Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend from her snapchatFirst off, I’m totally obsessed with Chrissy Teigen. She is my spirit model. I love her. And if you’re not following her on twitter & snapchat, you are missing out on some spectacular joy in your life.

I was watching said snapchat, and they were being sooooo cute for their daughter’s first birthday. (I can’t even handle it.)

And all the time, John Legend is on her snapchat seeming like the most amazing husband/dad in the world. He’s always joining in on the cooking and the housework. There was a snap a while ago where Luna went over and was crawling around underneath him while he was playing piano. And Chrissy was like, “come back here, baby,” and John looked at her all cute and said, “She’s helping me play!”

Chrissy Teigen is a hilarious, smart, quick, interesting, funny goddess. And John Legend steps up his game to meet hers. Once, she was really drunk and asked, “Are you mad at me?” And he said, “Why would I ever be mad at you? You’re perfect?”

Anyway, I was thinking about tweeting a picture of John helping to put together his daughter’s new toy and saying what a great dad he is…

And then I realized… “Aurora, are you kidding?” Yes, John Legend seems like an amazing father. And he should be commended as such.

And yes, I do sometimes think about how it’s amazing that Chrissy Teigen still cooks herself when she’s Chrissy Teigen. She could have a staff…

But do I think the same way about Chrissy as I do about John?

Was I compelled to write a tweet about Chrissy Teigen is such an amazing mom (which she does indeed seem to be)?

Or was it more wild to me that John Legend would help put together his daughter’s toy, and help make the birthday cake?

They are both wildly successful in their own right. They both could hire a staff. So, why was I more likely to be impressed by John’s behavior than Chrissy’s?

I am here for feminism! I get upset at blatantly sexist stuff. I even follow this satire account @manwhohasitall – which is amazing and an incredible daily mirror into how ridiculous some things sound that we just accept people say about women (if the genders were reversed).

And yet, do I have sexism so deeply ingrained in me that it took me an extra minute to realize I seemed to be expecting Chrissy Teigen (Luna’s mom) to be putting together and toy and helping make the cake and cook good, but I was going to congratulate John Legend (Luna’s dad) for doing the exact same work?

(I mean… Chrissy Teigen is a cookbook author, and she does love to cook. So, it is possible that I have that swirling in my brain, if I don’t imagine it as quite such a big deal that she’s cooking… But still!)

Anyway, I’m very sorry for my underlying blind spots. (And I’m trying to keep them in check!) And also, both Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are amazing, and I highly recommend following them on your social media of choice.

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

This is yet another post talking about yet another sexual assault has affected me.

My last day of work on my current project is coming up on Friday.

Usually, on my last day of jobs, I give a bunch of thank you cards, I say goodbye to all the people I’ve adored working with, and it just kind of feels like a little bow on all of it.

It will not be like that with this job.

I really like everyone who works there. Everyone has been super nice in their interactions with me. It’s been a fun show to work on and all…

But instead of the usual – where I get to know people a little better, and see if they wanna go work out together over lunch, or whatever… I have mainly just sat in my office with the door closed, quietly doing my work.

People have still had to come to my office to watch various cuts and stuff. It’s not like I’ve never met anyone, or don’t know anyone at all… But I don’t interact in the same way. And just as I quietly come in everyday (often an adjusted schedule because of therapy or Project 882), I will probably quietly leave at some weird time where yet again people don’t really know if I’m there or not.

And that’s so weird.

I also feel like a jerk because, while I cry much (much) less often at work nowadays, I still do sometimes… And sometimes people still need me. So, sometimes, someone will knock on my door when I’m crying. And I use the 2 seconds between the knock and when they come in to compose myself a little… But I usually don’t look at them when they come in.

I’m trying to hide that I’m not all that composed, and that my face is red from crying. I’m trying to hide the tear I maybe didn’t get to fully wipe off. I’m trying to hide the fact that I’d like to keep crying as soon as they’ve asked whatever they need to ask.

So, I acknowledge them with a hi or something, and I keep my face to my computer, not looking up to acknowledge their presence. And that feels super douchey.

Granted, editors do that sort of often. It’s not unheard of. They might be in the groove. They might just be living up to their cranky stereotype. It’s not unheard of, or ridiculously weird or anything. But it’s certainly not what I like to do.

And when it happened at the Nightly Show, it wasn’t that weird, because people came in directly behind you. You had to turn your whole body around to see them. At my current job, they come in from the upper corner of the room. You have to move your head like maybe 45 degrees (and that’s if you’re looking at your farthest away screen). Like, come on.

So, in conclusion, I feel like a jerk. But sometimes that is the very very best I can do on that day and in that moment. And it’s a bummer.

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

I have a bunch of drafts in my posts, because I want to talk about things specifically. But suffice it to say, the gist of all of it is that I’m just not here.

I feel like I’ve said this idea before in various ways – like I’m living trapped in the glass box and everything.

But I just do not feel present. I’m floating around in all these cool cities, at a cool job, in a great apartment… and I’m not there.

It’s like I’m just watching some TV version of my life. I’m not in it, not living it, not feeling it. I’m just watching it all happen… Even though I feel like I’m the one trapped behind the TV set – which I suppose kinda doesn’t make sense.

But does any of it?

That’s all I have to say on this now since I’ll be expanding (hopefully before you know it) in other posts…

I’m just not here.

Friday, March 31st, 2017

This is a question I’ve been asking myself often nowadays. I’m pretty sensitive to how I’ve been feeling/acting lately. [I toootally have drafts of posts about this. I’m SO sorry I’m very far behind.]

Anyway, I know that it’s semi-unhealthy to live in a world of “old me vs. new me.” It might be better to just realize this is where I am now and then try to improve upon anything I don’t like.

But I liked who I was…. And I’m in this semi-weird spot of questioning so many things… “Is this normal, or is this a problem?”

I’ve always been at least a little messy (sometimes a lotta messy). If my apartment is becoming a little unhinged, is that because “Well, I’m just messy Aurora,” or is it a sign that I’m not keeping up with my life as well as I used to?

If I’ve been invited out to do something, and I just lazily sit at home, is that because I’m so anxious around people now that it’s a real problem I’m not going out… or am I just taking a little alone time that everybody needs (even me – even back before anything happened!)?

If I keeeeeep meaning to send a thank you card or a gift or something and I just keep not doing it… is that because I can’t handle normal responsibilities now? Or is it because some things slip through the cracks? (I literally still have cards somewhere from the 52 half marathons in 52 weeks project that just never made it to a post office.) So, is that? Or am I too depressed to get things done?

If I spend nearly a day sleeping because I neeeeeeded it… is that because I’ve been traveling so much lately and working crazy hours and racking up miles for my 882 Project, and I need to catch up on sleep? Or is it because I’m super depressed and it’s easier to just sleep?

These, and questions like these, are questions I’m asking myself way too often. I have to allow myself to be tired and to be human. But I’m I “allowing” too much? I mean, I guess as long as I’m generally functioning – as long as I’m getting to work and such, I guess that means everything’s okay-ish.

But I want to be more than someone who goes to work and then goes home. I want to more than just a robot who turns her brain off all the time… And I guess that’s why I’m asking these questions of myself. ‘Cause am I becoming this unfeeling robot barely making it through a day, or am I just being human? …Sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

I have yet another blog post sitting in my queue waiting to be finished up and published. (I’m SO sorry. I know it’s getting ridiculous how little I’m posting.)

Anyway.

That blog posts talks about how it makes me physically ill sometimes think about spending the night in someone’s bed (or lord help me, them in mine). And I will get to that post. (And not waste your time writing it all out right here.) The point is…

I know this is crazy to yet again mention that man I adore in California. (I really wish I had some great blog nickname for him), because as I think I mentioned, I had never planned on talking about him here.

To me, the blog just isn’t the place to talk about my relationships – though apparently it sorta is sometimes now…

He’s just a good contrast sometimes and I think this post is relevant to sexual assault and worth talking about.

So, as I mentioned, I’ve been sick when I hear or see characters on TV or the radio or whatever spend the night. *shudders*

But I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and two characters were wrapped in each other’s arm after obviously spending the night together. (I would say spoiler alert, but goodness gracious, that could be anybody on the show.) The point is, my first thought is usually panic and “AGH! Why did I spend the night?! If I wouldn’t have done that, I could’ve avoided being assaulted,” and blah blah blah blah blah blah.

But this time, I breathed in a really deep breath like a nice calm person and was like, “That’s how me and [California guy; still wishing I had a better nickname] used to look in the morning.

I.
was.
reminded.
of.
a.
happy.
memory.

I know I’ve said recovery is like a roller-coaster and I think this somewhat illustrates it. Literally yesterday, I was like, “This is unfixable! I am never gonna get better!” (And my frustration might not have been as clear in the post as it was to anyone who would’ve been around me, in my office, sobbing at the idea that I don’t know how to fix this.)

But then this happened.

My first thought was of something really nice.

So, maybe it’s “fixable” after all… Maybe I can “get better” (even if I’m not 100% supposed to think about it that way).

I don’t know. I know it’s such a teeeeeny tiny victory. But I’ll take it! I loved sleeping in California guy’s arms. And  I’m really, really happy that the good memory started seeping back in. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna think about that, and all that safety and happiness at his place, now as I drift off to sleep!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Before I say anything, I really wanna say that if you’re a survivor suffering… please don’t get lost in my moments of despair.

I have an upcoming blog post about what it’s like to be writing about this in semi-real-time vs. my open-heart surgery stuff which I got to have years of reflection on before I ever talked about it publicly.

So, it’s weird. And sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m being irresponsible. Is it better to write through the ups and downs so people can feel like they’re not the only ones on the roller-coaster? Or is it better to finish the story, make *sure* I come out “on the other side,” and write about it from a comfortable distance?

I don’t know the answer to that. All I know is I’m writing what I’m feeling today. But if you’re not in a place where it’s safe to read about someone else’s despair, then I ask you please not to. I never wanna make recovery worse for anyone else.

Aaaaanyway.

I like to think of myself as a problem-solver.

I don’t always solve things the technically “correct” way. I don’t always solve things super quickly. But I feel like we can point to things over and over and over in my life where I didn’t give up and I tried to make plans for the future.

I can list a couple of jobs I was unhappy with where I just quit. When I didn’t like how my life was going after open-heart surgery, I did the 52 half marathons project. (There was a world where that might not have worked, but thankfully it worked here.) I wanted to move to New York, so I have… a few times. I make a list of the things I want and I work to get them.

I know I had to work for many years to get out of reality TV. That plan kept changing as various things didn’t work. And I may have to go back. I don’t know…

So, plans aren’t always suuuuper linear. And plans aren’t always super quick. But it at least feels like they’re always possible to put in motion and that I always have ideas for how to help myself…

And this time, I feel like I’m running out of ideas.

Even though there are dead ends and smaller obstacles within bigger ones, some problems still seem a little more straightforward. Don’t like your job? Leave it. Etc. (That’s the biggest clearest one I can think of.) And I understand we all have to pay rent. And I’ve certainly worked a job I didn’t want to before. But it feels like there’s a way out – and a fairly straightforward one… Build contacts, go on interviews, spruce up your online presence, all that jazz. There might be winding roads and you might have to come up with new solutions, but it feels straightforward-ish. And this doesn’t feel nearly as straightforward to me.

How do you stop having nightmares? How do you become comfortable in the new city you’d just moved to where this happened? How do you get through the week without a panic attack? (There actually are technically answers/ideas to these. And I work on some of this in therapy… But it still doesn’t seem as easy/as straightforward to me.)

(I have a whole list of ways in which sexual assault affected me that I’ve been meaning to post. But I’ve been really irresponsible with the posting lately. I’m sorry. But anyway…)

For one thing, it feels like I am affected in so many ways, how can I possible tackle them all? For another, it feels like all my ideas aren’t working.

I felt uncomfortable in my bed so I got a new bed – heck, I got a new apartment! Yet I still don’t spend a lot of time there… I’m writing this post from my office (at 2 in the morning, New York time).

I feel not present. So, I went to do all these things that I thought would keep me present – a safari, chilling with a whale, all this stuff. But I still feel distracted a lot.

“I know. I’ll just run again” to fix everything. That project is helping, but not as much as would be nice.

And on and on and on.

I just want to keep doing things to make it better, but none of the things are a magical fix.

I’m in therapy. I’m in a support group. These things help. I believe in therapy. But I feel like there are a lot of ups and downs. And I feel like today was a big down.

I just want the problem to be “fixed.” So, I don’t know if I’m being impatient, or if I haven’t found the fix, or if it’s “unfixable.”

Who knows. Maybe this just feels harder ’cause I’m in it right now. Maybe I’m remembering other things with rose-colored glasses. There were certainly some situations with a “straightforward” fix that still felt kinda hard to get out of. So, I dunno.

All I know is, while technically anything in this world is possible, this just feels like a giant weight on me. And I just find it exceptionally hard to find the “solution,” – even though there probably isn’t one magical solution. But if anything can give me my old life back, I hope to goodness I find it. (To me the clearest most wonderful thing would be a time machine. But to my knowledge, we haven’t invented those yet?)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Look, I don’t want to be crazy or way over-dramatic or something…

I know that I’m Aurora. I know I still exist. I know I’m the same Aurora… Like, I don’t actually think I’m not literally the same person.

I also don’t mean any disrespect at all to people who’ve actually died – who truly have no opportunity/no change to turn thing around. I know that’s so different than feeling like a part of you died.

And now that I’ve done such a long rambling preamble, what I’m trying to say is – I feel like a totally different person.

Sometimes there are things that are oh so hard for me to do now that didn’t used to be so hard (just going out in public/being around people I would say is a big one).

And so sometimes, when I’m out and I see something that now is hard, but never used to be, every once in a while, I’ll think to myself, “Goodness, Aurora would really have loved this.”

And I know that I’m actually Aurora. And I know that I am capable of loving it – and that I still do love some things sometimes.

But it just feels like I’m different… Like, I have a ton of pictures of me all around my apartment from various trips and with various friends. And sometimes I think a little about myself in the third person, like, “Dang! Look at this girl! She’s so cool! Look at all the stuff she did and all the people who loved her and she loved right back in return. My goodness gracious. What on earth do you think she’d be doing nowadays since she is so rad?

And I know that technically the answer is I could be doing anything. And I am still alive and I am still me… And yet, that surprises me sometimes. I’ll make a little snapchat for a friend or something, and it’s like, “Oh yeah. Look! There she is! I know that face! I know those little facial expressions. Look! She still exists!”

Or sometimes, I’ll just kind of say something out loud and I’ll hear some sound that’s very “me,” and I’m like, “Wait! I know that sound! That’s Aurora!”

Please don’t be scared. I don’t actually have like multiple personalities or something. I don’t truly think I’m someone else… But I certainly don’t feel like myself at all…. It just feels like a big huge gigantic humongous part of me died… and I do not know what to do about it.