Ten things I don’t hate about PTSD either.

Fuck. After Brian employed Siobhan to find 10 good things about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she told me about it, and then employed me to do the same.

While she had put time, thought and effort into coming up with her list, I am unable to do that.

My PTSD has me always in the present.

So when people are getting ready to leave a place, I can’t think that I should start my car with the remote I finally have for it to warm it up because I’m too focused on if we are going to hug goodbye and that I have to be ready for it if we are, because I have to make sure you like me and I’m doing this socializing thing correctly.
That literally just happened to me.

Like in my last post, I said it is really hard for me to think ahead because I’m so caught up in that silly old fight or flight nonsense every waking moment of the day. It’s also difficult for me to think back to anything (say, like thinking about Siobhan asking me to think of ways PTSD is good). I wouldn’t dream that was possible, until I read her post.

choose to become

So, I’m giving it a shot. Here goes:

  1. I am always present for my kitties. I know exactly how they are feeling (and if they are about to strike, like my older cat constantly does), and how many dots are on their nose at all times.
  2. I know what is wrong with me at all times. This one’s handy for building up my ability to get my needs met. I always know when I am uncomfortable and should ask for something to be different. Whether I do or not is completely up to me.
  3. I always know that there is not a person hiding in my backseat. I check pretty much every time I get in my vehicle. You know, whenever someone could be hiding back there.
  4. I have a severe empathy for other people. I know what it feels like to be broken, to be lost, to be scared and to feel alone. I can make that space for you and tell you I understand.
  5. am a caretaker to the hurt. I am the friend that will support you, that will cheer you up when you are sad, mad, upset, whatever. I am always aware of every little change in energy, and now, I know that that energy is not always being sent my way, and I can help people out of it.
  6. I have been a survivor for a really long time. I can show you how I got out of that when everything seemed insurmountable and every emotion seemed too hard to feel.
  7. I know who to watch out for. I can tell a change in tone in an instant. I know when someone is about to get loud and aggressive. I do not play that shit, and I do not allow my friends to deal with it either.
  8. I love the shit out of fun. I went through so many years being depressed and laying in bed watching TV. Now, I will go pretty much anywhere for a good time, and I bring the good time with me. It will not be dull around me. As you can see from our first blog post, #nofilter.
  9. I have suffered almost all there is to suffer. I have seen jails, mental institutions and rehabs, and I’ve never been in them. I’ve experienced the loss of both my parents. I have had crippling anxiety and depression and alcoholism and sex addiction and, and, and. My worst circumstances were as a child. There is no stopping me. It is only up from here.
  10. I go to great lengths and have big dreams. I have seen the depths of human emotion. I will stop at nothing to see the brightest of them. I will be a traveling editor. Watch me.
  11. I even have a bonus one! I go hardcore at my spirituality. I never stop growing, learning about myself and how I can become a better human to myself and the people around me. And this might be the best gift I have ever gotten!

healing

Orphaned at 26

Hey guys, I’m about to get real again. I know, I hate it too.

We had an overwhelmingly great time with my mom’s cousins and aunt that came in to Niagara Falls from California this weekend. They are beautiful, kind and courageous people, and I am honored to call them family. We had so many generations of incredible Italian people there. From great-grand kids to grand kids, and all the aunts and uncles one could hope for.

But I really miss my mom and saw her in all their eyes. We all have the same beautiful, large brown eyes in the Ruggerio family.

My mom passed away from metastatic breast cancer in September of 2016.

It feels like yesterday, one second ago, and forever that I have not had my mom on this earth, all at the same time. My heart has been broken open and there’s a gaping hole where she used to fit.

When my father passed 4, almost 5 years ago… wow. When my father passed, it was truly not as heart-breaking. I hadn’t really considered him a father for a many number of years before then anyway. But you can never, ever, replace the love of a mother.

There is no one that will ever support me in the endearing, enduring, never-ending loving way that my mommy has.
I have amazing support, between my aunts, my grandmas, don’t even get me started on my sister; along with my sponsor and my Buddhist members and leaders in the organization. I have so much support around me. If only I knew how to reach out and get it.

My father beat my mother and I pretty badly. The physical abuse was nothing compared to the psychologically damaging torture he threw our way with his words. It broke our psyches, our spirits and our self-esteem. We were shells of people living and bumping against one another in painful ways after my parents FINALLY divorced.

We did not know how to give or receive love for a long time.

Until I found the strength from the stars to end my period of not speaking with my mother, and everything suddenly changed. She was no longer the tormentor of my life, she was my frail, beautiful mommy that gave up her own life for her children’s.

I started chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo at the same time that I was seeing her again. Our relationship changed into one where I just wanted to take care of her and be there for her, as best I could.

She even chanted with me. And she was a devout Catholic. (She was studying to be a nun before she met my father.)

I don’t know what the point of this post is. I really just needed to write about my mom. I miss her like crazy, I feel like there is no point to living without her, but I carry her love with me and it keeps me going.

I have to be happy for her. I love you mommy. Goodnight.