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Scatter Kindness

My family and I frequent the big box stores for house supplies and groceries like many families do. One that is close to our home and we can get to in a few minutes. I like to go do shopping after the school traffic has cleared but before other people decide to venture out.

This trip out was no different. I got myself ready and off I went to get the normal family supplies that tend to run out all too often. As I parked I noticed a homeless man sitting off a bit from the exit. He is a regular in this area and so I figured I would get him something while shopping. Stopped and spoke with him for a few before venturing in, asking what he wanted and needed. He said “If they have something hot, that would be great.” It is a brisk 59 degrees outside so I could understand that. So off I went to do my shopping and stopping at the deli for a hot breakfast sandwich for him.

As I stepped out, I heard before I saw someone yelling at the homeless man. Telling him to get a job so he wouldn’t have to beg, stop bothering people, blah blah blah. Oh that just pisses me off! WHY must you be an angry, mean and hurtful person? The homeless person was not at the doors, he was off to the sides. He didn’t go bothering people going into the store, if they looked at him then he would talk. Most people ignored him.

Homeless people are PEOPLE. You have no idea what brought them to their current situation. NO idea what happened in their lives. Maybe they want to work but have no address so no one gives them a chance.  Whatever the circumstances, they do not deserve to be treated poorly.

Now there was a police car and the police man was in the car just a few feet away from the homeless man. Think that maybe if there was a problem that the cops would have asked him to leave? I do. What made this horrible man start yelling at the homeless man? It takes so much effort to be ugly, rude and disrespectful. It takes nothing to be kind and caring. Yet the rude man made it a point to walk towards the homeless man and be mean. He made it a point to yell at him, why not go talk to the cop? Or to the employees of the store? I made sure to tell him exactly that, as I put myself between him and the homeless man.

I handed the homeless man some hot sandwiches, drink and snacks. Putting my back to the rude guy. Telling him what was in the bag and wishing him a good day. Then I turned around to again face the rude man. I told him that the time it took for him to be an asshat, he could have just walked into the store, done his shopping and left. Yet, he chose to veer away from the entrance and be disrespectful to someone. I may have used some not so nice words as I told him to just leave this gentleman alone. Made sure the angry guy left before I again said my farewell to the homeless man. Then I walked with my cart of supplies to my car.

It makes me angry. Do you think the mean man woke up pissed off? I do. He was mad, rather than wake up grateful for another day. Rather than enjoy the nice fall morning and another day on this earth.

I hate bullies, and I know hate is a strong word but its true. People who want always make someone feel less, that is what is wrong with us in this country. People wake up ready to cause chaos and mayhem, while others wake up thankful and grateful.

These issues cannot be fixed from a large scale because it all starts with you, with me. If I wake up upset, pissed off and angry then that is how my interaction with people will be. Yet, if I wake up with a more positive attitude then the interaction with people I come into contact with is going to reflect that.

How we go out into the world, will be reflected in how the world treats us. We are mirrors of our feelings, if that makes sense. If you treat someone cruel, they will be cruel back.  Greet someone with a smile and they smile back. How easy is that?

I am so mad and sad. I know this homeless man, know his name and part of his story. Just like I know the many others in that area who I give items to from the trunk of my car when I am out. I don’t write that to get the ‘Yay Me’ acknowledgement. Just some background.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Plain and simple. Treat them the way you want your loved ones to be treated. What if that was someone you know? What if the homeless man decided to believe the crap the mean man told him? URGH it is so frustrating!!!!

Be kind, be respectful and just help others.

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Skin sensitivity

One thing i have found with my battle with Fibromyalgia is that nothing prepares you for living with it. Symptoms manifest differently for everyone, over the past few months the skin sensitivity has become increasingly worse.

There was already some issues with clothing and I had made those adjustments. Any clothing with large seams or heavy seams, pants that binds around the waist and anything that pushes on the shoulders or back will hurt to wear.  Sadly that is most clothing!! Undergarments are especially tough.

This type of sensitivity is called Allodynia and can sometimes be described as a burning sensation. This is due to the malfunction of nerves and they become aggravated and register the sensations as pain. There are medications that you can take that will help alleviate some of the symptoms but also help those nerves settle down and ease some of the pains.

When I am not having to go out into the world you will generally find me with my hair in a bun high on my head to keep hair from touching my neck, a wide strapped tank top and yoga pants. These types of clothing do not hurt as much. The yoga pants are high waisted because my waist is super sensitive. I do not wear regular bras but wear sports bras that have wide straps and back, panties are almost always a no-go. I know not a topic you want to hear but come on, someone needs this information. I needed it and did not find anyone willing to share. Button up pants are almost always a problem for me, due to my pudginess lol the belt area is always hurting my waist.

If I am going to be out at events or something like that I will wear compression garments. Not to hold in the bulges but to spread the pressure around most of my body and not cause more pains than I am already feeling.

Wearing shoes is another problem for me as well. Doc said I needed to wear shoes to help with the foot and leg pains but wearing socks and shoes really hurts worse than the foot and leg pains. So I do not wear them as often as advised. It is a balancing act, try to find a way to not cause more pains to  yourself so that you can continue to live your life. This is what I do to live mine.

If you are ever in my home you will see lots of pillows and throw blankets all over the place. That is my fault, some fabrics just hurt to sit on. Having different blanket and pillow textures help me relax. What doesn’t hurt me today could be hurting tomorrow. Same goes for covers on the bed, there are times I have to sleep on top of covers because it just hurts too much.

Any extra touching of the skin hurts, even hugs or any rubbing. I get asked why I don’t get massages for the muscle pains and well imagine your body on fire while someone massaging those burns. It is PAINFUL and not worth the trouble. I have tried.

This topic can go on and on and on and on lol but let me just say that everyday I have to go through a few tops and bottoms to find the one that is less painful. There is this kimono jacket that I got years ago that was my go to cover, now it hurts too much. I love that thing. My clothes are the same shirt and pants in various colors because that is the ONE item that feels good on my skin. It is a tough issue to have, even harder to live with. If you know anyone with skin sensitivity please do not assume they are being distant if they don’t hug you or wear that sweater you bought them for Christmas. It could be painful, that’s all.

This isn’t just about clothing either, we could have sensitivity to light and temperature changes. There are days I love my heat pad, other days I want to kill it. Showers are especially tough, do not get me started on that!

I get tired having to go through various articles of clothing because of this. Tired of having to go find something new because my old clothing doesn’t feel as good as before.3

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Spread kindness

Some days I miss reading news in the newspapers, really do. During the current day and age most printed news is no longer NEW since you can read articles online as soon as they are published. The reason I miss reading the paper is the commentary by those on social media about those articles or photos being share.

Why is it that a photo or article showing kindness has to have so much negative and hatred? Can we not even enjoy the reason for someone sharing? It is very bothersome to me that so many are willing to jump online and just spread hatred or negativity.

So many of us want to show kindness, spread the love and give smiles in any way we can, it is something I choose to do everyday. Yet others choose the complete opposite.

Anyone with a keyboard can easily diminish the good that people want to do.  They can sit in the comfort of their homes while those of us trying to do more for others are out there making a different. The negativity these keyboard warriors as my kids call them can break a person and their giving spirit. It is hard enough as it is to do good without being criticize and now if you share it, the negative people can cause you more trouble than anyone can imagine.

You are probably reading this wondering why I am writing about it, well it is because while I was sharing some patriotic heartwarming posts yesterday I was reported for inappropriate messages on social media. As a matter of fact I am still locked out of some of those accounts.

What were the offensive messages?? Taps being played at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. WHAT?!?!  The other flagged post was about me helping an elderly homeless couple. Apparently, I offended someone by sharing. For a single person nonprofit, it hurts my reach to be blocked. How can I communicate with the people who I want to help though PTSD and suicide? Each morning I can spend a good couple hours online with Veterans & their loved ones communicating with them. Checking on them and letting them know how much they matter.

It use to be that if you didn’t want to read something you just skipped it, use to be that if you didn’t care about helping others you just didn’t do it. Now you can practically shut someone down and hurt them by flagging their posts and page.

Spread kindness, stop the spreading of hatred and negativity.  We have enough of that already why continue to spread that around? So many feel as if good people are rare, it is not true!!! There are so many doing great things but are being held back by those who flag and report them as inappropriate.

What is it that they fear? How can sharing good stories or kindness be something that makes you afraid? Why are you attempting to stop the love?

These things frustrate me but it will not stop me, it merely becomes more fuel for me to use in my mission to help others.

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PTSD Friendly Salon

I wish there were PTSD/anxiety friendly salons. It’s been over five years since I have had a mani/pedi and a few years since I have had a haircut.  Don’t think people truly understand how hard it is for some PTSDers to do this. I want my hair cut, it needs it badly. My hands and feet need some love too lol.
Self care is hard for me and many others. Most salons feel like I am in a fishbowl. Being watched by so many because it’s just so open.  Throw in the fact that those places in my safe zone are all fishbowl type places.  There has to be a way for someone as messed up as me can get things done.

This is what I posted yesterday on my social media sites. Many others did not realize that this was an issue. It really is. Not everyone is comfortable outside of their safe zones yet we thrive within it. I have made contact with some places to see about coming in before they open or a time they are not too busy, but many are asking for the price of service to accommodate me. That is not something I can afford.

I am sure there are other people out there with the same issues, maybe not medically but the issue of finding self care locations that are able to accommodate the uniqueness of what we each have going on.

If you are in the business of hair and nails, let people know you are willing to work with them. Maybe put that on your social media sites. Thankfully I was given a name of someone who will be able to get me seen and taken care of. I hope to see her within the next few weeks, gotta wait til the VA pays me lol but I am so thankful to know there is someone there willing to work with me.

Thank you so much to my social media followers for the suggestions and comments. I would not be as far along as I am without each of your help.

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fatigue and exhaustion

There are days I can get up and be so ready to start the day regardless of the pain levels. Feeling like I can actually do things, maybe not everything I want but things that may have been on the back burner for the longest time.

Maybe one or two items get taken care of and they are good for a while. Then it hits, the wall, the huge flipping wall that smacks ya down. This happens way too often to me, it’s the fatigue and exhaustion. I have blogged about this a lot over the years and yet it is something that anyone not suffering from a chronic issue does not understand.

We are not lazy, not just fat or don’t get enough exercise or eat enough greens. I have heard it all.
‘Just go sit outside for a while and get that sun girl! You will feel a lot better.’
‘If you spent just an hour or so in the gym, maybe you won’t feel so tired.’
‘Are you eating enough fiber and greens?? Because you know that helps a lot.’

OH if only the issues can be cured with exercise, foods and sun. Don’t you think maybe I have tried it already? Can I exercise more, sure. Try walking on feet that no matter what you do, feel like you are walking on tacks and pins. Yes y’all it actually feels like that no matter what, ohhh and toss in the bone spurs and broken toes that just materialized to mess with me. I can take some pain but not this much at every single step.
Eating….well there are days my stomach will only let me have water and crackers. What do you think that does to my energy levels?
Hmmm sitting outside in the sun…I actually like doing that lol but it does not recharge my batteries.

It is just fatigue, exhaustion and feeling like I need to lay down in order to do the smallest of tasks that makes it so horrible. It is a pain in the ass, yes resting is necessary but this is not resting. When you are unable to do anything because you are so tired it becomes an issue. Resting makes you feel better over time, when you are in the exhaustion & fatigue mode you do not feel better after laying down.

How can chronically ill people begin to get any help when hardly anyone believes in the battles being fought? How can you look at someone struggling with living a ‘normal’ life and tell them they only need to try harder?

This feeling comes and goes. Lately it comes more than goes lol but I deal with it. If you love someone who battles fatigue, don’t just assume they are lazy. Find a way to help them out with things they cannot get done. Offer to help with a meal, just sitting with them and letting them know you are there is HUGE.

If you are the one battling, allow others to help you. Do not feel guilty (yeah its hard, I know) about asking for that help. Take the time to get back to your normal, not the one others try to put on you.

Now I am going to lay down on the couch and try to read. This is a busy month, I am going to rest when I can so that I can continue to give back. So that I can keep bringing awareness to PTSD and the oh so many issues our Military and Veterans face. That is my purpose, these days of exhaustion and fatigue will make me slow down but they will not stop me.

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Surviving

When traumas happen, it changes your future in ways that you will never really be prepared for. You won’t immediately know what those changes are as they will come out during different periods of your life. We survive, we keep going and live through the cycle of reliving the traumas and having it throw us into the dark fighting to find our way out.

When does just surviving stop? At what point do we start to live our lives without the worry of a trigger sending us spiraling out of control? When will we start to see our worth?

I know that everyone’s journey in healing is different, I get it I really do. So many people will tell me that it takes time, then things will settle. Hell I have told that to people myself when providing them some guidance in their own battles. Yes time does heal, but it does not cure. Why is that I wonder?

Maybe it is the fact there is no cure that in my mind translates that to meaning there is never going to be an end. In my mind I know there are times I can go months without fighting so hard, there are times I feel like I am actually better and can almost let my guard down. Yet there is that little voice in my head reminding me that the demons are still there.

During these good times, it is apparent how traumas changed me. The affect the traumas suffered over the years have changed how I see the good times. It’s like I am waiting for the bottom to fall out, things are too good so something has to go wrong soon. Sadly, I am the one who sabotages myself because I get tired of waiting for the demons to do it.

The self sabotage over the years has been as hard to work on as surviving the traumas. It is a never ending battle. Yet I find a way to keep going because I am not just okay with surviving. I want to live and be happy, enjoy my marriage and children. I especially want to be around to spoil my grandson rotten and let his parents deal with the after affects, because that is what grandparents do, right?

The biggest struggle in all of this has been moving past the survival mode, wondering if there will ever be an end to just surviving. I have gone through tons of years of counseling which has helped me deal with things, yet every time I asked when things will settle down they could never give me an answer. I really think an answer does not exist. Just like there is no cure for PTSD, there will never be an end to fighting.

Until I can find that peace, I will keep fighting and keep surviving because right now its all I can do. I have to force myself to believe I am worth the effort, I usually fight because I fear letting my husband and kids down. Maybe that is enough for now, maybe at some point in the future I will fight for me.

No matter how long you have been fighting, how long you have been surviving….keep doing it. I can tell you that YOU are worth the effort. YOU MATTER. One day I hope to say that to myself, my holding on to being here is in hopes of helping others. If one person can be helped with my ranting & ravings, the posts and the messages then I will keep doing it.

Hold on, please and keep fighting.

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the AFTER

Today I went out to the All American Tattoo Convention in Fayetteville NC. Something I wanted to do for my Fuck PTSD bucket list. This year I wanted to do more things to push myself, to not allow PTSD to control so much of my life. This convention was one of them.

There are steps to doing anything outside of my comfort zone, for leaving my safe zone and preparing myself to be somewhere surrounded by people I don’t know, at a location I do not frequent. What is often times not talked about is The After. The way my body just goes into overdrive, pumping adrenaline the whole time is out and the anxiety/paranoia making me feel on guard all the time. .

So what happens after? Well every part of my body starts to shake, ache and even cramp up as I begin to relax being back in my safe zone. As the adrenaline begins to leave my body, as the breaths I was holding seem to expel out all I can do is just hold on and let whatever is going to happen, happen.

It is so hard to describe but many of us have been in near accidents or very high stress situations. The way you feel when you can finally accept that the situation is over is what I go through, just multiply that times 100. I feel ill, my eyes even bother me and I have to remove my contacts. My legs hurt so bad I don’t want to do anything but lay down.

As the day continues on, I want to kick myself in the ass for not talking my cane while there. So that I could have had that extra support. The walking and standing, watching everyone and not being able to completely enjoy it all.

Ohhh don’t let me forget feeling like I didn’t belong, wanting to talk to more artists but not being able to. Having my kids helped, we talked about the amazing artwork they had out there and being able to enjoy some of the exhibits. One of my boys has anxiety as well so we were both dealing with the crowds. Thankfully when he is out of the situation he is back to his normal self while it takes me hours and maybe another day or so to feel normal again.

All of these things is why I want to push myself more, so that I can go out and not feel like I got hit by a car after. Maybe only like I stubbed my toe lol. Just want to be at a point that I can be more comfortable in public, more with myself as well.

At least I did it, right? I did not find a reason to not go, I actually walked in and walked around. I did enjoy myself and was able to talk with some of the artists. More than I thought I would have been able to do so that is something.

For now I am going to lay here, hope to keep my food down and wait for the pains to ease a bit. Maybe I just need a nap lol.

Thanks to my boys for going with me and for the folks at Chop Shop Tattoo for letting me hang out at their booth.

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Relaxing time on the couch watching baseball.