Blah……

I’m struggling again.

Betrayal happened.

I just can’t win.

Had to get on antidepressants again. New kind. Still suicidal ideation. But no i don’t WANT to die. Just want to be happy, have a logical reason, while people treat me like the pink elephant in the room. Or treat me like i’m crazy. I am not safe here. I’ve known it for years. Not after william stole my phone with my contacts in it. He said he’d kill me, and i don’t think he just wanted to kill me either. So i did what i could to keep people safe. Even people not my family anymore. But who cares! My life is shit as usual and no matter what i do, it’ll never be enough. Ever!

Sorry if you never understood. Sorry you didn’t appreciate it. Not sorry because it was the Adult thing to do.

So tired of being treated like i’m stupid. Rape culture is real. Hope i don’t die from it.

Sick of this shit! Like i am not aware of what is going on. It’s killing me inside. Slowly like always.

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Depression, PTSD, and Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Right

A great article for individuals suffering from PTSD for trauma from sexual assault.

https://www.eeoc.gov

If you have depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another mental health condition, you are protected against discrimination and harassment at work because of your condition, you have workplace privacy rights, and you may have a legal right to get reasonable accommodations that can help you perform and keep your job. The following questions and answers briefly explain these rights, which are provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). You may also have additional rights under other laws not discussed here, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and various medical insurance laws.

1. Is my employer allowed to fire me because I have a mental health condition?

No. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against you simply because you have a mental health condition. This includes firing you, rejecting you for a job or promotion, or forcing you to take leave.

An employer doesn’t have to hire or keep people in jobs they can’t perform, or employ people who pose a “direct threat” to safety (a significant risk of substantial harm to self or others). But an employer cannot rely on myths or stereotypes about your mental health condition when deciding whether you can perform a job or whether you pose a safety risk. Before an employer can reject you for a job based on your condition, it must have objective evidence that you can’t perform your job duties, or that you would create a significant safety risk, even with a reasonable accommodation (see Question 3).

2. Am I allowed to keep my condition private?

In most situations, you can keep your condition private. An employer is only allowed to ask medical questions (including questions about mental health) in four situations:

  • When you ask for a reasonable accommodation (see Question 3).
  • After it has made you a job offer, but before employment begins, as long as everyone entering the same job category is asked the same questions.
  • When it is engaging in affirmative action for people with disabilities (such as an employer tracking the disability status of its applicant pool in order to assess its recruitment and hiring efforts, or a public sector employer considering whether special hiring rules may apply), in which case you may choose whether to respond.
  • On the job, when there is objective evidence that you may be unable to do your job or that you may pose a safety risk because of your condition.

You also may need to discuss your condition to establish eligibility for benefits under other laws, such as the FMLA. If you do talk about your condition, the employer cannot discriminate against you (see Question 5), and it must keep the information confidential, even from co-workers. (If you wish to discuss your condition with coworkers, you may choose to do so.)

3. What if my mental health condition could affect my job performance?

You may have a legal right to a reasonable accommodation that would help you do your job. A reasonable accommodation is some type of change in the way things are normally done at work. Just a few examples of possible accommodations include altered break and work schedules (e.g., scheduling work around therapy appointments), quiet office space or devices that create a quiet work environment, changes in supervisory methods (e.g., written instructions from a supervisor who usually does not provide them), specific shift assignments, and permission to work from home.

You can get a reasonable accommodation for any mental health condition that would, if left untreated, “substantially limit” your ability to concentrate, interact with others, communicate, eat, sleep, care for yourself, regulate your thoughts or emotions, or do any other “major life activity.” (You don’t need to actually stop treatment to get the accommodation.)

Your condition does not need to be permanent or severe to be “substantially limiting.”  It may qualify by, for example, making activities more difficult, uncomfortable, or time-consuming to perform compared to the way that most people perform them. If your symptoms come and go, what matters is how limiting they would be when the symptoms are present. Mental health conditions like major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) should easily qualify, and many others will qualify as well.

4. How can I get a reasonable accommodation?

Ask for one. Tell a supervisor, HR manager, or other appropriate person that you need a change at work because of a medical condition. You may ask for an accommodation at any time. Because an employer does not have to excuse poor job performance, even if it was caused by a medical condition or the side effects of medication, it is generally better to get a reasonable accommodation before any problems occur or become worse. (Many people choose to wait to ask for accommodation until after they receive a job offer, however, because it’s very hard to prove illegal discrimination that takes place before a job offer.) You don’t need to have a particular accommodation in mind, but you can ask for something specific.

5. What will happen after I ask for a reasonable accommodation?

Your employer may ask you to put your request in writing, and to generally describe your condition and how it affects your work. The employer also may ask you to submit a letter from your health care provider documenting that you have a mental health condition, and that you need an accommodation because of it. If you do not want the employer to know your specific diagnosis, it may be enough to provide documentation that describes your condition more generally (by stating, for example, that you have an “anxiety disorder”). Your employer also might ask your health care provider whether particular accommodations would meet your needs. You can help your health care provider understand the law of reasonable accommodation by bringing a copy of the EEOC publication The Mental Health Provider’s Role in a Client’s Request for a Reasonable Accommodation at Work to your appointment.

If a reasonable accommodation would help you to do your job, your employer must give you one unless the accommodation involves significant difficulty or expense. If more than one accommodation would work, the employer can choose which one to give you. Your employer can’t legally fire you, or refuse to hire or promote you, because you asked for a reasonable accommodation or because you need one. It also cannot charge you for the cost of the accommodation.

6. What if there’s no way I can do my regular job, even with an accommodation?

If you can’t perform all the essential functions of your job to normal standards and have no paid leave available, you still may be entitled to unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation if that leave will help you get to a point where you can perform those functions. You may also qualify for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is enforced by the United States Department of Labor. More information about this law can be found at www.dol.gov/whd/fmla.

If you are permanently unable to do your regular job, you may ask your employer to reassign you to a job that you can do as a reasonable accommodation, if one is available. More information on reasonable accommodations in employment, including reassignment, is available here.

7. What if I am being harassed because of my condition?

Harassment based on a disability is not allowed under the ADA. You should tell your employer about any harassment if you want the employer to stop the problem. Follow your employer’s reporting procedures if there are any. If you report the harassment, your employer is legally required to take action to prevent it from occurring in the future.

8. What should I do if I think that my rights have been violated?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can help you decide what to do next, and conduct an investigation if you decide to file a charge of discrimination. Because you must file a charge within 180 days of the alleged violation in order to take further legal action (or 300 days if the employer is also covered by a state or local employment discrimination law), it is best to begin the process early. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for contacting the EEOC or filing a charge. For more information, visit http://www.eeoc.gov, call 800-669-4000 (voice) or 800-669-6820 (TTY), or visit your local EEOC office (seehttp://www.eeoc.gov/field/index.cfm for contact information).

Cease and Desist Letter-Final Warning

1-26-2017

RE: Cease and desist from stalking, harassing, false and defamatory statements

Dear Perpetrator:

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your persistent actions including but not limited to my blog, company websites, my personal websites, and social media, sending me e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, have become/been unbearable. You are ORDERED TO STOP such activities immediately as they are being done in violation of the law.

I have the right to remain free from these activities as they constitute harassment, stalking, false and defamatory statements, and I will pursue any legal remedies available to me against you if these activities continue. These remedies include but are not limited to: contacting law enforcement to obtain criminal sanctions against you, and suing you civilly for damages I have incurred as a result of your actions.

Again, you must IMMEDIATELY STOP all unwanted. You risk incurring some very severe legal consequences if you fail to comply with this demand.

This letter acts as your final warning to discontinue this unwanted conduct before I pursue legal actions against you. At this time, I am not filing civil suit against you, however I am prepared to do so if I receive any further harassment, defamation of character, or stalking behavior. Perpetrator acts as a blanket statement out of respect to your privacy. However, I do know who you are. I am not under any circumstances, however, waiving any legal rights I have presently, or future legal remedies against you by sending you this letter. This order acts as ONE FINAL CHANCE for you to cease your illegal activities before I exercise my rights.

Arkansas Codes:

§ 5-41-108 – Unlawful computerized communications.

§ 5-13-301- Terroristic Threatening

§ 5-71-229. Stalking.

§ 16-63-207. Libel and slander.

Federal Codes:

18 USCS § 2261. Interstate domestic violence.

18 USCS § 2261A. Stalking.

Sincerely,

Carrie Crocker

steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness

Buy Steak Knife Poetry Zine on Etsy

steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness
Steak Knife Poetry Zine

You can now purchase my poetry zine at Creative Cloud Designs on Etsy.

80 % of all sales go to benefit Center for Healing Hearts & Spirits.

Pricing is $10.00 + Shipping and handling.

Zine measures: 4-1/2 in. x 11 in.

steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness
Front
steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness
Back
steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness
Inside
steak knife poetry zine, poetry by Carrie Crocker, sexual assault awareness
Poetry Samples

 

 

Thank you to You and NoMore.org

I wanted to thank you to all who purchased my Awareness earrings and zine at the Paper Cuts Zine Night at Dunbar Gardens.

You helped me raise $20 dollars from the sales of the earrings and zines. Thank you so much for contributing to the  Arkansas Sexual Assault resource center Center for Healing Hearts & Spirits.

Thank you to Kaitlyn & Monica for asking me to contribute my story in the “It’s Not Your Fault” zine and participate in the Zine Night at Dunbar Gardens.

To purchase No More Awareness jewelry and a copy of my Steak Knife Poetry Zine you can visit:

Creative Cloud Designs on Etsy

And thank you to NoMore.org for permission to utilize their logo design to raise awareness and provide donations for Arkansas’ Sexual Assault organizations.

The Invisible Epedimic: PTSD, Memory and the Brain

Reposted from www.pandys.org

The Invisible Epidemic: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,

Memory and the Brain
By: J. Douglas Bremner, M.D.
Dr. Bremner is a faculty member of the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Psychiatric Institute, and National Center for PTSD-VA Connecticut Healthcare System.
The research reviewed in this article was supported by an NIH-sponsored General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) Clinical Associate Physician (CAP) Award and a VA Research Career Development Award to Dr. Bremner, and the National Center for PTSD Grant.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something of an invisible epidemic. The events underlying it are often mysterious and always unpleasant. It is certainly far more widespread than most people realize. For example, a prime cause of PTSD is childhood sexual abuse. About 16% of American women (about 40 million) are sexually abused (including rape, attempted rape, or other form of molestation) before they reach their 18th birthday.1
Childhood abuse may be the most common cause of PTSD in American women, 10% of whom suffer from PTSD (compared to 5% for men) at some time in their lives,2 but many other types of psychological trauma can cause the disorder — car accidents, military combat, rape and assault. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, increased vigilance, social impairment and problems with memory and concentration.
It’s Not Just Psychological

While such symptoms are commonly understood to be psychological problems, some or all of them may well be related to the physical effects of extreme stress on the brain.3,4
Recent studies have shown that victims of childhood abuse and combat veterans actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in the handling of stress.5 The hippocampus also works closely with the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that regulates our emotional response to fear and stress. PTSD sufferers often have impairments in one or both of these brain regions. Studies of children have found that these impairments can lead to problems with learning and academic achievement.
Other typical symptoms of PTSD in children, including fragmentation of memory, intrusive memories, flashbacks, dissociation (or the unconscious separation of some mental processes from the others, e.g., a mismatch between facial expression and thought or mood), and pathological (“sick”) emotions, may also be related to impairment of the hippocampus.6 Damage to the hippocampus, which processes memory, may explain why victims of childhood abuse often seem to have incomplete or delayed recall of their abusive experiences.7
A Disease of Memory

Memory problems play a large part in PTSD. PTSD patients report deficits in declarative memory (remembering facts or lists — see below), fragmentation of memory and dissociative amnesia (gaps in memory lasting from minutes to days that are not caused by ordinary forgetting).
Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Childhood Abuse
PTSD
* Nightmares

* Flashbacks

* Memory and concentration problems

* Hyperarousal

* Hypervigilance

* Intrusive memories

* Avoidance

* Abnormal startle reponses

* Feeling worse when reminded of trauma
Dissociative
* Out-of-body experiences

* Derealization

* Amnesia

* Fragmented sense of self and identity
Anxiety
* Panic attacks

* Claustrophobia
Substance Abuse
* Alcoholism

* Drug addiction
Many abuse victims report that they remember seemingly random or minor details of the abuse event, while forgetting central events. For instance, one woman who had been locked in a closet had an isolated memory of the smell of old clothes and the sound of a clock ticking. Later, she connected these details with feelings of intense fear; only then was she able to recall the whole picture of what had happened to her. PTSD also causes problems with non-declarative memory (subconscious or motor memory, such as remembering how to ride a bicycle). This can show up as abnormal conditioned responses and the reliving of traumatic experiences when something happens to remind the sufferer of past abuse. These types of memory disturbance may also be related to physical changes in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex.
How Psychological Trauma Affects the Hippocampus and Memory

Childhood abuse and other sources of extreme stress can have lasting effects on the parts of the brain that are involved in memory and emotion. The hippocampus, in particular, seems to be very sensitive to stress.8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 Damage to the hippocampus from stress can not only cause problems in dealing with memories and other effects of past stressful experiences, it can also impair new learning.17,18 Exciting recent research has shown that the hippocampus has the capacity to regenerate nerve cells (“neurons”) as part of its normal functioning, and that stress impairs that functioning by stopping or slowing down neuron regeneration.19,20
We recently conducted a study to try to see if PTSD symptoms matched up with a measurable loss of neurons in the hippocampus. We first tested Vietnam combat veterans with declaratory memory problems caused by PTSD.21 Using brain imaging, these combat veterans were found to have an 8% reduction in right hippocampal volume (i.e., the size of the hippocampus), measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while no differences were found in other areas of the brain (Figure 1).


Our study showed that diminished right hippocampal volume in the PTSD patients was associated with short-term memory loss.22 Similar results were found when we looked at PTSD sufferers who were victims of childhood physical or sexual abuse.23,24
More recent studies have since confirmed hippocampal volume reduction in PTSD25,26 These studies also show that hippocampal volume reduction is specific to PTSD and is not associated with disorders such as anxiety or panic disorders.27
Further study on the question of memory and the hippocampus may some day shed light on the controversy surrounding delayed recall, or so-called “recovered memories” of childhood abuse. The hippocampus plays an important role in connecting and organizing different aspects of a memory and is thought to be responsible for locating the memory of an event in its proper time, place and context.
We suspect that damage to the hippocampus following exposure to the stress brought on by childhood abuse leads to distortion and fragmentation of memories. For instance, in the case of the PTSD sufferer who was locked in a closet as a child, she had a memory of the smell of old clothes but other parts of her memory of the experience, such as a visual memory of being in the closet or a memory of the feeling of fear, are difficult to retrieve or completely lost. In cases like this, psychotherapy or an event that triggers similar emotions may help the patient restore associations and bring all aspects of the memory together.
This new understanding of the way childhood trauma affects memory and the brain has important implications for public health policy. One example would be the case of inner-city children who have witnessed violent crimes in their neighborhoods and families. If this kind of stress can cause damage to brain areas involved in learning and memory, it would put these children at a serious academic disadvantage in ways and for reasons that programs such as Head Start may be unable to address. Studies confirm this: in war-torn Beirut, traumatized adolescents with PTSD, as compared to non-traumatized adolescents who were without PTSD, lagged behind in academic achievement.28
PTSD and Other Brain Areas

Besides the hippocampus, abnormalities of other brain areas, including medial prefrontal cortex, are also associated with PTSD.
The medial prefrontal cortex regulates emotional and fear responses.29 The medial prefrontal cortex is closely linked to the hippocampus. In several studies we have found dysfunction of both the medial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus at times when patients were suffering from PTSD symptoms.31
We believe that dysfunction in these medial prefrontal regions may underlie pathological emotional responses in patients with PTSD.30 For example, we sometimes see a failure of extinction of fear responses — a rape victim who was raped in a dark alley will have fear reactions to dark places for years after the original event, even though there is no threat associated with a particular dark place. In a study using combat-related slides and sounds to provoke PTSD symptoms, combat veterans with PTSD had decreased blood flow in the area of the medial prefrontal cortex. Significantly, this did not occur in combat veterans without PTSD32 We saw similar results when we compared women with PTSD and a history of childhood sexual abuse to women with a history of abuse but no PTSD.
Conclusion

Traumatic stress, such as that caused by childhood sexual abuse, can have far-reaching effects on the brain and its functions. Recent studies indicate that extreme stress can cause measurable physical changes in the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain involved in memory and emotional response. These changes can, in turn, lead not only to classic PTSD symptoms, such as loss and distortion of memory of events surrounding the abuse, but also to ongoing problems with learning and remembering new information. These findings may help explain the controversial phenomenon of “recovered” or delayed memories. They also suggest that how we educate, rehabilitate and treat PTSD sufferers may need to be reconsidered.
March 2000