"Life always offers you a second chance, it's called tomorrow...the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or can only be accepted."

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm angry and I don't care what you think about it

That's it. I said it.

I'm angry. And I don't care what you think about it. 

I'm angry that life has dealt me crappy cards over and over again. I'm angry that my father is dead, and that there's nothing I can do to change it. I'm angry that the court systems didn't protect me as a child, and that adults in my life who were supposed to look for me, didn't. 

But most of all...I'm angry at myself. For something seemingly stupid and slightly out of my control. I'm angry that I didn't go to Florida to be at the hospital when my father died. I'm angry that the last time I saw him was in an airport, and that the visit ended with me in tears and him falling apart. 

I'm straight pissed off that I can't forgive him. I'm pissed that I can't be the person I encourage others to be...full of forgiveness and love for those that hurt me. I can forgive a lot of people...but when it comes to my father, and his mother...I can't bring myself to forgive. 

I'm holding a grudge. And that seems so petty and stupid to me that it frustrates me to no end. I want to shake myself and tell myself to "grow up" because any sane adult would get over it. 

I want to forgive. Hell...and what I would do to forget.

But here I am. Holding a grudge. Remembering every day different horrible things that happened over the years. Good memories sometimes being replaced by a popup memory of something bad that happened right after the good. Here I am, not only not forgetting...but not forgiving.

There's where I'm torn. I have the right to feel however the hell I want to...and typically I encourage feeling however you want to. They're feelings...not things you can control. But this seems like one of those cases where I should be trying to move on...and trying to put those things behind me. For my own sanity and mental health, I should be slowly letting go of the past...and moving forward.

Maybe that's part of the anger. I know that in theory I should forgive, and I shouldn't let old memories drag me down. At the same time that ever truly going to happen? Do we ever truly let go and forgive those that hurt us? Especially someone that hurt me for so long...and so badly. Someone that hurt my family too, and destroyed any sense of childhood I was supposed to have. Maybe that's why I can't forgive him...and why I won't ever forget. 

What he did...made me who I am.

Quite frankly...being mad about what he what pushes me to make myself better. It prompted this post. It makes me want my degree more and more. It makes me want to be the best counselor I can be. It makes me more dedicated to bettering my life, Nick's life, and our children's lives. So in theory it's all leading to bigger and better things.

But damn am I frustrated right now. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

One of those weeks

It's been one of those weeks. Where everything starts to kind of pile up...and that just leads to anxiety and panic. I've been kind of a mess...but leave it to me to not show it. Instead of trying to talk about it and get it out...I spend my energy trying to cover it up and deal with it. It's stupid.

Sometimes it's hard to voice how the panic feels. It's random and exhausting. Occasionally it happens in the car, because I see something that reminds me of my father. Black Mitsubishi Gallants from the early 2000's for instance. Other times it shows up in the middle of a conference call, or in the middle of a test. Those are my favorite (please note the sarcasm). When I'm trying to function in a higher stress situation, and my entire body decides to overwhelm itself all at once.

It really is strange to me, given that my life is better now that it ever has been. I have this amazing man by my side, a beautiful home, a little girl that means the world to me, an education, a good job, and opportunities all over the place.

But it's strange. Lately I've noticed my exhaustion levels being a lot higher, my stress getting overwhelming faster than it usually does, my body getting sick a lot...I'm clearly not taking care of myself like I should be.

I need to focus on taking time for myself. Whether it be to write, or to spend time confronting my issues. The more I try to put them aside and ignore them...the more they're going to manifest themselves in ways that make everything worse. Which is clearly what they're currently doing.

I don't want to be "that girl" who spends excessive amounts of time having to calm herself down because something stupid set off the flashbacks or nightmares. I don't want to be the girl that people walk on eggshells around because she gets upset too easily. I don't want to be the girl who has to walk out of the room when her friends dance with their dads at their weddings. But for now I am that girl. I hope that one day I'll cope a little better, and that maybe my nerves won't be quite as raw as they are now.

Two of my girlfriends and I have a group chat, and we were talking the other day during one of my freak-outs. I was worried about bills, about hours in the day, about getting a new job, about losing weight, about my grades, about my relationships...basically I was worried about everything I could possibly worry about. I was talking about getting a second job to try and supplement some income, when my friends finally yelled at me. And I have to say...the "quiet one" out of the three of us...really let me have it.

I'm doing it again. I'm putting everything on myself, and making myself crazy. I'm not sleeping, I'm not taking care of myself (as stated above), and I'm creating this fake deadline where I have to make everything work at all times.

I expect myself to be perfect. When no one else does.

I make myself think that I'm responsible for everything in this household and in our lives...when in reality I have a partner that sleeps next to me at night. I have an amazing man that is not only willing to help me...but wants to help me. He wants to be my backup and wants to help me build this life.

I need to listen to my friends. I need to listen to my inner self saying SLOW DOWN and get a grip.

Because the fact is...
I don't have to be perfect damn it.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Happy Veteran's Day

It's no shocker that my father was not a good role model, or a good example of what a man should be in my life. Luckily, I grew up surrounded by amazing men who pushed me to be a better person. They were examples of what unconditional love really was. Some pushed me in my schoolwork...and demanded the best when it came to my studies. Others involved me in their daily lives with their own children...treating me as though I was one of their own. And others watched from a distance...making it clear that they would be there if I ever needed them. These men were my mom's two brothers, and her sister's husband.

These men are amazing husbands, loving fathers, and more specifically (the reason for today's post) they are also veterans. At one point in their lives, they signed themselves over to this country and agreed to do all they could to protect everyone in it. These men are heroes.

There's another hero in my life as well. One who continues to shock me every day with his bravery and love. My Nick has given so much not only to me, but to the rest of this country. I've always honored and respected our veterans and our active duty members...but I didn't realize just how much some of them have gone through until I met him.

He has seen things unimaginable, he has lost people he loved, and he has helped save others. He has protected this country, and has made sacrifices bigger than any that I could ever understand. On top of it, he gained a band of brothers that truly act like family. I've been lucky to meet these men multiple times...and I love them now like they are my big brothers.

My point being Happy Veteran's Day to the men who taught me what a "real man" is. The men who treat women with respect, who love their families, and who show bravery on a daily basis.

First, all of my USMC "big brothers" from Fallujah 10 years ago

Family- USMC, USMC, USMC, and USAF

And by far my favorite- my Nick 

 And just for entertainment lucky I am to finally have him home safely...and hopefully for good.

(Side note- please educate yourselves on the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day...and then act accordingly. Memorial Day is for those that have been lost, not those who are still here with us.)

Hug a veteran today. Heaven knows they deserve at least that. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tell me your stories

I talk about starting over a lot. And this blog is a lot about new beginnings and learning to overcome the things in your past.

Yet when I started this blog...I was still kind of afraid in a way. I started it on the premise of being anonymous...because I was afraid of what people would say if they truly knew what I had been through. I was afraid of being judged and of putting myself in a position for others to hurt me.

But then I realized that I was in a better position to help people if I came out and talked about what had happened in my life in the open. There was no reason to hide the things that had happened...and by letting myself feel ashamed of my past...I was going against everything I taught other people. I was just inhibiting my own recovery, and my ability to help others going through the same things.

Even as time has gone on...I've been careful about the things that I say and about truly putting my face out there. After the article went out two years threw me for a loop how many people recognized me on the street. It made me a little uncomfortable.

But two years ago I was still learning. My father was still alive. I still felt like there was something I needed to hide.

I'm not hiding anymore, and I encourage others to join me. There is no reason to be ashamed or hide your past. Especially in situations that were caused by others around you. (Thanks to Joe Alven for taking the new blog pictures for me last week!)

So whatever you've got...put it out there. I want to hear stories about my readers. What brought you to this blog, what kind of hell have you been through, and what have you learned from it? Even better, I want to hear from everyone that is GLAD they went through what they did. 

Be strong. Be brave. Say what you mean.
And don't hide from your experiences. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Project Unbreakable

I saw something today that struck me. It made me want to write for hours, just hole up in a room and write everything down that I could possible think of. I found an article talking about Project Unbreakable. Now I have nothing to do with it...and just stumbled upon it today...but it seems to be everything that I've been working towards. Everything I've wanted to push out in the world.

Project Unbreakable encourages abuse survivors (specifically rape/sexual assault survivors) to talk about their situations and their experiences. It shocks people into realizing just how sick the abuse is. How victims blame themselves for years, and are too terrified or embarrassed to speak out about it. It's a common theme...victims stay victims  because they can't bring themselves to break out of the shell of shame and tell someone.

It needs to stop. This project needs to take over the world. Because why should WE feel bad about our abuse? Why should WE be the ones to keep quiet? Why should WE keep our mouths shut just to make the people around us comfortable? Why should we PROTECT the people that attacked us?

My grandmother told me about a year ago that I was damaging my father's memory. She told me that I needed to stop talking about all of the things that had happened because it upset HER and it upset other members of our family. She told me to stop because he was dead...and it wasn't honoring his memory.

And I kind of did. I watched what I said. I stopped talking to her, because I realized I would never be able to get through to her. She would never understand or accept the things that my father did. It would always be my fault, and I would always be the "liar" creating drama.

But you know what? SCREW THAT. I will not be quiet for the comfort of others or to protect his memory. Quite frankly, he doesn't deserve to have his memory protected. He made choices. He hurt people. He could have tried to redeem himself and make amends, but he chose not to. And I will not stop talking about it because he's dead. His death doesn't give him a free pass for all the things he did while he was alive.

I'm not sorry that the things I say hurt other people. Some think that I should be...but I'm not. I'm sorry my feelings are too much for you to handle...but I'm not sorry for talking about it.

So much more I want to say, with no time to say it. Other than I'm behind this whole "Project Unbreakable" thing 100%.