Tragedy and Victory

My most popular writings are about surviving an abusive childhood. I’ve gathered readers from people who are curious, intrigued, or can’t look away from the details. As I’ve gotten better, though, I’ve been told that people prefer to celebrate victories. This is counterintuitive to my experience. Would you rather read about victory or tragedy?

In this final blog post of the year, I’m going to talk about my wins, successes, and victories. This year I’ve put in a lot of work on myself. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. I have my doubts, however, that it will be interesting to read. Let me know in the comments what you think.

Throughout 2022, I was in high school. I technically graduated once back in 2012, but I wrote my own transcript and didn’t study real subjects. My local community college offers an alternative to the GED program that’s self-paced instead of relying on testing. I’m not quite done with earning my official diploma, but I’ve made a great deal of progress.

In my first quarter, I reviewed my work history and wrote an essay describing how my experience applied to specific credits. In the Spring quarter, I worked on a painting for my Art credit and studied US History. Over the summer I finished my math credit and worked on my Washington State History course. I worked more on that in my most recent quarter and finished my Health requirements.

This upcoming quarter I hope to finish up my local state history and Science courses. Part of it has been review, and some of it has been challenging or brand new altogether. It’s been a rewarding process and my instructor has been wonderfully supportive.

I’m also happy to say that my mental health is better than it’s ever been in my life. All year, my psychiatrist and I have been working on finding the medications to treat my mental illnesses. My depression and anxiety aren’t nearly as severe. I have improved executive function, a clearer sense of time, and an overall stronger grip on reality.

This year I’ve really thrown myself into therapy wholeheartedly. I participated in multiple group therapy programs and did more EMDR and DBT. In July I started an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for more advanced support. That has meant at least two meetings a week, covering more material to help me learn about coping and safety strategies.

Last year I finished reading Codependent No More and got out of a dangerous relationship. This year, I joined Codependents Anonymous and became part of a small group that’s working through the steps together. This has meant doing the difficult work of analyzing my own behavior and relationship history. As I learn about my own codependent tendencies, I’m getting better at finding my own personal interests and being aware of my own feelings.

Another amazing development has come through taking care of my physical health. I started Testosterone HRT in March. This has made an incredible difference in feeling comfortable in my own body, and the most notable change so far is my voice. I also saw multiple specialists this year and found a more effective medication for my chronic pain condition. I’ve been doing Occupational and Physical Therapy exercises to improve my mobility. Last week I also did a sleep study.

In my personal life, I am excited to be engaged to my partner Ryann, and we’re hoping to get married soon. I’ve been prioritizing rest, self-care, and hobbies. This was partially made possible by getting help with cleaning the apartment from one of my patrons.

Thank you all so much for your support through an incredible year. I never imagined that I could be in such a good place. I didn’t expect to make it this far, but I have many victories to celebrate. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I have achieved on this trip around the sun.