Badass Family Therapy

I’m in the middle of EMDR therapy and it’s hard.as.fuck.

My family is joining me in this therapy ride, whether they like (or know) it or not.

Cry Baby

Thoughts on therapy.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It’s often used to treat trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which I’ve had for over three years thanks to Rapegate.

This poop emoji raft really “gets” me. I want to float on it every Thursday after therapy.

PTSD doesn’t necessarily last forever – but it can linger. It’s just the fucking hardest thing to describe a disorder that is invisible. It’s like having a ghost live within you and it comes out to haunt your body where its housed anytime it motherfucking pleases. Just like no two rapes are the same, no two pregnancies are the same, no two diagnosis of PTSD are the same.

I need a tank that reads “Surprise! It’s PTSD!”

So, there are obviously different treatment approaches depending on the person, the therapist, the situation. I started with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Rationally, I knew it wasn’t my fault I was raped. But I could not help but feel that I let it happen to me. I was my own worst enemy, standing in the way of my recovery process due to my black and white thinking. I still wrestle with this after three years of therapy but CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. Coping mechanisms are put into place and for me, mine is – ‘would you talk to a friend like this?’ Fuck no I wouldn’t, so quit talking to yourself this way.

We can be our own worst enemy.  CBT helps anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.

Jazz hands also help.

Starting EMDR with my therapist, Superhero Sheila, I was told to think of a happy, relaxing, real life place. Somewhere I’ve experienced first hand, where I felt safe. It took me a minute but I thought about water. I thought about laughing. I thought about what I loved in my life. Maybe it’s the time of year, but my safe place is memories of time spent at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family every Fourth of July.

Family

Clan

We kinda had some fun there over the years.

From wapatoolies, to aqua bars, to tattoos, to boys against girls Trivial Pursuit games (pretty sure the chicks won more), I can envision this place and be at ease. Hearing the boat motors, my family’s belly laughing, smelling the lake water, my uncle ‘washing’ his hair in the lake (true Griswolds move right here), the relentless teasing, remembering my sister getting hit in the face with a can of Budweiser thrown from the boat to the water (ah, memories).

Aqua Bar

Aqua bar doubling as a life saving device.

Tattoo

Tattoo Ted performing his kind of adequate skills on Aunt Crazy Pants.

Winners!

Trivial Pursuit Chicks rule. Dudes drool.

The first thing for me to tackle in EMDR was the exit off of the interstate which leads to the house where I was raped. My ex friend’s house. I pass by that exit almost every day. And every.single.time I think, “oh, that leads to Ex Friend’s house where I was raped.” It doesn’t ruin my day. I don’t ruminate over it. But it’s a thought that pops in my head and can causes anxiety that sometimes spills into my daily life.

To tackle this, Superhero Sheila hands me a device with two knobs – one for each hand. They vibrate, alternating, then at the same time, then alternating, using both your right and left sides of the brain to re-train your thoughts.

“Close your eyes.”

“You’re driving on Interstate I40, coming up to the exit. You see it through the windshield.”

*feel pang in my stomach, think of safe place*

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks.

Party Chick

“You are getting closer to the exit, what are you feeling.”

*pang in belly, think of safe place*

Oh hello boozy party cove.

Party Girl

“Are you going to pass the exit or get off?”

*if I get off here now in my thoughts, it will take me to the place where I was raped…think of safe place*

Laughing with family.

Cousins

All day laughing with family.

The Griswolds

Family laughing all day with help from Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…and whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

“You are going to pass by the exit. What are you thinking?”

*why are there tears starting to roll down my face..stop it…think happy place*

Lake of the Ozark patio karaoke nights.

Mic Fight

With a microphone hog.

Karoake King

 “Are you OK? Do you want to keep going?”

*yes…even though a river of snot is now accompanying the stream of tears down my neck*

“Take a deep breath in. Take a deep breath out. Think of your safe place.”

After boating pool dunks while our moms fixed supper.

Dunk

“You’re now passing the exit. You’re past the exit. Take inventory of your body. Do you feel anxiety anywhere?”

*a small pang remains in my stomach but it doesn’t ache*

“How do you want to feel?”

*more tears, happy place, happy place*

Drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

*I want to stay afloat, I don’t want to cry, where’s the goddamned aqua bar when I need it*

Floater

 “Deep breath in, deep breath out. How do you want to feel – how do you see yourself?”

I see me cooling off with a refreshing beverage.

Beerpoo

“How do you see yourself?”

*I’m strong but I’m crying*

“You are not alone. Emotions don’t equate weakness. Feel them. Sit with them. Think about your happy place.”

Better together.

Muscles

*I feel strong. I feel like a badass. I am a badass*

“Know that this exit, this representation has a beginning, a middle and an end. You’re OK. How do you feel?”

*I feel…better…no dull ache in my body but what do I do when I drive by the exit…fucking christ, how will I feel then…*

“You will go to your secure place. You will use your coping tools. Now open your eyes. How do you feel?”

I feel safe. I feel happy.

Fam

Therapy of any kind is fucking hard. The interstate exit is the smallest of my issues that root in my Rapegate anxiety but, as with anything, sticking to it is a gigantic key to my recovery process. No matter how much I want to quit. No matter how many fucking tears I shed. No matter what. It’s my key to carrying on.

Here’s hoping you have a secure and favorable place to go in your mind, whenever you need.

Be your own badass – with as much help as you need. Thanks to my own version of the Griswolds family, I am…how bad can that be?!

Happy Fourth!

CBXB

CBXB!

Summer Shenanigans

When I heard the grand jury decided to drop my Rapegate case against The Rapist due to lack of evidence, I was bummed – maybe more numb – to say the least. This meant that it was truly over. The criminal portion anyway. Because whether I like it or not, the aftermath of this trauma is still something that I grapple with daily – and know that I always will. But instead of staying cemented where I was upon receiving this news (on my leopard couch, with Ted on my chest naturally) I inched ahead as life proves it stops for no one.

I got this.

After finding myself jobless at the beginning of the 2017, (nothing like being the most impatient person on the planet, waiting for an excruciatingly slow criminal system with nothing but free time on my hands!) I finally landed a new gig. Hey-oh!

Think they get me? More pink please!

A positive work environment is such a welcomed change from what I’ve experienced the past two years – a bully with too much power feasting on the misery of others and a washed up, drugged out psycho who failed to wear any undergarments to work for a boss. This job is a big score for me!

With the help of family and very close friends, I stayed afloat financially – paid my rent, my car note, fed my fur balls and made a much needed trip to Iowa to see family. Less than a year ago, the Dumb to My Dumber, Aunt Crazy Pants, was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer after going in for a hip issue.

Can you tell we’re related?

While it has proven a difficult road (as cancer is nothing short of a fucking motherfucker), her attitude and determination to maintain a semblance of her normal life has shown me strength like no other. We watched my Nashville Predators hockey team comethisclose to winning the Stanley Cup together.

Who doesn’t quilt while watching sports?

We even went out and about to grace her presence at the local Mexican restaurant where she is basically a celebrity after a round of treatment.

Three amigos.

Please keep Aunt Crazy Pants in your thoughts, as she’s now under hospice care in her own home. Although, she hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

Her best “Ouiser” impression from the movie, Steel Magnolias.

While back in the Hawkeye State, I also got to see the two peeps who never cease to put a smile on this face.

Princess B was going to frolic her way through her first dance recital and I put my heavily honed make-up skills to work, as her first go-round wasn’t quite the desired outcome.

Her method.

Our shared method.

 

Sheer perfection. And she fucking knows it.

Due to the sellout of the recital, Prince B and I stayed behind for a snuggle date after a little Star Wars walkie-talkie fun.

No Princess Leia here.

Snuggle monsters.

After the babes went down that evening, the adults got into cocktails and had our own recital, reliving dance moves from show choir past.

Sis still has the moves. Obvies.

Catching up with two of my Iowa gal pals it felt like I’d just seen them the week prior, when I hadn’t seen them in a few years. Isn’t that the best feeling?

Fresh start to the evening.

Guess which one of us has our shit together?

Margaritas with mom rounded out my trip before I headed back below the Mason Dixon Line.

In between trying to figure out my headset attached to my work phone…

You guys, seriously. How does Britney Spears do it?

…and lounging weekends away at the pool…

Bring Your Own Boxed Wine,

…the cat cuddling has been heavy-duty.

Spending the majority of the Fourth inside due to rain didn’t quash my celebratory spirit in the slightest.

Red, white and shoes!

With a little red, white and booze.

However, up in Iowa, the spirits weren’t as joyful.

The Nashville weather even cleared up enough for our small trio to head up to the pool, guzzle some cocktails, order a pizza and watch the largest display of fireworks in the nation from a distance.

Keeping it classy!

Back at it after a holiday, I still can’t figure my fucking headset out.

Being blonde is hard.

But it’s nothing a cocktail and a bubble bath can’t fix.

Cheers to the second half of summer!

CBXB

 

Griswold Family Style Fourth of July

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks…

Party Chick

…is a party girl from Tennessee.

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth…

Cousins

…to be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic…

Mic Fight

to sing karaoke.

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme!

Winners!

From new tattoos…

Tattoo

…to pool dunks…

Dunk

…with drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar…

Aqua Bar

…that prevents us from floating too far.

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family!

Family

Where at least I can be me.

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be.

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up…

Blow Hards

…next to me

Muscles

so I won’t cry and feel left out.

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan –

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

Here’s hoping your version of the Griswolds has a safe and booze filled 4th.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Red, Wine and Booze

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks

Party Chick

Is a party girl from Tennessee

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth

Cousins

To be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots

Jell-O

With whipped cream

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic

Mic Fight

To sing karaoke

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme

Winners!

From new tattoos

Tattoo

To pool dunks

Dunk

With drunken dancers around a hunk

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar

Aqua Bar

That prevents us from floating too far…

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family

Family

Where at least I can be me

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up

Blow Hards

Next to me

Muscles

So I won’t cry and feel left out

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Red, White and Booze

Dreary skies didn’t keep the fun out of the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Nashville.  The crew and I were going to have a fabulous time – even if we had to enlist in the party patrol.

Patriotic party patrol.

Patriotic party on patrol.

Not everyone was in the spirit of celebrating. Prince B wasn’t sure what to think of his new headpiece as he paraded around his kitchen in Iowa.

Serious Statue of Liberty.

Serious Statue of Liberty.

While the real life sculpture was sulky, there was zero hesitation on my part whether or not to fete the weekend – no matter how shitty the weather. It was still hot enough for a boat ride accompanied with a bag of wine for classy, cooling off shenanigans.

Wine not?

This can also be used as a pillow if a party goer needs to pass out.

Between the over consumption of vino and the precarious monsoon-like weather, I kept refreshed in the lovely I-don’t-care-why-it’s-brown-because-I’ve-had-too-much-to-drink colored lake.

Cool down in the cool rain.

Cocktails helped keep my composure in the non-crystal clear lake.

Princess B had a much better (smarter, cleaner, safer) way of keeping her body temp in check by slurping on a slice of watermelon.

Keeping cool with water melon.

Star spangled smartie.

Not to be outdone by my niece, I threw on a matching outfit but sipped on something a bit more my speed.

Choosing another route.

Bringing the best out for a holiday.

Dada CBXB double fisted to stars and stripes forever as he downed a very American meal of … chips and salsa.

Double fisting cool down.

Red, white and brew baby.

Meanwhile I was policing my two pussies as they tried to create their own fireworks all weekend by demanding to drink out of the same dish at the same time, acting as if they had their sights set on the last nine ounces of water left on the planet.

Double up cool down

Party patrol on high alert.

Here’s hoping you find your own way to keep the blistery summer heat at bay.

Might I suggest something with booze?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Star Spangled Shenanigans

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks

Party Chick

Is a party girl from Tennessee

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth

Cousins

To be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots

Jell-O

With whipped cream

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic

Mic Fight

To sing karaoke

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme

Winners!

From new tattoos

Tattoo

To pool dunks

Dunk

With drunken dancers around a hunk

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar

Aqua Bar

That prevents us from floating too far…

Floater

And I’m proud to be from my family

Family

Where at least I can be me

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up

Blow Hards

Next to me

Muscles

So I won’t cry and feel left out

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Prep for a Parade

Prepping for a parade in small town America is serious business.

A wave fit for an unclassy queen.

A wave fit for an unclassy queen.

First things first, you must start the day off on the right foot in order to be thinking clearly when decorating your parade chariot.

First

Breakfast of parade day champions.

Once you’re finished guzzling down breakfast, it’s time to pimp the parade rides.

Prep

Our parade committee working on finishing touches.

Gussied up golf cart

Gussied up golf cart.

It is important that you get gaudy as humanly possible in your finest parade threads.

Get as gaudy as humanly possible in your finest parade threads.

A parade queen and princess adorned in the finest plastic necklaces you can find in America.

Be sure your parade float is tuned up and ready to roll (even though you won’t be driving and are too busy drinking Bloody Marys).

1952 Triumph TR3

A 1952 Triumph TR3 acting as my parade chariot.

Under the hood.

Looking good under the hood.

A hot rod of a classic car can never, ever be driven without the appropriate hand ornaments.

We should have thrown Grey Poupon from the car instaed of candy.

With a driver like this, we should have thrown Grey Poupon instead of candy at parade gawkers.

Once the preparations are complete, check to make sure everyone is looking their holiday best.

Pops, CBXB and MMM ready to roll.

CBXB, Miami Mini Me and Pops ready to cruise.

If you happen to have more than one vehicle in the parade, be sure to scream and shout whenever you see them pass by.

Our other chariot.

Our other chariot.

Avoid the temptation of throwing out all of your candy at once by taking endless selfies.

Selfie 1,487 during a 10 street block parade. I have mad skills.

Selfie 1,487 during a 10 block parade. I know, I know. I have mad skills.

But don’t get too absorbed in selfies and forget to enjoy feeling like small town royalty while waving your patriotic scepter at parade bystanders.

This is how we roll.

This is how we roll.

Once the eight minute parade is over, your arm will ache from waving profusely at people who are wondering who in the hell you are, your hand will throb from throwing 32 pieces of candy you meant to aim at toddlers but accidentally threw it straight into the arms of bratty teenagers and you’ll need to drink another one of these STAT.

First

Parades are exhausting.

And while it may take many cocktails to help unwind from the exciting festivities, you’ll find satisfaction knowing the parade could not have been the same without you and your crew.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!