Sweet Dreams

Insomnia. It’s such an awful bitch. Nights are the absolute worst. Dark and endless. I’ve always hated nights. Bad things happen in the dark. I am saying so from personal experience. I crave sleep like someone who is lost in the desert craves water. They eventually hallucinate and see beautiful mirages consisting of glistening pools of water. I hallucinate deep, dreamless sleep. It’s bad enough that during the daylight hours my mind is in constant turmoil. The night only increases the battle within to a fever pitch. Occasionally I doze fitfully only to have vivid, violent nightmares of other dark nights long past. The abominations perpetrated upon my person flicker rapidly across the back of my eyelids like a horror movie on fast forward. Although I am at the cusp of the shadow lands, I can feel my body writhe and my breathe quicken as the shadow serpent starts coiling itself around my body as I look into its cold dead eyes and watch its forked tongue touching my skin like an evil whisper I suddenly realize I can hear it. Over and over again it names every sin I’ve ever committed. I shudder as I feel the BPD Monster come out to join the macabre party and wrestle with the Serpent of sins past.

As the serpent continually repeats each sin it’s voice gets louder. Not to be outdone, the BPD Monster starts a litany of all of the sins committed against me. It has to scream to be heard over the Serpent who in turn gets louder to be heard over the Monster until it becomes a shrieking cacophony that eventually turns into a silent scream that my dozing body can’t lend a voice to. I’m frozen in terror. I gasp as I feel the Monster start to rage and the Serpent tighten its coils. Mercifully the gasp startles me awake. I bolt upright in my bed drenched in sweat and my heart galloping in my chest. “Another fucking nightmare”, I whisper to myself for reassurance. Truth be told I did it to make sure I was really awake. Really alive.

Waging this internal battle day and night is exhausting. Most days it manifests itself into excruciating physical pain. What a loathsome life to NEVER have a moments peace. One can not say that I have not tried to do something about this internal conflict. I religiously go to therapy and take my psychiatric medications, I paint, write, continuously clean and organize. I’ve tried acupuncture. I do guided meditations several times a day. Absolutely nothing has worked to block the horrific memories. At this point I don’t think anything short of a lobotomy, a psychiatric ward or death will stop them. They have become as much a part of me as my own body and the organs that keep me in the land of the living. If I thought amputating a limb would work I would saw that fucking limb off with a dull handsaw myself. Alas this is only wishful thinking. My eyes are red and gritty. My jaw has been clenched all night which has given me colossal headache. I toss back four Tylenol’s like they are Tic Tac candies. I listlessly flip through the channels and realize that not even the news is on anymore. Only endless infomercials hawking their shitty wares. Everyone is so happy and energetic. I realize that I envy these anonymous people. In my mind they all sleep just fine. No nightmares for these exultant people. I don’t wish to trade places with them though. Not even for a second. I wouldn’t wish my walking wounded crazy mind on my worst enemy much less some gleeful strangers. So as usual, I will fight the good fight for another short day and another long night. I tell myself, “I am Sparta”, like an encouraging mantra.

At last the sun is slowly ascending the sky. I am finally able to unclench my jaw and reach for the eye drops that have taken up permanent residence on my night stand. Tonight was by far not my first rodeo. As I stand I hear every joint in my body screech in protest as they crackle and pop. I have a moment of vertigo that insists that I sit back down. I know exactly how this day is going to go by the way it has started.

Moral of this story?

The early bird does not get “the worm”. The early bird does not get shit except a lot less sleep than everyone else.

Sweet Dreams.

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Anastasia’s Revenge: Veritas & Aequitas

Veritas and Aequitas Is Latin For:

Truth and Justice. It is a motto that stands for personal honor and truth in actions and in justice, regardless of the circumstances.

Various people have told me that I am an attractive forty seven year old woman that looks much younger than my years. To be honest when people associate me with the word attractive it literally makes me squirm because when I look in the mirror, that is NOT what I see. As far as my “attractiveness” goes if that is in fact what one might think the only thing I can think of to say is that I was just blessed with really good genes.

If you really want to know someone, look at their hands. That’s where their story lies.

My hands absolutely do not look like an “attractive woman” (my BPD refuses to let me agree with this word) in fact I’m cringing as I type it.

In truth I am Anastasia and her story is not fiction. It’s my story. There was a time that I was ashamed of it….but now I OWN it. Love her or hate her, she is I, although I was a victim for so very long, I never labeled myself as that. The thought never crossed my mind. Anastasia was, is and will always be a fighter. I will ALWAYS fight the good fight. I will ALWAYS err on the side of righteousness. I will always root and fight for the underdogs, the downtrodden and the victims for I was all of these things at some point in my life.

Look at my hands, I did not lie down and cower and take it. I fought back. I fought until I couldn’t physically rise up again to fight some more. I fought with all of the anger, hurt, betrayal, humiliation and sadness bottled up inside me. I could always hear dear old “Mickey” urging me on from my corner. I have fought back from drug addiction, homelessness and hunger. I have fought back from psychological, emotional and physical abuse. I have fought this monster inside of me (Borderline Personality Disorder) and for the most part have won that battle too. This mental illness is incurable, it is wildly erratic and one of the hardest mental illnesses to get control of short of a psyche ward. The suicide rates of Borderlines compared to all of the other mental illnesses in the Psychiatrists “little” Merck Manual combined are off the charts. I fight that bitch with every ounce of willpower and intestinal fortitude I have, every single hour of every single day. That being said, in my own way that gives me the W, one day at a time.

I don’t make excuses for it.

I don’t blame others for it.

I don’t lie, manipulate or connive to toy with peoples emotions “because my disorder made me do it.”

I fight this ugly beast and the horror of my past because although I may be little, I am mighty. I am fierce. I am fucking Sparta.

I fight because I love too much sometimes. I fight FOR the ones I love, even when they refuse to fight for themselves. All my heart knows how to do is fight for what and whom I love and love what and whom I’m fighting for.

Anastasia will never break. She’s got far too much fight in her because she KNOWS, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog that gets you through this Borderline life.

Trigger. Not Just The Lone Rangers Horse

Well I knew that it was going to happen sooner rather than later. I just didn’t know when. Living with Borderline Personality Disorder, one is ALWAYS waiting for the other shoe to drop. Right on our fucking heads. The good times are amazing, the bad times I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy (well maybe that bitch that fucked my husband six weeks before we were married), I wish that shit squared on that whore. Along with Ebola, SARS, Malaria, Meningitis, Equine Encephalitis, Mad Cow Disease, Chronic Wasting Disease, Swine Flu, Bubonic Plague, HPV, HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, UTI, Renal Failure, blindness, deafness, muteness, Leprosy, Legionnaires Disease and the absolute worst case of dysentery there ever was. I pray for this vile creature to come down with EVERY single one of them EVERY night. I’m already going to hell for my own shitty past so at this point praying for someone like this slut to suffer so greatly will not impact my immortal soul any more than it’s already impacted. Go big or go home is my motto.

Obviously I’ve triggered. No matter what I trigger over this horrific part of my life ALWAYS gets thrown in for good measure by myself.

I’m not sure if my trigger was the upcoming holidays, having two extra “guests” in our 800 square foot condo, or if it was the fact that my husband was exhausted from work, in a shitty mood and said some (in my opinion) awful shit that Daddy Dearest used to say to me. I completely fucking lost it though. Every single time, I think I’m making progress, that giant shoe drops and shows me who’s boss…..and my boss is BPD.

FML😏😏😏

Meltdown Mania

I had a meltdown last weekend. The very worst one ever. This particular meltdown sucked me pretty far down the rabbit hole, much deeper than I’ve ever been. I had thoughts about self harm, which has NEVER even crossed my crazy, conflicted mind. One can only be so crazy and be called so many ugly names until one snaps. My father called me a crack whore at 12. A bull dyke at 16. A worthless piece of human shit last month. He is by far not the only one to use the weapon of words against me…..trust me, I have a strong chin and would prefer a physical altercation, where I at least have a small chance of fighting back….I’d even rather take a physical ass beating than to get beaten down with words, physical scars heal eventually….words that eviscerate your soul…..that shit rings around ones already crazy mind forever.

My savior came in a form that I never expected. Not only were my self harm thoughts totally erased, there are certain abilities I have as a Empath that became more apparent than anything ever has the more I spoke to this person. Thank you for saving me from my own tormented mind. You know who you are. I’ll never be able to repay the enormous debt of gratitude I feel I owe you.

Sticks and Stones Can Break My Bones. Words Can Sever Souls.

I like to say I fear no words but that’s a lie.

I have anxiety about my health because my mother would growl when I smiled: Your incisors are BROWN. Pinworms: Placing me, naked, face-down on the couch, parting my seven-year-old buttocks with her fingernails, summoning Dad: Come see these damn things crawling in and out!

She scolded me for inhaling their microscopic eggs off some shit-fingered kid.

The very air was dangerous. Wet grass, which gives girls colds in their panties, could kill.

I also fear words — any words, but telling you this gives you power over me — said loudly. Shouted. Yelled. The word “yell” itself scares me, because in my mind I hear “yell” yelled. My parents yelled at me. A lot. They screamed cusswords into my face, their hot saliva speckling my eyes. Now that sounds like a lie. Why would two highly educated intellectuals roar at a mild-mannered, obedient, anxious child? They said they had no choice, because I was a fucking slob. They said I drove them to it by using language they loathed: ain’t, for instance, and you guys

The main word I fear lately is the A-word. I can barely say or write it, here or anywhere. Which A-word? you demand. Australia? App?

Hint: It rhymes with Larousse. Vamoose. Abstruse.

I can’t type it. I can’t.

That’s why I came here today. To say this.

I had what witnesses would call an absolutely ordinary childhood. Sun-baked suburban home. Food. Clothes. No siblings. Never beaten, never sexually assaulted.

See? I evaded using the A-word there. Instead, I wrote “assaulted,” because horrible as assault is, it remains alien to me, thus oddly anodyne.

I had an absolutely ordinary childhood during which, day after day, I was humiliated, shamed, deprived of privacy and terrified.

My parents said they loved me.  They had anger issues. They had no previous experience with kids. They suffered too, but both were adults when they screamed at me.

A name exists for this. It is not physical maltreatment of the Mommie Dearest kind but emotional, verbal … the A-word. Vamoose.

And don’t I wish I wasn’t writing this? Don’t I wish I was lilting about dragonflies, kabuki or one of my other interests instead of chanting childhood anecdotes like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner who collared helpless passersby to rant, froth-lipped, eternally, about an albatross?

I’m writing this to tell the world of not just me but way too many of us: We who were traumatized with words and looks by toxic parents who believed they were doing their best, when we were too young to know otherwise, too young to believe this was anything but universal, normal, justified. Too young for any form of self-defense.

Society might call our type of touchless trauma tiny. So it seems, compared to war and sex crimes, but new studies show that childhood verbal and emotional … Larousse … can damage its victims as lastingly and harshly as any physical assault can.

This is because, according to developmental psychologists, the human brain acquires self-awareness at age three, then remains in hyper-absorbent learning mode for twenty years. Terrify someone so young that his or her sense of self is larva-soft, someone whose only god is you. Tell him or her that he or she is ugly, stupid, boring, bad, a fag, a pig. Do this early and often. Do it in the comfortable closed-circuit crucible called home. Do it authoritatively. Never apologize. Abracadabra: You, making no mark upon the flesh, have slashed a soul and tossed aside its disconnected, twitching bits.

As a random example, I am living proof. I wish I wasn’t. I want out. I want to stop repeating myself, want to walk out of my childhood free and clear and start thinking of other things — kabuki, ravens — but cannot until I stop using these anecdotes as standup-comic shtik whose practiced, memorized rimshot delivery anesthetizes me.

We the toxically parented, we the emotionally and verbally vamoosed either silence ourselves as we were silenced or tell our tales endlessly as if this telling will itself release us. But it won’t. Silence and logorrhea can both become empty la-la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you rituals.

Which we repeat because we cannot bear to hate those who meant well. We must seek some spell in between: some way to sanctify our stories, in silence or sound, as scathing epic Iliad-esque tragedies which we somehow survived. (At least one friend of mine has not.)

But criticizing incisors and calling someone the F-word are miniscule, you say. Maybe between adults. (Maybe.) But, inflicted on children during those developmental years, such interchanges become retroviruses. Depth charges. Time bombs tick-tick-ticking in our heads.

Did your parents insult you? Did they mock, humiliate, reject and/or neglect you? Steep you in their addictions and other adult pain? Were they too self-absorbed to even see you? Did they demand worship, trample boundaries and damn your dreams? Consistently?

That was … abstruse.

I’m not saying let’s wave our pain around like Pity Me flags. I’m saying almost the opposite: We who were emotionally/verbally toxically parented want to feel normal and live in the adult world. We don’t want to blame ourselves anymore. We don’t want to be numb, dissociated, frozen, sleepless, hypervigilant, incapable of giving or receiving love and trust.

We want to know why we are this way.

Because trauma can do this. Trauma is why.

Because society decrees that only body-involved violence “counts,” that we are lucky by comparison, we call ourselves ungrateful, spoiled, selfish and childish. Staggering like zombies, we refuse to name our suffering.

So I will. We were traumatized.

Sticks and stones break bones. Words can sever souls.

I wish I’d had a somewhat different childhood. I wish I could drop this topic, but I can’t. I wish I had another song. I don’t: not yet, but maybe if I sing this one with meaning now … ? What happened in that hot-roofed house decades ago is why I’m stuck. It’s why I often hate myself. I need not pretend anymore to wonder why. This hurts like murder, but whom have I spent a lifetime trying to protect? And it happened by accident, with perfume and marshmallow Peeps. It happened in sunshine, with love.

Army Ranger dog named Maiko died in Afghanistan saving US Soldiers

Army Ranger dog named Maiko died in Afghanistan saving US soldiers | TheHill
— Read on www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/419837-army-ranger-dog-named-maiko-died-in-afghanistan-saving-us?amp

This post is for the bitch that blasted Sully from the Slate.

Read this and please educate your ass before you opine and spread your ignorance about humanity’s best friends.

For You Fuckers That Don’t Think America is “That Great”

www.youtube.com/watch

If you feel that way, by all means GET THE FUCK OUT!!

Seriously, you pieces of shit, get out and let some of the legitimate, legal immigrants and asylum seekers take your place, because obviously THEY still think America’s the greatest nation in the world to the degree that they are literally fucking dying to get in!

To America’s soldiers, law enforcement, firefighters and first responders, you are the heart of this country and the glue that holds our society together with no regards to your own comfort and safety, thank each and every one of you from the most humble and grateful place in my heart. YOU ALL ARE HEROES!!

Disassociation in Complex PTSD Childhood Abuse Survivors

The effects of childhood sexual and physical abuse last a lifetime. Abused children end up being adults prone to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. They are more prone to suicide. However, in recent years we have learned that abuse does more than wound self-esteem and break the spirit. It can damage the very substance of the brain and how it functions.

A major way by which childhood abuse can disrupt normal brain activity is by diminishing its capacity to handle stress. Stress is more than the worry and distress we experience when the circumstances of life push us beyond our limits. The body’s response to stress is a complex biological mechanism. When the brain senses that the body is being taxed beyond its usual capacity, it initiates the stress response by releasing a substance called corticotrophin releasing hormone, or CRH. CRH stimulates the pituitary gland to release ACTH that, in turn, triggers the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, from the adrenal glands. Cortisol marshals the body’s resources to provide the extra energy and endurance to meet the demands being placed upon it. Once, this might have been escaping an angry mastodon. Today, it would more likely be getting used to a new job, a nasty divorce, or recovering from surgery.

The stress-induced switch into physiological overdrive is designed to be brief. In fact, among the many things that cortisol does in the body, one of the most important is to feed back to the brain and start to shut the stress response down. Cortisol does this by binding to specific receptors in the brain. Cortisol fits the receptor, like a key in a lock, and turns the response off. One of the problems with those that have suffered severe childhood abuse is that the brains turn off switch has been turned off for the stress response to be disabled.

A study published in 2009 in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience revealed part of the reason why adults who were abused as children have abnormal stress responses. The grim details of the study included comparisons of the brains of individuals who had committed suicide vs. those who had died natural deaths. Among those who had committed suicide were some who had suffered severe childhood abuse and others who had not. It was found that among those who had suffered abuse, there were fewer of the special cortisol receptors in the brain that allow cortisol to turn off the stress response. It was further found that the section of DNA responsible for maintaining adequate numbers of these receptors had been methylated. They were no longer in full operation.

When the stress response won’t shut off and cortisol levels remain high in the brain, bad things can happen. Whereas bursts of cortisol help bolster the brain’s supply of glucose and chemical messengers, sustained high levels of cortisol can cause damage. Cortisol diminishes the brain’s response to the chemical messenger, serotonin, while it enhances the response to norepinephrine. Persisting high levels of cortisol also decrease levels of Brain-derived Neurotrophic factor, a substance that is necessary to maintain and replenish neurons in the brain. These and other changes alter mood, disturb sleep, heighten anxiety, and cause irritability. Consequently, the individual becomes more prone to Major Depression, PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders.

The Narcissistic Family Tree

“The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way.”

It is common for adult children of narcissists to enter treatment with emotional symptoms or relationship issues, but simultaneously display a lack of awareness of the deeper etiology or cause.

The narcissistic family hides profound pain.

Such families tend to operate according to an unspoken set of rules. Children learn to live with those rules, but never stop being confused and pained by them, for these rules block their emotional access to their parents. They basically become invisible—neither heard, seen, or nurtured. Conversely, and tragically, this set of rules allows the parents to have no boundaries with the children and to use (or abuse) them as they see fit.

The following are some common dynamics of this profoundly dysfunctional intergenerational system. (Keep in mind there are always degrees of dysfunction on a spectrum depending on the level of narcissism in the parents.)

1. Secrets. The family secret is that the parents are not meeting the children’s emotional needs, or that they are abusive in some way. This is the norm in the narcissistic family. The message to the children: “Don’t tell the outside world—pretend everything is fine.”

2. Image. The narcissistic family is all about image. The message is: “We are bigger, better, have no problems, and must put on the face of perfection.” Children get the messages: “What would the neighbors think?” “What would the relatives think?” What would our friends think?” These are common fears in the family: “Always put a smile on that pretty little face.”

3. Negative Messages. Children are given spoken and unspoken messages that get internalized, typically: “You’re not good enough”; “You don’t measure up”; “You are valued for what you do rather than for who you are.”

4.Lack of Parental Hierarchy. In healthy families, there is a strong parental hierarchy in which the parents are in charge and shining love, light, guidance, and direction down to the children. In narcissistic families, this hierarchy is non-existent; the children are there to serve parental needs.

5.Lack of Emotional Tune-In. Narcissistic parents lack the ability to emotionally tune in to their kids. They cannot feel and show empathy or unconditional love. They are typically critical and judgmental.

6.Lack of Effective Communication. The most common means of communication in narcissistic families is triangulation. Information is not direct. It is told through one party about another in hopes it will get back to the other party. Family members talk about each other to other members of the family, but don’t confront each other directly. This creates passive-aggressive behavior, tension, and mistrust. When communication is direct, it is often in the form of anger or rage.

7.Unclear Boundaries. There are few boundaries in the narcissistic family. Children’s feelings are not considered important. Private diaries are read, physical boundaries are not kept, and emotional boundaries are not respected. The right to privacy is not typically a part of the family history.

8.One Parent Narcissistic, the Other Orbiting. If one parent is narcissistic, it is common for the other parent to have to revolve around the narcissist to keep the marriage intact. Often, this other parent has redeeming qualities to offer the children, but is tied up meeting the needs of the narcissistic spouse, leaving the children’s needs unmet. Who is there for them?

9.Siblings Not Encouraged to Be Close. In healthy families, we encourage our children to be loving and close to each other. In narcissistic families, children are pitted against each other and taught competition. There is a constant comparison of who is doing better and who is not. Some are favored or seen as “the golden child,” and others become the scapegoat for a parent’s projected negative feelings. Siblings in narcissistic families rarely grow up feeling emotionally connected to each other.

10.Feelings. Feelings are denied and not discussed. Children are not taught to embrace their emotions and process them in realistic ways. They are taught to stuff and repress them, and are told their feelings don’t matter. Narcissistic parents are typically not in touch with their own feelings and therefore project them onto others. This causes a lack of accountability and honesty, not to mention other psychological disorders. If we don’t process feelings, they do leak out in other unhealthy ways.

11. “Not Good Enough” Messages. These messages come across loud and clear in the narcissistic family. Some parents actually speak this message in various ways; others just model it to the children. Even if they display arrogant and boastful behavior, under the veneer of a narcissist is a self-loathing psyche—that gets passed to the child.

12. Dysfunction—Obvious or Covert. In narcissist families, the dynamics can be seen or disguised. The dysfunction displayed in violent and abusive homes is usually obvious, but emotional and psychological abuse, as well as neglectful parenting are often hidden. While the drama is not displayed as openly to the outside world, it is just as, if not, more damaging to the children.

Reviewing these dynamics, one can see how this kind of family can look pretty but be decaying at the same time. If you recognize your family in this description, know that there is hope and recovery. We can’t change the past, but we can take control of the now. We do not have to be defined by the wounds in our family systems. As Mark Twain defines the optimist, I see the recovering adult child: “A person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.”

We can create new life that will flow through us to the future and stop the legacy of distorted love learned in the narcissistic family. If we choose recovery, we can defy intergenerational statistics.

We Can!