trauma | It's Me Laura Lee

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First let’s talk about the difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA).  ESAs are not permitted in public.  Many people get doctor’s notes from their mental health professional for an ESA when they rent and their landlord’s don’t permit animals.  ESAs are good for those that require emotional support and comfort.  They are granted access to fly in the cabin of an airplane per the Air Carrier Access Act.  Because of this, it’s important that an ESA is well behaved in public.  An ESA is not a pet.  Neither is a service dog.

First let’s talk about the difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA).  ESAs are not permitted in public.  Many people get doctor’s notes from their mental health professional for an ESA when they rent and their landlord’s don’t permit animals.  ESAs are good for those that require emotional support and comfort.  They are granted access to fly in the cabin of an airplane per the Air Carrier Access Act.  Because of this, it’s important that an ESA is well behaved in public.  An ESA is not a pet.  Neither is a service dog.

Do you have three children or four?  The answer is – I have four.  But it is a question that almost always needs an explanation.  I imagine that it must be similar to how a mother whose child has died must explain herself.  And, yet, my daughter hasn’t died.

He opened the door to the office and in his hand was a plate of food.  My food.  I thanked him and put it down beside me – right of my laptop.  It looked so good and smelled even better.  I kept typing away, answering emails, rat-a-tat-tat on the keyboard and without missing a beat I typed with only my left hand and grabbed a fork full of tilapia with my right.  My glaze never leaving the computer screen.

I cringe when I hear or see people say things akin to, “I’m sooo OCD!”  When did OCD become a social norm, or something to strive for?  I find myself having to justify my OCD diagnosis by saying things like, “I TRULY have OCD,” or “I LEGITIMATELY have OCD.”  As in, I take medication for it and it disrupts my life.

I opened my eyes, sleepily.  Looked straight ahead.  Down the hall.  Confused. “Who’s the mom?” That’s the first thing that came to my mind.  My mind.  Mine.
Everything looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn’t place anything.  I had the sense of belonging, but I didn’t know how I belonged.  What was my role?  Who was I?

He put his hands around my neck, gently pressing his thumbs into a notch of my throat.  Demonstrating how someone feels when being choked.  He asked me if I felt it.  I tried to nod. I froze. He was supposed to be an ally.  I came to him for help.

THE “R” WORD   I couldn’t breathe.  I was using my inhaler religiously, but still, I couldn’t breathe.  I wasn’t wheezing, but I was short of breath and coughing.  It was reminiscent of my bouts of pneumonia.  I was using the inhaler more often than I should have been, yet, still, I couldn’t breathe.  I […]

What will truly be the hardest days are yet to come.  My weight gain, in part, was a defense mechanism against future sexual assaults.  My rational brain knows that rape and sexual assault isn’t about sex, but rather about control, but my irrational brain tells me that if I’m undesirable, I’m safe.  This may be why it was so hard to lose three pounds.  And, this is why my therapist and I will have a lot of work to do as I start losing the weight.  I’m ready to take back control.

“But Becky, I got away…”

That’s what I told her. 

I had been in therapy with her for years, discussing my childhood molestation and the sexual assault while serving in Pensacola and the and harassment that followed in the aftermath.  But this.  This I never told her. Because.  Well, because, I got away.

Here’s the thing though, the people who have wronged us, do so, and move on to their next conquests.  They’re not thinking about us anymore.  It doesn’t matter if they did it 35 years ago, 19 years ago, or last month.  Why? Because they don’t care about us.  If they did, they wouldn’t have wronged us in the first place.  Their time and energy aren’t spent on us, so why do we spend our time and energy on them? Thinking about them?  Crying? Dwelling on them and what they’ve done to us?

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Laura Lee, 52, with invisible wounds and scars.  I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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