That’s right everyone. I am 4 months clean from self harm. My eating disorder behaviors could use some work but I have lots of good news, and I just got back from my vacation and so I wanted to sit down and reflect on everything that’s goin’ on.
First of all- none of that hard stressful stuff has gone away. I still have my disability and plenty o stress going down and that’s pretty rough. The perpetrators of bullying gossip abuse and assault against me- they’re doing great! Also all my friends are getting married and making babies and I’m pretending I’m okay with that even though all I want to do is lock them in a room until she comes to her senses and realizes men are jerks and calls off the wedding. Ahh… young idiots. I mean lovers.
Second of all my good news- I’m moving back to the mainland for 4 months, jeopardizing my scholarship, my enrollment in college, and my entire personal savings- to train the service dog myself with the help of a trainer.
Well, what in life is rational?
An onlooker has a very limited view of my circumstances. Reading this blog, and being my friend when I’m super tired and the fatigue makes me confess my sins, those help. But overall 97% of people will just look at me and be like “you’re nuts”. I’m fine with that. At least like every human being ever born, I’m trying to be.
Anyways so my project of 9 months is moving to the second phase, which involves a
I’m already up to my neck in that project calling shelters all over AZ, asking around about available dogs. If I want to do school winter semester and get the dogs rabies shots and vaccinations complete in time, I have to do this by September 5th. I did not plan on the time crunch and possibly should have stayed in AZ this month but alas life happened and I need at least this month to get my affairs in order and sell all my worldly possessions.
NOW. I was looking back at that post OKAY so This Guy welllllll…. He’s supposed to come home at the same time I leave for the mainland. Considering his family moved to the islands that makes things hard if I want to see him again. I haven’t heard from him in over 2 years.
It’s very hard to believe in what we had. I keep thinking maybe I was just confused and helpless and how things developed with him were a product of mental illness and no more, but it doesn’t change the fact that asides Tyson, he’s the only person who can look at me and tell me if I have truly changed for the better. That’s why this is so important to me I think, it’s because I want to make a new happy memory with him of a proper goodbye.
It took quite a while cause this chick is stubborn as a bull, but today when I was out for a run it occurred to me that part of the reason I was so caught up for so long is because I blamed him for hurting me really bad by ghosting me. And hey. There’s probably a simple explanation. I’ve had a lot more experience with people and their reactions to my issues since then.
For instance yesterday my grandma gave me a talking to for making myself a victim of my mental illness and told me I should just get my act together.
That grandma ain’t gettin’ no christmas card.
I was furious. But I was respectful and I just told her that to people outside it may not seem like I do much work, but for me…. Do you want a list of what’s hard only because of my PTSD and my anorexia
- I can’t love people
- I can’t trust people
- I have so much trouble making friends
- I have zero hope of a relationship with a man, and I was raised Mormon, so basically I’m an aberration and an outcast
- I have zero interest in sex
- I can’t set good boundaries with people because I have panic attacks when people cross the smallest boundary. It’s as simple as they want my cookie and I don’t want to share my cookie and I say no and they take it from me and I’m about to rain Armageddon down on them.
- I go nuts when I walk down the street alone and carry a weapon wherever I go
- I get up in the morning… It takes 2 hours on a typical day. Because when I’m depressed I can’t go fast.
- I can’t sleep on airplanes because I can’t sleep if there’s another person in the room with me
- I can’t sleep unless my door is locked
- I can’t get into a car unless I survey the surrounding area first
- I can’t have a conversation with someone without panicking unless I can see where their hands are
- If someone comes up behind me for a surprise I will slap or punch them as a reflex
- If someone comes over to my house and wants to come in and they didn’t call me first I kick them out
- I can’t stand anyone being in the house who I don’t know or who is a man I go crazy
- When I go to the grocery store I compulsively calorie count. It takes me over half an hour just to decide on juice and I will shuffle things. to cope, I go in with a list, but I am so ashamed of buying food with my parents money that I just go crazy trying to get deals and eat less and buy less- and I live in freakin’ Hawaii. MILK IS $8 A GALLON SO I NEVER GET MILK.
- I have weekly meal planning sessions. If I deviate from the guidelines of that plan I will be physically ill from anxiety
- I run out of stores and places with food because I panic and I can’t buy anything and I’m just gone
- I can’t be in crowds or I panic. Usually I have to run away and go hide in a public restroom with the door locked until it’s over.
- My panic attacks can be triggered by over 100 different recorded stimuli, 70% of these are daily occurrences that don’t upset anyone else. There are ones for self harm, ones for major mood swings, ones for panic attacks, and ones for suicide. Every day I have to come up with new and creative ways of dealing with this. Good thing I’m a writer and have a God complex or it would never work!
- I am aggressive with men who resemble my abusers in any fashion. Plaid shirts? That’s one of my rage triggers.
- Rage triggers: Plaid shirts, bifocals, old men, Utah accents, Samoan boys, any form of touch, business suits, being in a church, anything to do with the LDS church, engagement photos, relationship photos, wedding photos, certain words, certain objects, wedding rings, blue cars, boundary issues- that’s just for rage and there’s more.
- I cannot drive a car.
- If I am being driven in a car or a bus there are places I cannot sit
- Sitting next to people
- Men flirting with me, coming up behind me, or trying to instigate touch of any form.
- Cooking dinner for myself I will make anywhere from 2-7 different options It takes me about 4 hours to cook dinner and it’s not time spent actually cooking.
- At nighttime I go hypervigilant and can sense the presence of people who are in houses on either side of us! I have nightmares too.
- At night when I shower it takes a long long time because I have panic attacks at being undressed and if I’m going to have a depressive episode, that’s when I have it
- Basically PTSD and anorexia make every little thing in life hard. And the small simple things are the ones I can’t do for myself all the time. There are times when I can, but those times have become fewer and fewer after the last assault. I’m just too tired. It’s like being 21 years old and not being able to tie your own shoes.
Back to my boy. It really wasn’t his fault that that crash happened. I have so many reasons I can count off now as to why things got that bad. And I mean, look, I made it! I’m getting a service dog and I have worked damn hard for almost 3 years not just to survive my disabilities but to go for what I WANT in this life.
I have been praying and working hard to let him go, it may not seem so, but I’m stubborn. And change takes a while. Especially when I’m feeling this vulnerable. I know there is a man out there (and we all know how much I love men. Not) who has power over me because I can’t control my feelings. I probably could if my loyalties weren’t divided so evenly. Part of me wants to let him go. Jettison him. They’re called f-boys for a reason. But the other part won’t let go. And I think it’s because I’m just not ready. Losing him as a friend along with everything else is so much tied into what happened afterwards. The emotions I felt, the crushing, icy months of being too numb and then too hurt to even cry- heck that was no fun.
But the fact that my heart was broken, told me I still have one.
And it’s no surprise that in this phase of my PTSD when I have no emotional connection to anyone in my life, that I would want to remember that I still have a heart here. A very alive, very passionate heart, and when the time is right and things are safe, I am capable of the deepest truest love there is.
And that’s why I couldn’t let go.
I needed to remember that I had a heart and that at one point in time I could love. Because if I forget that, I will lose my last shred of faith in the future that things will ever be normal again.
People have noticed a true difference. Even the process of getting this dog has changed me. I’m becoming a mom. And my behavior mirrors the exact process a dogmom goes through before she has pups. All the emotions, all the weird things, all of it.
Going into this I know the odds aren’t in my favor. But that didn’t stop me the last thousand times I did the impossible, so why today? Nah. I won’t be put off so easily. This is so so important to me.
But like every person who carries a child or a puppy in their arms, at some point when you look into those big brown eyes, you think oh god. What did I get myself into. Because as prepared as you tried to be, life will surprise you. You have a responsibility to nurture that new life and when you see that spirit behind those eyes, that spark of flame, you will realize you are utterly unqualified for the position.
I’m doing something so, so different than other people my age. I am taking responsibility for the life of this dog for the next 10 years or so. I have no husband or boyfriend to provide for things. I have to work and go to school and care for myself and the dog just like a single mom. And there are many things in my way but it’s what must be done. I have to push forward with the clear determination in my mind of the mission. This cannot fail, because it has to work.
I guess that’s what faith is. God is one of the top supporters of the dog. He even told me the name and the breed.
So you know. There’s at least him watching out for me and my baby.
My last thought, about why I haven’t self harmed… I think for the first time in the longest time, I have hope that my life can get better.
It’s not the illness that kills us, it’s the lack of hope. I have a spark and even though it seems so so unattainable, I am right there. We’re finally doing this.
I’m getting my baby.
I’m changing my life.
And for what it’s worth, I am so sorry to my friend KT for all I put him through and if I get a second chance, things will be different. I, am different. I still love him so much that if he comes home from Tonga and never wants to see me again, I will let him go. It is the hardest thing to sacrifice a friendship, but I am loyal. Anything within my power I will give.
I write a lot of critical things about the LDS faith based on my experiences. It’s a hole. It will not fix my issues. So I also want to say I’m sorry about that, that I complain a lot about my life. Really, when I’m out there on the trail running, thinking about my life, I think I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I really am.
In future I will remember that in those dark nights of the mind as often as possible.