I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sharing with you all....

Hey  yo! Here we are, a place for my many ramblings and thoughts. I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Shani and in the PSP community (digital scrap kits, graphics, tags, etc.) as “Wicked Princess”. I usually just post on my related blogs for all my design stuff. But I decided I needed something more. Something that helped me gets me to a point of being comfortable in my own little world. It’s funny as I was sitting here trying to organize my thoughts on what my first post should be, I saw something my friend Kelli posted on Facebook. It said, “I am obsessed with becoming a woman comfortable in her own skin.” That cinched it right there! So, I’ll just tell it like it’s in my head and pray that it all makes sense to anybody else! Often, I even confuse myself!
Why a blog full of random ramblings or whatever it becomes? I’ve found myself lately being more and more vocal about many things. If something bugs me, or I see someone I love get hurt by ignorance, I have to say something. If I’m happy, and crazy and silly, I have to say something. I end up making these big old posts on Facebook and sometimes ramble on. Other times, I feel like I’ve gotten my point across and I feel better. So instead of that and having it get lost along the way, I wanted to chronical it here…for all of you to be able to share in and find something that helps. Whether it’s information, support, humor, laughter, understanding, I want to help.

For days now I’ve been trying to figure out what my first post should be about. It’s made me nuts because my brain in all its ADD glory runs idea after idea through my insomniac tic gray matter. Often enough they overlap and intertwine. Ok, so here it is….a little about me. No, it doesn’t matter whether or not you wanted to know. LOL

I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body.  At 37 years old, I’ve been to hell and back and taken a vacation from it somewhere in the snow and cold. One of the things that make me a Survivor is that I Survived abuse in many ways as a child. Thankfully, we got away from it as a teenager and it stopped from happening. But it stays with you. It has stayed with me for 21 years. My parents divorced when I was just 1 month old. The man who donated some fertilizer to my existence (from here out called the donor btw) pretty much chose the “other” woman over his kids. I saw him just twice in my whole life. I was around 4 the last time, and he walked out and never came back. I was 19 years old when I heard from him. More on that another time.

My mom met Mike when I was around 2 and eventually we moved from our house in the city I was born in, and into his house. Over the course of 15 or so years, he abused us in many ways. Financially, he used the hell out of my mom for years. Emotionally, it would get worse. Verbal?  Yup that too…for all three of us. My mom worked her ass off for what seemed like forever and a day. My brother and I were latch key kids even then. We kept the abuse that was happening to us away from her f or the most part. Because why? The usual, the abuser threatened us that she would get hurt if we told. So we didn’t tell. She kept the abuse that was happening to her (I won’t go into the extent) because like he had done to us, he told her he would hurt us. It was things for us like, if we even looked at him wrong. BAM…back handed slap. Didn’t eat your dinner? To bed early, no food until morning. Dare to defy or get mad back? Paddle time. I couldn’t tell you what we did this once to warrant a whooping in his eyes. But he sent us out front to the willow tree to pull off switches. If they weren’t what he wanted, he sent us back out. Yes, he then whooped us with them just enough to leave red marks and no bruises. I have a hard time looking at thin branches of trees sometimes. It’s that reminder of a moment in my life I can never get back. Verbally, he told me I was fat, ugly, worthless, etc. Things always had to be his way, and if you didn’t do it, you paid for it. There will be times when I talk about this more. Some days maybe just a little, other days a lot. So please accept my apologies now for just the random ramblings that I’m sharing. Those close to me know that I am this way, so they understand me a bit more than others. LOL

As I get older and my PTSD waves its ugly hands all over in my face, I struggle. I struggle with sleeping without nightmares. Being able to go somewhere without a flashback or reminder of a moment in my life that something horrible happened. I struggle to be able to just push past something as simple as buying a certain amount of toilet paper. I’m often teased about my TP obsession. Let me explain this one. Growing up, Mike was extremely cheap. My mom ended up paying a lot out to him for various things. Even at that, he was a cheapskate come to think of it. Anyhoo, his rule was that you were only allowed FIVE squares of TP anytime you went to the bathroom. Yes, including if you had the trots. I grew up like that, and it stuck with me. He was all about saving money and we shouldn’t “waste” it. Got a runny nose? Too bad…wipe it on your shirt. But don’t get let it be visible, you must not look like trash when you go outside now. Because of that, I have gained this everlasting need to have as many rolls of TP in my house as I can. The most I’ve ever had is 220 rolls. Yup, you read that right! One time, when we lived with my in laws, my FIL told my kids to stop wasting the TP. Then he proceeded to tell them to only use 5 squares. That was a HUGE trigger for me and I lost my shit. I was yelling at him, cussing him out, I saw red. I freaked out everyone, and later on when I had calmed down, I scared myself. He didn’t know that it was a trigger, and I almost felt bad about it. I would have felt truly bad except he was being a dick to my kids when he said that.

My long awaited point on this last part is, PTSD is truly real. The ones you live with it as their roommate/bunk-mate live with the triggers. You live with the fact that at any moment in your day and night, something can set you off and you have a flashback or it makes you go into hardcore freak out mode. For every Survivor that lives with this very real and very damaging disorder, it’s different. For some it gets easier to control. For others, it only gets worse. PTSD effects millions of people in the world. You may hear most often about PTSD in regards to war veterans. My heart aches for them, and for the ones that love them. But keep in mind, that more than just troops have this disorder. Those who have suffered any kind of trauma at any time are susceptible to living with this. It’s hard, maybe the hardest thing you ever deal with.

I encourage you to seek out help, don’t rely on yourself to do it alone. It’s not something you can truly master alone. Reach out to someone. A loved one, a friend, a counselor, religious figure, etc. Reach out and say, “I need help.”. You know, it doesn’t make you weak. If anything, it makes you stronger. It builds you up enough to tackle that mountain and prayerfully get better. Don’t wait until you’re on a ledge so to speak.  I’ve been so blessed to be able to have someone to lean on when I get hit with it all. Remember, you truly ARE  a Survivor and this too can be worked through. I can promise you that. Have faith in yourself, in the ones that are helping you and look for support. There are tons of groups out there on FB and chat rooms all around.  Survivors make it through the battle with a few battle scars and less sleep, but none the less they do one thing. SURVIVE! You can do this…reach out…seek help and remember, YOU ARE WORTHY of peace. No matter what anyone says.

With that my amazing friends, I’m done rambling for the day. I plan on posting often to the blog. In some ways my own little online journal.  Feel free to leave comments, find me on FB or email me! I’ll leave links in the sidebar.

I wish you many blessings and peace!
High Fives and Cheetos!

Shani

5 comments:

  1. Not sure how much I've told you about my younger years but I can totally relate to everything you have said. It's part of the reason I'm single. Those flashbacks cause me to self-destruct whenever things are going too good for me. Any time you want/need a shoulder you know where to find me! Love you my Neenja friend!

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    1. I love you sweetie! You are amazing and I thank you!

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  2. Every unexpected sound makes you jump out of your skin, nearly. An eyebrow lifted a certain way, a hand that probably never hurt anyone clenched a certain way, a smell, a song...ah, yes, triggers. A tiny criticism untempered by kindness cuts to the bone, and the nights..oh, yes, the nights can be very, very long.

    You're far from alone; more of us than you might think are Walking Wounded. Know that I am ALWAYS here if the yayas get you, if the shivers won't stop, if you can't turn off the memories.

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  3. Mine is the noises. A creaky step, a shuffled foot. My name being hollared at me. So many things that can bring them on. I feel lucky to have the friends that I do. The ones that don't judge and even knowing that I'm broken still love me anyway.

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