What if the worst were to happen?
Would I be forced to feed its parasitic seed?
At the end, when its seed is extracted,
It will have drained my soul, trust, hope, and joy.
Once the seed is planted,
My humanity has been ripped from me.
I’ll be nothing but a wilted flower;
Dried from the inside out.
The decaying, fallen petals are my tears of melancholy;
What little of me is left will be a husk,
Of the woman I used to be.
(That’s what she said.)
A limerick Trigger warning: Domestic abuse Knowing just how to scream Hades’ name was Persephone’s most debasing shame. Though she attended his needs…Spit, or: Swallow
TW: Brief mention of r***, incest, and abortions.
Today was both a good, and a bad day. I started off with tender breasts, PMS, and a fuzzy brain.
I was supposed to go to a lunch of a family friend, but epilepsy said, “Nah.” Luckily my amazing husband went to the store upon my request and picked up my Diet Coke, Twix, and Starbursts. Then he gave them to me and hid in his man cave. Wise man.
Later, Patrick and moved shit around in the apartment, to both change the energy flow, and to organize and store shit. We got a lot of work done today, and I can feel it. I finally smudged the apartment, after “thinking about it” for weeks. I feel so light, like a plastic bag, floating in the wind.
Lately, though, I’ve been really emotional, but not because of hormones. In Texas, they are trying to ban abortions after 6 weeks, regardless of r*** or incest, and make it possible for ANY ONE to sue someone they suspect who’s received an abortion, or someone they suspect performs abortions. The person doesn’t even have to be guilty of the “crime” to be sued, just suspected. The State of Missouri is now trying to ban IUD’s, because they’re considered aiding in abortion.
I feel so violated and angry. I have never been pregnant, and actively avoid pregnancy, as it often leads to children. But what if my birth control fails? What if the worst possible outcome occurred, but I’m forced to grow that person’s seed?
These situations occur EVERY DAY. A woman from my past became pregnant when the manufacturer of her birth control filled the whole month of her cycle with placebos, instead of the hormonal BC. I’m sure she was one of thousands who unknowingly became pregnant.
The woman showed no symptoms of being pregnant, and all the while she was receiving heavy treatment for Covid-19 symptoms. She was 18 weeks along when she found out; the fetus was severely underdeveloped, and had the pregnancy gone to term, the child would have come out with horrifying side effects of this treatment. This doesn’t begin to unpack the trauma, excruciating pain, and worsened sickness for this woman.
Women don’t have abortions to fill out a punch card; it is a last resort when everything else has failed.
This has been weighing on my mind as heavy as 25 cats. For the first time in my life, I am terrified for my future. I live in America – the land of the free, and home of the brave. This isn’t supposed to be happening in America; these things happen “over there”. Where is my freedom? Where is the freedom for other women?
My real fear is, what’s next after abortions and IUD’s? Will hormonal birth control be next? And then, will we be too busy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen to have a job or be educated?
It’s not “just” banning abortions; it’s a slippery slope back to the 1950’s.
But. I’m at the point in my life where I know if I don’t speak up, and evangelize for us as women, that I’m apart of the problem, and I am done being apart of the silent majority.
I was not born to be normal; I was born and raised not run away from a fight, rather, grab my sword and beat it until it cries for its momma. I was born to lead, and I was raised to get shit done.
So that is exactly what I’m going to do.
My metaphorical pen will be my sword. I will share stories of women I’ve crossed paths with throughout my ridiculously traumatic and unstable life.
I hope you will join me by speaking your truth, or just sharing this piece; help start a larger conversation.
Let’s start a revolution. #SaveTheUterus
So I have been actively avoiding my blog, and more importantly, writing lately.
I am not a person who can just put forth garbage just to have content. I take great pride in my work, and believe in living with integrity, even when it feels like I’m climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (cause everyone climbs fucking Everest). I am uncomfortable posting fluffy shit like all of the “Blog Babes” suggest; I give exactly 0 fucks about writing “10 Best Fashion Tips, and #7 is unbelievable!”
I’m a loudmouth, opinionated bitch. My life, up until this point, has not been fun and fuzzy. I grew up witnessing domestic abuse, and then I walked into an abusive relationship. I have epilepsy, and generalized anxiety disorder, and I’m recovering from a life-long eating disorder, and emotionally numbing in any way possible. At the age of 12, I called a teen hotline and told the person on the phone that I thought I had depression.
I had no bodily autonomy for most of my life; my body was the property of everyone else, and I had to keep it clean and pure for them.
During my first appointment with a psychiatrist, after I told her my whole story, she paused, took a breath, and stated, “It’s impressive that you’ve been suffering alone this whole time, and not in a good way.”
Translation: I am fucked up.
So. Hi again. Thanks for sticking with me thus far. I know, this started on a really depressing note, but it’s my blog and I can be a party pooper if I want. So there! 😤
But I digress.
Because I refuse to put out fluffy shit, I hardly post. Pulling that shit from within and putting the shit on paper is hard as fuck.
Looking back at that trauma is extremely difficult, not only emotionally, but the more I remember from my early teens, the more I piece together more experiences with my illness. I, too, have to open the door to the loneliness and despair that I felt then.
I look back at that little girl and it hurts to put myself back behind those melancholy eyes, and experience that trauma all over again. It’s devastating, and so unfair that this little girl, at the age of 12, knew she had depression, and yet, the adults in her life failed her.
But, I have to unpack it. If I keep shoving it into the back of the closet, with the memories of my platform Spice Girl’s shoes covered in puke (I’m still waiting for those to make a comeback), I’ll never get better, and I’ll never completely understand myself.
I’m too self-aware and anxious to let that shit fester. I need to dig it out, explore it, and de-clutter it. Like Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t bring you joy, thank the items for their work, and let it go.
So, Imma start letting that shit go.
But I warn you: this could be some Taylor Swift type shit going forward, but if I can also make millions using old diaries and hard feelings, then let the “Swifting” begin.
PS. I cuss A LOT. Like a lot, a lot. But it’s a scientific fact that people who swear a lot have a higher pain tolerance, so who’s laughing now, mom?!
In the film, Batman Begins, we the see the very dark coming of age story for a young Bruce Wayne. While most film makers focus on him after he is already established as Batman, this movie, however, dives deep into the seemingly bottomless pit of a soul that is Bruce Wayne before he became Batman. It explores the traumatic childhood in a way that no other Batman film has before. Not only that, but the film also gives us as the audience a rare look into his life in-between his childhood and his transition into Batman. His life in the beginning of the film is a guide to seeing the true inner turmoil that was Bruce Wayne, including the conception of Batman down in the caves beneath Wayne Manor.
Now, it can be assumed that a man in a mask fighting crime at night is a little strange, but is there a real diagnosable condition to blame (or thank in some cases)? I believe that there is. Bruce Wayne, as a child, fell down an abandoned well, and was swarmed by bats flying around his head. Because of this event, when his parents took him to the opera later that evening, young Bruce became frightened of the costumes, as they were giving him flashbacks of the experience in the cave. He and his parents walked out into the alley, where they were shot and killed by a nervous robber.
I believe that Bruce Wayne, traumatized by the sudden and violent death that occurred before his very young eyes, suffers from PTSD. I also believe that he uses Batman as a coping mechanism for the crippling shame he suffers, because he feels his fear is to blame for his parents’ death. I believe that because of the PTSD, Bruce, an otherwise well-educated and smart young man, was indoctrinated into a cult like organization called the League of Shadows, which gave him the training and skills to become Batman.
Now something that should be pointed out is an important distinction between Bruce Wayne and Batman: Bruce is the man who physically wears the suit and fights crime; Batman is the idea behind the mask. He is not, however, a vigilante. He was told during his training, “A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.” Batman is that something else entirely.
Just as a note, before we begin, for the purposes of this paper, any background information on Bruce Wayne or his family used is taken directly from scenes in the movie. I have not done any other research on a diagnosis, nor am I including information from any other source but the movie. Any quotes, however, will be referenced back to an official script that I was able to find online.
First, before we can understand Bruce Wayne, we need to know about his background: He was born to Thomas and Martha Wayne, where they lived on the outskirts of Gotham City in Wayne Manor. Thomas was a doctor, and although it is never explicitly said what Martha did, it is implied that she was a stay-at-home wife and mother. They were often seen taking the public transit that Wayne Enterprises built, like everyone else, as opposed to being driven.Thomas Wayne felt that it was important that Bruce be exposed to and understand the struggles of people less fortunate than them. He once said, “Gotham’s been good to our family, but the city’s been suffering. People less fortunate than us have been enduring very hard times, so we built a new, cheap, public transportation system to unite the city. And at the center… Wayne Tower.” It’s made clear in the film that Thomas was well thought of in his community because of his generosity and thoughtfulness of others. It’s also made clear in the scenes showing Thomas and Bruce together that there was a strong bond, and that Bruce very much looked up to his father.
I believe that because of his strong admiration for his father, along with the all the sudden attention and air of expectation placed on his shoulders at such a young age, it could have put Bruce’s grieving in jeopardy. After his parents’ shooting, people who knew his father started treating Bruce like an adult, expecting him to understand what any of the business talk meant. As well, although it is never explicitly mentioned, but he was probably followed around by paparazzi for a good portion of his life. In a scene following his parents’ death, young Bruce was in a room surrounded by what appear to be paparazzi through glass windows, visible to him as he waits to be told what’s next.
Little is said about Bruce’s life between his parents’ murder and when he comes home from Princeton in the next scene (as a college student), aside from the fact that he will not sleep in the Master Bedroom, though he is technically the rightful owner of the house. It is made clear throughout the film that his father’s approval means everything to him. At one point, when Bruce came home from Princeton, when Thomas and Martha’s murderer was in a hearing to determine if he was eligible for parole after 14 years in prison and providing the DA’s office with information on a mob boss, a now twenties something Bruce Wayne comes home from Princeton with the intention of killing the murderer. When Rachel, a childhood friend of Bruce, learned that he was planning on killing the man, she slapped him repeatedly and said, “Your father would be ashamed of you,” and then Bruce’s jaw dropped, and then he exited the vehicle. He was devastated.
Later on, after having put himself into exile, he was met by a man named Ducard, who would go on to be his mentor and trainer in the League of Shadows. Ducard introduced himself, calling Bruce by name, shocking Bruce. He offers Bruce a chance to take back control of his life, as cult leaders and recruiters usually do. Ducard speaks of a man name Ra’s Al Ghul, a man feared by the rest of the criminal underground. He says to Bruce, who’s asked Ducard what kind of path Ra’s Al Ghul offers: “The path of a man who shares his hatred of evil and wished to serve true justice. The path of the League of Shadows. Because of his deeply troubled state, he was manipulated into joining that cult-like organization.
Now that we have had a chance to look into a brief history of Bruce Wayne, let’s look into the criterion that I believe makes Bruce Wayne a candidate for PTSD. Something to make clear before we go on, any diagnostic criterion mentioned from here on out is Criterion from the DSM-5, the latest edition of diagnostics in the mental health profession. This information was extracted from a website run by the US government and the source will be provided on the Reference List.
Criterion A: Stressor. Bruce was in the middle of the violence that ended his parents’ lives. Not only that, as stated earlier, his earlier traumatic event, falling into the old well and terrified by a swarm of bats flying by him, would have left him feeling raw and fearful to begin with, but also made him fear the costumes from the opera. He was feeling guilty because of having to make his parents leave the show early, and as his father was trying to lighten the mood with a joke, when the shooter came up and tried to rob them.
A young Bruce Wayne was sitting directly next to his parents as they were murdered. Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, the one-person Bruce admired most in the world, dove in front of Bruce’s mother, Martha, to save her, only for the gunman to shoot her afterwards. The man then ran off, leaving the boy alone with his dead parents in a cold city alley.
Criterion B: Intrusion symptoms. Any time anyone brings up or insults Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, there is a physical reaction, usually in the form of violence. At one point during the film, Bruce’s mentor, Ducard, at the League of Shadows tells Bruce, “Your parents’ death was not your fault. It was your father’s. Anger does not change the fact that your father failed to act” (Daily Script, n.d.). In that scene, when Ducard tells Bruce that his parents’ death wasn’t his fault, it was his father’s, Bruce attacked Ducard, enraged by Ducard’s attack on Thomas.
Criterion C: One type of trauma-related stimuli avoidance. I believe that Bruce’s self-imposed exile would count for avoidance behavior. When we see Bruce for the first time since his exile, he is covered in mud and being treated like a slave by outlaws. He has the option of going back to the lavish lifestyle of the Wayne Fortune in Gotham, but voluntarily puts himself through daily torture. It is revealed later that he kept himself away from everyone and everything he knew for 7 years. When Ducard met him for the first time, “The world is too small for someone like Bruce Wayne to disappear, no matter how deep he chooses to sink” (Daily Script, n.d.).
Criterion D: Two negative alterations of cognitions and mood. Bruce blames himself for his parents’ death; more specifically, he feels like his fear of bats is the cause for his parent’s death, so he uses the symbol of a bat to inflict fear of those he hunts. At one point at the beginning of his training with Ducard, Bruce reveals that his anger outweighs his feelings of guilt (Daily Script, n.d.). The fact that his main emotion is angry leads me to believe that this “guilt of killing his parents” is more about the shame he feels that his fear is why they’re dead.
After the incident with Rachel described above, Bruce literally puts what seems like thousands of miles between himself and the people who love him, namely his guardian and family butler, Alfred. Alfred was given custody of Bruce after the death of his parents, but in many ways, becomes more of a pseudo father figure for Bruce. He clearly doesn’t feel like he can be open with either one of his closest loved ones.
Criterion E: Alterations in arousal and reactivity. According to Naoni Sadeh, Mark Miller, Erika J. Woke & Kate L Harkness, researcher in longitudinal PTSD studies, “Chronic PTSD is a dynamic and environmentally sensitive condition characterized by periods of symptom exacerbation and relative remission” (Sadeh, Miller, Wolfe & Harkness, 2015). It is not said if there were any behavior issues with Bruce as a teenager or not, but I don’t believe that it is unfair to assume that an event like the perspective release of his parents’ murderer would be a triggering circumstance for Bruce to possibly relive that trauma. It is shown before the hearing that Bruce takes puts a small hand gun on his person to take to the courtroom. He reveals to Rachel later that he had intended on the murderer. Also, as mentioned before, any negative mention of his father sends Bruce into a blind rage.
As well, Bruce shows no interest in any “normal” activities. Once he is back in Gotham, he puts all of his time, energy, and resources into becoming Batman. He puts his physical self in danger by being actively involved in ridding the dangerous crime filled streets of Gotham City.
Criterion F: Duration of at least one month. Bruce more than meets this criterion, as these events of the movie take place over a span of several years. Because of this, he also meets the delayed criterion for diagnosing PTSD.
Criterion G: Functional significance. As mentioned before, Bruce pours all his time and energy, as well as much of his own personal wealth to build and maintain the creature Gotham knows as Batman. The only two people Bruce interacts with on a regular basis are Luscious Fox, the head of Military Weapons division, and his butler, Alfred. Batman is his life. Bruce Wayne is stuck in a never-ending cycle of his own broken psyche.