Returning

I would love to know why the people, the people who are well aware of how they hurt you, feel compelled to reach back out or to check in on you. 

At some point, you did enough damage the first time. You did so much damage that I broke into a disconnected soul, squandering in search of some way to tie myself back together. 

Sometimes I wonder if maybe it is their way of measuring their perceived success since the finale of the relationship. Justification, confirmation. 

Why do we never know when to leave, when to let go. It's like sitting on the couch at some college "gathering" because there sure as hell are not enough people there for it to be a party and you can't decide if you're going to be rude by getting up and leaving. 

We like to hold on for so long that our hands are left bleeding and raw, that our thoughts are left numb and colorless, until we think that we have left ourselves with nothing. 

Untie yourself, forgive yourself. Tell them these things. 

8 Year Anniversary

A warm summer breeze

as you pulled my pants 

down past my knees. 

 

Why was this happening, 

why did he choose me?

 

I could feel the words I was speaking

but I knew that

if I couldn't hear them, 

neither did you. 

 

My hands tried once, 

to convince you otherwise, 

but your strength reminded me, 

that you had already decided. 

 

Shaking with disbelief, 

you left me to what little dignity

I still possessed, 

walking away with a part of me

that was never meant for you. 

 

A warm summer breeze, 

as I pulled my pants, 

back up past my knees. 

 

- june 2010 

Lack of Genuine

There are days, times, specific situations, even people, that have made me aware of how we can be so removed from how we are making others feel. 

So often the thought of self pity strikes, the "why me" questioning to the universe, and thinking that no one is as genuine as they portray. It's easy to get stuck here, in the realm of blaming others' for our current state or mood. I am all too guilty of letting others' actions have a personal affect on my outlook and it can change within minutes. 

From what I have gathered, mainly from being single, is that most of us are not actually interested in a real connection, just temporary ones. We are fixated on what will come next, we put our door stoppers in our back pocket just in case the door we actually want to open, opens. Subconsciously, we like to watch others endure a hurt that we deem to be too good for our own selves. I think that we forget how human the next person is, we just write individuals off as "crazy" or "complacent" when really it boils down to "it was not a good match". 

I speak in terms of plurality because it would be unjust of me to wrongfully say that everyone but myself conveys these types of inconsiderations; I myself am guilty of only participating in an interaction if I know that I am due to benefit in some way. Maybe we do not always know the other persons' story. 

The hardest pill to swallow has been trying to understand when someone who you want, does not want you back. It's the vicious game that so, well, too many, of us play with each other, whether it's out self protection or genuine unawareness. Sometimes the frustration of trying to create a life amongst such individualistic souls is disheartening because you come down to very little meaningful interactions on a consistent basis. 

I have a hard time understanding why we have a favor in dragging out things that could have otherwise seen a shorter existence with less harm done.

Sometimes I think that we love to build others up so that we can quietly watch as they take their fall. 

2017: Recap

The Recap...

January is always the start of a new year but this year's January actually was my fresh start, the first chapter if you will, of a book that needed the last chapter to be burned out. Spending the first week still at home in Italy, the year really started on the ninth when I had flown back to the US to begin my internship in Bellingham, Washington. Due to perfect timing, I had chosen to take an internship out of state and in a location where I was hoping to make my next permanent move to, so that I could really give myself the legitimate chance to start over. I lived in a beautiful home with two outdoor kitties while their parents traveled for three months, I rode an old, old, old mountain bike around town every chance that I could and spent more time being wet than dry; I also met some outstanding BMX riders who had blown my mind with their handwork and dedication to their private trails all the while having less and less of a good time at my internship and making plans to return to Utah. January marked the last of my therapy sessions too although I probably could have seen my therapist in Italy for the rest of my life...phenomenal individual.   I was thankful for how much my family reached out to help me and for the lengths that they went to in making me feel okay again.

February was rough; by the third week in January I had already created a countdown for when I would be leaving Washington and going back to Utah...basically I was miserable. I hardly saw the sun most days, "it's raining" had the potential to mean like five different things, and I was so over having an up-the-back mud splatter lining my back after every ride. Valentine's Day was spent with a box of personal chocolates and a nice pre-roll in the legal state.

March was my month of hope, well okay let's be honest here, March is unquestionably my favorite month simply because it's my birth month, but this year it was the month that would be my last in the Pacific Northwest. Birthday donuts on the fourteenth to ring in twenty-three years of waking up everyday (thankfully). All I could do was pray that each day would go by faster than the previous one. I would begin to organize and pack and throw out things in preparation for Utah because I was beyond ready to get out. The second to last week of March, I finally worked up the courage to ask my supervisor if I could return home two weeks early due to a lack of work provided and my personal state. Luckily, he found very little argument in letting me do so and on April 1st at 4:30 am I locked my bikes to my car and got on the highway headed back to Salt Lake City.

April was a whirlwind of gratitude and disappointment; the morning after I had arrived back in Salt Lake, I took my bike and went straight to the foothills of the valley to spin my tires in chalky, dry, nasty dirty. Living at sea level had ruined my everything but I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, with the sun shining so bright, beating down on my face, shoulders and back...I was finally home. I began to really soak up this second chance I was getting in Utah. I even got a powder day on the nineteenth at Park City! I was also prescribed new medication for my anxiety during this month that would require a daily intake. After the first dosing, I was laying in bed by 5:30 that night flat on my side, staring effortlessly at the blank wall, thinking about how badly I wanted to run myself into a brick wall. That was the exact moment that I actually got a hold of my anxiety for once, either the pills would kill me or I was going to fight my way back to normality. Then the friendship that so graciously took me in and let me get back on my feet in Utah turned sour quick due to conflict of interests. It gave me the kick I needed to get moved back up to Park City though and I got a job with a local landscaping crew and moved into my new condo.

Halfway there...May was the beginning of "too hot"; the temperatures just kept climbing with each passing week, my lame shoulder finally  gained proper strength back to the point that it was running better than my uninjured shoulder. I was having a blast working for the landscaping crew (two of my coworkers were professional snowboarders that I didn't know I was working with till two months in) and I was riding my bike every chance I could get. My parents flew out from Italy to come attend my college graduation on Cinco De Mayo from The University of Utah which was the biggest relief of my life (graduating that is...).  It was a month of happy existence, summer drinks and warm temperatures.

June and July get to be placed together because of their high insignificance: June 2017 marked 7 years since my rape. I had to leave my job as a landscaper due to medical insurance coverage and instead took a job as a busser for a supposedly high-end distillery. Underpaid, overworked, and crying on the way home almost every night from work, I was getting into a horrible routine of eating badly and seeing my ex again. The toxicity was building again and I was feeding it the sugar it wanted.

By the time August hit, I was reaching my wits end and began looking and applying to new jobs. The stress was coming from needing a ski pass but not having the funds to pay outright for one but also needing a job that paid well and that included insurance. It was at the end of the month, after so many job applications and call backs and interviews that I finally decided to accept a job with the one company I swore I would never return to: Vail Resorts.

September was hands down the most important month of my life thus far: on September ninth, my eleven-year old family dog was hit by a car outside of our home in Italy hours before I was due to pick up my newly adopted ten-week old puppy. My morning began in hysteria, I thought that I was losing my childhood dog thousands of miles away and it was making me rethink whether or not I needed to be adopting one myself. After a few hours and an ER visit, my dog went home with lots of medication but little internal damage done. It was the luckiest situation that we could have received with how she had been hit. By that afternoon, after the chaos had settled, I got the call that Zuke (who was then Wolfman) was ready to be picked up and within minutes he was in my front seat making his first potty. Two weeks later,  I began my job as a Human Resources Assistant to Park City Mountain with no idea of what to expect other than "two months of training then you'll be running your own office". It was the best training I had ever received in a workplace and after week four, everything clicked. I felt like I had finally found my niche.

October was consumed with work, quitting my second job, potty training a puppy, and losing any personal free-time I thought I would still have. Adopting Zuke placed a heavy guilt trip on my life in the sense that I felt like I couldn't spend any time away from him because it wouldn't be fair to him. Crazy dog mom, I know. For Halloween, Zuke was a Ty Beanie Baby while mom had a healthy amount to celebrate with.

When November rolled around, I was pretty dead set on trying to work that day so that I could avoid the feeling of being away from family on the holidays. This was the first year that I would not be flying home for Christmas nor seeing anyone for Thanksgiving-it was admittedly a little strange. With a half day of work under our belts, we were fed a pretty nice employee thanksgiving meal which more or less made up for the missed home-cooked meal and then I got the text from my mom: "we are coming to you for Christmas".

They say that the things we have to wait the longest for are the best reward, so here's December: I met someone who is changing every prior notion I had about men, about relationships, and about how I deserve to be treated in such a positive way that I'm having to remind myself to calm the hell down for once; my little brother flew in and we got to take a trip down to Southern Utah to see the land that our government is signing away with ease; the remainder of my family arrived just in time for not only the holidays but the best snowstorms we've seen this season so far; the Temple Christmas Lights have become an annual season traditional for myself and this year was Zuki's first year; the Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo were disturbingly awesome (I hate zoos) but the lights were really well done. The best part about this month though has been Zuke's pure, unscripted joy for snow; that little boy's happiness has become my own. He has been the dog that I had always dreamed about: gives free kisses always, has never growled once, and has never started a fight with another soul. The number one thing I hear from strangers is "look how happy your pup is".

I sort of have this thing where I believe that my birthday marks the theme for the year ahead; my twenty-third's was expect disappointment as nothing will go as planned. I was carrying that with me since March 14th, it lingering behind every failed friendship or plan. But as this year comes to a close, I am okay with all that did not go as planned, because ultimately I am in a better place than I was a year ago and that is the most important part of this year. I'll admit that I am still taking the time to forgive the one who hurt me and robbed me of my first dog, that I am still working through the worst parts of my anxiety and how it chooses to manifest itself, and that I am still working on being a better person. This life takes patience but there is an everlasting beauty in that very process and I'm finally giving myself over to it.

Here's to 2018: write a book, upgrade the camera, move or convert the car. 

Moving On

To be totally honest, moving on was something that I had always wanted but could never commit to, you made it hard to feel strong enough. I only ever felt guilt.

I had long been ready to let go, I was just waiting for you to do the same.

Sometimes I am annoyed by the scars you left behind on me because others are suffering in comparison; will he hurt me like you hurt me?

All of the similarities become warning signs, but why should the new person lay at the hands of the mistakes that you made with me?

Everyday gets easier, letting go of what kind of person you were with me, how you changed me for the worse. Everyday I choose to not compare them to you, I choose to give them a chance.

I'm trying to remember that most people are not out to manipulate my life, that they are here to be apart of it instead.

A Year Ago

Woke this morning to the memories, woke last night to the nightmares.

A year ago, this time frame, I had thrown myself into fourth gear and was racing downhill fast. My anxiety had come full out of its shell but I was still in a world of misunderstood emotions and reactions to know that my genetic biology was taking over.

The memories....

the screaming matches with ex-roommates about their slop of a lifestyle, the nights I spent running to my car and driving as fast as I could to anywhere but there, calling anyone who would pick up and hysterically sobbing; "get out, you need to get out" I know but I can't. The memory of waking up strapped to a gurney, of having just woke up from what felt like days of sleep mentally but that a train had hit me physically.

I was drowning a year ago. My mother was frantically looking for plane tickets to send me back east to family while I came out of yet another therapy appointment; I couldn't grab ahold of my life. When I did spend time back east my mind was still wandering and bruised, I was searching for help but yearning to go home to a home I no longer had for myself.

I remember sitting in a hotel room in Washington State while my mother ran errands on her short stint in the united states to pick up her useless daughter, me, and I laid, crying and trying to hold onto myself as tight as I possibly could-I wanted a fix, I wanted to be fixed but I couldn't take the pills they had prescribed me.  A tug of war that landed me tied up in the rope instead.

Sometimes I am at a loss for whether or not I helped myself in healing by learning and giving into the power of forgiveness; with my usual habit of dropping people and running, I chose to stay and endure and with me being a year out, I sometimes think if I would have been further in my healing if I had pushed on and left the past in the past.

I write to remember, more than anything. I choose to remember because I want to learn.

Woof

The day that I brought home what would be my whole world, I sobbed into the fur of his little body until I felt the detachment happen.

Suddenly, looking down at my new puppy, I was removed, cold, and so incredibly disassociated to the experience. He laid there, breathing his little breaths, and I felt nothing, as tears streamed down my face. I was terrified. What had I just done.....?

Numerous thoughts raced: what if you can't give him the life he deserves, what if he hates you, what if he is unhappy, what if he wishes he got adopted by someone else...I am never having a real, live, human child.

Adopting Züke gave me an anxiety attack on night number one, no actual joke.

Luckily due to the universes' timing, I adopted him in the midst of transitioning jobs aka not working aka shouldn't have dropped the money on a new life. But I did. I wanted a new puppy the day that my ex took my first dog from me. Why on earth was I having a meltdown over something that I thought and yearned for every day. When I was living in Washington, I literally said aloud one time, "life is going to be so much better when I have a dog".

I was right, as I have learned.

As I write this, Züke is laying around my sitting body like a fanny pack, twitching from his dreams. It's moments like these that have made it all so very worth it. I lost sleep the first few weeks due to potty training and his overall cuteness (he lies on his back with his legs in the air) and then came crate training which ripped my soul out and still does even though he likes his crate now.

When I am driving, he will sit shotgun and curl up with his head resting on the console, staring up at me in a way that melts me. He will give in so hard to the perfect ear rub at just the right time and he wakes me up with kisses when my alarm sounds. He is the best little guy that I could have ever asked for in a dog.

I used to think, "I hope knows how much I am sacrificing for him" because I honestly felt like I had just shut the door on my social life, especially after coming from the restaurant industry with a negative taste. Friends would hit me up to do things but I couldn't commit because I couldn't just find a sitter for a dog that barely even knew me yet or I couldn't just bring him to random, new environments and I felt like I had made a choice.

I never felt resentful, just sad sometimes.

I speak about this because it has been amazing, all of the reminders that he has given me, even though it's only been two months. He impresses me every day in a new way and admittedly he still disappoints me on the occasion; for me, for my life, he gives me the same joy and satisfaction as having a child (mom's will argue, that's fine, but I'll never have those kind of kids so....).

This winter, my family will meet him for the first time and sometimes I feel a tinge of sour because I want them to meet my first dog, Shadow, as well. But to show them Züke and to see how I have raised him, I am really excited to share that with people that I love.

Hopefully he stops chewing on my underwear for attention by that time though.......

Forgiveness

I've stripped myself and the exposure burns. 

Forgiveness is unforgiving, 

For what felt like the rebuilding of higher walls, was really my unintentional digging. 

These stones are colder, the light is further; I've created walls so strong, so rooted, that grudges were able to grow and trust became dormant. 

The slip of safety, the battle of truth and perception, it's here waiting for me. 

Walking on the air that is, I'm reminded of the beauty in simplicity, of how fragile each moment is, and how spectacular it feels to accept what has been, to know that it can either continue to be or cease to be. 

I've laid my revenge to rest. The truth exposes our faults just as forgiveness exposes our existence.  My peace lies in the parts you are reminded to value within me. 

My wait has finally seen its end, the worth by which I am measured can no longer find definition by your terms. 

If the exposure wills to burn, may it burn as beautiful as the sun, for this feels more like life than the hatred I summoned...

I'm here, forgiving. 

Torture

Raindrops on the window pane, 

It's 4:30 am and I can hear the trains again. 

A restless soul clinging to a stagnant body, 

Time has become so slow, 

I can feel the seconds in each minute of each hour within each day. 

Longing to be gone, 

But remaining so I know I'm strong. 

Missing Yourself

Oh my love,

my heart misses you.

The process of learning

has been rippled with thorns.

 

On the mornings that don't see the sunshine,

the darkness creeps around my whole being,

as time poses as the decider,

I plead with my brain to stay one step ahead.

 

The bed is the cave for my despair,

I let my face soak wet with fear,

Oh god, how I miss you my dear.

How did I manage to lose you so long ago?

I wallow in selfish desire to feel your existence,

this body is a work in progress,

but my soul you're teaching a lesson.

Time

Be still my heart, for you race upon no given reason.

Soak into your being, let your roots ground you into stability.

My sweet, young soul, life does not have to be what you've created it to be.

Every new breath you take can be your first step in revival.

.

Dearest, forgive me for the times I flee,

My mind likes to disconnect from my body

and dance circles that become so deep I've left myself no way to resurface;

for it is the battle that you do not hear that causes the most destruction.

.

Know that you are free, my love.

Your past is present so that you may know how to move forward;

let the moments wash over with the delicacy of time removing the debris.

Take the time to become whole again.

The Darker Shades of This

I am my own worst self.

Sitting in a room surrounded by silence,

yet all my brain can do is,

think of bouncing back and forth suggestions,

of whether to do something or not.

Yes no no yes no yes no yes maybe no yes maybe no no no yes no...nope. 

I hate seeing both sides so clearly,

it's driving me mad,

having a heart good for both avenues.

I want to get up and go,

but my safety lies here in this home.

First Hike Without You

My first hike without you was peaceful.

My steps felt light, my worries stay settled. My mind drifted quietly as I let it get lost in the blankets of snow surrounding me.

I am free, I thought to myself. This was the long-lost comfort that I had lost touch with, that I had let someone else command for me.

With every gentle rattle and crisp sound from the shutter on my camera, I felt my loneliness become something other than torment. I felt it grace my soul, as if the two were meeting again, as long lost friends.

People try so hard to get lost in the great outdoors. I think they are missing out by looking for escape. I feel found. I feel grounded and understood.

Every tree wears the scars of time on them, just as you wear the same scars. The mountains grow taller and stronger, just as you grow, letting the loose rocks fall away with erosion.

We are not meant to remain the same.

PTSDue: To Rape

Post Traumatic Stress...Due: To Rape

It has taken years to make it to this point. My decision to share my story comes after years of denial and post traumatic stress that bled into every aspect of my life.

I began to realize that, what had happened to me at age 16, was starting to bare it’s weight on my reality. It started with me watching Law and Order: SVU, but only at certain times; it was never a show that I put on daily, but when playing, captivated me. After a period of time, I started wondering what my attachment to this TV show was, until one day, when I was questioning my own rape.

I was watching that TV show to try to disprove to myself that my rape was not rape, that what had happened to me could not have been rape. There were stories of women who suffered far worse...far, far worse. I felt selfish for calling what had happened, rape.

But it was.

I was 16 and naive, better yet foolish. I let a man by the height of six foot two with arm muscles as large as my thigh, lead me out of the safety of my friends, the club, and anyone else with ears and eyes. Standing in the dark, surrounded by trees, my last plea was “...my period, I’m on my period, please, no”. After feeling him rip the tampon from my body, I knew that I ceased to matter as an individual at that point.

Left to pull my own pants up, I trailed his pace, reentered the club, and watched him high five three of the friends he showed up with. All I remember was feeling lifeless, but there were more important things going on, like my friend who was too intoxicated to stand on her own. She needed my help. I needed no one anymore.

That night, upon returning home, I confided in my best friend, at the time. Nothing came of it. Life carried on. What had happened to me was not important, it was time to begin forgetting that event if I was going to keep this a secret.

It took me years to tell my own mother and upon telling her, I did it so that she would have no choice but to not react. I was so ashamed to know that I was going to tell her that I did it in a public food court, quietly and just long enough so that I did not break down into tears. It took years after telling her and her trying to convince me, that it was time to see a therapist.

In the year since, I thought that I was becoming more accepting of my past and although I did not share it with everyone, I did verbally share it with some. These people included my ex boyfriends, my family, my closest friends….but only if I saw fit to them knowing. For the most part, I lived largely in denial to my rape.

The rape was not gruesome. I am not physically scarred or damaged. See, the rape was almost the easiest part of everything that’s come of it. What an awful thing to think, right?

I want something to be very clear, that has been drilled into many peoples’ heads, and yet somehow, it’s still happening….NO MEANS NO.

No matter how it is said, no matter how loud or how softly it is spoken, no matter if it comes as only a head shake from left to right.

When no stops meaning no to someone, they’ve created a monster, not in themselves, but in their victim. A monster that creeps and crawl, that haunts and taunts. You cannot walk in a stairwell without feeling like you’re  moving so slow that you might as well be melting into the ground before you make it out, what if you’re not alone?

You cannot be in a house by yourself without locking every door and refusing to look out of the windows at night. You lose your sense of humor towards crude jokes. You cannot walk by yourself, in a public place, without constantly searching for a potential way out, just...in…case. You lose the ability to look males in the face because what if they get the wrong idea? You cannot let the person you love, love you.

This is also another, very crucial statement that I would like to be very apparent: if your partner was raped, do not expect a normal sex life.

See, my PTSD reached a point that I shouldn’t have let it. Owning a female rabbit and female dog, I watched each of them be unwillingly mounted by a male rabbit or male dog, upon which I became so furious and sickened that I would shut down for days after. The only thing I was proud to ever see, was when my female dog turned and nipped at the male, doing so to her.

My entire perception on males has been altered and has only increasingly become more distasteful as the years go by. My thoughts have become so paranoid into believing that sex is a tool, it’s a weapon, it’s control. Domination over another. Sex is not love, not to me.

The last thing that I wish to convey into extreme importance is this: if it happens, talk to someone...aka go see the damn therapist. Far easier said than done and very hypocritical of me, but I speak based off of the lessons that I have learned and am continuing to learn. Quiet honestly, I am not sure when I will overcome the internal battle that resides, however, I do know that it helps. It gives you the shield to hide from the bullets until you’re ready to fire back.

I, admittedly, have many more fears now as my PTSD has spiked. I fear that I will never find the comfort that will allow me to open up to my partner in life. I fear that, any children of mine will go unprotected from such a horror. I fear that D.F. will never comprehend his actions, that he will forever see what happened as a “quickie at the club while overseas” trophy, better yet, I fear that he has forgotten it entirely.

Everyday I wake up to a brief moment of the memory of him. I have flashbacks during intimate times where suddenly, what is supposed to feel right, immediately becomes wrong.

He robbed me of my peace of mind.