Self Care Sunday – PTSD, Healing and a Call To Action

Stop Kavanaugh

Image is from The Chronicle Herald

On this Self Care Sunday, I am filled with incredible sadness. I am sad that “win at all costs” politics made a woman sit front of a Senate Committee on National television and speak of her deepest darkest pain. I am sad that a man, who may or may not be innocent, had to be on National television having his reputation destroyed. I am sad this triggered such a visceral response in me. I am sad it’s triggering pain from my own assaults. I am sad for so many people who are reliving traumas. I am sad politics have come to this in our Nation when it didn’t have to come to this. Or did it?

Did politics in our country have to come to such a new low for society to collectively awaken to what extremist partisanship is doing to the nation? Did this have to happen to galvanize a movement of women and men in unity to take a stand against sexual assault and change a Nation? Did politics have to come to such dark place that two women screaming in an elevator were the only people to get through to one, just one, sensitive Senator with a conscious, who was visibly distressed enough to pause. Was that the only way for us to move towards healing? Did Partisanship have to get this ugly in order to wake people up? Did this darkness have to come to light for transformation? I am hoping so but only time will tell.

As this has been playing out; I’ve been triggered. Triggered with flashbacks. Triggered with anger. It triggered pain that I stuffed down and ignored for years. With the help of my long term therapist, some courage and a determination to heal, I’ve been allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. I am no longer stuffing it down. I’ve been letting myself be sad. I’ve been unearthing pain. I’ve been sitting with how it affected my life and how it impacted my relationships with men. I’ve been letting the darkness come to light. I am opening myself to healing emotionally and spiritually to hopefully heal my physical body too.

I had a session with my therapist on Friday. It was helpful. I relayed to her that so much of Dr. Ford’s testimony was familiar to me. I relayed I had similar experiences with anxiety, PTSD and memories that never go away. My therapist said to me, “do you realize that this is the first time in the five years you’ve been coming to me that you’ve talked this openly for this long about these events?” I didn’t realize it. In the five years I’ve been seeing her, I always tipped toed around the sexaul assault would never actually talk about it. We’ve talked about so many other things but I shut down as soon as that topic came up. She never pushed; she would say something for my awareness but not push me to talk about it. It didn’t occur to me that I was finally able to talk about it without feeling ashamed, without feeling angry, without feeling sad and without feeling embarrassed. I wasn’t even crying. Maybe I am healing. It was in that moment I started to feel a bit freer. My soul was feeling lighter and perhaps healing. As raw and emotional I’ve been, I haven’t let it pull me down into the rabbit hole of depression like it normally would. I have been having anxiety, mild depression, sadness and flashbacks but I am not stuck there.

After my session on Friday, I ran into a male friend. We knew we had similar views so we started chatting about the last week. He is a sweet kind man; I am very comfortable being around him. I trust him and know I am always safe with him. In that conversation, I found myself telling him what happened to me over 30 years ago and how this last week has been affecting me. As I stood there exposed and vulnerable, I also felt safe. Shortly after I told him my story, He then told me his story… He started by saying only his wife and family knew and he didn’t tell them until he was in his 30s. The event happened when he was child. We witnessed for each other and perhaps helped each heal a by sharing in a safe space with another survivor. The survivor movement, #metoo #timesup, is bigger than just women; it’s men too. No one should be ashamed if it happened to them and they should know they have community of support out there ready to give them a safe space to talk about it.

I had another conversation with a woman who was also sexaully assaulted, it was almost like she wanted vengeance against her attacker with the Kavanuagh nomination. She couldn’t get vengeance against her attacker so she wanted to block the Kavanuagh nomination even without having evidence other than Dr. Ford’s testimony. I am more pragmatic about things. I think there needs to be a thorough unobstructed investigation. I also beleive Kavanuagh deserves respect. Even as a survivor I am empathetic and compassionate to what this must be doing to him and his family. I do not believe people should be punished for their past the rest of their lives. I certainly would not want my past unearthed on National TV. This doesn’t mean I support the Kavanuagh nomination, it just means I do not believe in an “eye for an eye”. He deserves compassion and empathy as a human being.

Well, I realized on Saturday that is far from over. It’s actually just getting started. The more the Republicans try to push his nomination forward, the more they are galvanizing the movement against them. Do a complete and thorough investigation. Do not obstruct it in any way. Let the facts come out, let the FBI follow whatever lead they get. Give these folks voice or they will just keep going after them and his judgeship will be tainted. How does that impact the image of SCOTUS? I just don’t understand how the Reps can’t see this. Perhaps they don’t have a backup plan so they have to stick with him. I won’t be protesting and I need to be careful what I do publically because of my job but I will be voting straight Blue for the rest of my life after this.

I am also seeing is that many of my friends who are white women over 50 do not believe Dr. Ford and support Kavanaugh. Either they are hard core Republicans, in subserivant relationships or they have never been sexaully assaulted. What I am also observing is this younger generation is pissed off. The only difference is the younger folks are armed with Social Media and are willing drop everything for a good protest. I also would advocate for younger folks to start running for office. What was so apparent was the age of the folks on the Judiciary Committee. No offense to anyone, but the younger generation needs to see their peers on these committees instead of a bunch of white guys over 50.

On this Self Care Sunday I have the below Call To Actions:

For men:
I call upon the men who are reading this blog to open yourself to awareness and audit how you treat women. Do you yell? Do you dismiss them? Are you a choir boy in public but physically or verbal abusive in private? Are you respectful? Can you be sensitive to a woman’s pain? I ask you to talk to your children. Explain to your boys how women should be treated and explain to your girls how they should be treated by a man. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, don’t stuff it down. Seek a safe person to confide in and work towards healing. As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

For Women:
I call upon women reading this blog to ask themselves if they are being treated appropriately by the men in their lives? Are you safe? Are you being physically or verbally abused? Do you tolerate men yelling at you? I call upon you to set an example for the younger women. Do not let another generation be subjected to abuse or assaults. Make sure you sons and daughters know it’s not ok for anyone to grope them. It’s not ok for anyone touch them. It’s not ok for anyone tolerate rape in any circumstances. Above all, make sure children know it is ok for them to speak up and seek help if they are attacked.

Women, You need to know, if you are in a relationship were you being treated poorly, it’s ok to leave. If that man truly loves you, he will want to change to keep you. Otherwise, you are better off without him. Trust me, you are better off alone than in a relationship with a man who disrespects you. As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

If you think something that happened to a person while they were 15 years old doesn’t matter, I can tell you it does matter and it affects people for the rest of their lives.

Remember this —

As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

NOTES:

I chose the above image because perception is often another’s person’s reality. Most of women in the Nation are perceiving the GOP is silencing them.

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – September 23, 2018

Self Care Sunday art

This Self Care Sunday is complicated for me for a few reasons. I am just not sure what to do next. I am getting a bit overwhelmed and decided to give into a bit on Saturday. I slept most of the day and watched a few episodes of “The Tunnel: Season 3 – Vengeance” on Amazon Prime which took my mind off of most stuff 🙂

My self care this week has actually been pretty good – all things considered. Being in DC Sunday to Tuesday kept my mind off of the health issues and I felt pretty good while I was there. It was actually the best trip to DC I’ve had so far. I LOVED the Museum of the Bible. The Conference I attended on Monday was extremely beneficial. I declined the group dinner invitation and opted for a solo meal (Salmon Cobb Salad=delicious) at my hotel’s bar where I ran into a coworker also in town. We chatted one on one quietly for a bit which was nice. I was in my room by 6:45pm exhausted, talked out and over peopling for the day. The below meme is a true accurate depiction of how I felt Monday night in my hotel room.

Empaths

I felt some mental junk creeping up on me on Wednesday so I focused myself on writing sexy poetry for Blue Love. That made me happy. Writing poetry always makes me happy and raises my vibration. I especially enjoy writing Blue Love Poetry. It’s been a long time since I wrote a spicy poem and it was nice to feel that energy in me again. I need those blue eyes and that erotic stimulation my life.

By Thursday, I started to feel some uneasiness creep up into my soul. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation stuff and sexual assault allegation started to trigger PTSD from my own assaults. My therapist told me when things come up I need to sit with it, feel it and not stuff the emotions down anymore. The only way to heal is to let it come up into the light. The next few paragraphs are emotionally heavy. I hope by writing this it helps me heal and maybe inspires others to start their healing journey as well…so here it goes…

First, please take some time and read the Twitter #whyididntreport stories. There are hundreds of thousands stories of unreported sexual assaults, painful stories, from both women and men. Feel their pain and then you may understand what it is like to be in our shoes. So here’s some of my story. It happened twice. I told family. The first time no one believed me. They said I must have been confused. He was drunk and he didn’t mean. Since I wasn’t hurt and was able to fight him off nothing bad really happened to me. So — How do you think that made me feel? How do you think I felt knowing they basically thought I was a liar and continued to allow him to live in our house.

Telling me I was confused and defending him made them feel better until it happened a second time. By the grace of God, there were witnesses the second time. It couldn’t be ignored. I was injured. People knew, I confronted him both times. It’s our family’s little secret. I never contacted the police or the FBI because my family didn’t want anyone to know. Believe me EVERYONE wanted to push it aside, act as if it didn’t happen and move on. It’s a little more complicated when it’s relative. It’s a little more complicated when everyone assumed I overreacted the first time and even said I was confused. They basically blew it off until the second time it happened. The second time I was injured physically, mentally and spiritually. I was lucky that witnesses heard the noise, saved me and had him removed from the house forever the second time. However, that night was the end of the conversation. That was the end of any acknowledgement of what happened to me. No one wanted to talk about it after that night. They thought removing him was enough and that I wasn’t scarred. I was expected to let it go, move on and make holidays nice for the rest of family for the rest of my life and pretend for everyone that everything was forgiven.

I pretended to forgive. I stuffed it down as far as I could. I’ve been in therapy at least four times since I was 21 years old. I attempted suicide once in my 20s and a second time in my 30s. I must not have been meant to die because I was found both times. I acted out sexually in my 20s and early 30s. I accepted poor treatment from men my entire life because I felt I was damaged and didn’t believe I deserved any better. I carried the burden and paid for his actions my entire life. He’s moved on just fine. I am the one with PTSD and lost any opportunity to have a normal life with a man. I am the one who lost it all while he walks around like king.

It was only a few months ago that I allowed myself to really start to feel this pain and allow this darkness to come up and out of me for healing. I’ve been working through it with my therapist. We agreed it is not worth addressing anything with him again. He will never own is actions nor take responsibility for what he did to me. I did, however, need to re-address it with my Mother which I did about a year ago. I spent over two hours walking her through the events and how it affected my life and my relationships with men my entire life. She always was disappointed I never married and never had children. It was in this conversation she started to understand why. It was in this conversation she could feel my pain. She started to understand how those events impacted my life and what it is like to live with those memories. My mother is significantly more compassionate and empathetic towards me since this conversation. We are closer than we have ever been. I do not blame her but I still needed to be sure she understood me. As she sobbed and said “I’m sorry” over and over again, I didn’t feel validated. I felt sad for everything that was lost because of those events.

My therapist and I were talking about my relationships with men in my last appointment. She looked at me and said, “any man you allow into your life now will need to be REALLY special. You deserve someone special who you can trust enough to let him help you through the anxieties and flashbacks.” Then she said, “Linda, you deserve someone special who can be a friend and a lover; who will treat you with compassion, respect and tenderness.”

Yes, the allegation made by Dr. Ford against Brett Kavanaugh triggered me because I can related to stuffing it down. I can relate to not being able to acknowledge your truth. Mostly, I can relate to how Dr. Ford must have felt when Kavanaugh was nominated; seeing him become the judge on the highest court in our country knowing what he did to her as a woman. Knowing he would vote on cases that involve women. I can relate to a dam breaking inside of her.

The truth is we do not know with absolute certainty the truth between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. That’s why an investigation and interviewing witnesses would be helpful. It shouldn’t be rushed. The GOP is pushing a vote through even though they don’t know the whole truth just means they don’t care; getting him in position on SCOTUS to overturn Roe vs. Wade is the top thing on their agenda to appease their hardliners and their base just before mid-terms. That is the truth. It’s all about politics and abortion.

Grey haired old men ramming a judge onto SCOTUS to make decisions about the bodies of women should outrage all women. Honestly, GOP women and men who are supporting him without even knowing if he is guilty means they care more about winning and politics than the well-being of women. I also think they probably never have been a victim of a sexual assault. I believe anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault would want to know the truth. A real man stands with women against sexual assault.

Let me say, I do not condone nor support extreme politics or the “win at all costs” energy coming from either side in Washington. I am more moderate. If these allegation are proven to be false, that would be huge step back. Brett Kavanaugh deserves to be treated fairly as does his accuser. Investigate it! Let’s also remember Gov background checks only go back to 18 years old. This supposedly happened when he was 17 years old and it would have been out of scope of his six earlier background checks. Also, new revelations about his high school year book have his references to “Devil’s triangle”. I’ll let you guys Google that as I don’t want to define it here. His college Frat had a motto, “no means yes and yes mean anal.” He also has a history of gambling debt and alcoholism. If you want to be SCOTUS, you are and should be held to a higher standard. Even if the allegations aren’t true, he is still unfit for SCOTUS. Do women really want this guy making decision about their bodies???? I DO NOT.

Believe me, I knew boys like Kavanaugh and his friends. I went to a catholic college. I went to a frat party one night as a freshman. I didn’t understand why none of the boys were talking to me then one of the guys told me it was “Ugliest girl night”. That meant the boys each put $10 into a pot and whoever had sex with the ugliest girl at the party won the pot. My friend told me I was too pretty and that’s why the boys were not talking to me. I then noticed boys talking to two of my friends. I told my friends I was sick and asked them to leave with me so I could get them out of there. Later that semester that same Frat was put on suspension because members were caught carrying a girl wrapped in a blanket across the quad in the early morning. She had been drugged and raped. I also personally know someone who was raped at a party by those same frat boys. She left school that semester and didn’t come back. She still can’t talk about it.

As mentioned above, take a few minutes and visit Twitter; search on #whyididntreport. Perhaps open a dialogue with the women in your life, especially your daughters. Find out if it happened to them. If it did, give them a safe place to release the pain. Empathy, compassion and being a good human comes before politics. Just because someone was good to you doesn’t mean they weren’t bad to someone else.

Whyididntreport twitter#whyididntreport – http://www.twitter.com
Twitter – #whyididntreport

Self care is not just about taking care of your physical body. For true healing, sometimes we have to be willing to feel, confront and live with our darkest pain to finally be free. I started Self Care Sunday with breakfast with my neighbors and other locals at the cafe up the street from me. I wrote this blog post to let it all out today. I will watch the Eagles Game because I enjoy football and I am a lifelong Eagles fan and I will try to stay off of news and Twitter for day to give myself some space.

(C) 2018 All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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