The Art of Being Angry

(Since this got bigger than expected, if you guys need to talk about anything, reach out. I'd be happy to talk to you.) (originally posted on Medium.com) I need you to get angry, my therapist told me. Until you do, you'll be held captive to the shame and guilt for things done to you. I've been afraid to be angry at what happened. But then we watched that scene from Grey's Anatomy where Jo storms...

It’s not yours to carry

As I write this, I’m sitting in front of the altar in the sanctuary of my church—the church I attend and the church where I work. Twenty-four hours ago, I told a pastor and close friend that there are some days when I walk into this building I call home and feel like I can’t be here—shouldn’t be here. I’m too broken, too bruised, too shattered. But this is a sanctuary—a literal...

Abandoned: trigger warning

“Abandonment!” He exclaimed in the middle of our safety planning. “That’s your trigger! Whenever you feel abandoned or alone, you start to panic, start to relive the trauma, start to become suicidal.” Which makes sense when you know how the story ended. They say that speaking your truth allows for healing, that giving words to the trauma reduces the power it holds over you. Well, If...

Ripple Effect

a very short story She didn’t believe in ghosts. At least not in the say ‘boo’, spirit without a body, walk through walls type way. She believed in flashbacks and nostalgia, that trauma could be passed down through generations. She saw her father’s father’s father every time her parents argued. Thuds and echoes of anger ricocheting off the walls, penetrating the door as she lay on...

living life palms up

finding the will to live amidst the trauma Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels The first thing I learned in therapy was to validate myself--validate the past versions of me that were hurt, validate the parts of myself that are hurting now; another thing I learned while completing the 'Emotional Regulation' section of DBT theory, designed to help manage the effects of Borderline...

I’m having a flashback right now, a trigger warning.

The coolness of the bathroom floor, a stark contrast to the sweaty guys surrounding me. We had been like this for fifteen minutes: me, lying on the ground, clothes askew; them, forcing their way into me, on me, around me. 10 hands tracing my body, forcing their way inside. I remember the way it felt: like being stabbed over and over and over again. Of their erections pushing against my back as...

To the guest speaker who spoke at my church this past weekend:

Thank you. For a long time, I've struggled with the idea of there being a loving God who can control all things. It's hard to reconcile that God with the God of my trauma. I found God in my trauma, in being raped, in getting pregnant and then miscarrying at 13. I found God in my suicide attempts and my battles with self-harm and Anorexia. But the God I found was different than the God I knew...

Maybe home is more than just a place

Six months ago, I never thought I'd find myself here--in a room with white colored walls and a stippled ceiling, a place to call my own. "There's no place like home." Dorothy once said, as she tapped her ruby slippers Together one by one. "Home is where the heart is," They all say as if a heart can fill a place, take up Residence in a building full of feelings. Maybe home is more than just a...

This is what healing looks like

“But in the end, one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.” ― Albert Camus I always thought I'd end up killing myself one day; that's the way I'd go out--swallowing a bottle of pills, driving into a tree, or jumping out a window. So many ways to die; not enough time to execute them all. (See what I did there?) But then healing has this way of sneaking up on you, of...

How to survive a panic attack in three acts

Prologue:  On the bulletin board next to my desk is a handwritten checklist from my therapist: is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If no, let it go. .  .  . Act 1:  Hold an ice cube in your hand, squeeze it until all you can focus on is the pain shooting up your arm. Nobody found me there, sitting in the workroom, rocking back and forth. I was paralyzed by some unidentifiable fear, a...