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Archive for the ‘trauma recovery’ Category

No, I Do Not Need To ‘Forgive’ My Date Rapist, ThankYouVeryMuch

In trauma recovery, woman, women's issues on April 24, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Holding onto anger about anything — a situation, trauma, person or lost circumstance, whatever the case may be — isn’t a punishment to anyone but you. Your wrath will never burn literal holes into any of your enemies (no matter how hard you try); rather, your wrath will burn every single last bit of energy you have.

Your anger will kill off the good parts of you until all that’s left is a negative, seething shell of slavery. Yes that’s right. When you hold onto that kind of anger, you ‘re enslaved.

So when I hopped onto Facebook and saw that my former date rapist who was supposed to be “my friend” was suggested as a “person you may know,” I felt nothing.

Read More: No, I Do Not Need To ‘Forgive’ My Date Rapist, ThankYouVeryMuch

There’s No More Anger,

Laura

In the Hands of Men: a memoir excerpt by Laura Lifshitz, previously published in the Oklahoma Review

In life, memoir, mental health, sex, trauma recovery, Uncategorized, woman, writing on October 17, 2013 at 1:23 am

This is an excerpt from my memoir, and was previously published in the Oklahoma Review, a literary journal. I will warn you all before reading that it is graphic at times, and very dark, so if you can’t handle the heat, then this isn’t your kitchen.

**Background  before you read: at this point in my memoir,  I am a 14 year old girl, recently gone through puberty and discovering that suddenly, my body is more important than who I am as a person –i.e.,  my breasts, which are the focus of apparently everyone’s conversations, have now sexualized and shamed me. I have been bullied and stared at, yet I am still just an eighth grader trying to figure out what is happening to me.  In general, the confident girl I once was has gone by the way side. I have started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I am extremely vulnerable.

In the Hands of Men

Now it’s a year later, and the summer before my freshman year is dragging. I spend my time at the swim club or with friends, especially Buddy, but I never tell them about the “Newton Boys” or Jimmy.  After that one phone call, I talk with a few of the guys over the phone, even though I haven’t met them. The one guy who does call me all the time, is Jimmy.  And after talking with him on the phone off and on for almost a year, the only things I know about Jimmy are that he loves music— Jane’s Addiction in particular, has long hair, and is twenty-two. He says the word dude a lot, and has a gritty like rocks against bare feet type of voice, as if he’s twenty-two going on eighty.

“When am I gonna meet you, girl?”

“I don’t know,” I tell him, terrified.

What if he doesn’t like me?

I don’t know what twenty-two year old men want; I can barely figure out guys my own age.

“Well, I’m nervous,” I admit as the little hairs on my arms stand at attention. A man wanting to meet little old me!

“Girl, it’s all good. Don’t worry.” and that is it.

Jimmy has short explanations and opinions on everything. To me, that’s just strange considering that in my house if someone wants to tell you what he or she thinks, which is always, you better sit your butt down.  So after a long period of coaxing with short words, and claims that, “Girl, it will be all good,” at the end of June, I meet Jimmy. Read the rest of this entry »

Signs You Were a Messed Up Teenager

In mental health, trauma recovery, Uncategorized on August 3, 2013 at 1:29 am

Parents. People of the general Public. Strangers who don’t know me and might give a F%$k.

If you want to know if your teenager is messed up or if you may have been messed up, read my blog detailing signs that indicate true issues and indicators of neuroses, et. al.

Note: I do not have a psychology degree. Just 60 credits of psychology, and 60 years of therapy.

If you are still not sure, seek mental help or ask your parents to remind you of how badly they screwed you up. If you still need more clarity and happen to be married, I can assure you.

You were messed up.

Sign #1: Hanging out with Total Dirtbags

I had quite a few jerks I hung out with. Most of these individuals were overage, and had no business hanging out with someone my age. One dude looked like a washed-up, receding hairline version of Meatloaf. His friend was worse. ZZ Top with a pit-stained wifebeater, handlebar mustache, and dirty acid washed Wrangler Jeans.

Need I say more?

If your kid or you are hanging out with total degenerates, chances are you’ve got low-self-esteem.

Thank me later when you’re knee-deep in psychoanalysis.

#2 Dropping Acid Alone

If you were taking drugs by yourself or your kid is, chances are there are some major issues. Drugs are more fun when taken with others I imagine, but I guess I was so depressed taking acid alone became a good idea.

Add ten bonus points and at least an extra three years in therapy if your kid or you took drugs alone while listening to morbid music.

#3 Sign you are Messed up: Low Standards

If your idea of true love was some guy not kicking, hitting, or berating you and calling you a whore, your standards were pretty low. If a guy gave you a simple hug and you fell in love with him on the spot, you had or have, issues.

If You have a complicated relationship with your dad, you earn one antidepressant and at least three family therapy sessions along with your twelve plus years of psychoanalysis.

#4 Signs you were messed up: If You Dressed ugly, but thought it was cute

If you wore some dark depressing clothes or gave yourself some retarded haircut because you felt it would “relate” your true inner self, you were probably a depressed and messed up teenager.

Add one trip to the dreaded psychiatrist if you cut yourself.

#5 Signs You were a Messed Up Teenager

If your sexual partners were over the age of 18 and you were under the age of 15, sign yourself into a mental hospital or “day spa.”

Do Not Pass Go.

I hope these signs help you or help someone you love.

Actually, if you are reading this blog and can say you have all five signs, we should just get together and start group therapy.

Actually, if you are reading this blog and have all five signs, and are still alive and kicking, damnit, you deserve a beer and a hug.

Teenagers: It gets better. It does. It does if you want it to. No individual can decide your fate. Only you can. People tried to bring me down, and damn did I live in the muck for awhile, but look at me now.

I special.

I smart.

I purty.

Well, I’m not uber-purty, but I clean up well.

xox

With Chocolate,

L

Turn Off the Voices: the static of trauma

In trauma recovery, Uncategorized on June 14, 2013 at 3:14 am

I don’t like to make you all depressed, but sometimes I have to be plainly real and not funny.

Or at least funny, but very freaking honest.

I have had a very hard time lately shutting off the voices. I don’t mean schizophrenic voices or hallucinations. I haven’t had those since I last dropped acid in High School–did you ever see a Siamese cat turn into a pig?

I did. I got that distinct pleasure as a young blip of estrogen and other hormones with a few other amoeba-aged friends of mine.

I am talking about the voices from the past. The static of memories that run through your mind, like radio frequency. When I talk about trauma, I talk about sexual, physical, or mental traumas from the past. It could be a rape. The loss of a child or parent. Being beaten. Mugged. The trauma of war.

When people experience this–at least in my case, ( I’m not a psychologist so if you are reading this to get therapy, then we should both get some help pretty fast) the static of the event tends to be very loud in the brain. It is hard to separate the event from the rest of the day’s events: the pain or recurring memories just refuse to go away.

I had an event happen over the summer, and a few months post-event, it felt like everything I did or said was colored or tinged with the heartbreak, anger, and depression from what had happened. A happy day could be disrupted by a smell, word, or sight that reminded me of what happened. It felt like a monumental roadblock was put in front of me, and yet somehow, I had to find a way around it in order to function.

I had to stay chipper and upbeat for my daughter, as I didn’t want my feelings to start pouring onto her psyche, so to speak. Toddlers are very susceptible to the moods of their parents, as are all children, however, they lack the sophistication to express their sensitivity to their parents’ moods. It was a tough act. I did fairly well, and I can say that for the most part, I managed.

No one was hospitalized, and I didn’t require a white coat or padded room, although having intercourse in a padded room might be really fun, and easy on the knees, but that’s just a thought.

My issue is there are quite a few traumas that happen to be linked as they are either similar, or dealing with the same issue. For the most part, they are all in the very far past, so the “frequency” is quiet. I am not bogged down by the stress, pain, or various emotions those experiences had once made me feel. Most of these situations I have been able to write about in my memoir, and some of these chapters were published. Life has moved on, and so have I.

However, the past few months I have undergone a good deal of personal stress, and so I am finding the static of those experiences rearing their vicious heads.

It irritates me when people say, the past is the past. While this is certainly true–we all grow and move past the person we are even from yesterday–to me, this cliché doesn’t account for the fact that the past shapes who we are–and while it’s not impossible, it is rather hard to ditch like a filthy friend on the side of the road.

I’m not having flashbacks really…the pretty colorful or ugly ones, but the voices of self-doubt, fear, and anger have become louder than I would like them to be. It sometimes feels as if I have regressed to those sad places when I am alone and away from others.

I have worked hard to turn down the frequency, and the static is barely audible, but I hear it.

I think I wrote this to really just share that while the past is the past, and we can move on from bad experiences, traumas, and heartaches and be a happy person, sometimes when our lives present stress, these past traumas come back because the associations are so strong, that it’s hard to disconnect from them.

It’s a process, and one that takes work. If anyone is going through the motions of trying to move forward from such an experience, I say, keep doing the work. It gets better. The static subsides, and while it may present itself during difficult times, you can move past it. This is not forever.