April 28, 2013


OK. Continuing on from before.... (click here if you don't know what I'm talking about)

Even though my high school friend's article was really triggering for me, it was also very empowering. She was so brave to talk about her sexual assault like that. She wrote about it under her own name and shared it with the social networking world. Reading about her strength in going through what she did and then her seeing her strength in sharing it was inspiring. When she came up with the idea to start a blog for survivors to share their stories, I decided to write part of my own story and I submitted it to be posted on that blog.

I started thinking about what I wanted to write and then I couldn't sleep until I had written it all down. I'm kind of proud of how the piece turned out. I didn't make it overly graphic and I shared enough of my story to make some important points about the effects of abuse, and at the same time I felt some catharsis from writing it down. I shared it with my therapists and with a couple friends and they were all very supportive and said that it was well written. After I shared it with them, I felt a little bit less vulnerable so I decided to share it with my brother. Clearly I knew it would be hard for him to read, but I wasn't expecting him to be unable to read it. 

I'm not angry with him for not being able to read it - he tried, he got through half of it - but it was disappointing and I'm angry with the circumstances. It's awesome to be able to share my story with my friends and my therapists. The disappointment comes from wishing that I could share some of my burden with my family, but those are the people who find it the hardest to do that because they care the most and don't want to see me hurting. So I know that he's not being unsupportive by not reading it because he's supportive in other ways, but I was sad that people did things to me that were so awful that I can't talk about them with my brother... I hate that they even managed to take that away from me. And then there's more anger that comes from seeing that other people have the choice to not look at my story, whereas I have no choice - I had no say when I was going through it and the memories are part of who I am - I have to look at my story. Despite my anger at life, I'm glad that my brother has that choice because I know how much it sucks when you aren't allowed to decide for yourself what to do.

This was a really hard post to write so I'm going to go do fun and relaxing things now. But I'll end with a little shout out to my brother - love ya bro! 

April 19, 2013

Boston Strong

I am so glad and relieved that law enforcement have managed to capture the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. I'm feeling grateful for all of the amazing efforts and hard work by the law enforcement officers involved in the successful capture. I'm also thinking of the victims of the past four days: the three killed at the bombings and the dozens wounded, the MIT officer who was killed, and the MBTA officer who was seriously wounded in the firefight. I'm proud of Boston for coming together after the horrific events of the last week to demonstrate that we cannot be beaten down.

April 16, 2013


It has been a while since my last post... about a month! Which means that I actually have a lot to say, but I'll probably split it into at least two posts so that I don't go way too long in this one. Long posts are boring and they hurt my brain! My excuse for not posting is that I got pretty distracted because I went on vacation. I'm so glad that I was able to relax and have fun during it too. I got to see one of my best friends, I got to be in Mexico where it was nice and warm, and I got to get a break from the stresses of life. 

Unfortunately I had a backlash of PTSD stuff when I got home. It was like I was able to hide it all away for the week that I was away and then it had to catch up on everything once I stopped forcing it away. So I ended up having this weird kind of reality check because when it all flooded in it felt like, "oh my god this stuff is really part of my life and it actually happened to me; not someone else." Because of that, I was already at a high anxiety level when I found out that someone I was good friends with in high school had experienced a sexual assault. I was so impressed with her strength because she came out publicly about her experience in an article that she wrote. Even though I hadn't talked to her in years, I was still really upset for her when I read it and it also triggered my own stuff. Embarrassingly, I ended up bursting into tears at work because I got so worked up and anxious about it. At first I didn't really know why I had been triggered so badly, but after thinking about it, I figured some of it out.

The obvious part is that I was feeling upset for her because I would never want anyone, let alone someone that I cared about, to go through anything like that. It made more sense to me that around the time that it happened she changed a lot and we pretty much stopped talking and that's such a sad reason for that to have happened. It may not have been the main reason we stopped talking, I don't know, but I'm guessing that it contributed to it.

It was also hard to read a description of a sexual assault. The basic facts of what happened to her made me think about some of the things that have happened to me and the aftereffects of those things.

Those two things by themselves are hard, but I think that the thing that made it REALLY triggering for me was that knowing the person I was reading about made it very real and therefore made what happened to me very real. When I accept what happened to her (because it's impossible not to), I have to accept what happened to me. Most of my defense mechanisms revolve around trying to make what happened go away. I avoid, pretend, repress, deny, I do whatever it takes to make it less real. Having a large dose of reality really sucked.

Despite being triggered, I am proud of how I handled it. Instead of retreating into myself, I talked about it with people. I ended up talking to the coworker who was sitting next to me when I burst into tears and who I trust enough to confide a little bit in. And then when I was still shaking like a leaf by the time I got home, I called the 'on call' at the clinic in order to get some help to calm down. Yay me!

And to end on an extra good note, here's a pretty picture of Tulum, Mexico: 

Tulum, Mexico