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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Happy List

I’ve been “that guy” who talks nonstop about depression and anxiety and the things that trigger it to put me on edge. I need to take the time to get out of the darkness. I’m playing out some music that I haven’t listened to in a long time. It’s gotten me feeling all nostalgic and shit. Then I re-watched this video on HartBeat’s YouTube channel (I highly suggest subscribing) where she lists all things that make her happy. So I thought it a good idea to do the same thing. This really needs no further explanation so here I go!

There will be a crap ton of photos. Not sorry for that.

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This is Jewels. She was my best friend and hands down the coolest dog in the world ever. She wasn’t my dog. I took care of her when her owners were traveling. My Mom got me the gig. I was like “What are you, nuts?! I don’t know anything about dogs! Let alone taking care of them!” My Mom said she’d help out and that the dog sitting money would go straight to me. Then I met her and it was love at first sight. She was the sweetest thing ever. And she was so well behaved too. She didn’t bark or jump up on any furniture and she listened to me as if I were her owner. I took care of her for a huge part of the summer in 2012. It was one of the best times I ever had. Taking care of her was always a joy. Especially during Christmas time. She wasn’t mine, but I loved her like she were my own and she loved me back in return. She was a better friend than anyone I had ever known. Jewels died from cancer back in February. But I have nothing but the most beautiful memories of her. Sometimes I can still smell her on me. I look back on all the times she followed me around, kept me company in the kitchen, and always rolling over the floor and asking for belly rubs. I miss her dearly. But it’s thanks to her that I realize that I am capable of loving someone other than myself and can be loved in return unconditionally.

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Coffee! Because without it I’d have no reason to get up in the morning. Wired is better than tired, twitching is better than bitching, death before decaf!

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This fucking beautiful frozen delight!! It’s like an organism that goes off in your mouth in every spoonful. Not lying!

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I love anime! Especially Miyazaki films. They’re some of the best things I’ve ever seen. Other anime titles that I love include, but are not limited to; Sailor Moon, Akame Ga Kill, Inuyasha, and The Slayers. There’s a lot more, but I want to keep this part short and sweet.

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My video game collection! I’m an avid gamer and I’m proud of it! Most people I knew from childhood were always into Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. Nothing wrong with those titles, I like them but I didn’t get into them until later. While everyone was into Tolkienn or Rawling’s works I lost myself in games like Final Fantasy 8, Legend of Dragoon, Chrono Cross, Valkyrie Profile. These titles, for me, weren’t just fun games to play at the time, but I fell in love with the presentation of everything they had. Interesting characters, compelling plots (I was 14 when I played these games, shut up), beautiful music, and a worlds that I loved escaping into when reality sucked. I collect titles like they’re Pokemon and I collect game consoles like they’re the Dragon Balls! Except for Xbox One. I’m not into the Microsoft franchise and plus they don’t offer up a lot of titles that I’m interested in. And even when there is a good game coming out on XboxOne that I’d like to play it’s also available for PS4. I am a Sony boy!

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Pokemon and pocky! Because reasons….

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The WWE! I love pro-wrestling! I watched it every week as another way of escaping reality and getting out of my head. My top favorite superstars are Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Sami Zayn, Tyler Bate, TMDK, The Revival, and Finn Balor (who by the way is my future husband. He just doesn’t know it yet). I especially love the WWE games because there is an entire community dedicated to creating their own wrestling promotions, superstars, championship belts, etc. This is a photo of one of my own creations that I’m particularly proud of. I want to make my own promotion and put it on YouTube, but time management is an issue. One of these days it’s going to happen. Probably with the release of WWE 2k18.

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Anything that came out of Dorothy Zbornak’s mouth on Golden Girls. Golden Girls in general. Shameless binging of Golden Girls via HULU….need I go on?

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Seeing random shit like this that always has my sides hurting from laughing so hard.

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Everyone has childhood superheroes. Almost everyone will say Batman, Green Lantern, or the X-Men. Yeah they’re great heroes, but for me it’s always been the Power Rangers. I’ve been with them from the very beginning (which should be a huge hint as to how old I really am). I’ve kept it a secret from a lot of people to avoid ridicule while growing up. My closest friends know about this because we’d always play as Power Rangers ourselves. We’d create our own villains, monsters, zords, and act out our own Ranger characters. This played a huge impact on my creativity when I was younger. The Power Rangers were always one of the few constant things I’ve had that brought me much needed comfort whenever I had to move away and transfer to a new school and just couldn’t connect with people. Plus getting up on Saturday mornings to catch a new episode was always something to look forward to. And yes, I’ve seen the new Power Rangers movie and I FUCKING LOVED IT!! Rotten Tomatoes and all the haters can just SUCK IT!! I walked out of that theater as a very happy vintage nerd! While I’m at it I also watched and enjoyed the OTHER Power Rangers movies from the 1990’s. YES, even Turbo! I also enjoyed the rebooted Ghostbusters movie and enjoyed it for what it was! Gonna stop here before this rant eats up the rest of the post!!

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Hand written drafts! It feels so good to work that pen across the paper and fill up the page space! I’m actually preferring that than staring at a blank Word document for hours and wanting to beat the shit out of that blinking cursor which I always feels is mocking me!!

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My cooking apron! Anytime I put it on I’m like, “Yeah baby!! Let’s chef things up tonight!”

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Good pizza! Because reasons…

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Snow. I know I like to piss and moan about all the things that are wrong with Boone and Appalachian State. But they do get beautiful snow. It reminds me of life in Ohio where I was born. I love playing in the snow. I love wearing my winter’s best clothing. All the best looking clothes are meant for cold weather, let’s be real. I love being snowed in and drinking good coffee and being with people I care about. I love watching the snow fall. I especially love all the summer people suffer because they can’t show off their muscle guns or bikini bods. I’m like, “Uh oh!! Time to get a personality, STAT!”

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These little guys! These are my cousin’s kids. The one on the far left is Sammy, Charlie in the center, and the girl is Katarina. I never thought I’d be good with kids. I have a hard enough time dealing with people closer to my own age. But these kids like Jewels have helped me learn and grow so much. They love me and I love them to death. One day when I was having a really bad day and the suicidal thoughts kept creeping in I got a surprise FaceTime call from my cousin and it was Katarina who wanted to call. Not to say “Hi”, but to say “Please come back! Please come over!” It made me come back to my senses. She’s a little saint for making that call. I’ll never forget the timing. It makes me want to work harder to make myself better and be there for those kids.

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Last but certainly not least is my Mom. Here she is with Jewels, spoiling her. My Mom is the sweetest person alive, but she’s also one of the strongest people that I know. If she says that I’m the strong one it’s only because I got my strength from her. She’s my biggest reason for wanting to work harder and get better. I’ve disappointed her in the past and always had a hard time forgiving myself for it. I want to stop being such a huge screw up. I want to be successful in life. I want a family of my own that she’d love to welcome into her life. I know I always have her support, no matter what. Which is why I want to keep going forward and keep fighting. I came clean to my Mom about my depression and told her that I wanted to hurt myself and die. It made her cry hearing that. It was another huge wake up call. Even if I went ahead and ended things so I wouldn’t have to feel pain my Mom, my cousins, and those kids would be destroyed. I don’t want to be the reason that they cry or hurt. I’m going to turn things around for me and them. I’m gonna fight my nightmares like a real warrior and I’m going to come out on top.

That’s all I got for now. I’m probably going to do a continuation of this list at some point because when it comes down to it there is a lot of things that make me happy. I’ve kept myself closed off from it all because I became so addicted to my own misery. I want to be happy, I deserve to be happy, there are reasons to be happy all around me just like there is for everyone else. Only major difference is that those things don’t come from the end of a beer bottle, a bong, or anyone that’s lives by “hooking up” with the first person that they see.

Until then, later days!