Friday, 27 June 2014

Love Lost

Yup I have a new song. Here ya go. Look at me, not throwing up, back on the laptop. I guess the medication I was on was just the wrong one. I'm feeling better already. It'll probably take a couple of days to recover but that's okay. What I really needed was just some hope that it would improve. The new one says that I should avoid sunlight so 
it's possible that I've become a vampire. I would like that, because being raised JW I believed I would stay young forever and now, we've got that covered. 

Sidepoint: I can't believe I ever believed that. 

I have two stories for you today. 

#1: Blood tests are bad. My doctor ordered them so I went the day before yesterday. I'm afraid of blood and needles and that's the whole reason I didn't become a nurse. I psyched myself up though and went. The first vial, no problem. But there were 8 of them. The second one broke. The blood spurts out, the needle is still in my arm, I freak out. I screamed, I started crying. They were trying to calm me down and I was like, No we're done for today. I'm here because I have anxiety issues. This is enough for one day, get that needle out of my arm. I went back yesterday and explained to the nurse that I needed to get these done, but I was having a panic attack and I couldn't handle any exploding vials of blood. She was great and talked me through it. Now I'm afraid people on the street might mistake me for a heroin addict because of how my arms look, but other than that I'm okay. :)

#2: Don't give up. It's been five years for me trying to figure out how to get back to my family. I'd given up on the thought that my mother and sister were ever going to be feasible relationships. I've changed so much and not in a way they like. 

But my mother found out I've been unwell and Facetimed me yesterday. She said I hurt her with the Canadian Living article. I said they hurt me when I was suicidal and going through a divorce and I was completely alone. We agreed to move forward. I don't hold grudges, I think that's bad karma for us. 

Then she showed me this. She bought me a Blackbird. It made me feel like she's finally accepted me for who I am.  Which is not all together, which is not a JW. Which is an imperfect person trying to make the best of things. I am a Blackbird. But I kinda like it. :)

Sullivan out. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

There's a light that never goes out

I was planning that the title for this blog would be "12 days and 13 pounds later". But then I thought people might think I'm talking about drugs and I don't want y'all to think I'm running a side business while I'm off work. Or maybe I do if you can send me your money in some untraceable way and don't know where I live so when you find out I don't actually have drugs to send to you, you can't hunt me down and beat me up. I think though that maybe (and this is all I learned from Pulp Fiction besides how to dance like Uma Thurman) real drug dealers say "grams". Nope, I take that back, on Breaking Bad I'm pretty sure they talked in pounds. They were pretty badass though. 

So back to the beginning. I've been home for about 12 days now and lost 13 pounds. I know I could have used to lose a few pounds, but when I put on my favorite jeans, the ones I've had since I was actually in my 20s for real and they were falling off me I wanted to cry. So I did. Because replacing jeans is very expensive. And I'm in a place where I think it's ok to cry when I want to. 

I've also been listening to the Smiths too much and that's why I still believe there's a light that never goes out. I wanted to go back to work tomorrow. I'm an overachieving A-type personality. I don't do well staying home and watching Netflix. It's driving me almost as crazy as the anti-anxiety medication. 

This is just another hurdle to jump over. And I can. You can too. The light may flicker for awhile. But it doesn't go out. We'll be ok. 

My awesome co-worker sent me this today: 

And I'll tell you the truth, a more than 27 year old girl cuddled all afternoon with her teddy bear.

The light doesn't go out until we turn it off. 

Sullivan out. 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Long Time Running

I love the Hip. This is a great song. One of my favorite memories ever will always be that night that we ditched the JW meeting and went to see them play instead. We had third row tickets at Massey Hall. I guess Gord Downie trumped Jehovah that night. 

For those of you who read me regularly, you know I've been having almost daily panic attacks for about two years. And that I've recently decided to get help. The medication hasn't been fun. I've had nausea, dizziness, sweating, my mouth has been so dry that I have to drink water every five minutes. Vertigo, tingling sensations, bad dreams. But half of those I had already anyway. 

A couple of days ago, I was having suicidal thoughts. I'd be sitting at my window and thinking I should jump out. Or taking a bath and thinking I could just drown...they only lasted a day though and I'm grateful to know that all of these are normal. I've talked to more than half a dozen friends who have been through this and they all say the same thing...get through two weeks and you'll be fine and feel much better. Knowing that, I'd never do anything stupid again. It's like when you have PMS and feel crazy but you know you're not so you just keep telling yourself this too shall pass

It's been nice not to have the panic hanging around though. At least I don't feel like someone is trying to strangle me while I'm having a heart attack. And knowing that SO MANY other people have been through the same thing and decided to get help makes me feel better. And know that we are not alone

I've been running alone for a long time. I've always prided myself in being strong enough to do this on my own. So I'd go to yoga, I'd meditate, I'd try to sleep. I kept a happiness journal and kept trying to focus on positive things. I'd read books on Buddhism. At the end of the day though, sometimes we need a little help. Especially if we're dealing with anxiety, depression, PTSD. 

Last time I was feeling suicidal, I took three bottles of pills and went to bed. This time, I called Liz. She showed up right away. I was too dizzy to walk straight so her and Doris held my hand and took me for a walk to watch them raise the Pride flag at city hall. It was a very touching moment. Lizzie is the best friend I've ever had and will ever have. 

Yesterday was the first day of summer. I wasn't feeling well and slightly depressed I was home alone all day on a nice sunny Saturday. My new friend, Cameron the beautiful, showed up with the Robin the pretty girl and they hugged me and held my hand. He told me that he wasn't good at talking about feelings. But he likes to read the paper after work. Anytime I was feeling bad, I should just call him. I can be sad if I want, he'll keep me company while he reads the paper. And if I want to talk about my feelings I should invite Robin too. And of course JJ has been here every day. I have good friends. :)

It's not easy to leave a life behind and make a new one, even after 5 years. My mother refuses to believe I'm actually happy, she says if I am, why do I have so much anxiety? I AM happy. This is just one of those obstacles you have to get over in order to find your destiny. And if everyone I know is right, I'm gonna feel great in a few days. :)

It's been a long time running, but it's well worth the wait. - The Hip

Here's a cute pic from before my meltdown, when I just met these guys who turned into awesome allies and friends.

Sullivan out. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

You have my love to lean on

It's been a tough week. It started last Thursday. I was at work and I started having a panic attack. Lizzie took me outside for some fresh air. I threw up, in the courtyard at my office building. I couldn't stand up. I was so dizzy I was having trouble walking. She took me to the wellness room and I lied down on the floor and tried to breathe. It was hard. Easier though having her there with me. 

I think that your body just can't handle chronic anxiety for so long. It's been five years for me. We live in an age where everyone needs to understand that mental health issues are just as complicated as physical illness.

After I was able to get up and walk back upstairs, I called my therapist and decided to go on medication. Unfortunately, there are side effects. I'd just come off a couple of weeks of pretty severe antibiotics and I don't think my body was ready for this. This happened:

Don't worry, I didn't try to off myself again. It was just an infection. Thank the Universe we live in a world where we have antibiotics, otherwise they would have had to chop my finger off so I wouldn't die. I have a hard enough time dating already, can you imagine if I lost a finger?

But antibiotics are not good for you. So coming into these new drugs has been a battle. I've had all of the "very common" side effects (they classify them into different groups) and haven't been at work in three days. My manager has been extremely understanding because missing three days at my job is a big deal. 

I have to admit, I am so grateful to be in a much different place than I was last time I went through a rough patch. Lizzie and JJ have been here every day, making sure I'm ok, taking care of me. I haven't been taken care of in a long time. We all need that now and then. Someone to lean on. I haven't played you a song in a awhile so here you go

JJ thought maybe I should stop the medication because I haven't been writing. I'll admit, the deepest thoughts I've had over the past few days are maybe I should watch Orange is the New Black. And take a nap. 

Then today, this arrived in the mail:

I'm not saying Kyla's necklace cured me. But I feel much better wearing it than I have in over a week. It might be the stones, they are supposed to make you feel calm. It might be knowing that now, whatever I have to deal with, I have good friends to lean on, who will always show unconditional love. They can lean on me too, but right now, I need the support. And they are there. 

Sullivan out. 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Daddy Issues

It's Father's Day weekend. We all know what that means: I forgot to send a card. The holidays are fun but coming from the "no-holidays" JW background, it's hard to keep up. I knew it was coming so I really don't have an excuse this time. I called my dad last Sunday. 

Me: Happy Father's Day Daddy!
Him: That's next Sunday Margaux. 
Me: Ohhhh.

So I had a whole week to get my shit together, but if you've been keeping up, you know I had a really bad week of panic. It may sound silly but going to the mall really stresses me out. I knew I should go, get a card and a gift, my girlfriend texted me that Victoria's Secret was having a great sale. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't go there. After work, I just wanted to be at home. All I could manage was going to work and back. 

Well, I guess if I can't leave the apartment, this is my only option. This handsome man is my father. 

My parents split up when I was young, so unfortunately we didn't get to spend as much time together as we would have liked while I was growing up. 

I wonder if that's why I can't figure out who I'm supposed to be with now? I've spent the majority of today talking to 5 different ex-boyfriends, all lovely. They are great friends but it never seems to work out. 

My dad is a wonderful person. Works hard, active in the church, dedicated to his wife, tries to do the best he can for his kids. We don't always see eye to eye, but who does with your parents? I'm more like him than I am like anyone else in my family. I truly believe that most of the things I love about myself come from him:

My eyes. (I should mention that this is not in order of importance, because I'm starting off with something very vain.) They are however the exact same color and every time I look in the mirror I can see him. 

My compulsion to help others. Sometimes this is a strength, sometimes a weakness. I know it needs to be balanced but I love the fact that it's in me. He does everything he can to better his community and that's inspiring. 

My intellect. I'm not saying I'm the smartest person out there, but I've been able to get by pretty well in the corporate world. My dad is one of the smartest people I know. 

My positive attitude. Some people say I wax poetic on here. And that's true. But if you read between the lines you know I have some really hard days. What's the use of focusing on that? I think if we set a goal to be happy, appreciate our blessings and try the best we can to be grateful, the Universe rewards us. 

When I was disfellowshipped, I was pretty much alone, except for Michael. Dad would call me every day. If I was having a bad day, he'd call twice, three times. He got me through that and constantly encouraged me to move forward. 

He's a great husband, dad and grandfather. He calls me every year on my birthday and tells me the story about how I almost died when I was born. (I've always had bad luck.) And how happy he is that I ended up ok. I wouldn't be here without him, and the second time around, when I went through all that shit, I wouldn't have been here without him again. 

I love you Daddy. Happy Father's Day. xxx

Sullivan out.  

Friday, 13 June 2014

Whatever the question, Love is the answer

It's been a rough week. Maybe it's because today is not only Friday the 13th but also a full moon. That doesn't happen very often. The next time it does, we'll all be very old.

I have to say, I really appreciate your comments on this blog, on the Canadian Living article online and on I know not all of you feel ready to be anything other than "anonymous" and that's ok.  I am so grateful for your support. When I started speaking out about my past, my experiences, and against the Watchtower organization, no one was really listening. Today it's a different story.  And now, y'all are speaking out too. 

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times, it's the organization that I'm against, not the people. Some ex-jws have been very vocally angry at me for not disassociating myself, not cutting off my mother and sister. What can I say? I love the people despite everything that's happened. I don't see any benefit in giving in to anger and hate. Does that mean I don't think we should ever feel angry about what happened to us? Of course not. Who would choose to be raised in a controlling, brainwashing cult? None of us. But that was our experience and let's admit it - we had some really good times there. 

I'm not downplaying the emotional trauma that we've been through and are still going through. A lot of us have post traumatic stress. I finally, after the worst panic attack of my life, went to my therapist yesterday and told him to just put me on medication. I've always felt a stigma around this (and actually around therapists in general) but I've come to the point in life where I realize I need help. And today I feel much better. :)

I want to continue to focus on the positive. I have happy memories of a lot of old friends that I will always cherish. I want to stay a part of my family. Holding on to anger and resentment only hurts us, not the people we're sending it to. We can speak out, we can be activists without being hateful. Love is the answer and love will set us free. :)

Sullivan out. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

We Need Your Voice

"Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard." - Harvey Milk

I have the cutest friend at work. 

Me: I have to leave on time tomorrow. I have this charity thing. 
Him: Awesome. Who are you going with?
Me: My boyfriend. 
Him: You have a new boyfriend? That's great!
Me: Well, he's gay. 
Him. Ohhhh. That might not work out so well. 

It's actually the perfect situation. I'm thinking of giving up on straight men entirely, they never work out well for me. 

Now before y'all start hating on me for writing another silly blog about boys, let's talk some JW. I've been getting a lot of feedback on the story. I've been called a home wrecker, adulteress, melodramatic, self serving, self promoting, been called out for leaving the religion my mother wanted for me, so how could I possibly expect a different response than the shunning? 

I've been blamed for ruining other people's lives with my choices. I ran into an old friend who hasn't really talked to me in FIVE years yesterday. She cried about me leaving the j-dubs while I consoled her. My mother cried when she asked me WHY? Why do you have to be the voice of these people? 

Because if we don't speak up, things will never change. Someone commented on the story online and said "Could anyone tolerate what Margaux has done? Of course yes if one could tolerate lesbianism, gayism and the rest." Are those even real words? How the hell can we live in a society, in Canada, in 2014 where such ignorance and intolerance exists? It makes me sick. 

I am who I am, JW on paper or not, I do not support their belief system. I am getting a little bit brave about the fact that they haven't tried to discipline me yet. Can I really get away with this and still be able to talk to my mom and my sister? I wish I could be a fly on the wall at all those elder meetings where they are trying to figure out how to deal with me without making this into a bigger commotion than it already is. 

I am an ally. The gay community has been so accepting of me since I've been "out", in my own way. Prejudice in this area is despicable. 

To the ex-jw community I have one request: so many of you have reached out and contacted me since the article came out. My writer Rosemary was brave enough to tell a story that so many of you resonate with and feel is completely true, even those of you who don't know me, because you've been through such similar situations. Canadian Living has been receiving so many letters with negative feedback, saying it's all lies. Be anonymous if you like, but could you please take a few minutes to tell them what you've been telling me - the truth. Y'all keep thanking me for having the courage to tell this story. Be an ally - please tell them yours. :)

Sullivan out.