Time to Speak Up

Hey everyone,

Despite my best laid plans, this first month of 2019 has not seen me on tumblr all that much. I even missed recommendation day this month. But I want to share why this is, because speaking up about it is important for everyone, especially others who find themselves in similar situations. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me talk about this already, but this is my Official Tumblr Post™. 

On January 11th, 2019, I escaped an abusive home.

Some of you may remember that I was living with my brother, and yes, I am referring to that home. My brother became emotionally abusive, and he likely was so for much longer than I was aware of it. Beginning last summer, shortly after we moved to a new apartment, it started to get worse and worse until it hit crisis level. Over the course of several months, he didn’t help me when I had to go to the emergency room (twice) and put lots of energy into gaslighting me, ignoring me, mocking me, shouting at me, and otherwise turning my home into a place I no longer wanted to be. My cats were scared of him and began to lose weight. I could never keep the apartment clean because he did nothing to help. Also, it became clear that it was negatively affecting my physical health as well. This week, I was diagnosed with Essential Tremor, and the intensity of the stress the abuse put me under increased the severity of my tremors and ataxia symptoms. 

The worst part? My parents didn’t believe me.

They still don’t.

I tried to tell my mother what was happening at Christmas, and she only screamed at me for causing drama and daring to act like an abused person. It was shortly after this that I realized I could not stay in that environment. 

The week I decided to sign a new lease and begin the moving process was probably one of the worst weeks of my life. My parents called me to demand why I was betraying my brother by leaving the lease four months early. They tried to force me to stay. I realized that this meant I should leave sooner, but it was also the first week of the semester, so I only had a few hours here and there to pack. Some of these hours were swallowed up by my brother sobbing and shouting at me, turning red and physically frightening. The next night he tried the “good cop” approach, which was just as abusive but far subtler. I was absolutely convinced that my parents wouldn’t speak to me anymore if I made this decision, but I knew I had to. 

I had to find a way to cope with the fact that I was going to lose my entire family because my mom is just as abusive and my dad is completely tied around her finger. I’m fortunate that this did not happen, as my mother decided to apologize for blaming me, but only after she talked to my brother. I’m still furious that it was easier for them to believe I was a backstabbing, selfish social climber than that I had an incredibly real reason for doing it. 

I had to pay my brother $1200 to appease the family. This is on top of the $400 or so dollars it cost to move into the apartment. I had received some inheritance money, but I’m still scrambling to pay for all of the extra costs that came along with moving. All of this, on top of starting a new, extremely busy semester. 

I’ve been in my new place for a week now, and it’s so, so wonderful. I live with my best friend who is a responsible adult who doesn’t whine about basic things like chores and with whom I happily cook meals every day. I have my cats, who are already so much happier. I’m starting to get my feet under me for this semester. I still need to work my ass off to earn the money I need to get back on track, but in the interest of that, I’m trying to focus on my Patreon, for which I have many exciting plans this year. 

If you enjoy my work, my writing, and this blog, I would so appreciate it if you considered becoming my patron. I have tiers anywhere from $1-$20 a month, so it should fit in to most budgets. Anything helps–next week I’ll be working 30 hours on my side job on top of the 40+ hours I usually put into grad school. Basically, my life is work, eat, sleep. I want so much to have the time to blog and continue to interact with all of you, but realistically I have to put things that don’t pay the bills on the back burner. If I can build my patron base, I won’t have to put in so many extra hours, and this will allow me more time to write and provide content for all of you. 

I appreciate all of you for sticking with me over the past few months even though I’ve struggled to engage. I have high hopes that being away from my abuser(s) and being low-contact with my family will help me recover and regain the time and energy to do what I love with more regularity. 

Here’s to a new and better 2019.


I switched medications about a month ago and overall, I feel a lot better. Even with all the shit that’s been thrown my way with my dad’s illness, I generally feel pretty even keeled. Even my PMDD symptoms are practically non-existent these days. But not every day can be perfect, and I’m struggling a bit with feeling helpless and overwhelmed right now. 

To make a long story short, I’m living with someone with an undiagnosed mental illness who is not trying to get help for it. Living with them is difficult now that I’ve been in therapy myself, because I’m realizing that I’ve accepted really poor treatment from this person as normal for a long time. My best friend has been staying with us for the past two weeks in between leases, and she’s seen firsthand just how badly they treat me and she’s been pointing it out to me. Like, trying to pit us against each other, doing absolutely nothing to maintain the space, saying mean things to me and then pretending it was a joke so that I look bad for not thinking it’s funny, and so many other things. Our lease doesn’t end until May, but I want them out now. And honestly, 85% of the things in the apartment (if not more) belong to me, so they should definitely be the person to move out. But because I’ve been close with this person for a very long time, I don’t know how to make this happen without an utter shitshow blowing up in my face, which is exactly the opposite of what I need right now. I feel trapped and upset, and I don’t even feel like I can confront the person because they absolutely refuse to consider that they’re the one with the problem. It’s exhausting and frustrating, and I wish I could just live with my best friend instead (seriously, she did more chores while she was here than my roommate did). 

On top of that, the semester is starting on Monday and I don’t feel as prepared as I want to, because our “training” sucked up all my time this week and didn’t give me the time or energy to actually read and plan lessons like I would prefer to. I’m waiting for my development edits, which is starting to get frustrating. And I also want to write, but all of this is weighing down on me so much that I don’t have the peace of mind to be able to accomplish the things I want to. It’s just so incredibly frustrating and exhausting, and I’m really hoping this feeling passes soon because I have too much to do and I want to be able to enjoy it.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the evening. Maybe I’ll go reread some old writing to see if I can at least jog my mind. 

Some life updates. CW for cancer, grief, mental health, etc.

I don’t remember if I ever actually said so on here, but my dad’s mantle cell lymphoma returned earlier this year, and he’s been on a couple of different treatments for a few months now. His most recent scan revealed that the cancer is spreading. This was … incredibly difficult news. Essentially, he’s now applying for a clinical trial Car-T cell therapy, and if he gets in, it will involve three months of intense treatment and three months of convalescence. It’s the last form of treatment currently available to him.

My parents have been visiting for the summer, and the first half of the visit was a bit rocky due to personal reasons. They were supposed to be in town until August 8th, but with this news they’re instead leaving tomorrow. It’s all very sudden and I have this whiplashed feeling mixed in with grief and anger and all that lovely shit. It’s not pretty, but I’m trying to figure out how to handle it in a healthy and mature way. 

So, I’m in a bit of a rough patch. I’m not comfortable answering asks about my dad’s treatment or condition, so please don’t send them. I’ll also be blacklisting the word ‘cancer’ from my dash. I’m still a bit fragile–even Mamma Mia 2 nearly had me breaking down in the middle of the theater. I’ll basically be practicing self-care as needed, so if that means a little more time away from tumblr, that’s the explanation. However, I do still have a ton of posts queued, so this blog will be far from quiet. 

Thanks for understanding, and I wish you all well.

okay so I really think I need some feedback on this. I haven’t been putting personal stuff on the blog as much lately, but I kind of feel stuck in a loop and it might be nice to hear from people who don’t immediately know the situation personally. I’ll stick it below a cut in case it gets long.

Last year, I met a guy, and I was into him. I flirted with him, but I didn’t realize at the time that he’d been divorced less than six months (his wife had cheated on him). He very politely turned me down and we just continued being friends. I thought I was okay with this, but every few months the feelings would flare up again and frustrate me. The thing is, I really care about this guy, and I don’t want my feelings to in any way inhibit his growth as a person, so I’ve kept it to myself. But the feelings persisted, and a few months ago I started becoming sure that something was going to happen between us. 

There are some complicating factors. Even though he’s moved on from his divorce and is generally in a better state, I’m kind of … not. I’m dealing with mental health issues that have yet to be totally diagnosed, and I feel like I should hold off telling him how I feel until I have a diagnosis and a strategy in place to manage it. I also am secretly a romantic and would love to be pursued … but I don’t know if he would think about pursuing me because he’s also best friends with my brother (my brother ships us though). However, I feel like I’d have to tell him soon because I’m about to switch churches, meaning I might not see him as often (that’s not a guarantee, but it’s a possibility). But I don’t want to rush things! So overall, I’m just really confused. I know I shouldn’t feel like I need to have everything figured out before I talk to him, but I am nervous. 

I don’t know if anyone has anything to contribute but I need to get it off my chest. This guy literally hits every mark on my list of what I’d want in a partner, but … I don’t want to screw it up.

um so it turns out that this summer I’m going to be moving into the same neighborhood as the guy I’ve been in unrequited love with for a year. THIS WAS A COMPLETE ACCIDENT. Maybe God is throwing me a bone here? 

to be fair I’ve been too depressed to dwell much on my feelings but if I give them an inch …


Millie has gotten in my lap to cuddle TWICE today and it has been such a delight each time. I knew having pets would be good for my mental health, but I underestimated how much. I don’t have to perform for my cats–they’ll snuggle with me whether I’m feeling like shit and I’m in tears or whether I’m happy and doing good. It’s so wonderful to have that feeling on unconditional affection in my life when my brain makes me doubt every compliment or kind word I receive. 

I also have had it pointed out to me this week that I smile even when I’m discussing something that’s badly hurt me. I’ve been doing this ever since I was small. When asked what I would do if I didn’t smile as an automatic response, I couldn’t answer. I’m glad it’s been pointed out to me so I can actually consider it and find a healthier way to handle these more painful topics.

thank goodness for therapy, I tell you. It seriously helps me deal with my depression so much. It gives me someone to talk to who will just listen and not try to fix things besides to point out things that I haven’t noticed myself and give me suggestions of things to think about instead. And I may now start participating in an Interpersonal Processing Group which will help me develop better habits about being more vulnerable with people and not just presenting my Good Face all the time like I have been since I was little (it’s an Army Kid thing–you have to Be Okay all the time and now I have a hard time expressing when I’m Not Okay with people even if I care about them). It’s a super uncomfortable process deprogramming a lot of this but I can tell it’s really necessary and I’m optimistic.

I’m taking care of myself in 2018, and that means making decisions that prioritize my well-being instead of my career, and those decision can be surprisingly difficult. In light of that, I decided to drop a course that I planned to take this spring, because I literally can’t afford to pay for another credit hour our of pocket and it will significantly lighten my work load. This particular course is only offered every other year, so I’ll have to wait until Spring 2020 to take it again. That’s … hard. But it’s also necessary, and I know I won’t regret it long-term. Either way, I should still finish this degree by 2023. Working myself to the bone just isn’t worth it, and I’d rather not lose my mental health in exchange for this doctorate. 

Plus, not paying for that credit hour means I can get that cat. ^_^