Living with Monsters/Little Victories

Possible trigger warnings

It’s been a bit of time since I last blogged. Three days shy of an entire year. Obviously a lot has changed in our world. I’d like to say a lot has changed for me as well, but I have to think about that a little bit. The best way to think about things, sometimes, is to just write. So, I guess that’s what I’m going to do. I will keep my main topics brief, simply stating general things that stand out for me.
First and foremost, I have no idea what I would do without Animal Crossings. I purchased a Switch and that game (and only that game) in May, 2020. As of today, I’ve spent 500+ hours on it. It has been my greatest anchor in the chaotic world we live in right now. (Thank you, Nintendo!) Also, I will not receive anything from them for that mini promotion. I’m just stating the facts that relate to me.
Being a professional counselor in the midst of COVID has definitely been eye-opening. For a while, all of my sessions were telehealth. Many still are. It’s extremely difficult to work through trauma with children and teens via telehealth. That is what I have learned. I was one of the first specialists within my company to return to the field. (I work in family homes verses having my own office space.)
The presidential election. The hate directed at African Americans. The BlackLivesMatter. The Orange-skin man. The old, forgetful man. The riots. I don’t need to say much about all these things. We all have intense feelings and opinions. I will not add my own to the growing heap of of anxiety-producing topics.
I will say this. last week, I realized something about myself. Well, let me rephrase that. Something I knew about myself was magnified. Having a blog, you’d think I want to get my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions out there to the world. I’ve always held back from really sharing. Obviously, having experienced multiple personal traumas in my life has led me to shy away from things that could raise conflict. I feel that there are some/many people out there that talk like, “people are snowflakes”. And I WOULD like to respond to that. I don’t necessarily believe it’s that snowflakes are taking over social media or our jobs or our lives for that matter. Instead, I believe that more and more people, living through very traumatic times (and aren’t we?), are experiencing residual effects of their past hardships/traumas combined with current hardships/traumas, which is creating monsters. It’s just all really hard to take right now.
Imagine with me for a moment. Let’s give your past hardships/traumas a name. Let’s name this monster CRAP. Now, let’s add another monster (Rioting) and name him CRUD. Add another monster and we will just name him COVID (because if that’s not a monster’s name, I don’t know what is). And another monster, (election/government) SMUT. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Now, who the hell wants to allow all these monsters into their house. It’s bad enough that CRAP came to the house with a lot of suitcases and we’ve not yet learned/managed to evict it. Now you have all these other monsters taking residence in your home. And you try and try, but you can’t for the life of you get them to stop OR prevent more monsters from coming in and living rent free in your home, in your mind, in your life.
What happens then? You can no longer be on the side of defense. You’re feel like you’re in danger. Actually, you’re way past the danger zone. You are knee deep in with CRAP, CRUD, COVID, SMUT, and all the other monsters. You realize that to protect yourself, you have to change up your plan. You go from defense to offense. Now, everything that comes near you is seen as danger. People’s thoughts, their feelings, their opinions…you FEEL they are dangerous for you. In normal, everyday living, they wouldn’t be. But, the truth of it is, you FEEL they are. It’s not that we want everything to feel dangerous. And in truth, they probably aren’t all that dangerous, but we FEEL it is because we’ve been in the danger zone for so long, and it’s a very hard feeling to back away from. And here’s the thing…
Whether you are actually in danger or not, if you FEEL like you are, then you’re body/mind will react as if you are.
If someone taps you on the hand and you say, “ouch, that hurt!” and they say, “no it didn’t.” Does that make their truth real? If you felt pain, isn’t that real? Nobody can tell you what feelings/thoughts/emotions you experience are real or not. If they are real for you…then they are REAL for YOU. Unfortunately, some just can’t understand that. For you, the monsters taking up house with you are very real and so you are going to do whatever you can to prevent more monsters from coming home with you.
This is what surviving currently looks like. If other’s can’t understand or accept you are just doing the best you can to kick those freaking monsters away, then that’s THEIR problem. Not yours.
Give yourself some credit for simply surviving. Give yourself credit if you were simply able to get out of bed today. If you got a load of laundry done, that’s amazing. Were you able to actually go to work and come home without crying or having an anxiety attack? That’s freaking amazing! Be gentle with yourself and give credit where credit is due. Please. Please, Please. Do not let anyone take away any of your victories!
Wow! I totally didn’t intend on this writing taking the direction it did. I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings or trigger them. These are only MY thoughts and feelings. They may be real for you or not. They are REAL for me.

I’ve lost family members due to COVID. I pray, if you have as well, that you are able to turn to your Higher Power and retain/find some peace in your life.
I’ve been tinkering with editing and writing but have been very gentle with myself. I think I’ve come to a place in my life where I can (safely) begin using my creativity again. I won’t force it, though.

I think that’s enough for now. Thanks for reading. Share if you think it may benefit someone. I’d love to hear how others are coping and what they are doing for themselves.

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