“I am tired of trying to hold things together that cannot be held. Trying to control what cannot be controlled. I am tired of denying myself what I want for fear of breaking things I cannot fix.”

Erin Morgenstern
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Into The Ocean – Blue October – Foiled

“I’m just a normal boy that sank when I fell overboard. I’d rather swim ashore. Now floating up and down, I spin, colliding into sound. Like whales beneath me diving down, I’m sinking to the bottom of my… Everything freaks me out. The lighthouse beam has just run out. I’m cold as cold as cold can be. Where is the coastguard? I keep looking each direction for a spotlight, give me something. I need something for protection. I’m treading for my life believe me. How can I keep up this breathing? Not knowing how to think, I scream aloud, begin to sink. My legs and arms are broken down with envy for the solid ground. I’m reaching for the life within me. I thought of just your face, relaxed, and floated into space. I want to swim away but don’t know how. Sometimes it feels just like I’m falling in the ocean. Let the waves up take me down. Let the hurricane set in motion… yeah. Let the rain of what I feel right now… come down. Let the rain come down. Let the rain come down. Into the ocean, end it all.”

My Trauma Related Beliefs

The_PTSD_Workbook_Simple_Effective_Techniques_for_Overcoming_Traumatic_Stress_Symptoms-73727Belief #2

I believe that I can’t do things. (I don’t realize or don’t accept the fact that “I can’t” generally means “I won’t” or I don’t want to. I can’t is really a statement of refusal.)

Situations in which this belief determines my actions:

I feel that I can’t finish college. The truth may just be that I don’t want to. However, if I truly don’t want to, I need to move on. I need to let go. I need to realize that if I don’t want to finish college, that doesn’t mean I can’t. The idea of not earning a college degree makes me feel just an unintelligent as I once did over not earning a high school degree. I eventually earned my GED and scored one thousand points higher than the passing score, which resulted in receiving a congratulatory letter from the Governor. I remember when it came in the mail. I was so proud of myself. However, my Mother was so ashamed. She told me never to tell anyone about it, but just to pretend that I’d graduated high school along with everyone else. Suddenly I felt ashamed of myself as well. It still twinges, having to tell people that I didn’t graduate high school. Having to explain that I got my GED instead. It’s funny, because I remember how proud I felt at first. But my Mother’s shame seemed to wash all my pride away. I fucking hate crying, but I always seem to whenever my mind wanders here. It’s funny, my tattoo artist’s daughter seems to be going down the same paths I once did. She is nineteen years old and recently got her GED. She posted about it on Facebook and the amount of love she received from her family was wonderful. Her Dad, Grandmother, Step-Mom, etc… all left comments about how proud they were of her. I remember my Dad seemed proud of me, but then it’s always been hard for him to express himself. We spoke a few weeks ago when he found I dropped this past semester. He said I didn’t have to finish college. That was a big deal, for him and for me. I just really need to figure out what I want. If I don’t want an Associates or a Bachelors degree then so be it. I just need to stop feeling so fucking ashamed all the time because of it. I need to find a job doing something that I love, hell even something that I can tolerate, and learn how to be proud of myself again. I have to accept that my Mother will never be proud of me and my Dad will likely never be able to say it. I have to let go of who I wish my parents were. I especially have to let go of giving a shit about my Mother. I’m twenty five years old and it’s time that my opinion of myself is what matters. It’s time that I figure out the difference between “I can’t” and “I don’t want to” and finally figure out what the hell I do want!

Brave

My entire life Disney has been where I turned to make sense of all my tragedy.

Snow White is my favorite as you lovely readers may have gathered. Though the Disney spin involves singing dwarves, dishwashing birds, and an accidental karmic death for the wicked Queen, the true tale was much more sinister. Grimm’s first edition was a story of a very young princess and her jealous Mother who would have her slain. This version had no singing and more attempts at homicide. Firstly bodice laces, secondly a poisoned comb, thirdly and finally a poison apple was to seal the seven-year old Snow’s fate. Luckily she is indeed rescued by a prince, though the likelihood of “true love’s kiss” waking the princess is exceedingly doubtful. The Queen’s death is anything but accidental. As she arrives at Snow’s wedding only to realize her still alive, this abusive Mother has hot iron shoes placed upon her feet and the court watches as she dances herself to death.

Cinderella is a tale many know to contain happy sewing mice and plotting mischievous cats. Yes, the pumpkin still turns into a carriage and she does have a fairy Godmother. However at the core of Perrault’s tale exists a girl who is neglected, verbally abused, and forced into servitude. After a long day’s work, this girl would retire to the barren, cold room given her. Each night she would fall asleep curled close to the fire for warmth. Each morning she would awake covered in ash. This is from whence her nickname “Cinderella” is born. Though remarried, her Father is alive and well in the first edition of the story. How absent must he be to not notice this treachery going on in his own house?

Sleeping Beauty is know to many as yet another incredibly romantic tale in which true love’s kiss saves not only a princess, but an entire kingdom from a centuries sleep at the curse of an evil fairy. Though Disney’s movie is quite popular and Perrault’s version of this tale is the most widely read, it originates with Basile. We all love the idea of a princess awoken from a deep sleep by a handsome prince, alas there was much more than a kiss in the first version of this story. Upon falling into her deep sleep, this princess is sat upon the throne then abandoned by her distraught father. The castle falls to naught, until one day a King happens by. Upon exploration of the ruins, he finds Sleeping Beauty. Though he tries to rouse her, she still sleeps. It is then that the King carries her away to chambers in the castle and rapes her. As if that wasn’t enough, she gives birth to his twins whilst asleep. Furthermore, when the King’s wife learns of Sleeping Beauty and her children, she tries to eat them. It’s fabulously cannibalistic. I highly recommend!

The Little Mermaid is of course the tale of a mermaid who falls in love with a handsome prince. Andersen’s tale does indeed begin when a mermaid rescues a prince from drowning. She does indeed seek out the help of a sea witch, however she gives her a magical potion in exchange for her tongue. That’s right, no golden, singing voice exiting Ariel’s mouth and transferring into Ursula’s tiger’s eye shell necklace in this version! The sea witch takes her tongue! Though the potion does indeed give our mermaid legs, every step upon these legs feels like stepping upon a blade. The mission remains the same, capture the prince’s heart and true love’s kiss and our mermaid shall remain human. The original fairytales don’t always have happy endings. The prince marries another (no, not the sea witch in disguise) and the mermaid dissolves into sea-foam.

Once upon a time, Disney embraced only the darkest of fairy tales. The embraced those who roads had been rocky. They embraced tragedy. Sure, they put a spin on them, added singing, drew lovely illustrations of magnificent happy endings, but these films sparkled up tales with real terror brimming just beneath the surface. Alas, that era has long since ended. Tragic fairy tales have become extinct. Grimm, Villeneuve, Andersen, Perrault, Basile… they are all dead. Disney now embraces an era of dramatic change, psychological understanding, and growth. The villan of the story has been replaced by the villan within. The happy ending now involves the characters emotional transformation, rather than a physical struggle. I’ve always been into all things “retro” and “classic” and especially “tragic”, so it appears that this evolution happened right before my eyes. I was still looking backwards at the past, rather than forward towards the future. I did not see it, therefore I was unprepared. It was shocking. I do not handle shock well.

Complexities

The_PTSD_Workbook_Simple_Effective_Techniques_for_Overcoming_Traumatic_Stress_Symptoms-73727Complex PTSD develops from prolonged, repeated, extensive exposure to traumatic events. Persons who may suffer from this include prisoners of war, hostages who were held captive for long periods of time, concentration camp survivors, war zone survivors, cult survivors, battering victims, domestic violence survivors, sexual abuse survivors, and children who have suffered years of trauma. My name is Jordan. I am twenty-five years old. I suffer from complex PTSD.

 

My symptoms

1. Alteration in regulation of affect (emotion) and impulses

  • difficulty modulating (managing and regulating) anger
  • self-destructive behavior

2. Alterations in attention of consciousness

  • amnesia
  • transient dissociative episodes (short periods of zoning out)
  • depersonalization

3. Somatization (how your body holds your trauma)

  • digestive system problems
  • panic

4. Alterations in self-perception (how you see yourself)

  • chronic guilt, shame, and self-blame
  • feeling that you are permanently damaged
  • feeling ineffective
  • feeling nobody understands you
  • minimizing the importance of the traumatic events in your life

5. Alterations in perception of the perpetrator

  • Adopting the distorted beliefs of the perpetrator about yourself, others, and what happened as true
  • Preoccupation with hurting the perpetrator

6. Alterations in relations with others

  • inability to trust
  • revictimizing yourself

7. Alterations in systems of meaning (how you see life, others, and spirituality)

  • despair, hopelessness
  • loss of beliefs that previously sustained you

My Trauma Related Beliefs

The_PTSD_Workbook_Simple_Effective_Techniques_for_Overcoming_Traumatic_Stress_Symptoms-73727Belief #1

I think I am a victim and that my troubles are the fault of others. 

Situations in which this determines my actions:

I’ve always wished that my Mother would leave or die. I’ve wished that my parents would just divorce and I’d have a real home, with my Father and brothers. It is easy to imagine scenarios in which my Mother is no longer present. It is easy to believe that if she weren’t around I’d be well-balanced, functional, unafraid, my problems would disappear. This is untrue. Though my post-traumatic stress is the result of things that happened to me, I can do nothing to change the past. What I can do is ensure myself a better, happier future, by working on myself. I am only a victim if I’m not fighting back. I always fought back during childhood abuses, to not fight now, for my own mental health and well-being would be ludicrous. To let my feelings of hopelessness now, determine my future happiness would be ludicrous. My current life that I’m living is ludicrous. I AM NOT A VICTIM. I am a survivor.

Be Ok – Ingrid Michaelson – Be Ok

“I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok. I just want to be ok today. I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today. I just want to feel something today. Open me up and you will see, I’m a gallery of broken hearts. I’m beyond repair, let me be and give me back my broken parts. I just want to know today, know today, know today. I just want to know something today. I just want to know today, know today, know today, know that maybe I will be ok. Just give me back my pieces. Just give them back to me please. Just give me back my pieces and let me hold my broken parts. I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok. I just want to be ok today. I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today. I just want to feel something today. I just want to know today, know today, know today, know that maybe I will be ok.”