Tag Archives: CPTSD

How come?

How come?

How can I see that others deserve it?

How can I not think I do?

How can it not be okay for someone else to go through but okay for me?

How can I not see that what I would fight for someone else for I myself am worthy of?

How come I was not only shown but told that I wasn’t worth my basic rights?

How come I’m failure?

How come I’m a loser?

How come I’ll never be anything more than, “a lazy fat bitch”?

How come?

I took this picture a while ago. It seems fitting for this though.

Run

Run, run, run is all I seem to do.

Run from it all.

Run from everyone.

Run with no where to go.

Run with no plan.

Run with no one.

Run to you not from you is what I ultimately want to do.

Run from you is a mistake I make.

Run to your open arms.

Run to your warm embrace.

Run to your kiss on my forehead.

Run to you not from you.

Run, run, run is all I seem to do.

Run from pain.

Run from hurting the ones I love.

Run from feeling anything at all.

Run from fear.

Run from joy.

Run from so much good.

Run; I’m done!

Run one way.

Run the right way.

Run to you is what I must do now.

Run to you once again.

Run with blind faith.

Run, you’ve got my back.

Run together.

Run in love.

Run, run, run is all I seem to do.

Picture just for fun ❤️ Crystal Creek Reservoir Pikes Peak North Slope Recreation Area. I thought I saw a Big Foot creeping around there 😉

Parenting my Unruly Inner Child

That phrase, “you’re bringing out the inner child in me”, is familiar and usually said when something is making you giddy and excited and happy. We know that when we hear these words someone really likes what is happening. What if I told you that your inner child is not just something sparked by a fun filled exciting moment, but for many people their inner child is a direct result of childhood trauma of some kind.

Maybe this person was in a bad car accident or was injured in some kind of way. Maybe a parent or loved one died and that child was traumatized by that loss. Maybe for some like me that trauma was long, hidden, and multiple different forms. Whatever the trauma was it is still trauma nonetheless. What is traumatic to you might not be traumatic to me and what’s traumatic to me not be traumatic to you. Trauma is just as unique as being an individual is; it comes in many different sizes, shapes, and forms and is open to interpretation by the person or person experiencing it.

For me my inner child is independent and fierce. She takes no shit from anyone because she has taken too much already. My inner child is less insecure than before, but still insecure. She is scared. She is loud. She is stubborn. She is her own person. Sometimes a word or a color or a smell or a show or a song, or any number of things can trigger her. She begins to panic and she has no clue what to do. She just talk and cries and tries to make sense of it all. Not only is my inner child scared, but she in confused.

She is waiting and expecting someone to tell her to, “shut” her “loud mouth and just be quiet. You are to be seen not heard and I keep hearing you when I should just be seeing you”. She expects that every word that comes out of her mouth will be disregarded and laughed at. She fears if she says, “No” then she won’t be liked. She fears that if she says that, “I don’t like that” or, “I don’t enjoy that”, or any number of things that convey that convey she isn’t liking something that she will automatically be called a “complainer” and told to, “just stay home next time” or to, “just play by your damn self, fuck!”

She feels that she is everyone’s burden and that no one could ever really want to take care of her or to help her out without expecting something in return, so she strives to be even more independent and self-sufficient. She doesn’t even know who she is besides Kelly. Her name is her identity. She really finds her peace and joy in what everyone else loves, even if she doesn’t particularly find it interesting, she was taught to enjoy it, or else no more…ever. She makes a mess of things.

I never had anyone really parent me. I was hit with brushes, had cigarettes put out on my skin, I was beat with a dog leash (blog post on that), I was hungry, I was made to stand in the corner for 8+ hours (without food or beverage or bathroom breaks), I was sexually assaulted repeatedly and for the most part it was allowable my mom knew she say “stop”, but yeah, “we all” had “to live here, Kelly” was a popular thing to say. You see there was so much. When I’d get birthday money they’d take it. When I got a job, I paid their bills I heard, “please KellBell buy my this I love you”…I was a 12 you assholes, 12!

When I got a bigger paychecks, when I upgraded from babysitting to a tax paying job I transitioned into paying their bills. When I turned 18 I found out that they had used my name, DOB, and SSN for utilities and satellite and I had bad credit and terrible debt before I had even turned 18 and I am 35 ad I am still paying for it. Not fair. Not cool. Don’t like. But what can I do? Pay it or remain in their debt and control for the rest of my life? Fuck that shit! I have dreams. I have goals. I am almost out of debt (minus student loans, which don’t even get me started on that). I was always home alone or trying to find a friend to stay with.

We didn’t have a working land-line phone so I never was one of those girls or teenagers that would get phone calls or be on the phone. I actually hate being on the phone it causes me so much anxiety. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t always have gas for heat, cooking, and hot water. We didn’t always have food. We didn’t always have toilet paper. We didn’t always have electricity. We didn’t get new clothes (well my brother did). We had roaches galore, not because we were dirty, but it’s a real problem when you live that close to neighbors. My mom was a clean freak.

We had mice. Mice so bad I would hear them in my ceiling of my room in the basement while I was sleeping. I would wake up to dead roaches and once a mouse in my water or beverage I had on my night stand. I have woke up with mice on my pillow next to me. The flea problem was terrible too. Oh my goodness the fleas and all the freaking animals we had.

I did not have a childhood like most people do. It was chaotic and stressful and so hard to get through. It was painful. It hurt. I was made fun of and picked on and hurt by the very people I trusted to keep me safe from all those things. The people that I wanted to love on me when someone at school was so mean to me, not tell me “wha wha wha everybody hates me, nobody likes me, going to the garden, going to eat some worms”…yep whenever I was hurting that was the response. My other favorite responses to my pain and suffering was, “here’s a quarter why don’t you call someone who cares?” You know what happens when your bullies are your parents too? You learn to shut your fucking mouth because what you feel or have to say means jack diddly squat and you just figure it out on your own. Because you were already shown that if you aren’t silent you might have cigarettes put out on your skin (my parents didn’t smoke another trusted adult or two did though) or be made fun of.

I’m parenting her though now. It is so hard to try and be 35 and an adult and also be a child in so many ways. I have tried so hard to teach her and correct her. I realize now that my love is kind of parenting her too. I mean lets be honest here if he wasn’t brave enough to deal with the consequences of telling me, “No”, or what he thinks it is I should be or not be doing (no one ever has) just so I am happy, healthy, and safe (literally my best interest at heart) then I wouldn’t be growing. You see no one has ever told me what I should do. What I should eat. What I should wear. I was just pretty much left to fend for myself, like way more than I could ever express with the word “a” and “lot”. I was abandoned and a show put on in front of people.

My inner child has needed a lot of molding and shaping. There is one area still that I am finding myself childlike and that is how I handle frustration. I have panic disorder and oh boy do I panic quick. I go 0-100 in no time some times. I have medicated with the guidance of my doctor and it does help. I now can go sometimes a whole week without an episode. Usually at least one day a week I panic about something. I am working on correcting this in me. This is still the one area I am growing. My love is amazingly patient and helpful. Even when I cannot see what it is he does for me or how much he loves me, because I think in those moments everyone hates me and is going to hurt me and leave me. He, even though hard on him, gets me through it.

You know I keep reminding him how sorry I am for all the bumps in the road and how hard I am to love. I am not sure I can ever apologize enough for being me. I am messed up and through no fault of my own. I literally taught myself everything I know. I watched people in the distance and decided what I liked and didn’t like. I knew that I needed to be less like my mom and more like the woman who opened her home to me so much. I needed to be like the women at church that I admired. No one showed me how to do any of it though. No one even showed me how to be a girl, but they did try to make me a man, which I am not. I am actually really gentle and kind and loving and warm, and I kind of like feeling like a princess (but I won’t let anyone treat me like a princess).

I am going to keep parenting this last hurdle I have with my inner child. She is going to learn that it is 100% okay for her to be loved the way she loves. She is going to learn that she is worthy and wanted and respected. She is going to learn that she can do it all just because of the man who stepped up to love her and to help her parent her inner child. It will never fall short on me just how big of a had my love has played in the growth in me. I didn’t need him to save me, but he did and he still is. For the first time in my life he isn’t the only one saving me though…I am saving me. i

This Mountain

This mountain means so much in my life. It’s just a really special place with huge significance to me. Not only did my love propose to me up there, but I had to overcome some major fears to get up there.

I’m thankful for going up there now 3 times. I love it there. I can’t wait until the construction is done and I can drive all the way to the top. I know this every time I come down I feel like a new beginning in my life. I feel like I heal up there. I feel like this mountain helps me make molehills out of mountains in my life.

The first time I drove up I had my fiancé (he proposed up there a year ago) with me and I was almost in tears chanting, “Tears mean death! Tears mean death.” This time I had my oldest son with me and I had anxiety before I even got to the toll gate, but it went away after my love text me and we got closer to the gate.

On the way up we stopped to fish at mile 6.5 at the Crystal Creek Reservoir. I made it to the top afterwards. No anxiety. No fear. Just enjoyed it. I even was able to go inside the Summit and look around and do some birthday and Christmas shopping. I usually get sick in there.

I did it. I got to Colorado. I choose where we would fish. What activities we would do. What city we were going to sleep in. I drove to mile 16 and took the shuttle to the top again. I did it with no one holing my hand figuratively or literally. I conquered my biggest fear.

I also wanted this trip to Pike’s Peak to be symbolic of the closing of one chapter of my life and to the opening of a new one. This trip up was more than just a vacation, it was a real test of growth. I had to make decisions with no guidance. I had to navigate my way through some pretty scary incidents that lead me to being literally lost without GPS in the middle of nowhere Colorado.

I did it. I did it on my own. My son right there beside me along for the ride, sleeping most of the time. I did it though. I am so glad I did. I am looking forward to my future again and I am trying to do as much reality therapy as possible. You never know I may walk through some with you.

To Love Me is Bravery

I’m probably the hardest person in the world to love, at least I think. I don’t let people love me very easily, but I will love you so hard. Being loved is new to me. It’s scary to my subconscious. Consciously I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I’m sure how much I love my life with my love and the boys is the exact reason why my subconscious attacks me so regularly. It’s like it cannot get on board with how things are now. It’s like it always expects the worse from everyone and everything even though consciously I’m pretty happy. Sure there are some things that make me sad or mad, but for the most part I’m happy with my life.

Isn’t just like the devil to attack you were it hurts the most. I mean how many times have I verbalized that my biggest fear is loosing my love and little loves? Countless!

My past is a very terrible one with some good sprinkled on top. The last 3 years I have been with the most amazing man a woman can ask to be with. I know we all say that, but let me explain.

My love is so strong and so patient and so loving. I can see it all. I know it. He has endured some real struggles with me. I don’t deny it. I own my shit, but I don’t sit in it and never do anything about it. I fix my shit…at least I try to. I put the effort in especially for the ones I love.

I’m starting to understand something about myself. It’s not something I think I’m having an easy time with. I don’t think I know how to be loved. I know that sounds odd or hard to believe, but I’m 100% serious, I don’t know if I know how to actually to be loved and let someone love me.

I’m terrified of loving and just being thrown away. I think I’m not worth it. I feel people could do way better than me and I want them to. I don’t want to be seen crying in front of them anymore and I don’t want them to see it anymore and I want them to let me go. I want him to tell me to leave so I won’t have those days that hurt not just me anymore.

I love him and them way too much for that. He deserves the world for sure.

I’m not sure where I went so numb again. Actually that’s not true. I know when I went numb again. It’s when it all came rushing back to me…my past.

I’ve come so far though and I’m feeling stronger than ever. I feel like I’m starting to be a little bit more like my real self again. I really hope I can get back to the real me. I miss her. I miss her a lot. The me I was almost 4 years ago when I met him.

I was really loving myself back when I met my love. I was in counseling and I had learned a lot already at that point. I had kicked a toxic person from my life, whom I can now say I totally understand why this person struggled so much in life. Child abuse survivors struggle in ways so many will never understand. Since I’ve come to realize my own abuses I can totally understand now.

I was gaining confidence in me. I decided to take a leap of faith and contact my love (more on our love story later) and we went on our first date. We talked from the moment we met that night. It was like two old friends reconnecting. It was nice. Really nice.

I fell in love with him fast and I’m pretty certain that feeling is mutual. I know that by the end of the second date I was certain I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. I was totally in love. Not like that butterfly kind of love, but like “man I think I dreamt you into existence” type love. I just knew.

As time went on I began to trust him. I began to trust real quick in ways I never thought I would. He made me trust him just by being him his best version of him. At that time I was the best version of me letting the best version of him make me feel like the most important special person in his whole world. I actually was willing to let him love me.

I was scared in so many ways and he struggled with me and begged me to let him love me. He wanted me to know I was worth way more than anyone had ever shown me or made me feel.

I would push back so hard and he’d ultimately win just by being patient and consistent. His consistency and reliability and honesty is like nothing I had ever known at this point in my life. So he could always get me to be relax and trust him. It was like he knew exactly what to say and how to say it to heal a broken soul.

I remember thinking often that he was putting a puzzle together. I was so shattered, so broken, so hardened. Yet at the same time I have always been this loving, easy going, find the silver lining in every situation type person. I had to be for my own sanity. My life was hell, but inside I just love people and life and want everyone to know and be loved, that’s it.

For me God has always been there for me to talk to and I’m so thankful for Him never getting bored with me; even if He did He’d never tell me anyway, He wants me to count on Him to be there when He is needed.

We were so good together and I think we still are, but somewhere along the lines we didn’t love each other very well and feelings have been hurt. I cannot begin to explain how many knives I’ve thrown out of my mouth that I wish I didn’t. We’ve said and done things that I know we both regret. I love him so much and the worst thing I can see happening is us not being together and I want to prefer that with all my heart. My subconscious on the other hand…

I don’t think it wants anyone to love me. I think I don’t know or don’t remember what it feels like to be loved. I’m pretty certain I have put some walls up that I had taken down before, this time I reinforced them way to well. I’m pretty certain my feelings were hurt by the love of my life, at a time in my life where I was going through so much, that I just couldn’t be hurt anymore, not by another man I loved.

So I made sure not to be hurt again, and here I am messing everything up because I cannot just relax and trust him again. I’m so scared. I want to be loved by him for the rest of my life and I am so scared that there is no way he would ever truly want to keep me forever. I mean c’mon if my parents could just be like, “well good luck taking care of yourself Kelly”, then what makes me think he won’t just get sick of me and say, “oh well, nice knowing you”, and I’m left alone again?

I fear every day that I will make a mistake or maybe not make a mistake. I fear having a difference in opinion. I fear not liking the same things. I fear so many things. I fear if I’m in the least bit different than him he will not want me anymore. I literally live with fear in of my emotions in general.

He has taught me to speak up. To say, “No” to even him, and to be okay with it. He has taught me to live myself. He called me beautiful recently and I responded with, “Congratulations cause I actually believe you”. He has helped me grow so much. He has been my rock and my companion. My fan and friend. He is both selfish and selfless and he taught me that it’s okay to be selfish sometimes, that I don’t have to give 100% of everything I have to everyone else.

He showed me this beautiful country, well part of it. That doesn’t sound like much to some, but I find my peace in nature. I am most one with God in nature and when he takes me to the mountains my heat is so calm, so still, so relaxed and all I can feel is this overwhelming flood of emotion; life. My soul awakens and I love him so much more. I feel free in those places and he has done that for me.

I think the worse thing for a relationship is when hearts get broke. It’s so hard to get back on track. The best thing about true love though I’m learning is this, love never fails. Love endures all hardships. Love fights to hang on.

Love brings patience. Love brings kindness. Love brings forgiveness. Love brings grace. Love brings understanding.

I’m trying to learn to be loved again. I’m still learning to be okay with feeling loved. I’m still learning to be me. I’m still learning to be okay.

My love and my little loves I am so thankful for. There is not a single night (yes even with tears in my eyes in the worst of it) I fall asleep without thanking God for all 3 of them and all the good and bad. Because I know everything in life shapes me to be a better version of me. I

love you my loves. I’m so sorry you love someone who struggles from what others have done. I promise to continue to never use it as an excuse as to why I’m like this, but only the reason to be better than I currently am. My insecurities are getting the best of me. I’m sorry my loves. I’m trying.

Another day…

It’s just another day for me. I try so hard. There are very real feelings in me and I don’t know how to handle and navigate them all.

I can’t go one day though it seems without tears or something happening. I feel like I can’t catch a break and never will.

Life is so hard for me sometimes. It’s a struggle somedays. When I’m feeling good and being myself I fear that I’m being judged and worry about what others will think if I do this or that, or don’t do this or that.

I live under so much pressure to always be better than what I am today. I live under the pressure of trying to balance it all…make it all work…keep it together.

I’ve been the strong independent one taking care of everyone including myself since I was a child. Do you know that in third grade when my grandfather was dying I missed almost my whole school year caring for him? For some odd reason everyone thought I’d rather be at home being my grandfather’s caregiver (along with grandma) instead of in school making friends and learning.

I’ve had to always do for myself. Fight for myself. Fend for myself. When my brother and I disagreed we were encouraged to fight it out instead of parents helping us work it out together. Now I’m scared to even interact with my nieces even though it has been one of my greatest desires and fights to do. I just can’t get over fear of our relationship. My fear and anxiety surrounding people from my family and my past is crippling and ruins my life most days.

My CPTSD is crippling and some days I can’t even get out of bed and will not eat because I just can’t emotionally do it.

I don’t know how to be loved. I know how to love and I know what it takes to make people feel loved, but I don’t know how to let someone love me. I know it sounds weird, but it’s true.

Panic This A.M.

It never fails, it seems. Something I’m excited for can cause me a panic attack. It keeps me from doing things in my life and it affects the people I love. I am conscious of it though and that is the best thing for me.

Being conscious of the problem and realizing what’s happening at the moment it is happening is huge progress for me. Today’s panic attack wasn’t me yelling, maybe I said something I didn’t mean, but by the time my love got up off the couch and walked to the kitchen and embraced me I was able to say, “I am panicking about a lot of things”. He lovingly reminded me that it’s all okay and I was able to bounce back so quickly and move on with my day.

Sure there was tears, sure I was shaky, and sure I felt the urge to scream, but I didn’t. That’s huge. I am a firm believer in CBT because of the behavior modification part. The part of CBT where you have to actively apply what is said to you in that room while you’re on the couch, and apply it to your everyday life in between weekly sessions and report back…I actually really enjoyed that part.

I did my “homework” per say, and now today I am actively noticing what is happening inside my body and applying those coping mechanisms i was taught in 4 years of counseling (that should have been taught to me when I was a child by my parents), and almost 4 years of being loved by the most patient man I have ever known.

I also added some medication back in February for my mood disorder and I am finally starting to be able to feel mentally steady and calm, so I can really feel what’s going on in reality and I know I don’t like what I see sometimes so I tell myself, “I don’t like that about me, so I’m going to become a better version of me”, then I try to do just that…

Become a better version of me. The version I know is possible. I’m making me who I am. My love is my teammate and supporter in this. My little loves they are my number one fans and they let me know it all the time. I’m pretty certain if the 3 of them believe that there is nothing I can’t do, then there really is nothing I can’t do.

So that panic attack this morning had no victory over my day. I feel this deserves a treat 😉

My heroes

Did I ever tell you that my sons are my heroes? No? That’s surprising, it’s all over my Facebook and Instagram. They really are.

You see 17 almost 18 years ago I never would’ve expected life to go the way it has. It has been full of surprises and twists and turns. It’s been full of battles ending in tears wondering if it’s worth it. Wondering if I am making mistakes, but holding firm on what I thought was right. They saved me as much as I saved them.

I’ve been blessed enough to go from “Aunt Kelly” to “Mom” in the last almost 18 years of my oldest sons life. I never thought when he was born I’d be his mom, my youngest though I should’ve seen it when I dressed him in the NICU and carried him out of the hospital. These last 8 years of being their mom has really put in to motion some much needed healing for me. Loving them meant they love me. A reciprocal unconditional love.

These last 3 years though they have done even more growing and loving. I met my love almost 4 years ago and my healing and growth has just been so substantial, I still have way more to go, but my guys love so hard. I am not sure who taught my loves so much about unconditional love, but I’m so glad I’m on the receiving end.

My sons began saving my life 8 years ago when I had to learn how to love them properly. I had to be calm and bite my lip and hold my tongue. I had to be able to be vulnerable without being weak. I had to share my own stories that I never knew I’d have to tell that could be reassuring and comforting, but I did. I didn’t realize my own abuses until I started saying, “I’m sorry buddy but that is not right and you definitely didn’t deserve that”.

I guess by parenting them and hearing their stories and making home a healing place, I realized that if it wasn’t okay when it happened to them, then it wasn’t okay when it happened to me either. I was their mom for 3 years before I started getting involved with therapy of my own, and 4 years before I started a full progressive therapy program.

I knew that if I wanted them to heal, that if I wanted them to believe they can overcome and learn to live a free life that I had to show them it was possible. That I had to become free, but free of what exactly? I just knew inside I was hurting from the couple things that my whole life wouldn’t leave me alone, and I needed help with that, and healing from my abusive marriage.

Here I am 4 years ago and still not able to predict a PTSD trigger, but that’s why they are triggers. I needed know when or where they will come from. I will stay away from news and tv and radio and try to shelter myself from the unexpected triggers, but life is unpredictable and I cannot possibly know when or where a trigger will be hiding. For me this is because of the types of and the length of time exposed to a traumatic environment or experience. It took my 31 nearly 32 years of life to be free of my abuse and neglect. Sometimes I fear my love made a mistake by “rescuing” me, but then I remind myself that I didn’t need him to rescue me even though it was a hard situation. I just needed love to soar.

That love my sons started long before 8 years ago when I got to love them before they were mine, but once I became mom and they confided in me that I truly began to become free of my bad stuff.

Today I still wonder about every word I say to them, every interaction, every good and bad moment if I am messing them up. When I fail or fall short I feel as if they deserve so much better than me. I feel they don’t deserve a depressed and sad mom, but it’s because of them that I’m even able to feel anything.

I feel that my love deserves a partner isn’t depressed, that my sadness is bad for him and ruining his life, just as much as I feel it ruins mine. I feel like I’m hurting them. I feel like I’m the worse thing for them.

Even though I have these feelings I know reality. I know consciously the truths, because they tell me them, because they truly love me I truly believe them. I just struggle. I have no confidence in myself and I am affairs that I’m going to make them leave me, putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect and to never mess up, because my subconscious and conscious cannot seem to get on the same page.

My heroes I love you so much. I know it’s hard to believe some days, but I do. My sons you will never know how much you have saved my life. Your smiles, hugs, laughs, kisses, tears, every last bit of it has helped me become free. Your love has encouraged me to do things I would’ve never done before.

My love you are one of those things my little loves encouraged me to do. To finally contact you—them, to go on a date with anyone—them, and then you can along to help them love me the way no one else ever could. You don’t understand how amazing you really are, and I haven’t been well this last year and a half and I have forgotten to make you feel how amazing you are.

You have picked up the pieces that were already on the floor and put them together again. When they broke apart again, but this time in a pile way bigger than the first. This puzzle needed more work, more effort, more time, more energy, more of your strength. Even in your weakness your strength showing through. You are the glue that holds these pieces together once you put them back together. I will never be able to repay you for every little thing you’ve done.

The three of you save my life everyday. Even when it’s what feels like the end of the world to me, you three reassure me that we are a family made of love and that I am loved even when I feel like the worse thing for anyone. My loves you have my whole heart.

I’m sorry depression runs my life sometimes. I’m sorry my depression hurts you all too. I keep working everyday to be the best version of me. I’m sorry my trigger has lasted 2 years and I promise to keep working on being the real me again. Gentle, kind, compassionate, caring, loving me…I will be her again.

I will set myself free from, “what others may think”, and just be free. I promise I’m getting there. I love you 3 for giving me the courage to set myself free from the things that control me.