Terri Rimmer

@wordtrix | contributor
I have 37 years of journalism experience and have been published online for several years. Now I write about my experience in foster care, child abuse, adoption, being a birth mom, PTSD, depression, grief, sobriety, and various other mental health stories.
Braelynn Emery

Learning Not to Neglect My Personal Hygiene Because of PTSD

I was reading something about complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and there was this quote that stuck out to me. It said, “My parents neglected me, and now I neglect myself as an adult by not taking care of my body.” My self-care has always been lacking and it’s only in the past year that it’s gotten to the point I’ve decided I need to do something about it. I always felt like I didn’t know how to take care of my own body and I don’t just mean health, but also hygiene-wise. I did attribute it to my parents never really teaching me how to take care of myself, but I didn’t think about how not taking care of myself is like continuing the neglect that my parents started in childhood. In the past year, I’ve had multiple therapists work with me on the self-care thing because I was showing up to my appointments in clothes that hadn’t been washed in weeks and it had been about five days since my last shower. One of my therapists made me commit to showering on the days I saw her so I was at least showering once a week, but we never really got me on a regular routine. In the past few months, there reached a point where I realized that going more than five days without showering wasn’t considered healthy hygiene practice and I wanted to change it. Getting myself to shower regularly was a huge accomplishment. First, I started by making sure I showered three days a week (the days before I had class); then, I got to every day. Now I shower almost every day but never skip more than one day because I like feeling clean. I still have a lot of work to do, but getting myself to not only shower regularly but also enjoy showering is a good first step. I still struggle with creating a routine around brushing my teeth and shaving my legs. Most days I forget to wear deodorant, and still do the sniff test with a lot of my clothes. Learning to take care of myself is a work in progress. It is so easy for people to judge others on how they take care of themselves but when you have spent most of your life just trying to survive the little things, things like showering, doing laundry or brushing your teeth sometimes doesn’t seem important, doesn’t even cross your mind or takes too much energy. I beat myself up for so long for not taking care of myself, but the more I learn about trauma, the more I am learning to accept myself so that I can learn to love myself. As I learn to love myself, I have been learning to take care of myself — learning to listen to my needs, learning to care about my health and learning to be myself. I just wanted to write this article because I felt so much shame and thought I was this disgusting person for so long, but now I realize it’s not my fault I never learned to take care of myself and I wish someone would have told me that sooner.

Braelynn Emery

Learning Not to Neglect My Personal Hygiene Because of PTSD

I was reading something about complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and there was this quote that stuck out to me. It said, “My parents neglected me, and now I neglect myself as an adult by not taking care of my body.” My self-care has always been lacking and it’s only in the past year that it’s gotten to the point I’ve decided I need to do something about it. I always felt like I didn’t know how to take care of my own body and I don’t just mean health, but also hygiene-wise. I did attribute it to my parents never really teaching me how to take care of myself, but I didn’t think about how not taking care of myself is like continuing the neglect that my parents started in childhood. In the past year, I’ve had multiple therapists work with me on the self-care thing because I was showing up to my appointments in clothes that hadn’t been washed in weeks and it had been about five days since my last shower. One of my therapists made me commit to showering on the days I saw her so I was at least showering once a week, but we never really got me on a regular routine. In the past few months, there reached a point where I realized that going more than five days without showering wasn’t considered healthy hygiene practice and I wanted to change it. Getting myself to shower regularly was a huge accomplishment. First, I started by making sure I showered three days a week (the days before I had class); then, I got to every day. Now I shower almost every day but never skip more than one day because I like feeling clean. I still have a lot of work to do, but getting myself to not only shower regularly but also enjoy showering is a good first step. I still struggle with creating a routine around brushing my teeth and shaving my legs. Most days I forget to wear deodorant, and still do the sniff test with a lot of my clothes. Learning to take care of myself is a work in progress. It is so easy for people to judge others on how they take care of themselves but when you have spent most of your life just trying to survive the little things, things like showering, doing laundry or brushing your teeth sometimes doesn’t seem important, doesn’t even cross your mind or takes too much energy. I beat myself up for so long for not taking care of myself, but the more I learn about trauma, the more I am learning to accept myself so that I can learn to love myself. As I learn to love myself, I have been learning to take care of myself — learning to listen to my needs, learning to care about my health and learning to be myself. I just wanted to write this article because I felt so much shame and thought I was this disgusting person for so long, but now I realize it’s not my fault I never learned to take care of myself and I wish someone would have told me that sooner.

Community Voices

If your health was a plant or flower, what would it be?

<p>If your health was a plant or flower, what would it be?</p>
72 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Music

What are some songs that you help you stay grounded?
#Depression
#Anxiety
#PTSD

94 people are talking about this
Jack Curl

How I Rescued My Inner Child as a Volunteer Firefighter With PTSD

Back in 2013, 2014, I decided to rescue… me. As a volunteer firefighter, I decided to enter a charity stair climb event. Besides the challenge it presented. I also viewed this event as a metaphor to rescue the little boy in me. Strangely, instead of encouragement apart from a handful of people, I had to endure critics who laughed, saying I’d never make it. Their silence was pure gold once crossing the line on the 88th floor of Eureka Tower, Melbourne. After setting off from the ground floor in my firefighting gear, with a breathing apparatus tank on my back, I reached the 50th floor. Involuntary tears ran down my red, sweating, overheated face. Voices and images of my abuse flashed at me as I was forced to rest on the 55th floor. “You’re f***ing useless; you’re a weak f*****; you’re nothing and useless, nothing; yes, you; you’re nothing, just die and do us all a favor,” to mention a few. Fortunately, I’ve learned to withstand these reoccurring, hateful, internal recordings over my 50 years. Suddenly, I remembered: that’s right, the little boy in me is hoping and waiting to be rescued by adult me. Straightening my back up, lifting my head and taking long, slow, deep breaths, I pictured the firemen entering the World Trade Centre with such courage. That was for real and this is a charity event, but at least I could honor them. Like a mirage, the yellow and black signs of the 85th, 86th, 87th floors suddenly flashed past me. I’m going to do it. The flatness of the 88th was bliss. It hurt to breathe at the top, as my throat had become more like sandpaper. My face spoke volumes as a photographer asked me to smile for the cameras at the finish line. Raging emotions with physical strain all mixed with a voice: “I’ve got you,” and “we’re in this together, nothing can ever change that again… ever.” I’m proud of this achievement as a fundraiser, yet it meant so much more for me than a charity event.

Explaining PTSD in Poetry

Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 . My brain is a broken time machine It is storytelling in the windPages blown back and forth Chapter 8 giving way to Chapter 3Familiar scenes that refuse to stayOn the left side of the bookmark My brain is an archeologist It is fossils learning to breatheAnd ancient, buried memoriesBreaking through the crust of the earthIt is a sticky rewind buttonAnd an escalator changing direction at whim My brain is a museum curator It is “no” behind finger-smudged glassAnd memories secured inElegant, golden framesThose nights sealed in paint on canvasNever to fade, never to fade My brain is a rogue tour guide It is monuments built over bruised skinIt is tears on Holy GroundIt is historic preservation and a gift shopCave paintings I keep going back toLike spontaneous pilgrimageShrine to words I never said And althoughThe forest fire raged over me years agoThe burn of his touch long goneI am still sifting through the ashesStill following the scent of burning wood If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via negaprion

Community Voices

What motivates you to keep going when you’re feeling stuck? #52SmallThings

<p>What motivates you to keep going when you’re feeling stuck? <a class="tm-topic-link mighty-topic" title="#52SmallThings: A Weekly Self-Care Challenge" href="/topic/52-small-things/" data-id="5c01a326d148bc9a5d4aefd9" data-name="#52SmallThings: A Weekly Self-Care Challenge" aria-label="hashtag #52SmallThings: A Weekly Self-Care Challenge">#52SmallThings</a> </p>
77 people are talking about this

18 Secrets of People Who Live With Insomnia

Insomnia — difficulty falling or staying asleep — is more than just an inconvenience to the people who live with it. It’s a condition with symptoms including fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances and more. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, according to the National Sleep Foundation To help dispel some misconceptions about the condition, we asked our readers who live with %%rpxTLt1MVz%% to share with us one thing they wish others understood. This is what they had to say: 1. “Tired doesn’t begin to describe it. Your mind never stops.” — Amy McCallum 2. “When I say I don’t sleep, I really mean it! Even at the sleep studies, I sleep for less than 20 minutes of every hour. It’s been nearly eight years since I slept well.” — Julie Morgan 3. “No matter how tired my body is, my mind won’t shut off. And no, turning off my TV and cell phone hours before [bed] won’t help. Neither will relaxing in a hot bath. Trust me, you mention it, I’ve probably tried it.” — Tabitha Rainey 4. “%%lCdxebQ4xI%% is not only robbing you of something you need, it’s robbing you of one of life’s simplest pleasures. To be told I would choose to miss out on the deliciousness of a good night’s rest is insulting and absurd.” — Michelle Haddock 5. “I feel so alone.” — Kathleen Hillman 6. “T his is affecting my entire life. I can’t make plans because I never know if I’ll get enough sleep to carry out those plans. Less than two weeks ago I had to ask someone else to drive my husband to a clinic for outpatient surgery. I had been awake for 38 hours straight and didn’t feel that it was safe for me to drive. I was absolutely devastated that I wasn’t able to be there for him.” — Donna Miracle Eustice 7. “It’s not just that I am tired. I am defeated. I lost another night of sleep.” — Joey Ancona 8. “I’m not complaining that I’m tired just to be complaining. I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted pretty much every single day. That doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference most times because my whole body is wired and feels like there are bees going throughout it. I can lay in bed for hours and still not sleep, and if I’m lucky to get a few hours, that’s all it is, a few hours. And most times it’s not even consecutive hours.” — Morgan Ayala 9. “Anything can trigger a bad bout of %%7L005dAZSx%%. What helped it the last time may not work next time.” — Paula Penninella 10. “Going to bed earlier doesn’t work. Neither does ‘having a lie-in’ nor ‘just stop thinking about things.’ If one more person tells me to ’empty my mind’ I think I might need bail money.” — Liz Stanley 11. “Please stop getting angry with me for not coming to bed with you. It’s not my fault.” — Cassi March 12. “It’s not fun being called lazy when you haven’t had a full night of sleep in weeks. It’s not a choice or because I ‘like to party on work nights.’ It’s just nearly impossible to function when you’re exhausted.” — Colleen McDaniel 13. “Taking a ‘nap’ for two hours doesn’t fix weeks of little sleep. That’s just passing out from sheer exhaustion.” — Linz Brown 14. “Staying up late isn’t a privilege. It’s torture.” — Alexandra C Hathaway 15. “Yes, I am tired. No, taking naps isn’t ‘ruining my sleep pattern,’ because I don’t have one. No, it’s not because I’m online playing or watching TV all night.” — Lydia Brown 16. “I’m not lazy. I’m exhausted from lack of sleep.” — Erin Dwyer-Packard 17. “I want to sleep. I know I need to, but my mind is full and I can’t make it shut down. I literally have to work my brain out to exhaustion. I have to write, research and plan whatever it is my mind won’t shut up about.” — Shuntel Epperson 18. “It seeps into every other aspect of my life. It takes a toll physically, emotionally and psychologically. Lack of sleep means lack of a normal life.” — Danielle Myers *Answers have been edited and shortened.

Community Voices

Im lost... i need somone ... theres no help

#I have been hiding from my real problems for years with alcohol and drugs. Im sober now and dont do drugs and iv let my mental health take over . .. i now realise how un-well i am and there is no help .
Im trying to cope but my moods switch like a light switch , i cant concentrate ...never have been able to, and my head never switches off.
My anger at the smallest thing is absolutely out of place and i see it getting me in trouble.. still no help .
What am i to do ... just give up ... anyone ???

40 people are talking about this
Community Voices

What's the hardest part about working out for your health?

<p>What's the hardest part about working out for your health?</p>
152 people are talking about this