“Punishments include such things as flashbacks, flooding of unbearable emotions, painful body memories, flooding of memories in which the survivor perpetrated against others, self-harm, and suicide attempts.”― Alison Miller, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

For the last month I’ve been listening to the sounds of my internal “you’re a woman it’s time to give birth” clock exploding. The “you’re a woman it’s time to settle down and get married,” clock went flying into the river, and the “you’re a woman you should have your shit together” clock just vanished.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling really guilty for not writing every day, and honestly…I decided to throw that bullshit out the window too. No offense, but I don’t owe my readers anything. I’ve worked hard over the last five years to build up a really great content library that talks about mental health, healing, and trauma.

I am the one who is always telling you all, that when it’s time to take a break, it’s time to actually enjoy having a break. I didn’t enjoy this break from the blog, I never enjoy my breaks from the blog. I hate not writing every single day, but at the end of the day, I needed time to scream. I did that a few times over the last few weeks because no matter how strong you think I might be, I still need to cry every now and then. Without an audience.

I haven’t enjoyed this time off at all, it’s been an emotional roller coaster, filled with self-doubt, anxiety, fear, depression, and misery and that’s specifically because when I go into writing/work mode, I store up all this stuff. I write about it sure, but I don’t actually -deal- with it, and so eventually it starts pouring out.

This time the trigger was my 39th birthday.

At the moment I don’t recognize that this is a pattern I do. I become heartbreakingly crushed by a disappointment or a situation, and I can’t always speak what I’m thinking into the world. English isn’t my first language, I will always say that. My language is art, but my hands can’t always draw or paint when I am feeling off or wrong, so again it becomes difficult for me to express what I am feeling.

This is something that is new to me and it’s also something I have to discuss with my doctor. These last three weeks I haven’t been feeling like myself, something has been VERY off.

I’ve been hearing the voice of my future self I think, reminding me that I am strong and powerful, while simultaneously feeling weak, and broken. Completely shattered by trauma.

And if I’m being honest because of how I haven’t been sleeping very well, I’ve been feeling extraordinarily manic in ways that I haven’t focused on before.

Dissociation is a mental process of disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, memories, or sense of identity. The dissociative disorders that need professional treatment include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, depersonalization disorder, and dissociative identity disorder.

Today I feel better, and I know who I am, but it was really scary for a few days feeling so completely out of control of my emotions. I don’t know that it’s going to get better, especially because I am not currently on any other medication than cannabis, and that worries me. I desperately do not want to go back on medication because when I was on medication I felt like this all the time. Out of control and completely lost.

But I do know that I have to at least try because I wasn’t like this before the memories started coming back. I was angry but I wasn’t out of control. This is not a path that I would recommend anyone else take, but it’s the one that makes the most sense to me.

Understanding that my mental health fluctuates is brand new for me, and it’s scary because it makes me wonder if I am ever going to be strong enough to stand on my own two feet, without being held back by my past.

“I could no longer discern what was real and what was fake. Everything, including the present, seemed to be both too much and nothing at all.”― Clemantine Wamariya, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

When you’re dealing with mental health issues, and you don’t have a partner, or a group of friends to lean on, it can be really difficult for a person to find anchors to pull them back from the darkness.

This blog is what pulls me back. I’ve been trying over the last several weeks to write fiction, but nothing that I could write about in the voice of a fiction writer interests me. I am far too fascinated by the way that my own brain works.

Right now the world – or at least the American contingent of the world is executing a war on women. Women specifically. That’s another anchor for me.

Finding things to pull us back to reality when we’re on our own can be really difficult, but learning to fight to find things that we can use to pull us back to reality is a superpower.

“Patrice had long since buried the particulars of events so painful that they caused her to resolve only to see good. With such a stance, such as a dissociative split, she could walk with evil and believe it did not exist. She was Joe’s perfect mate.”― Judith Spencer, Satans High Priest

I don’t live in a world that is only good. I live in a world that is filled with good, and with dark, and not so much in equal measure. I live in a world where Angels and Gods and Goddesses exist, but often go ignored, and I live in a world that demands sacrifice in return for survival.

There are no promised tomorrows, and so if you have to disassociate to survive, if you have to go into the little mode, if you have to break down, if you have to scream, let yourself do it, but when you’re ready, come back to us. We need you.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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