Valentine’s Day is for us ALL

I saw this on my Facebook page, I wanted to share this with you:

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Celebrities Who Have Struggled With Mental Illness and Depression – Essence.com

Being that it’s Black history month, I wanted to share a link on celebrities living with mental illness.

Click on the link below for more info:

Celebrities Who Have Struggled With Mental Illness and Depression – Essence.com

https://www.essence.com/galleries/15-celebrities-who-have-struggled-mental-illness-and-depression?utm_campaign=essence&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&xid=essence_socialflow_facebook

Superhero Therapy: The Psychology of Harry Potter

Every now and then I like to listen to uplifting, educational and/or entertaining podcasts. So let me share one I listen to—Assembly of Geeks. Well, mostly their segment, “Superhero Therapy”. Sound familiar? If not, it is coined by, Dr. Janina Scarlet author of “Superhero Therapy” and “Harry Potter Therapy”. She just started her segment last year on the Podcast, with one of the first topics on Harry Potter. I encourage you to check out the Geek Podcast. Dr. Scarlet’s segment there is very informative especially on how she ties in mental health with popular tv shows and movies like, “Stranger Things” and “Star Wars”. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-assembly-of-geeks-podcast-network/id704816074?mt=2&i=1000393522903

Supernatural: Life After Assault

One of the latest episodes of Supernatural titled, “Various and Sundry Villains”, I thought it hit a great note especially for those like myself who were sexually assaulted. In fact, it was one of the reasons why I delayed writing this article (as well as other events that I have experienced) from the two weeks that it aired. It resonated with me.

In this scene as viewed in the picture above, you have Sam babysitting Rowena in their ’67 Chevy Impala, while Dean inquires about two young witches in a nearby town who have stolen a book from the brothers, the Black Grimoire. Sorry if this is a spoiler alert,  when you see that—oh, wait… Rowena is alive…again! After being killed by Lucifer, not once, but twice.

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Lucifer as Castiel, snaps Rowena’s neck (Her first death)

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Lucifer, back in his vessel, incarcerates Rowena

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Rowena’s Second Death

See, the Black Grimoire is not just a book of witchcraft, but also where the Grand Coven, Rowena’s former coven, bound her true powers in a page of the book. Her coven seeing that Rowena’s methods were well–risque, bound most of her powers in the book.

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The witches two: The Plum Sisters with tbe Grimoire they store from the Winchester Brothers

While Sam and Rowena wait upon Dean, the two had a rather heart to heart talk. Sam asks why she wants the book back so much and Rowena states it’s so she can reclaim her true powers back and better protect herself from Lucifer in case he shows up again. She never wanted to feel vulnerable again, after the way he made her feel and of course, nearly took her to the grave.

Sam: Okay, Sure, Let’s say you get the book. It’s not gonna change anything. You’re still gonna feel helpless. What Lucifer did to you—

Rowena: Told you, I don’t… [Hesitates] Before he crushed my skull, Lucifer showed me his face. His true face.

Maybe…yeah…I haven’t seen the face of Satan before (Godforbid *Does the sign of the Cross*), but I understand what it’s like to see the true face of your assaulter. On the outside he looks like a “regular guy”: a friend, a co-worker, a love interest, someone’s son…then once they hurt you, it’s like a 360 of who they really are. My assualter I met on the online dating site, “Ok Cupid”. After seeing his profile, exchange numbers, talking to him over the phone and text and seeing him in person, I thought, I really knew him…I mean, it took me about a month, until I thought I could feel sure enough to meet him in person.  But of course, it wasn’t enough and he did not only take a part of my body with him, but a part of myself too. As if there were like a crack in my psyche, that I wondered would ever be restored. Even though it’s only a chunk of me, it still made up a large part of who I am. He violated my trust, he used my interests such as pop culture to lure me into his lies of deception. I thought he respected me, I thought I could trust him and instead, he treated me as if I were some vermin…someone who was lower than he was. And because of that now, I’m afraid of getting close with any man, I feel some sort of hate/fear towards men, I’m afraid of sharing my interests with anybody, especially men…I was never like this before he assaulted/raped me. It doesn’t make it easy now as an Uber driver, where I pick up men, especially drunk men and especially, especially when I’m driving around his neighborhood. I mean…my anxiety levels go through the roof whenever I do. I’m afraid that he will harm me in some way again.

In case you don’t know and/or don’t remember, in the much earlier seasons of Supernatural, Sam and Dean were supposed to be involved a fight where archangels and brothers, Lucifer and Michael were suppose to be fighting for the domination of Earth, where Sam was possessed by Lucifer and Dean by Michael. Dean wasn’t possessed by Michael, but Sam was by Lucifer for a brief second. However, Sam/Lucifer and the Winchester’s newfound brother, Adam Milligan who was now possessed by Michael was pushed into Lucifer’s cage. Episodes later, we find Sam is soulless, because while Castiel rescued Sam’s body, Sam’s soul was still “stuck” with Lucifer, where Lucifer was torturing him, but Death was able to restore Sam’s soul. And since then Sam has been trying to recover especially after being tortured by Satan in the cage. Crazy right? This was all in like what??? Late season 5 and 6? Correct me fellow Supernatural fans, if I’m wrong.

Being possessed by and tortured by the devil…mmm…I can’t imagine how Sam must feel, but in a sense I’ve been “possessed” and “tortured” of devils of my own: shame and rage, especially with the memories of my assailant. It can be hard to can a goodnight’s sleep sometimes.

How I heal is by helping others…helping others console with their pains, writing in this blog, teaching kids…it helps me get away from my problems. I don’t help others to get away from pain for this reason, but helps me have power over my life and helps me have purpose, after being told—being infiltrated by someone else both psychologically, emotionally and physically—that I’m nothing. I’m able to help kids where I student-teach at with their studies and their personal problems.  I student-teach at a high school who caters to students from low-income families and problems at home and I can relate with that. Helping kids know there is someone who cares for them is what I want to do especially knowing I too felt that way when I was growing up. Like when a kid told me they were cyberbullied, I was able to tell my story of being cyberbullied. It helped her feel not alone and that someone understood and cared for her. So, really have I healed from my pains as Sam as healed from his pains? Not really, because you’re out helping others and trying to live the rest of your life day by day. Though every now and then the memories sticks with you: the remorse, the shame, the vulnerability.

It took me about six months to tell my brother and my boyfriend and about a year till I told my mom and sister. It was hard to tell them, because more than half the time I was trying to decipher what had happen to me….untangle the shame, confusion, denial, anger and depression that went with it. I mean…yeah I went into his house, but his house wasn’t an excuse for rape/sexual assault. He was so charming, but yet conniving at the same time. I never had sex before, so I had no idea what—at the time—what dry humping was…was that sex??? What IS sex exactly? I moaned, but did that mean that I liked it??? After I stopped being in contact with him, I looked up what moaning was while having sex and found only a few women actually moaned. So then there was the shame of me moaning, because it may been misconceived as “enjoyment” when really it was reflex.

Reflex  (adjective)

Physiology. noting or pertaining to an involuntary response to stimulus, the nerve impulse from a receptor being transmitted inward to a nerve center that in turn transmits it outward to an effector.

Source: Dictionary.com

Then at the same time, there was that fear of being judged by those closest to me. Having to go through the events “again” by revealing what happened to me to them…I wasn’t ready to face that memory again. How DO you explain your trauma, when you yourself are trying to understand what happened to you?

Lately, I’ve been trying to acquire defenses to defend myself. I’ve found myself trying not share my interest with anyone, especially men in fear of being taken advantage of through that. Then while Ubering, I have with me pepper spray and a stun gun. I’m trying to protect the rest of myself, after losing a part of myself three years ago. Like, Rowena, I don’t want to be powerless anymore, I want to be strong and powerful against forces that may want to do me wrong.

Sam: Even if you do get the book, and even if you get your power back, it won’t matter. You’ve ever be able to change what happened. You won’t ever be able to change how helpless you felt, or how helpless you feel. You’re still gonna get scared. And that feeling…that feeling never goes away.

Rowena: Never?

Sam: Never.

Yeah…it sucks knowing that the reason why I’m doing all those things is because I remembered how helpless I felt…how naive I was… I feel that now I have to protect myself. I’m hypervigilent all the time and I’m more self-conscious than I ever have been, so it may take sometime until I’ve really recovered.

Without spoiling the rest of the rest of the episode, Rowena gets her powers back with the reluctance of Sam and Dean.

Rowena to Sam: You know what I’ve seen, what it’s like. Lucifer may be locked away, but he’ll be back. He always come back. And when he does… [inhales sharply] I can’t be helpless again. I need the spell.

Yes…there is always fear of running into my assaulter, because there is this fear that I will run into him and I have to be ready especially emotionally and psychologically ready for that day…whenever that will be.

Anyways, Rowena since she has got her powers back, seems to also have taken her confidence to a whole new level. Hopefully Rowena will get the peace she’s seeking and that her powers will protect her from her confrontation with Lucifer…again.

The witch is back

I felt that episode of Supernatural really captured life after assault and I was really impressed.