Letting Go; 18,000 Pieces at a Time

Remember when I wrote something about going to the library with the husband? The trip sparked 2 ideas/goals and a new found love for books. I don’t have time to read but I have 8 hours a day at where I work to listen. We aren’t supposed to listen to audiobooks but I do anyways…or now I do. I’m almost done with an Anne Rice novel and I forgot how much I enjoyed her style. I wish I could write like her but in shorter stories. There’s one.

Two is the library hosts their own quilt show/contest. Oh my! The talent in some these quilts. Next years theme is Flowers and I really REALLY want to enter but the problem is I don’t know how to quilt. Not like what was on display there. So, do I get a machine and try or just put that thought on the back burner? I’m looking into second-hand sewing machines and will YouTube the S*!+ out of the subject and even get to the library for how to books.

Three. The biggy. Picture it, the South, the early 2000s. I’m in my first trimester with a sibling for my other kiddos. Money is tight for my young family both parents not experienced enough to deal with adult responsibilities. The military pay wasn’t all that great, especially for our growing family and I offered to get a job at a local restaurant. My husband at that time had FORBIDDEN me to work. I was lucky I could leave the house, truth be told. He had been hoarding a clothing allowance that he received for almost a year. It was HIS money. It was ALL HIS MONEY. I woke up one morning and purchased a $350 18,000 piece puzzle. Believe me, I paid for it later but not with money.

Now, almost 11 years later this puzzles sits at the top of my closet. Only opened once to see what it looked like inside. A box of bad memories and pain just sitting and collecting dust. I noticed when visiting the library that there was a puzzle in the back area on a table being put together. I had asked about it and the librarian said it was sometimes put together by the staff, sometimes it was put together by other people. ‘Would the library take a donation in the form of a puzzle?’ I knew when I asked she probably thought that there were pieces missing or that it was in rough shape. The shock on her face when my husband carried in the puzzle. It was heavy for me but he carried it in like a bale of hay.

‘The box looks a little rough. It has traveled with me, baggage if you will for over 11 years. The four sections are bagged separately. Each section to a bag. This is number 17 out of 8216 puzzles made and the shipping slips show that it’s from Germany originally. There’s a certificate of authenticity and a poster for image reference. Can the library use it? It will finish 9 feet wide by 6 feet tall.’ She was overwhelmed and excited to receive it and the only thing I asked was to see it if and when it’s finished. She didn’t need to know the history of the puzzle.

I feel lighter. A reminder of past pain and abuse (both emotional, mental, and physical) related to that box is gone. I don’t need to hold on to it and something awesomely great will come from it. The beauty of the craftsmanship of the puzzle will FINALLY be put together. I still have a lot of healing to do and this was a great step forward.

An Unread Essay

There was recently an essay contest that made the news last month. I thought about entering but it would literally be a drop of water in a bucket of millions of writers. It was for a mansion of a house and all a person had to do was write an essay and pay the $25 entry fee. The money earned from the entry was going to a domestic abuse charity which is something I could get behind. Why didn’t I do it? Well, $25 is a tank of gas for me or money needed to purchase ingredients to cook dinner for a night. This is what I started. Please understand, I’m not wanting pity. It’s just an essay written that I never submitted. Viewer discretion is advised. Read at your own risk.


I wouldn’t take the house you are offering for a well-written essay. One chosen that would hopefully move the reader enough to choose the most deserving writer. I know what it’s like to live in an abusive situation and in a beautiful home both at the same time. I would sell the mansion but not for what you would think.

I knew to escape my situation I would need to further my education. My first day of college was great and I felt an accomplishment until I got home. That night when I got back from a day of classes, getting lost, and learning the ropes of things I realized my mistake. My abuser wasn’t proud of his wife coming back from class, didn’t ask her how her day was, not even a hug. Instead, he was upset that there wasn’t dinner and his property disobeyed him. I can still feel the words sting before the broken rib snapped under his fist. I remember feeling the earth come to a halt. I retreated into myself and waited for it to stop hoping my body can withstand the force of anger. I could feel the earth start to spin again and from the comfort of inside my soul, he was done.

I wrapped my battered body with bandages and made one of the best meatloaves ever. The potatoes were thick and creamy and the meatloaf was seasoned perfectly and was careful to make the right amount of eye contact. When he was done with dinner I made sure the kids were washed and ready for the next day and as he slept that night I looked over my agenda for classes. I devised a meal plan that involved a crockpot and weekends of cooking meals and freezing.

What’s the ending, you may wonder? I found my strength and escaped my abuser and graduated college. I also accumulated a mountain of student loan debt and C-PTSD. So, no. I wouldn’t move into the home but rather sell it to pay off my debt. Helping rid me of the final shackles of my past and my abuser. I would purchase a house that I can sustain without debt and donate the rest to women that are still shackled by their abusers.

 

Are you being stalked?

CONTENT WARNING: Content May Be Offensive or Disturbing to Some Audiences.This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about assault, suicide, abuse, violence or murder. Reader discretion is advised.

Real quick to better understand where I’m coming from. I have C-PTSD with anxiety and depression from over a decade of abuse (mental and physical), assault, and rape. There are reasons why I’m a gun carrying, pit bull owning, very aware woman. I have learned rather recently to not apologize for my mental struggles or my reasoning for my behavior. It’s not up for discussion or debate. It happened and I’m trying to get right with a lot. My writing and art are therapeutic for me. I try to encourage others because it’s taken me a long time for me to post, comment, and recently started sharing other posts and would like others to continue with their goals.


Due to recent events, I thought that this would be a good time to post about safely blogging. If you are like me I use my writing to be creative, heal, and encourage others. Unfortunately, sometimes bloggers intended purpose behind a post or comment is taken and read in an extremely different manner. So, yes, bloggers can be stalked, harassed, threatened, gas-lighted, browbeaten, hate-campaigned (including employing other bloggers) and so forth. I did some research and found that it’s more common than what people realize. Some basics:

  • Write under a pen name (Hi guys, I’m Jo)
  • Guard your privacy (choose wisely what is shared)
  • Edit background information from pictures (Is that my license plate?)
  • Delete GPS data from photos (Umm…huh?)
  • Let other bloggers know what happened-privately (Not in the comments but contact forms are nice)
  • Save emails and screenshots in case of escalations (I’m NOT responsible for your behavior)
  • Check your ‘Offline Security’ (The local PD are aware and my dogs are too!)
  • Comments need approval (You said what?)

Some Places for Tips
Blog Stalkers
Get Safe
iLookBothWays
Web Hosting Secrets

I have included those links so you are able to recognize warning signs and where to beef up your security. Local law enforcement in your area can be contacted and there are computer crime units that can help. When I thought that removing them as a follower would help it only made things worse. Ignoring the behavior only fueled their need. I encourage a lot of people to write and follow their dreams however big or small they may be. I gave some advice. Emails were sent (under a pen name) then WHAM! My first warning sign was a statement that they don’t handle being left all that well.  After I wasn’t commenting on their posts as often I received an email. Then their emotions leaked where they weren’t supposed too. Then the final email blamed me for everything including their behavior and thought process. There is a small hate campaign started but that’s ok because I’m going to be ok. I refused to cower this time. I spoke out and taking action. I’m still going to write and share.

There is a huge list of sites that can help with cyberstalking, cyber crimes, and victim support. If you need help please reach out to someone. The help is there.

Jo/© thecreativeptsdgal.wordpress.com

Mourning Me

A lament is or can be a poem or song expressing grief. The lament is powered by a personal sense of loss. The poetry of lamentation, which arose in oral literature alongside heroic poetry, seems to exist in all languages and poetries. Confession, I can’t write poetry. I don’t know why that is. Even when I was a teen I wasn’t pining over a notebook spilling my thoughts into poems. However, I do miss who I was before things happened in my past.


The sun used to kiss your happiness on the porch swing
and the birds’ song would fill your ears.
Indian summers brought more days to enjoy outside
and more time to offer company to others.

You enjoyed welcoming hugs
and took a handshake as the word and promise.
You helped others without question
because all you had was compassion.

Your laughter was a pleasant sound
and brought smiles to little faces.
Your free spirit made dreams
into a reality.

The isolation took you from sight
and the tears were never seen.
You cried for help but he
made you wear a mask.

Other things I do differently but
I do mourn the loss of me.

Nightmares and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time,

a young single mother worked at the market. She loved her little girl so much and hated leaving her each day to go to work. She couldn’t believe that for all her chores in the market she would receive very little pay. After a while, she noticed a young prince would come in almost every day just to go to her checkout line. In the following weeks, she and the prince began dating. She loved how he doted on her and her little girl. He told the young mother that if she was his wife she wouldn’t have to work and would be able to stay home and take care of her daughter and him. After a year the prince married the young mother.
Her happily ever after fairy tale soon turned into her personal nightmare. Soon anything she did provoke his vicious rage that he would take out on her. She was afraid to speak when not spoken to. Serve his meals too late or leave marks on the carpet from the vacuum. It seemed like anything she did was wrong and her punishments were all her fault. She then eased into following a set of rules which prevented her from stepping out of line.

As the years went on, she gave her prince two more daughters and he was becoming outraged that she couldn’t give him a son. She apologized over and over and even tried explaining that it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t have a son, it was biology. She needed to get out of the house and decided that without the prince’s permission she would go and work at the market again. He was very angry with her but promised her provocation of breaking a rule would be dismissed if she gave him half of her paycheck. She agreed out of her feelings of guilt and fear.

One day she went to work without having done a good makeup job of covering one of the prince’s marks from his hands of justice. On this day her husband showed up at the market just to tell the young mother what a horrible person she was and that she better be home in time to have his dinner prepared and ready for him. She bowed her head asked for forgiveness and promised that she would be home in time. Later that day a peasant boy walked over to her and asked, ‘Why do you let an ogre treat you like that?’ Those monsters are not allowed to be with humans.’ ‘He’s not an ogre, he’s a prince,’ she replied. ‘It’s the glamour. Luckily, your children will have your traits and not that of the monsters.’ The peasant boy replied and left.

Later that night at dinner she stared at her prince over dinner and couldn’t see the monster. The more she went to work the more the peasant boy educated her about ogres and how they preyed on the vulnerable. ‘How do I get free?’ she asked the boy. ‘All you have to do is look. Look at when he’s mean and see past the mask that he has put up to fool everyone,’ The boy said. ‘But how come you can see the monster and not a prince?’ ‘My mother taught me how to spot monsters. And by the way, you are not a monster but you will soon learn.’

A few months had passed when a huge argument erupted between the prince and the young mother. It wasn’t until the shock of his hand across her face that she saw the ogre. When her vision came back she could see the horror. If it wasn’t for her provoking his rage she wouldn’t have been able to see the prince for what he really was. He was her nightmare come to life, he was her ogre. She screamed and ran to grab her children. He chased all three of them to the carriage. She managed to get the horses to move before he was able to jump in. The ogre mounted his horse and chased after the young mother and her children. She arrived at the peasant boy’s house where he called the village protectors.

A few months passed and the young mother realized it wasn’t her fault that the ogre was violent. She never provoked him. It was the monster in him. She and the children learned to live without the monster and are learning to live their happily ever after.


Trying to some up a personal experience in just 750 words is difficult. This is a response to the Daily Post Prompt ‘Provoke‘. This brought back memories that I didn’t want to remember but I have to try and heal. I hope that it doesn’t do more harm for me in my dreams tonight.

6 Word Story Day 26

This is a character action I have done myself. I can see me in that situation more than once and all I can think is why didn’t I speak up? Why didn’t the cops believe me? I still feel bitter and want him to pay but that’s not going to happen. This 6 word story ended up being more dimensional than I expected and the picture just added more dimension plus emotion.


Prompt Word: Blinders

“He’s just stressed” replacing her sunglasses.

6 Word: Day 7

Just a reminder the theme for the month of January is mindfulness. I have come to grow and love using my own definition or take on the this word and the prompts through the days. I can’t even begin to count the numerous revisions and research that goes into only a sentence. But I would like to think that it’s great practice for an even larger project. I have also added a quick pen scribble for the image because there was nothing available. I used a reference and went from there. Backstory to this 6 Word Story…I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to be able to do this.


Day 7 Prompt: The Listener

Death wept as she whispered, “Now.”

6 words Day 3

This prompt was a little hard for me to complete. I ended up pulling from the fantasies I use to have when I was married to my abuser. It may not seem deep and words on the screen for anyone reading this but it has meaning and purpose to for me. I always hoped he would leave but I ended up finding the strength and left.


The prompt for day three: Open Door

Her wish came true. He left.

 

 

September 7th, 2017

Livid-furiously angry.

That word could best describe my emotional state today. My son, in his second week of school was already experiencing being bullied. My husband took the helm of talking with the principal about changing classrooms. I thought that would be a better idea then having him talk to the principal about the situation because it seems like in this town people raise their children differently. My son has compassion, empathy, and an all around sweet child and doesn’t comprehend being mean. He doesn’t have it in him to be mean. Whereas other parents seem to think it’s ok for their children to run a mock without any guidance which leads us into these situations.

Instead of the school moving him to a different classroom he hauls both kids, my son and his bully, into the office. My husband called me up at work and said that we need to pick our son up. My son, drenched in his own tears, came running to me and said begged for me to take him home. The principal said that he talked with both boys and that everything was fine. THEN WHY IN THE HELL IS MY SON UPSET! The other boy received a warning and my son is still in the same class. All this means is my son is going to go through the rest of this year being bullied by this 8 year old tyrant!

Bully and bullying is a polite way of covering up the ugly truth. It’s both mental and physical abuse. Plain and simple! My ex did not receive any warnings for verbally abusing me. What in the hell is this going to teach the bully. Don’t get caught next time. If I had the money to stay home and teach my son I would. I need to look into other avenues for financial independence so I can protect him. But, in the long run I know that I won’t always be able to protect him so I have to send him back to school so he can continue to be ‘bullied’ and the teachers and principal can continue to hand out warnings.

Stranger Things-Comparison and More Similarities

******SPOILER****** If you haven’t watched this show, don’t read! I may or may not ruin your viewing pleasure and curiosity. Also, I really wanted to write this and tried really hard to gather my thought process into a form that made sense.


When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one strange little girl.
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Matthew Modine

 

I watched this show with my kids this weekend…OK we binged all 8 episodes. I’ll confess that I bawled like a toddler that just had her favorite color crayon stolen. I realized that it wasn’t for the obvious reasons. I can truly relate to the character 11 or rather her flashbacks and the way she feels.

 

So you read the descriptive blurb but what it leaves out is the little girl, ’11’ was a test subject. She was taken away from her mother at birth that was a voluntary test subject for monetary compensation. But what the mother didn’t know is that she was pregnant during the hallucinogenic drug trials. The man that 11 called ‘Papa’ was the one that ordered her to do horrible things and the only time that she got any human affection was when she completed tasks.

I CRIED! Yup, I cried as this little girl was shown being drug by two orderlies in white jump suits to a secluded closest with the door slammed and her sitting alone in the dark. I cried as she banged on the door hollering for her ‘papa’ to rescue her. I cried when she had escaped, received help from a man that gave her a burger after catching her stealing fries from his kitchen. She then witnessed his murder which was completed by someone from the testing facility where she was kept. I cried. Because I know what it’s like to need help from someone outside my abusive situation to help me navigate the world outside. I’ll come back to that later.

11 is found by a group of boys that were searching for their friend that had gone missing. She was scared, skeptic, needing a decent human being to make her feel like a human rather than a lab rat. There’s ups and downs during the blooming friendship among these boys and cried when there was name calling and when the boys obviously hurt her.

My Comparison

I was in an extremely mentally and physically abusive relationship.  I can’t even begin to count how many times I would tell my children ‘Bye baby, I love you’ in there ear as I kissed them goodnight while they slept so peacefully, all the while knowing that I may not make it through the night. So yes, I cried when 11 told Mike ‘goodbye’ trying to beat the demon. The only time I received human affection was after he was done being abusive. I was isolated from the outside world just as 11. I didn’t have friends or could go by myself ANYWHERE even to get a burger. I needed something from the outside world to show me that things weren’t like they were in our house. I broke his rules and got a job as a cashier…believe me, I paid for it later but continued to go. There I made friends with a couple of guys that showed me what it was like to be treated like a human. They knew I was scared (all the time) untrusting of people except by husband (ex now) as that was how I was molded and they took their time and were careful of my fragile state of mind. They showed me right from wrong, great places to eat, and even women’s fashion. We became close at work and I was able to confide in them over time how my husband was. They tried protecting me by keeping him from interrupting me at work. Whether it be him showing up or calling, those boys were there.

I married the man that saved me the night from my husband. I don’t want to go into details but a high speed chase ended with my girls and I at his house with the two boys standing there with guns. He developed feelings for me and of course I was shocked. I didn’t know what it would feel like to be cared for and loved. I still have flashbacks, I still have trust issues, and my husband that saved me-still needs to be careful with me sometimes because of my C-PTSD.

I understand 11’s flashbacks, issues, and what it’s like to be abused so when the final scene of the final episode showing her being brave but gone…I fucking lost it. If this comparison makes it to the screen writers and producers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let her make it. Let her have a normal life (yeah I’m crying as I write this). I need to know if I’ll ever have a normal life. And before you ask…I kept watching because I needed to know that she was OK. Am I ok?

 

https://www.netflix.com/title/80057281

I am the One Who

This was an exercise for repetition. I wanted to touch on something that was me, or happened to me. I try not to let it define me but here lately without my meds and therapist my thoughts are running rampant. Note: Possible trigger for others individuals. This one was for me and hit a personal aspect of my life I don’t talk about to hardly any one. I even wrote this as my husband slept next to me-wrote about what my ex-husband did.


I am the One Who…

I am the one who loved unconditionally.
I am the one who made excuses.
I am the one who deflected for the protection of others.
I am the one who kept things quiet.
I am the one who obeyed.
I am the one who disobeyed.
I am the one that bruised.
I am the one that bled.
I am the one who screamed ‘NO, you’re hurting me’ but he didn’t listen.
I am the one that hid pain.
I am the one that ran with my kids.
I am the one left with invisible scars.
I am the one that survived abuse.

Triggered Tokens

This has been a triggering past few days! Friday I couldn’t wait to get out of work and head home just relax before going to tend bar. My husband still hasn’t started working yet and at least ha d the kids taken care of and dinner somewhat figured out. I got to the bar and had a quiet but busy night. Most of my boys were up north or heading up north for their annual week long fishing trip. It was nice to get home before 2 am.

Saturday, with some sleep in me, I was able to wake up at a decent time and take the family to breakfast. They are wonderful understanding that money is tight and didn’t overdo the ordering. From there I dropped the girls off because they had plans with their girlfriends and my husband and I took our 7 year old with us to help me shop for the meat raffle items. I didn’t get much as most of the town (yes the town is that small) that hardly anyone would be there. When we were done, straight to the bar we headed and dropped everything off. On the way to the house to meet the girls, we stopped and got the veggies needed for the meals and pick up my prescription refills. That’s when I learned that our insurance was cut off. FUCKING fantastic! So now, no meds and my anxiety and depression is slowly getting worse. At least I could get to the car before I started to cry. Saturday night I was able to close around the same time and actually got the rest I needed and let’s face it, I was not in the right frame of mind.

I bought just the right amount of food for the people that showed up. It didn’t take long at all to raffle everything off and people stayed, talked, and laughed. It was a great day until the guy that is overseeing the bar came in. Told me absolutely no more giving to charity from the extra money earned then started interrogating about the money not reflecting the good meat raffle afternoons in the till. I was so numb. My ex husband would severely abuse me for money not being accounted for even after I had the proof through receipts and bank statements. I had flashbacks and started to shake. I had enough power to say tell them I needed a minute and walked outside for a cigarette. Here I am smoking, no meds, and terrible flashbacks. I was terrified. I closed after he left and cried the whole time while doing my closing checklist.

Monday, I could barely get out of bed. My depression was really bad. I was scared, no motivation. Throughout the night I had the same horrifying nightmare every time I would try to sleep. Luckily, my little clover, would lick my face and paw at my hand to wake me. I wish I had the money to train her as my service dog. She even helped me get out of bed. I just muddled through the day and when I got home from work I went straight to bed.

Today was the last day of school for the kids, and I wanted to do something nice for my son and his friend since the older kids went to the pool. So here we are, at an arcade/restaurant and all I can do is sit here and watch my baby and his friend run around and play because my body and mind doesn’t have the strength to be happy with them. My husband is doing awesome filling in. So, this is where I stand, on my phone, trying to keep a journal of what is happening, finding triggers, and at least not laying in bed. I have some writing to post when I get home. My son needs more tokens and win more tickets. I smile, “Good job buddy “.

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