365 Day Project: 62

Today, started early. I had planned on getting so much done but then kiddos woke up. Super glad that the hubby pushed to take me to a fundraising event that supports the local pagan community but also where the kindred had a booth. It was awesome sitting there talking with everyone and I learned so much in so little time about Norse beliefs and ways. I also walked away with two goals for myself. One is a little more difficult than the other but those are for a late post.

This morning I completed a small goal of building the lego set that my husband purchased. I zone all the stress and anxiety out. I put my earbuds in that played an audiobook in my ears and my hands and eyes went to work. I decided I need larger sets that have more bricks and larger scale but the Harry Potter Aragog’s Lair was exactly what the doctor ordered and helped me prepare for the socializing that I did today.

The picture I took is a perfect example of how I feel at times so it’s symbolic to me.

#161226, #D9CBA3, #D99255, #D95E32, #8C3939

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.

 

A Quick Daily Study: Stanza 23

Yup, Monday. I really want to stay home and cook and be creative but I’m going to go to work, do my job, and come home. The people are responsible for catfishing my job responsibilities know who they are and are aware that I’m ONLY going to do what they didn’t hire me to do. I have spoken up and I have made it known to the people that need to be informed. I received excuses and, ‘hand in there.’ I really hope I nail the interview tomorrow.

Pocket Translation:

A foolish man is all night awake, pondering
over everything; he then grows tired;
and when morning comes, all is
lament as before.

Chisholm:

The stupid man lies awake all night
and thinks about everything
and is tired in the morning
though all is as it was.

This is something I need to work on myself. Having CPTSD there are times that if I’ve gotten upset during the day about something my insomnia will kick in and I overthink the situation for hours. I’ll stress and give my anxiety anxiety trying to figure out a solution to the problem and how to fix it. If it was an argument I’ll entertain other ideas. This stanza is advising not to lose sleep over something when all that does is make you tired the next day and possibly over a problem that can’t be solved. Get the rest and think clearly the next morning. Happy Monday Y’all.

Week 3 Comic: Jo Has a Cat

I have been working on this comic here and there all day. I couldn’t nail a concept then the idea of what was going on in my character’s world kept changing. I don’t have a cat but I feel like my anxiety is like a cat sometimes and today I wanted to illustrate the stealthiness of it.

This week I ‘fleshed’ the character out a bit more and gave her hair that literally has a mind of its own. Mine has so many layers from different stylists that I may need to cut it into a short bob just to even everything out. I wanted that for the girl in the comic. This is a way for me to make light of my C-PTSD at times and I’m hoping to introduce new characters throughout. I have committed to 52 weeks (a year’s worth) of comic doodles. I don’t quite have a name for my little comic yet. Any ideas?

 

Saturday Stints

Saturday is my day to get all the errands completed even when the budget gets tighter than what was expected. Groceries are first and then my photo for the day which I’ll be trying to capture in a town over since that’s where I pick up groceries. Then it’s trying to poorly draw my comic for the week. If it brings a giggle then so be it.

Then it’s Thor’s Blot tonight with the kindred and I’m just trying to hammer out some details that were not mentioned on the event page. This means possibly putting a dish together at last minute with as little funds as possible.

Now, in a panicked fast voice read on: I need to pick up groceries but leave enough money left over to possibly make a dish to pass at the blot tonight, then I need to get a photo for my 365 Day project because I CANNOT flake out on that if I want to get better at cell phone photos. Oh, I need to edit them and post too. I can do that from my phone if I have to but I hate it. What is my comic going to be about this week? Ugh, fuck it. I’ll wing it. Oh, I need to look for one of my wacoms and PRAY that there is still software somewhere for me to download. I got on the treadmill this morning but I better make sure and eat low points today because if there is food at the blot I would want to eat. Damn the mead, I’m going to have to dip in my weekly points. Not a problem I have almost a full bank. Shit, I need to put money in the kids’ lunch account, and gas. Gas needs to go in the car. It’s almost 6 in the morning I if I look now I can find the tablet and doodle in peace before the kids get up. Too late, I heard legos being dumped in the floor upstairs. Leftovers, the kids can have leftovers tonight and the younger one goes with us.

This is almost exactly what it’s like with my anxiety but what people are not seeing is the depression because all I want to do is crawl back into bed and forget what all needs to be done and went through my head. I know I have forgotten something and will remember it when it’s past time to be done or due. Off to look for one of my archaic Wacom tablets. Happy Saturday everyone!

The Interview I Blew

Guys let me tell you…I really blew that interview last night. I was confident and thought that I would nail it. I thought that I would be able to quit the job that I have TODAY. I thought I would be happy going to work every day and even dressing a little nicer. I was WRONG WRONG WRONG! I was a horrible interview.

I thought I could control my anxiety and the thoughts running through my head. I thought I could answer all the questions that the interviewer had logically and sound intelligent. This is what CPTSD can do. It can ruin your dreams of getting out from underneath a job that essentially ruined your career from the minute you walked through that door.

At first, everything I did was correct but went south for the winter quicker than the birds up north! I dressed appropriately (regretting the money I spent) and brought my laptop for presentation. She asked about my thought process behind the ads that I needed to create. Blank…yup I, at that moment, had no FUCKING clue what I thought when creating the ads. My memory loss and grasp for words decided it was time to rear her ugly head. Oh, and the poster was supposed to be digital…hmm should’ve guessed that. The Facebook ad can only have 20% text well no shit but when I was creating them I completely forgot about that. I had tunnel vision and was more focused on the task of creating than the parameters. Do you know what a Facebook pixel is? I knew the answer but stupidly replied, ‘I’m sorry what?’  ‘I would like to see some of your work do you have a portfolio. My CPTSD hit the panic button. Lights were flashing and warning buzzards were going off. I muttered that my portfolio link is included with my Indeed resume. ‘No, it’s not there. Do you have anything to show me?’ Well of course not even though I had a folder right on my desktop. ‘ I intelligently muttered, ‘Is there WiFi here?’ GUYS WHO DOES THAT?! She asked me to send her a link. I almost completely shut down.

The interview was over and she wouldn’t even shake my hand. I promptly emailed her a link to my portfolio from the parking lot using my phone. I messaged my husband and told him I didn’t get the job and then I allowed myself to have the panic/meltdown attack that I was holding in. You know the relief you get in your chest from having to hold yourself together. I was no longer awkward and the cloud of noise lifted from head once my butt hit that car seat. After I was done crying I came home and went STRAIGHT to the Indeed website to add my portfolio link. Did you know that it was there? Apparently, she didn’t either. A few minutes later as I’m applying for more jobs the place I interviewed for posted and Indeed said my resume was a match. I read the post and she added more items and I quickly learned she was wanting someone with more experience. Someone that wasn’t me.

I wanted to scream for her to give me chance to see what I’m capable of but I just scrolled past. At this point, I wish anyone would give me a chance that understands what CPTSD can do to a person. I applied for other jobs and I’ll take a Xanax before walking into the interview to quiet everything in my head. I will do my stanza study this evening. I’m contemplating on putting on pants to go to work. Happy Wednesday everyone.

6 Word Story: 6/10

It was a rough night and my walk this morning suffered. Flashbacks are not for the squeamish. Imagine living your worst life experience, amplified while you sleep without having control over what’s in your dream. Well, maybe other than jerking awake covered in sweat and tears but nothing else. I’m going to paint and write today. Those are my only goals (other than counting those points) and I need to prove to myself that I can get past the last couple of days. I also want to thank everyone for the encouragement to find the courage to continue sharing and practicing creativity.


Prompt Word: New Heights

 

 

 

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

Please Don’t

Please don’t look at me,
I only want to walk into the store.

Please don’t watch me,
I only want to get what my family needs.

Please don’t talk to me,
I will stumble over my words trying to reply.

Please don’t stand to close,
I feel uncomfortable and want to run.

Please don’t make eye contact,
I feel obligated to look away.

Please don’t snicker,
I tried to say my coffee order that I rehearsed.

Please don’t shake your head,
I only want to order something to eat.

Please don’t acknowledge me,
I only want to be invisible.


I wanted to attempt a poem for the Daily Post Prompt: Invisible that captures some of my social anxieties. I remember a time when I was a social butterfly and then I was isolated. Now I’m left with the aftermath of my CPTSD. Some days are harder than others.

6 Word Story: 3/21

This is another word that I had to look up not because I didn’t know what it meant but because I didn’t know how to put the meaning into words. I know that sounds weird but I’ve learned with my CPTSD I lose words. Sometimes the capability of making a point is often lost inside my head wandering around trying to find a quick substitute. It’s like a game of tag is the best way to describe it (and yes I giggled writing that picturing words playing tag in my head). If I don’t laugh or make light of things they nag at me until I’m a puddle in bed.


Prompt Word: Boundless

 

Finding yourself is limitless when writing.

Random Guardian

There are times it feels like my night terrors or flashbacks are the only things keeping me alive. I know that’s not true but when I think of guardian that’s what came to mind. Because of my past, I’m now more aware of people and my surroundings. What or who do you believe is your personal guardian?


Random Word: Guardian

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.

Quote of the Day

I’m only here for the food…and I’m on a diet!

I said this today because too many people were asking me to do so many things when I only have two hands. My anxiety was through the roof by 7:30 am this morning and I had to make a point. Part of the quote came from a movie, ‘Ever After’ and I still enjoy watching it.

Noises Heard

It can be loud,
and it can be moving.

It can harden your soul,
or soften your heart.

It can make you run,
or cause you to freeze.

Noises have made me scared,
cry, and love.

My advice is to listen and
not to listen.


This is me trying my hand at poetry for the Daily Word Post. I tried to capture what noise does to me with my CPTSD.

6 Word Story: 3/12

Having CPTSD has taught me that using the grounding technique I can better get through my panic attacks. Not all the time but the times that it does work I feel stronger.


Prompt Word: Up & Away

Grounding gave her freedom to live.

Watercolor and Self-Care

I promised myself that I would add better quality paints, inks, pens, etc…little by little. Yesterday before sitting down and working on a longer short story I wanted to purchase a better quality gel pen. I have been working with cheaper quality and it showed in my art. I really wanted a white gel to gain better highlighting details. So, I did just that. The really good white gel pen was in a locked case so I went with the second recommendation that I received-the Gelly Roll. I am in LOVE with the pigment and water resistance.

I watched movies with my husband last night so I didn’t do much else. But this morning, I woke up and realized daylight savings time occurred while we slept so I rushed to get ready and do the weekly grocery trip. Even though I was early I ran into a LOT of old customers from my bartending jobs. I heard about how much they missed me, that I needed to return to clean out the bar and get better people in there, that the whole town suffered…the list goes on. All that did was stress me out. I wanted nothing more than to get out of there but I had to finish the marketing. I did and I also forgot some things which I will send my husband to get. I was anxious and on the verge of a panic attack. I came home and cleaned out my writing/art area because my kids just can’t understand that it’s my safe space but they’ll get there. Now that I rambled on about my CPTSD and how my flight overran my fight here’s something I did to help calm me and get me back to a healthy frame of mind.

This is a watercolor Strawberry Finch. Fun fact, I have finches next to my desk because their songs help me relax.

The supplies I used:

  • 140lb cold press (it’s a journal and I’m not ready to move to large projects plus I like the texture of the paper which is also soothing for me to hear the brush against)
  • Gelly Roll gel pen (white)
  • Faber-Castell pen (fine point black ink)
  • Indian Ink (still learning to play with the ink)
  • Watercolors (right now Daler and Rowney tubes-they’re affordable for me at the moment)
  • Brush Pens (cheap and learned they don’t work well on wet paper)

I want to attempt a colorful rooster and something fluffy but that’s for a different day. Completing this small bird was an accomplishment for me. I was able to relax and focus. My heart rate slowed and my mind wasn’t overthinking anything. It was my self-care. I took time to do something that made me feel better.

What is your outlet to calm down or something that you do for your self-care? Don’t feel guilty. I’m still learning not to feel guilty and not to give too much of myself because there isn’t anything left for me.

March 10th, 2018

It’s been a hell of a week. I can take the stress of deadlines and last minute projects because they are few and far between until this past week. On a good work week, my workload will average between 20 and 40 color-up requests. That does not include getting orders ready to be printed. This week I managed 152 color-up requests, an emergency banner (that needed to be completed within 8 hours to make the printer deadline) and an emergency handout that needed to be printed and ready to go within 24 hours. Then there was the imprint work for uniforms, approval forms, and they also needed me on the floor to help print.

Understand, I was a blue collar worker before my graphic design job. I was raised by a roughneck oil field worker. He taught me that nothing in this world is free and if I want something I have to work for it. So, I worked hard in college while working two jobs, three kids, a house to run then a divorce from my abuser. I maintained a 4.0 GPA and paid my dues. I worked odd design jobs and internships before landing where I am today. So when they asked me to go on the floor I did just that. I left the floor when I saw that the employees that were supposed to be too busy to print were talking, laughing, drinking coffee and checking phones. I refused to be used like that. I cranked out my order of 160 and went back to cave. There I was met with more work 15 minutes before I was to clock out and leave for the weekend. I decided that I would take my time. I was mentally exhausted to the point I had a headache, eyes were aching, 3 major panic attacks, one crying meltdown, and physical exhaustion. It took everything I had to write my short stories and doodle.

My husband listened to what was going on which helped a lot. He encouraged me to write more after telling him about submissions and what I wanted to do and what I am doing. I realized work was the reason why I was in a funk. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I will be doing some much-needed self-care. I will write, paint, read, and rest.

March 5th, 2018: Rejection to Recreation

This weekend was fun and frustrating. I’m glad I was able to look at everything from a different perspective (once I got out of my head). With my CPTSD there are times when I’m more anxious than depressed and vice versa. I’ve been trying to write for other blogs, submitting pieces that I’m comfortable with the prompt and have been open-minded. I think that’s what helped me through my rejection is being open-minded. I woke up to an email that started like this:

“We found this piece so affecting and, of course, incredibly personal. It’s a beautifully written collection of letters, and a very special piece of writing. Unfortunately, we didn’t feel like we had quite the right space for ‘Dear Daddy‘………..”

Now, I had been sketching earlier that morning so I was relaxed which helped my mood.I will admit I was super excited to see a reply email from the blog authors. It meant they read it. They actually gave it the time of day! I was bummed after reading, ‘Unfortunately’. I knew what that meant also. But my husband told me to read it again. So I read it three or four times before I understood what he was seeing. ‘It’s a beautifully written’ and ‘Affecting’. It touched them and they thought it was well written. Me? Well written? That IS awesome! So even though it was a letter of rejection it was also motivational. I didn’t quit writing that day or lay in bed crying. I continued to write and be hopeful through the rejection.

 

I updated my sketchbook for my random doodles. (I accidentally left it at home this morning and made a point to turn around and get it.) I also did some experimenting with brush markers and using them as watercolors. It was a great exercise since I had to go out that Saturday night to a basketball game. I and large crowds just don’t do well so the painting helped relax me for the evening.

How I handled the crowd was more of an ah-ha moment than trying something new. I have emergency meds for panic attacks but decided that I would sit in between my husband and my oldest daughter. This helped tremendously along with my family understanding how I am we sat a little longer in the stands so I wasn’t caught in a sea of strangers touching me. All in all, it was a good night day. I was rejected but grew from it and I did something recreational without having a panic attack.

 

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