Adventure in Breaking/Mending

Eight weeks ago something happened. Six weeks ago something worse happened. One week ago more brush was shoved on the fire.

It’s not a new topic for me, especially in the last couple of years, but try as I might, try as others might, I won’t stop talking about it.

Eight weeks ago, between eating lunch and picking up a comic to take to his next city, I stopped at the home of a person I know. Someone I had spoken with regularly. Someone I considered a friend. In the course of less than half an hour, everything changed.

I was able to take myself out of the situation before it became desperate. But “no” wasn’t a viable answer. “This isn’t why I came over,” was also unaccepted. “I don’t want to redo my makeup” was a good reason. “I’m on my period” granted me enough space to get up and leave, but not enough space to have control to stop things.

I picked up the comic and went about my weekend.

Six weeks ago, I was feeling good. I met up with someone and lost complete control of the situation. I’ll continue to spare you details. I got home in the middle of the night, uncontrollably sobbing. I knew the right things to do. I knew to call the police. I knew not to shower. I knew those are the things you’re supposed to do. Another thing you should do, if you’re able, is take care of yourself, whatever that looks like. So I did. I showered. I took my clothes off. In that order.

I did something I haven’t done before though. I reached out to people immediately. Everyone was asleep, but in the morning so many people were affirming. So many people kept my mind safe. My dear friend, who is far away, encouraged me to go to the Sexual Assault Treatment Center. My dear friend, who is down the street, hugged me while I sobbed on him.

I called the Sexual Assault Treatment Center, because I didn’t know how it worked. She said to come in immediately. I asked, “Can I wait an hour? I have a job interview in 15 minutes.” She called me a toughie.

Throughout an hour-long job interview, I held it together. I needed this job. She asked how I handle stressful situations. I refrained from saying, “I haven’t cried once or given pause that something is wrong in this interview, have I?”

My dear friend, who hurried back from out of town, met me at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center. I met with a forensic nurse, a police detective, and a woman from victims assistance. I had a full exam done. I only cried once. She was kind. She was patient. She took my time, not hers. Some times when we interact with people who need kindness and patience, we offer them patience on our own time. She did not do this. She gave me time to breathe. She waited until I said okay. I know it’s her job to act this kindly with victims. We could all stand to work this kindly with everyone.

My dear friend waited in the lobby for two hours. Her phone died. She read every pamphlet. She waited on my time. She was kind. She is kind.

Another friend far away shared my assailants picture. He told the story. He checked with me and then told anyone who would listen. Profiles were removed. People were talking, in the best ways. He shared the truth, not the easy parts.

The next day I had a gynecological exam to get checked for my tumorous cysts. The nurse was kind. She talked to me about her own trial. The RN was not kind. She was cold and shaming. I scheduled another appointment for an ultrasound, because the RN didn’t believe me. It was five weeks later.

I stayed open. I kept talking. I asked for help, for company. I was granted this more times than I can explain. Food was brought to my home. Kindness after kindness.

Two weeks later I had a second interview for the same job. I hadn’t slept in four days. I was certain I wouldn’t get it. It was a terrible interview. I was exhausted. I was beaten. I was destroyed.

The next day I received a call from my doctor’s office. It wasn’t just my fears. Other unwanted news came. Nothing uncommon, just unpleasant.

Three weeks went by, and it became a problem for some people. This made me stronger. My survival and my means of survival were problematic for some people. I vowed to become immortal out of spite.

At four weeks, I wanted nothing, but hugs. I also wanted to never be touched. I was watching as people I knew were having pretty serious allegations brought up against them. I was watching and being pulled in. People were contacting me, as if I’m an authority on consequences. The only consequences I understand are my own, the ones I face every day. I watched possible (albeit likely) assailants keep friends, which is a type of affirmation of those actions. While I was losing people for being dramatic, for causing problems.

Do you know why someone talking about rape seems dramatic? I do. Because trauma is dramatic. Because tragedy is drama. Because truth is dramatic.

This only made me louder.
“I wish I could talk my way out of being raped the way rapists talk their way out of trouble.”
“So we’re clear. A rapist hears the word ‘no’ and expects that to mean ‘yes.’ But when accused the rapist is like ‘I didn’t rape her.’ Apparently only his ‘no’ means ‘no.'”

I started to feel more isolated. It was silly. Weeks prior I was surrounded, literally and figuratively. Friends from all over were reaching out to me. Nonetheless, I began to fear I had worn out my welcome on asking for favors. I’m not quick to ask for help, but this time as a means of survival I knew I needed to. Coming up the stairs at home and collapsing to my knees sobbing, I knew I needed help. I had reached out to someone I was told was a therapist. They proved to be a crazy person that would only escalate my issues.

I felt alone. I was not alone. I felt alone. I felt empty. I felt lost. I felt alone.

Loud noises began to affect me. My parents’ dogs barking made me terrified and panicked. Thunder made me panicked. A dear friend brought me earplugs and other kindnesses.

At a show, I wore my “please-don’t-rape-me” jeans that I bought eight weeks ago. I told my friends not to touch me and to make sure no one else did. I did not keep it together. I left in the middle of the show. Broken. I had stayed because I couldn’t be alone, but the music was loud, the voices were loud.

Week five I was fine again. The dogs and I were fine. I could cuddle my dog again.

Creative 30 for 30 started again, and I could force myself to put some of the things in my head to good use. I started baking again. I didn’t start passively baking. I have no one to give baked things to. I started baking to heal. I started baking more than just that one cupcake Kristen Wiig made for herself in Bridesmaids. I started making full pies. I made pies for healing. I recorded recipes. I made the same pie twice. I improved on pie. I improved on pie to improve myself. I taught myself new skills to show myself I can do more. I watched Moana eight times.

I went to my ultrasound. The tech was kind. The tech took my time. She made six marks on the image of my single ovary. She paused. She asked if I wanted children. I turned my face as tears grew in my eyes. I’ve been in pain again for a couple of months. When I finally saw my doctor she explained I had several cysts in my ovary. They ranged in size from 0.5 cm to 1.3 cm. She explained that they would likely dissipate. She explained that in my case they needed to be monitored closely because of my history. She said it was Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It explained so much about my last year. It explained so much. It still scared me so much. It still does. Of course, it does.

I also made it one whole year writing affirmations. It’s not been a full year since I moved them to this platform, but I’d brought myself a full year on the strength of my own mind. I’ve continued. I will continue.

At five weeks I also found out I got that new job. I found out I’d be working in an incredibly life-giving, safe, and affirming space. I could walk to work again. I could pay my bills again. I could be motivated to fight PCOS simply by doing my daily work.

Six weeks/eight weeks later I started my new job. I love my new job. I’ve been doing research on diet options to make PCOS more manageable. I’ve continued to reach out to people. I’ve broken my own heart this week. I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve cried on the phone with someone I haven’t heard from since I told them what happened because I felt abandoned. This crying went unnoticed.

In eight weeks my nightmares have come back. In eight weeks several people have taken themselves out of my life because I’ve been too much. In eight weeks I’ve cycled through peace and pain. In eight weeks I’ve screamed and cried. I’ve gone silent. I’ve pushed myself. I’ve been pushed. I’m not healed. I’m not cured. I am still moving. I am healing. I am mending. Pieces of me are coming back together. (please, ignore that Ashley Simpson reference. I can’t take it out now, but I don’t want it there either).

Some times for no provoked reason, I still fill with all manner of sadness and pain. It doesn’t take new provocation. There’s a lasting provocation lodged inside of me. A provocation I can only hope to learn to cope with. It will live beside me. I will be bigger than it. Some days, I’ll get to a place where I will feed it too much. It must be fed. If it’s starved it will get loud and angry. It must be fed and acknowledged. It is my constant companion. It is my monster. It is not me.

Thank you to everyone who has helped carry me over the last two months and over the last 30 years.

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Adventure in Rules: Or some times people see things differently and that’s ok

501) Your opinions will not always line up with the opinions of others.
502) Apologizing does not just mean that you are wrong and the other person is right.
503) Apologizing means you value your relationship more than your ego.
504) Using the correct personal pronouns is irrelevant when discussing animals.
505) Magic has to be believed in. It’s the only way it’s real.
506) Give of yourself out of love, not to have it matched. It won’t be matched. Not if you’re doing it right.
507) Don’t let yourself be someone who can be called “pretentious.”
508) There are people out there, that you know, that just aren’t going to be your friends.
509) Love them anyway.
510) The unknown is terrifying. Pursue it
511) There is no amount of time too short to give of yourself for others.
512) Love the people around you like you’ll never leave them.
513) Love them like it’s your last day with them too.
514) If you focus on too much on the future, constantly thinking about when you’re leaving next and where you’re going, you’ll neglect and alienate those around you at the present.
515) Your worth is not found in your ability to do anything.
516) Being sick or bed ridden or even briefly incapacitated does not make you worthless.
517) Don’t rush to get better. It may only make you worse.
518) If something seems not quite right about your body and the way things are supposed to be, address it as soon as you notice it.
519) If you must be angry don’t dwell on it.
520) But don’t pour it on someone else either.
521) Work it out in a civil way. There’s no sense making it worse.
522) The people to avoid as an adult are the ones who make you react like you are a teenager.
523) People that cause you as an adult to react like a teenager are not the mature individuals they claim to be.
524) Often, the things people claim about themselves are the direct opposite of what is true about them.
525) Be aware of your dialect.
526) When the doctor asks you if you want to see something, no matter how gross it sounds at the time, say yes. You get one chance.
527) Sweatshirts without hoods are the best for lying around the house.
528) Death is horrible. It’s heartbreaking. It will happen. Do not fear it.
529) If you would not say something that person you should not say it when he/she is not around.
530) If it is something you would say to that person and you say it when he/she is not around, you best be prepared for the fact that he/she has heard that you said it.
531) People who like to create drama will try to talk you into a trap. If you don’t have anything to hide this won’t work.
532) There are worse things in life than petty people not liking you.
533) There are worse things in life than people not liking you.
534) The book will always be better than the movie.
535) Don’t judge the movie too harshly because of this. They are separate entities created by different artists.
536) Even if you give them no reason at all some people will think ill of you.
537) Take your own blankets to the hospital.
538) Do puzzles.
539) Not all that is bad that will happen to you is your fault. Don’t feel compelled to always take the blame.
540) Do not be a slave to technology
541) Know how to do things the manual way.
542) Do not be afraid to say no.
543) Thank people, for even the smallest of things.
544) The first time you decide you want to dye your hair you must ask.
545) Some of your best friends, you’ll only see on the rarest of occasions.
546) Your school picture may be “forever,” but it’s just a picture. Wear what you want.
547) You will inevitably take on more than you can handle. Prioritize.
548) Do not let one bad thing distract you from all of the beautiful things going on around you.
549) It is often the most minor mistakes that upset us. Remember all of you done right.
550) Watch Star Wars. Every Christmas.

Adventure in Half-way there

After a brief break to take a trip to the hospital I resume the rules. And since the trip was to have removed what could very likely have been my twin sister I’ll start about there.

451) When you’re in mommy, don’t eat your twin.
452) Bring clean under things to the hospital
453) You never know when you’ll be in the hospital nor for how long. Shower.
454) Eaten, unborn twins are spiteful. And toothed.
455) There are times in your life that there’s nothing you can do but accept help. Do it graciously.
456) If people do volunteer to help you when you need it most, don’t be ashamed to be specific.
457) You have one day to be upset about a new haircut
458) Leave the drama to those on stage and screen.
459) If you find yourself on stage or screen leave the drama where it belongs.
460) And don’t create any
461) Whether you’re the one driving or not, pay attention to how you get there.
462) Some times the best way for people to understand how you need to be loved is to love them that way.
463) That doesn’t mean you should neglect the way they need to be loved.
464) Suggesting someone is being selfish really just implies that they aren’t doing what you want them to do.
465) Don’t forget to eat.
466) 2% until you’re 15. Skim milk until you’re 35. 2% until your 60. whole milk until you die.
467) When a friend is in the hospital at least stop by when he/she gets out. At the very least call to let him/her know you care.
468) Even when it seems like the rest of the world has done that already.
469) Make bold choices.
470) If something is weighing heavy on your heart, please, don’t be afraid to express it.
471) Speak your mind.
472) Address your problems.
473) Don’t be passive aggressive. Either genuinely don’t care or be forthright.
474) Nobody can be uncheered by a balloon.
475) Listen to the stories of those older than you. You can learn so much about the nature of that person, but you can also learn countless lessons.
476) Go on. Read trashy magazines.
477) Some times doctors are wrong, and you need to be persistent.
478) Doctors and nurses deal with angry and hurt people all day. Try to show them kindness too.
479) At least be entertaining.
480) Some days are truly awful. Try not to be overwhelmed.
481) Worrying won’t make things better.
482) Some times people just need to vent.
483) They aren’t asking you to fix it.
484) When you vent, know the difference between venting and gossiping.
485) Your period is not a magical or even beautiful occurrence.
486) But its source produces beautiful things.
487) You are never too old for Winnie-the-Pooh
488) There are friends in your life who are fun to be around.
489) Not all friends are the sort that you bare your soul to.
490) When a doctor asks you a question answer it honestly. He’s helping you.
491) If you have a question for the doctor ask it.
492) Fresh flowers do die after some time, but they also brighten the room better than fake flowers.
493) Sincerely thank those who help you.
494) You can’t be too polite.
495) Napkin goes in your lap.
496) Wear your seatbelt.
497) I don’t care what the law is. If you’re on a bike or a motorcycle you’re wearing a helmet.
498) Some of the best people you know won’t be your best friends. Don’t judge them for this.
499) While you’re at it, don’t judge anyone else either.
500) Do not be hasty in your reactions to other people.