Sit with Shit

In 2015 I ‘retired’ from the 9-5 grind. I filed for and obtained disability for my chronic PTSD symptoms that were exacerbated further by sexual violations during military service. It didn’t stop there, I continued to have a series of unwanted circumstances in my life up until the end of 2018, which taught me a fundamental lesson in accepting people for who they are and not expecting to be treated the same way that I treat others, else I may find myself frustrated and downright furious.

Around my birthday in July 2021, I had an eruption of hurt emotions that I unleashed in distressed monologues via a group text message to my immediate family. Years of feeling silenced, ignored and under valued emerged from my being in sincere and pointed accusation along with my declaration to obtain my precious sense of freedom. I’ll spare the intimate details, the cut and dry is that I ran away at 17 to serve the U.S. Army and 36 me now understands why I chose to run.

Some folks simply don’t want to have the tough conversations. It’s understandable, they’re tough conversations and seldom held in comfort. There are culpable minds who avoid their treasons at all costs to not sit with shit, that would mean being accountable to fault. Generations of “brush it under the rug” in humanity has conditioned many into believing this is ‘just the way it is’ and I am here today to call out: bullshit.

Clear communication and mutual respect are HUGE factors in human growth. Every healthy relationship I cherish today attests to this assertion. Shame, blame and devaluation are destructive choices, to be unaware of this is to be unkind to others. Today, I am privileged with the awareness and ability to walk away from those who choose to treat me unkindly. Learning to walk away is the beginning of boundary setting for your own well-being after living as a people pleaser.

The ticket to healing is feeling our feelings, we have to sit with shit. Whether or not you muster the courage to sit with those who’ve endured your shit or you are doing your best to overcome shit that someone else put on you; feel your feelings. We do not effectively ‘get over it’ when we try to ignore our feelings of discomfort. Ignoring our feelings results in avoidance and repression; not resolutions. And when our shit stays unresolved, we develop anger, resentment and bitterness that poisons our interpersonal relationships when our hurt is not remotely their fault.

How To Sit With Shit:

  • Sit in silence.
    • eyes closed or open, whichever feels comfortable
  • Intimately analyze the whole shitty situation:
    • What happened?
    • Who was involved?
    • Did you have (dis)interest about the situation?
  • Honor your feelings as they surface.
    • Do not blame yourself
    • Acknowledge wrong-doings (theirs and yours)
    • Cry, scream, laugh — release the emotions
  • Assign accountability
    • note what you can learn from this situation, what you can change to better your life now
    • accept the parts of the situation you never controlled were not caused by you

[This is a simple concept that is monumentally difficult to embody and may take many attempts to benefit, may not work for you at all, patience and practice are the only way to find out. Good luck.]

If you identify with the neurodivergent community, would appreciate an adult space with a focus on support and betterment, I’d like to invite you to check out my discord server! Where shame, blame and devaluation are discouraged while compassion and personal growth are encouraged. The server is designated mature (18+) and minors are promptly removed. Multiple categories allow Members to decide what sort of content they’d like to see from the server using selections in the #about-you channel after joining. You’re invited!

New Year, New Approach

Xena, my warrior Princess snoozing during a pressure therapy session.

In my being I am a writer, a painter, a poet and a spinster. Ok maybe not a spinster, but that flowed better. I do enjoy knit and crochet and I call myself a yarn magician because I make string into things. I’ve had this blog for I’m not even sure how long now and I remember I have it then actually write something probably 20 times in a calendar year. I’m forgetful, it happens. This is me trying a new approach. Welcome to blog one, day one of 2022! I will aim to write and post one blog every day. My plan is to use facebook as a topic pool, over the years I’ve posted varies meme type things with my sentiments summarized–I’ll expand on my thoughts and include the meme things or create new imagery to add here because we all enjoy aesthetics.

For those who are new to me, my name is Salley and I’m an artist. I honorably served in the U.S. Army from 2003 until 2007 as an Aviation Operations Specialist and 2007 until 2010 as an Army Spouse. In 2015 I was divorced and filing for VA disability. Currently I have a laundry list of mental illness diagnosis I refer to as my mental illness alphabet soup. I began writing as a teenager with angsty poetry and my biggest goal for this new year is publication of at least -one- novel by July. I’ve written a few over the years in participation with NaNoWriMo. Approaching my 40s I feel it is well over-due that I check off at least one major life dream before this is all over: my words in print.

Often times I talk about psychology and I am constantly searching for healthy ways to cope. In many ways I am an open book, though some chapters are reserved copies only. I will talk sincerely with anyone who wants a sincere conversation. I believe that knowledge wants to be shared and I whole-heartedly welcome new information, coping tools are most ideal to learn when you exist as a sensitive being who feels all the feelings so deeply. I am grateful to be able to dedicate time and focus on healing and my intention here is to share things I’ve learned along the way or learn as I’m going. Existence is often exhausting and I’d like to be a voice in the virtual seas that says HEY! you’re worthy of living a full life, no matter what labels or challenges the world assigns you!!

I’m psychologically disabled, I have to work at emotional regulation and I struggle to feel comfortable most places after a lifetime of traumas. Some major, some minor — all of them impacting my being from then until today. I am monumentally fortunate that my exposure in combat was from the safety of a FOB — it wasn’t an enemy beyond the wire I needed to be wary about. In summary; I’m disabled, not dead. We’ll likely talk on it more throughout this year. Welcome to 2022!

If you identify with the neurodivergent community, would appreciate an adult space with a focus on support and betterment, I’d like to invite you to check out my discord server! Where shame, blame and devaluation are discouraged while compassion and personal growth are encouraged. The server is designated mature (18+) and minors are promptly removed. Multiple categories allow Members to decide what sort of content they’d like to see from the server using selections in the #about-you channel after joining. You’re invited!

Taking Back My Power

Life is a journey. Along the way we encounter challenges that either teach us a lesson or leave a lesion that we’re left to heal, else it festers and infects our well-being. Healing is awkward and unpredictable; backslides happen and self-doubt can make you want to give up. NEVER GIVE UP!!

In 2014 I drastically limited my pursuits on dreams (modeling, writing, creating) because I was going through divorce and slipping into a depression that is only now nearing resolutions in 2021. I rebounded out of a 7 year marriage into a toxic whirlwind guised as a relationship for 3+ years. My sentiment after the veil of the ‘honeymoon phase’ faded was always that I went “from the frying pan into the fire” in my relationships. We had multiple break ups and very dramatic emotion-driven reunions, a lot of false hopes and promises of change that never proved valid. It has taken me the better part of 7 years to heal the lesions and learn all the lessons from that entanglement.

My ex-husband and I had demons of our own that clashed often and eventually led to our divorce–he is still a person I trust to this day. We do not see eye to eye on many things, but we respect each others pursuits in living happier and healthier lives. I am grateful he remains in my life as a confidant, a person out there who’s in my corner and wants me to be successful.

On May 22, 2021 I went to meet a local photographer for an impromptu, chance-connection photoshoot and y’all — Modeling is so much fun for me! I have limited myself with beliefs that I could not be a model because I am a disabled veteran, because I have had sexual assaults in my past, because I am too old, because, because, because. I am taking my power back!! I can and will express myself. 🔥💛

Such tremendous thanks must be given to the man in my life today. He holds me accountable, he supports me being whoever I want to be, he helps me to help myself to become a more confident, healthy and happy version of myself. He even holds lights for the photographers and captures great ‘behind the scenes’ content! I am immensely grateful for the way he operates, how he simply fits into my life. A woman glows differently when she is valued. Thank you, Mister. 💚

If you would like to work with me in any of my creatives (photography, paint, yarn) I can be reached on most social medias @salleysmile. Thank you for reading my blog! Your engagement and support to my success are genuinely appreciated; attagirls keep me going. Sending my love to y’all, stay focused!

Adventure Log 02232020

Today was reminiscent to a hail and farewell from the military, Xe and I spent most of the day with Chief, a pilot I worked with in Afghanistan in 2006 (14 years ago). He knew I was coming to the area and we set aside time to catch up face-to-face. I am eternally grateful to souls such as his for being so kind and caring through a lifetime of hardships and triumphs. Never give up, my friends. Life is beautiful when you embrace what you have instead of obsessing over what you don’t want.

Xena encountered horses for the first time. She was quite excited while maintaining her manners, I’m very proud of her. Grateful to the owner of the Ranch for welcoming us into her space.

As promised…

Night sky photos using Canon 5Dmii (still learning, had some post-edit fun)