New Year

So it’s Day 5 into the new year – technically, as I type this it’s Day 6 but since I  don’t count a day as ending until I turn in to bed, it’s still Day 5 for me – and I’m happy to say that I’ve had an eventful holiday/semester break.

Ever since Christmas at Chérie’s family’s, we’ve been inseparable. Below are some photos of us to highlight our stay together. She left for home a few hours ago and this apartment has never been quieter. After she left, I thought about how perfect this woman is in my life, and how she fulfills all of my needs, and more.I can’t imagine how my 2016 would’ve ended had she not entered my life.

I also thought about how great of a positive impact she’s had on my mental health. She’s been very encouraging during all my lows – and I discover that I am able to be vulnerable with her, and allow her to see me at my weakest, as well as allow her to help me. Much of what she says is still hard to believe but with repetition, I’m starting to build the habit of listening to her and to trust her. It’s been quite an experience.

I realized that having her around for the holidays, the impact of my depression has definitely been dulled. I still get into my low moods but they’re not as bad as they were back in the period of April – October. I see how important it is to have a significant other who understands my struggle as well as woks hard to help me in my walk.

Between the two of us, I have a more severe anxiety disorder, while she has a more severe ADHD, so it really works out well because I provide for her the coping skills that she lacks, while she provides me the coping skills I lack. She’s always able to see past my anxiety and help me see past it as well, while I’m always able to remind her to do the things that she needs to do (having poor short term memory is pretty typical in ADHD sufferers).

I know I’ve talked about Chérie a lot lately, and it seems like I can’t talk about anything else but her. However, if you have someone who’s impacted your life so drastically, I don’t think you’d be able to stop talking about them either…

In any case, I’m going into 2017 with more positive feelings. I hope that things will continue to go smoothly – I can’t help but feel like after such a shitty 2016, I need a breather, and I need a year that won’t keep pounding me down.

I hope everyone else’s year started out right! I hope that I will be able to have more time to blog.

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19 thoughts on “New Year

  1. I hope you have LESS time to blog, because hopefully your life will be filling up with good experiences, well-being, peace, content, joy, and reduction in symptoms!

    Beautiful photos there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Skinnyhobbit! I definitely hope that my time management skills would be better this time around now that the most severe of symptoms are lessening! I hope that I won’t get too overwhelmed when the semester starts next week! 🙂

      And aww, thank you! 🙂 I have never felt so happy than since I came out as bisexual and met my wonderful gf. Who knew just being genuine can feel so right, huh?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. University sounds super duper stressful! (Esp Comp Sci because I dropped out from my comp sci degree haha). One thing I’ve learned is that time management is really a skill which some of us haven’t been taught esp if we grew up in a dysfunctional family.

        I am so glad your symptoms are improving and that you are experiencing greater well-being since you came out and met your wonderful Cherie! (Sorry, on mobile and can’t figure how to type the special e) 🙂 🙂

        Keep on keeping on through good times and difficult times. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. University has definitely been very very stressful since I switched to CompSci! I sometimes beat myself up about it because it WAS my choice – but a choice I made poorly but at the same time, I know that if I apply myself well enough, and take one thing at a time, I’ll be able to get it (fingers crossed!).

        Yeah, my suicidal ideations have finally taken a break. I haven’t had a suicidal thought in maybe 2 weeks and that’s quite an improvement! The anxiety still needs work but on the depression side of things, things are definitely better! 🙂

        And no worries on the e. I know how much of a pain it is to type that character – most of the time, I have to just go and copy/paste from my previous post. XD You can access the e on mobile by long-pressing the regular e. 😉

        And thank you! I hope that things are going well for yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Fingers crossed for you! Know that it’s OK to fail (not that I’m wishing failure on you!) – so often if we are perfectionistic it feels terrifying to experience setbacks and failures. Esp if doing every little thing right and getting good grades was a survival method and a mode used to fight feelings of worthlessness.

        I’m glad things are getting better for you. Anxiety and depression are definitely hard, however I do believe you will heal. It’s hard for us with trauma from growing up as well as facing ongoing discrimination or other stressors yet it is so rewarding to grow,

        Things are going well for me 🙂 I learned that my long distance partner is fine with my difficulties around sexual activity stemming from sexual trauma. That was very, very healing and comforting for me.

        May Cherie be the perfect person in all her imperfections to you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, I’ve learned that the hard way last semester after “failing” all of my classes. I legitimately failed one of my classes, and barely scraped through the other two classes with a C, and a C- but in my mind, a C might as well be “failures”. But you’re right. It is terrifying to have such a setback. However, I did learn a valuable lesson that although it was painful, it was necessary because now I can start to learn properly – without caring about the grades because now I know that the world didn’t end when I got a D. That I’m still here, and I didn’t kill myself over a dumb thing like a grade. It’s interesting that you’d mention that as a coping mechanism for worthlessness though – I never really considered it before but you’re so right. It’s one thing that clearly tells us whether we’re good or not, when everything else doesn’t.

        Yeah, I am glad too. Now knowing from experience, I’m sure things will come back to crush me again (perhaps I’m just being a little too negative and am always just bracing myself for the worst!), but I think I’ll be able to handle it better now. At the very least, I know that I have a support system – both online and in person.

        Growth is definitely quite rewarding especially if you take the time to look back on your progress!!

        Long-distance is just the worst! I am so stressed that my Cherie lives about 6 hours away by car (374 miles away!). I hope that you’ll be able to cope well with the distance and be able to see each other often enough! I’m so glad to hear that your partner is ok with your difficulties. That is definitely something that is very hard to discuss as well as accept, especially if that person has never met someone who’s survived a trauma before. I’ve had the same issues too – I always had difficulty feeling comfortable or aroused around my ex, so I always felt that I was broken somehow. I’m happy to say that that’s not true and that there is a way around it. I say this so that you can know that there is hope – I realized that my trust for Cherie is what I lacked with my ex which was what contributed to the sexual difficulties. I hope that you and your partner can figure something out and be able to have a fulfilling and intimate relationship! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. *hugs* you will find people willing to be there for you. You are a good person, and people see that. I know that’s really hard to believe especially as trauma from abuse can really really make one “different” and subject to being bullied…and so we carry around the core belief that we’re bad and disgusting. You have Cherie now, and you have better support systems too, all through your hard work connecting with people despite fear, risk.

        Long distance is definitely hard, but I’ve become experienced with it. Supposedly the thread that weaves strong fibers to form a think bond around the core thread of love …is making our partner feel like part of your daily life, and you in theirs.

        Def will be happy to chat about coping with LDRs with you!

        I’m so glad you have less sexual difficulties around Cherie. I was victimised by my brother and my partner is male so there’s a lot of difficulty. You give me a lot of hope actually as you write about your therapy! *hugs*

        Keep writing, I’d be glad to be part of your online support network.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I think I’ve been fortunate enough in 2016 to find (or rather rediscover) people who are willing to be there – to be my support system. 2016 has definitely been eye opening for me because there were people that I never thought I’d ever talk to again who turned out to be my best supports!

        You’re right in saying that we do have that sense of worthlessness coming from our traumas. I often feel like I’m never goo enough because my parents have rarely validated my efforts. That, and the sexual abuse I suffered through my early childhood had definitely caused a lot of extra problems. I was abused by a boy so I had a lot of difficulty with my ex. I think I’d have been better if he hadn’t been so crass through the whole experience. He didn’t understand the impact of my trauma so he didn’t help matters. I take your discussion with your partner to be a good sign that he’s willing and is open to speak about what you and he need. (Cherie and I talk about what feels good, and what doesn’t all the time which has helped tremendously. She has also been very good about checking with me to make sure that I’m comfortable, bearing the traumatic past in mind).

        Yeah, I’ll probably have to write more on LDRs and how to cope with the distance. I would add to yours in saying that communication is also key. Without it, there really is no relationship.

        Also, I’m sorry that you had to go through such a terrible trauma. Sexual trauma have impacted me in more ways than just how I feel during sexual activities so I get just how difficult it is to deal with recovery from that. I’m also glad that you’re able to relate to what I’ve been writing and find hope there!

        Thanks again, skinnyhobbit. Your words have been so encouraging to me today! Might I suggest that you write about your experiences as well. You never know who you could help (No pressure though)!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I’m so glad that various people have turned out to be your best supporters! You deserve love, support, care – a myriad of good connections.

        Yes, I sorta feel that culturally, Chinese families aren’t good at emotional validation. There’s a set of studies done in Singapore who showed there’s a shift from the 1980s to present towards a much more emotionally warm parenting relationship, with far less physical punishment, and far less emotional shaming.

        Child sexual abuse is also very scarring and damaging even if it wasn’t repeated. And yours was. Furthermore parental inaction (through ignorance or outright blaming the child) is also very damaging

        Your ex sounds like a piece of work, sorry. He shouldn’t have been so crass and so unempathic! Fortunately for me, Bear has been very supportive about the trauma I experienced – I agree that good communication is key! I’m so glad Chérie and you talk openly about what feels good, what doesn’t and comfort levels – that’s so very important in helping us feel safe!

        Today, my conversation with you helped me muster the courage to talk about my issues with sex given my trauma with my therapist! *virtual hugs*!

        I mostly write on instagram where I have a private account, though I’ve been considering rebooting my blog. Just deathly afraid of trolls, as well as afraid of certain peopleand family finding such my blog. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I’m so glad that these people turned out to be such amazing supports as well because I’ve always felt that I was all alone (lies that depression told me, of course). I’m starting to believe that more – that I deserve to be loved, and to be cared for.

        Yes, it’s interesting you should mention that study because I do find that my own parents seem to have made a slight shift towards that as well. Recently, I was very very surprised to read my mother’s comment on my Facebook account telling me that they’d like for me and Cherie to go home and visit (I might’ve mentioned that I haven’t seen them in 5 years). That is HUGE because my mother has not talked to me since I came out. So it definitely feels like there’s a shift in attitude.

        Yeah, S calls that the “bystander effect” – that because of their inaction, I also have rage for them as well as for the abuser. They just stand by and did nothing so in essence, they almost seem to have been the ones who caused it.

        Yeah, my ex was horrible to me – and it took me 9 years to realize it – I mean, it’s amazing that it even hit me. I was unable to let go of him, and all the good times. But that was all because I was so emotionally abused and so conditioned to think that he was my whole world that I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t until the Peer Educator’s relationship violence workshop that I realized what had happened to me and was able to properly start the recovery process from my divorce. I want so badly to write about him but I can’t do that here because he knows my blog address… But oh how badly I want to write about this because I know just how helpful it’ll be for others in my situation to realize themselves that they ARE victims, and that they ARE being abused and lied to! I might some day (soon I hope) be able to muster the courage to write this story because damnit, if I’m going to let someone stop me from speaking out.

        I’m so glad that you were able to bring up the trauma with your therapist!! *virtual hug* It sucks to deal with it, but after I did, it didn’t seem to scary anymore. It didn’t seem so bad. S told me that that’s the whole point – to shine the light in the dark corners where our traumas/fear/depression/anxiety/etc hides so that we can weaken their grip on us. I hope that you and your therapist will be able to work through all the trauma!!

        Oh cool! Well, I’d love to read what you have to share. I was very afraid of trolls as well, but you know what? I’ve only so far met one. I’ve never had to ban any comments or anyone from here. I’ve found the WordPress mental health community to be incredibly supportive and nothing but helpful. I’ve also gotten nothing but positive feedback for the things I’ve written! So don’t let that stop you. Also, being anonymous-ish always helps. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You do deserve to be cared for, cared about, supported and loved! Prolonged childhood trauma makes it so hard to believe that.

        Wow, I hope your mother comes around, and that you can visit home with Cherie! I’m so sorry she hasn’t talked to you since you came out – I hope this shift continues in a positive direction 🙂

        Yes, wow I like S haha. That rage is valid and a necessary part of healing rather than anger turned inward at ourselves.

        It took me a relationship violence thing from a friend for me to realise many of my few friendships were really emotionally abusive towards me. Like you and your ex, I thought it was all me, me being not good enough, me being bad, me being horrible.

        Take your time in blogging about it, at your own pace – I’m very sure it will help many people validate the struggle and pain they’re in!

        I agree – once I told my therapist (incidentally also named Cherie!), the shame reduced a tiny little bit as she affirmed me, validated me, and didn’t judge me.

        I’m really scared of trolls maybe because I’m relatively new to the mental health community and some abusive friends were also fellow abuse survivors. Plus other online communities I’ve been to have been in online gaming subculture which are so filled with homophobia, mocking of trauma survivors, rape jokes galore etc.

        I do love the WordPress mental health community though, as I follow quite a few blogs but don’t write a blog myself.

        I tried once some three years ago, then got scared, but I recently deleted everything from that blog and wrote a post titled Reboot. It’s still a private, invite only blog but I’ve been thinking of opening it “public” like most of the blogs I follow 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Yeah, prolonged repeated trauma definitely messes up your mindset, worldview, and self-worth. I hate it. I know rationally I should be thinking a certain way but my rational brain can’t jive with the emotional part. >_>

        Yeah, I hope it’s positive too. A day after she told me that she thinks Cherie and I should visit, she also commented that she thinks Cherie’s hair looks good. That’s a first because she absolutely hated my ex and so she never said anything positive about him. Definitely an improvement and I see it as a positive sign. S does too and he tells me that he thinks that it’s a positive sign of healing for me too because he pointed out the fact that I wasn’t able to feel positively about my mother for a long time. The fact that I’m hopeful tells him that I’m starting to heal.

        I’m sorry you had to go through a relationship abuse. It’s definitely the worst. It makes you feel like you couldn’t ever do enough. That no matter how much you try, that you’ll never be able to save the other person. That somehow you’re just such a loser for not being good enough.

        With the post about emotional abuse, I really badly want to write it because I want to represent the people who are the silent victims. The ones who don’t want to speak out because of fear (of personal repercussions like the loss of security/safety), and to also raise awareness for other women who are like me – who didn’t even know that they were in an abusive relationship! Most women in abusive relationships tend to believe the lies that their abuser tells them. They tend to think that they don’t deserve true love from anyone else so they’ll settle for the douchebag that chose them.

        Don’t worry about the trolls, skinnyhobbit. The community here at WordPress can be fiercely protective, and should there ever be a troll on your blog, rest assured that they’ll quickly be cussed out by everyone else. We look after our own. 🙂 Also, there’s so many of us who are willing to listen if you’re ever upset by anyone’s comment. We’re all here for each other. I’m relatively new too – I mean, I didn’t start talking to people until last year.

        Ah yes… I do know what you’re talking about in terms of the gaming community… I absolutely hate it and that’s why I rarely game anymore. All the slurs…. Lately, it’s slurs on autistic people and that pisses me off….

        Anyway… No pressure on the blogging of course. I just think that it’d be awesome to have another articulate person in the community, sharing their side of the story, and providing a different perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Oh, for the longest time, my rational mind believed everything in my emotional mind too! It’s definitely taken lots of therapy for me, and some of the work is explicitly reframing “I told my partner to find another woman because I’m such a failure and he refuses” to “I’m grateful for my partner’s love”.

        Wow! It’s really, really good that your mother is shifting her mindset towards acceptance 🙂 I agree and yet disagree with your S slightly *ducks* haha. I think all of your feelings about your mother are OK and valid. That anger towards your mother is also really important as part of your healing, just in case you feel you “should never have” had anger or other commonly disallowed emotions. My journey is different in the sense that I’m working to access anger within myself towards those who have harmed me, including my parents.

        Yes! Relationship emotional abuse is so hard! Thank you fir expressing so very clearly that helplessness I felt about how nothing I did was good enough, my whole life revolving around them was not enough, how one walks on eggshells terrified to say something wrong or get berated for NOT saying something.

        I didn’t even know it was abusive too and they made the good so, so good. All I wanted was things to be good again and for their rage tirades at me and the threats of suicide to please end.

        Okay, maybe I’ll dust off my blog haha. I really enjoy reading and commenting on blogs but am always scared of writing myself. Not sure why, maybe because I’ve had a whole forum dedicated to hating me for my moderation of a gaming forum before.

        OMG you get the gaming subculture too! Lately it’s also making run of people with trauma triggers by yelling “triggered!!” and it’s everywhere so I have really felt top unsafe to game or even catch up with old online gaming friends because I’m realising how a few of them find it all really funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I’ve been doing this thing where instead of saying “I’m sorry for being a burden” or using “sorry” for anything, I change it to “thank you”. So “thank you for being with me”, “thank you for loving me”, etc.

        Yeah, I don’t think S is undermining the importance of the anger. It’s just that I’ve been angry for so long, and been holding a grudge. I think he’s probably just relieved that I’m slowly letting go of that grudge and anger. I think I’ve experienced it enough. I still don’t dare to be angry at them outright though. So I’m just keeping a lot of anger internally and swallowing it, which is bad…

        Yeah, it really sucks how manipulative some partners can be, so much so that the victim doesn’t even know they’re victims until it’s too late. The more I dig up the past, the more angry I am getting at my ex for all the shit he’s done. “Walking on eggshells”, you are SO right on that. I was always so afraid to be truthful because he would fly off into a rage. But when I’m not truthful, he gets into a rage about me lying to him. You really just can’t win! I started to get suicidal because I didn’t want to be in between a rock and a hard place every single day of my life! Looking back, I’m SO glad I’m done with that drama.

        Yeah, let me know if you start writing. I’d love to read it! 🙂 Ah… Forums… I avoid them like the plague. People are mean.

        Yeah… I used to be hardcore gaming on XBL as well as on Steam. Then I started getting sick to my stomach at the kind of cruelty that these children show. Most of them are just little shits who don’t have anything better to do and feel like they’re such big shits because they can cuss without their parents hearing them. I really hate the gaming subculture now – esp the FPS gamers. I still love to play these games, but only if I mute everyone. They can call me names if they’d like, as long as I can’t hear them, I don’t care. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      13. I’ve seen that suggestion on “thank you” in image form and I really should stick it up in my work cubicle or something.

        My therapist says I don’t have to express my anger directly to my parents (I’m afraid to do so, like you), that we can do so in session because supposedly it’s easier to learn assertiveness if you don’t bottle up years of anger. I swallow anger too, and am working on reducing self harming behaviours like going hungry, self harm etc.

        Placing anger on whom it belongs is definitely a learning process! For the longest time, I’d blame myself for abusive friendships etc…when they shouldn’t BE abusing in the first place. Whether it’s intentional or not doesn’t make it OK and for some, the abuse was freaking intentional.

        Oh yeah, about being truthful and lying to protect yourself. Truly a horrible double mind which is so messed up.

        I’m currently wondering if I should refer to my therapist as Cherie outright or use just C.

        And if I may ask, what tags/categories do you and others like to use on WordPress? I dunno if I want it to be “mental health” or “trauma” or related categories.

        Eeek FPS gamers yeah man. anything MMO also tends to attract horribly mean people too!

        Like

  2. I’m so glad to read this! You deserve this happiness, and it’s exciting to realize that Cherie is experiencing the same happiness.

    I was just thinking about you yesterday, so it makes me especially pleased to see this today. I hope 2017 is a wonderful year for you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Q, strange that you were thinking about me yesterday because I was just thinking of you too! Thanks for thinking of me though, I always like knowing that I’ve made an appearance in someone’s mind sometime. 🙂

      It’s so hard to trust that I deserve this happiness, so that has been quite an experience. I still go in to S and tell him how I feel like I’ll mess things up and that this relationship will end. I need to post about my progress on that aspect – I’ve discovered some interesting things about my anxiety.

      Anyway, I’m going to do my “rounds” and hopefully catch up with all your posts. I hope 2017 has begun well for you!

      Like

    1. Thank you, PD!! I’ve missed you too! I’ve always thought about you and hope that things are well on your end. I haven’t had a chance to catch up on everyone’s blogs yet but hopefully I will. I have just been lazy a lot and been vegging out watching Netflix mostly. I really need to get back to reading more. XD

      Liked by 1 person

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