PTSD, aftershock, and financial issues

It’s another day of doing nothing for me – almost- but for a first time in a week, there is no hidden mounts of pressure, no insurmountable challenges and feeling of despair. I’ve just receive my next chunk of money, my next payment, and the suffocating feeling like there is a ring around my heart(or lungs) constantly squeezing, has released a little. I can finally breathe. For about 10 days, I’ve reverted back to whom I was when I was scared, panicked, in shock and generally depressed. Sure, partly for money reasons, but let’s face it, it’s not only that. Once again, I’ve went from a period of regular weekly income, to having almost nothing. Literally- nothing in my bank account or wallet. Spending my last money for the bus and wondering how I will pay the next bill. Again. It’s not such a novel concept. I freelance, which means I’m floating from periods of getting more than I need, to periods where I just have to be patient for a month or two while I am trying to get new work.
But this, it’s like a physical reaction, and I completely lose all my logic, and ability to get myself out of that situation. It’s debilitating. I’m just starting to think there’s no getting out of it, and it’s all dire and impossible, until, when I receive my money, there is a day of shock and relief, whilst I’m fighting to forget that paralyzing fear…And then I’m back to real life. Like I just awoke out of the haze(which I pretty much did) and became real. It’s like my reaction to losing weight. It’s one of the hardest because I wonder if I can ever get over it. Continue reading

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Getting through the Storm

“Right now, you aren’t making difference between fantasy and reality.” I look at the counselor, not so convinced.

The reality of what happened, it’s engraved in my memory, in every scar on my skin, in every night I wake from nightmares. What does she know?

*

That was 2 years ago, when I went to a counselor, to get help so that I wouldn’t want to drink all the time anymore. It helped, even though I never told her that the main reason that I want to drink is the broken memories I had of my rape, and trying to move on as if it never happened.

*

People are learned constantly that we need roots. Familiar things. That in a hard situation you have to try to contain your life in normal routine. When we get into a situation which is hard but we have no control over, we hold onto what we know, until the storm passes.

But no one tells you what do you do if the storm doesn’t pass.

*

Let’s rewind a bit.

That summer.  Continue reading

Recovery Updates: The ups and downs of new chances

So this has been my least successful and most successful week so far. I pushed myself a little too much and blocked myself from doing more…but at the same time did some work that has been long time coming, work I have been avoiding …well, since I started recovering.

Problem Solving

After I admit to a friend the biggest thing I can’t solve and blame myself for now, I feel waves of guilt and shame and relief splashing through me. To my best of an effort I can’t understand how I have turned things around to think that not dealing with problems is helping me function. Although in all fairness, dealing with all I was dealing then, I really didn’t have energy for much more. So now I’m trying. Slower than I would wish for, but it’s better than nothing.

And then it hits me.

My God, how have I twisted my world since that summer. I couldn’t think straight, I was so hurt, why did I think making life-altering decisions then was at all good idea? Continue reading

Spiraling Out of Control

Today, I’m in a bit of a slump. Okay, so I have been in a slump for couple of days now. It’s one of those inevitable feelings that come along with PTSD and trauma and so on…either that or I am loosing my mind.

Either way, whatever work I touch those few days, it’s destined to fall apart.

I can’t work. I cry, I obsess over things, and I can’t work. Like I have switched the clock and went back few months. I know I got over that phase of recovery, so why do I feel like that again? All I know is, my life has been change after change for months and I still don’t feel like it’s enough sometimes. All the dark shadows of my life, they all wait, lurk in the corners where they belong, until I’m facing a bigger challenge, and then they all come back to hunt me.

I need to change.

I wake up on Saturday morning with that thought in mind, but I don’t know exactly how to change, before I do some work. Work doesn’t come along.

I need to change. Continue reading

Rotten Pies and Sobriety

Sometimes in life, you know you are falling, only when you are already heading full-speed half way down the cliff…

Once upon a time, I lived in a different world. It was the first week I arrived in that foreign city, before I was abused. That first week constituted long streak of seeking (jobs, apartments), making payments(hotels, taxi, bus, food) and settling in the new place. I was living on borrowed money and fairy tales. 

See, I had spend the last 3 years in my own university bubble, where you spend 24 hours being thought new things, writing academic papers, meeting new people, and being convinced to express your opinion, take chances and be a leader. Or pretty much that it depends on you how successful you will be.

Then I was going back to home, where truth hit me on the head every time. My parents had not had the same chance as me. Whether I approved their choices or not was besides the point. But after spending one semester home for leave of absence, something was forming in my head, loud and clear.

I can not depend on my parents money(or lack of them) anymore.

When I started university I had thought my fight for making my own living would start after I graduate, but it was becoming more and more obvious it was time. And so I did what people around me did when they had university and needed to make money over the summer. I went abroad.

I borrowed money to go, certain in my success. To the last moment I wasn’t sure if I had borrowed enough to pay for my trip, and kept borrowing. It was all set. I was going to travel, work, pay back my friends. And for many people, that was how things went.

Oh, how naive of me… Continue reading

1. Awareness

It all begins 5 months ago, which was exactly about 2 years after my SA.

There is no problem. I have no problem. Nothing really big happened that summer. I’m completely fine all the time. I mean minus the nightmares, not-sleeping, not-eating and feeling everything is completely pointless.

That first week back from working as an intern at a festival at the sea, I know something is changing in me. There is part of me that has enjoyed immensely the sea, the new people and memories, and that wants to save the experience and try to build from it. But there is the other part of me. The part I have pushed down for way too long. That festival, it has pushed me to the limit, and I can’t continue to deny what I have for 2 years.

 I can’t, but I have to. The free week I have until I’m back at work is enough to get myself together, or so I say to myself.

Tough love baby! I just gotta make it through few more weeks of work.

I’ve made it 2 years, swimmingly, this is a baby job, I can do it in my sleep.

*

That one week I circle the apartment like a ghost. I don’t call my best friend, or my other friends, they don’t even know I’m back yet. I go out to buy food, I skype with my partner who is then back at his city. I sleep and circle the apartment like a ghost, trying to get myself ready for the coming week. 

But I am not ready, not even a bit.  Continue reading

{my} Africa

I was going to first do a post on what happened during the last 2 years before I stopped denying my trauma, but if I go chronologically, this post comes before.

This is about the reason I made this blog besides getting over the rape.

This is about who I became and the dream born that very same summer.

*

As I said before, when I went there, I needed to make money. In combination of things, including being in the middle of financial crisis years, I found finding a job increasingly hard. And with everything else happening that summer, in the middle of addiction, abuse, homeless people and gunshots I saw that summer, I knew I had to make choices for myself, and I was reluctant to let this world chew me up and spit me out. I knew I was smart and creative, and I thought I can change things around.

As it turns out, that was too naive of me. I was facing something bigger than the knowledge I had. Either way, I was there, and I had to do something to preserve my sanity.

So I thought- long and hard- of the life I want after I get out of that hell hole. I have been raised not really thinking that I can make a living out of creative things. Artist life was for hobbies, not for actual making living out of it. That summer assured me that life is too short to live it in a way you don’t enjoy.

I wanted to do something creative. I was going to try to do it part time while being there, to make some more money. At first I thought of the most obvious (for me) – making drawings and greeting cards, and trying to sell them to tourists (it was the middle of the summer, I loved drawing, and that made sense)…but in the middle of the emotional turmoil I was feeling, I couldn’t find inspiration to do that. Unlike some people, feeling low usually completely froze me when it came to drawing. I can draw only when happy.
I even tried pushing myself- I went to a crafts store and bought things for drawing in vague attempt to inspire myself. The fact that I spend some of my last money for supplies for something that I wasn’t sure would work, produced the opposite result. But I kept trying and praying.

Drawing did not work out for me. I stopped drawing that summer and none of my attempts to get back to it these 2 years succeeded.  But in my second visit in the store, I completely randomly stopped in the isle with beads and things for creating jewelry- they were all so different and colorful and I was fascinated. I must have been there for an hour, looking through things, materials, books with beading basics…that day I bought my first supplies for jewelry creating.

Later on I will create my own etsy store and decide to sell them online. And it will take 2 years for me to figure out that I want to take it and make it main source of living.

But for that moment, I just bought supplies, not even sure what my plan is, and not knowing much. But between different types of pliers, head pins, and my first pale pink crystal beads, I fall in love with jewelry making.

And 2 years later turns out, it isn’t a fling-it’s a life-long love affair.

p.s. yesterday I missed adding post for the day, but just like missing a day in a diet should now stop you from completing it, I’m not letting this one day derail me from posting each day from now on.