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Intimacy

This morning I had a really impactful meeting with my counsellor. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have very deep rooted issues surrounding intimacy, and I have an impossibly difficult time untangling my feeling of safety from my fear of being intimate with someone.

This post deserves a trigger warning so here it is. Please don’t read this if you feel like you could potentially be triggered, I want you all to stay safe and feel safe and if this post won’t help with that, please feel free to skip it. 

“There is a strong difference between education and forcing a child to  describe to them  the sexual acts they carry out with their current boyfriend and or girlfriend” 

I’m all for educating kids about how to have safe sex, 110%. Use all of the protection please!!! Condoms and dams, The pill, the patch, the ring, the shot or an IUD. Whatever you do, do it safely and consensually

But there is a major difference between telling your son or daughter to use a condom and asking them if they liked giving a hand job.

It’s taken me a painfully long time to understand this, and I think that it really only came in to focus for me today.

I have had a lot of really fucked up things happen to me, and my ideas and feelings about intimacy are very skewed. Quite frankly I’m fucking terrified to be with anyone because of the ways that my step father painted these acts to be. The way he pried at me to answer all of his inappropriate, disgusting questions. How uncomfortable that made me feel and the fact that he didn’t stop when I asked him to.

I have definitely come to realize this for myself, that I do need to work on this if I want to go on in life having meaningful relationships, which I crave so much.

I crave intimacy,  and that’s okay.

I want to be held and have my hair brushed behind my ear so that you can kiss me on the cheek.

I want to be able to have you ask me what I like without me feeling like I have a film of scum covering my entire body.

I want to be able to separate my trauma from future life experiences.

I know that with time I will be able to, but it is so frustrating to live in a world where so few people will understand that I need time to even be able to be physically intimate (Which is how meaningful sex should be anyway???)

Five moths ago my counsellor told me that I should steer clear of relationships for a while, as I had been treating them like someone turns to alcohol when they’re hurting. I was doing the same thing, but seeking out a relationship to bury my  resentment, my fear and the pain that I was experiencing.

Today she encouraged me to get out there and meet someone. She said that right now, it would be really healthy for me to find someone healthy and have fun with that person. She encouraged me to live the normal life that I want to live.

I’m so proud of that, because I did that for myself. I can tell that I’m getting better and I haven’t been able to say that for a very long time,

But there’s still a long way to go.

 

All my love,

Megan xx

Thank you.

I want to be more grateful. 

I want to thank those that have helped me through so much, and the honest truth is that there really wasn’t many people who had done that for me back in Victoria. I constantly felt like I was either letting people down or that they were giving up on me.

The one person who has been there through it all is my Dad.

So this one’s for you.

I know you may not read this, and that’s okay, but I want you to know how much your constant support and admiration has helped me. You’ve seen me at my absolute rock bottom, and you’ve seen me at the top of the world.

Every Middle School band concert that I’m sure wasn’t great to listen to,

you were right there, smiling back at me. You sat through hours of strings music (which I know you love so much)  just to hear my three songs that I played half assed on the trombone because I honestly had no idea what the hell I was doing. Most of that is probably because instead of practicing at home, I was almost always in the kitchen with you, cooking and dancing, but you were still always right there, beaming with pride.

In High School, I started making my own lunches,  but even when I didn’t or I forgot to you always made sure that I had something substantial to bring along. You were always there.

When I got an A on an essay, you’d congratulate me and tell me how proud you were to be my Father and how lucky you were.

And when I became sick, you were there too. I’m sorry that I was no longer the bubbly, fun loving soul that you knew so well. I know that it hurt you to see me in such unbearable pain. I know that it was sometimes difficult to understand how I was feeling, or why I was feeling that way because you couldn’t physically see my ailments that were festering inside of my head.

But you were still there.

You’d tell me when dinner was ready, you’d help me out of bed, and encourage me to change in to something other than the four day old PJ’s that I sported so often.

When I look back now, I see how much that my pain caused you, and while I know that it isn’t my fault, I’m sorry that it did hurt you.

For the fourteen years prior, you knew me as the smart, kind, selfless and creative little girl that I was. Within months all of that fell right through the cracks.

I’m sorry that I left you for so long, and that I would push you away sometimes, I know that the only thing that you wanted to was to help me feel better, you just didn’t know how.

I had no clue either.

But every day that I would tell you that my day was “Ok” and nothing more,

Every day that I would go home and lay in bed in a dark room for hours at a time,

Every day that I told you I was too unwell to go to school and that I would stay home,

You were there for me.

You were a shoulder to cry on,

a coffee date when I needed and wanted to talk,

You were the only person that never, not for a second gave up on me. 

So thank you for everything that you have done for me,

for all of the counselling appointments you’ve brought me to, picked me up from and gone with me to.

for believing me when I told you about my abuse.

for protecting me.

 

Thank you for being the best father that I could ever have, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love you Pedro.

 

All my love,

Megan xx

 

 

Lonely Hearts Club

It’s that time of the year again where all the people that are in love get to celebrate their passion and admiration for each other. While I am unbelievably happy for those in my life that are in a relationship that’s healthy and satisfying for them, it isn’t easy watching from the sidelines, especially when you already feel so alone 98% of the time.

This Valentine’s I’m trying to remember that this time last year I was in a very unhealthy relationship, and that I’m grateful that I’m not in the middle of that anymore.

Sure there are days where I hate being alone and I want nothing more than to be held and have my hair played with and my forehead kissed.

Hell I want that most days. 

But thank fucking god that I am in a healthy and committed relationship with myself now instead. When I moved I promised myself that this was for me.

No one else.

I wouldn’t allow my life to become something that’s purpose was to fit someone elses falsified image of myself.

I lost so much of myself in my previous relationship, and I hate that I allowed myself to. I used to paint three to four days a week, practice my guitar and ukulele almost every night and sing my heart out until my vocal chords were tired.

I’m not going to say that he took that away from me, because he didn’t,

but he didn’t encourage me to invest time in to those things the way that I had before “we” became a thing. I didn’t feel like I could because everything had to be about him, and I don’t think that he really realized how much his actions affected me and the things that I found joy in, or maybe I’m just trying to assume the best in people as I always do.

I specifically remember after we had broken up playing my guitar and singing again, and my Dad popped his head in my door and said

“I’ve missed you”.

It was then that I realized how toxic my relationship with that person and myself had become.

I’m happy with who I am as an individual,

and it took me so long to realize that the reason that I was so distraught when my ex broke up with me was because I was afraid of fighting this battle alone. I know that I have my family and my friends that will always back me up, but a hand to hold and someone to wipe your tears is something entirely different.

I’ve grown and learned a lot about myself since then and I’m confident in myself that I am okay on my own, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am lonely.

For all of you out there who are feeling the same, here’s to us,

because we’re some of the strongest, most bad ass people there are. 

Lets just all be each others Valentine’s, how’s that?

 

All my love

Megan xx

Season 4 – Episode 1

I write to you all from the cozy comfort of my warm bed tonight. I want to apologize for the lack of posts that I have not been posting as of late. I know that the purpose of this blog is to

A) Help others going through a difficult period in their lives / battling mental health issues / struggling to keep their heads above water

and

B) Help me 

but recently I’ve been really struggling with yet another depressive episode and it’s been taking a tole on my creative ability.

I’ve been consciously making an effort to turn this episode around in to something a little more enjoyable, maybe something in the same pallet as The Office?

All jokes aside it’s been genuinely terrifying to feel myself falling in to these unhealthy habits again.

Not physically being able to wake up in the morning,

Not eating a solid meal until the end of the day,

Not going to a massage therapist for the pinched nerve in my back that causes me excruciating pain for fear of being touched by a stranger.

And you know it’s so frustrating to me because I know for a fact that I will pull through this, it’s not nearly as bad as what I have been like in the past and I’m fucking thankful for that if anything. I’ve gone through this cycle more times than I can count on my fingers and toes combined.

I started a mindfulness group last week and the counsellor that did the initial intake with me asked me if I was suicidal. I said

“No,

But I have been before” That reminded me of how lucky I am to be here, that all of those times that I wanted my pain to end more than anything else in this entire universe,

I had the strength not to. 

I’ve been going to counselling every Wednesday morning at 9:30 balls AM.

And it helps.

After moving away from Victoria I felt better than I had in over two years, I felt free and I don’t think I’d truly felt that since I was no taller than the kitchen counter. Reality eventually set in however and while I’m not a self loathing mess like I used to be, I’m aware that both Depression and Anxiety will likely hang around off and on for the remaining duration of this rollercoaster film that is my life.

and I’m okay with that. 

I have felt unbearable pain and it has made me kind.

I have seen horrendous things and want nothing but to paint beauty for all.

I have been violated time and time again by this world and continue to move forward spreading kindness that society lacks wherever I can.

I’m a better person because of all of this bullshit that the universe has decided to throw at me, and you bet I’m damn proud of it.

It’s on days like these that I tell myself this.

It’s on days like this that I want you all to tell yourself this.

 

All my love,

-Megan xx

 

 

Adulting??

It’s been quite a while since I wrote an update, so today on my day off I thought that I would do just that.

Reflecting on these last few months, they’ve been nothing but crazy busy. Between working nearly forty hours a week, deciding that I do in fact want to go to University come summer, trying to write my application and attempting to not doubt myself, I’m still finding time for myself like today.

I had a counselling appointment at nine this morning, then treated myself to breakfast and now I’m in a cute little coffee shop with a cup of tea in hand writing this for you.

While I have been finding time for myself, I guess you could say that I am at a bit of crossroad with my job and life in general. A promotion is nearly right at my fingertips and now I’m beginning to get cold feet. For the past few moths since I got to my new store, the management team has been shaping me up to be a supervisor, and while I was overjoyed about the opportunity at first, I’m now scared that it’s not what I want.

I originally wasn’t set on whether or not I wanted to go to school right away, let alone what I wanted to do there. Now that I do want to go, I realize how much more stress this promotion would bring in to my life, and I honestly don’t know if I would be able to leave work, at work where it should be. I’m trying to weigh the pro’s and the con’s of a two dollar pay increase and a higher level of involvement at the store and the exceedingly stressful situations that being a supervisor could put me in to.

This whole application business is throwing me through a loop as well because I barely have over a month to complete it which probably seems like an excessive amount of time to a normal human being, but to me, that’s not long at all. Maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t have three months to go over my answers to these questions over and over again until I know the words that I’ve written down by heart. I mean, it definitely is a good thing that I don’t have the ability to do that.

I know that I have the capability to get in to the school and succeed, but it’s a matter of getting there and having the confidence in knowing that I am indeed, good enough. 

I now at long last have an established time and day that I’ll be seeing my counsellor here, which comes as a huge wave of relief as I’ve just been too busy to be going regularly. I forgot how much I genuinely enjoy my counselling appointments. They help me understand why I react a certain way to things that happen to me, and how I can better myself as a human.

A few weeks back I returned to Victoria for the first time since I left and I honestly didn’t gain a whole lot of positive from the trip. By all means it was amazing to see my best friends back there; Emily and Matt, if you’re reading this I love you both so much and I hold you so close and dear to my heart. The both of you hold so much value on this earth and I cannot wait to see what it holds for the both of you and us, together.

While in Victoria, Emily and I both got new piercings that we had been wanting for quite some time. I was scared as hell and nearly chickened out, but thank god Emily didn’t give me a choice once we flipped a coin to see who would go first and she’d lost. I’m so happy with my newly decorated Tragus and

I’m proud of myself for going through with it.

By going back to Victoria, I reassured myself that I did make the right decision to pick up and leave. Being there is so hard for me. I felt and still do feel like I’m constantly being watched and it’s an indescribable, unsettling feeling that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

I’m so glad that I did decide to move here. While there have been difficult moments, I’m just overall a much happier, healthier human being.

I know that this hasn’t really been a helpful post, or on anything in particular but I honestly feel like I am at a crossroad, and I’m making a lot of major life decisions and I wanted you to know what I have been getting up to.

I want to remind you all that I’m open to suggestions on why to write about, my inbox is open and I hope you drop some.

As always,

All my love,

 

Megan xx

The Anniversary Effect

The Anniversary Effect : Defined as a unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience.

I wasn’t familiar with the term until a few months ago, when it put a name to the symptoms that I feel every November.

It’s now been two years since shit hit the fan with my now ex step father and my Mom.

And while I could very well focus on all of the difficult emotions that this time of the year triggers, I’m trying desperately hard to acknowledge all of the positive things that I’ve done since then, and the progress that I have made.

I’m damn fucking proud of myself for everything that I’ve gotten myself through over these past two years. I’ve been through hell and back, and I honestly didn’t think that I would come back from where I was at such a dark point in my life.

TW

Two years ago almost to the day, I spent nearly forty five minutes in the shower clawing at my skin until I bled because I felt so damn filthy because of what my step father had been doing to me over the previous year and a half. It wasn’t until a day before that that I had realized what he was doing.

I was devastated.

I felt my entire world crumble around me, and I couldn’t escape the falling rubble.

But guess what?

I did, and I’m still here.

I wake every morning not for fear that I’ll have a nightmare that night. I get up, and want to go out because I love the fresh air, and going places on my own. I found peace in being alone after so long of being afraid of the very same thing. I look forward to my bus ride to work because it does take twenty minutes, but it’s twenty minutes where I’m not obligated to have to talk to anyone, and I can reflect on my own thoughts and emotions.

Two years ago I was terrified of all of that. I was terrified to open my eyes every morning. I was scared of being alive, and it truly does break my heart to think about how broken I felt that I was.

For some, all of these may sound like such minor victories, but for me they’re the most meaningful of all. I know that I have the strength within me to get myself through whatever life decides to throw my way. God knows that I hope that it’ll be nothing like what I’ve already been through, but if it is, so be it. I know now that I can do whatever it is that I please, and be confident in knowing that I do have the strength to do that.

I want all of you out there struggling to know that you’re more resilient than you think. You’re stronger than what you could ever anticipate, regardless of what you yourself or others will tell you.

You have what it takes to get through all of this. Even if you feel like you have no one, you will always have yourself, and you will always have me.

I’m rooting for all of you. 

 

All my love,

Megan xx

What Counselling is like

I can’t begin to explain to you how afraid I was of seeking help for my mental health issues. I was terrified of the idea of seeing a psychologist, a counsellor or even a psychiatrist. What I can tell you is what a significant, positive impact it has had on my life. I’ve been in counselling ongoing for almost four years now, and I can confidently say that deciding to go was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far.

It can be absolutely mortifying to some people to open up to someone, tell them things that you’ve never told anyone before; it truly is on a whole other level of vulnerable. Know that they’re there for a reason. Counsellors want to help you, they went to school so that they can sit with you and help you work through what you’re going through.

Far too many people immediately picture Freud sitting in front of you taking notes, while you lay reclined in a black leather couch as he questions you about your relationship with your mother and father as a child. This image of “counselling” is completely inaccurate and a misconception. Counselling doesn’t look like that. I’ve seen eight different people from School counsellors, Trauma Counsellors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists in the past four years, and I can say that none of them looked like freud nor did they have a leather couch.

So this is for you, if you’re seeking counselling services for any number of reasons, if you’re afraid to see a counsellor and want to know what counselling is like or if you just want a (good???) read.

They can’t talk about you to their friends over a plate of nachos on Friday night.

Something that you should know, and that they’ll tell you is that they are legally obligated to tell no one what you share with them. The only time they are obligated to say something to somebody is if you or someone else is at risk to harm, or if you’re planning on hurting yourself or someone else. If you’ve ever seen a counsellor/Psychologist you’ll know that this is often mentioned and agreed upon in session #1.

They won’t ask upon meeting you “So what’s wrong with you?”

How comforting would that be? Like any relationship built on trust, they’ll introduce themselves to you, and they’ll expect you to do the same. It’s more than likely that they’ll ask you questions to prompt you to open up about your life. Not necessarily relating to the reason you ended up in their office, but things like what you do in your spare time? what you do for a living? or what you’re taking in school? Point is, is that they aren’t going to cut to the chase straight away, they know very well that it’s likely a sensitive topic, and that it takes some getting to know each other before you will be comfortable talking to them openly.

They won’t throw you in the deep end without a life jacket.

Lets be real, regardless of the reason that you ended up in their office, it will likely have triggers attached to it. A lot of counsellors will invite you to acknowledge when you feel triggered, especially when you’re with them, so that you can work through why it triggered you and how to handle yourself and your emotions/reactions when you’re feeling that way. While they may do this, they won’t do it without supporting you, and if they do, run like hell and find a better counsellor.

Counselling should be an open, acknowledging,  judgemental free place. 

While I’ve seen quite a few good counsellors, I’ve also seen a few that I wasn’t the biggest fan of. When I was first becoming depressed again I confided in a school counsellor and he couldn’t have cared less about what I had told hm. That really hurts me because I was reaching out for help, and he didn’t acknowledge how I was feeling, therefore not offering to help me. Not every counsellor will be like that, in fact I really haven’t had another person tell me “Yeah, we’ll get back to that”, so I can confidently say that most won’t be like that. While their job is to help you, you may not click with every counsellor right off the bat, or maybe at all, and that’s completely okay too. At the moment my current counsellor is 72 and our personalities clicked almost immediately. Point is, if you don’t feel comfortable with the person, or don’t like them, don’t give up on counselling. Seek out a new counsellor and try again, I promise it will help even if you don’t notice it right away.

You have to be willing to put in the work too.

If you can’t tell already, this blog isn’t about sugar coating things, and I’m not about to start now. To get better you need to WANT to get better. Even if it’s the most tiny, minuscule part of you that wants to improve, it’s there and that’s huge. Something that my counsellor in Victoria told me that she appreciated about me was that I was willing to put in the effort. I came to appointments, even if I felt like never leaving my bed agin, I’d drag my butt out of my nest and go to counselling. It showed me that even on my darkest days, I did something for me that was beneficial.  I don’t know if counsellors in the profession see it the same way I do, but I believe that most of counselling is you doing the work. You’re getting yourself there, you’re talking about things that trouble you and you’re willing to work through them. That’s all on you. Sure the counsellor’s there to support you and give you tools along the way, but it’s you that’s wanting to get better.

There’s always access to counselling services, regardless of income or social status.

A huge misconception is that counselling is only for those that can afford it. I know so many people that have neglected seeking out counselling even when they wanted to because they didn’t believe that they could afford it. Guess what? IT DOESN’T NEED TO COST $250 AN HOUR. A great way to start looking in to your options is checking in with your family doctor, they can suggest different services to suit your individual needs. I know that in Canada, BC specifically that there are multiple hotlines that offer counselling services over the phone. Some cities even have youth clinics that often offer counselling, Psychological and Psychiatric services for no charge. All post secondary schools have counsellors that are there for you to access, utilize them!

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE), or call your local crisis centre.

You have the strength to get through this, and I’m so proud of you for coming this far.

All my love,

Megan xx