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Shut Up Brain…

What is happening right now?

Well… Life is interesting now. Not fun, just interesting.

Last week I was triggered by one of my partners. This wasn’t an intentional triggering. It did trigger me all the same. So, now I get to deal with a lot of the issues that come with being triggered. The least fun one being flashbacks.

Now, flashbacks in the past have been things play out in my head. I feel bad about it because there’s nothing I can do to fix them. They occasionally happen. I mentally tell myself that they’re not happening each time they do occur. They start to occur less frequently and I feel better. It wasn’t a great system, but it helped me get through it.

This time they’ve decided to be more persistent… more invasive, and much more frequent. I find myself often and randomly falling into a flashback. It’s not something that’s just playing out in my head, its overlaying reality. Perhaps it’s the reason why I’m triggered that’s causing this. I start feeling both my age and that I’m a kid again at the same time. I feel like I’m alone again, that I have to deal with things by myself because there is no one else… even though I know that’s not true either.

This is a surreal situation, and frankly, I feel entirely out of my depth on this.

I’m working on handling this the best way that I can, but it’s difficult. It’s because this triggering is so different. Maybe it’s also because of whom triggered me. I don’t know.

I’m just working on hanging in there. This situation is really weird and is a bit unnerving. I wish I knew what I was doing. This being a first time for this, I feel completely out of my depth. I’m trying to figure out where to begin. I just don’t think that such a place exists.

So, I’m doing what I can. I’m figuring it out. I take it each flashback at a time. It sucks. I hate being in this place. It’s also what I need to do. I will say this. This is hardly fun or enjoyable. In many ways I feel like life just wants me to have the middle finger for a bit for who knows what reason. I can handle this… I just wish I didn’t have to handle this.

Once again, I find myself in a triggered state… where all I can do is feel lousy. It’s not something I can do much about. I was triggered, now I need to work my way out of it. Of course this isn’t going to be short work, because it never is. This is about working through years of abuse. And in this case, other related feelings that aren’t directly about the abuse.

So, what am I dealing with this time?

Well… I’m dealing with the feeling of how alone I was feeling during the abuse. I’m dealing with feeling that I was never important enough to have anyone help me. I had to fight against it by myself. This is harder because this deals with a lot of feelings of abandonment and neglect. It’s not an easy path to figure out.

When I was triggered on Sunday, all I could think about was that no one really wanted to help me out of the abuse. Granted, yes, I know that the abused needs to want to get out of it on their own. They’ll never leave if they don’t want to. They’ll find excuses to stay there, even if they know it’s not good for them. In my case, I didn’t have that luxury. I was abused as a child first. It’s harder to leave, even if you desperately wanted out. I couldn’t be emancipated, because I had no way to support myself. I was stuck in places where I was beaten up, either physically or emotionally. When your whole life has pretty much been full of abuse, it’s hard to realize that isn’t normal. This is a lot like feeling sick after eating my whole life. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal because that’s the only thing I ever knew.

Granted, at some point, I realized that I was constantly not happy. It wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t keep consistently feeling miserable. How is that good for me? If I kept this up, I wasn’t going to live for long. Being unhappy didn’t suit me well and decided that I wanted out.

There was never really anyone there who was supportive of this with me. This is something I had to do by myself.

Then there was the abuse when I was a child. There was no one who would fight for me. I would take the beating, regardless of whether I deserved it. I was often beaten for things I didn’t do. I watched my mom watch me being beaten for something I didn’t do. I would take beatings for other people. I became a literal whipping boy…. But not really a boy.

That’s the hard thing… when you realize that not really anyone in your own family will advocate for you. So, I was beaten with fists and wire hangers, I had my mouth duck taped shut. I was forced to sleep on a drafty floor when I had the flu. No one helped. No one did anything.

This is a reality that I *need* to live with. That I never had help. It might be why I’m not always comfortable accepting other people’s help. I never had it. I don’t know how to accept it. I’m getting better with it. I’m starting to accept help. For so many years, I never had it. I had to help myself, even when I was 7-years-old.

That kind of thing can warp your world view.

That’s one thing this latest triggering has taught me… I can ask for help now. I can ask people to just be there for me as I try to work through all the stuff I had to fight against as a kid. This isn’t something I’m used to. It is something that I’m working on getting used to.

This last triggering has taught me some things. It has taught me that I’m no longer alone. That there are people who are there for me and can help me. I need to figure out how better to get the help I need now, but I do love knowing that there are people who are there to listen, there are shoulders to cry on. For those people I am truly grateful.

Once again, I’m stuck with this whole heart/head disagreement. Now, this is because my head is always expecting the other shoe to drop… like all the time. Now, this is largely because for every good thing that’s happened, something worse has happened. Is that the case here? Probably not.

I think what this boils down to is that I have anxiety issues.

I know I’ve talked a lot about being triggered and dealing with that ad the depression, but I haven’t actually talked about my anxiety issues. More importantly, I have social anxiety issues. I’m never sure if I’m screwing up socially. So, I always feel like I’ve screwed up unless I get direct feedback. This used to be a bigger issue when I was younger. I can generally figure out if I’ve done something wrong in social situations, thanks to being empathic.

But anytime I’m engaging in non-one-on-one communication, I’m never sure. I start feeling totally unsure of myself and my anxiety kicks in. It’s something that I work on, but there are moments where it kicks in hard. I dealt with that today.

So… what do I do?

I honestly have no clue. Thanks to years of emotional abuse, I almost always think that I’m a huge screw up. That’s what I was always told… that and that I was also not attractive. That’s a thought process that I’ve been getting better about, but I have negative body issues from that.

What’s more…? I hate being anxious like this. It becomes very physically and emotionally tiring. I almost feel like want to emotionally shut down, this is especially true when I actually have a panic attack. It’s also not something that just goes away. It lingers. It then makes me depressed. The funny thing, I don’t know where else this could have from besides the abuse and rape.

So, why did I start feeling this yesterday?

I don’t know. That’s really it. Maybe my fear got the best of me, no clue where it came from. Thankfully… I’m starting to find that writing is helping me sort out my thoughts better. More importantly, it helps organize otherwise all-over-the-place thoughts. It also gets me to feel how absurd the thinking really can be. Usually, it’s more something in my head than it is something based in reality. I know that, but it’s hard to turn it off once it’s started.

But I’m trying. Trying is all I can really do when it comes to negative emotional feedback. I am learning that doing this, writing, is really therapeutic. I might start doing that more when it does happen. It’s good to know that I have another outlet besides just going through it.

 

Shut Up Brain

I have this ongoing argument going. I’m sure everyone has it at one point or another, right. The argument between the heart and the head. This argument isn’t exactly something that can be win-lose. It’s a struggle that goes on forever. And in my case, it’s one that’s been altered by some pretty heinous things.

So, when I say heinous, I do mean some pretty nasty things. 25 years of abuse and a rape does wonderful things to the brain. The bigger problem is the abuse. Not all my abuse was physical… actually most of my abuse wasn’t. It was emotional. I’ve been made to feel like I was a horrible person, undeserving of love. Sometimes I get to feel that way. Not because I agree. Simply because sometimes the brain doesn’t want to agree with my heart.

They say that you should always trust your gut feeling. They’ve done scientific studies to show that your gut feeling is generally correct. Your head is not always the most rational.

This is where I’m running into my problem. My heart is telling me one thing, my brain is telling me another. While I wish that one would listen to the other, there’s not much I can do about the fight between the two.

For a while I’ve had this feeling that there would be a lot of good things coming. I don’t know why I have this feeling, but I do get them. It’s not really a random feeling I get because of wishful thinking. Generally the feeling comes well in advance and always has the follow through. I guess we can say its intuition or gut instinct.

Now a part of that might be tempered by real knowledge. I know that I’m finally going to be getting the job of my dreams… and full-time, complete with everything that comes with it. Of course, I’m scared about the salary negotiation and contract… I have no idea what it’s all going to look like. Now, on that end, there’s a lot of fear. Not fear that I’m going to realize that I hate it, because I don’t. That was the one thing I wasn’t sure about. It’s more that I don’t know what the scope of my job will be. I don’t know what my salary will be. I don’t know if I’m going to be forced back to a diurnal existence. There’s a lot of unknowns. Though, as a writer, I think that it’s fair to assume that I can keep my nocturnal existence.

The other revolves around relationships.

This is where things get tricky. I’ve had so many bad personal relationships, that I tend to think more negatively of myself in them. Not because I suck at relationships, but because of all the negative things I heard for years. I am better than I used to be. I recognize that these bad feelings do stem from years of being told that I’m not good enough, that I’m a horrible person, that I’m crazy… you name it, I’ve probably heard it.

Once again, my gut feeling is that this is a lot of good. There’s a lot more attached to it, but not really proper for this piece. Then we have my brain that now tells me that I’m constantly fucking up. That I’m doing something wrong even if I’m not.

And it makes me want to find every last abusive ex-boyfriend and makes me want to repeatedly punch them in the face. Because of them, I have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. I almost always will start thinking I’m screwing something up. It’s not healthy, but it’s also hard to break out of a negative feedback loop once you’ve been put in it.

Which is why, I almost always acknowledge that I know what my brain is telling me isn’t rational… and possibly isn’t even correct. Why not correct? Well, there’s this interesting thing that happens to the brain when it receives a lot of pain, either a lot at once or over the years consistently. It can condition your brain. It can be undone. It takes many years to undo all the damage done by the pain. Thanks to studies on neuroplasticity, we know that it can be done. It’s just a lot of work.

Thankfully, I also have people who want to help speed this process. It’s because of that I’m not nearly as down on myself as I used to be. Surprisingly, this used to be worse. It’s getting better. It’s not leaps and bounds better. It is better in the sense that I can take a compliment when someone says I’m beautiful. It’s better in the sense that I’m starting to listen when people tell me I’m not horrible, that I’m a worthwhile person. Not everything is going to be leaps and bounds, most times it’s going to be baby steps. Baby steps aren’t bad, they just take more time.

While I was at Comic Con last weekend, I attended a lot of LGBTQ panels. They were actually pretty good and I enjoyed being in each one. I also started thinking a lot more about my journey. Like the why and how of my sexuality and gender expression, I feel like I need to write this out in trying to understand myself better… especially since this is how I process best.

I was raised in a somewhat religious household. While that wasnt really true for my early childhood and my later teenage years, it was certainly true in my pre-teen years. That might be why I tend to be so resistant to religion. Of course, this isn’t really about religion, is it?

It also might be one of the reasons that I’ve always treated sexuality with kid gloves. I lived in a very heteronormative household. It felt like the unspoken expectation was to always be normal… even though I didn’t understand what that met (and still don’t to this day). There was always this expectation that I would always have a boyfriend (as I am, kind of cis female, but more on that later). There was never any discussion of what if I want to date a girl or girls in general. It was always assumed that I would only want to date men.

Which is interesting. Whenever I had someone come out to myself as being something other than heterosexual, it never bothered me. My stepdad who abused me was bisexual. My best friend in high school was bisexual and came out to me first. It didn’t faze me when I heard it from either of them. I’ve always wondered why that was. If it was me being in denial, then I would have had a negative reaction. So, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t denying my sexuality. I think I just hadn’t really thought about it at the time… or even ever.

It seemed natural to me to find both men and women sexually attractive. When I fantasize, I see both as being equally hot. I still would like to date or do anything with women. Unfortunately the time vs. relationships thing is now a thing with 3 concurrent relationships.

So, maybe it’s that I’ve always kind of known that I was bisexual. I don’t know because I don’t remember there ever being any great revelation. It always kind of was. I didn’t have that lightbulb go off in my head the way it did with when I was poly.

It’s interesting because coming out as bisexual and poly happened pretty much at the same time… more or less. For poly, I had tried it before. It blew up horribly in my face because I had no idea what I was doing. It quickly became me being cheated on by an en boyfriend. He didn’t want to leave me, but wanted this other woman. Instead of being honest about what was going on, he would just do things. Now, even now after having done this for 11 years, I know that he cheated on me… though I’m pretty sure he would never admit that.

My first attempt was horrible. I decided that it wasn’t really for me. So, I tried to work at monogamous relationships… which I would repeatedly fail at, in all definitions of the word fail. Then my first “real” poly boyfriend introduced me to the Ethical Slut. I read it and actually had a lightbulb moment. It was one of those, “Yes, this makes total sense! This is exactly how I feel moments!” That is probably the only good thing to come out of that relationship, discovering that I was really poly.

Of course, after coming to terms with that, the boyfriend that I was dating monogamously had to try to wrap his head around not being mono. This is a hard transition. It really is. It probably would have been easier if he wasn’t so controlling and abusive. So he would always keep the brakes on when I would want to go on a date. It was at this time that he also told me, “You better not be bi too.”

At the time it seemed kind of innocuous.

As time passed after breaking up with him I realized that it seems more sinister. Like he knew he was losing control of me. That I wasn’t going to be there anymore to make him look better. He wasn’t going to be able to manipulate and put me down anymore… that time was running out. But there’s nothing more fun then being told that you can’t explore your own sexuality and that you can’t be who you are. As more time has passed, I resent him more and more for that statement than any other.

There’s always something that I’ve always felt awkward about. I’ve always felt awkward about my gender. Not in the way transgender people do. I’ve always shared a certain amount of both masculine and feminine features. It became more obvious once I was in middle school. My “friends” used to call me she male. Of course, this upset and hurt me because I was a girl. I was acting like I thought I should. I didn’t understand the concept of being overly feminine or overly girly. It hasn’t been until a couple of events more recently. One of them is because I am often around a greater variety of the LGBTQ community. I’m no longer stuck in a small echo chamber, but I now see a greater variety of people. It’s also because of my newest relationship that I feel more emboldened to explore my genderqueerness. I love that I’m getting support from all of my relationships to explore who I am.

I think I truly appreciate all of this because I’ve gone through so much bad crap in my life. It took me time to accept who I am. I wish I could have done so at a younger age (like many who learn these things when they were younger). I am so grateful that I am where I am in my life, that I have the people I do in my life. Sometimes I’m utterly blown away by what I have. I feel incredibly lucky or blessed or what have you. All I know is that I’m glad that they’re there.

Well, It has been sometime since I’ve just written something that is just about what’s going on in my life. It’s been sometime…

So… Life is interesting now. It’s not Chinese curse interesting, for once. I feel like I’m riding this wave of good things… and I know it’s going to get bigger. I finally feel prepared to ride it all out. I’m secure about this thing that I do almost as naturally as breathing. I feel completely secure in my writing. I’m starting to carve a niche for myself that makes me happy.

So, what all is happening?

Where to start… My life finally feels wonderfully full. I feel like all the pieces of my life are starting to fit together. I feel ridiculously happy for a few reasons. I’m still feeling this incredible, overwhelming wonderful feeling. The feeling that I know I’ve written about before. This feeling that almost feels like a panic attack. Instead of being partnered with worry and fears, it’s followed by positive thoughts. That might be because my fingers are just brushing my dream. That it’s within my reach.

What does that mean in real terms?

Well… Not sure where to start. I’m at the point where I will be giving my 2 weeks in just over a month (or so). I negotiate my salary and will be working full-time in August. I will be writing full-time. This is just the beginning of what I really want to do with my life. I am so excited about being able to do this all the time and get paid.

I also have a third partner in my life. Oddly enough, the scheduling should actually work. I can’t put into words the exuberance I am feeling now. I might have to sit down and just write about it to put it in to words.

This whole situation is… amazing. It’s beyond anything that I could ever put in words. Not surprisingly, I want to put it all out there.
I’ve also decided that I need to take the time to be able to write. I need that time for me. I haven’t done it in some time. I’m going to start doing it now. I will write more of my stories (and I will start busting my ass to get them up so you can read them as well). I feel like I’ve been missing that in my life. I have to feed that need inside me. I also have a Fanime wrap-up to write. I will get that out next week.

So, here we are.

I’ll post a list of all my writing that I’ve done since my last post so you too can see them.

Until then!

Sorry for the Absence

It’s been a while, I know. Life has been increasingly hectic. In many ways it finally feels like life is getting interesting, and not in the Chinese curse way. So, what have I been up to lately?

My internship ended last Friday. As much as I loved it, it was an internship and I knew that was going to happen. It was what happened next that I expected less.

I’m still writing for the same publication. I now have a job with them. I’m now getting to do something that I’ve always wanted to do, and am completely capable to do it. I also have exciting things happening in my life personally. I feel like this time, I need to learn a lesson about patience. As much as I want things to happen yesterday, I need to learn that we can’t always get instant gratification, even if it’s something we desire. So, I’m trying to take things in stride. There’s a lot of happy things coming, it’s just a matter of learning to be patient.

Otherwise, I can’t complain. There’s a lot of exciting things happening. I’m just holding on and I’m going to wait and see. This ride has just begun.

The last 2-ish weeks have been incredibly busy. I feel even more rushed off my feet than I normally do. It also feels like this is just the beginning.

The reason why I missed last week’s post was because I’ve worked the San Francisco Film Festival. I have seen at least one movie every day since the festival began. So, needless to say I’ve seen a lot of movies.

If I were to choose the best movie I’ve seen of the festival… I couldn’t pick one. I really enjoyed… well, a lot of them. Hell, I’d say pretty much everyone I’ve seen. I’ll pick a few that I really enjoyed: What Happened, Miss Simone?, 54: Director’s Cut, Devil’s Backbone, Advantageous and Theory of Obscurity. There are so many more that I also adored, but I don’t want to roll out the list of virtually everything I’ve seen.

This 2 weeks is also the longest I have been “on”. As an introvert, constantly having to be social is very draining in all ways on me. I’m not going to lie, I feel both emotionally and physically drained. I need a good week of just taking some me time. I think that getting back to my normal schedule will help. It’s not that I crave normalcy (because what about me screams normal), but getting back to a routine will give me the time to come back to reality.

Friday is the first day where I can start to get back to normal. That also means getting back to a somewhat normal writing schedule.

Just thought I would give you all an update about what’s going on.

Here we are again… another weekly round-up.

Life is getting busier now. I got me a press pass for the San Francisco International Film Festival. Now it’s about setting up interviews with people. This is both exciting and scary. I feel like things are actually starting to move forward for me. This is an incredibly scary thought. It’s continuing in to the unknown. If I want it bad enough, I’ll keep going. I really would like to write and not being in an office job.

More importantly, I’ve got plenty of writing that I’ve done over the last week. I will get some more writing up on Thursday.

Enjoy!

There are somethings that politicians say that make me think WTF.
Square Enix takes some sexy away.
Who can forget Torchwood?
This is a reassuring story.
Remember the “what gender is Sheik” question?
More politician WTF.
Business world scandals can be equally be interesting too.
If you hadn’t heard, Hillary Clinton is running.

That’s it for this week’s round-up. I hope you enjoy the articles. I’m pretty proud of all of them.

‘Til Thursday!

Here we are, once again. It’s time for our weekly round-up.

LIfe is still pretty busy. I’m working out how best to make some time for some personal writing. I have a feeling I’m going to need to be better at it. One thing I’m really hoping to get more work on is my screenplay. I also want to work on a new story as well as continuing to work on the old one that I posted a new part for here. I’m hoping to he able to post again on Friday.

So, what did I write last week, that wasn’t here…
An article about Fred Phelps’ granddaughter who left the WBC
The backlash of Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” bill
Arkansas makes their “Religious Freedom” bill better
This op-ed piece that I’m *really* quite proud of. Seriously, reaxd it.
A study about sex and the modern Millennial
Some stuff happening at the San Francisco International Film Festival
Conventions are safe spaces for the genderfluid

So, there you have it. I hope you enjoy reading them Especially read the op-ed piece. I’m very proud of it. I think I did a good job.

I hope you enjoy it!

Until then!

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