Mighty Morphin’ Puffy Ranger

PuffyRangerSo the last couple of entries have been a total downer. Just when I thought I would finally be able to blog about something that doesn’t revolve around my Nightmare Syndrome, my suicide attempt, every little “Woe is Me” tale, and general disdain for the world I got blindsided by circumstances that threw me off balance completely.

This past summer semester didn’t turn out like I hoped it would. When things kicked off the worse thing I had to worry about was paying my rent and power bill. Then it was a matter of playing the waiting game for my financial aid to kick in while rationing what little funds and food I had. Other than that I had a plan for everything else.

I would stay on my medication, continue my counseling, and show my professors what I’m capable of when I’m depression-free. The Universe had other plans in mind for me. This entire month has been nothing but “Make Me or Break Me”.

After the ordeal with Nasty Nate I felt very broken. Then Stalker Boy showed up and made me flashback to it. I honestly don’t know where I’m progressing with the aftermath of it all. If I didn’t have trust issues before I sure as hell do now. There is still that apprehension that’s present in me. Like what if the next guy that glances in my general direction is another predatory prick? Are my symptoms going to act up every time someone calls me cute? This is me maximizing things. My last counseling session proved this. Remember when I thought I had PTSD? Well, I don’t. So again I maximized things. It’s always been one of my more common cognitive distortions. Mountain, molehill……classic me. Yup!

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Finally my financial worries will come to an end. Nothing is processing because all systems are frozen until Monday. So it’s just a matter of braving through this weekend. I’ve already stocked up on food that I can easily ration until then. When that refund kicks in though I am SO treating myself to sushi. Some retail therapy too is also in order.

I am happy to say that despite all that life has thrown my way this semester that I’m still standing. I got a bunch of good news yesterday on my academic situation. The odds are back in my favor now. My inner demons are getting weaker again. I’ve got my situation handled. I know that things will turn out all right in the end. I just need to do my part and give it everything that I got. But first, I need to take the time to recover from everything that’s happened. That’s the goal for this weekend.

I’ve managed to overcome my most recent challenges. But I didn’t do it on my own strength. There’s no way I would’ve been able to handle it on my own if I had kept quiet about everything. Otherwise I’d be repeating the same negative behavior that I’m trying to do away with.

So how has this month “Made Me” and not “Break Me”?

I’ve made a lot of great friends. Talking to them has been good for me. Making them laugh and being able to laugh with them has been healing for me. I haven’t known them for very long but I know that they got my back. They’ve pretty much restored my faith in humanity.

I don’t seem to have anything that’s blocking my creativity anymore. My mind is brimming with all kinds of ideas. I can practically see the words that can paint the imagery. I don’t run and hide from anything like I used to. Even when I’m in my own world and working on my fictional work I have no problems with coming back to reality.

I’ve learned that I am, in fact, funny. I am beautiful. I am strong enough to overcome whatever comes my way. Nothing is impossible for me like I had originally perceived. It’s the most magical feeling ever.  I’m not alone in anything anymore and I know I can place trust in people to help me whenever I need it.

I’m getting back in control of everything. I am regaining my power that I feared losing to my circumstances. Parts of myself that I thought were dead or dying are back in full force.

One of my newest friends goes by the nickname Phoenix and has his own guild that are named after the X-Men. I imagine that they’re a very close group of friends. My friend most definitely lives up to his Phoenix moniker. So I’m kinda following his example.

My whacky writer brain started acting up. I’ve taken the best of my major fandoms and put them together, Power Rangers and Harry Potter. I am a member of House Hufflepuff. Embracing the mindset of the Hufflepuff has been a huge help in my recovery. It’s helped me become more social and positive. It’s rewiring my brain for the better.

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Of course there are haters out there. The ones that say that Hufflepuffs are the weak ones, not up to battle like all the other houses, or whatever. Some will even say Hufflepuffs are so derpy compared to their own glorious Hogwarts House.

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I know that’s not the case, but I figured by putting the fandoms together in my brain to make a new “persona” (for lack of a better word) that it would give it a bigger edge.

I took a lot of hits this semester, but I also managed to hit back. My Nightmares were coming back to haunt me, but I was able to slay every last one of them. I was able to keep going forward with my recovery and did what needed to be done because like the Power Rangers I never gave up on the fight even when my mind was screaming at me, “They are all against you,” or “This is the end”.  What can I say other than…..I’m Hufflepuff and mighty damn tough!!

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Hence the title of this entry. I’m the Hufflepuff Ranger. Puffy for short. With my creativity, my new friends, and all the new tricks I’ve learned I never have to be afraid of any challenges that come at me or any Nightmares trying to end me. Because I will always be ready to fight back and win.

This is PenSwordAM aka The Hufflepuff Ranger signing out.

Have a lovely day everyone.

P.S.

It’s morphin’ time!!! (I’m gonna need to wear a lot more yellow from now on…..)

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The Hits Keep Coming.

So breaking news….I was a complete emotional wreck yesterday. My anxieties were spiking up again. It was worse than what happened earlier in the week. The only  difference this time around is that I made use of the cognitive tools I picked up in therapy.

My personal favorite I’d like to share is the acronym, CALM. You’re supposed to go through each letter like it’s a step.

Curiosity: Why am I feeling this way?

Acceptance: Accept what it is your experiencing and let it process. Denial only feeds your inner demons.

Love: Showing yourself self-love. What would you say to someone else that’s in your situation? Tell it to yourself.

Motivation: The experience is over. There are no take backs. What can you do next? How do you move on?

I met this one guy the other day. He seemed nice enough at first. But he was so persistent. He kept messaging me at the most random hours. He seemed like he was in a real hurry to get to know me. I’m thinking he’s sensing a love connection in the making. I didn’t do anything to make him think that. He sent me three selfies of himself, seemed to be waiting for the right time to pounce on me, and he tried to include himself in my creative works. He said he was doing the same. He says he is struggling. He’s using it as an excuse to talk to me and I know it.

It was midnight, I was tired, I was getting ready to sleep, and boom! There he was again, messaging me. I plainly told him, “I’m going to bed now.”

I wake up the next morning, I get my coffee freshly brewed, I take my laptop to the front porch, I kick back and relax, I’m enjoying the fresh morning breeze, I see my professor walk by the house and I happily say “hello”. Right when I’m halfway done with my coffee and in the middle of listening to Amara La Negra’s “Insecure”, who messages me?

It’s Stalker Boy. I’m not in the mood to talk because I want to enjoy my day. So when he asks, “Good morning. How are you?” I swiftly responded three single word responses.

“Good”, “Caffeinating”, “Busy”. I told him that I was working on some stuff and that I was on a deadline. I’m already sick of this dude. So I typed up a letter, explaining myself very clearly that I needed him to chill out, don’t be in a huge rush to get to know me, and to respect my boundaries. I told him he was coming at me strong and that I was feeling uncomfortable. I told him about the sexual harassment I went through when we first spoke. I told him that I was still processing things. But he wouldn’t let up.

He reads the letter and says, “Ok. I understand. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize what I was doing.” I try to get back to what I was doing and he still wants to make chit-chat.

Stalker Boy: “Meep. I hate storms.”

Me: “Suck it up buttercup.”

Stalker Boy: “Fine.”

Three peaceful seconds later…

Stalker Boy: “I’m keeping myself distracted with Persona. Lol.”

Me: “More power to ya. It’s back to work for me.”

Stalker Boy: “Same to you.”

Two or three hours later…

Stalker Boy: “How’s the thing you’re working along coming?”

Me: “Made my deadlines. Now I’m out to treat myself. Peace.”

He tries me again at midnight. I’ve already got my head on my pillow. I ignored it. As soon as I woke up I muted him and set his messages to ignore.

During this whole time I felt uneasy. My mind kept flashing back to when Nasty Nate wouldn’t stop bothering me, explained in graphic detail what he wanted to do to me, and showed me that pic and that video. And that’s when my anxieties were acting up. Everything I felt from that day I was feeling it all over again.

I felt dehumanized, disgusting, ugly, worthless, stupid, and violated. Even though no one has put their hands on me I felt violated. My insides were quivering. My mind felt like it was flooding. I was fighting back tears that were forming.

This is the part that doesn’t make any sense to me. My counselor and friends say that my feelings on this are valid. One of my friends said it sounded like PTSD. Which makes even less sense to me?

It’s been a very long time since I’ve studied psychology but it couldn’t be PTSD. Could it? It was one bad interaction. But my anxieties have been building since that day. And I’m flashing back to it. I almost completely broke down yesterday. I felt my mind begin to shatter. I can’t help feeling as if Nasty Nate really did put his hands on me and violated me physically.

Stalker Boy was just being annoying, not overtly disgusting. But I’m reacting like it’s Nasty Nate all over again. Is this what its going to be like for me every time a guy calls me cute? Every time someone glances in my direction?

I’m trying to bounce back from everything. I’m doing all that I can to take care of myself. I’m trying to move on. But I need to go at this thing hard.

I don’t know if it’s PTSD or not. But whatever it may be it is endangering my recovery from the Nightmare Syndrome. My recovery is something I have had to fight for. I was finally feeling better from everything and then I get sucker punched by circumstances. This will not stand!! I’ve come so far!! I won’t go back to being the person I was before all of this!

I’m devising plans on how to deal with everything. Once Monday hits I’m going on the offensive and giving this everything that I got. I need to get this thing under control before it escalates.

I will not be defeated!! My name is PenSwordAM because I’m not just a writer, but a warrior! So I’m going to fight! And for anyone whose endured sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, or anything of the like, you all probably have it so much worse than I do. I wish I could help ease your pain. No one should ever have to go through something like this.

So fuck you Nasty Nate! Fuck you Stalker Boy! Fuck you Weinstein! Fuck you Cosby! Fuck you Louie C.K.! Fuck you Kevin Spacey! Fuck you Danny Masterson! Fuck you Jeffrey Tambor! FUCK every one of each and every single miserable piece of filth who hurt people in this way!! For making people feels this way!! If it were up to me they would all be completely destroyed!!

I need to stop here now. I’m going to come back from this, stronger than ever. Because I cannot be broken! I am beautiful, strong, wise, and good! I am a person, not a thing for someone’s personal amusement! You can keep the hits coming because I’ve learned to roll with the punches! Most importantly I can deal a hit a lot better than I can take one! I am a writer and I am a warrior!

I am PenSwordAM!!

Peace out!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Will Not Be Silent.

This is going to be a different type of entry. It’s the sort of entry I never thought I’d ever have to write. So something happened yesterday. To save myself the trouble of having to type out all the words, refer to the screenshot below of a Facebook status post I made yesterday.

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There’s the whole story. I feel disgusted, insulted, and pissed off. I can’t believe that I’d ever be on the receiving end of this bullshit. He says he’s sorry but I’m not feeling anything sincere from it. He actually thought that video was going to get a rise out of me? Give me a fucking break…

I’ve sent a report to Facebook help center, I’ve taken a screenshot of my facebook post from yesterday, I’ve told my friends about this, I am not keeping quiet about it.

I tried to be cool. I tried to be classy by not even calling out his name, but fuck all that!! I am not Jesus, I am not perfect, I will not show mercy or forgiveness. I will tell my story. You cannot silence me.

That’s it. I’m done.

 

Finally There is Hope.

So ever since I made last night’s post I’ve begun to feel a major shift in my mind. I feel like my mind is being rewired. It shows that I was right to accept my depression as part of me when I did. I kinda wish I came to this realization sooner, but this is the way it happened.

Fighting my depression the way that I have has been the wrong way to handle things. Alienating people might have kept me safe from harm, but it’s also built up walls that I now have to break myself. Going at things on my own has only taken me so far. Holding on to this do-all-or-die-trying attitude has made a giant mess of things. It’s all wrong and it all has to go.

I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I accept it all for it is. I’ve grappled with the darkness that festers inside me, but I don’t deny the growth I’ve experienced and that it has helped me to find myself. I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m willing to go forward. Even if it means risking something more painful and frightening than anything else I’ve endured.

My life is a mess. I am a mess. But that’s okay. I’m still rewriting the narrative of my personal story and I’m still willing to do whatever it takes to live a life of better mental health.

I have people in my life that may never fully understand my experiences, my thoughts, my feelings, my journey, or my story. But that doesn’t matter anymore. Because it’s all mine. I’m the one that needs to understand it all. Nobody else.

I don’t feel so scared anymore. I actually feel more hopeful for the future.

Here’s my new plan. I’m going to sign up for the summer semester to make up for my bombed classes. I’m going ahead the with the walking ceremony for graduation and put the experience behind me. Then when I come back I’m going to resume therapy and I’m going to work together with my counselor to ensure that I stay on track with my goals of finishing things off for good. At the same time I’m going to continue with medication and doing my part to live a life where I don’t have to fight monsters living in my head everyday. My brain is getting rewired and it’s going to take me to someplace better. But I have to do my part to ensure that it stays that way. It’ll be bigger than any other challenge I’ve ever had to face. Schoolwork pales in comparison.

I don’t feel like running away back home like I did before. I feel foolish thinking about it now. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach about everything, but I’m letting it process and I’m moving forward anyway. I will live with my depression, but not as curse. But it will be where I will draw power from. Then I will use that power to do amazing things. I will have power over it and not allow it have power over me.

That’s all I got for now. I’m back on the mission. Time for action!

Rewrite the Narrative

So Easter break has finished up. The dreaded G-Day is rapidly approaching. Oh yeah and I just finished a session with a counselor and there’s the doctor’s appointment on Monday to discuss medication.

My head has been in a whirlwind and I feel like I hurt everywhere. But I’m still finding ways to continue going forward.

I suffer from a lot of cognitive distortions. But I also hold on to a lot of misconceived notions of how things are supposed to be.

I came to App State wearing rose-colored glasses. Even though when I got my acceptance letter things weren’t that great. My experience here has been very mixed. To be perfectly honest it feels like the negative has outweighed the positive during my time here. But even until now I held on to this idea of how things are supposed to turn out or what my life is supposed to be like right now.

I should’ve been done with the college experience a long time ago. I should’ve met and married someone by now. I should already be world travelled. I should already be a best-selling author or at least have some cushy job. I should have all my dreams become a reality by now.

I’m only now remembering the first entry that I wrote last year. I started off by saying, “Well…that didn’t go as planned”.

There was a point where it looked like things were going to turn out exactly to my design. But somewhere along the way everything changed. I have no idea what caused this change. I don’t even know when, but it happened.

“Rewriting the narrative” was the theme of my latest session. It came up when we talked about graduation day and what it’s supposed to be about. Again, I said, “It feels more like survival. Not real success”.

I had a vision in my mind’s eye about the things that I wanted to happen. Things I was willing to work to make happen. But then they didn’t. All the negatives kept outweighing the positive and sapped away all energy that I could’ve poured in for effort.

Success in my mind’s eye meant that I would have plenty of things to brag about just like dumbass jug headed Mike Garrison. It meant being on the honor, being a straight A student, having jobs lined up, having the chance to study abroad, and having accumulated positive memories of college experience complete with adventure, laughter, friendships, and wild rabbit sex on days that end with “Y”.

Success in the real world after college is supposed to mean landing a dream job, paying off student debt and bills with relative ease, home ownership, raising a family, having a 9 to 5 job without any mental meltdowns or wanting to kill yourself, being a normal, productive, tax paying member of society who doesn’t have monsters and cosmic battles in his head on a daily basis. Where evil keeps winning, might I add. My place is a dangerous place to be these days.

I realized today that I have to let go what things are supposed to be like in my mind. I have to really let go. I want to keep believing that I have a fairy tale life ahead of me. I want to believe that I’ll find my “something better than this”. But in the mean time I have to accept the hard reality of some things. And I need change my idea of what success is for me. People that are similar to me are welcome to agree or disagree, but here I go.

-Success is a life of better mental health.
-Success is choosing to live even on days where you feel like dying.
-Success is putting forth effort in everything you do even when you feel like quitting.
-Success is pushing forward when your mind is in a whirlwind and you feel hurt everywhere.
-Success is collecting things and moments of beauty that bring light to a world that is filled with darkness, ugliness, and madness.
-Success is having people in your life that care about you. A lover, family, or close friend, human or animal.
-Success is being comfortable with yourself and having confidence in your skills, whatever they might be.
-Success is surviving your worst nightmares and living to tell the story about it.
-Success is being happy with you are and what you have going for yourself in life.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Maybe I’ll add to the list later. Until then, later days.

Feeling Sparky Again

It’s been a minute since I’ve last updated. This post is merely proof that I’m still alive. Also it’s an excuse to show this beautiful pro wrestler I completed with a new outfit.

Everything that’s happened to me before, everything that’s happening to me now, this is the fate I want so desperately to re-write. It’s why I took on the name “Pen” over my given name “Alex”.

I’m going to get better. I’m going to conquer my worse nightmares. I’m going to finally be happy. I’m going to live. I’m going to make up for all the times I’ve felt sad and made my loved ones worry about me. I’m going to give life everything I got without pulling anymore punches.

I will turn my pain into power and I will create the life I want. And I will get what I want through any means necessary.