How can one love a stranger more than thyself?
How can one love a stranger more than thyself?
So there’s a lot of theory chatter (obv, beautiful show) and I think the general consensus so far is that…
One, Wanda has created this AU due to her trauma and grief (given).
And two, from the radio voice (“Wanda who is doing this to you?”) we are speculating that someone else may be tapping into that for a more nefarious gain?
I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!! I am sorry!!!
I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and have been avoiding it for obvious reasons. The first reason being that I try to not actively think about my triggers if I can help it, and the second being that I’m essentially providing the world with a list of ways to really fuck me up. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that having this list will have more concrete positive outcomes than hypothetical negative ones. I’ve had a few run-ins with loved ones this year that may have been avoided if they had known what some of these triggers are. And how can anyone know if I don’t tell them? So I’ve made the choice to post this and share it with my friends, loved ones, and acquaintances. From the outside, sometimes it may seem like I suddenly become unreasonable, emotional, sensitive, and confrontational, for virtually no reason. But there is always a reason. Despite the bad rap I’ve seemingly accumulated over the years, I’m not an unreasonable person. If it’s my choice, I always favor logic, objectivity, and calm. If it’s my choice. But once I’m triggered, I no longer have a choice. It’s a very difficult concept to explain to neurotypical people, or even neurodivergent people who have less severe conditions. But a person doesn’t have to fully understand something to accept it. I’m hoping that if people can learn what my triggers are, some of these damaging interactions can be avoided, or, at the very least, worked through in a more productive way. Who knows, maybe I’ll take this down at some point. But for now, let’s dive in.
(Everything on this list is something that triggers me. Not subjects that merely make me uncomfortable or upset, which I can navigate well in the moment. I’m not the kind of person to throw the word “trigger” around. I’ve also only included general triggers. I have a few more specific triggers in regards to certain relationships, and I’ve discussed these with those involved.)
At this point in my life, anything having to do with weight or size is off limits. Anything. This is definitely one of my biggest triggers, and is therefore a hard stop for me. I understand this means I can’t be there for some of my friends, and for that, I’m truly sorry. I have to take care of myself first in this regard. This includes talking about how “fat” or “thin” you think you are, or someone else is, weight gain or loss, comments about my food intake (what kind of food I’m eating or how much), or mentions of eating disorders. If I can think of more, I’ll add them, but in general, I would say, if you have to ask yourself if it’s okay to say to me, just don’t say it. Mentioning something related to this topic is the fastest way to trigger me, and as a result, the fastest way to get me to dissociate or otherwise shut down emotinally. I still struggle on and off with an eating disorder. I still look at myself in the mirror and cry sometimes. Self-criticsm of my body is my constant companion. When people tell me they were so ill (physically) they lost weight, or they’ve struggled with anorexia, I get extremely jealous in a really unhealthy way. I think all this considered, me asking you to avoid this topic is fair. However, positive comments about my body, like if you think I look good, or it looks like I’ve lost weight, those are always welcome, and will probably make my day.
This is sort of an extension of the first one, and I will admit, might seem a little unfair or unreasonable. I’m definitely capable of some flexibility on this one (especially with straight women and gay men), but I’m still putting it here in the hopes that those who care about me will at least try to avoid this one. The issues I have with my body aren’t solely about weight (although that’s a definitely a big one). I have a lot other negative feelings about my body that I won’t get into. I also have a lot of trauma surrounding sex/sexuality (more on that later). So when people (especially people I’ve had a sexual relationship with at some point) comment on how attractive they think someone is, I’m triggered in a surprisingly similar way to how I would be if someone started talking about weight, though to a slightly lesser extent. The discovery of this trigger is relatively new, so I’m still working through it and trying to figure it out, so it’s still a bit hard to explain. Like I said, I recognize that this specific topic might seem a little unfair or strict. I will continue to do the work to make this a non-issue, but I also ask that in the meantime, those who care about me put in an effort to avoid this topic to the best of their ability. At the very least, please stray away from commenting on specific body parts in detail.
This one might be confusing to some people since I’m a very sexual person and seem to have no problem discussing sexuality. This is partially true. I don’t have a problem talking about sex in a general sense, and I’m a big believer in normalizing sexuality. However, without going into details, I do have a lot of sexual trauma (I may write a separate post about this at some point, we’ll see). It makes me extremely upset and uncomfortable when people discuss MY sexual nature without my consent, and even more so when people assume things about my sexuality.
A recent example is I shared something on facebook asking what job would people think I’d have if they just met me, and four of my friends all agreed that I’d be a sexual consultant for film. This was extremely upsetting for me for multiple reasons. Voyeurism freaks me out. (No shame for anyone else who’s into it, it’s just not for me.) I hate seeing anything sexual in public. So the fact that people felt so strongly that it would be part of my profession was hurtful because it demonstrated that they didn’t know me as well as I thought they did. Also, I myself am an actor, so it hurt that they saw me behind the camera instead of in front of it. (Thus far every stranger I’ve met who I told I was an actor has been like, yeah that tracks.) But the biggest and most triggering thing about it was that I was reduced to my sexuality. The fact that so many people saw me as so sexual to the point where it would be my entire profession was very triggering to me. I flipped out, cried a lot, and deleted the post entirely. I understand maybe it had more to do with my comfort around sexuality, but that goes back to the voyeurism thing, I’m comfortable expressing my own sexuality, not seeing it, and it’s still a reduction of me as a person to sexuality.
Just, please don’t do it. Like I said, I have a lot of sexual trauma and I prefer not to be viewed primarily as a sexual person unless I bring it there intentionally.
This doesn’t happen often, and only with a few people. I have gotten into some debates or heavy conversations where I ended up feeling like I had to defend my “credentials” or even my various traumas in and of themselves. I recognize none of these incidents were intentional, but that doesn’t make them less hurtful or less triggering. The main reason why it’s so triggering is because I end up emotionally flashbacking to how I felt as a child, and I, a normally articulate person, suddenly become incapable of cohesive thought or vocabulary. As such, I unfortunately lack the ability to articulate how exactly this ends up happening, or how to prevent it. Even after the incident, when I’m “back to normal,” I struggle to retain the memory of what happened because the trauma response is so strong. But I’m going to work on this in therapy, in hopes that I’ll find the appropriate language, so I can communicate my needs more effectively in this regard.
I have mild OCD. I recognize that I don’t struggle in nearly the same way as people with more severe cases. However, mine is no walk in the park. My worst issues come from excessive cleanliness resulting in anxiety, possessiveness over my electronics and a few other objects, and certain patterns that I must do a specific way every time. I have had people intentionally trigger me, specifically in regards to the cleanliness and the possessiveness, because they think my reaction is funny. In actuality, you think triggering me is funny. Intentionally triggering someone is never funny. I’m not a neat-freak. I have OCD. Please understand that making me upset in this manner is a form of torment, and is not different from intentionally triggering any other type of neurodivergence.
If I open up to you in some way, talk about my past, my trauma, my mental illnesses, or are vulnerable with you in any way, and you respond with dismissiveness, invalidation, disinterest, disbelief, etc., I will be so incredibly harmed in not only a triggering way, but also in a way that will affect the trust and affection I hold for you in particular. It also impacts the trust I place in others at large, though I suppose that’s not really your responsibility. I do also experience “rejection sensitivity,” which is an unfortunate symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder, but I have done a lot of work to mitigate that and have gotten better at self-soothing and effective communication. I would say that rejection specifically in terms of vulnerability is the one you should look out for.
Surprise surprise. I know abandonment issues tend to be pretty common, especially among those with BPD and PTSD. Lucky me, I have both! Pretty straight forward stuff. Without going into detail of the trauma itself, I’ll just say that it’s the unknown that freaks me out. So, for example, If you need space from me, and you tell me. Like, “I’m really upset with you right now and I think I need a few days away from you.” Or, “I’m having a really bad week and I need to be alone,” whatever, I’ll say “Okay, let me know when you’re ready to talk,” and that will be it. Sure, I still might have a little trauma response, but I’ve done enough work where you won’t know about it. I’m able to deal with it on my own and respect any boundaries you’ve placed. However, if you just ghost me with no explanation, storm off in the middle of a fight, if you suddenly become distant with no explanation, my brain leaps into trauma space. It’s not that you’ve “left,” it’s that I don’t KNOW why you’ve “left.” That’s what makes the big difference for me. Just communicate to the best of your ability and I shouldn’t have a problem.
Some of these are extremely triggering, and some of them are only mildly triggering. Some of them trigger different illness (BPD, PTSD, Anxiety, OCD, Body Dysmorphia), and some of them trigger multiple at once. But the bottom line is, all of them are triggering in some way and I ask that you do your very best to avoid them. If for whatever reason there is a slip and one of these (or something I’ve forgotten, or something new) gets brought up, I only ask that you be understanding of my trauma response and do your best to apologize and take responsibility.
I’m really hoping being open in this way doesn’t bite me in the ass, and that the people who read this are people with good intentions. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me, so long as you are tactful and respectful. Hopefully some of these will lessen with time (and therapy). I don’t want people to feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me, and I don’t want to get a bad rap for being “overly sensitive.” But I also don’t want to feel the unbearable pain that comes with trauma response. Other than these triggers I’ve listed (hopefully I’ve gotten them all), I’m really not a sensitive person at all, and am open to discussing pretty much any and all other topics. As I’ve said, I, and those closest to me, would consider myself the type of person to favor logic and objectivity. The fact that these subjects get to me is some of my biggest shame, and I’d much prefer if I didn’t have to deal with them. Thank you for your patience and understanding with me, especially to those of you who already knew about some or all of these and have been doing your best to navigate them.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I’ll do my best to address them in a healthy way.
Does anyone else get tired of the trope in media that’s like “I may have been traumatized but it made me stronger” like… no, sorry, that’s what abusers say to you when being called out for their abuse. “I made you stronger”. If you are ‘‘‘strong’‘‘ it’s in spite of that trauma and/or abuse, not because of it. And I want ppl and media to stop treating trauma as some “necessary thing” that “makes” someone stronger.
The only taste on my tongue is ???
I am reaching out to send you some updates from this past week.
I am struggling an inordinate amount with various aspects of trauma this week: aloneness, toxic shame, and intrusive thoughts. I have been overwhelmed with this sense of isolation with the rape, as if I am existing in a world apart from others with it. Much like November is a triggering trauma month, so too are the months surrounding it, and lately life feels so reminiscent of the state of things in January 2009 in the aftermath of my rape when I was so utterly desperate for help and guidance yet so completely abandoned and alone. There is this searching restlessness so saliently present within myself now, hungering for the love and sanctuary I never received, and I lack the self compassion to provide it unto myself. In my head, my teenage self still lingers in a stunted state, in a place of dysregulation and disrepair with a trauma that was too significant to her psyche to cope with, overwhelmed and displaced in the universe.
And I still feel much as I did then in these quiet moments when I can assess my emotional climate; displaced and disjointed and looking for the voices of reassurances that came too late.
When I am not numbed out by the obsessive nature of work and all efforts to avoid the past and establish a semblance of personhood through functionality, it feels so endless and so bleak within myself. And so much of me wants to know that it is ok to be where I am in recovery from trauma; I often feel as if I am not doing enough to heal, enough to reach a place of peace with my rape. There is some self critical voice within me that tells me I must move beyond this, that I must grieve and heal and compartmentalize it all.
There is such a circular nature to PTSD, and I have this nagging and chronic sense of hopelessness that this might never end. These spirals of intrusive thoughts and images of the assault that play in my head like ever present films. I have tried so hard to drown them out and then to feel them, yet they never leave. And I am beginning to accept that maybe this is just life with PTSD, that things will never be just as they were before, that my rape is always going to affect me to some degree. It completely altered the course of my life, how do I overcome something like that? The grief of it all, the things that could have been, the subsequent losses.
It is such an exhausting battle, a never ending war within myself.
Sometimes it feels as if there is nothing left to say anymore, maybe the rape will just forever be that albatross hovering over me, always haunting yet never capable of being fully healed.
It’s been so painful lately, this grief and this constant physical exhaustion. I’m numbed by workaholism and the constraints of structure, yet I have moments where the pain bleeds through, when I remember my rapist and what he did to me and to my body and my singing voice and my lost dreams. Life has become a hamster wheel of avoidance for me, and this preoccupation with work feels no different than any other behavior aside from the fact that it is not so glaringly damaging.
But at the end of the day, the rape is always there. My rapist is always lingering, waiting in the shadows of my mind when I drive home; I carry him within me everywhere. And this toxic shame and disgust for this body that feels so permanently bonded to him through his crime against me. I think often of how he stains me, making me feel as if I am inferior and lesser than others. There is this wave of buried emotion about my rape that still longs to be loosened, to be freed, yet I bury it and call it unnecessary dwelling. I stifle the urges to cry about it that are cropping up even as I write this, the pain of the rape and the neglect from my family at the time, how much was lost to it, how it reshaped my personality and not for the better. My rapist has become this figure of change in my life, as if he took all the good out of it and now I cannot find a purpose or a meaning and what meaning does a meaning have when it is not the meaning that I was meant to have?
I want to cry about it. I want to cry about it and have someone sit with me while I cry about it. I want the person I needed when I was younger who never existed. I want the warmth and the compassion that I needed back then, yet it is nowhere to be found. I sit in the emptiness of my apartment now, still that scared teenager I was back then after the rape, looking for the ghosts of parental figures who were not there. A shoulder to cry on.
It all hurts so badly tonight in the absence of work, able to feel this abscess in my chest, this chronic wound and garish emptiness left by the rape. I don’t know who I am and who I want to become, lost in this purgatory of a pasture, drifting.
I have noticed a sharp increase in my BPD symptoms lately.
It has been manifesting mostly in extreme feelings of rage and mood swings, the desire to have temper tantrums and lash out at others. There are situations at work that we have discussed that have been triggering it, situations of being taken advantage of that have been stirring up ties to my trauma. I have been having drastic mood swings and shifts in stability throughout the day, trying my best to use grounding skills and DBT to not act on my natural inclination and history of yelling at people in blackout BPD rages. I am trying to keep my calm, my collectedness, yet it’s been increasingly difficult to refrain from the combative and confrontational urges of my BPD.
I also had a revelation this week in thinking about my BPD and its development and I realized that the trauma of the rape and the subsequent neglect of it from my family at a precarious age on top of a baseline foundation of an invalidating childhood was the breaking point which led to the emergence of my BPD. In some ways, the trauma and the family wasn’t there in the aftermath was the ultimate abandonment, the thing which solidified this inability to trust in the object permanence of others and their stability in my lives. After that, I began to idealize those who seemed as if they would be that compassionate other and then quickly devalue them once they began to show signs that they might leave me.
I am reminded of the aftermath of the rape and the origins of my cutting, dealing with my father’s anger and my mother’s willful oblivion and how I had absolutely no one to help me then. How I began to cut myself that winter and began to act out, getting into more altercations and lashing out in anger, trapped in this state of trying to deal with the rape on my own while my distress went unsupported and unnoticed. How I noticed my entire personality shifted in the aftermath of the rape, how I became an entirely different person; devolving from optimism and goals into a teenager trapped between girlhood and womanhood and so endlessly sullen and moody and hostile towards others.
I have remained in that half teenage/ half adulthood state to this day, solidified in my BPD, stolen adolescent full of rage and contempt for all of the older adults in my life who abandoned me when I needed them the most. There is a childlike fury to my temper, a wailing and a shrieking and an explosiveness.
Maybe because it is the twelve year anniversary of the aftermath that this BPD state is worsening, remembering what it felt like to only have razor blades and blankets to keep me company in a household that felt so cold and so empty. My personality shifted; this vacant void became my default state, this gnawing emptiness of the life stolen by my rapist and the need for compassionate others who weren’t there in a state of crisis. This makes it so difficult for me to trust and attach to others; anyone could leave, anyone could walk away, even family. Even the ones we love the most. I have such damaged bonds to people as a result of this time in my life, such an inability to love fully.
I am having so much trouble undoing this escalation of my BPD, in being able to see people as permanent instead of fleeting. It becomes very easy for me to erase people in my head when they disappoint me, when they push me away. I devalue as a post traumatic defense mechanism; I can simply protect myself from abandonment by abandoning them first, so I won’t have to become that discarded girl I was back then, suffering alone and helpless. It is an interpersonal callus, a shield against severance.
I died twelve years ago and no one noticed.
This BPD that gnaws away at me in fury and hurt and this palpable sense of nothingness within my chest.
Emptiness is the heaviest thing of them all.
I have an intake at the rape crisis center on Wednesday for group counseling and I’m hoping it’ll go smoothly. I was also wondering if you had any luck in hearing back from any group leaders.
I look forward to talking to you,
Maybe (I fear) I am a curse
For every time I’ve run away from acknowledging myself
That hurt seeps into those who I love
That hurt that only I deserve
I keep on my dresser a little wooden box
Chimes play forever a melody that fades in from childhood
And in it I keep a piece of pink foil
Crumpled and soft, like the skin on her hands
Like the way your layers gently devoured me
My grandmother, one Easter, when I was thirteen
Gifted me an egg, wrapped in this fuschia
“A Barbie, from a Barbie,” (for her name was Barbara)
She was kind and gentle and worked hard to maintain
A light for me when all those of my family went out
When she was diagnosed with bowel cancer
My grandfather grumbled and hardened his heart
He thought that she would be well if it were not for me
A black mark on the family tree, a demon to blame
And the day that I met you, you hinted at fears
That something in your body had gone horribly wrong
Though I wish we had longer, you were gone within two years
And my grandfather’s voice cried out the same song
“You can’t come to the funeral, it’s only for family”
I was crying in boarding school when Barbara passed
As isolated as I felt when I found out about you
I lived on my own. I grieved on my own. I’m scared I’ll die alone too.
Première neige de l’année.
Realizing trauma isn’t dependent on the cause being a big dramatic event where you almost die has got me analyzing my behavior and realizing
In all of these cases, thinking about and typing them out made my heart-rate quicken and my breathing get heavy. I started shaking writing out the third one.
I try not to think about the singular events, and the first one (along with other family members’ actions and some needles on camels’ backs) has resulted in a probably-but-hopefully-not lifelong fear of delusions and hallucinations. My anxiety attacks tend to involve believing something good in my life is just my own brain trying to give me something to live for.
I experience flashbacks and physical symptoms, and avoiding anything similar happening has been detrimental to my everyday functioning and general ability to take care of myself.
Again, thinking about these things is affecting me now. I might just start crying. I’ll be okay, but this is really real.
I think this is more of a personal post than I usually make to let people share… (I’m tagging it personal but you can rb if you want) but I think it’s important to realize that you don’t have to minimize your experiences because they “weren’t bad enough.”
I’m an incredibly sensitive person, I think due to mental health issues I inherited from my parents, ADHD, autism, some prolonged traumas as a child… maybe just my personality too I dunno. And that means… I really can’t take as much as I’d like? But it’s not my fault, and it would be harmful not to accept that these long-term reactions I’ve had to these events, some of which sound like they should be just mildly stressful .. are real.
And it’s worth taking seriously, and it’s worth putting in the effort to heal from them.
To be a bad biatch !!!! We have to watch ourselves rock our life! – Guest Submission
(Please don’t add negative comments to these posts.)
Why the fuck did no one warn me that being suicidal comes with its own terms and conditions????? I swear to fuck it’s like this annoying ad that pops up no matter what I’m doing and I can’t find the app that’s giving me it????? Like is it the anxiety?? Or the PTSD??? Why won’t it let me uninstall??????!!!!!
“It’s okay to do less when you’re coping with more.”
This is really shit but I was trying to make something honest at least, please don’t leave hate it’s really hard for me to look back to when I was 15.