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!

 

Make Me Love Me

I have loved hot yoga for years – I always called it my natural Xanax because all I could concentrate on during class were the poses and postures – and nothing else (well, except for that pesky under arm fat/boob located in my armpit that won’t go away no matter what the fuck I do that I can’t stop staring at in the mirrors).

Sweat Now. Wine Later.

As the day of celebrating love is upon us, lightning struck a few days ago as I was in my very last pose of hot yoga class – savasana (for those non-yoga peeps, it’s when you lie on your back completely still and reap the benefits of your workout). The lights are dim, the instructor typically is silent as a song plays and you are relaxing/internalizing the ah-mah-zing shit you just did/thinking about the wine you’ll have after class (well, at least I am).

Worth the sweat.

Thing is, it took almost a solid two years to regularly get back on my beloved mat after Rapegate because I couldn’t be alone with my thoughts. I’ve recently been going at least three times a week since the new year and been proud of myself, getting back in my sweaty groove in a room heated to 100 degrees. However, the most fun thing about being triggered by trauma is you never know when the fuck it’s going to come out of the clear blue and smack you in the face. Or gut. Or heart. Or the motherfucking trifecta.

That night in savasana, as I settled in for my thoughts on snuggling with my pussies and Precious the chug while guzzling wine, Bonnie Raitt’s insane voice came quietly through the speakers singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

All I wanted to think about…

While I have heard this song no less than 5,872,012 times, it punched me in the heart. HARD. And I started ugly crying as quietly as one can while trying to act like I was just seriously out of breath. THANK GAWD the lights were off, and we sweat our asses off, so no one could see tears rushing down my red-hot cheeks.

Why though? It’s a stupid fucking love song that is about pining for something you can’t have with another. Except in this case, it was me realizing I haven’t been able to make me love me since being raped. The lyrics hit me faster than I can down a Skinny Pirate. And my thoughts followed the words…

“Turn down the lights”

  • It won’t matter because I won’t sleep anyway

“Turn down the bed”

  • I didn’t have the energy to make it this morning (and I love a made bed)

“Turn down these voices inside my head”

  • “You didn’t scream.” “Did you finish?” “You should have said no.” The voices won’t go away

“Lay down with me”

  • I can’t get vulnerable with myself

“Tell me no lies”

  • If I don’t lie, there’s nothing good to tell

“Just hold me close, don’t patronize”

  • In the fetal position permanently

“Don’t patronize me”

  • I can’t stop condescending myself

“Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t”

  • You’re broken. Damaged goods. Carry permanent baggage.

“You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t”

  • My heart is numb

“Here in the dark, in these final hours”

  • If only I could get hours of sleep

“I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power”

  • Self loathing is beyond power

“But you won’t, no you won’t”

  • I won’t, I don’t

“Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”

  • You’re broken. Damaged goods. Permanent baggage.

This could get ugly.

Jesus tap dancing Christ. I was a puddle. Here I’d thought I’d come soooooooo far. But in reality, I’ve been having a seriously hard time liking, let alone loving myself over the last 746 days (I mean, washing my hair is still hard – and I love my hair. So I resort to wearing it in a bun on an almost daily basis).

Wake up. Put up. Repeat.

Until friends force me to wash it.

If you knew me pre-Rapegate, self-esteem, confidence and the ability to ignore negative background noise aimed at me from others was ingrained in my personality. Or my core. Or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. I sparkled. I pulsated to my own beat no matter who loved it or not. I gave no fucks. Loud and proud.

Hieeeee. It’s jazz handing me not giving a shit how much my loudness annoys you.

But that was ripped from me without my permission. And it hurt. It aches still. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt lost with myself (like, Tom Hanks from Cast Away, with a fucking volleyball as my companion lost).

No shit behind my mini manse this morning.

It stems from the actual rape itself but it also has to do with the betrayal, abandonment and neglect I was left holding when my best friend believed her boyfriend of five weeks over me when he said it was consensual sex (which as a reminder, he got up out of their bed and assaulted me on the couch as I was sleeping in the middle of the night).

Yeah…she can also SUCK IT.

Rationally, I know none of this bullshit is my fault. But hearing that song about making someone love you if they don’t…well, that’s been me. My super hero therapist, Sheila has been on point in telling me my self-talk is beyond harsh. I’m supposed to speak to myself the way I would to a friend or any loved one in my situation. However, I’m such a black and white person, my coping skills in the past with myself have been “wallow, get over it, it’s life, move on.” With trauma like this, accompanied by PTSD, severe stress and adjustment disorder, I’m not getting off the hook that easily.

For fuck’s sake.

When I am triggered, various emotions come barreling down the hatch like a tsunami. Sadness, anger, grief, loss swirl in my brain and body – and then, I fall down the rabbit hole. I hate The Rapist who walks free. I hate my ex-friend for not believing me and stating falsehoods in her on-the-record police interviews. I hate I never got to confront either of them. And then, I end up hating myself for “letting” this happen to me (beyond fucked up, I know).

Haters gonna hate. Oh and love special places in hell saved for those they hate.

So here we are at the, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t.”

Thing is, I can make me love me. I loved the fuck out of myself before this shit. And I have been working second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month and now – year after year to get my groove back on with my bad self.

January 29th marked my second Rapeversary and a sample of how I am reminded to make me love me?

Family –

Sister CBXB…

Mama CBXB…

And friends like you? Fuck you guys are my sparkly army shining bright. Reminders from you that I truly am making leaps and bounds. Prompts that no matter how exhausting, how minute, how trivial the day feels to me, I matter. And isn’t that what we all need to remember? We matter. We matter most to ourselves. And it’s so easy to forget that in daily life, regardless of whether you’re insanely happy every second of every day or in the throes of despair, desperately trying to figure out why the fuck to get out of bed.

If I can, you can.

Friends from afar have noticed and commented in photos I’ve posted –

Friends who have experienced similar trauma know when to give me a head’s up –

Shit like the above makes the quote below all the more believable…

Folks like you help me, help me…. you know, Jerry Maguire style. Help me, help you. And, hopefully I can help others beat stigmas they feel due to their own experiences.

On this day of love and pondering of when I will be 120% back in love with myself, it’s important to know that the struggles are real. We all have them. And I’m thankful to be reminded constantly by those around me near and far that I am loved. I matter. And so do you.

So, cheers to being the own goddamn loves of our lives.

Being our very own, every day Valentine.

Love, love, love from me to you. But mostly to me (see, there’s more of me back than I think).

Love ya, mean it.

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.

Weekend Winks – Face Stuffing, Pool and Panic Attacks

The sun will come out….tomorrow. Or at least that’s what you wanna believe. In my case, I just wear a shirt that makes me my own sunshine. Of course, having a little snuggly Teddy Bear helps, too.

Love of my life.

Lately Rapegate therapy has been pretty intense. To the point where afterward, instead of crying my eyes out immediately upon my return home in bed, this week I morphed into what could be the most white trash way to consume supper. Guzzling wine in the bath, trying to read while eating toilet pizza and then bawling my eyes out in bed.

Pretty much sums it up.

Being that my therapy is on Thursday nights, I have an emotional hangover no matter what on Friday, that sometimes lasts through the weekend. Sometimes it doesn’t but you know what helps? Friends who know your deep down hopes and dreams, friends who know what will make you smile, while your heart races with thanks that somebody fucking finally brought this idea to fruition…door delivery wine. *swoon*

           

However, even this wonderful news of not having to leave my mini manse in order to get my vino fix didn’t knock me out of my therapy hangover. Running one errand to the grocery store, as I was leaving in the 100 degree heat, a full on fucking panic attack rushed over my body out of nowhere, like an asteroid dropped out of the sky and plummeted me into the middle of the scorching Earth.

If you’ve never had a panic attack (mine is a leftover perk of rape – yay!), I hear they mimic a heart attack. For me, I feel like a cat the size of a lion is hanging out on my chest, I sweat, shake, can’t catch my breath (which shouldn’t shock anyone who knows me as I once hyperventilated when I ran the mile in track during junior high – although I did redeem myself years later jogging slowly through a marathon), clinch my fists so hard my nails almost poke through the tops of my hands and I lose all comprehension that this sudden sense of overwhelming dread will ever end.

But it does.

And I end up looking (and feeling) I’ve been on a four-week cocaine bender with no sleep, when in all actuality, it was a mere 10 minutes.

Panic…but not at the disco.

After regaining semblance of normal heart rate and the ability to breathe in and out like a typical human, I resorted to the little Iowa faces that always drag me out of my low points.

How could these two not take away feelings of being blue?

Being that I’m not a quitter, the typical pool crew and I packed our coolers and headed up to beat the Tennessee heat.

Dada CBXB, Rasta, the shit show of the weekend (yours truly) and Cat Boy kept cool in the Saturday sun.

I refrained from my usual pool snacks, as I was invited to the hottest party in Nashville Saturday night.

A black card to the Waffle House is equivalent to $25,000 gift card to Target. And not only did we class the joint up, we sure as shit tried to spend the entire amount.

Not unhappy campers.

We’ll have one of everything. Thanks.

While we didn’t even come close to cashing out the entire card, we were able to leave a $100 tip for our waitress with remaining funds and boy, did it feel fucking fantastic watching her reaction from the car. A dance, a hug from the cook, a high-five from the other wait staff. Pretty cool of my gal pal to pay it forward.

Sunday while I was trying to detox from the overload of hash browns and eight orders of bacon the night before, my little fur balls were pretty pissy that they couldn’t go out on the porch due to the extremely high temperatures.

They really wanted to be baked pussy.

Guess who was just fine with the inside time?

The pussy that never turns away attention.

It was a much needed, uneventful Sunday at the mini manse. Complete with binge watching and burgers.

Here’s hoping there’s no panic in any of our lives this week and cheers to being our own rays of sunshine!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Perspective

My Thursday afternoons consist of sorting through bad shit that happens to good people. Which for me, means that I try to prep myself for the emotions that will inevitably bubble to the surface before, during, after and what feels like every single second of every day until I get to see my therapist Miss Sheila again the following Thursday.

Thursdays got me like…

I was already an emotional wreck because lately my pendulum of feelings swing from the highest of high (hello again inner badass!) to the lowest of low (where in the fuck is my self-esteem?) in about .0005 seconds. No notice. So I packed my squatty bodied mascot in my Louis for some comforting support this week.

Therapy session saver.

Although I had Precious the chug by my side, yesterday proved no different as I contemplated the subject matter of my session on the drive back to my mini manse, tears starting to slowly turn into an ugly cry, as I hid behind sunglasses on a rainy day.

The face that can typically turn feelings around.

Crawling into the bed with my well-worn hanky is my go-to Thursday “happy hour” of sorts after my sessions.

Wallowing with a wet hanky.

Typically, I watch endless videos of my two yayhonks from Iowa, who turn my mood around with their silly antics in a matter of minutes.

How could they not?

In between twin videos, scrolling through my social media, I saw Whitney Lover’s post about an impending trip from her husband’s 93-year-old grandfather that stopped me in my self-absorbed tracks.

Whitney Lover with a CBXB sidekick.

Her post read:

“I’m so excited to have my husband’s grandfather coming to visit Iowa over this next week. He is a Holocaust survivor and will be speaking at several events around eastern Iowa to share his story and to help strive for a better tomorrow for all. He is truly an amazing and loving man who has never lost faith in humanity.”

Love for Gpa all around.

To read the entire article from The Gazette, please click here. It’s an incredible story of survival under the most unfathomable circumstances, loss, hope, perseverance and empowerment. That this gem of a human has seen horrors beyond imagine, the fact that he still has his faith in humans and believes in the good of people is awe-inspiring. He said, “I’m planning to be around for much longer, with my mission to prevent genocide and to do what I can to counteract anti-Semitism, which all good people of the world realize is a crime against humanity.”

If you’re in the eastern Iowa area this upcoming week, here’s where you can see this gentleman in person:

Please join me in cheersing this fellow who, by sharing his story, his time and his energy with others is helping educate, empower and touch lives in far reaching places.

Cheers to Gpa!

Thanks for the perspective Grandpa E.

CBXB

CBXB!

Alive and Kickin’

Holla!

Did you think I fell off the face of the fucking earth? Well, I kinda did.

My 2016 in a nutshell.

My 2016 in a nutshell.

After the start of this year, I knew January was going to be a doozie, so I stuck my head in proverbial sand, pretending I was the world’s most glamorous ostrich.

A leopard print ostrich.

The first month of 2017 marked the initial 365 days without my sweet J.Bean on the planet. The absence of this fiery young force is missed tremendously by her family and friends.

First anniversary of a devastating loss.

A devastating loss last year.

Couple the above situation with the first anniversary of bad shit happening to a good person (yours truly) within days of one another, I almost hunkered down in my dressing room to cry the rest of my life away (with all of my furry pussies, of course). I was hoping a sparkly asteroid would hit my mini manse.

Awaiting the Glitterbombpocalypse.

Instead, almost one year to the day of my bad shit, I found motivation to get my ass the size of Iowa out of the closet. I chose to march with millions of other folks in hundreds of cities across the globe in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington (if you’re one of the people still wondering why this took place (has your head been in the sand – or perhaps my purse from above?) I’ll be addressing that in a later blog). The Nashville march expected around 4,000 people. Over 15,000 showed up and peacefully flowed through the downtown streets.

#imarchwithlinda

#imarchwithlinda

Surrounded by thousands of fellow citizens made me feel less alone (which seems utterly ridiculous, since I have a support system that rivals the American military). On the actual anniversary evening of my incident, gal pals came over to the mini manse and at midnight, we cheersed the fuck out of surviving various bad shit that happens to all of us.

Cheers to

We survive. We persevere. We kick ass.

Starting the second month of 2017 off on the right high-heeled foot, I found myself feeling empowered, emotionally stronger and proud that I trudged through the worst few hundred days life has presented me thus far. Still struggling with PTSD, adjustment disorder and severe stress caused from one single traumatic event – I finally felt some of my happy seep back in. Happy – the one thing this lonely lady has needed most out of the many things stolen from her in an instant. And anything that makes me feel better seems like a goddamn victory.

Yay me.

I also found myself suddenly unemployed – but can’t say I was sad.

At all.

Although my wallet is waaaaay lighter, my spirits are brighter, not breathing fumes from a toxic environment. Stumbling into unemployment presented all kinds of fun. Like getting into a small fender bender on the way to a therapy session minutes after cleaning out my office.

I mean, C'MON.

Nothing a glass of vino can’t fix. With a side of car insurance…

Life Savers

… and a round of life savers.

Time away from the daily grind has been fabulous. It’s allowed me to arrange a long trip to Iowa, aiding Aunt Crazy Pants in kicking some cancer ass.

Aunt Crazy Pants

Jazz hands for Crazy Pants!

When bad shit happens to good people, sometimes they (who moi?) lose their fucking minds and adopt three cats at once without first consulting their existing pussy and chug.

Some of us were more happy than others on adoption day last year.

This milestone gave a big reason to celebrate! I mean, what pussy wouldn’t be thrilled to come home to a trashtacular mini manse and doting (albeit almost certifiably cray cray) mama?

Happy kit cat adoption day!

Dada CBXB and I threw down a party so hard, the cats needed to snooze the entire next day. And night. And then the next day. And night.

One year later…taking the damn manse over.

Having extra time on my personally manicured talons also means I can stare at these two mugs all day long.

Uh, yeah. Smiles for Miles

Uh, yeah. Smiles for miles from Iowa.

Waaaaaaay too cool for school.

Waaaaaaay too cool for school…

I'm waiting patiently to be their auntager.

… but not too cool to be models for their local library’s website. I’m waiting patiently to be their auntager.

While we creep into a Nashville spring, the reminder that human beings are generally kind has enveloped over me like a hangover seeps out of your pores on a Sunday morning. There’s finally a light at the end of the longest fucking tunnel I’ve ever looked down (maybe it’s more of a Grand Canyon type deal but you get the point, right?). Mind you, the hue is fuchsia with flecks of pink sparkle slowly falling all around. It doesn’t twinkle or glisten.

It glows. Radiating the biggest, brightest, fuchsia light I’ve ever fucking seen down a tunnel I’m starting to walk down. A tunnel I’m starting to run down. A tunnel I’m starting to sprint down. When I finally arrive at the other side of the tunnel (way out of breath needing a gallon of water but instead opting for a bottle of champs), watch out. Because it will be then that I’ll have gained the ability to pick up my rusty, once broken spirit and kick my ass into high gear.

Imthisclose.

Until then, I’m satisfied being just a little bit of a happier shit show.

At least I’m alive and kickin’!

Now, how the hell are you?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Emotional Banana Pants

Since my experience with bad shit that happens to good people, I have been a walking, talking shit show.

I’ve slept on my couch for the past four months, find it hard to be alone, don’t love my mini manse the way I used to, started a new job, adopted three cats, threw up in my car (soberly), shit in my car (while talking soberly to my drive thru pharmacist as if nothing was happening), developed adjustment issues, eat every single emotion that I experience, then don’t eat for three days in a row, was granted a girls trip of a lifetime to Mexico by two walking saints, have nerves that never go away, my feelings have been boiling for four months now and every.single.little.thing is a major issue, an ex-boyfriend and friend of over 11 years put me in my proverbial place, another man in my life has thrown major shade, the family dynamics I’m used to have shifted in ways that I can’t control, my bank account was hacked on Friday, meaning for three to five business days I’m broke and my usually positive self is more and more negative by the day and I want to fire me from myself.

All of that being said, I’m a swinging pendulum of highest highs and lowest lows. Listening to my therapist hero, Miss Sheila, I’m just trying to take one day at a time and find joy in the little things. Like, the Country Music Festival (that used to be called Fan Fair and really, still should be) that took place in Nashville over the weekend.

CMA Fest

Naturally, when work called for a White Trash Bash party in honor of the tens of thousands of tourists pouring their hard-earned money into my beloved Nashville, I was beyond happy to participate in something celebratory.

What's a CMA Fest without a redneck?

Tattoos not permanent.

And blow off some steam I did.

Seemed like such a brilliant idea at the time.

Seemed like such a brilliant idea at the time.

I enjoyed myself so much that I got on stage. In a very popular downtown honk tonk. In overall shorts. And sang. With braids in my hair. In overall shorts. And cowboy boots. And forgot the words to a song I’ve sung 1.578.987 times with my ’80s cover band. In overall shorts. And my new boss captured it all on film.

And yeah, this. Life.

Needing an S.O.S. from life. Immediately.

Thankfully I snagged a safe ride home but my grown ass needed a way to get to my vehicle the following day. What would we do without women who arrive in chariots with the best hangover food ever?

Breakfast of hungover champions.

My personal Uber, complete with snacks.

Once my body full of nerves returned back to the mini manse, I was once again in the throes of my emotions – and according to Miss Sheila – I loathe feeling feelings.

#sos

#iwokeuplikethis

Adulting has been so difficult lately that I’ve started to identify with a local Nashville Mexican joints social media postings….

Truth

Truth

But instead of being full of tacos I was left in bed with a bunch of fur balls.

This is how I want my life to be always.

Forensic Files Friday night.

Wallowing in self shame, embarrassment, pity I was invited last second to meet up with some old work colleagues (and friends) and decided it best for me to socialize.

Old friends. Good friends. Fun times.

Old friends. Good friends. Fun times.

I then decided to take up smoking – and surprisingly it took the edge off about 12 of my 3,794,579,000 nerves.

I asked for a puff and got the whole shebang.

I asked for a puff and got the whole shebang.

Other friends made me piss my pants by shopping the local racks of the store I hate more than anything in the world for tank tops to wear to Bonnaroo.

I hate Walmart but NEED that tank.

I loathe Walmart but NEED that tank.

Another reason to stay off the couch and keep moving was a pre-celebration opening at a buddy’s new bar. It’s dog friendly, so you know that Presh, Dada CBXB and yours truly were on hand to party.

Dada CBXB and Presh

Hot Saturday date night!

Bird Lady also made an appearance in my weekend, as did another inappropriate t-shirt that is now one of my faves.

Bird Lady and shirts with iniappropri mae me happy

Just wearing my emotions.

Much like my buddy at Dalts, who wouldn’t give me this t-shirt because his girlfriend gave it to him.

This is why I love Dalts.

Pure stud.

You show me your kitties, I show you mine.

mouths to feed.

Four feline mouths to feed keep me going.

Mini lions.

And my mini lion chug Precious, of course.

Naturally anything from my Iowa twins puts a grin on my gigantic mouth breather.

I mean, those faces!

I mean, those faces!

But most of all, I have to keep getting off of my leopard couch, braving emotions, feelings, checking account robbers and put one foot in front of the other for my favorite pussy, my best friend, my main squeeze, Mr. Ted E. Bear (who is costing almost as much as rent with his meds these days but you know (and he knows) he’s worth every goddamn cent).

Prince

Forever the king of my castle.

My new life mantra for my therapist prescribed “day-by-day” attack on life was passed onto me by one of my besties, Whitney Lover.

Mantra

I’ll drink to that…every damn day.

Motherfucking cheers.

Motherfucking cheers.

Thanks to you – readers, social media buddies, real life friends, co-workers, family, kind strangers – for sticking by your hot mess of a shit show. Here’s hoping you’re sucking a little less each and every day this week.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!