I don’t normally write about myself. My blog is full of things I think and sometimes feel. But I realized that I rarely do these getting-to-know-you sorts of things.

I figure, knowing about me is the best way to understand why my need for help is so acute.

I love Jesus and I was “saved” when I was sixteen. Saved is such a tiny word for what happened that day. That was the day my life was forever changed by understanding that Jesus died so I don’t have to be alone and broken and helpless.

I’m a pretty average artist, a decent vocalist, a writer-in-progress, long time poet, and I love working with people. Most of my time is spent with people. These days with the whole, “danger to yourself”, thing I am very rarely alone. But I don’t mind. Most of the time I have this cute guy around who refers to himself as my husband. I think the state would call him that too and it would explain these rings on my left hand.

I live in a great town. I’m happy living there. I do a lot of work for the local businesses, so it helps that I can walk where I need to be. We only have one car. The down fall is I can walk to work, which means I walk past work a lot, there are no quick trips to the post office. My dog, Shy, is with me so much, I think he counts as a co-worker. With the number of people who took pictures of my retired greyhound this summer, he kind of works there too as a tourist attraction. He’s pretty special like that.

I am pretty average looking too. Except the dreadlocks someone talked me into. I’m 5’3”, sometimes blonde, sometimes auburn, depending. According to a Scottish lady I met once I, “look like the perfect Irish girl”. Is that I nice way of saying I have to tint my makeup with white face paint? Yes. So I don’t wear makeup. Also, I never know when I’m going to burst into tears or burst into laughter; both of which cause me to weep anything off my face.

You can’t tell by looking at me that I’m not okay. Usually the case with mental illness.

Every day I wake up and I have Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I don’t get a day off, nights, weekends, holidays, or sick days. Getting a cold, for the record, is like getting the flu. Getting the flu is like, well, I don’t know what it’s like to die…

It’s not all bad. I am loved and appreciated by lots of people and dogs. Our cat doesn’t like me, but he isn’t alone. Turns out I’m not perfect.

Despite my long history of screwing up, I have a longer history of trying to get better from an even longer history of abuse.

I have very serious dissociative issues, a history of self-injury, and a terrible time avoiding triggers that send me off an ever thinning cliff.

I need to go to the hospital.

But it isn’t that simple.

Keep on this journey with me and I’ll show you how there is a very big hole in this country. I happen to be in it. I know other people in it. Lucky for me I’m not dying. But, without the right care, I can’t do much but just stay alive.

I want to show the world what trauma really looks like, what it is, and what we can all do together to help.