Monday Musings – 04/11/2019.

I’ve spent the past few months trying to smile instead of frown, or glare. It hasn’t always worked, life sometimes just throws huge curveballs at us and it’s difficult to see the positive.

What I have noticed is that whenever I smile instead of feeling gloomy or angry, I feel more adept at dealing with whatever life has thrown at me.

Monday Musings – 28/10/2019.

I talk a lot about the intensive therapy that I had earlier in the year. This is because it had such a positive impact on my life and has allowed me to release so much negativity that was weighing me down. That included hiding my true self from the world.

I have found that I am so much happier, I’m at peace with myself, when I am being truly me. I won’t apologise for who I am, not anymore. I won’t hide away fearing what others may say; if they have an issue with my true self then that is their issue to deal with, not mine.

Always shine brightly.

Monday Musings – 21/10/2019.

I’ve known many fake people in my life and it is sad to think that they have felt they have to make a persona up in order to be liked.

It’s also sad that some people do not like us because we are being our genuine selves. It’s easy to blame the advent of social media on this, but people being fake is nothing new.

I like the quotes that encourage us to be ourselves, telling us that the world needs our uniqueness. Such quotes inspire me to keep on being myself. I often have to remind myself that not everyone is going to like me and that is ok, that’s just how life is.

Keep on being yourself. The world needs your uniqueness.

New beginnings.

Readers of this blog will undoubtedly know I suffer from PTSD. Some of you know why, some of you may not.

I was attacked. Brutally attacked. Violently attacked. I was held at knifepoint whilst he invaded my body, brutally, violently, against my will. I had no will. He took that from me. My voice left me during that harrowing ordeal. My power was taken from me.

If you want the ugly truth, I was raped at knifepoint when I was 16 years old by a serial rapist.

I’ve tried to blog about this in away that isn’t harrowing so many times. But the truth is that it is so very harrowing, there is no way to make it less so. I’m not going to detail the attack here, it’s too much. I’m establishing a space for myself as I go through the next part of my therapy – reliving my trauma.

My therapist has encouraged me to write about this process in a way that I feel comfortable with, mostly this will be done in a private journal. As you can imagine, some of what will come up will be excruciatingly challenging for me to deal with, therefore baring my soul to the world in such circumstances isn’t going to be the best thing for me.

That said, as we are here, at a new year, I wanted to share my journey and see how I evolve over the coming weeks and months. I know this is going to be tough, the reason we haven’t started the hard work yet is because my therapist wanted me to be able to enjoy the festive season with my family.

But now the new year is here I am ready to face this challenge.

I’ve had therapy several times before for this trauma. After the attack I spent almost a year receiving treatment from a child psychiatrist. She taught me how to control my flashbacks and triggers. But I think I took her technique a step too far because I switched a lot of my emotions off completely. I also managed to block out huge chunks of that period of time, the attack, the aftermath, the subsequent days, weeks and months afterwards. Yet snippets of memory play out in my mind, mostly when I least expect it. Quite a lot of the time I get triggered by TV and social media and this often brings about another snippet that I have unsuccessfully blocked out.

I’ve had a couple of counselling sessions for issues that were kind of connected to the trauma, but looking back now I can see those treatments were inadequate for the monster that hides inside of me. Yes, we’ve established I have a huge monster simmering away inside of me, who let’s rip every now and then, but gets squashed back down.

The monster needs to be released. The monster prevents me from experiencing life on all levels. I’ve been dead emotionally since 1987. I’ve been operating at a hyper vigilant state for 31 years and I am exhausted. In simplistic terms I switched my emotions off so that I could deal with the trauma inflicted upon me. I became emotionless and hyper vigilant. That meant I was in control.

But we all know what happens when the tipping point is reached. And yep, you’ve guessed it, my tipping point was reached when I had the MRI. This time I couldn’t get it all stuffed back inside, it just wouldn’t fit.

And so that is how I’ve landed on this path, the path that will finally deal with the trauma that almost broke me so many years ago. The path where I have to face the huge, scary monster that lurks within and terrifies the crap out of me.

It’s time to face my demons and slay them once and for all.

I have to admit, I am really not looking forward to the upcoming sessions, what needs to come out is dark and ugly and nasty. But I need to let it out, to release it and let go of it completely. It’s time to heal the young girl inside of me who hurts so badly from what a sick and evil bastard did to her. She’s still writhing in agony inside of me, seeing the trauma, feeling the trauma, reliving it over and over again; she needs healing and only when she heals will I heal.

I need to reconnect that young girl with me, the me in the present. My therapist told me that it’s interesting how I often talk about the young girl as if she were someone else. Logically I know she’s me, but I fear her. She’s hurt. She’s battered and bruised, both outside and inside. She’s afraid.

I fear her.

And so the journey begins………

Yule.

I normally share ideas and pics that tie in with whichever sabbat I’m blogging about, but this time round I felt it wasn’t right. I usually feel that I need to share sabbat cheer on my blog, regardless of what is happening in my own life.

I’ve always done that, put on a brave face to the outside world. You would never know there was anything wrong with me, both physically and emotionally, if we were to ever meet anywhere.

OK, I have a disability (or two), but I’m just trying to make a point about how I keep everything bottled inside. You see, the truth is I’m scared. Scared to let the emotions spill out. Scared to lose control. Scared to go back to the place I was in before I got so good at pretending I don’t have my shit together.

Things have gotten so bad in my life I’m actually having to have therapy. I’m not ashamed of that, just pointing that out in case anyone thinks I’m slating anyone in therapy. I’m not. So, I’m in therapy and it’s going to take a while to sort out my problem.

I have complex PTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a psychological disorder and the mental health charity mind explain what it is here. My therapist is hopeful that she can help me process the trauma and learn to deal with it.

I’ve only been working with her for a short time and already I’ve remembered two things that I’d buried so deep inside of my mind. So far we haven’t gone deep, and by this I mean I haven’t gone through the re-living process that should allow me to process the trauma by reliving the experience and then allow myself to deal with it all, and also to recognise it as a past event.

Part of my C-PTSD means I have spent 31 years being hyper vigilant. I constantly scan my surroundings for threats. I never fully relax at home, I’m always listening for something. Being hyper vigilant is exhausting, I really would like a break from it all.

With that going on in my life I’ve been less present on social media. I’ve felt a mix of emotions with regards to social media and because I don’t want to lose it altogether I’ve avoided so many things.

But what has any of this got to do with Yule?

Well, for me, Yule marks a time of rebirth. It’s also a time where I reach the pinnacle of my inward spiralling – as summer comes to an end I have noticed that I feel myself spiralling within, becoming more reflective in my life and preparing for the long, dark days of winter. At this time though the light begins to grow, ever so gradually at first, but enough to spark a flicker of hope inside of me.

This year I feel it is even more poignant and I’m gradually feeling hope return to my life. It is just a flicker, but it’s there, and I have a tiny flicker of optimism about the coming year that has been absent in my life for a very long time.

Yule falls on or around December 21st and other religions have similar festivals around this time of year; Hanukkah is celebrated by Jewish people. Kwanzaa is celebrated by Africans, and of course Christmas is celebrated by Christians and many, many non-Christian people too.

For me, Yule is about reflecting upon the past year. It’s about making plans for the coming year, not too far removed from traditional New Year’s Resolutions. I may perform a ritual, it just depends on what I have planned, but if I don’t do anything remotely like that I still mark the occasion in some way. Besides, I class Christmas as Yule anyway. Some of the family celebrate Yule in the traditional sense, others just celebrate Christmas in the non-traditional sense. I never get hung up on celebrating Christmas, even though I am a pagan. We see this as a time to come together and celebrate us. To exchange gifts and have an absolute blast.

Whatever you’re doing this Yule time I wish you much love, peace and happiness.

A lesson I needed to learn.

Sometimes life will trip you up and you’ll feel all the feels. Sometimes people will lie about you and convince others that their story is the truth.

Words used in such a way to wound and hurt, to destroy. False stories created to cover the truth.

But I’m not responsible for these lies told about me. I’m responsible for me and my behaviour.

I try as hard as I can to be honourable and decent. Often I will fall short. What I will never do is lie about a person just to be popular.

Sometimes the breaking away feels like you’ve cut a limb off, but the lies that were festering in the undercurrent made it impossible.

I am responsible for my words and actions.

Going inside.

To hear my story you would think I’d never actually healed my wounds. I have been healed, maybe not wholly, maybe that’s part of the problem, or maybe this kind of wound heals akin to a broken bone; the wound knits together but there’ll always be a niggle there.

I’m reading a book at the moment that is an accompaniment to my self discovery journey and in it the author says “we have to go within and address the soundings that live inside”. Going within over the last few weeks I have realised that time and feeling safe will help me heal the massive wound. But the wounds I didn’t realise I carried inside of me, the wounds inflicted upon me by other women, well, I have absolutely no idea how to heal these wounds.

Today I’ve made lists, if you know me you know I love my lists. Lists of the people responsible for the wounds and the affliction that caused each wound. I’ve listed how I felt at the time and how I feel now. It’s helped somewhat because I’ve identified hurt I hadn’t realised I was carrying around with me.

My lists and the book have helped me to realise that I’ve skirted around each wound that these women have caused me, making excuses for their behaviour, not acknowledging that they have well and truly screwed me over.

Going inside has allowed me to face these wounds, and yeah, they’re pretty scary to deal with – it’s all a huge mess that really could do with cleaning up – it’s allowed me to see that I am not the braveheart people call me. A braveheart would’ve faced these wounds and dealt with the messy business of the pain and the suffering and the raw emotions that are part and parcel of self discovery.

Delving deep into my inner core is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s a journey I’m thoroughly enjoying.