What Did You Do on Memorial Day?

JunkChuck was kind enough to show his support on my blog today so I came to check his out. This post was wonderful and deserving of at least a few (many actually) more views, so give it read and a moment of thought, please. Thanks!

Old Road Apples

I woke up, did some chores, went to the home improvement store to buy some gardening supplies, visited a friend to drop off a box of onion starts I’d grown from seed, ran by the grocery store, went to the feed & supply store to buy some tomato seedlings to replace the few that got frosted the other night, went to my in-laws’ house for burgers and corn on the grill, came home and planted tomatoes with my wife, then chased her around the house a few laps when the kids went off with their friends, then sat down at the computer and thought about Memorial Day a little bit.  Invariably, my pondering turned to what might very well be the most memorable and definitive photographic image to emerge from our ongoing, unending 24-year-old middle east war.

arlington

If you haven’t seen this picture before, and you live in the USA…

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If the tables were turned…

I just blew up my facebook account…

well ok.  maybe not really.  I don’t know.  But it felt really important to me to say something all day long.  So I did.  I have LARGELY kept personal stuff off of facebook, because i kind of hate facebook.  And I have a lot of old friends, a few new friends, who don’t know about some of what has happened in my life.  Not necessarily because I don’t want them to… it’s just… you know… you don’t go around talking about that stuff everywhere, right?

Well, I just posted the following :

2 days ago I shared a link and I appreciate anyone who read it and took the time to contact their rep. But if you are anything like ME, you probably read it, liked it and moved on. I’m guilty of this all the time. But since initially sharing this, I watched the 2 hr congressional hearing the article links to. And I feel pressed to share something I never thought I would share on facebook, of all places. I feel I need to explain why this is important to me personally and ask again for you to take just a moment to contact your reps.

17 years and 29 days ago, I was assaulted in my home by a masked intruder who held a knife to me and threatened my life. I firmly believed that was my last night on this earth, but I lived. Before he left, he promised that he would
come back and kill me if I went to the police. I believed him.

The brain does a thing sometimes, and at this point, most of the details are fuzzy. But thanks to an amazing aunt and uncle who were able to be there when my parents could not, I went to the ER and reported the crime to the police anyway. I do remember I spent about 8 hours in the ER that night. A good portion of that time was spent on an examination table as my body became a crime scene. Again, about the only thing I remember about this was my aunt holding my hand, keeping eye contact, and giving me her love and support.

I was lucky, which is a weird thing to say after the preceding sentences, but my case moved quickly. Good law enforcement, a good prosecutor, and kind of a dumb perpetrator who didn’t cover his tracks well. They convinced him to plead guilty and he received a sentence of 10 years to life. It took less than 2 months for him to end up behind bars. He is still there, and hopefully he spends the rest of his life there.

But I know too many people who still don’t know who assaulted them. There is no tracking system for the backlog of rape kits still waiting to be processed. Estimates are anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 kits in backlog. MANY have sat on a shelf well past the statute of limitations to even prosecute the perpetrator. If you know the statistics involving sexual assault, you know there is an average of almost 300,00 victims a year and 68% of assaults are not reported to the police. So for the small percentage of people who submit to lying on that table and being examined head to toe for hours after the most
traumatic experience of their life, it is absolutely DEVASTATING to me to think that that evidence then just sits forgotten on a shelf. We submit to that examination because getting that criminal behind bars is the only way we will feel safe again. We do it because we are told and convinced that this will keep the perpetrator from hurting anyone else. But when the evidence goes unprocessed, we don’t get either of those things. Just another traumatic memory and the message that what happened to us didn’t matter.

During the hearing, they tell many stories. One of a 13 yr old girl, assaulted at home in her bed. It was 20 years before her rape kit was processed and the perpetrator identified, again past the statue of limitations, the ability to prosecute gone. I only had to wait about a week before they had a suspect and a taped confession. But if I was still waiting, 17 years later, I’m honestly not sure I’d be here today. I know I wouldn’t feel ANYthing close to safe, ever. Having him in prision, has given a little of that safety back to me.

Turns out it was a neighbor, in the apartment below me. Someone who had always been nice and friendly. Someone I considered safe. Back then, I could not believe that this kind of thing could ever happen to me. I think most of us
try to convince ourselves of this. But the truth is that more awareness and education is some of the best protection we can have and the best way to create change. For years I have wanted to somehow be an advocate for this cause but
didn’t know how to do it without overtaxing myself physically or emotionally. But sharing a little of my story in the hopes that it will convince you to take just a couple of minutes to click this link https://rainn.org/public-policy/rainn-action-center and copy and paste a letter or tweet to your representative would help me in my hopes to be an advocate for change.

And please, feel free to share this. I hold my story close, not because I don’t feel I can talk about it, but because I don’t think people want to hear it. But in this case, I just couldn’t get rid of the feeling that this was the time for me to share something personal in the hopes of making a difference. Most likely, someone else you know has a similar story and might also be touched to know that you care about this issue.

So now I’ll get off whatever soapbox I may be standing on and just ask… please take the time to make a difference. Thanks and love.

In testimony to the Senate today, RAINN’s president called on policymakers to address the ‪#‎rapekitbacklog‬: “By not conducting DNA testing on evidence from open rape cases, we’re denying justice to hundreds of thousands of rape survivors while leaving communities at risk from serial predators,” said President Scott Berkowitz. “The rape kit backlog plays a big role in this state of affairs.” http://ow.ly/NdeC4

=-=-=-=-

So yeah.  A lot of thought and conversation with a close friend went into it.  I feel like it came from a healthy place and I don’t regret doing it.  I really really hope people respond to it.  But yeah, have to admit… there’s a little bit of anxiety about “crossing the streams” and sharing something that I have only written about here on a public forum.  But it feels right.  And if you’re reading this?  Maybe you could also click on that link and contact your representative, too.

Why do I keep using the #AlwaysKeepFighting hashtag…

Why do I keep using the #AlwaysKeepFighting hashtag? Welcome to the #SPNFamily…

A couple of months ago Jared Padalecki, one of the stars of Supernatural, started a campaign to raise money and awareness for charities like To Write Love On Her Arms.  He shared a lot about his own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts, and his own need for strength and help.  It started with a tee shirt that said “Always Keep Fighting”.  The fandom really took to it.

AKF

For me personally, I came across the Always Keep Fighting campaign on a really really shit day.  It was really one of those days where I just was asking “What the hell am I here for?”  And those words, and his openness and sincerity, actually brought me to tears.  It was just one of those moments you get too rarely when you feel like the world is telling you something.  And I was like… “Man, Jared!  How did you know I needed this today?”

I’m actually sort of addicted to buying geek t-shirts.  It’s pretty much all I wear.  But I usually go for the subtle.  Not the whole- “celebrity on a t-shirt” thing.  Even Jared mentioned he wasn’t sure about putting his face on the shirt, but everyone convinced him it made it more personal (I agree). And… while I wasn’t sure if I would wear it (because- face on a t-shirt?), I knew I wanted to support it and TWLOHA.

It’s kinda become one of my favorite shirts.  When I’m having another shit day, wearing the shirt has reminded me of the message and kept me going.  And people have noticed it and either recognized it themselves or asked about it.  Which is awesome!  YES.  Let’s have a healthy dialogue about mental illness, suicide, addiction, depression, PTSD.  YES TO ALL THIS!

Since the original campaign ended, it has grown into a much bigger thing that both stars, Jared and Jensen Ackles, AND the fans are continuing to raise money and awareness for.  In the last couple of weeks, Jared has been experiencing his own personal crisis and the whole thing has just blown up in response (in a good way).  It’s actually kind of reminded me how awesome people can be.  The world is not full of hate and horrible things.  There is a lot of love out there.

https://fangasmthebook.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/what-the-spnfamily-is-all-about-always-keep-fighting-jared/

If you’re not familiar with these guys and this fandom, it might be easy to see this and think that it’s not sincere.  That it’s a bunch of hot guys getting their faces on t-shirts and making more money.  Publicity stunts.  But you wouldn’t have to look into things very far to realize these guys really just want to do a good thing and use the fan following they have to accomplish great things.

You might also find some weird stuff.  The fandom is known for some of it’s weird stuff.  Not gonna lie.  BUT the fandom really is also known for doing some really awesome things like this.  The official hashtag used to be “SPNfamily” (I don’t know, maybe it still is…) but #AKF and #AlwaysKeepFighting are really what it’s all about.  And hell yes, I will go down with this ship.  Even if I still appear to be a silly fangirl.  I don’t care.  This thing, this show, these people, this fandom, show love that gives me strength on days I’m not sure I can find it.   (Even though I will NEVER forgive you, writers, for that THING YOU DID IN EPISODE 10×21.  grrr… the only time I’ve ever hated Show :/  I’m still not over it.)

PHEW.  SO on that note, I’m gonna leave another reason I love this fandom.  I haven’t posted a fanvid in a LONG time guys.  And this one is technically a parody, so it doesn’t count.  And, true, I’m not sure you’ll really get it or love it if you don’t know the show, but… oh well.  It makes me happy 🙂 ummm spoilers for season 9 and 10 though, if that is important to you?

By the way, the cast cameos at the end- they heard about this video being made and totally volunteered to do it just because they knew the fans would love it.  No pay.  Just love.

And you know what?  Because I’m in such a giving mood… hahah… (actually, it’s probably just the late hour getting to me) but I’m gonna leave ya with one more gem.  But this is one that always gives me chills and makes me cry.  This song is sort of our anthem…

Ok.  Thank you.  Good nite.  I love you all 😉

PTSD is not a self-inflicted wound.

Can we get a HELL YEAH! over here? Seriously. I know exactly what you mean here. My doors are always locked, windows/blinds closed… all the things you described. My rapist is actually in prision, but I STILL BELIEVE there is this guy outside my house watching me all the time and waiting for the right moment to get at me. I know that in REALITY, this man does not exist. But my PTSD brain sees him everyday and believes 100% that he is there. And people call it crazy. But for a little while in my life, it was true. And my PTSD brain still thinks it is. :/ I get ya.

Heathers Helpers

I am going to say sorry in advance here. I am feeling a bit b**hy  because of a few comments made about PTSD in general while I was speaking to a group. I couldn’t do a PTSD rant there so I decided to do one here.

Having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder feels a bit like living in a glass house and everywhere you can see there is someone standing there ready and just waiting to throw huge rocks in to your home. They may have been standing there for 6 months or 6 years but that feeling of being under attack or in imminent danger never goes away. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you make your glass house. No one cares if the lights are on or off. You can put blinds up all over the place but you will still know that you are surrounded and anything could happen…

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All the feels (have I used this subject title before? hmmm….)

I feel like I’ve been a terrible friend here online, so I’m sorry.  I love all of you who I have talked with here online.  Those of you who have shared such personal pieces of yourself… I feel like you deserve more from me, especially when you have given me so much by reading and support me!  I know you know I’m doing the best I can right now, but I still feel the need to acknowledge it.  Just a week and a half ago, I got introduced to some really great stuff by CC and Alex over at https://ccchanel41.wordpress.com/  (Refractory Ramblings from the Darkside).  Both things have totally gone into my coping strategies toolbox.

First, Bo Burnham and “What.” is the most genius things I’ve seen in a while.  Laughter and truth all in one.  https://youtu.be/ejc5zic4q2A  His show is free on Youtube and Netflix.  It’s totally NSFW but watch when you can because it’s brilliant and I’ve watched it like 5 times in the last 8 days, hahah.  I feel bad for the people (who are too too many) I can’t share it with because of content.  They are missing something awesome.

Second?  Amanda Palmer.  How did I not know this woman existed???  In the hours I haven’t been watching Bo Burnham, she’s been playing 24/7.  I love music of all kinds.  I communicate and find places where my feelings exist in music very often, but there are only a few who just bring the feels with every word.  Even when I don’t know what she’s referring to, the emotion is still there and it’s just wrapped itself around my heart!  I can’t even describe it.  I could share any number of her songs here, but the one that’s really gotten too me the last few days is “Trout Heart Replica.”

At first, the lyrics that caught me were:

And killing things is not so hard
It’s hurting that’s the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I’m asking for a smaller heart

And then one day…

And the butcher stops and winds his watch and lays their lives down on the block
He raises up his hatchet and the big hand strikes a compromise
Wait, we’ll trade you
Wait
Please just one more day
And then we’ll go with no complaining
No complaining
No complaining
No complaining

And holy shit.  I remembered that feeling.  The “butcher” holding me down with a knife, and all I could think was Wait… Just one more day…Please just one more day.  And now the whole song takes even more meaning and a new feeling and I just keep listening to it.

I’m not the fish anymore, right now.  But….

they’re cutting
And they’re cutting
And I think that I know
And they’re gutting
And they’re gutting
And I think that I know
And it’s beating
Look, it’s beating
And I don’t want to know
And it’s beating
Look, it’s still beating
God, I don’t want to know

And killing things is not so hard
It’s hurting that’s the hardest part
And when the wizard gets to me
I’m asking for a smaller heart
And if he tells me “no”
I’ll hold my breath until I hit the floor
Eventually I’m know I’m doomed
To get what I am asking for…

I’ve never been able to put such accurate words to the way I feel.  Smaller heart?  YES PLEASE.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

So much about this song!

dwfeels

So I actually have a lot of life stuff to write about… but I keep avoiding it, so I’m starting easy today.  Maybe I will try again tomorrow to write about what’s been up.  ‘Cause this brain needs to dump.  Room is very scarce for anything else.

Hope you love Bo and Amanda as much as I do now.  And as much as I love you all.

#AlwaysKeepFighting  (yes, I will keep using this hashtag on posts because its something I am desperately taking to heart and I need the constant reminder myself.)

“Always Keep Fighting” « TWLOHA

Older post, but one I needed to read tonight.  No joke, the day he started the tshirt campaign, those words literally kept me going.  Clinging to them again tonight.

Jared Padalecki Explains What Inspires Him to “Always Keep Fighting” « TWLOHA.

Just embrace it!

Read the whole article.  It’s perfectly put.  Love this girl!

Is depression addicting?

Does anyone else think that depression itself is addicting?  I mean, like, when you go to therapy or whatever and you know the next move, or you know the healthy alternative coping mechanism.  Like right now, I know I should go to bed.  It’s important that I get on a healthy sleep cycle.  But I’m probably going to go watch TV for a few more hours.  Or I know I need healthier eating habits, but lots of times I put it off because… well there’s a variety of reasons, but basically because I can.  Like I know I need to confront and deal with my anger issues, but I don’t want to.  I don’t even want to try the easy things to start the process.  Even though I’ve talked extensively with my therapist about how important that is.  I just find myself making choices sometimes that I KNOW will probably help keep or create the depressive cycle I’m stuck in.  Is it addiction to the cycle? Or is it control issues or fear or what?  I mean, control and fear, they definitely are playing their part.  I know that.  But is there more to it?  I don’t even drink alcohol, I’m very careful not to abuse medications, but there are just times when a simple choice could probably make a big difference and I choose the one that keeps things the same.  Just some thoughts… curious how the rest of you view it…

Today I need a laugh

So enjoy this cute little video of a dog confused by an egg.  Made me smile… just what I needed right now.

Have a good nite!

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