THE POWER OF PERSEVERANCE: The Story of PTSD and Me

Depression

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”

Laurell K. Hamilton

I have written a lot of extremely personal blogs, but this one might take the cake.

This blog has been dancing in my head for a few weeks now, but I couldn’t find the perfect time to sit down and write it. Seeing how I just had surgery yesterday and am on bed rest, I figured now is as good a time as any to tell this story.

I have been very open with my chronic health and mental health issues; I wrote a piece on this very topic back in May, it was my way of reclaiming my power.

I have even had a hugely successful blog published on WITCH regarding my battle with chronic health issues and how it directly relates to and affects my Magick.

I wrote about Trauma the Teacher on The House of Twigs.

This is a follow-up of sorts.

A redefining moment in my life that I want to share with all of you.

If you have read my past blogs about my health you know that I have struggled for essentially my entire life, but more so recently; mostly regarding degenerative disc disease, a torn disc between L5 and S1, degeneration of my Sacroiliac Joint, Arthritis, Hashimotos, fribromyalgia, chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Not to mention cervical and skin cancer in my past, along with 7 abdominal surgeries for a variety of feminine health problems which resulted in a full hysterectomy.

Besides these physical ailments, I have been facing head on both my anxiety and C-PTSD.

Let’s rewind for a minute.

Back in 2010 when I was just coming out of an abusive relationship I kind of lost my shit; I don’t know how else to describe it. I didn’t suffer a psychotic break, I did not have delusions, I can only describe it as “losing my mind”.

Now, to be clear, my entire life has been one giant reel of traumatic events, there is not a singular moment that caused my pain; 2010 was just the tipping point.

Out of fear of what was happening, because I didn’t know what was going on, I checked myself into a private mental health institute where I was medicated with poisons and diagnosed: Bipolar 2, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety (GAD, Social Anxiety), Agoraphobia and PTSD.

For 3 years I went to therapy session after therapy session and pumped my body full of toxins; I was even forced to go to substance abuse programs because I was open about smoking cannabis.

They labeled me as “self-medicating”.

For the past 14 years cannabis has been my medicine of choice, and of course some of my closed-minded family members and Doctors alike thought I was (and am) nothing more than a pothead.

A druggie.

In 2013 I stopped all medications besides Estrogen, Synthroid, vitamins, a muscle relaxer for my back and allergy meds; I have not been medicated for my mental health. Though about 2 months ago I was given a low dose of Klonopin to help take the edge off because my anxiety can be debilitating some days. I have continued my use of cannabis, which as you may know is illegal in NYS; I have always been open and honest with my providers about my use.

Recently having found a great PCP and a Pain Management Doctor I was given the gift of hope.

A cruel gift sometimes, but I embraced it for once.

When my PCP prescribed me the Klonopin, he suggested I try to find a mental health professional for medication management; I understood his point completely and a few weeks ago I went to the appt.

I walked out before even seeing a Doctor.

I was filling out paperwork and the very last sheet was a checklist that you had to initial (30 something “agreements”) and it read like a court ordered type document.

It basically said I would be subject to random drug tests, and *forced* to go to talk therapy because I have an anxiety disorder(s).

WHAT?

I specifically asked about therapy beforehand because it’s not my thing, and they said they force no one.

When I asked the nurse about the checklist she said that if I test positive for any trace amounts *at all* of cannabis that I would be weaned off my medication and put into a substance abuse program.

Now, I know that checklist and that office saves people’s lives, but that was not a place that jived with the kind of treatment and healing I need.

I left that appointment so, so discouraged.

It was like my dreams just blew away in the wind.

Dreams

I went to my PCP the following Monday (the appt was on a Thursday), told him all about it and even he was shocked, but then he said, “well, just so you know in the next few months St. Peter’s (the hospital in which his practice is associated with) is sending out contracts for all users of controlled substances” (which Klonopin is).

He continued to say that he has no clue what will be on the contract, but it might have something in there about cannabis; reminding me it’s a Catholic establishment (he is an excellent Doctor, I don’t care about religion).

He told me he would continue to prescribe the low dose for me, and we will “Cross the contract bridge when it comes”.

I went home and immediately started researching Medical Marijuana and how I apply, how much it will cost and what the qualifying conditions are.

You see, it’s not easy to get approved…like not at all.

And, it’s costly. Very, very costly.

I had to weigh my options; do I give up the Klonopin? Do I give up the cannabis? Or, do I try and legitimize my use?

I decided I was going to try to get certified for Medical Marijuana.

I found a brilliant Psychiatrist, said some prayers to my Gods, and started walking this new path.

My appointment was August 15th, and not only did she tell me that I was, indeed, misdiagnosed and that *I AM NOT BIPOLAR* but she said I have one of the more severe cases of PTSD and C-PTSD she has seen. The PTSD is a direct result of sexual trauma; the C-PTSD is from long term abuse as a child, and abuse as a teen and young adult at the hands of my Father, Step-Father (not the Step-Father in my life now) and romantic partners.

For the last 8 years I have worn a scarlet letter of sorts as far as the medical world is concerned.

They would look at my chart, and for the last 5 of those 8 years all they saw was “unmedicated bipolar” and treated me as if I was going to kill myself or someone else.

She granted me FREEDOM and POWER by telling me, “Jaclyn you are not at all Bipolar, you do not suffer from any personality disorders; you suffer from severe trauma, and your body remembers.”

Freedom 2

I will not go into all the ways in which PTSD paralyzes me, and all that it entails to carry this diagnosis.

I will say:

It’s why I can’t leave my house for days on end.

It’s why I haven’t been intimate with anyone in 5 years.

It’s why I can’t be touched.

It’s why I don’t like loud noises.

It’s why my nightmares torment me.

In one swoop, with a few words she ripped that scarlet letter off of me and the weight that lifted with it was tangible.

We sat and talked for almost 2 hours, and she told me how intelligent and insightful I was; how impressed she was with what I know about trauma, more specifically my trauma and my reactions to it.

Then, she said, “Jaclyn, remember this day. Remember this day because you are certified. Congratulations.”

To tell you that I started sobbing would be an understatement; I am telling you I was full on ugly crying in her office.

This has quite literally changed my life.

She gave me my certification form, told me the next steps and I went right home, printed out my temporary card and walked into the dispensary for the first time that afternoon.

As of right now I am on pills and vape pens; I might try oralmucosal (tincture) but because I have been smoking for so long my receptors are dense, and I need high THC content for it to be medicinal in my body.

I can now travel (within the state) with my medication.

I can now be drug tested and it won’t be considered illicit because it’s my medicine.

I can now show my family and Doctor’s that I am not some druggie, but a person who genuinely needs this plant ally as MEDICINE.

I have written over 1,000 words telling this story and still they are not enough to describe the feeling I have, the freedom I have been given, and the emotions that are still overwhelming me.

We must be our loudest advocate for our own health and well-being, and if you ever needed inspiration to be that, use me.

I did it, so can you.

Always listen to your gut, and always follow what your body is telling you.

Don’t give up, Warrior.

Keep fighting.

Sacred Sex: BDSM

Bruno Dayan

Image: Bruno Dayan

“It’s hard for an educated woman to turn her head off. That’s part of the joy of being a submissive. None of the decisions are yours. When you can’t refuse anything and can’t even move, those voices in your head go silent. All you can do, and all you are permitted to do, is feel.”

Cherise Sinclair


I am going to venture into new territory here, and I hope that I do this piece justice, and represent the community in a positive way. My intentions are to evoke thought, and bring about discussion regarding a very taboo topic; I am referring to BDSM.

At this point you are probably wondering why I have taken on this topic, why I have strayed off my usual Occult/Magick/Awakening topics to write about a sexual fetish; all I can say is that it’s passed time for someone to take this head on from a spiritual aspect, and bring forth a new way of thinking. I am not necessarily saying I am that person(s), but man do I hope to be one of them.

It seems that in the last 3 years since the release of E.L James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey” book and movie series that everyone has an opinion without really knowing any truth behind it. I want to clear things up because besides the fact that I am part of this community, people believe that this book series is an accurate portrayal of what it is to be in a consenting Dom/Sub relationship, but also because in recent months my fellow enlightened community seems to think that sex with a bit of kink is no longer Sacred, it is no longer spiritual. I just want to take this time to say that the pairing portrayed in Fifty Shades of Grey is an abusive, possessive relationship, and that is the furthest thing from what BDSM really is.

The truth is, BDSM is the most sacred form of sex you can have, above Tantra, above making love with passion and fire, above fucking; it is in the freedom of trusting your partner so deeply that you are putting your well-being, quite literally, in their hands and trusting them not to hurt you. Once your ability to make decisions for yourself has been taken away, your mind will venture into new territory, you do not have to worry about this position, or that sensation; the Dom controls it all for you.

You will feel sensations you never thought you had before, your mind will be pushed to its absolute limit and beyond, you will find that what is painful is a release and in that release there is pleasure.

You will finally understand what it means to own your Will, to live your Will, to find pleasure in your Will. The line between pain and pleasure is almost non-existent and once you go past a certain point in your mind, in your psyche you will suddenly feel the freedom, ecstasy and a natural high that cannot be compared to anything in this world.

Before I go further, let me define what BDSM is:

“The term BDSM is made from 3 pairs of words:

Bondage and Discipline

Dominance and Submission

Sadism and Masochism

“These words describe a wide collection of activities that fall under the umbrella of BDSM – and cover a whole range of relationships between two or more people, from casual, or one off situations, to more permanent arrangements.”

There is a common misconception that Women who engage in BDSM have low self-esteem or that we have been abused, are trying to fill a void in ourselves, or that we are actually being abused in the relationship; none of that is true, not in a healthy partnership at least. Do some people wander into the world of kink because of sexual abuse and trying to fill a void? I’m sure, but it’s not the majority.

Even if it was, sometimes it can be very healing to a sexual abuse survivor to hold the control while not having to make any decisions in the moment; I say this because I am a sexual abuse survivor, I don’t know if that has anything to do with my interest in this lifestyle, I don’t know how much it has affected my decisions when it comes to sex, from a psychological stand point alone I know that, yes it plays a role.

BDSM is demonized because so many people don’t understand what they view as such an extreme act, but that is only because they are not willing to let themselves go; they fear the pleasure, the pain, the excitement, the moment right before orgasm and your Dom tells you to stop.

They don’t know any of that, because they are scared.

Am I suggesting that everyone partake in this lifestyle? Absolutely not, but I do believe that society as a whole is oppressed sexually. People are scared of sex, they think of it as an obligation in a relationship, or to have children, there are a million reasons why people have sex, and just as many reasons why people will not liberate themselves in the bedroom.

A sexually liberated Woman is a whore, a slut, she is broken, she is damaged…….those are just a few stereotypes off the top of my head. It is because of this that many Women stray away from having multiple partners, or from telling their partner what they want, what they like and don’t like, it is also why so many Women do not reach orgasm from sex alone.

On the other hand we have the man and if he sleeps with numerous partners he is “being a man” or he is given props by his peers. The Patriarchy and their hypocrisy at its finest.

Equality, people, equality.

Sex is a sacred act, you are literally sharing your life essence with another human being, and while one night stands, and random fucks are fun, they get old, they can potentially drain us, and we are left taking on the weight of our partner’s demons if we are not selective with our choices. Sex is about pleasure, but it is also about connection, about intimacy, about animalistic instincts, and transcending above this physical plane because in that moment we can escape.

I want to say the most important lesson out of this whole piece: THE SUB HAS ALL THE CONTROL, the Dom is merely playing a role to please the Sub, thus pleasing him/her self. In a healthy BDSM relationship there is first, and foremost consent–It is abuse if there is no consent, period.

You have to go over the rules with your partner, what is allowed, what is not allowed, what do you like, what you have tried, what you want to try etc. etc. There is sometimes an actual written contract, and the relationship itself can be romantic, or strictly about the sexual aspect, which in reality is so much more than sex.

You see I am not trying to get people to subject themselves to this lifestyle if they are not comfortable, I am simply trying to get people to own their sexuality, own their pleasure, own their pain.

Trusting someone to the point that you are willing to be bound, punished and pleased, only to be taken care of after by those very same hands is why BDSM is so Sacred. It is a true partnership built on trust, respect and communication.

Since when are those bad qualities to have in a sexual or romantic partnership?

To research the topic:

http://www.whatisbdsm.com/

http://kimdebron.tripod.com/id2.html

Fight for Equality: A Luciferian’s Take on The Satanic Temple

Larkin

Image: Larkin, aka larkin-art, DeviantArt

“Consequently, if you believe God made Satan, you must realize that all Satan’s power comes from God and so that Satan is simply God’s child, and that we are God’s children also. There are no children of Satan, really.”

Anne Rice


My track record with the Satanist community is iffy, at best, so to find myself here writing about an issue that affects the entire Occult world, but specifically Satanists is kind of surreal for me. I want to take this time to say, I do not have ANYTHING against the Satanic community, they are my Brothers and Sisters of the Left Hand Path, however, it has been my personal experience with the majority I have encountered that they can be completely amazing, or complete douchebags–there is no in-between. I say this having some really close Satanist friends, whom I enjoy debating, and joking with all the time.

To be honest, there really is not much of a difference between Luciferianism and Satanism. One core Philosophy is almost a mirror of the other and both groups fall victim to the same reaction of the ignorant masses when asked about our belief systems; half the time I can’t even finish the word Luciferian before a gasp, eye roll, or prayer is started.

I guess it’s time to tell you the story.

It was 4 am, and after a horrid night of tossing, turning, and Astral traveling galore, my cat decided it was time that she be fed. My cat, Bean, and I have this love hate relationship, and at 4 am it is absolutely more hate than love.

After feeding her, and her brothers, I found my way back to bed and grabbed my phone, as any phone addict/fb admin does. After that I checked what was trending on Fb, this is a weird habit of mine; I follow the trending topics daily. I don’t watch the news, and I restrict what is put into my head from my environment, for me the trending section is a way to see what’s important, or at least what my peers think is important. I find myself often shaking my head at the popularity of one topic over another, how Hollywood seems to always take the cake, even when world disasters, and/or political events are occurring.

I could rant about that all day, so before I get too off track, let’s go back.

I check to see what was trending, and notice that The Satanic Temple is on the list, I click and there it was in all its beautiful glory:

‘Satanic Temple wishes to erect statue of Baphomet next to Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds in Arkansas’

What the what?!

I read the article, and was filled with such joy that finally there is a group willing to go against the Christians (and win) for religious equality. I find it so amusing that Christians scream about “religious intolerance” every day, but the focus is always on Christians, this entire country is based around Christianity, even though it was never meant to be.

Fun fact: It was not until 1956 that the “under God” portion was added to the pledge of allegiance. Our ‘founding Fathers’ were Masons, sure, but they were very clear that this is not, and never was intended to be a Christian nation. Masonry may be based upon Christian text, but the original Masons were the definition of Occult (secret, hidden) and much knowledge can be found along the Masonry path. I have both Mason’s, and Eastern Star’s within my own family.

As I began to read the comments attached to the article, it was a bloody battle and the Satanists were losing. The thread itself was filled with prayers, and people saying that they would destroy the statue if it was put on state grounds. Can you imagine the outcry, and civil war that would break out if a Christian statue was destroyed, or even threatened to be destroyed?

What makes one statue more important than another? Why is one statue allowed, on Government property, mind you, but not the other? Why is it that when a Christian is offended it is to be taken seriously, but if I as a Luciferian am offended by religious text/symbolism/art on state/federal grounds, it is not taken as seriously? Am I less of an American? Do my family’s tax dollars matter less? Why is my voice silenced? Why do they fear me?

Religious equality does not just work when it is in favor of Christianity, in case anyone out there was wondering.

Satanists do not wish to convert you, or your children, the point being made is that there is a separation of church and state for a reason, but since that line wants to be blurred, or erased for the Christians, it has to be blurred, or erased for Satanists, and any other group who wishes to challenge it.

I say again, this is not a Christian nation.

I also saw more comments than I could count with people who think Satanism is Devil Worship.

Ok. Look, there is only so much stupid I can handle. You have the internet at your fucking fingertips (like what I did there?) and you still remain ignorant.

I want to make a few points: regardless of what the pictures of certain rituals, rites and especially the Black Mass look like, Satanism is not now, nor has it ever been “Devil Worship”. In fact, a majority of Satanists believe in Satan as a metaphor, and the story itself an allegory for life. There are theistic and atheistic Satanists, and those titles are pretty self-explanatory. They use the symbol of Baphomet (no matter how terrifying some may find it) because Baphomet represents equality, and duality (balance).

But, these people wouldn’t know that because they don’t care to look outside of their box, or shall we say their book. They refuse to live, and let live, always worried about another person and their belief system.

Believing in Satan, an energy or deity, does not take away from your God, any God, or lack of God; one belief does not negate another, one does not trump another. I may be anti-religion, but other people are entitled to believe how they want, as long as those beliefs are not pushed upon me, and my life dictated according to them; which is exactly what has happened since, well, forever.

We are all Americans, we are all free, and we are all equal–THAT is what the founding fathers wanted us to remember, wanted us to build this country on.

Instead our country was built on the backs of slaves and Indigenous People of North America (Native Americans), our soil soaked in blood, our money tainted, and our Government infiltrated with religion.

These Religious zealots want to scream about patriotism, and how the founding fathers would be “rolling in their graves at these statues of ‘the Devil’”.

They would be rolling in their graves for many reasons, and I can say with almost certainty that their first line of business would not be a statue of Baphomet.

Repeat after me: This is not a Christian nation.

I leave with you some quotes and some links, enjoy:

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” -Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.” -Founding Father George Washington, letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

“We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition… In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.” -Founding Father George Washington, letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” -John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

“The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” -1797 Treaty of Tripoli signed by Founding Father John Adams

“Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.” -Founding Father John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88)

Source, and to read more quotes:

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/07/04/35-founding-father-quotes-conservative-christians-will-hate/

The Satanic Temple Facebook page, they update daily and are posting about the Arkansas story regularly:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Satanic-Temple/220538341415523?fref=ts