So It’s rare that I have a day where I feel productive, relatively stress free, in control, and fairly pain free. Today has been one of those days.

Last night my son and I finished his most recent chapter book The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osbourne. He is in first grade and is reading second grade books. I’m so proud of him! We had a mommy/son sleepover and he slept in my bed and we made plans to make a whole morning of fun out of taking his Accelerated Reading test on the book. We decided that we would get up in time to get Hardee’s for breakfast and then I would drive him to school and sit with him in the library while he took his test. So… I woke up with him this morning and as usual was in immense pain but forced myself to push through it and got up and started getting dressed to go with him. While in the bathroom I set my newest (i’ve replaced 2!!) Iphone on a towel and was brushing my teeth. Ethan excitedly grabbed the towel to wipe his mouth and my wonderful new shiney beautiful Iphone went flying into the TOILET!!!!!

Now.. Usually I would freak out. I handle stress very poorly and have an immensely irrational temper. I would usually scream at him inappropriately and freak him out. This morning, for some reason, I was able to jump right to grabbing it, rinsing it off, and throwing it into a bag of rice. I didn’t yell at him or anything! I mean.. It’s not his fault I put it there. Should he have been more careful? Sure. Is it his fault? No. So because I was able to find it in me to hold back my irrational anger problems and actually do something productive with my panic instead we were able to have a great morning and go on to do what we had planned.

I’m still super upset that my Iphone is possibly ruined, but I’m not having an anxiety attack about it like I usually would.

My panic and anxiety attacks all stem from my trauma and depression. I have always had a bit of a temper.. but I used to be able to control it. Since the marriage and the abuse in it I have found it almost impossible to control my anger. It’s something I am learning slowly. When I was running regularly I found my mood stabilized and calmer and my depression was minimal. I also did a lot of home fitness.. yoga, TurboJam, P90x, etc. I haven’t been exercising since my most recent injury and my depression and moodiness has been completely out of control. I have also put on 27 lbs since the injury (that’s in just 9 short months!)!!! I am finally seeing some relief from the steroid injections I have been receiving and I am hoping that VERY SOON I will be able to conquer my fear of hurting my back and start back with some yoga and Turbo (I LOVE Turbo!!!)

Also on my list.. a body bugg! I am super excited that I will be getting my disbursement check from my student loan and I am seriously contemplating investing in one. It’s time to put myself first. It’s time to start making consciously good decisions about my health and wellness. I have a physical next week and I am going to ask for a prescription for Chantix. I have tried multiple times to quit using patches but I always end up finding something that stresses me out enough to start again… usually within a few days of my quit date. That’s got to stop too!

If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  It’s time for me to start living by that thought!

So I finally moved a few blog posts over from my former blog (which is located at http://www.anglcjen.blogspot.com)

I only moved three.. they seemed to be the most important to me to have on here.  As I have said in those last few posts, I am hoping to make this a place for people to come to see that there are other people struggling with the same problems and inner conflict as I have.

I saw my therapist last week and reported nothing but seemingly good news. My new antidepressants are kicking in and I am feeling about 50% better. I have noticed I have had less anxiety attacks lately. I was really feeling great when I saw her on tuesday.

… And then the week happened. It’s so funny how much what’s going on around you and in your life can directly affect your emotional status. The last two weeks have been rough. My best friend suffered a severe concussion on Christmas eve and I have been to the ER with her twice. The last time was this past sunday and she got admitted to the hospital. I spent the night with her there for two nights, got her home tuesday afternoon and settled into my house to recover. That night I got a phone call and had to go check on a friend who was almost 90 days sober. Unfortunately when I arrived he was very drunk and told me he had taken a lot of Klonopin. I had to call an ambulance and spent the night in the ER again.. This time all night I was awake, calming him down, keeping him from getting loud, etc. I got three hours of sleep that night.

Friday I had a steroid injection into my SacroIliac joint. This was my second injection. The first one was a month ago and when she gave it to me she told me there was a 24 hour numbing medication mixed in it to help keep me comfortable after the injection. I had a few good weeks where I was taking less meds than I usually do and then it quickly switched to extreme pain the week before my next shot appointment. Unfortunately it didn’t go so smoothly this time. I got my shot friday morning and spent the rest of the weekend wishing I could just rip the whole joint apart to somehow make it stop. I described it to my dad tonight perfectly. It felt like she took a 5 inch needle that was 1 inch thick, shoved it in between the sacroiliac joint, jerked it around trying to tear stuff up in there, and then injected a half a cup of lead into it. All weekend every time I would stand up from a sitting position I would have this severe tearing sensation in my bum and SI joint. It was very odd and very painful.

So to return to my original point…

All of the events of the last week have really taken a toll on my emotional health. I am feeling a big surge in my depression and I have been very anxious lately. I am definitely hopeful that it will pass and I will soon be back to feeling better. I have been nursing my sick friend 24/7 lately as well and I have gotten on her sleep schedule from her meds. She has been sleeping until 12pm because of the medications she takes at night and then she is up till after midnight since she slept all day. Since I have been with her every day for the last two weeks and sleeping in the same bed it has made my sleep schedule follow hers. I am certain that the crazy sleep schedule is also attributing to my depression surge. I need to get that sorted out soon too.

This post was originally written 12/15/2009

So I finally went back to see my therapist and my psychiatrist a few weeks ago. Here’s the events from that.

I am officially diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (possibly recurrent) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was started on Pristiq for the depression. For the PTSD I am on Lunesta to help me sleep and hopefully diminish the nightmares. I now have some pills to take when I have my intense anxiety/panic attacks. It isn’t really helping well so I see my doc again next week and I will try to discuss with him if there are any better options.

The PTSD is all related to my history of sexual abuse. The first thing I remember happening to me was when I was very young. Our regular babysitter was sick so her older brother (about 17ish) watched my sister and I instead. I remember him taking my sister, who was about 2 or 3 at the time, and I into my parents room and shutting the door. The lights were dim and he made us lay there while he stroked himself. He ended up asking us to kiss it, stroke it, put it in our mouths, etc. My sister doesn’t remember this at all, which is understandable with how young she was, but I recall it very vividly. The second, and worst, thing that happened to me was my first marriage. The entire two years of my marriage I think I may have consented to sex enough times to count on one hand. He was very forceful and would often take hours to finish. I remember laying in bed crying as he had sex with me and told me over and over how “if I was better at it” or “if you didn’t lay there and not actually try to be sexy” he wouldn’t take so long. I was forced to perform oral sex if I did something wrong or lost an argument. I’m sure to some people you may not understand.. but what he did was rape. Just because he was legally my husband.. it was still rape. It took me a very long time to come to terms with it and be able to say it out loud. I am not ashamed anymore when someone asks me about the situation and I tell them. 9 times out of 10 the response I get is “rape? But he’s your husband.. I mean how does that work?”

I have learned to educate people that there are so many different ways women can suffer from sexual trauma and to degrade me for saying he raped me only helps me understand why I took nine years after the marriage to finally seek help. I was ashamed and afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously. Therapy has helped me to understand that I was not at fault, that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, and that what he did to me was wrong.. plain and simple.

I know that many of you women out there are afraid to talk about what happened to you.. whether it be a situation like mine or a rape by a stranger. I want to tell you that you are not at fault. You didn’t do anything to put yourself in the situation that you were in. The person who hurt you was a deeply damaged individual who wanted to control you, to feel that sense of power. Rape is about control. Most rapists say they don’t do it for the sexual pleasure but for the control they feel.

By not seeking help, by not helping yourself to heal, you are only hurting yourself. Don’t let that person control you for the rest of your life. The trauma may have only lasted minutes, or in my case years, but they still have a sort of control over you for so much longer after that. I know in my life it controlled my relationship with my sons father who I loved very much. I never fully trusted him. I wanted to.. but I was deeply afraid that he would leave me, or hurt me. I let the feelings of “i’m not good enough” and “If I did suchandsuch better he would love me enough to want me to be his wife..” etc. It effected our sex life because I was always afraid to make the first move in bed. I couldn’t be the one who initiated sex. It brought back the feelings of insecurity I had from the ex telling me I was a whore and a slut all of the time. I never opened my heart fully to him because I was scared that If I did I would somehow be opening myself up to the pain I felt back then all over again. I never once thought that he would ever do something like that to me.. but because of my past I couldn’t make the fear go away. I was consumed with irrational thoughts.

To this day I push away the people I love once things get too serious and I realize that they might be going somewhere. Why? I don’t know really.. but I know it’s related to the fear. I chose that man to be my husband. We said vows in front of 150 people.. family and friends who loved us. He didn’t even wait till after the honeymoon to start his controlling behavior. He started demanding strange things.. like that I leave the door open to the bathroom and brush my teeth in my underwear. He started screaming yelling fights in our honeymoon suite and even out in the streets where people would be looking at us from everywhere. The point is that the man I took vows with.. the one person I thought I could trust and love for the rest of my life.. the person I thought could protect me.. Ended up being the person I needed protection from. That’s something you just don’t get over easily.

If you have been through a rape, trauma, molestation, physical abuse, or anything that was traumatic to you… Please don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s the best thing I could have done for myself. You can’t handle everything yourself. You don’t need to be ashamed or afraid. There are people out there who have been through what you have gone through. You deserve to get better too. Please find a local Therapist who specializes in rape and trauma. It will be the best thing you could possibly do for yourself. You deserve to find yourself again. You deserve to get rid of the fear that controls your life.

This blog was originally posted 11/14/2009

So I’m a huge fan of Chalene Johnson, A fitness trainer and very inspirational woman who is always preaching about the power of believing in yourself and making goals and to-do lists.

So.. In the spirit..

My goals for the future:
1) Finish my BSN since I am already into it.
2) 150lbs. Oh yeah.. It’s a long way off.. but it’s my goal.
3) Find relief from my chronic pain through medical treatment, diet, and exercise.
4) Become a certified personal trainer. I am hoping to someday be able to help others with my nursing knowledge and the experience I will have gained from my current endeavor to get healthier.
5) I am thinking about finding a way to use my history of rape/sexual/domestic abuse to help other people. I haven’t decided yet just how that is.

Short-term goals:
1) Remind myself everyday something in my life that I am thankful for. I have so much bad in my life right now it’s easy to forget about the wonderful. I need to start reminding myself that I have a lot in my life to be grateful for and happy with.
2) Sort out my current financial situation.
3) Entirely cut out all liquid calories. *The occasional healthy fruit juice will be acceptable but only when ok with my caloric intake.
4) Track all foods eaten. You are more accountable when you can see it.
5) Find new ways to get active. It is difficult right now with the pain, but I know i need it.. for my weight, sanity, health, and back.
6) Return to therapy to continue to deal with the issues I have been facing recently along with the continued control that my sexual abuse history still holds on my life.
7) Come up with new things for this list every day 🙂

I struggle every day through pain, depression, fear, and loneliness. I am trying to change my way of life and my line of thinking to be more positive and let myself take some valuable life changing lesson out of this struggle I am in. I have heard countless people tell me pragmatic sunshiney-happy sayings like “don’t worry.. it can only get better from here” and the ever popular “everything happens for a reason.” While it’s always wonderful to know that people love and care about you and worry about your physical and mental health, I have to tell you that hearing these things usually makes me want to either cry hysterically or slap someone.

NOW.. I know.. I know.. I just said I’m going to start trying to live my life all shiney-happy-glass-half-full.. and I am.. but I must admit that right now people who are like that make me want to pull my hair out. Maybe it’s because I have NEVER been that way. I have always been a pessimist and a critic. I have too many bad experiences not to right? Well.. I am starting now.. I am going to be that annoyingly happy, chipper, glass half-full person. Will it make a difference? Who knows. I know I can’t change it overnight but hopefully if I can sit down at the end of the day and look at whatever frustrating or bad thing happened to me and try to see the positive in that thing then I am off to a good start.

SO.. My Shiney-Happy moment for today: The whole family has cabin-fever. We’ve been locked up together for three straight days during a storm! While this storm completely tested my patience and ability to love and see my amazing little man and all he wonderful things he has learned .

This post was originally written on 11/13/2009

Yes.. It is indeed 2 am. I am wide awake, currently calming down after a hysterical crying in pain fit. I am tired. I’m frustrated. I wish my life wasn’t all about pain and misery all the time.
So I’m laying here thinking that if I can’t do much for myself right now maybe I can help other people. I realize I’m a nobody and it’s probable that no one will ever read this blog. Hell.. I have had it for a while and have 0 readers. I am not a professional writer, I am not an overly interesting person, I’m no one special to most people, but I do have many things in my life I feel other people could benefit from. Last night I had a talk with a friend who had suffered a rape many years back and while I was crying, telling her about things I go through, she said “oh honey.. that’s perfectly normal.”

NORMAL!!!

Do you understand how life altering it can be to realize that the pain you feel, the reactions you have, what you are going through is actually ok?! It took my breath away.

So I am going to start this blog from scratch for the most part. I am going to delete alot of old non-issue posts and I am going to concentrate this blog on my life as someone who has survived sexual abuse at the hands of her spouse, as someone who has been dealing with severe depression her whole adult life, and as someone who is suffering from severe debilitating chronic pain. I know that there are many many people in the world who would have the same sigh of relief as I did last night knowing that someone else can understand what they are going through.
The first three blogs on this page detail my story of sexual abuse and difficulties with relationships after. It’s sorta a “introduction” if you will. I also have suffered from chronic pain for 2 years in my lower back but in March of this year I was injured at work and I have been incapacitated for the most part ever since. I was denied workers comp, my job let me go, I can’t get unemployment, I have no income, and my son and I have had to move back with my parents because of the whole ordeal. I was scheduled for surgery on my back on October 8th but three days before it my surgeon got word that the insurance company was denying the procedure for red tape BS. He appealed their decision and was again denied and rather than chose to continue to fight them he gave up. He even told me in the appointment that he “had made himself look bad in the eyes of the insurance doctors because they didn’t agree with his course of treatment.” I’m appalled at the fact that an insurance company has that much power over physicians. It’s sad really.
I am a 29 year old single mother and I am a registered nurse who has specialized in trauma, orthopedics, and neurosurgery. I loved nursing and it’s very hard for me not to be practicing my profession right now. I miss helping people so maybe this can be my way of helping. I am struggling with weight issues now too. Since the injury I have become mostly sedentary and I have gained a LOT of weight. I am embarking on a journey to help myself conquer my use of food addiction to feed my loneliness, physical pain, depression, and stress.
I will try to write a blog regularly. I have not decided on a schedule yet but my goal for this week since it is already almost friday will be to get one more in this week. I hope to find new readers and people who are interested in learning more about the subjects that have effected my life.
I am going to start making goals for myself. It’s hard to see the sunshine through the clouds sometimes.. and I have had many clouds in my life.. but I am going to start seeking the sunshine. It’s all I can do!

HI! I’m shopping for a better location for my current blog. I am very interested in learning to make it beautiful and more accessible. It’s currently found at http://www.anglcjen.blogspot.com but I am unhappy there. Anyone able to help me make a great site?