speak up

“I made a choice that I didn’t want to be controlled, and in walking away from everything, I learned the value of listening to the voice in my head telling me what was wrong and standing up for what was right. Being the lone voice of dissent is hard and almost always inconvenient and there isn’t usually instant gratification. However if you don’t speak up, you will most likely regret it and will have to live with the results. In my experience, often, the only reason that the church was allowed to get away with its abusive behavior is that people failed to say no. Saying no is difficult, even brutal at times. But, in the long run, many others will appreciate your courage, even if silently, and someday it may lead to them mustering up the courage to stand up for themselves.”

-Jenna Miscavige Hill, from her book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

christmas eve

i woke up this morning, peaceful. I had dreamt about camping next to a rushing river. i had a plate of pancakes on my lap, hot and smothered in syrup. i decided i wanted  a pancake breakfast, complete with bacon and eggs.

i cracked the eggs into a cup, then added some cheese and salsa. it’s pineapple salsa with a touch of heat, and i love it. it’s the first thing i get every grocery trip.

i carefully lined a pan with bacon, then set to getting the pancakes ready. Half way through, a childhood memory came into mind, and i decided i wanted waffles instead. There’s nothing quite like a crunchy, syrupy waffle.

Now my plate is in front of me, warm and steaming. The house smells like bacon, and it’s raining outside. i’ve got the windows open – i set off our smoke alarm while cooking. it’s always such a jolt, hearing the alarm go off, but i knew what i was getting into when i asked for the sensitive alarm.

Snow is usually what people want for Christmas, but it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm this weekend. i think i’ll go for a walk tomorrow. The neighborhood will be still. The magic of Christmas.

For the first year after leaving home, i was lonely. It’s an adjustment, going from a planned holiday to having to plan it yourself. This year i decorated the house, and planned a simple, calm Christmas with my boyfriend. i hid away the gifts i got for him, and made a list for Christmas breakfast.

The moment to rest is now. Time to relax my shoulders and enjoy the fire crackling in the fireplace. i’m happy. i’m at peace.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

I’m 25 today!
I’m so grateful for the opportunities I was given this past year. I’ve grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to some lovely people and my own determined spirit. I was always told I was stubborn and rebellious, and they were right! I’ve turned what was meant to be hate into a firm foundation that I’m building my life on. Stubbornness saved my life. My rebellious spirit shrugged off chains placed on me so I could fly.
I went from cowering and crying to standing tall. I’m taking risks and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Growth is the only path from here. I can’t wait to see what lessons this year will bring!

Noises closing in from all sides
Warning all the ways to die
They say “you’d better give up
You’d better give up”
I say
“I’ll never give up, I’ll never give up”

I’ll be an army, no you’re
Not gonna stop me getting through
I’ll sing a marching song and
Stomp through the halls louder than you
-White Flag by Joseph

me

How to get over an ex

We’ve all been here. It’s difficult, yes. But with a little bit of work and these few tips, you should get over that girl easily!

1.) Stop stalking her on social media.
This seems to be a no brainer, but sometimes the temptation is overwhelming, so you end up blocking her and then unblocking her on Facebook every two days. You’re confusing the poor girl. One week she can see photos you tagged her in years ago, and the next she can’t find entire albums! It took her a second to figure out what was going on, but she knows now, and it makes you look like a little bitch.

Don’t visit her blog every few days at 2 in the morning, going over and over her posts, especially that one with her photo in it. She more than likely has a tracker on her blog, so why risk it? Plus, it just makes you look like – you guessed it! – a little bitch.

2.) Take a step back and think about who you were as a partner.
Did you let your friends bully her and you, and then did you defend them? Did you not have your own brain, and had to run to mommy and daddy for everything? Did you claim to care about social change, but continue to cave to peer pressure and be an asshole? Did you make excuses for assholes who were – and definitely still are – using you? I could see how that would be a bit of an issue in any relationship. It’s difficult to be your own person when you’re still attached to mommy’s/female friend’s apron strings.

3.) Stop thinking she misses you.
The only time she thinks of you is when she sees you’ve been on her blog again. She didn’t cry after she broke up with you. She completely forgot when your birthday was – was it March or April?
Never fall into the trap of nostalgia. I can guarantee she doesn’t. She remembers very, very clearly all the times you fucked her over. She remembers her diploma being stolen, her shit hatefully tossed into boxes. Her valuable childhood mementos treated like trash because you are still suckling at mama’s tits and she fights your battles for you.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking she has even sort of amicable feelings towards you. Don’t think absence made her heart fond again – it didn’t.

She’s changed, boy. She’s not that innocent young girl anymore. You were lucky to get her in the beginning. She was always out of your league. She’s a goddess, and you never deserved her. That’s why you lost her. Suck it up and move on. I’m sure there is some girl with low self esteem who will put up with you and your friend’s crap.

Now, go on and cry to your friends about what a terrible person your ex is. Maybe you could give out the right address out this time? Gotta make sure the person who threatened her has the correct location this time (God it would suck if your ex filed a police report, amirite?).

A special song, just for you. ❤

 

 

What Does PTSD feel like?

I’m alone in the house. My boyfriend is out running errands. I’m sitting at the computer, studying. The front door is open. I’m aware of the trees in the wind, the sound of a leaf blower down the road. I feel mildly uncomfortable, but I’m focusing on studying. I turn my attention back to the computer, but I am constantly aware of the open door. It’s a nagging itch in the back of my head.
I’m getting antsy. My shoulders are tense, and I can feel the beginnings of a headache. I notice the breeze from the open door, but it makes me even more uncomfortable. The outside is invading the inside – my safe space, the place where my mind is at rest. I decide to get up and get a knife. I keep it on the desk in front of me as I continue to study. A few minutes later, the uncomfortable feeling has turned unbearable. I keep imagining someone barreling through the door, determined to hurt me. My heart starts to race, and I feel clammy. I have to get up to close the door. I get up, run over to the door, and slam it shut. I lock the main lock and the dead bolt, then sit back down and continue to study, my fears relieved. 

                                                                         ~~~

The grocery store is packed, even early in the morning. I get up as early as possible to avoid the crowds, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I keep close to my boyfriend as we quickly grab what we need. We’re halfway to the register when my boyfriend stops short.

“Oh, we forgot the eggs. Can you grab them?”

My chest feels tight. I nod, but I want to say no, run into the bathroom, and never come out. I turn around, lift my chin up, and march back to the refrigerated section. Faking confidence makes me feel confident, and I keep my eyes focused on the path ahead of me. I feel like everyone has their eyes on me as I walk past the makeup aisle. I stop short at the produce section – a woman turned the corner without looking. She apologizes, but I hurry past her. The eggs are the only thing on my mind. My heart is pounding in my chest. 
The dairy aisle is empty, except for a guy. He’s minding his own business, but I am filled with dread. I remind myself where I am, and what I’m here to do. The eggs. I grab them, make sure they’re not cracked, and hurry back to the register. 

                                                                            ~~~

We’re watching TV. I made the mistake of not checking to see what was in the movie, and an upsetting scene comes on. I freeze. My brain feels like it had short circuited. I can’t talk or move. I’m back in a bad moment in my life. Fear courses through my body, and I feel icy cold. I keep forgetting to breathe. My boyfriend quickly turns off the TV, but I’m already crying, heaving, choked sobs. I spend the rest of the day trying to scrub that memory out of my head and move on. I have nightmares that night.                                                                          

                                                                           ~~~

I’m in the exam room, waiting for the doctor. I know the doctor is a man, and I’m so tense my jaw hurts. He comes in, bright and cheerful, but my heart sinks when he closes the door. I know it’s normal, routine. I remind myself that my phone is in my lap, he’s a doctor with good intentions, and in ten minutes I’ll be out of here. The doctor, seeing my discomfort, asks if I want a female nurse in the room. I nod quickly, and he calls in a nurse. I’m at ease. She smiles at me and my shoulders relax. After the exam, I take a klonopin and cry in the car.

~~~

PTSD symptoms are different for everyone, of course. Some people experience one symptom more strongly than another. Some people have physical flashbacks, some have emotional flashbacks.
These are real life experiences I’ve had in the past. I’ve been asked what PTSD feels like, and this post is the best way I can explain it. It’s an overwhelming feeling of dread. You don’t feel safe – imagine a tiger is loose in your town, but you don’t know where it is. Crowds makes me anxious, new places and people give me anxiety. Therapy has been a lifesaver, and reasonably forcing myself out of my comfort zone helps immensely. What some people consider simple – grabbing the eggs – is an almost insurmountable task for me. My body is always on high alert, looking for the next threat.
Thankfully, I’ve improved greatly this past year, and these moments are less and less common. Baby steps. ❤

Edelweiss

I grew so thin. Gaunt. And while you grew and I shrank, the world was turning so quickly, and I found myself homeless.

I don’t think about you in the day, it’s always at night. The fan at my back, and the cat by my feet. And you, in my head, nothing more than a thought, because that’s all you ever were, really. A thought. A brooding over shadowing thought. 

I walked home in ninety degree weather with you inside of me. I was distant, aloof towards what seemed to be an impossible thing. Almost like a dream halfway come to life, a shadow from maybe. 

When the doctor said the levels were too low, I wasn’t sad. You weren’t a thing, you weren’t alive. It was like a passing thought. I was relieved. Relieved from fear and worry, the guilt of hiding your existence gone from my shoulders. 

It took two weeks, and in that two weeks I learned that carrying death inside you meant that you felt guilty for each breath, guilty for eating, or smiling. I was a failure, a failure at nurturing life. Your heart started beating inside me, and the promise of a future was there –

It wasn’t even labour, it was something else. It was me on the cramped shower floor in my boyfriend’s house, blood swirling down the drain. I cried and felt ashamed. I’d kept you a secret and I was the only one who mourned you. 

Now I see toddlers and know that could have been you. I always imagine you as a blond baby boy, full of energy and curiosity. 

But you’re just a thought. A dream at night, fading quickly with the morning sunlight.

life currently

Yesterday i saw the doctor. i’ve been waiting to see her again for three months, and i’ve been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to this day. Worried she’d tell me that i had nothing to worry about, but hopeful she had some answers for my ongoing pain.

She has an amazing bedside manner, and i felt instantly at ease. Doctors like that are much easier to talk to. i’m lucky, that’s for sure.

Surgery is the next step. i’ve been waiting for this. Eager, almost. In the past year i feel like thorns have taken up residence in my stomach, and even the slightest wrong move can send shooting pains through my body. This past week i spent a lot of time in bed, fighting off a fever. Internal bleeding does that to you.
i’m looking forward to having the adhesions removed. Not excited about the lifetime of repeated surgery i have ahead of me, but i’m hopeful about new treatments that can help me lead a normal life. It’s about time. i was getting tired trying to convince doctors that my pain wasn’t imaginary.

i saw my therapist this week as well. She’s very gentle with me. Therapy has been incredibly beneficial to me. It has opened my eyes and given me tools to deal with tough situations. i can deal with my anxiety much better now. It’s nice having someone rooting for you. ❤

This is Rufus, my mini cucumber plant! Yes, it’s all named Rufus.

me

He still needs some pruning and i need to get him something to climb on (and a bigger pot), but he’s doing amazing so far. i’ve spent a good time researching how to properly grow cucumbers indoors, and that was interesting for sure. Some people are..passionate about growing plants indoors.

 

The trees are changing colors and it’s been cool these past few weeks. i’m not a huge fan of winter, but i love proper autumn weather. i like walking at dusk and enjoying the smell of cold earth mixed with the salty ocean breeze.

me3

 

My boyfriend and i have been watching Westworld, and i’m eagerly awaiting this weeks episode. i wasn’t hooked by the first episode, but i was definitely intrigued by the second episode. It’s an interesting and original take on the future of humanity. i highly recommend it. Usually the wild west and sc-fi don’t mix, but in Westworld they blend together beautifully. The poster is eye catching as well, that’s for sure.

me

 

This past week was political hell, as we all know by now. i’m not surprised with what was said, and i’m not surprised people have jumped to Donald’s defense. i spent nearly two years in a backward southern town, dealing with the exact kind of people who love Donald. The kind of people who think rape jokes are funny and then wonder why sexual assault is so prevalent. The kind of people who claim to be for equality between the genders, and then turn around and mock serious issues and silence victims. Rape culture is a real problem, since last i knew Donald was somehow still qualified to run for president. i do have some thoughts on what he said, summed up in a picture with two words:

me2

 

In other, much lighter news, i’m almost 25. Oh my, haha.

me4

Two more months! i’m not sure how i feel about getting closer to thirty, but time waits for no man, so i’m looking for a good German chocolate cake recipe. i love making my own birthday cake, and this year is no exception.
Mmm, i can almost taste it now.

i’ve had a few songs on repeat, one of them being Tove Lo’s brand new song (brand new as in it literally just came out yesterday!) True Disaster. i unashamedly love Tove Lo. i know all her songs by heart, and i plan on buying her albums as a birthday gift to myself. i’ll make it easy for you to listen and love it yourself. 😉

 

Happy Friday!

Do I support homeschooling?

“So, do you support homeschooling?”

I get this question a lot. Especially from parents who are currently homeschooling their children. I’m sure they’d like me to enthusiastically say that yes, I do. That’s unfortunate, because my answer is the opposite. Thankfully, I’ve never been afraid to rock the boat.

For the most part, I do not support homeschooling. My experiences are a cautionary tale of how unregulated homeschooling can lead to educational neglect.

You can say that my experience is rare, but it’s not.
You can say that I wasn’t a “true homeschooler”, but yes, I most definitely was.
You can say that I’m just angry and bitter.

You bet your ass I’m angry, and I have every right to be.

I’m angry that at 23 I opened a high school math book and found sections upon sections of math that I had never been taught. Apparently it wasn’t important to make sure I had a full grasp of basic math. I was just supposed to be a mom, after all.

I’m angry that I was barely taught any science (seven day creationism, anyone?), and that my knowledge of the world around me was limited to “because god did it.”

I’m angry that my knowledge of history was severely limited by insular Christian curriculum that celebrated cultural erasure and colonialism.

I’m angry that my foundation is shaky, and that I’m learning everyday to make up for years of educational neglect. 

Anything I ever needed to know I had to teach myself. What should have been taught in school ( the difference between you’re and your, for example) was something I had to learn as an older teenager.

I’m angry that I still have siblings at home who are being taught the same way I was. I’m angry that people think it’s ok to excuse such horrendous, life altering neglect to keep the peace. 

Lets talk about socialization, shall we? A once a week co-op group is not socialization. Having pen-pals is not socialization. Being around your siblings and parents 24/7/365 is not socialization. It’s literally the opposite of socialization.

I was very isolated growing up. I had less than five friends for my entire teenage years. I knew so little people my age that my one best friend (another very isolated homeschooler) and I wrote 10-18 page letters to each other, because we were that lonely. Our life was so consumed with raising our mother’s children that there was no time for outside activities.

Lack of friends was something even my siblings complained about. Siblings can be friends, sure. It is healthy to only have siblings have friends? No, no it is not. Interacting with the outside world is so important. If you want your children to be well rounded adults, they need to be exposed to other people besides family. They need to know how to interact with people properly. That way you don’t do what my siblings do – huddle in groups in public. That way you don’t develop extreme social anxiety as a teenager that prevents you from paying for things or interacting with strangers.

Homeschooling is the perfect environment for neglect and abuse to grow. As an adult, I’m shocked at the educational neglect that went on in our home. How was any of this acceptable?

Unregulated homeschooling is the real problem here, for the most part. I remember my parents getting upset that PA had strict homeschooling laws, and that our attendance and progress had to be documented. You’d think if you wanted your kids to have a good, well rounded education (the one you claim public schools cannot give), that you’d be more than happy to prove how well educated your kids are. That wasn’t the case. Our attendance and progress was fudged. I remember that the woman who evaluated my work was less than pleased. Downright unimpressed.

My education focused heavily on growing up to be a submissive wife and mother of many. We read books about how to be a submissive wife, and how to practice submission with our fathers. Ew.  Purity culture was celebrated. I even had a purity ring.
I cooked meals and cleaned the house. I’d be an amazing maid, that’s for sure. But anything else was pretty much ignored. You don’t need to know how to simplify polynomials to be a submissive wife! Who needs geometry when your main goal in life is to have as many kids as possible?

My boyfriend has a high school diploma I envy. When my ex destroyed my diploma in an effort to get back at me for leaving, I reached out to my mother, hoping she’d sign a new one for me. My boyfriend laughed at the idea. “She’s not going to help you in any way whatsoever.”
I wanted to believe though, and hoped. She said no. I even offered to pay for the diploma. Still no.

It was never about education. It was about control, and when I refused to bow down to that authority, something as basic as a HS diploma was denied. It was another effort to further punish me for leaving and exposing neglect.

Like I said, I’ve never been afraid to rock the boat. I don’t sit down and shut up. I was constantly chided for not being “submissive to authority”, and told that my “big mouth” would get me in trouble someday.

Homeschooling, to work properly, needs to be regulated. Homeschoolers have to be held up to the same standard as everyone else. We are not special, and we are not smarter than anyone else. I know dozens of homeschoolers who received a scant education, light on very important information. Crippled and abandoned because we’re not “true homeschoolers”, we’re trying our best to become something in today’s world. Something beyond just a farmer or just a mother. We’re striving a bit higher than that.

I wish I had gone to a public school, and I envy those who were given that opportunity. Even the crappiest public school would have given me more opportunities than the home education I received.

If you do not support regulated homeschooling, I doubt that your intentions are honest. Prove to the world that you’re better than them, like you boast you are. Otherwise, what are you trying to hide?

for motivation // study music

I’ll be an army, no you’re
Not gonna stop me gettin’ through
I’ll sing a marching song and
Stomp through the halls louder than you

 

 

I knew what I had to do and I made myself this solemn vow
That I’s gonna be a lady someday
Though I didn’t know when or how
But I couldn’t see spending the rest of my life
With my head hung down in shame
You know I might have been born just plain white trash
But Fancy was my name

 

Work until I’m black and yellow
Black and yellow, worker bee
I’ll just work until I’m black and blue and burgundy
Burgundy
Work until I earn that rich mahogany

 

 

Oh, I don’t know what you’ve been told
But this gal right here’s gonna rule the world

 

 

I’m headed straight for the castle
They wanna make me their queen
And there’s an old man sitting on the throne that’s saying that I probably shouldn’t be so mean
Agnus Dei Agnus Dei Agnus Dei   (i like a little sacrilege with my motivation 😉 )

 

 

You wanna hot body
You wanna Bugatti
You wanna Maserati
You better work bitch
You wanna Lamborghini
Sip Martinis
Look hot in a bikini
You better work bitch
You wanna live fancy
Live in a big mansion
Party in France

You better work bitch

 

 

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

 

 

So do it now
Do it right now
Don’t waste a minute on the darkness and the pity sitting in your mind
Do it right now

 

 

To you they crawl, body sprawl
Smokin’ Pall Malls, close call, stand tall
Doll, you make them feel so small
(And they love it)