Shattering Stigmas: Fifteen Years by Mia Siegert

Posted October 11, 2019 by Amber in Guest Posts / 59 Comments

Hey everyone. Wednesday was a little chaotic with my sister going into labor, so I didn’t get the chance to put up a post yesterday. Waiting for babies is exhausting. 😂

I’m so happy to share this guest post with you all by Mia Siegert. Mia was previously on my blog in 2016 with an interview. I’m so honored they decided to share their story with me today for Shattering Stigmas. Please be sure to read the content and trigger warnings before proceeding. 🧡🧡

CW/TW: PTSD, Depression, Abuse, mention of Self-Harm, Animal Death (*NOT* in grotesque detail), mention of Suicide, issues with food

A/N: This is the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I don’t like being vulnerable, but given what I write about—how my upcoming book SOMEBODY TOLD ME deals with depression and abuse and JERKBAIT deals with suicide and bullying (both dealing with toxic masculinity in very different facets—I decided to open up. I have provided content/trigger warnings above and apologize if I miss anything, and with victimhood and addressing it, I hope this might be able to help anyone who is struggling, not in the “it gets better” sense, but in the “I’m glad I’m still here even if it’s a daily struggle” or, “you’re not alone.”As well, in regards to sharing something this personal, I hope that even one person would believe me because many times in the past when I’ve tried to tell people, they’ve immediately said, “that couldn’t have happened.”

*For my safety, I’ve omitted names and a few identifying details but all of this is true.

Fifteen Years

Fifteen years ago, I left the horse world. It’s still hard to distinguish now from then, many friends shocked when I say it’s been that long. “I thought it was less time since…” Their voices trail off as they look at me, and the magnitude sets in. The moment when they realize that no, I wasn’t exaggerating or faking it for attention, like one of my family members confessed years ago.

Until recently, most people don’t associate PTSD with things outside of war, and even still, some people don’t see the ties in other life facets. How layered and nuanced it can be. I didn’t see people get killed in front of me; I saw my horse dying in absolute agony and felt the guilt of leaving, teenage me not thinking to ask if I could stay. I didn’t realize until years later that I wouldn’t have been allowed to, or more importantly that my horse, who’d climbed to his feet after surgery because he didn’t want me to see him down, who’d rested his head against my chest, turning away to cough, gave me that last look when I left his stall and then refused to look at me when I came back in because I didn’t want to say goodbye and, as a friend put it, he wouldn’t have been able to do it with me there. I heard the stories about how his vet pulled off his halter to left him to graze with an old donkey, to give him a few minutes as a horse, and after grazing a tiny bit, in a story that made her tremble because never in her life had she experienced something like this, he approached her, nudged her hand with the euthanol injection, walked up a small hill, lay next to a tree, and looked at her.

I thought his death was the end of the world, and in a way it was. My short six months with him were six months of hope as everything happened right before him: my cat, my granddad died, my parents separated, one of my trainers unexpectedly left the barn and the ones who remained allowed me to get in two preventable accidents including one fall where I was left in the snow for twenty minutes, they refused to take me to a doctor, and threatened me if I didn’t finish riding the horses that day even though I couldn’t walk. When the largest trainer pulled me aside and dismissed me from the barn, I’d never been at such a loss.

I had nothing. No hobbies, but one best friend, now in college, who didn’t want to talk. She had her college life. I had nothing except, per her words, “all the fat you need to lose.” I’m not sure what I’d expected from someone who, whenever we were in a group of people, her friends, would do things like sneak behind me with a scarf in her hands, pulling it around my throat until my body became limp, my neck bruised, and everyone laughed, laughed, laughed because “it was just a joke!” And when she finally cut me out of her life for daring to ask would she take a moment of silence for my horse, blaming a suicide on me that soon I’d discover never actually occurred, I wondered why there was such a cavity in my heart.

There were so many ways to hurt myself, I soon discovered. I knew the ways from the horse world, the tricks to make myself throw up, the diet pills, the painkillers. I went from eating only lettuce and water to eating full ziti pizzas by myself, stuffing my face with anything I could, trying to find something, anything, to fill the emptiness. I went four months without setting foot outside of the house. I enrolled in community college before I got a GED and CLEP-ed out of a few courses, a school that someone close to me once said was for the r-slur. I was so ashamed I threw away the President’s List and Dean’s List letters I received and didn’t tell anyone I made the lists.

I started trying to rely on tiny things, little miracles to cheer up. But sometimes things happen, and rather than taking them as they come (a “well, this sucks” sort of thing), I’d lose myself. Each time something minute happens, I get crushed. I fall apart, sobbing tears I never was allowed to shed. I become devastated beyond normal sorrow, punishing myself for weeks afterwards, giving up on hope.

I never really learned how to get along with people, not the way I did with horses. Making and maintaining friendships is difficult for me as I’m often vulnerable to abusers, unable to see red flags or dismissing them as part of the paranoia I was diagnosed with. Emotionally, I will probably always be stunted as a teenager, maybe young twenties, and a damaged one at that.I know I’ve hurt people for not asking people about themselves, for not even thinking to ask because I absorb their words and body language, much like with the horses where I was forced to learn how to communicate that way. I ran away from book twitter for a long time because I felt ashamed, taking it personally when followers dropped, feeling like I was a failure. With people I DMed frequently, I didn’t know, and still don’t know, how to reach out to say, “just wanted to say hi” or “I missed you” or anything without them feeling like I’m only in it because they had good publishing luck. I wish that could change rather than me sitting, waiting, for anything to happen.

When I got the message inviting me to write for the blog about mental health, my mind immediately went to horses, especially with it fresh on my mind as my main trainer was permanently banned from the sport for sexual misconduct. I think about the tens of thousands of dollars of therapy, the medications, how I could never hold a traditional job for more than six months (exceptions being teaching and working in publishing). I look at my phone and see the last ten texts were variations from my parents, group and single, and one friend who I don’t get to see often. Two years ago, I told some people that there was something wrong with my head, that something wasn’t right. I was told it was anxiety, that “it’s not real.” So I’d repeat it again, and again, that something was wrong, but nobody cared. They’d get hung up on ambulatory speech patterns, things that frustrated them and put them on edge, while I kept going back to it, trying to find another way to say, “you’re not listening.” They didn’t understand why I’d freeze at loud noises, why I’d ask a thousand times “are you mad” because of a change in atmosphere. Some friends noticed when I’d check out, knowing I’d go to another place, sometimes talking to me, trying to maintain eye contact to keep me there, with them, in the now. And I’d fight, fight, fight to stay with them, but they knew as well as me that I was already gone.

And I wrote.

I wrote in that raw, jarring stream-of-consciousness that’s my voice. I wrote knowing that there is a good chance that people might not understand, that they might not get what I’m trying to say, what I’m trying to convey, when really it could be boiled down to empathy. I write knowing that these truths could be really boiled down to just one thing:

I’m always listening. And I hear you.

~About Mia Siegert~

Mia Siegert is the author of SOMEBODY TOLD ME (which can be preordered currently through Book Depository (https://www.bookdepository.com/Somebody-Told-Me-Mia-Siegert/9781541578197 ) and Amazon and JERKBAIT (available at all book retailers). Outside of writing, they’re a costume designer whose work has appeared on Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” You can follow them on twitter @miasiegert or Instagram @miasiegert.

Divider
Thanks so much, Mia for being on my blog again and sharing this painful story. I like how you shared a topic that I don’t see often enough with PTSD.

Please give Mia some love below. 🧡🧡

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted October 11, 2019 by Amber in Guest Posts / 59 Comments

Divider

59 responses to “Shattering Stigmas: Fifteen Years by Mia Siegert

  1. I simply want to mention I am just new to blogging and site-building and absolutely loved your website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your site . You certainly come with excellent well written articles. Bless you for sharing your webpage.

  2. I just want to say I’m new to blogging and site-building and definitely savored your blog site. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You really have terrific articles. Thanks for revealing your webpage.

  3. Aw, this was a truly nice blog post. In idea I wish to place in writing such as this additionally? requiring time and actual effort to make a great write-up? but what can I say? I hesitate alot as well as by no means appear to obtain something done.

  4. Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  5. Youre so trendy! I do not expect Ive review anything like this prior to. So wonderful to discover somebody with some initial thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this site is something that is needed online, somebody with a little creativity. beneficial job for bringing something new to the web!

  6. I?m pleased, I have to state. Truly rarely do I run into a blog site that?s both educative and entertaining, and also let me inform you, you have actually struck the nail on the head. Your concept is exceptional; the issue is something that insufficient people are talking intelligently about. I am really pleased that I stumbled across this in my look for something associating with this.

  7. Can I simply state what a relief to discover a person that in fact knows what theyre speaking about on the net. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it vital. Even more people need to read this and understand this side of the tale. I cant believe youre not more popular due to the fact that you definitely have the gift.

  8. Great post. I find out something a lot more difficult on different blogs everyday. It will certainly always be promoting to review material from other authors and also exercise a something from their shop. I?d choose to use some with the material on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll offer you a web link on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I?m impressed, I have to state. Really hardly ever do I encounter a blog that?s both instructional and also entertaining, as well as let me tell you, you have struck the nail on the head. Your suggestion is impressive; the problem is something that not nearly enough individuals are talking intelligently around. I am extremely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my look for something relating to this.

  10. I’m the owner of JustCBD Store brand (justcbdstore.com) and am trying to expand my wholesale side of business. I really hope that someone at targetdomain share some guidance . I thought that the most ideal way to do this would be to talk to vape stores and cbd retail stores. I was really hoping if anybody could recommend a trustworthy web site where I can purchase UK Vape Shop Database I am currently looking at creativebeartech.com, theeliquidboutique.co.uk and wowitloveithaveit.com. Unsure which one would be the most ideal selection and would appreciate any support on this. Or would it be simpler for me to scrape my own leads? Suggestions?

  11. Youre so amazing! I do not mean Ive read anything like this prior to. So good to discover someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is something that is required on the web, a person with a little creativity. beneficial work for bringing something brand-new to the net!

  12. Youre so trendy! I don’t intend Ive read anything such as this prior to. So wonderful to locate someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is something that is needed on the internet, somebody with a little creativity. useful work for bringing something brand-new to the internet!

  13. I discovered your blog site on google as well as examine a few of your very early messages. Remain to keep up the excellent run. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Visitor. Seeking ahead to reading more from you later on!?

  14. Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back yet again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  15. Aw, this was an actually nice article. In suggestion I want to put in writing like this in addition? requiring time as well as actual effort to make an excellent write-up? yet what can I claim? I procrastinate alot and also never appear to obtain something done.

  16. I blog frequently and I really appreciate your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

  17. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more about this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not discuss these issues. To the next! All the best!!

  18. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  19. Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site.

  20. This is the best blog site for any individual that wishes to discover this subject. You understand a lot its virtually tough to argue with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject thats been covered for several years. Terrific things, just wonderful!

  21. After looking over a few of the articles on your website, I seriously appreciate your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site too and let me know your opinion.

  22. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  23. You made some decent points there. I looked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  24. After going over a handful of the blog articles on your site, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and tell me what you think.

  25. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  26. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  27. That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise info… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

  28. Youre so cool! I don’t mean Ive review anything such as this prior to. So good to find someone with some initial thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this internet site is something that is required online, someone with a little originality. valuable task for bringing something new to the internet!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)