Can Someone Objectify You Based on Purity?

FlowerThroughout youth group and college chapels, the ideas of modesty and purity were drilled into my head. Even at a younger age, I was already being told what I shouldn’t do or wear or say. Being good was one of my main goals in life, so I took all of these lessons extremely seriously and still do.

However, one talk that no one in my youth group ever gave me was how to stay safe. No one spoke about abuse, assault, or manipulation at my university. If the concept of safety even came up, it was quickly glossed over as one of the pros of being modest or acting like a good girl. Thus, all I could discern about staying safe was the more innocent and pure I was, the safer I would stay.

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Coming Back Stronger than Before

Cinderella

Disneybounding as Cinderella

I am not even sure how to start this exactly. The wait between these posts (both for you reading and me writing) has been far too long.

Life has been a bit hectic and full of changes lately. Since my last post in June (forever ago, I know), I have been offered a new job which I will be leaving the country for in a few months. After years of dreaming and doubting myself, I am going to be teaching English in China. Better yet, the Disney company will still be my employer.

The joy of taking this new step in life comes hand-in-hand with the fear of change. Am I really moving to a country across the world that I have never been to before? How will I learn Mandarin that quickly? How will I survive without my family and friends? How will I ever be confident enough to teach?

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Keep Treading the Water

Willows over water

Living in recovery (or at least attempting to) is strange. At times, the current sweeps you under and pins you under the water until you feel your lungs about to burst. Other times, the water seems like a calm pool, perhaps even enjoyably cool and refreshing.

Then there are days, weeks, months, years when you are just treading the water. You aren’t about to drown, but your feet certainly do not touch the ground to stabilize you. Each recovery-based choice takes considerable effort and seems like a waste most of the time. However, making those healthy choices is not impossible.

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Guess I’m a Little Salty about That

“I’m just going to be single for life. There is nothing wrong with that, and that’s the way I want it!” I declared in (what I thought was) a confident voice.

“Sure…” My friend remarked, looking unconvinced.

“What? There are people who are single and fine with it.” I responded with a bit less bluster.

“Yes, but I am pretty sure they don’t say it the way that you just said that. Girl, you’re a little bit salty.”

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Forcing Yourself Out of the House

Hollywood Studios

Outside Hollywood Studios

Why is it so scary to leave the house? I might be running to the grocery store, going to Universal Studios with friends, or heading to work. Each time, terror fills me and makes me want to stay rooted in my home.

There are times in my life when these fears diminish a bit. Yet, they always pop back up  few months or years later.

Is this social anxiety? Aspergers? PTSD? Depression? A mixture of everything?

I wish that I could explain to others how scary this is. I want friends and to socialize but need people to come to me sometimes. Instead of always going out, I long for someone to enter into my bubble and just be with me.

Maybe someday there will be someone like that in my life. There were some people back in Minnesota perhaps, but now they are gone. Once again, I am forced to emerge.

I’m Sorry, Neighbors

Me in black and white

I’m sorry.

I am sorry, neighbors, that I look at you with terrified eyes when you try to say “Hi” while I am walking. That I rapidly turn and scurry in the other direction when I see you even begin to leave your front door. That I would rather pass by a huge black snake than you and your dog.

I am sorry, neighbors, that social anxiety seizes me and propels me away from other humans. That my heart begins to shake whenever I see a car drive by me. That I envision each person around kidnapping, torturing, and killing me.

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Managing New Symptoms

Drained But Not Depleted

Just when you conquer one type of symptom, another one seems to arrive. Either that or a whole new disorder itself.

Life is so wearying sometimes. I am tired of vaulting between not eating and over eating and getting rid of food. All of it is just too much.

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10 Ways to Battle Nightmares

Baby in pajamas

“Those with the greatest awareness have the greatest nightmares.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Each night fills me with terror. Sleeping, which so many people seem to love, is one of my least favorite activities. Not only does it feel like a waste of time, it also brings awful nightmares.

Perhaps I am the villain one night, killing millions of people until everything around me is red. The next evening, a friend or coworker is kidnapping me. Almost worst are the nights when people tell me how they truly feel, how much they really hate me. Sometimes that is the hardest to hear.

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Please Don’t Touch Me

It's Not You, It's My PTSD

Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.

Lately, having people touch me has terrified me. At work is especially hard. People grab my arm or touch my shoulder, making me cringe and long to run.

PTSD is rearing its ugly head again. Should people grab a stranger? No. Am I being overly sensitive? A bit. Is it normal to react this way because of my anxiety? Certainly.

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How Do You Ignore the Past?

Silly Family

Just being sillly,

Honestly, how? Is there a secret way of moving on and living a normal life? Because I certainly have not found that method out yet.

Some people seem so flippant about their past. Others forgive and forget quickly.

I wish that could be me. Instead, I am stuck in a cycle of remembrance and frustration. Fear and depression join in as well.

So does anyone know? How do you ignore the past? Or at least, how do you move on with your life?