Social media is great… especially for people like me who are introverts, but want to keep in touch.
But it gets to be too much sometimes. So I step away. I put my phone on do not disturb, so I don’t constantly see notifications, and I just write, rest, or spend time in nature.
In the process of hurting my back, and doing the things needed to get it healed up, I was sort of forced into a break, but I slowly realized I was needing one anyway.
If you know my story, then you know I struggle with mental health diagnoses, and as much as I would love to be “even keel”, and emotionally leveled out, the fact is I’m not that way.
I’ve been working on my #jeepminicamper and that has been a source of accomplishment, and also a way to distract my mind from morbid thoughts, unrealistic fears, and some depression.
The thing about mental illness, for me anyway, if I don’t manage it right, all of the things I do to distract my mind, come creeping back up if I try to pretend that they aren’t there. So I just deal with it. I put myself in the very present, noting the things around me, what I’m doing, or not doing. What is actually real, and not some illogical thought process that is stemming directly from a ptsd symptom, or a cloud of oppressive depression.
It’s hard. It’s just hard some days. I get tired. I get frustrated, I get angry, I cry. I question everything, I question my life’s worth, I question my worth as a human being, I even guestion the things that bring me peace, wondering if I’m even worth peace.
Those things are the trickery and deception of mental illness. It comes to steal kill and destroy. Destroy families, destroy relationships, friendships, and in worst case it will take your life.
How social media forces me to step away, and the (my) cycle of mental illness.
I’m hyper vigilant…this stems from a home invasion, and domestic violence. But that hyper vigilance seeps into other areas… and compounds symptoms. If I’m going through a cycle of depressive episodes, that hyper vigilance will look for everything that is depressing in my life… logical? Absolutely not, but that’s the cycle some days.
So today’s ramblings are what I’m currently struggling with. I share because I know I’m not alone in struggling with mental health… although I am physically alone, I still want to be open and share, because someone else needs to hear that they are not alone.
You are not alone.
I may not be the best to talk to all the time, but I will listen, and be an ear. Sometimes that’s all a person needs.
So with that, I’m peacin’ out for today.
Thanks for listening. I’m working on a podcast, but it’s new territory for me, so please be patient. Also, please share, like, subscribe if you feel inclined, I would truly appreciate it.
Sadie has ALWAYS been a Mudbug. She waits until the mud gets that super tacky sticky consistency, and then takes a huge roll.
She knows that I will always give her a good brushing, which is why she probably does it, on top of the fact that—who doesn’t love a good clean mud bath?
I know I do…I say that literally. We have some “clean” mud at the ranch, with no horse poop in it, and when it rains a lot, there’s nothing better than sticking my feet in the mud and smushing it all around in between my toes.
Maybe I’m weird, but that’s ok. I’ll embrace that weirdness.
I’ve run through the west pasture during a thunderstorm in my bare feet and a tank top, just letting the rain wash over my body. (And hoping I don’t get struck by lightning…ha…obviously I didn’t because I’m here writing this post.)
I say this about mud to direct to a more serious subject. I previously posted about what it was like to live with mental health diagnoses and how I cope.
Well, this is one of my coping skills, more so in the summer..clearly, because even though I’m not in my right mind (insert large amounts of sarcasm here) I’m not going to stick my feet in the mud when it’s 20 degrees outside. Though I have walked out into the garage barefoot when it’s cold, and I will tell you it takes everything off of your mind….lol…but it’s not my favorite thing to do.
This morning when I went out to do chores, I was feeling anxious. But the minute I stepped out of the car to get started, I breathed in the fresh air, and took a look around at the nature, the quiet, and the peacefulness. My anxiety quieted in my mind and body. The cats all greeted me, and I felt “home”.
I got everyone fed, and was headed back out, and stopped where I feed the corn to the deer. We have one momma that has a hitch in her git-a-long, and I called to them to let them know breaksfast was served.
As I pulled out of the driveway, I got a notification from one of the security cameras.. and there she was, chomping down her breaksfast. I have a special place in my heart for her. 💜
The earth is healing. Animals are healing. Nature is healing. This may sound like a weird question, but have you ever smelled clean, fresh dirt? I know I know, “clean” dirt… but there is such a thing. The smell is wonderful….it’s raw and unadulterated. It heals my soul on those hard days.
So, I’m just suggesting…if you’re having a bad day, and need to try something different……
Flashbacks and trauma. RE: 2017 “I’m a shitty person right now”
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2017: Sometimes I use blogging as a source to blast what is going on at the core, because it’s therapy for me. Sometimes I keep them private and sometimes I share. Not sure what this blurb is going to end up as.
I try not to say negative things about my life because nobody has time to hear that, or when I do I try to make a joke of it. I do fail though. This is going to be an epic fail I’m sure. I have made so many mistakes, and I just keep on doing them. I got into abusive relationships and blame myself for what has happened to me.
There’s still some ongoing business with the trip to Alaska, and I was reminded tonight how messed up I have become. So bad that I can’t stand to be around my own damn self. Am I on a pity pot? Maybe, probably. But that doesn’t change the fact that I am just completely lost in my life right now. I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ve let everyone down in my life because I’m an idiot, and can’t seem to get it right. Do I even DESERVE forgiveness? I mean really.
I’m going to have to do some serious soul searching and find out what is wrong with me.
****This post was from 2017. (Above the separation graphic of arrows). I repost it because it’s important for me to realize that I am not perfect, and I can at any time fall flat on my face if I am not careful. I vaguely remember this…only because it mentions “the trip to Alaska”.
I won’t get into that very much yet because it’s just a giant cluster fuck. Long story short I was a victim witness in a military court martial against a human (I say “human”, but really this person is a monster and a predator), that tried to kill another person, and had abused me as well. (I did not file a police report because I was afraid, instead I reached out to the military for help, and they declined because I was not married to the person.)
There’s a lot more to the story, but he was convicted, dishonorably discharged, and is now a registered federal sex offender for life. The trial is not my story to tell, I was not the petitioner, and my purpose was to support the petitioner in this trial (which I would do again in a heartbeat, I do not regret standing up for another woman, and in this case, women). But it was traumatic. It’s traumatic now to think about.
Trauma is weird. One minute you are feeling like “ok, I can deal with this”, and the next you are crying, snot running down your face, shaking, mind spinning, hyperventilating, and basically losing all functions of the body. I don’t know what’s best to deal with trauma…to look at it in the face and fight it, or to tuck it away far into the recesses of my mind until there comes a day where I can face it. This particular situation, my involvement in the trial, and the abuse I went through from this human, is in that category. The grey area.
I’ve learned to understand some of the things that have happened to me, and when I start experiencing symptoms of ptsd, I reach for my tools and coping skills. (The healthy ones). But I have yet to “situate” this instance and put it in its place. I’ve worked on it, a lot, and will continue to do so.
Today, and yesterday are days that I simply cannot deal…my mind is anxious, I’m picking at my fingernails, fidgety, racing thoughts, shaking. I hate to say that I’m used to it, when my brain cycles through this, but honestly I am…I feel it coming on. So I gear up to handle it in whatever way I can. Right now I’m writing about it. This is how I feel right now. It’s like being on a merry go round that’s going too fast, and everything is whizzing by, and you can’t get off.
I’ve been told to just “not think about it”. And sometimes that works, to not think about it. But the truth about trauma is that it changes your brain chemistry. It hides deep within the subconscious and remembers, even if I don’t.
Even if I “just don’t think about it”. There’s a trigger that my eye sees, or my ears hear, and it sets off a series of events in the brain that become physical body symptoms. Sometimes I don’t know what the triggers are, sometimes it’s a certain time of year that something happened. A trauma anniversary, for lack of a better way to describe it. That time comes around, and the brain and body remember, even if consciously I DON’T remember.
So for today it’s a Xanax, some gaba (amino acid) and literally checking out.
Gaba helps me. Here’s a publication from the NIH talking about ptsd and gaba. All I know is that I am 10 times worse without my gaba supplement. If that’s possible, and the answer to that question is yes. I have more morbid thoughts, and have, in the past become suicidal. I do my best to prevent those times from happening.
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Trigger Warning! Mentions of r*pe. I lost my virginity to r*pe. ***NOT FOR CHILDREN***
This is hard to write. Even though I’ve written about it before and have mostly processed the details, when I bring it to the forefront of my mind, all the feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, and pain all come back at once. I’ve worked hard to bring my logical mind forward in this instance, and not let my irrational mind take over. But it’s still a struggle.
When I was 17, my friend and I got permission from our parents to drive to Colorado to go visit some friends. I didn’t really think I would know anyone other than one person, but it was set to be a fun time, and my first ever trip as a “grown up”. Ha, I say that lightly, because I was far from grown.
We left and drove all night, listening to silly music (think “Do the mashed potato” or whatever it was called), and made it to our destination safely. I can’t remember what town it was, Estes Park? Not sure…I’ll probably remember later after I write this post.
When we arrived we walked into a fairly loud, filled apartment with music playing and laughter. I thought, ok.. this is going to be fun. I quickly realized that we were the only two females there. No worries, I had hung around with guys with no issues, and it was comfortable because they didn’t care if I wore makeup or had on the latest fashion trends.
We started drinking beer and just hanging out. I felt safe and was having a good time.
At some point my friend said she was tired and was going to go to bed. I felt the same, and was planning on crashing on the couch. Earlier in the evening I had seen one person that I new, who lived in the town that I lived in. I thought, cool.. I know three people now, my friend I came with, and her friend, and now this person….As I was getting ready to try to lay down and sleep, this person, man, asked me if I was coming with him. I thought, ok, he’s got a better place than the couch to sleep, and assumed with much naïveté that was what was going to happen.
We went to a bedroom to the back and he said that there was a makeshift bed on the floor at the end of a water bed that I could sleep on. I thought, cool… the rest of the crew was still partying and it was quieter in here. So I laid down.
Then he laid down next to me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was going to sleep here with me because it was quieter. I thought, well, ok. I knew the guy, nothing was going to happen, and the place was crowded with people. Male and females can sleep in the same bed together as friends and not do anything. That is what I thought at the time.
The next few minutes are traumatic. Traumatic to even think about, remember, and feel. He quickly started groping me, grabbing my breasts roughly and trying to kiss me. I told him no, that I didn’t want to do that and he said, “I won’t do anything, we’ll just snuggle”. Something in my mind realized that I was in trouble.
At this point he was on top of me, and had my arms and hands pinned down. I struggled to get away but could not over power him. He then held me down, and somehow got my jeans and my panties off, and forced his penis inside of my vagina, all the while holding me so I could not get away. I kept saying “No, I don’t want to, Stop, No”. But he told me to be quiet and just “relax”.
There was a point in time where my mind left my body, and I went into a dissociative state. I stopped fighting him, and checked out. What he was doing to me was rape, and somewhere in my mind I knew that.
I was a virgin. I lost my virginity to rape. I lost my virginity to rape. I say that twice because this was not what I was told how sex should be, and part of me is still angry, and sad about it. But because of my other traumas, issues, inability to recognize what “things” were about, this is how it happened.
There is talk about fight or flight state, but there’s also a “freeze” state. It happens in animals as well, I’ve seen it with horses who have been abused when they can’t run, or fight, they freeze. This is what happened to me. I froze.
Here’s where the victim blaming kicked in.(Underlined link cited). I thought it was my fault because I had chosen to drive to Colorado and go to the party. I had not said “no” when he initially asked me to “come with me”. I thought it was my fault because I had drank some beers, but was far from drunk. I thought it was my fault period. And I made excuses for my self to self soothe at the time, because I didn’t know what else to do. I told my friend (who was a female, and who I had driven with) about it, but left out certain details, like how I kept telling him no, and that I didn’t want to do it. I made it sound like “I wanted it”. Deep down I felt like a failure, I felt violated, my body physically hurt, I had bruises on my arms and wrists. But I shared none of that.
Another way predators keep their victims in line; the man that did this to me would come around and continue to rape me. And I let him, because he was “nice” and he showed me attention, but only in the form of forcing me to have sex with him and telling me that it would ruin his life if I said anything. I was being groomed, and didn’t even know it.
It wasn’t until YEARS later that I was able to assimilate what had happened to me, and to forgive myself. It WAS NOT MY FAULT. I did not ask for it, and it was done against my will.
I lost my virginity to rape. I can never get that back. I can never recreate a loving relationship and have a do-over. It set the stage, along with other traumas, for many future dysfunctional relationships for me, and at least three other rapes. I had no idea how to love in a healthy way. Then I turned to substances when the emotional pain got to be too much, and my previous post (click here to read that post if you want) shared one of those occasions where unhealthy coping skills could have killed me.
I share this now because I understand the psychology behind the things that happened. I don’t feel like it was my fault anymore. The feelings of embarrassment, and shame do sneak in now and then, but I’m still human, still a work in progress. But it’s getting better.
Dedicated to the remaining wild and free mustangs, and those that are trying so very hard to let them stay that way, and out of the slaughter pipeline, where they are inhumanly, and brutally, painfully, killed.
Update: Vagus nerve. I saw a video about resetting the vagus nerve, and thought I’d think out-loud via a blog. The vagus nerve runs from top to bottom throughout your body.
**Sorry this took so long, I’ve been running twelve different directions, and reading a lot. I’ve tried to condense this down to be a shorter read, with links to some of the information I have read.**
What is the vegus nerve? It is one of 12 cranial nerves that run throughout your body, and it affects both motor and sensory functions. It helps control digestion, heart rate, breathing, cardiovascular activity and reflex reactions such as sneezing. It comes from the Latin word “wandering” because it basically wanders from top to bottom throughout your body. It helps regulate your immune system, helps control the fight or flight response, inflammation in response to disease.
“It has four main functions: sensory, special sensory, motor and parasympathetic.”(Cited from this trusted source). It has a back and front (dorsal and ventral). Cues are activated along these during neuroception during times of safety, or times of, what you may perceive as danger. Safety cues are activated through the ventral, and danger cues are activated through the dorsal side.
“According to the Polyvagal theory, the vagus nerve is the key phylogenetic substrate that supports efficient emotion recognition for promoting safety and survival. Previous studies showed that the vagus nerve affects people’s ability to recognize emotions based on eye regions and whole facial images, but not static bodies. “(Cited from this trusted source.)
The vegus nerve can get out of whack, to explain it easily. It’s the longest cranial nerve running from the base of the brain, down to the colon. Damage to the vegus nerve can affect cardio function, or anything else that it helps to regulate. There’s a lot of other info via this trusted source, if you would like to read more from that publication.
So as I’m reading all of this, and researching, what I’m understanding is this. If you ever get a gut feeling, your vagus nerve is involved, if you are ever in a traumatic situation, your vagus nerve is deciding which emotion, or feeling is going to be sent to the brain. In my case, I had a home invasion. During the actual event, I was feeling anxiety and fear. How this affects my diagnosis of ptsd, I believe is relevant. The brain tells the body what to do, but the body has built in survival mechanisms…one being this cranial nerve. But it’s been years since the home invasion….so is my vagus nerve still reacting? I believe the answer is yes. In the moment, the body defaults to survive. But the brain remembers the trauma, and it’s chemical makeup in changed after trauma. So during times when I have episodes of flashbacks, or anxiety, I believe the brain sends fight or flight signals to the vagus nerve, which can then cause physical manifestations of the original trauma. Elevated heart rate, nausea, rapid thoughts.
This also applies to a persons ability to empathetic. Good things come from the vagus nerve.
“However, sometimes we do not receive this care and love in our relationships. Relational trauma impair our trust in others and, like all traumatic events is held in the body and is often maintained as dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is the part of your nervous system that manages how you respond to stress. In addition, the ANS also helps you to find healthy relaxation into a felt experience of safety. All of this is directly related to the tone and health of your vagus nerve.” (Cited directly from this trusted source from Dr. Arielle Schwartz.)
So now that I’ve done this research, in layman’s terms, this cranial nerve can directly impact your emotion, physical well being, and correlate happy and sad events. Traumatic events, being in love, how we are going to respond, if we have symptoms of ptsd, ect. So that can explain my question to myself, below, can trauma, ect cause damage. Yes it can. It rewires things sometimes.
How can we repair our vagus nerve. I’m including a link here to explain all of that. Alternating nasal breathing, going out in nature. (I do this, it works), changing your diet to unprocessed Whole Foods. (Here’s a link to start changing your diet). I have changed my diet, to nothing processed. Nothing. Processed foods make me feel bad, and cause autoimmune flare ups for me.
In answer to this question: YES. ➡️What I’m wondering, is can trauma; be it physical, mental, emotional etc., cause damage, and exacerbate existing mental health issues, by causing small injuries to the vagus nerve. Obviously physical damage can do that.. car wreck, a fall. Can a person who has undiagnosed autoimmune, personality disorder, or any other mental health disorder become more symptomatic if the vegus nerve is damaged and goes undetected? Or are a lot of those caused from a damaged vegus nerve?
I’m probably overthinking it…but I’m going to do some research. I already know that people with the MTHFR polymorphism, can be affected by the bodies inability to absorb other nutrients, thus causing more issues. It can also lead to early onset Alzheimers. I’m just wondering how and IF it’s affected me and my diagnoses.
I’m trying to expand, and get to 1000 subs, followers, all of the things! Would you help me out? Please share, like, follow…Let’s see if I can do this by the end of the month! Thanks so much!! ✌️ Shassy
I’m making some changes to my website over the next few days. Revamping, etc. Please be patient with me. These last few days have been rough. Technical difficulties, ptsd symptoms, unidentified back problem. But the highlights have been taking my myself out in nature and just breathing. Yesterday I worked on a new electric fence […]
There are times when others only want to talk to us, or see us when we seem to fit into their lives.
Our society has conditioned our ever present brains to accept what is put in front of our faces, usually via an electronic device or screen. We post a smiling face, nice house, fancy car, when in reality a lot of our lives are filled with pain, dysfunction and calamity.
Suicide thoughts run rampant among those of us who have had to deal with a lifetime of trauma. Or any trauma. Whether it’s from combat, familial abuse, spousal abuse, or abuse from a stranger. Anything traumatic, that makes a person question their safety, whether it’s emotional, spiritual, mental or physical,WILL CHANGE YOU.
I don’t care what you say. It changes a person. Someone who has experience trauma, will not come out on the other side the same, and a lot of times, they don’t even recognize what’s happening, and have no idea how to deal with it. (Me).
This has been me for the majority of my life. Not knowing what’s wrong, wanting to “fix” it, not understanding why I made horrible choices and decisions, and stumbling through, hiding my pain and ignoring my own emotional well being, thinking that crying, or showing emotion, was considered a weakness.
This year has been a really good year of understanding, self discovery, setting boundaries, forgiveness, mixed in with a range of emotions including extreme anger, heartbreak and acceptance. It’s not a done deal, as life is about change, and since we (me, you) are still here, then the progression will continue.
How much should a person share? Where’s the boundaries? When does it become too much? Or not enough? A lot of people really don’t care when they ask “How ya doin’?” It’s a knee jerk reaction, and honestly, we as humans need to watch our words. I STILL have a hard time with that… thinking that everyone means what they say. They don’t. They are full of shit.
Not every person is an asshole, not every person INTENDS to not mean what they say. But there are people who just provide lip service; they say what they think you want to hear, and walk off. Stay away from those people.
AND, there are genuine, good humans, who say things, then life happens and they, for some reason out of their control, couldn’t follow through, or said something that came out wrong. I’ve done that myself.
We aren’t perfect. Our lives aren’t perfect. We wake up with morning breath, we don’t always shave our legs (haha), we get so depressed that we feel like we would be better off, not alive anymore, or can’t shower, eat, breathe without physical pain. If I posted the 90 bazillion other photos of how I really feel during the day, most days, I’d have someone calling for a welfare check.
I guess I want to normalize being REAL. No, we don’t need to share everything, no one needs to know how many shits you took today… (unless you are in the hospital, or work in the medical field… but that’s another post…lol).
Needing validation is a human necessity, in my opinion, but, it needs to be done in a healthy way, and not filled with falsified “look at my perfect life” Instagram photos, or creating the perfect reel, with the perfect children, skinny perfect wife and hot ripped husband. We need to support each other as humans, perfectly flawed and messed up.
Yes, keep yourself healthy, because we all know that batshit crazy person (people) who’s narcissistic abusive behavior will ruin you. Set your boundaries, and for the love of mud, do not let them move. Flexible, maybe, but have a hard line. That may sound like a bass-ackwards way to describe it, but 🤷🏻♀️.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. (I have crisis in my contacts). Don’t be ashamed of not being what society or people think you should be. It’s not their business.
Also, if you’re an asshole, keep being you boo…you’re not fooling anyone.