Monday, July 13, 2015

My prayer



On PTSD awareness day, I had 22 butterflies tattooed on my neck and left shoulder. 22 veterans a day commit suicide. This has haunted me ever since I discovered this tragic statistic.

I have been where the 22 have stood. I have fought the same fight. I am heart broken that I could not save them.

I chose sunrise colors for my tattoo, because I want every veteran to fight for one more sunrise. I chose butterflies because to me, butterflies symbolize transition. I asked for a watercolor style tattoo, because I wanted the colors to bleed and run. I got this tattoo, because I understand the struggle. Perhaps I should have chosen a more somber example of how I feel.

I spent 8 years in therapy, and I always took my meds and did what I was asked to do. It just didn't help.

Every time I had a glimpse of hope, it was snatched away from me mercilessly. Nothing I did was ever good enough.

The horror of 22 a veterans a day committing suicide has haunted me. I never wanted to be one of the 22. I always wanted to help others, and was never successful. If anything, all I ever accomplished was hurting others. The tragedy that has played out for years in front of the public's eye, has long been overlooked. I have no delusions that my voice will make any significant impact on the world. There are a few, perhaps, will reflect on my words with baffled sadness. It's okay. I came to terms with the fact that my life is insignificant long ago. I wanted to make the world better for the sake of others, believing always, that nothing could salvage my life. History is full of broken hearts.

I am forced to the conclusion that my life will never be what I once hoped it would be. I resisted this fact for years. It's okay though. I hope that whatever mysterious purpose God had for my life has been served. I tried. I really did. I gave everything that I am to the idea that this world could be changed. But people are by nature, cruel, selfish, and arrogant creatures.

The world is full of people who cannot fathom true suffering. Shallow, heartless creatures with no concept of what it means to think beyond their own petty life. Maybe that is our true legacy to the universe. The philosophy of selfishness.

I have spent years trapped in the lonely solitude of my own mind. I have never been able to trust anyone with what truly goes on in my mind. I wrote a diluted version of what I have experienced in my blog. I haven't written much in it, in the last few years. So much has happened, and I simply could not find the words. It is rare that I find myself at a loss for words. I have struggled to add my voice to the chorus of veterans crying out in outrage against a heartless system. My voice was drowned out long ago, by other, stronger voices.

I'd love to say that I am a activist. Sadly, there is no one willing to stand behind my cause. There is no one willing to revolt against this system of inevitable failure. Our nation is a machine, chewing through veterans for it's fuel, feeding off of our constitutionally protected rights, and shitting out it's hapless citizens as it's by-product.

The clever slogans of social media, designed to raise awareness for various injustices committed throughout the world, cannot sum up this tragedy in a simple, easily repeatable phrase by the ignorant, attention deficit citizens of our world. This is far too complex a problem for marketing genius. This is life and death for thousands of our citizens on a daily basis.

I fought for you. I fought hard. I gave up my personal safety and ignored my own personal catastrophe when I refrained from reporting my rapist. I did that for you. I believed that the war was more important than I am. I believe that still.

I do not condemn the 22 for their choices. I stand with them, among them, and I shout their stories as loud as my frail body will allow. I stand tall. I may no longer have any pride or dignity, but I cannot continue to allow this world to strip me of my intrinsic values. I survived, but that is all I was able to do. Healing was a pipe dream promised to me by dozens of VA bureaucrats. Healing has not yet come.

In my life, I have been accused of many things. Being a liar. Being weak. Being a traitor. Of the many accusations leveled against me, the judgment that stood the harshest in my mind was that of liar. I have never used a lie when the truth has always been so much more painful. The army taught me many things, but they were most successful in teaching me to show no mercy to the enemy. Right now, I am my own enemy. Right now, I stand alone, reflecting on my life, and realizing that I was doomed from the very beginning.

It was always going to come down to this. Choose: Live or die.

For those who knew me well, they always understood that I appreciated a good fight. There is something cleansing in a good fight. Fighting is some fundamental necessity in our nature. We rage against each other, we rage against God, we rage against nature, and we rage against ourselves.

There has been a chant in my head for the last 3 years. Suicide. Suicide. Suicide. It was the answer to every question that I asked myself. If I felt happy, then I thought “My life will never be better than this moment, so I should end it now, on a moment of pure happiness.” In misery, I thought, “My life will never be good again, I should end it now and save myself the suffering.” In confusion, I thought, “There is no right answer. I should kill myself and stop wondering.” I don't know why I didn't, except that I could not bear to let the bastards beat me.

Gratitude was something that has been preached to me many times over. I have felt gratitude. I have felt gratitude to small moments when the violence of my emotions was abated for the briefest interludes. I have tried to feel gratitude for the briefest surcease of violence in my life. I have tried to feel gratitude for the small things in life, like my cat, who saved me from suicide many times over. I have tried to feel gratitude for the ones I love, who never loved me in a way that I felt made up for the constant fear, anger, confusion, and sheer hopelessness of my life.

In the end, life is what it is. It is filled with uncertainty and regret. I do not believe that God will punish the 22 for seeking the only peace left available to them. I have always believed that someone, some day would hold God accountable for the atrocities that He has allowed on this world.

What then is left to me, but to live, on my own terms? What is left to the world but to continue it's everlasting struggle for redemption in thousands of years of bloodshed and tyranny?

It has been years and years since anyone truly listened to me. I do not resent this. It gave me the power to introspect as I never would have done otherwise. In the end, all we have is ourselves. We are the sum of our experiences, and our choices. That being the case, I am desolation. I am abandonment. I am loss and grief and terror. I am betrayal.

I am a kitten abandoned in a cardboard box on the side of the highway, left for dead. I never asked to be brought into this world. I was born with so much potential. I had the potential to bring smiles to the faces of others. I had the potential to explore the world. I had the potential to bring sunshine and happiness to others who would otherwise, never have had the chance. I did my best. I wanted to wreak vengeance on those who contaminated this world with cruelty, injustice, and heartlessness. Unfortunately, to my dismay, I was unable to accomplish either goal.

I do not claim to understand why I was born. I have wondered myself many times. Was I the result of selfish parents seeking to reach their own independence, whether or not they were ready for it? Was I the result of some divine plan, unknowable to the minds of men? Was I an accident, born of chaos and destined to sow the same? Perhaps I fulfilled my purpose, unknowingly. Perhaps my destiny was some small step in the grand design of the universe? Perhaps I set in motion some fantastic event that will cause some other event, and some other event after that, until some unspeakably beautiful or terrible fate comes to pass.

I only know that I am weary. I am weary down to my very soul. If there were a benevolent God, I would like to have some peace now. I am begging, as I have never begged before. If I am praying to uncaring universe, filled with random events and random particles colliding with particles, I pray that you create more goodness in the world to compensate for the bad. I pray for balance. I pray that in this world, good things happen to good people, and bad things only happen to those who are irredeemably bad. I pray for order in the chaos. I pray for peace amidst the war. I pray for hope, in the never-ending void of infinity. I pray for life worth living. I pray for younger generations to solve the moral riddles that we have left for them among the rubble of our many, unforgivable mistakes. I pray for forgiveness. I have not led a perfect life. I fly by the seat of my pants and hope that my choices harm none.

If love were wealth, then I would be a wealthy woman. I have never run out of love to give to others, and I have always had some small measure of love returned to me. Even if it was only from my cat. ^^

I hope tomorrow is better than today.
I hope that there will be resolution to conflict.
I hope I find the will to go on, in the face of so much despair.


Love always,


Regularfury

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Turning point.

Something has changed. I'm not sure exactly when it happened, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment, and I wish that I could. I have started to believe that I have a future. I have started to accept that I will go on living, despite everything that has happened to me.

Things kept going wrong, people kept letting me down and hurting me, but no one managed to make me give up totally. I remember thinking at one point, "Is that all you got? Sure that hurt, but I've survived worse, and I will probably have to survive worse again. But I will still survive."
Survival is my superpower. It really is. Maybe I can start actually living, instead of merely surviving. I think that is a dramatic first step.

I have hopes for the future. I finished the first draft of the book I was writing. I'm going to go to a writer's conference and try and find an agent. I'm going to try to be a whole person again. I can imagine a future where I'm happy. I can imagine myself as a person of real value. I can see that I still have good qualities about myself, instead of being blinded by shame and guilt.

I feel like I've spent years in some dark tunnel wandering alone, and suddenly I've turned a corner and see a light in the distance. I'm crying happy tears right now.

I know that I still have many struggles that will need to be overcome, and some symptoms I may never be able to cure. I'm okay with that. I've never had an easy life, and I am used to struggle. It won't kill me. It won't break me. I'll be okay. I'll be more than okay, because these bad feelings are never going to overwhelm me completely. I've proven to myself that I can fight through anything. I'm not afraid of my fear anymore, I feel like I have overcome many of my fears.

I'm grateful to the people who really believed in me, and didn't give up on me. There were a few people who really did just give up. I survived that too. I still have quite a lot of anger that I need to deal with. I'm still a little afraid of that anger, but that also will not break me. I'm not afraid to fight the fights that I still have ahead of me. I don't feel the need to continue fighting the same fight over and over again.

I'm considering whether or not I want to go back to college or just commit myself to being a full-time writer. I want to just write. I'm not sure if I need to go back to college to be what I want to be. I don't know if I want to be around all those shiny young faces who haven't earned the scars I have earned through years of fighting. My scars made me stronger. My scars made me better.

I have other hopes and dreams. I know it's not too late for me to make those dreams come true. I have a lot of work to do, but that's okay.

It's strange, but the things that I thought were so important turned out to be far less valuable to me than things I thought were just incidental to my life. I used to think it was so important to me to be able to do everything on my own. Being too alone is not good for me, and it's a dangerous trap to give in to that desire to do everything alone. There are some things I do need to relearn how to do, but I just need to practice.

It's more important that I value the people I can trust to be in my life. It's important not to get so wrapped up in myself, that I forget to stop every now and then and share what is going on in my head with the people who matter. Being this wounded for this long has made me a very selfish person. I had to be selfish in order to survive. I learned the hard way that I had to put myself first, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the other positive people in my life. Learning to put myself first meant that I had to learn to cut out the toxic influences in my life. This is a good skill to have, but it doesn't mean that I can treat everyone like they are disposable. I have to learn to still trust and care for the people who have earned my trust and caring. I'm not so afraid to get hurt that I feel like I have to put a steel fence around my heart. I've been hurt, and it sucks, but putting up that fence ultimately means being alone. It's a delicate balance. I have to value myself. I have to trust others. I have to put myself first, but I have to include the people I love. I have to be willing to say "I won't let you poison my life anymore. So good-bye." to the people who aren't good for me.

Many of these things felt contradictory to me for a long time. If I had to keep negative people out of my life, I should just keep everyone out of my life, because everyone has the potential to be a negative. If I had trust others, I had to risk getting hurt and that was not taking good care of myself.

I was forced to be heavily dependent on others, and I hated that. I resented it. I resented myself instead of being compassionate. I punished myself for my symptoms instead of treating my symptoms. I resented everyone around me, because of my own limitations. I was jealous that they could drive a car and I couldn't. I was jealous that they could go for a walk in the sunshine and I couldn't. It hurt. It hurt me very deeply. Nobody could give me the ability to do those things, nobody had a magic wand, and it was childish of me to expect someone else to magically fix everything for me.

I didn't think I could do it, so I just stopped trying after a while. It was easier than dealing with the constant little failures. When I realized that I had stopped trying, I would punish myself, instead of trying to convince myself to try again.

Then some really bad things happened that forced me to do things in order to survive, that I hadn't done in years. I had to drive a car. Nothing bad happened when I drove a car. It scared the shit out of me, but I did it. So now, some days, I feel like I could drive a little. I had to be really alone, for the first time in years, with no one to help me. I managed to get myself to a safe place. I survived it. Now I know I can, if I have to. It might suck, but I could survive on my own. That makes it easier to do all sorts of things. Things still scare me. I have a lot of fear left. But I don't always want to give in to that fear and hide. If I take care of myself, then I can deal with those fears a little better. So I have to take care of myself. I'm making myself the promise that I will take care of myself, and not hide from all those petty fears.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Boundaries

Enforcing your boundaries is not "having mood swings". Standing up for yourself is not "being unreasonable".

Assertive females seem to bring out the misogynist in men. I'm tired of having my mental health called into question for not being a doormat on command.

That crap does not fly with me!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dark humor

Spent 15 hours at the VA last night. I went in because I had a weird allergic reaction to something. Somehow ended up with a CT scan, EKG, and left without having anything resolved. They shrugged and said "We don't know."

I'm working on three new articles right now, because I'm trying to make writing a focus for me right now. This would be easier if my ADHD was being treated. I can't concentrate. In between every sentence I'm writing at the moment, I'm stopping and doing something else for a few minutes. OMG it's so frustrating.

I'm also trying to write 1000 words a day on my novel. 1000 words isn't a lot for me, because I used to sit down and churn out 10,000 words without even trying hard. But I'm struggling with a tenth of that. Concentration problems and writing isn't a good combination.

I was supposed to have the results of my ADHD battery (a 3.1 hour battle with various tests) a few weeks ago. No love. The VA never gets anything right. EVER. And if they ever did, it would be accidental and someone would have to write a formal apology.

The novel is going well despite the concentration problems. The articles I'm struggling with. I have a very distinct style of writing. That style involves a lot of sarcasm, irony, and aggression. I like it. I need to learn to tone it down and focus on the more technical parts of writing for the op eds. Lol. People are worried that my writing is "low brow", and I'm like, damn straight it's low brow. Journalism has become so fucking snobby that it alienates an entire generation. I really think blogs and online news sources have revolutionized modern journalism. We don't need suits on tv. We want the gritty facts and a cynical voice, never taking ourselves too seriously. That's what the Millennial generation is all about. Truth, cynicism, and even inappropriate levity at every possible opportunity. The media takes themselves far too seriously (perhaps because they have become their own corporations), and act like snobby banter is humor. Gimme a break. I love dark humor, most of my generation does.

Love me or hate me, you can't change me. Dark humor and all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Superheroes and cowardice

My life has gotten a little weird lately. I started writing these op ed articles and to my shock and amazement, they got published. (In large part because of a very good friend of mine, because I don't deal well with people.)

I'm also getting job offers that are so incredibly tempting, that I have to turn down, because I have to respect my limits. It's a kind of torture, because it's the first time in ages and aeons that I have felt like I have something to offer the world.

I write articles about MST because I want to make people listen. People need to understand the problem and then maybe someone will fix it. Part of me believes that I can single handedly eradicate MST if I just work hard enough. I have to check that inner voice with doses of reality periodically. What I really want to do is write fiction. I do write fiction, a  ton of it, and I think it's really great stuff. I don't have the guts to submit it to be published though.

Part of my problem is that the agoraphobic voice in my head is too scared to become dependant on the opinions of others to make my living. And then I feel guilty for doing what I really want to do, because of my need to save the world....

I'm tired of being scared of everything, even my own dreams for my future....

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Heinous fuckery most foul.

http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2015/apr/21/14-billion-cuts-will-cause-veterans-suffer-says-veterans-affairs-chief/299993/

http://popularmilitary.com/veterans-unfairly-being-banned-from-owning-guns/

Heinous fuckery most foul.


"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." -- George Washington

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Abraham Lincoln.

So much for a "just and lasting peace". The VA has just taking a giant steaming shit on the constitution with regards to the second amendment, and never mind veteran's privacy. Congress has just spit in the face of every veteran everywhere....again.