. I feel like I clued myself out to a lot of things on purpose. It was because I was terrified of being left behind. Maybe that's why all of us do what we do to survive. It seems like everyone I meet has some sort of trauma or another.
I want to thank all of the amazing cops out there, for all of the hard effort that they put in to help me remember what I needed to do. Thank you to all of the strong people specifically the government officials who decided to take action and talk about what really matters.
I honestly felt that maybe I just needed to prove a point for myself. There are girls and guys out there and lawyers and cops and my family. I may not fully understand yet what I want to do in my future, but I'm pretty sure I want to be a cop. And that's super annoying considering that I have the hardest time with cops. I think it's because I have the hardest time watching the people around me suffer for things because they didn't know why. Racial inequality, sexual assault reform, all of those things matter to me still. It's just maybe I'm supposed to learn from the cops as well. That maybe it's not about speaking the absolute truth. It's about speaking your truth. I spoke mine, but that does not mean it is entirely accurate. I don't understand how I feel in times of trauma. I forget things and I choose to passively resist because that is all I wanted to do. I have resisted for too long though considering that a lot of what I do is what a lot of cops and people do anyways.
My neighbors have been the kindest people to me. Everyone in Salt Lake City, Utah and everyone in the country deserves a round of applause. I fooled myself so I could remember that maybe all I want to do is help people again. And if I have to be a cop to do it than I will. But, honestly, having things said behind your back hurts most of all. And maybe that's why I asked everyone to do what they did. Because I needed to remember why I paint and why I want to help women and be a cop or victim advocate or supergenius or anything I want to.
I personally want to apologize to every government official I blamed for this. Even President Donald Trump. Disrespecting the office is not my way of acting. Maybe I said all of this to prove a point as well. Even the President of the United States has feelings, but maybe all I need to do is just apologize like this. It doesn't matter what government position you hold, the law matters.
All I want to do in life is share my story. I want to share why I do the things I do and say the things I say. I didn't know what I was doing because I was traumatized so severely from things out of my own control. I take responsibility and action for all of my mistakes because I choose to be that person.
Personally, I want to thank the two therapists out there that made a difference. And most of all thank you to the three cops out there who made a difference in my life. And if you're not a cop, if you're just a person who has problems, stop on by Sugar House Coffee. I don't mind hearing stories. But, maybe that's why I didn't want to know. Because I don't need anyone to know how smart or capable or pretty I am. I just know that all of those things mattered in the moment. Maybe even I need a little help sometimes, and I bet it was a lot more than I thought.
Thank you though to all of the important women out there who know me and love me: my family, my friends, my loved ones. And thanks most of all to the man I used to remember. I won't say who you are because I don't need to know. But honestly, that is the person who deserves the most out of this post. Because I hurt people's feelings sometimes and I don't know because I'm not aware. Maybe the less aware everyone is about themselves the more beauty can happen because of the truth.
If you'd like to know how I act when I'm tired.
Reaction in the midst of my life moment.
When I was super sad and my friends and family let me call them.
The past few weeks have taught me a lot about how it's okay to be angry sometimes. I worked very hard to not be an angry person anymore because as a child I was always angry. It felt like I had no control unless I was angry. I didn't know any other feeling really except anger growing up that when I left all of that behind I decided I didn't really need to be that angry anymore. It doesn't mean I didn't have problems with it, I still do. Just the other day I yelled at two people I loved because I was frustrated by something they were saying. How I responded wasn't okay, but how I choose to respond now makes it a learning experience.
First off, if you have any sort of rough emotional patch, there are three things you should be focusing on before anything else: food, shelter, and sleep. Out of those three, sleep is in my top 1 because if I don't get enough sleep, my ability to control my own behaviors is almost impossible. There are moments where I will just start crying out of nowhere. Sometimes I'll go on these rants where I have no idea what I have said but apparently I needed to talk about it in the moment. Other times I will just not even make any sense because my brain is so wired from lack of sleep that every thought that comes in to my head slips out of the cracks. I call it my verbal diarrhea moments.
As soon as I got more than 4 hours of sleep, or if I take a nap instead of running myself ragged, all of those issues go away. That's how important sleeping is. I haven't slept well for about 7 months now. Because of this, all I can focus on is those three basic needs because if I don't do those, I can't function. That can happen to a lot of people. Ever notice that when you are fighting with your significant other or family member, and it's late at night, you somehow seem to say a lot more than you actually mean to? That's from the fact that you need to sleep.
A therapist of mine way back when told me a very simple rule when it comes to dealing with conflicts: don't fight after 9 PM. Recently I have also learned through experience that you shouldn't fight before 7 AM. If I'm asleep and someone wakes me up to fight, it's way more likely for me to be mean than it would be after 7 AM. Same goes for after 9 PM. I'm not alone in this, because a lot of girls I have talked to have the same issue when they come to me for advice.
The hierarchy of needs is a vital piece of information in regards to dealing with how to not react like that, step by step. I will just be focusing on the first three for now. Abraham Maslow was one of the first psychologists to focus on behavior rather than clinical analysis.
First off, if you have been following what Sigmund Freud preaches, stop, because he was actually a sexist bigot. Many of his ideas about woman were in fact way off target. Not every woman envies a penis, and if they do it is not because men are the superior being. If you want to follow any psychologist, follow the teachings of Abraham Maslow. Behavioral psychology focuses on the behaviors that are happening in the present moment instead of why those behaviors exist. Behavioral psychology works better for illnesses like anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc. Some of us don't understand why certain things bother us. I myself had no idea why I hated bathrobes so much until three years ago. There are plenty of things that I think to myself, why the hell do I do this? But, that's why behavioral psychology works so well!
Maslow's hierarchy of needs breaks down how a person can build themselves up after a trauma. If you want to come from the perspective of growth, the first step to recovery is the physiological needs of a human being. These are the needs that I was talking about before. Building a healthy foundation leads to a healthy human being. So, while it may feel nice to go and date someone right after being traumatized, building a foundation can help prevent being retraumatized later on.
Safety is your physical and emotional safety. This could include finances, where you're living, whether or not you understand healthy boundaries, etc.
Love/belonging is having intimate relationships and friendships with other people. What's the unhealthiest way to heal from a trauma is to jump right to the love/belonging. If you are not emotionally safe within yourself, you can create intimate relationships with people you don't even know. While you might think that it wouldn't hurt you, 99/100 times it will if you are not taking care of yourself and not creating safety boundaries for yourself.
The time period between each level can vary depending on the situation. Sometimes it will take someone way longer to be financially secure because they are homeless. Other times it will take 5 years for someone to understand what healthy boundaries look like. If you don't know what healthy boundaries are and how to set them with others, then you probably shouldn't be dating.
From all the stories that I have heard, it seems to me that many women struggle with understanding what it means to be safe. The most important way to understand how to be safe, especially if you have been assaulted and are recovering, is knowing how to set healthy boundaries within yourself and with others. This means that if you don't know how to tell someone no, learn! It's always so flattering to be seen as pretty and treated like royalty for a minute, but when the first situation happens where you don't like what someone is doing to you and you don't say something, you WILL get sucked in to a situation that is toxic and out of control. If you don't know how to communicate with others how you feel, I will give you a few examples of mine that I've dealt with over the past 7 years.
Five or six years ago I worked with a man whose long-term girlfriend worked with us as well. From what I observed, every time his girlfriend was not working with him, he would gravitate towards me and start flirting with me. I didn't think twice about it up until I was giving him a ride home from work and he started to suggest that we start making out as a joke. Some girls don't care, but because I'm me I thought about his girlfriend and their four kids and I responded with, "In your dreams." He laughed it off and so did I, and we were still friends afterwards. But, every time he would hit on me without his girlfriend at work, I would respond with something similar.
There is a massive benefit to setting healthy boundaries when you are uncomfortable and not ready for an intimate relationship. When you say how you feel, you not only are preventing a situation that might hurt you, but you also gain a lot more respect from those men that choose to treat women like that. If they are a good enough man they will no longer treat you like that, and if they continue to treat you like that, you just get need to be more blunt. If you have to say, "Dude, leave me the fuck alone." do it! If someone's not getting the message, it doesn't matter how nice you're being they won't stop until you tell them no or cut them out of your life.
If you want to date after after experiencing trauma, you have the freedom to do so. All I'm saying is maybe there's a reason why situations happen with significant others where we become involved in a toxic situation that spirals out of control. Deciding to say no and setting boundaries is what caused my ex husband to leave abruptly. If that's how I have to set boundaries with someone, that is what I will do, because I will respect myself more because of it and it will prevent situations like this from happening in the future.