It's like it never stopped

Have you ever had a dream or well nightmare that's so vivid you can feel it happening to you as it's going on. I've been having the same nightmare for as long as I can remember. It starts the same way and the outcome never changes. When I try to talk to people about it I can't explain the vividness of the dream. The only people who understand are just like me; trying to deal with the fact that someone they are supposed to love and trust just took advantage of them. Let me clear somethings up so you aren't confused I am a 17 year old girl, my attacker is a 25 year old female. We are both the same sex. My attacker was my aunt she was 13 I was 5 when it started.

The nightmare won't stop it's exactly what she did 12 years ago.

She took me to her room like we did forever because she was my aunt and we hung out in her room instead of dealing with the family during the gatherings because I have anxiety really bad. I sat on her bed and we started to play with dolls. She then pushes the dolls off the bed and tells me to come here. Me only being 5 I didn't know if I was in trouble or if she just got bored from playing with the dolls. I crawled over to her and she started to undress me. I asked her if it was bath time and she told me it was something like that. Once she got me naked she started to undress too. The minute she was undressed she went to her closet and pulled out a couple of sex toys. I asked her what they were and she just told me they were toys. She got on top of me and put her fingers inside me, and she said that they would be a tight fit but she would make them work. I told her I didn't like this new game and I didn't want to play anymore. She told me to shut up and them continued. She started to put the toy in me but with me only being 5 it wouldn't fit. She kept pushing harder until I started to cry and she stopped. She told me this is what people do to each other when they love one another. I told her that's not how my mom and dad show me that they love me. She got mad and slapped my face really hard and told me that if I talked back to her she would hit me even harder. I just sat her and nodded my head. Once I was quiet and quit crying she started to feel me up again but this time she was biting all over my chest and said she couldn't wait till I had boobs for her to go at. I started to cry again and she shoved her fingers inside me again and told me to quit crying or it will hurt worse. I nodded my head and just gave up trying. I gave up trying to make her stop. I gave up on everything after that. 

After I get to here in my nightmare I just wake up screaming. I told my mom after I had nightmares for about a year. She tried to press charges on her sister for everything she had done because it wasn't just one or two attacks it was many. But the state police wouldn't do anything about it because we were both minors. They told my mom and I to forget anything even happened. She got away with a slap on her wrist. My mom, dad, and brother know about it all and act like it never happened. My grandparents also know and I'm pretty sure that they are just trying to buy back my love and trust with clothes and shoes. I don't blame them for it and I don't blame myself. I wish I had told someone sooner than when I did, but I was 5 when it happened and 6 when I told. I know how hard it is to explain to my friends when I spend the night and I have nightmares. The story gets easier to tell over the years, but when I do tell it I'm scared people won't look at me the same. I'm scared people will think I can't handle social events, or I can't do crowds, or that they have to baby me and protect me from the world.  I can handle events and crowds, and I prefer to dive head first into the pool of life. I act like nothing happened by day but at night it's like it never stopped.

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La Mariposa--The Butterfly

La Mariposa, the butterfly…flying around, wings beating, always in motion…

My Tia, my butterfly…always up for dancing, for a good time…tales of laughing, of dancing the night away in her heels, swinging her hair, her beautiful smile…

She was beautiful.  Long dark black hair down to her waist…always a laugh, always a hug and kiss…she was my butterfly in the world of earth mothers and rules and don’t do this and don’t do that…

Mi Mariposa…my tia, the woman who was lightness and air even as she held a secret, a shame that shouldn’t have even been a shame…a child that was conceived of love but not of marriage…

I remember the day she told us, the girls, the daughters of her sisters…she burst into tears, with the shame of it…and we were shocked.  We couldn’t believe this creature of light and goodness would have had something to hide….

It was a story of love…of a 26 year old innocent falling head over heels with a 19 year old Lothario that loved her back…of course he did, who wouldn’t?  Of deceit, of shame, of walking down the aisle at her wedding in a blue dress, not white…but the children she created, the children…they were beautiful.  They were beautiful.  They were perfect little children who gradually fought against the perfection and still fight against it…to no end, to no end…

Mi Mariposa, my butterfly…the years after her marriage to the perfect man failed…she was still the belle of the ball, still the beautiful one to me, to me…still the one to knit the most perfect gifts to my children, the ones I never expected, the ones I still am surprised by…

My butterfly, through years of health issues…breast cancer, heart problems, the pacemaker, her beautiful daughter gave her a kidney so she could have life…my mariposa was supposed to live forever…

She hurt.  A pain.  A pain that did not go away.

Cancer.

She fought.   Would tell me, when I would visit “ I am not afraid, m’ija.  I will fight this”.  She asked for hugs and kisses, which I gave her without condition…after all, this was my butterfly who gave me nothing but unconditional love all these years…I owed her this.  I owed her rainbows and butterflies and pain-free nights, but all I could give her was my love.  My divided love, in between my job and my husband and my kids, but she was mi mariposa and I adored her beyond reason…

She grew weaker.  She stopped putting in her teeth.  She no longer wanted the treats, the coffee, the sweet bread I would gladly buy her…

She was a skeleton.  A wisp.  She was the cocoon where the butterfly would emerge.  I would cry at night thinking of losing her, but wake up confident that a day would go by and she would live.  She would still be alive, mi mariposa,  my tia that loved me without judgement, that adored my children, that was the thread to my history that I couldn’t lose, that I couldn’t lose…

She was comatose in the daybed.  Murmuring.  She was near the end.  But I still prayed, please God, please don’t take my butterfly away.  My mother and my other tia, they are my touchstones, my firm concrete.  But this one, she is my dream, she is my light…please don’t take her away so soon.

But God said sorry, this one needs to be part of my light.  This one, she is too much for this world…she needs to give her light to others…I have plans for her.  So God took her away…and there’s this hole in my heart.  I stumble across a crocheted hat for my daughter, a stuffed monkey, a sweater crocheted out of love, and I want her back.   I long for the day I feel the warmth of mi mariposa, her wings beating against my cheek, and I hope that that day will come and I will be embraced in her love again.

For my Maria Delia…I love you so much.  I can now hope for a heaven so I can feel your laughter on my soul again.  I miss you.

 

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An Email Reply To My Father

Let me give you a little backstory:

I'm now a forty-year-old Mama of two girls.

Back when I was growing up, my dad had then-undiagnosed bipolar disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and explosive episodes of narcissistic rage. My mother and I suffered much at his hands. When I was a twelve, same age as my eldest, my dad left. My sisters, luckily, were younger - the littlest was only a year old when he left my mother for another man.

He is now suffering the failure of a second long-term relationship with the man he'd left my mother for. He's trying to blame his ex - someone who has been part of our family for many years now - for his own failures.

My dad is narcissistic; he never sees his own failings or faults. Instead, he blames his mental illnesses for his bad behavior. He's now claiming that his former partner was "abusing him," so he's developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I want to say "yeah, whatever" because my Dad is clearly the bigger, tougher, meaner person.

For weeks now, he's been sending me lots of emails full of smack-talk. Today's email pushed me over the edge:

"It was not without anguish and sorrow that I came to understand I might not be welcome to color eggs with the girls.
Also, any shared celebration of the Easter Feast was unlikely to occur.
I would like to ask you to consider reviewing the issues between us with your pastor/counselor in light of the Commandment to "Honor thy Father...."
The issues between Marc* and I are complex and confusing to understand based on the surface details. You were only present in our household for a very brief period. You clearly recall that it was Marc's position that we need not flush the toilet every time (in an effort to conserve water and save on expense ).
I did seek to preserve the relationship through multiple attempts at marriage counseling aimed at fair fighting rules, sexuality, household economics, chores, and any other relevant topics.
MARC always pointed to past failed attempts AS GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO BELIEVE WE COULD NOT SUCCEED IN A FUTURE ATTEMPT. TERMINALLY UNIQUE AND WHOLLY UNLIKE ANY OTHER COUPLE. (Not unlike that of an addict.)
I am finding good spiritual support through attending multiple twelve-step meetings within walking distance of my new home.
While sharing at one of these meetings, I was reminded by another person that 

"I need not accept UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR." 

Your branding me as a cheat and unworthy of consideration falls into this area.
I DO NOT ACCEPT YOUR JUDGMENT AS SOUND IN THIS MATTER.
Let us look forward to rapprochement/reconciliation in the future. 

Lovingly, 

Dad"

 

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Dad:

I am only replying to the first two statements in your message, as I do not have the strength with which to argue with you anymore.

1)  We were out of state for much of the week prior to Easter and did not color any eggs whatsoever; there was no attempt to exclude you from any such activity as it did not even happen.

2)  I do not cook or serve the Easter meal at my home; it is held at the home of my in-laws.

Please be advised, your messages are causing me pain and distress.  You are reaching out across the internet and causing my heart to race and tears to stream down my face, just like you reached out and grabbed me when I was a kid.  In your words, I do not have to accept unacceptable behavior, and may choose to ignore or delete your messages out of hand.  I have every right to protect myself from your venom.

Are you aware of the physical and emotional damage you inflicted upon ME when I was just a CHILD???  You have the nerve to say YOU suffer from PTSD???  

YOU were my abuser.  I have a very hard time accepting you as a victim.  I DO NOT need to hear of all the ways you've suffered; all I or my sisters have ever wanted is for you to own up to your own UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR and APOLOGIZE.  NO EXCUSES.  It is emotional abuse for you to threaten me to HONOR MY FATHER when you haven't shown honor for my personhood by owning up to the ways in which you hurt me in the past.  Please. Just. Stop.   

I am standing up for myself now.  I am done allowing you to hurt me.  I will forgive you once you seek forgiveness and admit your own failings, which is what God asks of us.  We must admit our sins, and request forgiveness.  He will grant it, when we come before Him humbly, and admit that we need Him.  I am not claiming to be perfect, or to have led my life in some perfect manner.  I am broken.  I am a sinner.  I am reliant upon God for His grace and forgiveness.  

I think my tears right now are because I know that this message will not reach you in the manner I intend, but that you will twist my words and use them to inflict more pain.  We keep trying and hoping fervently that you will hear us, but you never do.  Some of this is grief, accepting that I may never get the father I needed.  My prayer is that you will listen and hear.

--me

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Enough Anxiety was Enough: Too Many Unwarranted Medical Visits, Bills, & Relationships Ruined

Stigma and bias can be a hard thing to overcome, even if one is not aware of the stigma for which they are living with.

I had led a life, up until the point of my unwarranted health anxiety making itself blatantly clear, of uninhibited happiness, health, and carefreeness.  I miss those days, but the dark days in-between have made me a better person today.  I almost miss the days in which my anxiety and fear was at its worse, because during that dark time I learned about myself, about my resolve, and no matter how dark it got, I had hope at the end of an fearful tunnel.  I found that light, and I'm living in the light now, although I still have anxiety daily.

For two long years, between 2010 and 2012, my anxiety and obsessive fear over my health hit its zenith.

For each new symptom I would act illogically; in my mind, an eye twitch meant my muscles were dying; sensory symptoms of tingles and zaps meant I was developing a Neuromuscular disorder; headaches meant I was battling a brain tumor, and so on. The twitches were the worst, because they were ever-present and I truly thought that they were the beginning of some sinister development, of ***.

During those two years, I visited countless doctors, ranging the whole spectrum of specialization, from neurologists to eye doctors to nurse practitioners, to my doctor back home.  All of the experts, across the board, would give me the same prognosis: you are fine; your symptoms are benign; you are extremely healthy.  Yet, I did not believe them.  I felt that they did not understand or that they were missing something.  My eyes were twitching, I told them!  This can't be normal! They twitch a lot, sometimes days on end, sometimes for weeks straight. My muscles twitch, my toes tingle, this is not normal, this never used to happen to me, this must be the start of something sinister.  I would leave one renowned neurologist to seek my doom from another; I would seek the results of tests, for they could not lie to me; emg’s, cat scans, MRI’s, etc., yet those also declared I was ok.  I stopped believing in science, it must be missing something, how can it know what I am going through!

I was prescribed some anti-anxiety medication, and I took it for a while, about 4 or 5 months, but I did not like the effects it had on me; I felt like a zombie.  I didn't tell my doctor, and I stopped taking them, cold turkey.  In hindsight, that was a mistake. The anxiety, obviously, worsened.  But I thought I could battle this affliction on my own.

Even in my committed relationship, I began to have irrational fears.  I became hyper aware.  A redspot the size of a pencil tip on my d*ck was concern enough for me to visit a doctor, an expedition that before this affliction, would have been the last thing on my mind.  Yet, by the end of 2010 I had no shame.  I had shown my you know what to at least five separate doctors, an act of embarrassment for some, an act I went into without reservations.  “You see that red spot,” I’d say.  “What red spot?” they would ask.  “Look, right here.  See it?  What do you think that is?  Am I okay? What could it be?”  I’d say this anxiously yet calmly, because I had become so convinced that I was doomed, I began to expect that to eventually be the answer.  “It is nothing, it looks extremely healthy,” they would say.  Without breaking a blush I’d pull my jeans back on, they’d tell me to talk to someone about anxiety before this starts to snowball out of control, and that would be that.  

I did not tell my girlfriend that I was seeking out these diagnosis and she never suspected as much, because a rational person had nothing to suspect.  I was lost in a terror inside of my mind.  My outlets of exercise, reading, writing, provided slight distractions, but no cure. Eventually, after two years, I started to get better. I figured, I'VE HAD THESE SYMPTOMS FOR TWO YEARS, and I am in FACT HEALTHIER than I have ever been, that doesn't add up.  What am I afraid of?  I am ok.

I am ok.  I am ok.  I am ok.  I am ok.  I am ok.  

I actually started to believe this.  I stopped going to doctors for every little fear -- after THOUSANDS of dollars of medical bills, which I'm still paying off today.  I stopped calling my Dad daily with my fears, telling him I was afraid I was dying and instead would call my Dad as a loving son, asking him how he was doing, a normal loving relationship.  I started to care about other people, as I had my entire life before ANXIETY took over.  I worried about my younger brothers instead of myself, instead of my irrational fears.  I stopped googling every symptom under the sun, and began reading classic novels again.  I stopped examining every inch of my body throughout the day, and instead only looked at a mirror at night before bed and in the morning after a shower.   The relationship I had during those years of anxieties peak ended, which was very hard at the time but which made perfect sense.  If I couldn't care for myself, if I spent all my energy worrying about myself and hiding it from my partner, what value did I possibly bring to such a relationship.  I am lucky that that was the only relationship in which I lost forever. 

I am now working to help others who go through anxiety.  Nothing is taboo.  Anxiety is something that I still live with daily, and every now and then I almost allow myself to fall back into a state of doom, almost.....

How did I get BACK to this place; a place of production, health, and dare I say: happiness? There wasn't ONE PATH, there never is.  People who tell you there is one path towards anything are often wrong, or often haven't walked enough paths to attempt to be dishing out advise.  There were many things I had to do, and although I did it without medication, I wouldn't say that there is a right or wrong way -- medication helps a vast number of people.  Lately, I have been studying how my BRAIN functions through a service called BrainPaint, which is a natural and safe tool of neurofeedback that studies your brainwaves.  Seeing the image of my brain and how it works is a powerful sight.  It makes me want back all of the years I was mistreating my brain, the damage of my illogical, fearful, constant state of doom way of thinking; a state of being that I didn't know how to escape. It is further reinforcement of the power of the brain, the importance of keeping yourself sane and the importance of the Pursuit of Happiness.  

 

 

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What You Should Know About Detox

Detoxification is a process that can be used with rehabilitation to help overcome alcohol, drug or other addictions.  Once an addict stops using drugs and alcohol the body experiences symptoms of withdrawal, which can range from minor to severe. These centers specialize in taking a person through the whole process to achieve and maintain sobriety.

 

Medical supervision is critical when detoxing. The cessation of drugs is just not possible alone. Detoxification centers provide a safe environment to go through the treatment. Having medical professionals present will lessen the chance of relapse significantly. Setting up an appointment with your preferred detox center to discuss the process is always a good idea. The center staff will discuss the entirety of the process and your chosen methods.

Another thing to keep in mind is after the body has rid itself completely from drugs and/or alcohol it will begin to heal. So, this means that after an absence of drugs, one time use can affect the body in a severe manner. There could be intense consequences from using again. This is why medical supervision is imperative in order to combat any withdrawal symptoms, but to also monitor the body in the chance that the it is thrown into a state of shock or worse. Immediate medical attention may be needed.

When entering the center keep in mind that any wounds or medical ailments will need to be inspected. If deemed appropriate the patient may need to enter into medical attention for such treatment before said detox can actually safely occur. An evaluation of each person’s mental and physical state is done before entering the program.

Both Inpatient and outpatient options are available to those seeking treatment. Outpatient treatment will allow the patient to return to work or necessary duties after detox is complete and the patient has been cleared. However, inpatient treatment allows a much better transition into a complete therapy and treatment of that individual. Inpatient treatment will allow extended and essential supervision throughout the entirety of treatment. Treatment centers with inpatient programs will usually allow the patron to have their own room and move freely within that area as opposed to detox taking place in a more medical type facility.

Cravings will return after the drug has left the body. Arm yourself with the knowledge and support needed in order to fight the cravings. This is why rehab after detox is the best course of action for any addict looking to become clean. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Backing detox with rehabilitation treatment ensures that the patient will have all available tools and a network of support to engage if it becomes necessary.

Detox can take some time. Each person’s experience will vary. This is great information to discuss with the detoxification center as well. Withdrawal symptoms may cease after a couple of days for one person and last for an entire week for someone else. The staff is there to solely support that individual seeking treatment. Medicinal and holistic remedies will be made available to the patient for the entirety of the session. Caretakers will make sure that the patient is fully safe and as comfortable as possible during this time.

Rehabilitation and detox centers usually take many forms of medical insurance as payment. This should not be a deterrent for entering a program. Always call the center to discuss payment options. Many centers are quite flexible with payment plan options, but it is always a good idea to check. The goal is to get the patient healthy first and foremost.

Know that now is the time to commit to detox and rehabilitation. Nothing is more important that becoming happy and healthy. Family and friends are allowed at just about any detox and rehab center. A support group will be allowed to help the user through this difficult time. No one wants to watch their loved ones suffer. So, medically supervised treatment immediately is crucial to the sustainment of one’s sobriety.




 

 

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