Poetry, PTSD and Awareness, Updates

Asking For It

“Before you point that accusatory finger
in my direction, remember this:
I never asked for it.”

The sun is setting and I feel the cold seeping into my bones. I feel the life bleeding out of my feet, leeching into the ground. And I stand here, breathing smoke into the sky. Because that’s all I have left to give — pieces of my broken spirit. And that’s all that remains after the vultures picked me apart. So before you point that accusatory finger in my direction, remember this: I never asked for it. I never gave the wrong signals. I didn’t deserve all you forced upon me.

And how could I have known better? I was barely old enough to walk, let alone understand what vile things you wanted from me. If you wouldn’t blame a child, then why blame the teenager for going to a party? Why blame the woman that was followed home from work? It’s time everyone takes a hard look at the patterns. Those men saw something they wanted, and they took it. With complete disregard for their victim. And I suppose that’s part of the point. They have the power. They need it. So they take it wherever they can get it.

So, if you are a victim, and you’ve ever felt that finger pointing in your direction, know that no matter what anyone tells you — You. Are. Not. To. Blame.

© Sarah Doughty

Illustration via @harumi_hironaka.

I am sharing this again today, not because I feel the need to repost it, but because I feel it’s necessary to reiterate to the world that there is, in fact, a culture. It exists and there is a reason that women (for the majority) do not come forward until sometimes decades later, if at all. Society immediately rejects them.

She shouldn’t have been at that party.
She shouldn’t have been wearing those clothes.
She shouldn’t have given him 
eyes….
Where’s the evidence to prove this happened?
Why didn’t she come forward immediately?
… and the list goes on.

So, this is for all the survivors out there — both the ones that have used their voices (and especially for Dr. Ford, for having the bravery to speak out in a public, televised inquiry, despite having been harassed and given multiple death threats by even considering doing so) and those that have survived in silence — know that it was not your fault. My thoughts are always with the people that have suffered at the hands of monsters and I hope that at the very least, someone will find comfort with these words. Just knowing that you aren’t alone might be enough.


I also want to state that I am not claiming that Kavanaugh is guilty, because I believe in the “innocent until proven guilty” principles this country is based upon. However, this does not mean that I believe that Dr. Ford is not telling her truth. Something happened to her, and I believe her. After thirty-some years, you wouldn’t remember something in such vivid detail if it wasn’t a major event in your life. I know this from experience. There are many things I wish I could erase from my mind, but alas, they are burned there like a brand and they will never go away as long as I live. These are not the accounts and emotional responses of a person that is fabricating a story.

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Random Thoughts, Updates

Saving Her

A few days ago, I wrote about something very important to me. How she’s helped me over the years. I thought it was fitting to share actual photos and a little history about her. To celebrate her life, as she was then, and how she is now. Before it ends.

Lovelies, meet Pumpkin.

This was taken shortly after she was rescued, and she’d put on the much-needed thirty pounds of weight. Looking back, I can almost see the gratitude in her eyes for giving her a new chance at life. From the first day, she was always by my side….

And from the first moment she met this little boy several years later, she was smitten. Anytime he cried, she was there to soothe him. Her favorite moments were the ones like these….

Ever since, she has taken care of him, just as she has done for me. My family has been lucky to have her in our lives for over twelve years. The only problem is that we don’t know how much time is left. I see the clouds in her eyes and how stiff she feels when the weather changes or the temperatures are too cool. But, despite all that, she never stops taking care of us.

Every day, she leaves me
with this question:
Who saved whom?

© Sarah Doughty

Updates

My Interview At Sudden Denouement

I am honored to have been interviewed
by the collective members at Sudden Denouement!

Quite a few questions were asked,
and I hope I’ve managed to shed
some light on my writing, motivations,
and my appreciation for everyone
I’ve met in the process.

Go check out my interview here.

Much love,
Sarah Doughty

Random Thoughts

Life

Hello loves. I am here to bring you a quick, albeit grim report. My activity here has dropped the past two days because my mother is in the hospital with heart failure.

I don’t yet know the extent of the damage or the prognosis. But I will try to keep everyone updated and try to keep up with posts as I’m able.

Please keep us in your thoughts and please don’t think I’m disappearing.

Sarah Doughty

PTSD and Awareness, Updates

Blood Into Ink: Your Writing Wanted

The incredible people at Blood Into Ink are looking for guest writers to submit pieces that coincide with the backbone of their collective effort: surviving and overcoming all forms of abuse or neglect. It is a safe space to share stories, connect with other survivors, and be a part of a community that understands what it means to survive. I’m honored to participate in this collaborative. If you’re interested in learning more, click here.

Poetry, Random Thoughts

Running Low

“My well of hope is running low.
There’s only a few drops left and
they’re evaporating at an alarming rate.”

I’m sorry that I’m not perfect. I’m sorry that what I’ve done has come up short. I’m sorry for always being sorry. As much as I try to be a good friend, a good wife, or a good mother, somewhere along the way, I mess up. And I fear that no matter what I do, or want to do, nothing will be enough. But that’s the way of the world. At least, it’s my world. And today, my well of hope is running low. There’s only a few drops left and they’re evaporating at an alarming rate.

In grade school, I was the one parents forced their kids to accept. And while I was tolerated for a little while, I could always hear the snickering behind me. I could hear the irritation in their voices when they finally told me I was no longer worthy of being a friend of pity. That I was the one hated — the one they bullied and said it was only a joke.

High school wasn’t much different. I was the one with access to a car so I could be one they called when they wanted to see someone else. I was the smart one. Tolerable just long enough to cheat off my tests or to copy my homework. I was the one too miserable to make any profound effort — because nothing was ever good enough — what my abuser told me at home every night was reinforced each and every day at school by people. My friends. My enemies. My bullies.

Over the years, not much has changed. I’ve found a few real friends. They are few and far between. And, though I do my best, it’s never enough.

© Sarah Doughty

No, I’m not okay. But I will be.
Random Thoughts

The Dreaded Block

“The words may be on a break. But they’ll
be back. They always come back.”
Returning

I’m often asked about writer’s block. What to do? How to overcome it? How long will it last? These are all good questions, but they only really need one answer. Keep writing. Every day.

You may feel uninspired, like nothing you put on paper or type on the screen holds any value, but odds are, there is something there. Don’t delete them or throw them away. And the worst thing you can do is to put the pen away and do nothing.

There’s millions of things you can try to wake up your muse, but even if your mind comes up blank, you should write something. Even if it’s only a journal of what happened during your day.

My first fiction novel, Just Breathe, was based on a dream. Back then, I tended to forget my dreams and move on, but I was fortunate enough to journal the next day, and my mind kept going back to that scene. My focus shifted, and the story began to unfold. So, lovelies, don’t ignore your muse when it stirs, you might miss something incredible.

© Sarah Doughty

In the comments, let me know what you do to overcome creative blocks.

Random Thoughts, Updates

This Current State Of Being

Hello lovelies, I thought it was about time to check in again. As you’re probably aware, I’ve been suffering from various illnesses for the majority of this year, and as far as I can tell, this is only going to continue.

While the horrendously long migraine ended, I’m still plagued several times a week by them. So, I suppose one positive is that not every day is bad in that regard.

Once I kicked the Springtime cold from hell, the next round of issues popped up. A few months of physical therapy to fix my back thanks to a sagging mattress and a couch that was well beyond its life expectancy was just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently, my thyroid isn’t performing correctly, which several specialists are optimistic that resolving this issue would improve the frequency and severity of my migraines, as well as help with other health-related issues, I don’t share their happy perspectives.

These migraines have been around for some time, and I was still able, most days, to do some of my therapeutic activities. But now, there’s more than just my C-PTSD and migraines to nag me. My concentration is worse, and my physical energy levels have been declining.

You’d think a simple pill to fix my thyroid would do the trick, but unfortunately, I’m one of the unlucky few to have the opposite reaction. Rather than helping that little gland perform, those meds hit the off switch. Let me tell you, getting out of bed just to go to the bathroom made me want to cry. And this went on for over a month while my doctor tinkered with the dosage to see if I would improve.

So now, I’m waiting in limbo to see a specialist for that, while I continue to feel like half of my functionality has been taken from me. I remain hopeful that this will be light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m not holding my breath. A worsened depression can be thanked for this current mindset. But could you blame me for feeling a little extra down?

This, of course brings us to now. As you’ve probably noticed. My Thirteen Reasons Why series was never completed, my next novel and poetry book were never finished, and my newsletters have gone unsent. In the rare days I’m feeling productive (using the term very loosely), I have been able to mock up new book cover designs for my fiction, which I hope to begin unveiling once I finish this novel that’s been collecting dust for months. But I have no idea when that might be.

My ability to keep up with blog posts has significantly diminished, as have my responses to comments. I really need to make more of an effort to keep up with those, at the very least. And I do thank each and every one of you that continue to leave comments, despite my silence.

I miss the way things were, and I cannot stress enough how much I want to get back to that. As always, thank you for letting me vent a little, and know that I’m doing my very best to get back to where I was before, at the very least.

© Sarah Doughty

Updates

Never Yours

Special thanks to Sudden Denouement for sharing my words. I’m honored that they have a place to call home.

“I was never yours to do with as you pleased.”

[Trigger warning: the following may be too much for victims of sexual abuse or assault. Continue with caution.]

My mouth wasn’t yours to silence. It wasn’t yours to fill with words that were not my own. It wasn’t yours to taste, or to swallow what you gave me. My mind wasn’t meant to be manipulated. To be broken. My emotions didn’t exist for you to dictate. How I should love you. Worship you with blind devotion. Or how I needed to fear you…

Read the rest here: Never Yours – Sarah Doughty

Random Thoughts

Discussion of “IT”

*Minor spoikers ahead. Proceed with caution.**
The thoughts expressed here are mine.

This was written in response to the discussion posted by Tyson Adams.

I was a fan of the Goosebumps books when I was six. So naturally I thought I was perfectly capable of handling the “It” miniseries when it was released. To say I was terrified was an understatement. But I was hooked. I dropped those Goosebumps like a bad habit and started reading Stephen King.

It, the book, was quite engrossing, but not so much scary. I liked the way the news reports were presented, and even the narrative of Pennywise gave us a new way of seeing him. But the chemistry with the Loser’s Club was really the core of it. Of course, there was that strange scene near the end of the kid’s journey that unified them and allowed them to become adults all in one go. Let’s just say, King’s voice of how was quite the odd method of achieving that goal. But otherwise, I rather enjoyed the story.

I’ve seen the miniseries from time to time over the years and remember those frights with fond appreciation. But I waited to watch “It” again in favor of having a somewhat cleansed palette. The theatrical version was so far beyond what I’d hoped for, that I saw it again a second time this past weekend. (Trust me, having C-PTSD and carefully planning an excursion into a dark theater full of people wasn’t easy.) The new Pennywise isn’t like Tim Curry’s portrayal, where he was apt to start cracking jokes, playing on actual clown humor around the few “scary” moments where he appeared as period-specific monsters.

Bill Skarsgard’s version is childlike in nature, but he has a deep hatred for kids. You can tell from the first, and notably more infamous “Georgie” scene. The way he terrifies his victims before attacking them is almost like marinating his food just the way he likes, and when the kids are good and terrified, he’s ready to save them for hibernation time. And he does this in various forms, depending on the individual fears of that child. For instance, rather than seeing Pennywise as the wolfman, Ritchie is just afraid of clowns, and naturally gets stuck in a room full of them. This adds a bit of timelessness to the movie. But when It is ready to take them for good, he toys with the kids in an almost animalistic way, much like a lion might play with a gazelle before ripping out its throat. But when he does this, his movements, voice, and abilities to shift reality are erratic, sometimes disturbingly fast, and very unpredictable, which is ultimately what makes this Pennywise so terrifying.

Of course, after my second viewing of the new movie, I went back to watch to miniseries. I have to say, the miniseries doesn’t do the movie justice. I spent most of my time rolling my eyes at the horrid acting (aside from Curry’s portrayal) and wondering how I was actually that scared at all in the first place. But the eyes of a young child, see much differently than adults. I can’t imagine how kids will react to this movie. I’m certain I won’t be allowing my son to see it until he’s at least the same age as the Loser’s Club.

© Sarah Doughty