Anniversaries Coming Up
- Labor Day: In the US almost everyone has Monday off to celebrate the holiday. Except for retail, transportation, and a few other jobs where employees get a half day or reduced hours day instead. For me, it means barbecues with family; going out to activities and events; getting bullied by cousins and shamed or ignored by everyone else; sometimes abusers found me and did stuff too.
- Sperm Donor’s Birthday: He is 30 years older than me and does not like to celebrate his birthday. My memories as a little girl are warm and fuzzy – I was the quintessential Daddy’s girl until I started school. Probably because I filled two important roles: 1) kept the egg donor occupied and out of trouble; and 2) easily controlled and dominated (never physical abuse, but everything else for sure). Then I started school. The egg donor was left alone to her own devices. And he started sexually abusing me. But once I hit puberty, I was persona non grata.
- School Starts: Every year, I looked forward to escaping my home life by going to school; even if that meant I would get bullied by my peers and teachers. At least they weren’t physically or sexually abusing me. Except for the principal, but that’s another story. And at school, the other abusers (not related by blood or marriage) couldn’t get to me either. But being ridiculed, bullied, the victim of racism and prejudice, etc. wasn’t easy either. And then came middle school/high school with all that angst on top of everything else. By then, everyone ignored me because I was “rude and annoying” to many, but also set up by the egg donor who worked in the juniors department at a department store and told my female classmates stories about me.
- Moving to College and/or Apartments: September 1st is the most popular moving day for everyone where I live. The first few moves, my donors coordinated and organized everything. Then I had the responsibility of doing it myself. They hated my going to college. They hated more when I moved out and took every chance to bash me about those choices. Then they complained enough to have the rest of the blood relatives and other connections harass me about it too.
Weekend Coping Strategies
This year is different in a lot of ways. Here are a few:
- I am safe – living in a place where they can’t find me that is all mine
- I can stay home or go out on my terms
- I do not have to move this year
- My mental and emotional self is in a healthier, happier place than it was before
- I have weekend projects to keep me busy
- My favorite is making shades for hard-to-fit windows
- Cooking and baking at home
- Laundry and dying some of my white t-shirts a less bright white
- Knitting – finish a scar for my friend
- Write Monday’s blog post
- I have movies to listen to in the background
- Three days means I can make my own hours and not have to worry about lack of sleep and having to work on Monday
My goal is to not sleep the weekend away. I might not be able to leave home – that gets difficult because of the fear and anxiety that comes from going out (all of us feel this way) – but at least there is plenty to do at home.
Here are my coping strategies that utilize the list above. I am using them starting end of work today:
- Redirect thoughts by stating facts about the present, future plans, solving problems or getting answers to questions
- Go shopping and have everything in place for the weekend
- Practice emotion regulation and distraction by doing the activities on my list
- Making sure I also stop and take regular breaks – either by doing something fun and relaxing or by not doing anything at all (includes naps)
- Use my self-care compulsion rituals to help relieve the OCD stress that comes from triggers sometimes
- And if I don’t end up doing anything on my “Want to do” list, then that’s okay too.
I’m ending this post with one of my favorite Lin Yutang quotes