Sunday Post #34

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things received.
Feeling

I’m feeling worn out. My PTSD therapy has been brutal. I’m reliving my trauma by listening to myself describe what happened in as much detail as possible over and over everyday. This is called exposure therapy.

The reason people have PTSD is because they subconsciously suppress their fear and panic by avoiding things that exacerbate their fear (i.e., reminders of their trauma (e.g., sounds, smells, people, places, situations)). If they gradually expose themselves to the memory of the trauma and anything that causes them to panic or feel fear, they’ll slowly get used to the memory and the things that exacerbate their fear will no longer cause an intense reaction. This doesn’t mean they won’t ever feel fear when they think of their trauma or do something that used to cause an intense reaction, but they will be able to tolerate it without a meltdown.

There are two steps to the exposure therapy process. The first one is called imaginal exposure, which is what I’m doing when I listen to myself describe what happened. The second one is called in vivo exposure, which is slowly exposing themselves to things that exacerbate their fear. For me, this includes 1) talking to my family, 2) saying or writing “Swann” over and over, and 3) having sex with Corey.

I’ll explain why I’m doing those particular things:

  1. My perpetrator IS my brother-in-law. My family tried to sweep what happened to me under the rug because they didn’t want to deal with the consequences of what he did. As such, I avoid contact with most of my family. Their invalidation is worse than the trauma itself. As part of my therapy, I do not have to contact my BIL unless I want to. I don’t.
  2. My BIL’s last name is Swann. Before I started therapy, I didn’t like hearing or seeing the word “Swann” or “swan.” I didn’t even want to see or think about the bird.
  3. Because of my trauma, I avoid participating in sexual intimacy with Corey. The main reason I’m doing this therapy is to help improve our relationship. It isn’t bad or anything; it’s just that the lack of sexual intimacy for 25 years of marriage has taken its toll.

Now that you know way more about me than you probably ever wanted to, let’s move on.

Blogging

This week on the blog:

Reading

I read, finished, and reviewed a book this week! I read THE GOOD SISTER by Sally Hepworth this week. You can click the link above to read my review if you want.

I also started listening to HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. I thought it was time to finish my reread of the series that I started in 2020. I also started reading SOME OF IT WAS REAL by Nan Fischer. I’m not far enough in to determine my feelings yet. I hope I can get it done by Wednesday so I can start MISS ALDRIDGE REGRETS by Louise Hare.

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

Listening

I’ve been listening to some K-pop this week. Thanks to my friend Suey (It’s All About Books), I’ve listened to a lot of new bands this year. I’m going to share an “oldie,” however. It was one of the very first K-pop songs I listened to and it became and still is my favorite. It’s called “Fantastic” by Henry.

Watching

Corey and I rewatched the Daniel Craig Bond movies this week. I still think NO TIME TO DIE is the best Bond movie ever and Daniel Craig is the best Bond so far.

We also discovered the reboot of PASSWORD on Hulu. It’s hosted by Keke Palmer and stars Jimmy Fallon. I’m really enjoying it. I would’ve been mad, though, if I was a contestant on the episode with Meghan Trainor as the celebrity guest. She kind of sucked at the game.

Friday night we started watching THE HUNGER GAMES series. Every time I watch these movies, I love them more. All four movies are all-time my favorite book-to-movie adaptations.

Loving

I love this blogging community so much. I love how nice everyone is and how much everyone wants to read and comment on each other’s posts. I love the camaraderie and the interaction. I consider many of you friends now.

I started book blogging back in 2010. I found a group of book bloggers who live very close to me. We’re still friends IRL. I’m the only one who seems to be blogging anymore. Other than this group of friends, it always seemed hard back then to get others to comment on your blog unless you were one of the BIG ones. I do miss a lot of bloggers from yesteryear (), and I’m glad the community has morphed into what it is now.

Wanting

I want a fresh peach shake from one of the local restaurants. Their fresh peach and fresh strawberry shakes are the best!

Needing

I need to get some sleep. My eyes aren’t working today (Saturday) because I didn’t sleep a wink Friday night. It’s due to coming off of Seroquel, which is an anti-depressant that makes you drowsy and sleep really well. My body has grown dependent on it for sleep, making it hard to come off. I also started taking Phentermine, which is a stimulant.

Hopefully, I’ll sleep tonight. Depending on how much sleep I get, I may be responding to comments and blog hopping on Monday instead of today.

Phentermine is the safe half of what was Fen-Phen. Fen-Phen was made from a combination of two drugs and the “Fen” part caused a lot of health issues. I’m taking Phentermine as an appetite suppressant. I have no trouble eating healthy. I just eat a lot because I’m always hungry. My weight has been a struggle for the last 15 years especially. I’ll lose weight and then gain it back plus some. My hope is that with a healthy diet and exercise, Phentermine will help me not be hungry all the time so I eat less and lose weight.

How was your week? Anything exciting happen?

About Jenni Elyse


Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
Read More

56 replies
  1. Greg
    Greg says:

    Exposure therapy sounds exhausting- worthwhile definitely and I have no doubt it works, but I can imagine it is stressful to do it. Confronting the very things that cause anxiety/ PTSD/ whatever would be tough. I give you credit for doing it anyway. Sending you lots of well wishes and virtual support. Be easy with yourself. 🙂

    I’ve seen the first couple Craig Bond’s but I missed the last one (or two?). And I LOVE Bond.

    I feel the same way about the book blog community. sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time doing this, but then I realize- I’ve made friends, and I’d miss em if I didn.t

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Greg! 😀 I really appreciate that.

      You should watch the last two Craig’s Bonds. A lot of people didn’t like SPECTRE as much. NO TIME TO DIE explains what people didn’t like about it, though.

      Agreed. I’d definitely miss people if I stopped blogging.

      Reply
  2. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Being the victim of a sexual abuse is always traumatizing but having your femily brushing it under the rug is just unbearable. The victim has to be aknowledge as a victim. That’s very important to the healing process as many abusers are also manipulators and make the victime believe theyr either “wanted it” or “deserved it” hence bringing doubts and guilt in the victim’s head. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Exactly. Fortunately, my parents never made me feel like what happened was my fault. However, because I was continually put into situations with my BIL, I felt like what happened didn’t matter and it wasn’t a big deal, even though it was. I had to act like everything was okay even though I wasn’t. 😕

      Reply
  3. Louise Hallett
    Louise Hallett says:

    You are so very brave (and strong) in sharing your experiences, it makes me so sad to hear how badly your family have treated you over this. I hope with all I am that the gruelling therapy is worth it and that you (and Corey) can move on to an even happier phase of your life together.

    It’s great to hear you’ve managed more reading this week, and I watched No Time To Die for the first time last week. It was absolutely amazing.

    Reply
  4. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    The therapy sounds important and valuable but SO hard also. The emotional and physical impacts of it would be substantial but long-term will help deal with the issues, I hope. Blogging has become more of a regular person’s hobby which is good. Those big famous ones have either gone away or lost popularity. I too love the community and the kind people I’ve gotten to know.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Exactly. Even though the therapy is hard and taxing, it’ll be worth it. 😀

      The interesting thing is that I wasn’t really talking about all the professional bloggers. I was talking about the bigger book blogs, like The Broke and the Bookish, The Perpetual Page Turner, and The Story Siren (until she made a big misstep). I don’t blame these bloggers at all, though.

      Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Emily! 😀 I appreciate that!

      I’m glad blogging has been such a positive experience for you! 😀 The last year has been awesome in the book blogging community.

      Reply
  5. jessicabookworm
    jessicabookworm says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your PTSD and the difficult treatment you are going through for it. I pray that the exposure therapy will get easier and work well for you. I also hope you will be able to get a good night sleep.

    As for myself, my week was a nice one, I had a couple of trips and relaxed the rest of the time, as this was the last week of the school’s summer break here in the UK, Back to work tomorrow.

    Take care, happy ready, and be kind to yourself. ❤

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you so much, Jessica! 😀 I really appreciate it.

      I’m so glad you’ve had such a great week. I love doing things to help me relax, especially before the start of the new school year.

      Reply
  6. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    Thank you for sharing part of your healing journey with us, Jenni Elyse. Exposure therapy sounds brutal, but I can see the value in it and hope it helps you. I made the call this summer after reaching a point where I was spiraling and unable to pull myself out like I usually manage to do and am now working with a psychologist. I’ve been in therapy before to varying levels of success. I was already not in a good place when word got out this summer that one of my daughter’s dance teachers had sexually abused a former student when she was studying under him. It put me over the edge. Brought back feelings I thought I had worked through from my own experience and then some. I have only had a handful of sessions so far, but it’s brought to light just how poorly I have been coping in other areas of my life as well. I appreciate your candidness and willingness to share. Your post is something I needed to read right now.

    My daughter loves K-Pop. She’s gotten me into it some too. She always seems to surprised when I like the music she listens to–as if a parent can’t possibly. LOL

    I watched the Hunger Games movies again not too long ago too. I really like them as well.

    I hope you are able to get some much needed sleep and enjoy your reading! Have a great week!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I’m so glad what I shared was helpful. 💜 That is my main hope when I share things like that. I also hope your daughter wasn’t one of the victims of her dance teacher. It’s so hard to find out something so awful about someone you trusted. It definitely can trigger those of us who’ve lived through something similar. I wish you success in your own journey. {{{hugs}}}

      Reply
      • Literary Feline
        Literary Feline says:

        Fortunately, my daughter wasn’t victimized. We do know the girl who was though. She’s an adult now and ready to talk. It’s been a difficult time. The reverberations are impacting a lot of people. My family included. I’m so proud of the young woman for speaking out. I know it wasn’t easy and won’t be. It took a lot of courage.

        Reply
        • Jenni Elyse
          Jenni Elyse says:

          It is very brave of her to speak out. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always yield the results we want. Luckily, people are starting to take things like that more seriously. Let’s hope that trend continues. I’m SOOO glad your daughter wasn’t victimized. 💜

          Reply
  7. Bookworm
    Bookworm says:

    You are really brave to do the exposure therapy and I hope it helps. K-pop is so popular! And that peach milkshake sounds delicious, I wish I could drink shakes but I can’t really digest the milk. I only drink almond milk or coconut. Enjoy your books this week, The Half Blood Prince is one of my fav HP books.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you! 💜 I understand about the milk digestion issues. I usually don’t drink milk anymore because it causes me problems. I used to put almond milk on my cereal, but I’ve found that Lactaid works well for me and it tastes just like regular milk. I can have ice cream every now and then. I have to be careful how often and how much, though, or I’m in a world of discomfort.

      Reply
  8. Sara
    Sara says:

    The therapy that you’re doing is very tough and I’m proud of you for doing it.
    I hope you are able to sleep! Insomnia is very rough and I hope it’s relieved soon.
    I agree, the blogging community is wonderful. I’m happy you’ve had such a great experience <3
    Take care and have a great week!

    Reply
  9. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    Exposure therapy sounds very intense, but I’m sure it’s worthwhile. I can’t imagine not having support from my family, I’m so sorry you don’t have that. I hope you’re getting the support you need from your partner and friends. My husband suffers from PTSD, from his time in the service, which is quite different, but also similar. He’s not doing exposure therapy, but he goes every week to therapy and it really helps. I hope you have a wonderful week.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Wendy! 😀 PTSD for veterans IS very different and yet similar, like you said. I can’t imagine what it’s like for veterans when they come home, especially those like my FIL who were drafted for Vietnam. All the hate he received when he went and got home. He still won’t talk about his time in the army or right after. It would be SO hard. I’m glad therapy’s helping your husband. 💜

      Reply
  10. Yvonne @ Socrates Book Reviews
    Yvonne @ Socrates Book Reviews says:

    I’m so sorry for all you’ve been going through. I do hope the therapy helps you.

    Isn’t the blogging community great? I’ve become friends with so many through the blogs. It’s a great experience.

    Take care of yourself and I hope you have a great week!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you, Yvonne! 💜 I definitely cherish the friendships I’ve made through blogging. My life is definitely not the same because of all the people I’ve met IRL and online.

      Reply
  11. Rachel @Waves of Fiction
    Rachel @Waves of Fiction says:

    I would think that not having your family support and acknowledge what happened would almost be worse that the actual abuse too. How awful. I’m so sorry that happened, but glad to hear you’re trying to deal with it and live a more healthy life with your husband!

    I haven’t watched a new bond in ages! I think I watched one or two of the Daniel Craig ones. Maybe. I’d have to check. I loved The Good Sister! Hope you did too!

    Hang in there, keep going, and have a lovely week!

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Rachel! 😀 I really appreciate that. It is very hard not having my family support me. They do acknowledge that it happened. They just don’t understand why I want nothing to do with him or why I haven’t been able to let it go.

      If you do watch any of Craig’s Bonds that you haven’t seen, I hope you like them. 😀 I did like The Good Sister. It was really intense.

      Reply
  12. Jennifer | Book Den
    Jennifer | Book Den says:

    I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all of that. I’ve looked into that kind of therapy for a phobia I have that affects me being able to do my job sometimes. I haven’t heard of those stages before, though. That sounds intense and horribly unpleasant. I’m so proud of you for getting help and taking those hard steps!! I really hope things can become less triggering for you.

    You know – I don’t think we’ve seen the last Bond movie! We really need to fix that. I love Daniel Craig. He’s also the best stormtrooper 😂.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! 😀 The stages are intense. If your therapist is anything like mine, they’ll start you out doing smaller stressful things related to your fear first, letting you build up it. I hope that makes sense.

      I don’t think we’ve seen the last Bond movie either. Daniel Craig just won’t be Bond anymore and I love his portrayal of the character and all his movies. I thought NO TIME TO DIE was a great way to finish his arc of the character.

      Reply
  13. Jodie
    Jodie says:

    Thank you for sharing so many intimate details of your life. I can’t imagine everything you’ve gone through. Sleep is so important isn’t it? It helps heal and restore and I definitely feel the consequences if I haven’t slept well the night before. I hope you sleep well every night now from here on . I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Take care.

    Reply
  14. A Voracious Reader
    A Voracious Reader says:

    Many {{{posivibes}}} to you while you go through therapy. It does sound exhausting. I also hope the med adjustment side effects will dissipate soon. My son and daughter took a bit to achieve a balance with theirs.

    I really need to catch up on the Bond movies. I’m a few behind.

    You’ve been blogging a year longer than me. And you’re right. Many of those who started with us are no longer blogging. It’s sad. 🙁 But I’ve met so many new friends who have started within the last few years. The community just keeps growing. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks so much! 😀 I really appreciate it! I’ve also met so many new friends in the last couple of years. I love them dearly and I’m so happy our community keeps growing. 💜

      Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Tanya! 😀 I think it will be worth it in the end. I can already tell it’s helping with the word “swan.” I hope you find yourself a good peach shake!

      Reply
  15. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) says:

    Good luck with your therapy. It sounds like a lot of work and I can see why you are feeling the way you are. Thank you for sharing such a major thing with us, as well as explaining how it works. I took the phentermine as part of the phen-fen back in the day when it was legal. It worked perfectly for me. I’ve tried just the phentermine which is all you can obviously get now, but by itself it didn’t seem to do anything for me. 🙁 I am glad it seems to work for you. I’m jealous you have blogging friends that live nearby! I wish I did! A fresh peach shake sounds delicious! I hope you have a good week! I need to do a reread of Harry Potter too. With all the movie marathons I do when they’re on tv, I need to go back and read the books I probably haven’t read since the last book actually was first published.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Lisa! 😀 I’m glad Phen-Fen didn’t cause you any problems. I’m sorry you had to stop using it. I actually don’t know if Phentermine is working yet or not. The stimulant part of it is in the sense of not sleeping if I take it too late. But, the hunger pangs are still there. Maybe that’s more emotional, though.

      You really should reread the series. I do every couple of years (or for a couple of years like this one, lol). I love revisiting the stories. And, Deathly Hallows is amazing the second time through because you see all the little things you didn’t know where important the first time through. Anyway, that’s my plug, lol. 😀

      Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Tessa! 😀 It is tough and it definitely works for people. I’m too early in the process to see any major improvements yet. However, it’s already helping with the “swan” thing.

      Reply
  16. Cindy Davis
    Cindy Davis says:

    Families are complicated on the best of days. I am so sorry for what you have been through. My mom is also the type that would not believe something like that would happen and just go on about her business. I hope the medication change does well for you and that you catch up on your rest. Have a great week.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Cindy! 😀 They really are. Fortunately, my mom and dad believed me. They just didn’t really do anything about it. They held a family meeting without me to discuss what happened and how to move forward. They decided not to press charges. And, even though, my BIL and I were supposed to get counseling, he never did and I didn’t until many years after the fact. They also wanted me to “forgive” him right away and act like everything was hunky-dory. They didn’t let me work through what happened. 😕

      Reply
  17. Katherine
    Katherine says:

    That’s really interesting about the cause of PTSD. I had read something that with childhood cancer the caretaker is more likely to suffer from PTSD then the patient. Kids with cancer have lots of struggles and it’s not uncommon for them to develop severe anxiety but they don’t see PTSD nearly as often with them. With what you say that makes a lot of sense because as a parent you have to keep it together and kind of push down your emotions because you don’t want to add to your child’s struggles. Good luck with your therapy. That sounds exhausting but so rewarding. I hope you have a wonderful week.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Katherine! 😀 That makes a lot of sense. It’s like my husband with me. He has PTSD from all the times I tried to hurt myself because he’s had to suppress his emotions and put on a brave face. Fortunately, I’m doing much better now and he’s also getting therapy (different than mine) for his PTSD.

      Reply
  18. Roberta R.
    Roberta R. says:

    It was so brave of you to share your story. As someone above commented, your family’s stance about the whole situation is almost worse than the thing itself. You can’t normalise something like that. I hope therapy will help, though it does sound brutal.

    Good luck with getting the right amount of sleep!

    The book blogging clique is great – there’s a real sense of community, and people accept you for what you are without judging. I’ve been blogging for almost 10 years now.

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you so much, Roberta! 😀 My family’s stance has been very difficult. Fortunately, I do have one sister and a few nieces that are very supportive. Corey’s also very supportive and patient.

      I did get some sleep finally! 😀 And, that’s awesome that you’ve been blogging for 10 years!

      Reply
  19. Aj @ Read All The Things!
    Aj @ Read All The Things! says:

    Wow, that is some intense therapy. Thanks for sharing your story! I was in therapy a few years ago, but I don’t have any serious problems, so it wasn’t a distressing experience. It felt more like I was paying someone to be my friend. 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, AJ! 😀 I so relate to the “paying someone to be my friend” part. Even though I’m working through some hard stuff right now, I adore my therapist. I totally think of him as a paid friend. LOL.

      Reply
  20. Karen
    Karen says:

    So many hugs to you and this tough journey Jennie. We’re going through something similar with my husband’s family right now. In this case we are all very supportive but no one knew.. And not on your same level, at all, I am doing exposure therapy for my (many) fears and panic attacks. It’s a long road.

    The blogging community is great. I think we’ve talked about this before but they are so much more understanding and supportive than many of my real life friends and family.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you, Karen! 😀 Exposure therapy is hard no matter what it’s for. I need to do exposure therapy for my arachnophobia and sometimes that seems harder than what I’m doing now.

      I agree about the blogging community. 😀 Everyone is so supportive. I think we’re more supportive than real life friends and family because we stay objective about the situations. It’s for hard for those closest to us to do that.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.