Going Mental

Sometimes we become experts in subject matter in which we never wished to be associated.

Sexual Assault Center of Nashville

For me, the aftermath of Rapegate is one that I will grapple with daily for the rest of my life.

Not necessarily in re-living the rape itself but the triggers, the daily reminders due to dealing with PTSD, chronic fatigue, severe stress, anxiety, nerves, handfuls of pills that I now take that have side effects of brain fog (which coupled with blonde brain is a triple shit show), dizziness (like I needed any more help being a fucking klutz), and weight gain (oh the welcomed happiness of gaining 40 lbs – mostly in my belly because of cortisol levels being out-of-whack) and therapy.

That is a perk of Rapegate that will surely have me in weekly sessions forever.

My Therapy Thursday saving grace.

There’s stigma in being a victim of rape – especially within victims themselves. The embarrassment, shame, feeling dirty, like somehow it’s your fault.

Did I deserve it? Why did I “allow” it to happen? It’s all my fault, right?

The questions from others. What were you wearing? Had you been drinking? Why didn’t you scream? And so on, don’t help even though they may come from well-meaning places. The questions above were all asked of me by the Nashville Sex Crimes Detective after my body was violated by a man’s dick. You know, what if a Kim Kardashian sized diamond ring (one can wish) had been stolen off of my finger? Would any of those questions suffice in an investigation? Hell no.

Take my coffee mug advice.

But then here we are. I am a walking, talking, rape stereotype. I wasn’t believed by those closest to the case. My detective said it was a he said/she said since the Shane the Rapist said it was consensual sex and his girlfriend of five weeks – my now ex-best friend, backed his play.

That’s a super neat feeling of betrayal beyond words.

In between being raped and the year and a half it took to close the case, where Shane the Rapist walks freely out and about, it would be insane not to think someone might go insane.

And, I have absolutely, 100% felt the self wrath, the aftermath, the internal tornado, the tsunami of emotions that surge whenever the fuck they feel like it and eruption of tears, hotly flowing down my face, onto my chin, into my shirt (accompanied with a river of snot and lemme tell ya, it’s a doozie of a look).

I’m known for being a beautiful bawler.

And killing boxes of tissues in one cryfest.

It’s improbable that someone can experience any kind of trauma or loss (death, divorce, career, disease, disorder, assault, etc) without consequence to them (I had the pleasure of experiencing all of the above examples in the two years since rape – so yeah, I’m a tad done with being overburdened by grief and loss).

The best face I can muster some days.

For me, this is where my once stable strength of fuck off confidence got lost in the swirl of circling the drain.

The emotional, mental, and physical tolls sometime feel beyond debilitating. Combine that with life – which most certainly goes on around you – and it can make the most mundane tasks like making your bed seem like winning an Olympic gold medal if you ever get around to completing the job.

I made my bed. Where’s my accolades?

And the usual worries of life are still abound while grappling with sometimes crippling days. Money worries. Hoping your car doesn’t crap out on your worries. Can my cell phone hang on for another year? Are my friends and family OK? Am I paying enough attention to them? Do they think I’m ignoring them? See how this shit can snowball?

Avalanche

Now more than ever, I feel it’s important to speak up if you can about what can sometimes seem like taboo subjects. I was raped. Think that’s fun topic to bring up to new people? “Oh hi, my name is Captain, I’ll have a Skinny Pirate please, I was raped, how are you?” Of course this doesn’t come up immediately but still, I talk about Rapegate, and if we’re gonna be friends, it’s gonna come out.

Did I scare you off?

Taboo also is this fucking stigma that comes along with mental illnesses. I have PTSD (among a myriad of other lovely conditions). When I was looking for a new job after Rapegate, I had to put down on applications whether or not I had PTSD. Now it’s considered a disability. So, OK it’s a disability. I’m dealing with it the best that I can but do I need to reveal that to a potential employer? Yes, I have had panic attacks silently at work in bathroom stalls and in my car but I’m still showing up and doing my job (although my panic attacks always end with me throwing up, so that’s fun to do out of my car window while attempting not to get vomit on my work attire).

Thankfully the situation of Louis acting as my vomit trashcan has not yet taken place.

And some days are dark. Like calm before storm, clouds rolling in, so quiet it may just drive you mad blackout dark. I think about the recent passing of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom reportedly took their own lives within two days of one another. Both had loved ones, both were celebrated among their professional communities, both had achieved success in different fashions and both had children. So much to leave behind.

But can you even imagine the pain they must have been in to think that their only way out was to “unburden” those around them? That’s really scary to me. Because I often feel like a burden to my family and close friends. Over the past five years, I’ve experienced loss and grief and change beyond my imagination and while I am learning to cope in therapy, I still feel like I’m so needy. “Can I borrow $20 until payday (while swallowing pride for 1,976,000 time)? I can’t go out because I am on a spending freeze (you know those handfuls of pills and doctor follow-ups aren’t free. I’m beyond lucky to have health insurance with co-pays). I just had a panic attack, so I’m going to have to miss your birthday celebration. I am going to stay in because I can’t fathom the thought of getting out of bed.” Mostly, I keep these emotions to myself but I still feel like one motherfucker of a burden.

I. just. can’t.

It’s easy for people to say that suicide is selfish. I can see why one would say that but if you haven’t ever grappled with your own dark demons that sometimes you push deep down inside of you, or think they’re gone, only to have them pop up and taunt you over and over and over again – it’s not easy. I’ve never experienced substance abuse but I can easily see how that would have an even bigger impact on one’s state-of-mind. Mental issues are sometimes a lonely, isolating experience of despair.

How others see me.                                           How I feel inside.

My darkest times since Rapegate (and everything else that has occurred in between), have never eluded me to think about ending my life. However, have I been in a place where I wished my eyes wouldn’t open in the morning because it seemed easier than fighting the anguish of deep depression? Yep. Has my chest been so heavy that I thought my heart was going to burst out of it Indiana Jones style because it could bear no more loss or grief, physically hurting? Fuck yes. Do I hit my snooze button 3,719,003 times in the morning (even though I have been up for three hours already) because the thought of putting makeup on and gussying up for work and putting on a “happy” face seems like too much to bear. Damn skippy.

Hi there. I’m getting pretty fucking sick of these feelings popping up whenever they fucking feel like it. Byeee.

That all being said, it’s not uncommon for someone to have these types of thoughts once or more in their lifetime. Some people do shoot sunshine out of their assholes (fuck, until three years ago, I was one of them) but more often than not, it’s a combination of rain, sun, sleet and hail as we trudge through life. On top of all this, I’ve constantly seen the suicide hotline phone number everywhere. You know that is fucking great, but you know what’s hard? Reaching out when you need help. And let me say this – if you offer to help someone in any way and they reach out, for the love of God, do NOT shut them down. It’s already exceedingly hard to admit you need help.

So if you see someone, know someone, sense something’s off and can have a conversation or need advice, you, too can call this hotline for another person. I’ve done it.

You know what you can also do? Tend to them the best way you know how – if they are typically social, try to get them out of the house. If they aren’t up to it, stay in and binge watch some TV. Or go on a walk. Just don’t ignore them. Don’t give up on them. Don’t stop inviting them places because they always say no. Be persistant.

You can also help by researching options with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I have friends who would greatly benefit from therapy but haven’t been able to find the correct place. I’ve called this number before, searching for answers when someone was in need. In the research I have done around Nashville, there are places that offer sliding scaled payments for those who don’t have insurance, or whose insurance doesn’t cover mental health (so fucked up). However, like in many other situations, the persons who need the help must be willing to go for themselves, not for anyone else. So if they refuse or keep handing you excuses, just do your best to listen.

My mental journey in the aftermath of Rapegate has been eye-opening. I’m so self deprecating to the point of starring in my own version of Mean Girls in my head some days.

Regina George, get the fuck outta my head.

However, I luckily have a solid circle of support. A very large sparkly army that isn’t confined to face-to-face relationships. My circle has expanded as I’ve talked about my struggles. The support system I have now extends from Nashville, to Iowa, to California, to England, to Italy, to Australia…and more. The “checking on you” voicemails, direct messages through social media, “thinking of you texts” to words of encouragement in my comment section, random gifts showing up in my mailbox, snail mailed letters, a cashier’s check just because…Every word, every action, matters.

This is what you do for me.

Please remember that as you move forward with your days. Those struggling the most are sometimes people who you’d least expect. One smile can go miles – and it’s a universal language (as fucking cheesy as that sounds). A small compliment can turn a day around. An out of the blue “how are you” text can save a major cry session. Check on each other. Love on each other. Hug on each other.

Unless of course it’s the person who raped you, in which he’ll get a throat punch at the very least. See, I’m still a bad ass motherfucker when I wanna be.

Obviously.

Be fucking kind.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Cinco de Drinko

How can you cram in the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo AND a Nashville Predators hockey play-off game all in one day?

Piece of cake for this liver of mine.

Oh how the anticipation of a Friday feels so good. A long week of work and an even longer week of insane non-fake news calls for a pit stop at my fave watering hole, Dalts.

Skinny Pirates for celebration and consoling.

There was something ultra empowering for victims of sexual assault this week, as America’s former favorite TV dad was found guilty in court for his heinous acts. As he fucking should have been in the first place after nearly five dozen women came forward and spoke out – and keep in mind these are his victims that chose to speak up. Think about the countless others who remain silent for their own reasons. I can’t wait for this man to rot the rest of his life away.

EPIC WIN FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

On the far end of the negative spectrum, my home state, Iowa, that has always been my pride and joy, took women’s rights back about 50 years. BY THE FEMALE GOVERNOR. Now, I don’t care where you stand on abortion – however, this new legislation prevents abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. SIX WEEKS. Most of my friends who have had children, didn’t know they were pregnant until well after this point. Even if a child is molested and becomes pregnant, or a pregnancy occurs because of rape, the victims only have 45 days to speak up before they must keep the baby. FUCK THAT SHIT.

I mean, if the government truly thinks humans were put on this Earth to procreate, men shouldn’t be able to masturbate to fruition because, the sperm ejaculated could have produced a baby, right?

EPIC FAIL IOWA

All that being said, Dalts was happy to see Camo and Captain doing our drinking thang.

Camo with crazy runaway bride eyes – you guys remember her?

While I was sipping on Skinny Pirates, awaiting Mama CBXB’s arrival to Nashville, my Iowa twins were enjoying the simple treats in life…baseball and ice cream.

While I had my mini sombrero laid out for Cinco de Meowy, I had major tugging at my heartstrings when this popped up in my Facebook feed.

I have a love/hate relationship with these goddamn Facebook memories.

While I was a tad teary eyed Saturday, the twins were all giggle and games in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Princess B didn’t let dizziness deter her.

 

Prince B was a bit further from the tail…

 

I tried gussying up with a new product for the celebratory holiday – magnetic false eye lashes. It went about how you’d expect with me.

 

False eyelash-less, I hosted a small party for my NHL Stanley Cup hopeful Nashville Predators. Bird Lady, First Mate, Mama CBXB and yours truly partied regardless of the dismal performance by the Preds. They ended up losing at home 6-2…but the drinkos kept being poured anyhow.

Derby Success.
Cinco de Drinko Success.
Predators FAIL.

A gorgeous Sunday was made for a fun day of errands. Specifically to my second mothership, where I picked up a cat tree fit for my four pussies. Mama CBXB gifted it to her grandcats as a late Christmas gift.

Cray Cray Cat Lady version of Sunday Funday.

I was a usual shit show carrying it to the car, adorning the dumpster wedding veil I keep in my trunk “just in case,” to load the tower into my vehicle. I mean, I didn’t want to crush it, so I put it on.

Who doesn’t do this?

After clearing a little room for plants, we picked up a few flowers to help my black thumbs (I killed a cactus this winter) morph more toward green. Upon arriving home, the pussies couldn’t decide whether to climb on the cat nip loaded tower or eat all of the greenery and throw up.

Decisions. Decisions.

Fabio declaring his space.

Ruby Sue nestled right in.

Rocky couldn’t be bothered to try either, as he was near comatose on the bed.

Fine here, thanks.

Elsa Pants, aka Stank Face, bucked the trend and went for the plants.

…she owns this title.

I can’t wait to see what she’s left for me after work today.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

Say Yes to the Dumpster Dress

There is zero shame in my game.

While holy matrimony has never been high on my list of hopeful accomplishments (although I can train the fuck out of a man. Ex-boyfriends that were once couch potatoes, allergic to family encounters, bitched about having to go to out-of-town weddings, were closeted alcoholics, verbally abusive – all matters leading to break ups are now treating ladies right. Now I get to sit back and watch my masterpieces practice my long, hard efforts in their current love lives. Bitter much…who moi? You’re welcome girls).

Whipping male asses into shape for fellow females.

Often classifying myself as trashtacular, it will come as no surprise that when I was driving by one of the many dumpsters near my mini manse, my interest was beyond piqued when I spied a gigantic white box big enough to store body parts beside the filthy green trash receptacle.

I did what any classy person would do…I slammed on the brakes, leapt out of my rust bucket, just knowing that the headless corpse I was about to discover would land me on my fave TV show, Forensic Files without having to be deceased.

Instead, as I slowly opened the box, an even bigger surprise awaited my eyeballs.

A fucking wedding gown. Preserved to perfection.

Was this a sign? An omen? Bad juju (I mean Jesus, is there any luck in finding a wedding dress dumpster diving? I mean, aside from it being free and all). I suddenly became a woman more excited about a wedding dress than finding a stray pussy that needs a home (JUST KIDDING. I would first home the cat and then set my sights on my pretend wedding).

This dress had been abandoned once before. Who was I to do it again? The chiffon pouf found a home in the back of my rust bucket, along with a Christmas tree and anything else I don’t have room for in the mini manse. It resided there until one evening at a gathering of gals for Supper Club. Among the convo, I mentioned my dumpster diving prowess skills and with zero urging, ran out to my car and got the box.

The shenanigans began.

Upon opening the box, we not only discovered there was the dress but also the veil AND THE SHOES – which revealed the previous owner’s practicality, as they were ballet flats. Ew.

My new favorite bad hair day ‘do.

Suddenly, I became a flushed bride trying to stuff myself into polyester chiffon (I mean, I didn’t go on a wedding dress diet because I didn’t know I would be so fortunate to be all dressed up…with no altar to go).

I haven’t tried to stuff myself into anything chiffon since, well, ever. I mean, naturally my prom dresses were sequins and any bridesmaid dress that I will “totally wear again” (and never, ever have) were more on the silk/satin side of the material world.

With a touch of fake tulips off my gal pal’s mantel, I was a (literally) hot bride – one lit cigarette butt from going up in flames.

While half of the group was trying to get me in and out of the dress, the other ladies were playing private detectives. We had a name from the alteration receipt, which was from a dress shop in Hoover, AL. WHAT WAS THE STORY BEHIND THIS DRESS?

I mean, if it was cheating, wouldn’t one burn the dress? A nasty divorce, even, maybe donate the dress? But to leave it unscathed at the dumpster really proved that this former bride had a sliver of regard for the giddy-up that once promised her forever, which may now be my forever. But whatever.

With the small paper trail and armed with her maiden name, our investigators were able to peruse social media, locate her, see second wedding photos (with a far more updated gown) and we all now know she lives three buildings down from me. Maybe we should all quit our jobs and become private detectives?

Lost but found.

OR maybe I will just quit my day job, go down to Broadway Street in Nashville in my new threads and pretend I got left at the altar for sympathy and free Skinny Pirates.

OR better yet, I can be the runaway bride and charge tourists (who pay for any and everything) $5 for a picture with this damsel in distress.

OR do I plan a wedding to myself for myself and register for all the things like Louis Vuitton bags, Christian Louboutin heels, a Go Fund Me account for vet bills, and a collection for a new car (i.e. Range Rover)?

OR do I wear this on every second date I go on?

While I have yet to ever online date, this for sure will be a profile picture if I ever do. Accompanied with one single tag line:

Must love cats.

I betcha they’ll be lining up to say, “I don’t,” even if I’m not looking for anything but casual.

Regardless, I can’t stop wearing the fucking veil.

Don’t mind me. Just a crazy lady parading around in a stranger’s veil.

Here comes the bride…to the nearest dumpster near you.

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Bitch Since Birth

Oh, the joys of having a birthday fall on a weekend.

Not hating my day of birth.

I got to do a whole lot of nothing (aka snuggling with pussies on dreary, rainy Friday night and Saturday), squeezed in some gal time with an at-home impromptu cocktail party (where a handle of Captain was drained by Skinny Pirate consumption) and the sprinkles on top of the weekend were the bottomless mimosas I was treated to on Sunday.

Skinny Pirate #1.

After some basketball watching, Skinny Pirates and pie hole stuffing on Friday night, I was beyond elated when I woke up Saturday, realizing I slept 10 consecutive hours. Ten hours people! While this may seem like an overindulgent feat, I haven’t slept more than four hours at a time since Rapegate happened in early 2016. The lack of consistent sleep has only added negatively to my already challenging, stereotypical “blondeness”.

Feeling and looking like a million dollars, I hustled to the fridge and busted out the birthday cake Sister CBXB made while she was here. Then I promptly returned to bed to consume.

Because why the fuck not?!

Theses two demanded a lick.

I got sucked into the footage from the March For Our Lives coverage and holy shit. These fucking kids…I can’t even. My heart was aching while also bursting with pride at the firsthand accounts of honesty regarding an epidemic that knows no class, demographic, race or political affiliation. Gun reform isn’t a republican or democrat problem. It’s an American problem. It’s an issue that these kids who were born after 9/11 and Columbine have faced their entire lives – at schools, churches, movie theaters, concerts and many others face in urban communities daily. How fucked up is that?

I am hopeful that the rally cries this generation is making turns into meaningful legislation with compassion to act because thoughts and prayers aren’t, haven’t and don’t work as we have all witnessed. Realizing it’s encroaching on Second Amendment rights, how does a government limit rights stated in the Constitution and yet, the most basic human right is life itself? Is there truly a reason to have weapons of war in the hands of civilians? The government tells me to wear my seat belt and abide by speed limits (which I mostly do). I must take my fucking shoes off at the airport and walk on ever germy floors because of one shoe bombing incident.

This 11 year old girl spoke more eloquently than most adults I know.

My favorite quote from a Parkland survivor, “We cannot keep America great if we can’t keep America safe.” I love that these kids are fearless in their relentlessness to call bullshit. BRAVO. I stand with you.

Fucking truth.

I was happy to see that even in my home state of Iowa, they were marching even though it was dumping snow on them.

Speaking of Iowa, you know who was cooped up inside after ten inches of snowfall? My twins, who were going to decorate Easter eggs but ended up eating them instead.

Rainy Saturday night rolled around and my gal pal Rasta came over and delivered a very spot on gift.

We can’t wait to wear them to the pool this summer.

Sunday, I lolligagged in the bed just long enough before slipping into my bday giddy up.

I opened up gifts from bed, too….because why not?!

As for my giddy up, it was nothing but class, as always.

BITCH SINCE BIRTH

And, what outfit of mine would be complete without a pair of whore in church heels?

Dada CBXB was one lucky dude, accompanied by five gorgeous gals to brunch.

Practicing our drink counting in prep for football season.

We enjoyed bottomless mimosas, food and for me….

Mimosas.

Presents I obviously hated.

And more mimosas.

I was spoiled beyond but there are no complaints from this chick who got to laugh her ass off with some of the best folks in the world.

Bird Lady and Rasta took me to my fave honky tonk, Robert’s Western World to cap off my day.

Birthday Bliss!

I don’t think we made a scene at all.

Monday morning came waaaaaay too quickly, but it was well worth it.

Cat ass. My morning wake up call.

I’m so lucky to have you guys in my life. Thanks for knowing how to make a lady feel like a queen with all the kind well wishes, messages, cards and calls.

Until next year!

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

How to Beat the Birthday Alternative

Getting ready to start another 365 fresh days, looking back on birthdays of yesteryear has been bittersweet. I’ve lost (and found!) the “celebrate everyday” mantra that I was so used to pre-Rapegate, coupled with the loss of relationships, deaths and general life changes that have been no control of mine.

YOU WILL CELEBRATE. AND YOU WILL FUCKING LOVE IT.

However, peering back over my shoulder now, there are extremely important lessons that I adhere to even today, as I prepare to celebrate another year of fabulous fun.

Huff. Puff. and Blow.

Huff. Puff. Blow.

Still at it.

Thank God I have candle blowing help now.

1) Always take a peek in a mirror before a photo is snapped, forever capturing the loveliness of you on your special day or you may end up with something like this….

My most gorgeous birthday photo ever.

Hello Gorgeous.

Relax already.

Seriously. Stare in the mirror and give a rat’s ass or you’ll be gazing at your lovely self in something as beautiful as a crocheted vest for years to come.

Crochet nightmare

Fashion at its finest accessorized with wispy bangs.

Celebrate

Own advice not taken. Clearly.

2) Upon receiving presents, always act like you’ve just received the best.gift.ever. Even if you have no clue what it is or have no intention of ever wearing/using/displaying/eating/drinking.

Always act surprised.

Holy shit! I love it! No, truly I do.

3) Hold up fingers to commemorate which age you were celebrating, as these photos will end up in albums and you won’t always remember what outfit you wore which year (side note: how hilarious is it that I have a shirt on that says First Mate, First Mate?).

Insist

I’m this many today.

Even if you’re not quite sure how old you are, own whatever you are saying which will demand more attention on you.

Even

If I say I’m two and a half, I AM TWO AND A HALF, ya dig?

When you’re out of fingers on both hands, just count drinks.

Three times….infinity?

4) Cake matters. Choose your design wisely.

Scoobs.

Everyone wants a piece of Scooby.

Then insist someone hand feed it to you.

Keepin' it classy. As usual.

Keepin’ it classy. As usual.

Just be careful if your cake starts on fire due to the copious amount of candles.

5) Practice your ‘birthday face’ so you can look adorable in all photos.

Mug for the camera.

Oh who me? Why yes it is my birthday. I’ll just hold this pose for the rest of the day.

Camera!

Adorableness fail.

Oh hi, just an adorable Mexican giddy-up for a girl who can’t keep her eyes open.

6) Be sure to have a themed party. Even if it involves you looking like an ass clown.

theme

Send in the clowns.

Even if no one shows up, you still look like you got it going on.

7) Dance, jump and twirl to your heart’s content, acting as if you have one ounce of rhythm somewhere in your being.

PARTY!

Shake, rattle and rollin’ expected.

Dance

High kicks accepted.

Head banging also accepted.

Head banging also welcomed but you’ll regret it in the morning. Trust me.

8) Noisy favors are a must. Especially if party goers are under the age of six.

Blow it out.

Blow out birthday party.

It’ll wear them out and force them to be couch potatoes.

Overcrowded couch? What’s better than that?

9) Always go with the celebratory flow.

Go with the flow

Balloons in my hair? Sounds like a good birthday look.

Or at least let someone catch you when the flow gets to be too much for you to stand on your own.

Hey-oh!

Hey-oh!

10) Don’t ever turn away a birthday kiss, no matter how much you think it may hurt your face.

Scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Always low maintenance.

Always being low maintenance, scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Shave already!

Presh loves to French kiss. Don’t judge.

11) Even if you share the same birthday with a cousin (gentleman to my left in photo below with thrilled look on his face) be sure you try to be the star of the show anyhow.

Sharing

Sorry. Not sorry B. Happy Birthday by the way!

12) Never, ever, ever, ever turn down a birthday shot. Ever.

Why thank you

Birthdays taste so good.

13) Enjoy the fuck out of the loved ones who surround you for celebration because you never know when it’ll be the last time.

Teddy B and me.

Crazy and Aunt Crazy Pants.

This year, I’ll be drinking to the wise words my Gma always told me as I bitched about growing another year older, “having another birthday sure beats the alternative.”

She was one smart lady.

I’ll drink to that!

No matter how hard I have to huff, puff and blow on my candles.

Cheers to your birthdays of yesteryear – as well as a year full of the happiest of birthdays for all of us and those we hold dear!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

It’s All in the ‘Tude

Attitudes are the shit and I burst onto this planet with one in tow. I was born with the confident “I can do anything” stance somehow and my folks continued to nurture that temperament as I grew up. The only thing they cautioned me on was to not get married until I was at least 25 (they may be wishing they’d sung a different tune as I’m a candle lovin’ lady with four pussies, a chug and would now be considered an ‘old maid’ in a different era).  Before Rapegate, there was never an issue with me adjusting my attitude – being able to kick my own ass back into shape as needed.

Lately I’ve been exceedingly inundated with cheerful “I’m thankful for…” countdowns, “reasons for merriment,” and “I resolve to…” positive posts on social media. Going into the holiday season, I struggled to gear up for anything festive – and I hated my attitude. As some of us were excited to be knee deep in gravy for a solid two months, I was hoping this holiday season didn’t linger as long as my 21st birthday hangover.

I may or may not have drunk dialed my boyfriend’s mother at 3am. She answered.

Thing is, I never thought I would fall into latter category, as typically on America’s birthday, I’m salivating like Dracula does over a neck – thisclose to getting my Halloween décor out on the fifth of July. But mentally for the past two years, it’s been a monstrous war inside of my skull, emotions swinging back and forth more extremely than POTUS’s hourly tweets. Not just regarding holiday cheer but being cheery about life in general. Oh Rapegate, thank you for PTSD, adjustment disorder, severe stress, insomnia, panic attacks and all of the insecurities I gained at your reckoning.

Previous multi-seasonal head cheerleader.

In my experience, PTSD (can go fuck itself) is exhausting – not only mentally but physically as well. I’m constantly on edge, have nightmares, difficulty staying asleep, experience major loss of interest in activities I used to love the fuck out of and feel ultra-guilty about “letting” myself be raped (how fucked up is that feeling?). Accompanying these symptoms are feelings of alienation and self-inflicted detachment from friends, family and my old self. Problem is, I’m having trouble kicking my own attitude back into shape and I loathe being out of control of my emotions (so you can imagine how comfortable the last 23 months have been for me).

I think I’ll just stay in bed and wallow.

With mental issues, one can rationally know how lucky they are (or know what happened to them isn’t their fault)– no matter what bad shit has happened to them – or people they love. With this being the first holiday season without Aunt Crazy Pants and the fur ball love of my life, Ted, grief has also been a constant companion even though there are crazy fun memories of hilarity, hijinks, pee-your-pants fun to fall back on. The heaviness of grief crashes like tsunami waves, compounding the sense of loss I carry with me daily due to my personal trauma. I can almost feel my heart hardening at times.

Miss you something crazy.

Miss you something terrible.

Thing is, it super sucks because I missed my old holiday pukes all over the place self (and I mean all over – the mini manse, my office, fucking reindeer antlers on my car, Christmas underwear, socks, sweaters (that others might wear to an ugly sweater Christmas party I wear on the December regular), adorning Santa hats like they’re simply a part of my noggin, blasting holiday  music from my car like I’m Santa himself, watching fa-la-la-la-la Lifetime movies that are so full of cheesiness, I want to kick my own ass for loving them).

Christmas Gaudy Queen of yesteryears.

In therapy, I’m tits high into the thick of processing the act – the moment of my rape and my feelings (ew) – while also constantly reminded, triggered, (whatever you wish to call it), daily by the super cool humans who apparently never learned fucking body basics in kindergarten. Thursday afternoons I see my own personal super hero, Sheila, and as she guides me toward a semblance of my old self, sessions almost always leave me with an emotional hangover that can last days. The mental, emotional and physical fatigue I fight daily, barely leaves me any energy to gussy up for work, so the thought of getting in any kind of holiday spirit was simply draining.

I woke up like this. And just want to go to work like this.

But I’m at a point where I must ban myself from a weekend full of bed lingering when I’m not trying to be social (stepping out of my mini manse and Dalts bubble little by little). I forced myself to get Halloween decorations out to the max because I hadn’t for two years. The fucking nerve of me.

There’s a glimpse of my old holiday mistress.

So, too, it is time to get in the motherfucking thankful, celebrate everything, CBXB spirit again YEAR-ROUND. Period.

When Dada CBXB and I were watching the Iowa Hawkeyes win their first bowl game in four years (yeehaw!) and he suggested I keep my Christmas tree up a little longer because it looked so pretty. (Side note – my buddy Camo insisted that I put my worldly pink, sparkly possession up and almost forced the ornaments on the fucking thing himself – and I’m glad he did).

Once the goddamn thing was up, I couldn’t help but be excited about turning the lights on when I got home from work. I also raced home every evening to see if anyone from my pussy posse knocked the pink tinseled delight over (remained in tact all season) being that this was their first experience with an actual Christmas tree. Turns out, they just like to sit underneath it and stare up at the lights, much like their mother.

Hello Gorgeous.

Speaking of moms, mine suggested that if I still had mine up, I should decorate it with Valentine’s attire. And just like that – I had an Oprah AHA! moment.

If I kept my tree up all year round would that make me:

  • a) Festive
    b) Red neck
    c) White trash
    d) Crazy as fuck
    e)All the above

Guess what my answer is?

  • f) I don’t give a fuck

So, there you have it. I’m keeping my tree up all 2018 in celebration of celebrating.

Getting my ass back into the habit of loving everything about any little out-of-the ordinary thing of the day/week/month/year. If you visit the mini manse, best bring me something to hang on the pink tinsel (yes, mini bottles of Captain Morgan count).

I have a sparkly army – and if you’re reading, you’re a part of it – who has done nothing but encourage me every step of the goddamn way. Via comments. Messages. Snail mail. Phone calls.

Just minor digit change from last year.

I rang in the new year with reminders that I’m facing nothing alone sent to me from all over the world – here’s a sample of my faves:

I even wore armour sent by HJ and CC by way of Denver, CO (and no I wasn’t tipped and yes I was pissed no one tried all night).

Onward Buttercup There’s Fuckery to Spread

Attitude for gratitude, my friends. I have nothing but it for you.

Join me in being fierce as fuck in 2018.

Cheers.

Rapegate Therapy Fun

One of the perks of Rapegate is I’ve gained a superhero named Sheila that I see every Thursday. As a matter of fact, Thursdays are now just referred to as Sheila Day in my world. She’s been my therapist since the saga of this soap opera turned shit show of my life began January 29, 2016.

The non-perks of Rapegate have been the PTSD, severe stress, adjustment disorder, insomnia and borderline clinical depression. BUT this gal is keeping me in check weekly and slowly putting my broken ass back together.

Sheila Day begins with carefully crafted armor, to assess the correct attitude.

Yes, the sunglasses help.

Yes, I need hand lotion suggestions.

Watches from Gma and Aunt Crazy Pants keep me company every Sheila Day.

And I love that my friends take notice, in keeping up with my struggles.

Thanks DC. I heart you.

 

I always leave Sheila a little more than shredded emotionally, mentally and sometimes even physically (examples: throwing up in my car after a particularly brutal session, stomach aches that cause me to shit my pants and in the rare case, full on panic attacks). PTSD is a real fucking humdinger. Thank you Rapist.

Some times I need complete alone time to cry in my closet after Sheila Day. Other times, I need companionship that First Mate was happy to supply last night.

After therapy therapy.

One thing that always happens after therapy is the inability to get an appropriate night’s beauty sleep.

Well hello 3am.

Naturally, I wake up more beautiful and less aged than the night before.

Just kidding.

Due to the lack of seeing the inside of my eyelids for more than two hours requires copious amounts of coffee that I loathe all hours of the day. Then, my emotional hangover for the weekend kicks in.

Sometimes coffee turns into…

But it’s nothing the pink stuff can’t cure.

Shots straight from the bottle.

So, as my leg is bouncing to the ceiling here in Nashville today, you can bet your ass I’ll be doing a little relaxing later on.

Coping mechanisms.

Here’s hoping your FriYAYs are more fun than mine. Throw back an extra Skinny Pirate for me, pretty please.

Cheers!

CBXB