am taking steps towards the opposite direction.

After my experiences I see how fragile the human heart and mind can be, but yet how resilient and how strong it can also be. Life is definitely a paradox and I am working to figure out my place in the contradicting sandwich with a bit of humor and some more grace than I once had for myself.

I also have a man who is falling in love with me inspite of my fears and problems, he sees deeper then just my skin.

On the outside I am a pretty face. But I have more to me and I have a story and my story is giving me courage. I want to make a difference in the mental health system somehow. The state hospitals need help and people are in desperate need of compassion.

What Do I Say?

It has been a while.
What do I say?
Do I say….?
I am better…
I am okay….
I am excited…

I won’t lie to you.
I am not better, I may be okay,
And sometimes I can get excited or fake it really well.

What DO I say?

I think I know.
I have to tell you the truth.
I am living with whatever is happening to me….depersonalization…de-realization…dissociation…PTSD….

I want you to know I have kept the same job for four months, wake up, drive to work, eat, do laundry, see friends and family.

What do I say?

Everyday. I wake. up.


I wake up everyday.

Why am I waking up?
I don’t always know…except I think there is hope woven somewhere with all thats happened this past year.
I wake up hoping.

Perhaps it is hope….and to be honest a little fear of not waking up.
Fear of what that would be like.

I don’t have a significant other, or a child, or even a pet….I kind of hate my job and the weather…
but I have seen how those things can change.
I can change those things sometimes.

I might move again…..
for a job….

maybe there is one here in Ohio….
and one back in California…where the sun is.

SO what I am saying is,

Everyday. Wake. UP.

Keep Waking Up

I keep waking up.

Sometimes at three in the morning and I don’t know how to get back to sleep.

I am very tired.

I keep going to work….spending time with people, showering, laundry, packing a lunch.

I finally moved my stuff into the empty dresser in my room. It took three months almost.

Talking, I am talking about some of the things that I have been through this year.

Driving, I still do it.

I am doing all the little things and I am so proud of myself.

I am doing the best I know how, really, I am.

My body, mind, spirit. Still here….still fighting…still here.

I keep waking up everyday….putting on my clothes leaving and coming home.

Maybe…maybe I am beginning to wake up on the inside again…..maybe I am stuck some…maybe there is comfort….but I am waking up.

I told my friend I want to help others still…learn how to belong to myself.
I want to belong to myself.

SO I told him I just want to be friends, but I called him so I could spend time with someone who doesn’t know everything and thinks I am complexly flawless.

I told my boss how I struggle….and my co-workers.

And two days ago three people called just to say Hi and they are grateful for me.

I am cold and tired.
And this post is random….but so is dealing and healing and circling.

You know I think about how I hate circles.
They say (who is they) that life and everything happens in circles and that we are supposed to fall in love with the circles.

I want to meet the people who are the they’s and have a nice slightly snippety chat about all “they say”.

I think we should seek safety.

Lock doors. No name calling..share….you know what we learn in kindergarten.

I think we should stop, drop, and roll……..stop doing doing doing and drop the things that no longer matter and roll with the punches.

I think if you are still reading this I admire your tenacity. You must get me…or wish to understand this.

I think we are all beautiful inside.

You are beautiful…yes…you reading…and yes..me writing.

Keep waking up, for me, for you.


I wanted to vote.

We, women, fought for the right to vote.

I even got an absentee ballot.

I didn’t study the issues or the people though….and therefore conflictingly decided not to vote.

I didn’t look up and research and fill my part in being well informed on decisions.

Lately I have been proud of myself for the little things.

Voting is unfortunately on the bigger list, but I do however want to voice an opinion.

You can still believe in God and be a Democrat.

My great-grandma was a believer and a democrat……just because you are republican does not mean you are a Christ follower.

I also don’t really believe in separation of church and state. Our country holds some founding lines about God whether they meant it or not at the time it is in there.

I think when something like faith is your life it is a part of everything therefore there will be conflicting times in politics and religion in a country as a whole and I think we can put on our big kid pants and deal.

I am not really political. I don’t often express opinions either way. I think we can make a difference but a part of me also feels the government is going to be corrupt no matter what so we cannot completely trust them. It is like parents. Parents aren’t always perfect. A lot of times they can be corrupt. But guidelines are to be set up in a household and in a country and it is our choice though how we sleep at the end of the day.

I didn’t vote. I don’t regret it. I just own being honest that it is a huge liberty and a great honor to have the right to vote and I chose not to because I did not prepare properly.

I remember the last presidential election…..I took a lot of pains to vote for what I felt was right. And that is why I could not with good conscience vote this time.

Oh yeah….I am not a Republican or Democrat. I vote either party it just depends on the candidate.



I don’t date much…
I don’t like to date…

I used to have a boyfriend for almost three years….
Then I burnt out on that relationship type of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong I like a free dinner here and there…
but I don’t date much.

Part of it is because I feel like a burden…the other part is I get defensive if I like someone because they now have a greater capacity to hurt me more intimately than when they were thousands of feet out of my heart radar.

I went on a first date…after an event in which I met a person I felt slightly interested in and slightly like I could use up my time with someone who really likes me.

Not cool to use people by the way.

We hung out three separate random times..texted here and there and random calls. Two week thing.

It got kind of deep kind of fast for me.

I found out how vulnerable I am right now..how much I miss having close relationships in anyway..both of us were and are dealing with a lot.

Young..young young…we are still young in our mid-twenties with a lot of do’s and dont’s to learn.

He will never know what this year has done to my spirit.
I cut him off last night…ended it, said thank you not right now…

I went to Bible Study instead of hung with him.

SO glad..great community people who care.

That man who took me on a date he said some things…some plain rude guy things and then he said some sweet dating..girls usually want to hear things…..I hated both.

I don’t want to hear that everything I do is cute….please don’t tell me for the hundredth time I am beautiful it makes me want to sock you in the face.

I just need you to respect that and not ask why.

I don’t mind talking about your tractor I love hearing your family comes over every week for dinner. It is beautiful that you have a nice farm and a good job and pay your bills.

I am sorry you can’t do that…no you can’t be that for me….don’t ask that question…..that is more of a fifteenth date kind of thing…..oh you had to bring her up…she gave me birth.,….

Then evening can slide into this

why do I owe you these answers. Maybe I will kiss you and get you to shut up if you are any good at kissing.

Okay you are kind. But I am the better kisser. Your hands are fine……………..

Now it is time to leave….

You keep saying I am so great and you want to take me out again. I keep thinking the attention is flattering and I really hate to be alone these days.

But you keep asking these questions and you keep telling me these truths. You have too much on your plate…a life I can’t mingle with mine right now. You don’t earn the right to hear my story. You may think it is cute that I snort when I laugh….but you may not like that I drip slobber and snot when I sob.

You are just some boy…. a mistake….not all of it regretted.

You know I deserve better then what you have to offer me…. at the beginning I was not looking for that answer, but it is the one I needed to move into some way of respecting myself.

This is why I don’t date a lot.

what is your list of what you are looking for.

But out of these experiences I find good and bad from parts that will help a next time.

Living with PTSD

I hate measurements.

How severe is your pain?

How many milligrams of that medicine do you take?

How long have you noticed this happening?

What is working for you?

What makes it worse?

If you have ever seen a doctor of any kind you have been asked these questions.
In matters of PTSD sometimes clients give answers just to make their doctor feel better or because they are tired of saying it is still the same.

If they could tell the truth it would be this:

Most days feel the same, I am amazed I am still alive. The pain is killing me slowly, not fast enough for relief but enough that I already feel dead. Sometimes I don’t take my medicine because I want to be normal and don’t want people to see me take it when the timer goes off. I don’t want them asking what it is for because it is not just a blood pressure pill and if I say it is for my anxiety I might get a flashback.

I try not to think sometimes because you told me my mind is my worst enemy but I was also told that I have to face the truth and then I was also told I have to rewire my brain so I try to do all those things but then I get overstimulated and have to dissociate again.

There are days that though I am in pain and empty I am amazewd because I acted completely normal and no one even knew how much I was hurting when I was laughing. I am glad I can still make that noise sometimes. I don’t give myself enough credit for what do because deep down I think there is something wrong with me and no matter how much I reach out for help I feel more pressure to be better…..people are scared of my pain.

But if I am walking around like this but I physically appear fine it makes me wonder what I am missing about someone else…..how many of us are pretending.

Most days I can’t feel my feet on the ground and although I honestly want to…..I also don’t want to. It is hard to be alone. And my head often feels like it is on backwards. I don’t know if I am taking a nap because I don’t want to deal with life anymore or because I actually need the sleep to help me heal. Someone ran into me at the grocery store yesterday and I smiled because it reminded me I am not a ghost.

When I say I am going to be myself for Halloween no one thinks I am funny. My sarcasm is a morbid defense, but I don’t want to call people crying anymore, and I truly want to be happy but I don’t know what steps to take to get there when I am doing everything you tell me to do. I have a job, pay my bills, eat three meals a day and talk to people so I am not isolated. I even journal.

I don’t want to be a victim anymore, I want to be a victor, I don’t want to be that client you talk about at seminars who wears their pain as a badge because it is their identity, but I also don’t want to hide it because sometimes it feels worse and like a monster, I want to validate it and integrate it, but somehow I keep rejecting myself and you keep saying it is a process but it has been over a year and I am starting to fade.

I think I am dissociated all the time and you keep telling me it is a good sign I am aware of it, but all the exercises you gave me to do just make it worse. Some days I take extra of my medicine and then I stop myself because something inside is still fighting to thrive not just survive and if I die I kill that chance.

I am tired of feeling pain or feeling empty I question God because I feel like he has the power to make me feel love and I keep begging for that. But then I am convinced there is a God because I am so confused and feel so awful yet I wake up and eat and work and have conversations. It is all so terribly draining.

I am always tired and when you say to take it one day at a time I really really want to punch you because today I am planning for tomorrow so I can survive and then make it to the next appointment to make you feel better and somehow because I know I want to, and I know the war in the past is over but the one I am fighting with myself is so much worse.

You keep saying this didn’t happen overnight so I won’t get better overnight. But really this did happen overnight it has just been trying to live after.

I hate measurements, I say this again because a lot of people understand this feeling with PTSD whether they suffer with it due to childhood trauma or being in the military. Some people may have experienced both, but to each is their own pain and I don’t think we can look at a vet and say…hey at least you weren’t raped by your sibling and I don’t think we can look at a child abuse survivor and say well at least you weren’t in the military.

People are under the impression one is worse than the other and usually whomever belongs to one of those groups they downplay their own PTSD at least I wasn’t …etc.

We all have hyper-vigilant vision and hearing…and trust no one including ourselves.

The measurement I hate the worst is take it one day at a time. WE rush away days to say we made it and because it hurts or because we don’t want to get so spaced out we can’t get home. We also want it to be over. We talk about it a lot and that makes it better and worse and worse and better and worse again. Sometimes people don’t heal in a linear fashion or circular…sometimes it is chaos after chaos. I think most of us truly do try to deal with it and heal from it but it is a hard battle to fight every moment.

With PTSD it is proof that life is a war,

and sometimes the biggest battle we win is that…

We choose over and over everyday….to wake up.


When trying to heal…how can you make a difference for yourself when your mind is so fully and beautifully designed to protect….dissociation….depersonalization….to some people those are words…some they are overcome obstacles…to some it is all they know and may not overcome….

I don’t believe we choose defeat…
In a way I think we can….

but in another way I think we all do the very best we know how and sometimes that just is all we can do….
and sometimes it is not as well as others and I mean sometimes we have things that may defeat us no matter how hard we try.


It happened after the war.
Post war.
hypervigilence, nightmares, fear, sounds, smells, crawling on the ground.

It happened after a part of me died, almost all of me could have died.
They call it trauma.
Childhood robbed, betrayal, shame, unworthiness.

It happened when my bones were smooshed under a weight I could not carry.
They call it a stress fracture…stress is all a heavy weight.
Carrying your secrets, lies, venom

It happened after many other moments became full of disarray.
Calling is disorder is the only way
to put a box around something that spins you around, hurls you to the ground, taps you on the shoulder to slap you in the face.


Veterans, Childhood abuse survivors, victims of car crashes or witnesses of terror attacks
It is is prevalent and running rampant.

We all have our own wars to live through.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is what we process through.

Maybe as we learn to live with it. Separate it out from the normalizes of life.

What goes into battle is a warrior. And no matter what exits the battle……happens during the battle…a warrior still exists.

And as we warrior our way through these corridors of unknown physical and mental and psychological fears may we understand PTSD can become a teacher bringing us deeper to who we are perhaps it was change. We may find a new name.

Something like Permanent Transformation Standing Devoted.

The Hard Knocks

“It’s a hard knock life.” Annie

Above is the link if you want to hear the song haha.

I admire Annie for the courage to sing about a hard knock life…most people don’t even have the energy to sing about it they basically grumble it. I don’t think school prepares you for the hard knocks of life…at least not the school work all the time…sometimes the people. But I am not sure we are ever really prepared for the hard knocks. It is hard…to try and be prepared for things that pop up or situations we don’t know how to deal with.

I believe this is why it is called the hard knocks…because they are uninvited knocks that open the door themselves without invitation and literally can knock the wind out of us.

How do we get up? And if we can do we get up?