Author Stories

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

Advertisements

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

Author Stories, Business

Faking it until you emotionally make it.

Advertisements

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

Author Stories

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

Advertisements

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

Author Stories, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Why taking a break is ok

Advertisements

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

Author Stories, Domestic Violence

The goodbye letter to my ex I will never send

Advertisements

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