Friday, July 29, 2016

Blah Blah.

Rough damn week.

Missing workouts... wanted to get back to throwing....Haven't.....Emery has missed 2 appointments which annoys me too.....I am trying to study study study and I am sorta doing it....

I think I am still processing the class from last week.

I know I was supposed to update and I haven't yet. So......I'll stop avoiding it.

When we did our wrap up circle I had said that I think I came into the class with the wrong intentions and so I didn't get THAT out of the class, but that I still got something.  I guess I am still figuring out what that something is. 

I know what I liked best from the class was watching all the other people in class grow, find voice, tap into power.  It really was beautiful.  I saw courage too...lots of courage.  I can't get more specific because we were asked to keep things private. 

I know that they were super clear that learning this doesn't imply blame or shame about anything that came before. Yet...there it is. That is exactly what I walked away with. 

The final day we were working on this reversal thinggy...I was trapped under the guy in the suit...and I started kicking furiously.  And just like the previous week...everything went dark and I was some place else.  I was back there...but I was kicking him off.  When I came back to the room, all I could focus on was "why didn't I do that? why did I let that happen? He was right, I was big enough and strong enough to have stopped it."

Not a good place to be.

It was reinforced during the "graduation" thing where everyone went through a scenario with family and friends present.  When I got up for my turn, I could feel my hands shaking....but I heard a voice from the people watching, "oh this should be good."  I almost sat down.  There it was again, the assumption that I, as the fat master Mountain Troll, should have NO problem fighting off an attacker.

Well...I didn't fight him off; I didn't know how. I didn't know I even could. 

So, maybe this will just take time to settle.  Perhaps I will walk with less shame in time.  Perhaps the lesson I will leave with is that, yes; now I know I can, even if I couldn't then.  I am not sure why or how, but I think having been in this class may just give me what I had originally hoped for. Bear with me on this:

I think I had secretly hoped that this class would erase the memory of the rape.  (dang, it is hard to type that word) That's insane, I know.  But perhaps taking the class and being able to talk about it (thank you Grace), I will find forgiveness. Not for anyone but myself.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter who thinks I am strong or powerful or whatever (especially him); what matters is for me to understand that this is just the reality of what happened and I get to choose if I still live in that dark room.  I am also fully aware that PTSD jut sometimes takes you on its ride, but that too; doesn't last forever.  As they had us remind each other in class, go back to the breath.

Thanks Grace, Grant, and Chris for coming to that final thing.  And for breathing with me.

And chocolate.

And I promise, I'll start writing about lifting again soon...I gotz me some squatz and bench to do today...

Monday, July 25, 2016


We have clearly established that I am, in fact, not a mountain troll...even though my head is, indeed, too small for my body. 


I have been using an annoying food tracker app for a while.  I have been pretty consistent too...It is saves foods you eat a bunch and there is a scan feature too.  I didn't really change what I was eating (much), but it got me measuring again (which I freaking hate, but it works). AND I do find that I don't wanna put shitty things in there so I sometime choose not to eat them.

Silly, but true.

But, being the Mountain Troll that I takes a a lot for anyone to notice that I have lost weight...or even for ME to really notice.

And, well, I have lost a little and I have done it without losing strength. 

How do I know? 

Can I wear skinny jeans?


Have I dropped dress sizes?


Can I marvel at my reflection in the mirror?


But I can wear undies that have been tucked away in the back of my drawer for way too long.

Yeah....I just went there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Class update

Okie we go.  When I let you guys know I was going to take a self defense class, some of you asked for updates...let you know how it goes...if it does what I hope....

here is their website:


First a I wrote in my last blog, I am not a writer.  I mean, I know I put words on paper, or a screen, in some sort of order, sometimes making some sense...but I frequently miss the mark.  I write...well...I write this blog...hmmm, why?  sometimes I don't know, I read other peoples blogs feeling some sort of connection, I guess I hope that when I write, someone like me knows they aren't alone.

And all the cool kids have blogs...and I wanna be a cool kid. 

Let's do I start this?  So Sunday was the second class ( each day is 5 hours), on the drive home I BLASTED Barbara Streisand. And Mandy Patinkin.

Yeah. Like 80's Broadway tunes bad. Totally.

There are some basic good things they are going over.  Lots of it is how you come off in the world know strong energy kinds of things. They also teach some basic strategies, not just for defense, but how to deescalate verbally as well. What is odd is they make it very clear that they know that what they are teaching plays into the stereotype that assaults come from strangers, when indeed, the majority of assaults are from a person we know.  Then we spent the first two days prepping for stranger danger.  In some ways, it doesn't really matter.  So many of the things they are running us through would be just as useful with a person you know IF you had the courage to stand up for yourself.  I think that is the bulk of what they are getting at, having people find "voice." If you can yell "NO" for the first time in this group of strangers....This is all important stuff.

I, like most people, have had my fair share of harassment on the street by strangers...well, maybe less than some.  I do, after all, sometimes come off as intimidating.  My size I guess.  While I found lots of the stuff we worked on the first part of class useful..It wasn't as profound for me as it was for others.  

That was actually my favorite part...watching the other folks in class.  

We were still working on stranger stuff when the guy in the gear:

(they are way safe in that shit)

They move on to verbal combined with a physical grab....not a good moment for me.  There was something about having to be toe to toe with this guy that made me (guess) freeze.  It got worse on Sunday...They had us do the "they have taken all your weapons away" thing.  Which basically means, they surprise you in bed, asleep, and pin your arms.  They are going around the group, I am watching this shit....I am starting to use the counting trick I use when I start to panic....I try to watch, see how people scoot, kick, poke eyes etc.  As it gets close to me, I think, "ok I can do this."  I get on the mat, the trainer gets on top of me,  and I am instantly in another room.  This is no longer the masked dude who is trying to help me learn something. Everything is dark and all I can do is look away.

I am pretty sure that they know this happens to people.  The female trainer gets in my ear and coaches me through what to do.  

We go through it twice.  The second time was worse. It was too close to what happened. That shit is more deeply in my body than I care to admit. And yeah..I froze. The trainer again had to talk me back into the room and talk me through lifting my arm, looking at him, hitting.  I real life; by the time I reacted, it would have been over.

I had really hoped something different would kick in.  But it didn't.  

I know when I hit these guys they feel it.  I am strong when I hit, but the issue is hitting.  Well, maybe it isn't.  It isn't the stranger I fear, it's the abusive boundary I missed all along the way.  I know I thought that perhaps if I rewrote the story, IN MY BODY, that things would feel different.  That I would suddenly speak up for myself. But it can't be rewritten, I can't go back and stop what happened.  I can't go back and not have a piece of myself taken from me. So there it sits.  I put the feelings, the images, the memory in a tiny box and move on.

They make it really clear that by showing us this stuff, this way of defending ourselves, that they are in no way saying we are to blame for anything that may have happened to us before. But it still feels that way.  How would I be different if I had only..... and then I know that some of this really doesn't matter.  If someone comes in your house and punches you in the head before you even wake up, it doesn't really matter how relaxed you try to stay, or if you can even see straight to watch for your opportunity to strike. And fucking bets off if there is a weapon.

Please understand, I think what they are doing is important.  I really do.  And I am amazed watching the progress of many of the people in class.  I think I was wrong in thinking it could help me move through something. Is it teaching me something valuable? Yes...but I had the wrong expectations for my own growth.  

I guess I will decide Saturday morning if I am willing to put my self through this again.

And then I'll write another happy little blog. Which is better than staying silent.

Here is a cat:


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Self trolling.

Ok, first a clarification. I am NOT a writer.  Never have been. I got horrible grades in English classes unless they were "drama" English classes.  In which case my cold reading skills always carried some weight. HA!

I am not always clear.... In the last blog I had pointed out that I look like the above mountain troll. What I wasn't able to make clear, is that the thought I had when I looked into the mirror and saw myself as said mountain troll was brief, very brief and very funny to me... Which I was hoping to convey was a good thing... A bit of progress.

Sorry if I somehow came off as... I dunno... Whatever I came off as.

So I found some photos of what I look like....typical Mona looks I guess.  Photos that I actually like of know, classic beauty that I am.  Like in this one.  
Or this.....

Well, I am an expressive sort.  

I do love this one.  

And this. 

I like the drive, the "want" in each of those.  

I found this one too.... My dear friend Marissa caught's just happy.  

So I really do know I don't look like a mountain troll...even if my head is too small for my body or if I happen to get a wand shoved up my nose.  


Thursday, July 14, 2016

cut me some fucking slack....

Took Emery to a concert this weekend...It was a long hot, mildly stressful drive.  I left on Friday, knowing I had a huge test on Tuesday.  Stayed up too late Friday after the drive.  But I was studying.  Saw Megan and Kegan for dinner...and yeah, I bought them some groceries too.  Met Emery's friend Emma and her Mom.  They seem pretty nice...then lots and lots more travel.

At one point with a pillow on my lap, study materials on my lap, I looked up.  Caught myself in the mirror.  Y'all know my shit relationship to mirrors.  I've been feeling pretty ok about my body lately...mostly due to Grant and lots of strength work in the gym. I'm thinking I kinda look like this:

Beautiful, isn't she?

I mean...I am passed wanting to look like this....long past:

But, I looked in the mirror and saw this:

HA....All I thought was, Dang, my head is too small for my body.....puffy-small head- I'm a fucking Mountain Troll....I laughed!

Oh well....I will probably never make peace with this crap....but I can laugh at it.

SOOOOOOOOO  I took my test on Tuesday.  I passed! 

It was so weird....I have never taken a computer test before.  They actually wand you before you go in...pat you down too.  I know people cheat, but I still don't get it.  If I didn't prepare, that's on me. So...I took a deep breath...I finished the first part in about 2 hours....I felt ok.  You can flag questions you want to recheck, well you can recheck them all, but I decided I would NOT do that. Too many chances to second guess yourself.

I took a break, sat at a coffee shop for a half hour and went back to it. 

The second part was harder.  I really figured I failed it. 

I did the same thing though, I only checked the questions I had flagged.  Then the button came up.

DO YOU WANT TO SUBMIT EXAM? do I have a choice.

Now, I know this is quick, people used to wait weeks for a letter in the mail...but a screen pops up...dammit, some stupid disclaimer I didn't care about.   Click again....wait.  I tell myself I will need to take some time in the car to write down what I struggled with...then it pops up.




I fucking teared up.

There was more riding on this than I care to much time either studying or feeling guilty I didn't study...and as some of my friends can attest to...lots of time feeling stupid.

So..I go back to work Wednesday and get a call from the registration folks...letting me know the paperwork that needs to be done...congrats too, then, "When are you scheduling the next test?"


You aren't have to take the 66 as soon as possible.

Oh...(instant deflation)

So~I decided~Monday...I'll start this next process on Monday...for now I will actually be happy I got through this math & regulation intensive test...then....back to the books.

Dammit....I was hoping to focus on different my bench. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

fails that aren't fails...

I meant to write last week after this happened....but well....I am trying to create this habit, but studying has taken priority.

Last week, I had that nasty 5x3 80% dead lifts AGAIN...I went into the gym thinking, "ok, just get at least one more of these lifts than you got last week."  Just get a little better today.  Seems like a plan.  I didn't go in saying "kill this!"

So guess what happened?

go on, guess....

I only got one set.


and you know what I did? I moved on.

I just moved on.

Hersch said...lifting isn't linear Mona.

Fuck yeah...what the hell is.

So I moved on and didn't berate myself.

I'll try again this week.  Well, maybe not.  Turns out I have an injury.  Something in my gut, my abs, my NASTY.  Got a massage this weekend and I am complete crooked.   Walking with a protected gait. Twisted even.

(That's funny)

It hurts, I hurt....She thinks it's from a bad lift...Probably some truth to that, but I am always sitting...sitting and studying. Sitting and worrying about the test....sitting and taking practice tests.

This is my typical sitting posture...

I'm not sure what I will do this week in the gym.  Maybe not lift heavy or not lift at all.

Oh, and I have to travel to Oklahoma this weekend, right before the test.

Yeah sitting.