Trigger Warning & Discussion Guidelines


kitten 1I am devoted to this blog being about healing, not abuse porn. That said, sometimes to talk about healing I will have to talk about hurting. Please consider this sticky post a trigger warning for every entry for childhood abuse of all kinds. If you are having a difficult day, this blog will still be here tomorrow! Consider looking at this picture of a kitten, instead, for now. Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Also, be kind and compassionate to ME. If you want to stroll by and attack me when I fuck up (which I’ve done, and I write about it) or because you don’t like queers or what-have-you, or if you want to fight about the psychiatric profession or EMDR or anything else, please know that I screen all comments and I just won’t let them through. This place is not a debate page. It’s a personal blog, and I’m blogging for connection and support.

You know what’s great about having PTSD?

2954829_640pxYou’re always ready for a fight.

I used to be always LOOKING for a fight, but now I am just always READY.

So when my son’s special ed teacher tried to be a parsimonious punitive fuckface today, I was on her like white on rice.

Seriously — there really are some good things about it. The situation, which she claimed was impossible to fix until after we convened a meeting of nearly a dozen people, was resolved in a few hours.

You think you’re scary, lady? Oh, honey. You wouldn’t know scary if it grabbed you by the hair and beat you with a heavy wooden spoon.

um. for instance.

When I have more time: I FINISHED A MEMORY IN EMDR!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to write about it, and the process.

School starts tomorrow

I cannot stand the thought of the next nine months of fighting over homework, increasing darkness, possible bullying, nasty meetings with my kid’s autism teacher, and tense parenting exchanges with his dad, with whom I so often disagree.


I can’t I can’t I can’t.

And I’m not entirely up to full dose in the new anti-anxiety med yet.

Tomorrow I have therapy, though, so there’s that.



  1. Last night, I stayed up very late to finish some copy that was due that day. I fucking finished that shit and emailed it to the account person. BOOM.
  2. This morning, I calmly tossed the foster dog into the crate, locked it, and walked out of the door without a backward glance to get to my doctor appointment.
  3. My wonderful ridiculous doctor has prescribed me a new anti-anxiety med AND removed a weird black freckle/mole that’s been worrying me and sent it off to be mutilated and investigated.
    1. (She agrees with me that the GI issues are probably anxiety but in any case after asking me questions about my diet and whether or not I’d been camping thinks that even if it’s gastroenteritis she would give me the same advice: just take Immodium and let her know if it’s still bad in a few days. No fecal sample, praise All Things Seen and Unseen.)
  4. On my way out I made an appointment for my annual exam, which I never do ever.
  5. I went to Walgreens to get the new prescription, some Immodium, and some goddamned toilet paper which a girl runs through quickly in My Delicate Condition, and I did not feel worried or rushed.
  6. When I got home to a frantic dog I calmly let him out, ignored his frenzy, let the visiting Little Dog do her magic (which consists of her trotting back and forth with him while he freaks out and mysteriously making him stop much much faster than he does alone), and mopped all the saliva out of the crate and off of his body — all while refusing to get caught up in his frenzy by either feeling bad or becoming angry with him.
  7. I am now eating organic eggs & toast and drinking tea while researching the new med I’m on at (If you are on meds or considering them, you need to know about this wonderful site; it’s very honest feedback from people actually on the meds. REALLY useful.)

Just knowing that I had a new prescription (and that the weird probably-not-melanoma was off of my back) made me feel less anxious than I have all week.

“Of course it does,” said my wonderful doctor. “You’re feeling like you have some control!”

Next up:

  1. I am finishing one other big deal project today, and
  2. I am making a goddamned appointment for a dental exam and cleaning, which I haven’t done for about three years, unfortunately.


Still home sick

hiding-photodream-artStill paralyzed, nauseated, and [vivid description deleted]. Still trying to get work done.

Thank you all for the incredibly kind messages and posts. It means the world to me.

  1. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow to ask about different medication and to make sure the GI issues really ARE anxiety, as I think.
  2. I am putting on warm socks (it is cold and rainy here).
  3. Later, I will walk the dogs in the misty rain, which always lifts my spirits.
  4. I am re-reading nice stuff people said.
  5. I am breathing.

I’m not sure what else to say except I am still here and I am still trying to fight and thank you, everybody.

Is this what a quiet breakdown looks like? Or is it self care?

codependentchainsHilarious that i don’t know the difference.

I’m home sick for the second day in a row, which is unheard-of for me.

Of course, because I am the eldest child in an alcoholic family, and because I have exactly two sick/vacation days left before November, although I’m doing a spectacularly shitty job, I’m working from home as best I can in this state.

“This state” is horribly ill from GI issues that I am fairly certain are brought about by anxiety, and a crushing dread and panic attack that seems to end only for brief periods of time and then come crashing down again.

My kids and their dad are gone; my partner is working. I am all alone except for two dogs, one of whom seems to be losing his mind in ways that are particularly upsetting to me. Whenever I try to spend time with friends outside of the house I am guaranteed to come home to a dog who has either done yet more damage to our door in his panic or who is DRENCHED in drool from freaking out and flailing in a crate, so the entire time I’m gone I’m anxious and distracted. The thought of leaving this dog in a crate all day while I’m at work for 9 hours is impossible to contemplate, but so is more damage to our ancient house.

Yes; he is just a dog. This is not an impossible situation. But as a friend of mine just pointed out, asking an otherwise unencumbered person who is carrying just one plate to carry another is one thing; they can just grab the other plate. But asking a person who is holding one plate by balancing it on a pole on her forehead while riding a unicycle to take another plate is another thing altogether.

And this is what I’ve been doing emotionally, I think, and asking me to calmly torture the dog is one plate too many today.

My shrink thinks I’ve been triggered by isolation and too much responsibility (I have taken on more freelance work than I am actually able to handle, I fear, on top of my day job — because we do not have enough money to cover our basic expenses, and on top of the dog there’s another one visiting [whom I demanded, by the way, because I adore her] and a lizard with expensive and strange food needs).

As a child, I was isolated.

I was constantly surrounded by my family and had no privacy, but we were isolated. Physically (we lived in the middle of nowhere starting at age 11 for me), but also emotionally: not only did I stay locked up inside myself, but we as a family were better than everyone else; they didn’t understand us. We must keep to ourselves. There is no one here to hear you scream. There is no one close enough for you to turn to and say: my mother just nearly killed me with a cast iron skillet, or: my parents left me home alone for three days to take care of the kids and the farm and I’m sleeping with a loaded, unlocked shotgun to save us all from rapists. Is that unusual?

As a child, I was responsible for everyone.

I was fiscally responsible; I handed over all of my paychecks to my mother not only when we were very poor but also when my dad was making plenty of money. She also regularly raided my checking account when I was a student living elsewhere and didn’t care if my rent was due. I believed her that the law required me to have my account linked to my parent’s, and she continued to steal from me until the day that the nice lady at the bank told me it wasn’t true and opened a checking account just for me, giving me the most sympathetic and angry-on-my-behalf look ever. “Most kids with bank accounts linked have parents putting money IN them,” she said, looking over my history. “That is not the direction this money is going.” She also suggested leaving the current money I had in the old one so my mother would not get suspicious. She was smart. She understood people like my mom.

Thank god for that bank lady.

Oh geez this is rambling. Anyway, having to take on too much freelance because we aren’t making enough with my full time job and my co parent’s part-time job is making me feel economically exploited and really trapped and panicky.

As a child, I was responsible for everyone else’s feelings. My mom’s, in particular.

The memory I’ve been processing and not writing about for weeks sounds like no big deal: taking dance class with my mother.

But when you were a wonderful, hardworking dancer with a true gift and your mother was a middle-aged narcissist who used to fancy herself a contender (she wasn’t) and who sees herself as competing for male attention from her daughters and dance class is all in leotards — it’s a whole can of putrid, slimy worms.

She felt shamed and stupid for having gotten out of shape (ballet is some serious shit, you guys), and she kept glaring hatefully at me as she got more and more tired and sloppy.

I, stupid kid that I was, was working very hard to show how much I’d improved, thinking she’s be proud of me. Pushing myself; looking over at her and smiling, Delighted that I was better than her, like all fucking kids are delighted to be better at things than their parents. Hoping she’d be pleased to see how good I was.

ha ha ha ha ha

She was angry at me for ‘gloating’ and ‘showing off’ and ‘rubbing it in [her] face.’ She then went on to lecture me afterward about what a great dancer she’d have been (she wouldn’t have; I’ve seen photos of her dancing. She had absolutely no idea what to do with her feet and hands and didn’t even understand turnout.) if she’d stuck with it and (cue endless refrain) not had kids.

I wasn’t just being good at something and wanting a parent to be pleased; I was a nasty mean little gloating showoff and it was my fault my mom had hurt feelings and feltĀ  competitive with me.

So although I did not cause the foster dog to have separation anxiety, the fact that he does and that it seems to be getting worse (we’re probably feeding off of one another) is stabbing me right in the heart.

So I am sitting at home instead of at work, feeling horribly irresponsible and crazy, poking ineffectually at the copy for a web site and rushing repeatedly to the bathroom to do horrible things.

Am I taking care of myself? Am I going nuts and about to lose my job?

Only time will tell.

PTSD Nightmare

There is so much to write and no time in which to write it. Too much work, too much sorting of memories. But last night I had this damn dream.

I was in a house with my partner, my kids, and my coparent. My mother was on the front porch, and after sort of hovering around she marched confidently in, right past my partner, who didn’t stop her but just sort of stared at her, dumbfounded.

It was a young version of my mother: dark hair, in the prime of her life, powerful. Laughing.

I shoved her out the door with all of my strength and I locked it.

My kids, coparent, and partner sort of stood there helplessly.

“Check the other doors!” I shouted. “Check the other doors!”

In this house, there was a side door and a back door.

They ran around looking, but not actually LOCKING anything.

“Nope,” said one of my kids. “She didn’t come in through the back.”

“Did you lock it?” I asked him.

Everyone looked at me like I’d grown seven heads.

I ran and locked the side door on my way to the back door, which now hung open.

My mom was in. She was hiding in my house somewhere, in the dark.