Turmoil and Surrender

This post was written on June 20th, 2009. I thought it was posted, found out it wasn’t after I posted my return to sanity post. Thanks for understanding about the error.

The Turmoil comes from daily life, being challenged. I am still in the middle of the Turmoil but I realized this is a chance to teach someone. That someone is me. I need to learn to be flexible. I struggle with change, one dime off on my budget sends me into an unreasonable panic, though that did not cause the turmoil. I listened to my doctor, and that caused the turmoil. I was not able to post because for the last two weeks I’ve been fighting insanity and insomnia. Literal insanity.

I officially have a seizure diagnosis. I found hidden malpractice, when a new doctor told me so. No one else had, because I had angered them by being right or whatever it is that makes doctors not give patients their own diagnosis, especially one that could make a difference in a medical emergency. My seizures might be adding to my pain. they might be making it worse. Since I have taken other medicine like Nuerontine before, and had a really bad reaction my doctor thought I should try Lyrica.

My adverse reaction wasn’t like anything he’d expected though I had a hint of a clue. The first night, when it was time to sleep I took the pill and it was as if taking speed. I could not slow down. I was having insomnia symptoms so wrote it off as potentially just a one time occurance. Second night, it grew worse and I started having trouble with focus, my logic was escaping me. The third day, I took it and then the hallucinations began. My fiance and I agree that I went through a forced manic, similar to what those with Bipolar persons go through. Needless to say I stopped the medicine and here I am over a week later still feeling it’s effects.

It disturbed the precarious balance that I created for myself. I stopped writing, I stopped painting, and I lost the ability to function. I am fighting to do what I must. My fiance and I ran into a further issue when it became, due to a mixture of circumstances neither of us can control impossible for me to eat or sleep. My brain and body are at odds. I cannot find emotional balance, I cannot find silence without the silence being too loud.

I am also mean. My thoughts, when I think something are not what I think normally but are bitter and vicious. I am feeling pain that does not belong, emotionally. I don’t normally obssess about the failing of my Sixteenth birthday but it is there, the desire for a parent’s love hanging at me, and choking me. It hurts, because it distracts further from who I am. I feel lost, and with in this turmoil I had to surrender to screaming, crying and curling into myself.

I am acting like a woman with multiple disabilities in pain. I am acting like a person with PTSD who has had their issues flung up. I am acting like the Autistic I am. Everything is wrong. I can’t seem to get it in order. I will but, I will. The scents. The smells. The whispers that aren’t really there. I know they will shift, but, I am not going to know what comes next.

The future is a barren precipice, and even home has been threatened. Shelter, food, none of it may be here tomorrow. All the graces that have happened, I am currently blind to. Tears are acid, and not pleasant. I hate crying. i hate shouting. I hate. Hate is not what I usually hold myself to. All the soft fur in the world feels like thorns too. There is no solace or comfort.

I have to fight my way back. My mind warns me to not trust my doctor, to not try again. All the joy I should feel, that I usually feel? I can’t find it. My treasures are buried and I lost the map. If you find it, please give it over?

Violence (Trigger Warning)

I keep rewriting this post. Violence is bad. We all know this. Violence is often celebrated in our culture. In the US most of the television shows, even for children, include some sort of violence or attempt to teach children what boys do and what girls do. Girls like fashion, pink, and hair. Boys like to fight, are great leaders, and work. Bull pucky. The media also rarely illustrates that women can be violent.

I am capable of killing. I am not capable of murder. I know that if I had to kill someone to defend myself or the ones I love, I could. I discovered this when I was young. I am very loyal, it is a part of my nature to protect people. This does come from my history with violent abuse. If I could take the pain then I could save my sister or brother. They used to do that as well. Each one of us did our best to be the only one in pain. I am capable of killing, but, I never have.

I have had run ins with so many things, my life sometimes reads like a fiction novel. I never used to think about writing nonfiction, so afraid of being told I had dreamed it all. My biological mother and I talked on the phone today, partially about violence. The violence of doctors.

When I was eight I began to see a psychologist. After the first meeting they handed my mother a prescription for Zoloft. The pills made me sleepy. I hated taking them, because I couldn’t think. My father was still around, and taking the pills at his house always meant more pain. My reflexes were already slow, how could I fight back? I mentioned this to my doctor and the threat came. “If you do not take your pills you will be locked up with the other worthless children.” This doctor was a man, I remember falling silent, wishing to tell my mother. He threatened too that if I told her that she would be sent away, abandoning the others. I took the pills.

This man is no longer a doctor, he tried this on a competent adult a few years ago. There was a scandal, it made the papers. This was just after I fired him. He was the first doctor I fired. I spent years after that taking more and more pills. At one time I was on six antidepressants, an anti psychotic, an anti epileptic medication that they thought would make me not depressed, birth control pills to try and force my body to have a period, and a few other things.

When I threw up, I had to take a second dose. Doctor’s orders. There are chunks of my life lost not just to suppressed memories but to my brain shutting down from the constant overdose. Most of the medications I was on were not approved for children, just adults over the age of eighteen. I reacted to most of them. Being allergic to so much, that is no surprise. Throwing up, bleeding with each dose, and hallucinations weren’t big enough side effects to be taken off of the drugs.

I was more violent during that time, as they tried to fix a chemical imbalance that did not exist, due to the drugs. They are not the only reason I lashed out at the world. Abuse does that, it teaches people to strike before they get hurt. I barely remember assaulting my best friend in High School. She touched my sandwich and teased me for it. I remember the anger and seeing her on the floor but not the act of hitting her in the head with a chunk of wood.

This was caught on film, there were witnesses. I went into a psychotic rage over food. I have some serious food issues, and I thought she was going to take my food. The fear of being deprived was so strong, that I had to protect myself. This was what I knew, I never knew people could share. I was a beast, primal in my reactions. She did not suffer permanent damage but was hospitalized for it. This lead to the only psychiatric hospitalization that benefited me. Hospital hiding the institution, feeding on itself and drugging children. Teaching them first hand who Nurse Ratchet was.

The reason being I finally needed help. I was shunted around the state, with my history and diagnoses no one wanted to treat me. It feels familiar at times with doctors, sending needles into my heart. I was misdiagnosed with mental health conditions. One to explain every disability. I was accused of things, such as self mutilation that came from my disabilities. I was lazy, I was stupid, I was just not good enough. Years of that, a decade in fact, of being told how worthless I was by doctors and I did not trust them.

I was sent to an experimental facility. The Ranch, as my family calls it, was a peer support program. We did see therapists, and we did have medication given to us but we lived in a boarding school environment. The program depended on it’s recipients to function. This made a difference, as I found people my age I could talk to. This was a first. I also learned I was not alone. At the other facilities you were shoved in until you behaved for three days or so, then went home. In and out like a yo yo.

Each of the children at the Ranch had been in and out as well. Most were not from New Mexico, but a few of us were granted access to keep diversity up. There was violence there, though there was also nature. The Ranch is the only place I have ever been able to drink the water. The water came straight out of the ground. The first thing the doctors did was take me off all of my meds. They gave me two months before they started me on another. They came so close to freeing me from my shackles of medication. The medicine they put me on did change things, it seemed to reverse some of the damage to my brain from the drugs that came before. I stopped losing my hair, I gained some weight and lost some girth. I even began to smile sometimes.

I also met horses. I was one with nature there. There was silence at times, and there was bonding. That was where I learned I could love. The fact is, my father was a diagnosed psychopath. Even knowing this these “great” doctors did not seem to consider that my behavior was environmental. The ranch is where I learned about PTSD. It is also where I learned that flashbacks were not just my burden.

One of the other dorms, full of boys, found a dog. I was triggered when the dog came to us bleeding. The flashback lasted for six hours. I relieved my father killing people’s pets because I liked them. I still cannot go into detail on those horrors without triggering myself. This poor dog was hungry, lost in the middle of no where, and then was assaulted. When he came to our dorm, my brain left. I woke up, and found that the world had for once stopped for me.

This was my turning point. It wasn’t being threatened with institutionalization in the adult hospital, it wasn’t the new drug. It was coming back to myself and finding that every girl had stopped what they were doing, had sat in a circle around me and the dog to which I was clinging and waited. When I stopped screaming, apparently I had been, my roommate asked what happened. When I told them, no one told me I lied, no one told me it was my fault. The first time in my life, someone hugged me and cried with me. No one punished me for needing help, a first in my life.

I was on the cusp of adulthood when this finally happened. I was about to reach a point of no return, trapped in the system. They saved me from my violence, and I saved them in turn. I love each of those girls still. Someday I may cross their paths again, though I do not plan to admit it to them if I do. We each deserve the right to deny our childhoods to an extent.

I spent my childhood dying daily. I am certain that not every therapist was bad, I do not remember them if they were not. I only remember the incidents of threat, of lies, and of burden. Child psychologists often can get away with crimes and breaking the rules of conduct that their profession has. Not all of them do, but, an adult has power over a child. A psychologist is alone for at least an hour with a child, and some of them abuse this power. I had one who found out I would turn on her like a dog hit one too many times. She spent the sessions telling me about her husband’s erectile dysfunction, and telling me I was fat. The male doctor who gave me the pills threatened me each time with different torments. One of the other psychologists took part in encouraging the children at my school to burn me at the stake.

It is no wonder that I hated the world. Until the ranch only a few teachers had ever shown me adults could manage to not hurt me. Each of them saved a part of my soul, saved a fragment of hope from the violence. My mother did try, but, it seemed hopeless that any of her children would turn out to be a healthy adult. How could we? She wasn’t. We only knew violence.

Perhaps the violence I know tempered me? I doubt it. I believe it was the small bits of love I could find. I do not believe the Ranch did all the work in saving me, I think instead they unburied the ground work set by another.

After Toastmasters I will write of my first Sensei, I will tell you of my time as Little Lotus and how the Batman was my father until I was six. It sounds silly, and the fantasy was. It still held violence but my Sensei taught me ways to thrive, not just survive. I will also write about my experience with hate and nearly being burned as a witch.

We, the subjects of oppression are forbidden anger, we are forbidden violence. Even when it is used against us, violence is often attributed to us. Those with mental health issues, mental disabilities, and physical disabilities are vulnerable to violence in unique ways. When defending ourselves we are demonized. Women who show anger are told to simmer down, they are told that their anger is inappropriate. Some are raped to control their power, to try and punish them for anger. Persons of Color of any gender are also forbidden anger. The stereotypes tell how violent they are, and yet when a man is shot down for his skin color and people get angry, the murdering cops get away with it because the people get angry.

Violence is all around us, it is on the TV, it is in books, it is in my beloved comic books. Violence is in our history. It is sadly in our future. I mourn for all the children and those who once were children who know violence. The kiss of violence is the scar of fear, the spectre of disillusionment, and the taste of bitterness that shatters dreams.

Violence is the most horrifying entity that has ever been introduced into society. Violence is not a part of human nature, it was taught. We learned it from somewhere. Violence is not never ending. The cycle can be broken. I have broken the cycle in my family. Even when attacked I try to protect myself without violence. How do you survive violence? How do you endure?

Anger is violent. Violence is a poison. My antidote for violence is to sing, to write, or to create something. To be violent is to become what you fear. Fear can turn to anger, anger turns into violence. The cycle swirls around. I created this post not just to educate, but to share. I want to share my peace. In order to do that, you must see my pain too. I fear these words most of all, therefore I offer them up to transform and fly into the universe like butterflies, unlocking the caged minds of others. I write these words not with anger, but with sorrow for who I was, mourning for the death of innocence as I knew it, and with love. The love is not just for myself, though I truly love myself. It is Wishing Love, I wish love upon each and every person in this world.

I wish love upon you, for whoever you are you do deserve love. I may know you, I may not. I embrace you with my soul. I offer you a haven of knowledge, a haven of peace, and a haven of change. I am a butterfly. Here you too may learn to fly.

How Kateryna Got her Speech Back!

No, I did not lose my voice and I am not Mute.  I have been ruminating over my past of late. Most of it has been painful, but in looking towards my future goals, I found a golden coated diamond nugget in the mush of hatred and disgust. Before I changed my name, before I was all grown up, back when I was a know it all teenager, I was a member of Toastmasters International. Just before I turned 17 my mother and I joined. I remember the years of struggles, speeches, and I realize that is where I learned to be confident.

I am looking for a new group with in Toastmasters, a return if you will to the best part of my childhood, when I began to take shape as an adult. I can think of all of the times I used the skills offered, all of the chances at Confidence that I wouldn’t have know how to handle. I can give an impromptu speech like nobodies business, all because of Toastmasters. Sometimes I try and pigeon myself into my room for life out of fear, but, Toastmasters will take away my excuse for not doing anything.

The excuse that has been winning? I don’t know how to give a speech from a wheelchair. I did recently, but, when I consciously think about the mechanics such as body language I feel panic. That will not due if I am trying to sell my knowledge. Be it my book, be it my experience advocating for my rights, or even trying to advocate for myself, excuses about not knowing how to talk from a sitting position are useless. Toastmasters can give me what I need, and maybe I can give them something only I have to offer.

On top of that, I once set a goal that I would become the best International Speaker with in Toastmasters. How can I do that if I am not actively competing? Silly me, forgetting those all important goals.

so if you are in TI, see you soon. I’ll be speaking confidently again in no time!

By the way, I had achieved my CTM and was one speech shy of my ATM Bronze for those curious toastmasters. I see the program has changed, but it looks like a stronger system

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