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Showing posts from 2017

In Support of Emotional Abuse Survivors

Dear survivor:

Before anything else, I want to tell you your trauma is valid. Even if you don't have bruises or scars and you feel like you don't have "proof." Even if you were only with them for a short time. Even if you feel like it was your fault and you had your chance to leave. You are not crazy or complaining for being honest about your trauma.

You are not the only one who feels this way. You are not alone in your confusion, frustration, and pain.

It may take you a long time to recognize that you were abused. It may take years. That doesn't mean you're making it up. It may take several therapists to properly deal with your residual feelings. That doesn't mean you're being too dramatic.

Someday, you might find yourself doing things that your abuser used to do, and you start to panic and think "I'm turning into him/her." You're not. You're not like them. You're a survivor and you can change those behaviors and be better.

How My Hypersensitive Hearing Fuels My Anxiety

We live in a very loud world. Unbearably so, to someone born with hypersensitive heaing/misophonia like me. It's a form of sound sensitivity much like hyperacusis. I cannot stand sounds above a certain decibel level, and I live often in chronic fear of being overwhelmed by sounds.

I also have depression and anxiety. I'm not sure if my sensory disorder caused my anxiety, or if it's just adding fuel to a fire that's been burning for a long time. Either way, I am at my most panicked when I am being overwhelmed by sound.

When I was little, it was so much worse. My sound aversions were unbearable; I lived in terror of the fire alarms at school, I refused to flush public toilets because of how loud they were, Fourth of July was absolutely a nightmare. During much of the month of July, I would walk around in public with bulky headphones like you would at the gun range. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. Anxiety weighed on me and I didn't know how to get help.

These disorde…

Loving Yourself When You Love Someone with Mental Illness

There are many articles online about how to love someone with a mental illness. I do not want to say that those are unimportant; they are very, very important. But something I have not seen in any article is the message that they need to care for themselves as well.

It's hard to love someone in the middle of the storm. It's hard to give so much of yourself up for someone who may not appreciate you at the time. It's hard to know when to stop giving, and it's even harder to "Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life." (Prov 4:23)

So, today I am here to talk to the children, the best friends, the partners of those with mental illness. From someone who both experiences depression and anxiety and has family/friends with various mental illness, I'm here to say: take care of yourself, too.

You are not supposed to fix them.

You can't. As I posted recently, "you don't 'cure' mental illness; you treat it through an everyday, …

The Problem of Hannah Baker

*Spoilers for 13 Reasons Why ahead*

(This post was revised 5-22-17 after I watched "Beyond the Reasons" on Netflix.)

It's kind of at the tail-end at this point, but a little earlier this spring, people became obsessed with Netflix's new show (based on a novel by Jay Asher, which I read beforehand) called 13 Reasons Why. To sum it up, a highschool student named Hannah Baker has committed suicide and she left behind 13 tapes describing 13 reasons why she did it. The show is primarily from Clay Jensen's point-of-view, a boy who we discover was in love with Hannah but never admitted it. It switches rapidly between flashbacks and current-day, post-suicide issues.

First of all, to properly analyze this story, I will have to first say that the show itself is actually very good. The videography is great, I love the music, the actors are good, it did a great job of expanding past the book's limited plot while still staying true, and expanding on each of the characters…

Do I Want to "Get Well"?

"Get Well" and "Get Well II" by Icon for Hire. I wish I could post both of these songs and call it a day, but that wouldn't say much about my own writing abilities.

These songs are about mental illness. They're so real, they're words I hardly ever hear. I want more of their realness. I've searched for internet posts and found very few. So, I will create one. Here are some lyrics that really hit me, and about which we need to start a conversation.

"Can you find me friends that don't rank me on what I've been through
The more battle scars the more attention it gets you" (Get Well)

These lyrics make my stomach hurt, and that's why they work so well. In high school, there was so much pressure to have the saddest sob story possible. We needed to outdo each other's pain. How can I one-up you? And the thing is, I still see it and I can still feel it. It creates this vicious cycle- the more your pain shows and the more dramatic you…


The word wonder comes from the Old English wundrian, which means "admire, or make wonderful."

It seems to me that people so often trivialize wonder. It's a child's emotion, meaningless in today's world of constant, boring newness. Who has time to waste on being amazed?

Wonder is beautiful. It makes things beautiful. To wonder is literally to make something wonderful. The world is dark, and we are so small, and there is so much chaos. Wonder may seem childish, but it takes a certain kind of bravery to "hold life like a face/ between your palms, a plain face... [and] say, yes, I will take you/ I will love you." (Ellen Bass). Wonder is the thing that opens the cage of your ribs and lets your heart breathe.

I'm a pretty distractable person. I'll cut off the conversation to make sure you see the pink of the sunset. I'll squeal when I see a dog or cat. I'll stop to stare at a flower for a longer time than is probably necessary. I'm easily …

Growing Pains

Life is a process. It's a journey. The only real destination we have is death (and subsequently, unity with God if you're a believer). You will never stop learning and growing, ever.
When I overcame some damaging habits in high school, I thought I had made it.
When I untangled myself from a toxic relationship, I thought okay, now I've made it.
When I volunteered a whole summer at Lake Ellen, I thought yes, finally I've made it. When I got into college and became a legal adult, I thought this is it, I have truly officially made it.
But I haven't made it, there isn't an "it" point to reach where you're finally who you are. There will always be another mountain to climb, but that's not a bad thing. Empty fields get boring after a while, don't they?
Life is all about change. It's all about growth. And even a little bit about death. Every single day you learn something new- even if you're not in school, even if you're not a student, you&#…

Universality and the Lack Thereof

I'm about to say something that has been said a million million times before- America is really divided right now.
Okay, hear me out. I know I'm just another voice in a sea of voices, a face in a sea of faces turned to the sky, openmouthed, desparate and calling for the sun. But, whichever side you're on of whichever argument you chose, you can't deny it- we are divided. On everything.
This is just precipitated by things like Facebook. We follow what we like, Like what we agree on, and have Timelines filled to the brim with stuff we agree with. If not- just delete it. We are in echo chambers, hearing the same words we just screamed into the void, over and over until they're etched in like truth. What if they're not true? Hvae you stopped to examine the words and articles you share? yeah, neither have I. Who has the time? (Actually everyone.) If you're not already aware you're in a bubble, well, I hope I just popped it.
I just want you to hear this one …