Author Stories

Random Panic Attacks: Death and Dognapping Edition

Hey all,

First off I want to say that I’m finally get our little blog in tip top shape. It’s been a long time coming but it’s happening. So if you see new changes or something very wonky here and there just know I’m probably crying and rocking in a corner somewhere trying to fix whatever I did to eff it up. Please hang in there with me and it should all be look great real soon.

So today I’m going to talk about panic attacks. Like out of nowhere slap in the face, knock you on your ass panic attacks. I had a doozy a few days ago. Let me set scene..

I’m at work minding my own damn business. I start to get really hot and feel woozy. My chest is starting to tighten up and my breaths become short and face. My “oh shit” meter is going off and I know I’m about to go to a place I don’t want to be.

This time I actually got myself into the bathroom. My work bathrooms are the best because they are full brick stalls and full heavy doors. For anyone that appreciates privacy you totally get what I mean. Not those cheap ass stalls you see with gaps. If I can see you, you can for sure see me.

I get inside and the tears immediately begin to flow. If I’m being completely honest most times I get these I don’t really know what it is that’s bothering me. Just something is not right and then I panic about it. This time it was so clear and completely random.

My main concern was that my boyfriend was going to die someday. Like it could be today or it could be 50 years from now. Who the hell knows but the only thing I’m focusing on is him dying and what the fuck am I going to do to not let that happen. I’m completely irrational at this point. Crying and trying to control my breathing. Trying to con myself by saying he will never die which I know is totally making it worse. Again I’m completely irrational at this point so you know what I did…?

I had another fucking thought pop up in my head mid attack. So not only do I think my boyfriend is dying but why not think about someone coming to steal my dog at the same time. WTF?!?!

So a while back I read during Covid people were stealing peoples dogs to get a ransom from the owner. We all remember Lady Gaga’s dog walker getting shot right? Well my brain took me to a place where my babies are going to get dog napped and I will never see them again. I will get attacked and have to live with the pain and guilt for not saving my babies.

Meanwhile I’m starting to realize how long I’ve been hiding in the bathroom and really need to get it together. My two totally random issues collided in a huge way and not in the nicest of ways. It was probably only 10 minutes but it felt like hours with the added stress of being at work.

I’m super hard on myself and tend to say some not so nice things about what I’m doing. “Get it together” “Just stop” ” Your being ridiculous” They are not really helpful at all. Please if you can remember to be patient with yourself. This is happening and you can do hard things. It will pass and you can tackle the problem when your calm. Lean into the feeling. Acknowledge it and tell yourself you will work on it.

I posted about my panic attacks before and here is the post I talk about my soothing methods.

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/real-talk-anxiety-and-depression-pt-1/

One or all may work for you or none whatsoever. There is never a right or wrong way to handle them. It’s just a matter of finding what can get you through in the best way for you.

I always feel a little weird talking about mine because I’m writing this with a safe and calm mind. Looking back it’s still seems irrational but they come when they come I guess.

Thanks for being here as always and let’s all try to be kind to each other this week.

XOXO,

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Abuse: Sexual Abuse

Hey All,

So today it a tough one. I’m concluding my series on the 5 types of domestic abuse with the hardest one for me. Sexual abuse. I purposely kept pushing it to the side and did the others first but I can’t keep running since I have no choice but do it to finish the series.

To be completely honest with you I have been starting and stopping this post for the past 3 days. I’d sit down to write and then the triggers would start and then the nausea and then it was just easier for me to quit than to push through but today is the day and I’m going to move forward. Let’s get in to it.

First up what is it:

  • Intimate partner sexual assault and rape are used to intimidate, control and demean victims and survivors of domestic violence.
  • Intimate partner sexual assault could be rape, body shaming in a sexual nature, exploring your body for profit, forcing you to do uncomfortable things, and really just plain anything sexual mid body spirit that you say no too but it keeps going.

As we were going through all the 5 types I think I said before that I was in the unfortunate club of having my abuser do all 5 to me but by far the sexual abuse is the hardest for me to get over. It completely consumes me and is actually one of the biggest challenges in my current relationship.

My ex used sex as a way to stay in control and intimidate. I’m not 100% ready for all the gory details to be out there yet, and for sure do not want to trigger anyone else but the things he did made me wish I would have died right then and there. I used to go to a different place in my head and wait until he was gone. I wished so desperately the hands around my neck would make me pass out and I could just wake up and it would be over.

The physical acts of course hurt but the shame and mental pain hurt was worse, shutting down during the act would help me get though the present but I really didn’t know how to handle the aftermath after. The shame of feeling used. The humiliation. I remember after a particular episode he made me get up and get dressed because we had to go get dog food. All I could think of was you just completely raped me and there is blood everywhere and now you want to fucking go get dog food like it’s no big deal? I remember walking into the pet store so sore and defeated. I wanted to scream at the random people to help me. I was in the dog toy isle feeling the soft plush toys for my Chihuahua and the lady next to me looked over and said “these are so soft and cute”. I wanted to scream “I was just raped to an inch of my life less than an hour ago” I just remember I smiled and nodded. She went about her day and I gave the pink bunny a hug before I put it back on the shelf. I guess I needed that bunny more than my dog did.

I still have my physical scars I can see each and every time I take a shower. My mental triggers are there on certain things that can pop up out of nowhere but nobody really get the toll it can take on your next relationship when it comes to sex.

One thing I have noticed is that I have let myself go health, beauty, weight wise. It’s like the fatter or uglier I get nobody will want to touch me. I seriously didn’t plan this or do it intentionally but I just gave up and the weight kept coming on. The fat was my buffer.

I currently struggle to be intimate with my current partner. My therapist says it’s normal and valid and all the theripisty words they like to use to get me to understand that because of the trauma I received it will take time. I also feel extreme guilt that I’m not a sexual goddess to my new partner. I sometimes feel my ex has ruined sex for me and now I guess for my current partner to. I have no desire to want it. When we are doing it I feel nothing. I go back to a place far away but my current guy is not doing anything harmful. There should be no reason to even want to disappear during but I do. To me sex is stressful and something I feel I have to do because that’s what couples do. I love my guy with all my heart but it’s just that’s our biggest issue. Whew! That was hard to write.

My only advice for you if you are going through something like this is to keep continuing to make a plan and try and get out. I know it’s not easy. Fuck it..It’s extremely hard. Like you just finished a marathon hard and then you have to do another one back to back hard. It consumes you when you’re awake and when you’re asleep. Baby steps and keep moving forward. Try one little thing of self care a day to keep you focused on the end game which is to leave. You could be close to the door or the door looks a million miles away but at least the door is there. Little by little you will reach it.

I know I’m not the best writer or the best at processing information in a educational way for my readers but I will always speak my truth and try and help anyone that may need it. That’s what this blog is about for me. A little bit mental healing for me and a little bit helpful hopefully for others to let them know you are not alone.

Ok that’s all for today. Love you all and thanks for sticking with me on the hard ones.

XOXO

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Emotional and Psychological

Hi all,

Getting back on task after having to say goodbye to our Lucy has been rough but it’s time. I wanted to continue talking about the 5 types of domestic violence.

Last time we chatted about physical. If you would like to revisit you can here…

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/5-types-of-domestic-violence-physical/?amp=1

This time I want to talk about 2 out of the 5 since they can be interpreted as the same sometimes. They really are two distinct categories but they totally intertwine. Emotional and psychological abuse can hurt and cause damage if not more long lasting than the physical kind. My emotional scars have long since overpowered my physical ones. But let’s break it down.

Emotional abuse refers to the type of abuse that affects how someone feels. Being put down, isolated from friends and family, constantly criticized, being blamed for something you can’t control. There is no emotional growth between you and your abuser. You will always be in the wrong.

For me, my abuser started with minor things like commenting on an outfit not looking right or my hair was out of place. He would show concern everytime I went out with my friends or had drinks. At first I thought it was cute, but when it progressed to me not spending enough time with him or I was cheating everytime I went out..I just stopped going so there wouldn’t be an issue.

There was even a time if I needed to go to the store I had to ask if it was ok. If he was out of town or at work he would assume I was up to something because I didn’t want to wait until he got home. I would be in the house most days because going out meant a fight.

When we did fight that’s when the name calling kicked in. I swear he called me a fucking idiot more that he ever said my name. Stupid, crazy, dumb, idiot. Shut the fuck up was also the phrase of choice in our house.

I remember how those names made me feel. Worthless, empty, I even started to believe it. I would go into the shower and just cry my eyes out. Then he would always see my puffy eyes and ask what the hell was I crying about. He told me once he’s the one who should cry because of having to deal with me!! WTF?!?!

Psychological abuse falls close to emotional but psychological abuse involves trauma to the victim through behaviors that are used to “control, terrorize, and denigrate” victims. I guess I think of it as taking the emotional abuse up a notch. Next level stuff. Examples are gaslighting, (meaning making you second guess yourself). Telling you that you are wrong or mistaken when you know your right. Using anything you’ve said in confidence against you. Using threats to spark fear. Feeding you negative thoughts about things to control you.

Mine would tell me bad things would happen to me if I left the house. Nowhere is safe. If I go somewhere he has to go too so he could protect me. Another example is using a past insecurity against me. I had an ex cheat on me when I was younger and it crushed me. He used to tell me I was the reason he cheated because I didn’t do things he liked. Then he said he would too because that’s what happens if they don’t get things. Ugh.

You can see they can be pretty similar but once has a larger manipulation factor to it.

Don’t get me wrong when I say this but for me the verbal/psychological abuse messed me up the most. The physical hurt like hell and can absolutely have devastating outcomes. My injuries healed but my mind has not. I’m 3.5 years out of the abuse but the pain of the words and memories are still right here with me.

This is hard to admit but it’s my truth.. I would actually hope he would hit me instead of the hours long verbal assaults. Typically the physical wound last less time. Ugh I can’t believe I said that but there it is.

I will ALWAYS say that any and all abuse is wrong and one is not worse than the other. It’s not a contest. I think that’s why a lot feel if they are not getting hit or have brushes then they can’t come forward for help. I totally felt that way too. Mine was all 5 categories but the physical came last.

My hope for you is you can recognize the 5 types and make a plan to leave when safe to do so. You deserve all the love and more.

XOXO

Amy

I just had to put my dog to sleep and I’m spiraling

Well Shit, Fuck and every other goddamn swearword out there. I just had to put my beloved Frenchie LucyFur to sleep today. She was only 3. Only THREE!

Our Lucy had her first seizure about a year ago. I remember I was home alone since the boothing was out of town. I was just getting curled up in bed and all of a sudden our bed was shaking from underneath. My poor Lucy liked to sleep there sometimes. I look under and she was shaking so violently and foaming at the mouth I remember I screamed and panicked and went into crazy WTF do I do mode. To the Emergency vet we went.

That night seamed like forever ago. In the mean time we have had countless vet appointments, neurologists, trips to the ER, late night pharmacy runs and never-ending calls to Nationwide insurance to see if things were covered with her pet insurance.

We rearranged our whole lives over her 3 times a day pill time. Tried all the sneaky ways of hiding them. Cheese, Peanut butter, ham and turkey. She was a honey ham kind of girl. We had our Alexia alerts shout out reminders. She got to know her voice and when she said LucyFur pill time she actually got up and went to the fridge because of course that’s where the ham is.

We politely declined invites, passed on things we wanted to do, and postponed reservations so we could be home so we didn’t miss any dose.

Over this past year our Lucy progressively got worse. Where she would have had a seizure once every few months to then weeks to cluster seizures each hour and over the last 2 days..every 20 min. I felt so helpless. They say they do not feel them when it’s happening but I know for damn sure they feel different when they come out of it. She was lethargic, drooling, and sometimes could not control her bowels.

This morning she could not keep her head up, was not responding to sights or sounds and the seizures were coming so fast that there was barely any recovery time. It was time. We knew her life was going to be cut short by her condition but we were not prepared to say goodbye at 3 years old.

That long drive to the vet was only 15 minutes but with each passing mile I was screaming inside and wanted it to take 15 hours. We pull into the parking lot with my BF holding her in his lap willing for her to give us a sign. I wanted to put the car back in gear and get the hell out of there. What the Fuck was I thinking?

We sat there for 10 minutes before I could even figure out how to get my feet out of the car in order to walk into the building. I went in first to tell them we were here. I called earlier and I was impressed they actually understood my info through my tears.

Fast forward to the end. She was gone. I can’t bare to relive in words but if you have ever had to do this then you know the drill. Cry, say goodbye, stop breathing, cry, hug and feel like the biggest piece of shit that you could not save her and then have to leave her body with strangers.

My heart hurts. My body hurts, my soul hurts. For me already struggling with anxiety and depression I worry about how to handle and how to move forward without a complete meltdown. Self care and listening to my body is key. I have been napping, crying we it pops up, eating comfort food and scrolling through the 1..2 million pictures of her on my phone. Laughing, snorting, crying and hurt all at once.

I know she is not suffering but I am. I’m being selfish and need her here. The apartment is lonely and weird without her. I have 3 other Frenchies who I love and adore but it’s not her and I only want her right now.

I keep telling myself grief is normal and I’m doing ok. I know I will be but I’m going to just sit with my pain for a while and listen to what I’m feeling.

Just wanted to pop on and get my thoughts out. Thank you for listening. Love you all.

XOXO

Amy

5 Types of Domestic Violence: Physical

Hi all, 

In the next week or so I’m going to talk about the 5 types of domestic violence. We can break down so many types of abuse into smaller categories but these 5 are the starting points. 

These next few posts should come with a warning. No matter where you are in your journey it can always be painful hearing and reading others stories. If your not ready, it’s ok. Bookmark us and come back as a resource when you can. We will be here:)

So let’s dig in..

The 5 major types of domestic violence are considered: Physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and physiological. 

Each one by itself can be devastating but unfortunately most times a lot of these are combined. My own story has all 5 front and center. 

Today we are going to chat about the physical part. Domestic violence in most peoples minds is physical. We see movies of victims bruised faces,billboards of sad, tired black eyes. We know famous stories of celebrities that spoke out like Tina Turner and Rihanna. If you ask any random person on the street and have them explain domestic violence it would almost always be the physical side. 

In reality most domestic survivors say the physical side was a slow progression. The other pillars lead up to it. 

The majority of shelters see victims only come for help when it gets to this point. Fearing for more harm and trying to save their lives. For some, feeling like they can’t get help unless it gets physical is so painful to hear. Abuse isn’t judged on how bad it gets. 

My own story was exactly that. It didn’t just start as a fast punch to the face but once that first form of physical violence shows itself it’s already going down a dangerous path.

If you haven’t read my story you can do so below.

Domestic Physical abuse is considered any touching contact that is intended to hurt or cause harm. A punch, slap, kick, shove, push, choke, hit with an object or being held down when you are not allowed to move are forms of physical abuse. If your parter is hurting your body with intent to harm you are physically being abused. Sexual abuse is a form of physical but due to it being on a whole other level it gets it own category.

Did you know it take an average of 7 tries to leave an abusing partner? Meanwhile each episode things progress worse and worse. 

Please know your situation and if you feel you are in danger you need to make a plan when safe to do so. It’s scary and the fear of leaving everything with no next steps can be hard. The only step you need to do is find a way to safely. There are so many wonderful people and organizations here with open arms and we got you. I promise. 

If you or someone you know needs help please reach out to someone on our resources page or if you just need to talk or have a friend there are so many that will listen. I see you and if you need a quick moment of knowing your not alone let me know and I will do what I can to help. 

Just please know you are not alone. I got you. We ALL got you. 

Xoxo

Amy

It’s the 4th of July and I am in panic mode

Hey All,

For most Americans, today is all about get togethers, BBQ’s, celebrating our countries birthday with a day off and ending the day with fireworks.

For me, this weekend is my annual checking myself into a fancy hotel, spa days and drinking myself sleepy until I’m sound asleep before I even hear a boom go off.

My name is Amy and I am 44 years old and I am completely terrified of fireworks. Yup. There I said it. Sudden loud noises have always been a fear of mine. Fireworks, thunder, cars backfiring, guns, horns, etc. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl and guess what? I never grew out of it as most people would say.

I have always tried to pinpoint where/when/why it started and I can only think of one possible thing. I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to laugh ok? When I was 4 or 5 my mom and her friend would go bowling on Saturday nights and her friends 16 year old son would always have to babysit me. Two single moms did what they could to have a few hours off so we were an unlikely pair. We would always be at our house since I was always sent to bed way earlier I felt probably so his 16 year old self could do what 16 year olds do. I was a pretty stubborn kid so as a punishment he did this..again don’t laugh ok? We had an extremely old microwave in the house. It wasn’t digital and it was a turn dial. And back in the day it wasn’t the little beeps you hear today…it was a super loud alarm and I was scared of it. So if I didn’t go to bed and stay there he told me he was going to set the microwave for 10 seconds and hold me there to watch the countdown. Some savage torture shit for a 5 year old. I called his bluff and the monster that he was did it. (ps. totally not a monster and we joke about it today) He held me still with my arm around my chest and 10. 9. 8. …. I was screaming and then BAM! it was so loud and scary and he know I would run right to bed after that. I mean it totally worked but for sure there had to be other way right. RIGHT?!?!?!

So I’m not totally sure if that was my trigger for loud noises but that’s really all I can remember. Fireworks, storms when I know they are coming I can plan. I’m currently in a hotel drinking my wine and will order a nice dinner then night night and wake up the next day knowing I made it though. There is always the asshole that has them leftover though and like to blow them off in my neighborhood for another few days. Those are the hard ones to plan for. For storms I am glued to the radar on my phone and when I think it’s time to hide I grab my headphones and turn up my music and hide in the bathroom farthest away from any outside walls or windows. Gotta have a system people. My friends joke that I need a human size Thunder Shirt that are for dogs.

I know my fears are not rational or even comparable to our military heroes. I always think of them this time of year as well. Some suffer from severe PTSD and fireworks can trigger so many things for them. I think of all the pets and wildlife that have no idea what the hell is happening as well.

I’m for sure not one of those that are trying to ban fireworks and take away peoples fun (I would do a little dance if it actually happened though). I want everyone to enjoy the holiday and eat themselves silly with BBQ. I am perfectly happy that I just got my facial and nails done and I’m watching bad reality housewives of somewhere with my fave bottle of wine. Oh and my dogs are here too and they get big bones later. We are doing it up people.

Happy 4th!

Xoxo,

Amy

Faking it until you emotionally make it.

Hey all,

I’m Amy. I’m a business owner, significant other, dog mom, lover of bad reality tv,blogger,and a goal to open a domestic violence non profit. 

ALSO

I’m Amy. My business is on the verge of collapse. My significant other and I struggle at times from my DV past. My dogs poop on the floor when angry. I can spend a depression filled workday in front of the TV comparing myself to housewives from cities I’ve never been to. My blog only has 26 followers and my goal of a domestic violence non profit is only a goal because I haven’t started on it yet due to feeling overwhelmed. 

Same person and both are true. One is just a bit more in depth on the original statement. A bit more negative for sure. 

If you read the first statement it sounds like I’m living the dream and accomplished a lot. In reality I’m struggling with things and not where I need to be. 

Both are ok. 

I’m still working to save my online business so I’m technically still a business owner. My dream of opening a shelter is very much real it just has steps to it and will not be an overnight thing. 

What I do know is I can be quite hard on myself so the second introduction is what I feel most days. The ugly truth. 

I’m actually trying to do better and see myself as the 1st paragraph. I say fake it but it’s still my truth but faking my emotional state until things are a bit better helps me get through the hard stuff. 

I still struggle with hard business facts but I do remind myself that I’ve survived some bigger challenges than this so I know I can turn it around. 

Not a ton to say today but just a personal reminder to myself you can do it and so can all of you. 

Also if your a small business owner send me an email and I’ll take a peak at your pages. 

Xoxo

Amy

I’m Weird and I Do Weird Stuff: A Confession

So I’ve posted some extremely personal stories in the past. Some so raw I needed a minute after I hit that publish button. This one is still personal but I’m going to put my weirdness on blast and I guess that’s just as scary since I’ve never really talked about my quirks post Domestic Violence. 

A lot of my weirdness has come out of survival. Some I developed after the abuse, but all of these are for sure newish.  A lot of them I think are based on control. My story was I was controlled in every aspect of my life. The things I developed were my way of controlling just little things and it got me through. 

But why still do it? I think it’s that stat that if you do something repetitive for a while it just becomes second nature. I don’t have to do these things anymore but it’s just almost a comfort thing I guess. 

My top 5 things I do that’s weird but comforting:)

  1. My daily bathroom routine.  

 Each and everyday when I get ready I take EVERYTHING out I will use and line it up on the counter. Every face product, hair product, make up, brushes, oral care, lotions, EVERYTHING!!! The counter looks like I’m a hoarder and it’s covered with no space to space. Not to mention I bring all my underwear things, clothes, accessories and shoes in with me as well. I’m walking out of this bathroom 100% ready.  

Getting fully ready meant I was alone longer in the bathroom. Alone time was my only time that I could breathe so more time was super important to me. 

Also I felt safer being naked and getting dressed behind a door. 

With all the products out on the counter I could visually see what I had to do still. On days when I was in such bad shape every task felt like a mountain to climb. But if I put lotion on I put the bottle away. Brushed my teeth.. I put away the toothpaste, mouthwash and brush. After each task the counter got less cluttered and what I had left to do seemed less and less. It kept me going and taking one thing at a time. I was in control and I was getting shit done:)

I STILL do this today. It’s such a part of my daily routine that it would probably throw me off if I didn’t it differently.  I will always check bathroom counters for space potential in any new place I live:)

  1.  The Alphabet game

         I have a weird habit of “finding” the alphabet when I get nervous or feel a panic attack coming on. It started when I was alone in a Dr office after being injured where I needed medical attention. I knew I was going to have to lie but was so uncomfortable being there. I started looking around the room and found a letter A on the wall. Then B then C. I just kept going to take my mind off everything. J’s are always the hardest. But I still do this everytime I’m in a room at the Dr. 

I’ve also done it in the shower when I’ve been so defeated and need an escape. The shower was always my place of safety so I did it to calm down. Finding the letters on shampoo bottles or body washes.

3. Counting semi trucks

When I’m driving long distances I set a goal of how many Semi trucks I can find. Back in my relationship we would always travel long distances when we moved so often and I wasn’t allowed to talk in the car. To keep my mind from going crazy and keep me present I would count the semi’s. I’d see when the next big city would be on the interstate and make a goal to see how many I could see before we get there. I don’t do this as often anymore but I still notice them all while driving. I just don’t keep track.

4. Worst case game

We may all have done this to some degree but I tend to do this a bit too much. Something will pop up that worries me and I will start thinking of all the possibilities of what could go wrong. Something so simple as I have a headache will for sure lead to death in my mind. A check engine light will automatically leave me stranded on the road at night and I’ll get murdered by a random passerby. If I’m worried about a bill, I will become homeless living in my car. That’s if they don’t repo it. Then I’ll be living in a tent until someone steals that and then I’ll be out in the rain. See what I mean? I can go on and on with so many levels. These days it’s more comedy relief but I still do it. Back in the day I would think worst case and try to make a plan for whatever could happen. It just gave me a little bit more of control.

5. On time like by an hour

This one is probably my most annoying one for the others in my life. I get huge anxiety about being late for anything. So much so I’ll leave almost 2 hours early just to be there an hour early to sit in the car. If I’m alone it’s no big deal but if you can imagine how it goes with my current boyfriend you are probably just as annoyed as he gets. I’m always rushing and moving him along and then he gives me the look like “ITS 2 FUCKING HOURS EARLY”. Then we laugh and laugh. Haha. Just kidding. I’ll back off but internally I’m stressing we are going to be late. 

The one time we cut it close because of traffic or who know what I’m extra validated in why we need to leave early. But that only happens like once out of hardly ever but damn it if I don’t use it. 

Well there I spilled all my dirty little quirks for the Internet to see. I know I’m not alone in the weird category so if you dare share!!! I’d love to hear yours!

Xoxo 

Amy

Why taking a break is ok

Hey all,

It’s been a while but I really needed a much needed break. A break from everything really. I’ve talked about good days and bad days before. How triggers can completely transform a good day to a I need to lay down and hide under a blanket day. I really get so frustrated and can’t understand how I wake up so motivated to take on life and important projects and then one thing effs up my whole day. Then I feel I wasted good working hours and nothing gets done. 

I know I’m not the only one that goes through this crazy cycle. I am in many groups where we all vent about it. Wanting to conquer the world but can’t get out of bed to start.

I felt I needed to take a step back and recharge. Turn off every outlet into my brain. Like a huge surge protector plug In and I just clicked it off and everything went dark. 

I felt I was getting overwhelmed by the smallest little tasks. Crying because I knocked over a pen holder and they flew everywhere. Getting to Target and forgetting my shopping list and could not remember 1 thing on it.

I was completely stressing myself out because I was not getting what I needed to get done and panic set in and then the internal name calling and then shutting down completely. 

For the past few weeks I have been slowing down the pace of things. Makings lists to keep me on track but also with achievable goals. If I get one thing crossed off I do a little dance and pat myself on the back and take a minute to acknowledge I accomplished something. 

To many times I have dwelled on all the things I haven’t done but forget the things I actually did finish. Yes, there are many things that are still on my list but did I cross off the worst one first. Hell yeah!! Did you cross off two small ones but had to add 3 more. No biggie girl! It’s fluid. For me the main thing is to know things are getting done in a healthy way and I’m going to try not to stress that things are still there. 

Think of your to do list as just a reminder of things that can be done. DO NOT THINK IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW. Nothing wrong with having an ongoing master list that you keep adding to. You are the one in control of which one gets done first and which ones can wait. It does not control you. 

I know what I’m saying is not anything new or some ah ha moment but this post really is just a reminder to me and anyone who needs it that’s it’s going to be ok. 

Just breathe, take a minute or a freaking few weeks, regroup and come back rested and ready to do the best you can. That’s all that matters. 

Xoxo

Amy

The goodbye letter to my ex I will never send

Hey all,

I have no idea how long I have been putting this off. It’s been 2 therapists, 1 rape counselor and a domestic violence advocate ago. But they encouraged me to write a closure letter to my ex. I am to tell him everything I would have loved to say to his face but was too scared to do so.

My abuser actually left me without warning and took everything with him while I was out. No goodbye, no break up note nothing. Just gone. At the time I was still feeling like I was nothing and I was terrified how to survive and what my next steps were. He actually did me a HUGE favor. It was hard and I still struggle picking up the pieces but I am out of the toxic relationship and I’m not quite sure I was ready to do it myself.

So I’m going to just publicly write this letter since it gives me a small peaceful feeling that it’s out in the universe and I can close this part of the healing process.

You

I am writing you to have you see and read my words. It’s the closet thing to having a voice with you that I’ve had in the 6 years we were together. With you I was scared to speak. With every word I would brace for impact. If I got through a conversation without an “issue” I would walk away with a huge exhale of a breath. I used to section off the days like most people. Morning, afternoon, night is normal, but for me I would just try and make it though to the next section. Breaking out little pieces without anything made me feel I was in control of even the littlest thing.

Each and everyday you made me feel worthless. The verbal assaults on my weight, personality, how I said this or that, how I cleaned wrong and sometimes you just flat out called me names. These names and thoughts still stay with me to this day. Every outfit I put on and when I look in the mirror I hear your voice telling me that I look fat and should be ashamed of myself. My self esteem is completely depleted because of you. I cannot even take the simplest of compliments these days without downplaying it. Telling them they are mistaken instead of just saying thank you.

You have made me completely shutdown when it comes to romance. It took me a long time to even have a man come near me let alone hold my hand. I was scared that if I let any man in they would eventually want to have sex and because of you and your repeated sexual assaults on my body I hated the thought of being so exposed and vulnerable.

You have made me trust no-one. My first instinct is they are nice but they will probably turn into an asshole. I’ve misjudged little comments as full blown jabs. I take EVERYTHING the wrong way and most of the time I am at fault for starting something when nothing is even there.

You have made me second guess everything. I sometimes get overwhelmed picking out big decisions but even the small ones like picking out a damn shampoo. I am not strong in myself to choose. You made me depend on you. I had to ask you for everything. When I had to do it alone it was overwhelming.

You have made super simple things full blown triggers. Still to this day when I hear a garage door open I am overcome with panic and fear. The garage door meant you were home and things were about to get really hard.

You made me have to have hard conversations with my friends and family. For the whole time we were together I lied to them. I covered up my injury’s and used a lot of concealer. I learned how to divert conversations away from myself. My friends had to try help me after you left but also hearing for the first time all the things that happened. I hurt them as well by not asking for help.

The day you left we were going to move for the 12th time. Everything was packed and you made me run a last minute errand. Little did I know you would take the truck full of all our belongings and leave without me. No trace of our life except just me sitting in an empty room.

I wanted to let you know that you actually made me stronger that day. I didn’t even know it until 3 years later but you did. You helped me get out. You did something to me that I would dream about each night but didn’t have the means or the strength to do it.

I want you to know the fear of you is still there. Your small attempts to still reach out makes me fall to my knees in tears. I need you to leave me alone. Move on like you did 3 years ago and disappear from my life for good.

I am in a healthy relationship. I have a great job, people in my life that love me and am surrounded by others who have been there and understand. I am thriving each and every day. I do have setbacks and not so great days but they are slowly fading away but the scars remain.

Do I forgive you? I can’t say just yet. I cannot say a definite yes. I’m working on trying to do it. I know in my heart it will be easier if I do but I’m just not there. You cut deep but they are healing nicely.

Me