Warrior Dragon Slayer
I’m Yessica Reedy, author of the Crushing the Chrysalis Blog as well as Warrior Dragon Slayer, the book.
The book came from a few blog posts, so feel free to dig around and see what that means through search.
It was about meeting someone that I could see as an equal. It’s about taking the life I’ve lived and breaking it down to each failure and triumph, and showing you that I’m a Warrior Dragon Slayer but also letting you know that you might be one too.
Warrior Dragon Slayer, The Book
It’s been a long road for me. I’ve travelled from a girl that loved reading and poured her heart into her journal, to a woman so traumatized by love that she couldn’t string a few sentences together. Through this journey, this blog was born.
I kept toying with the idea of writing a book and it’s finally happened. It is happening. I always had a story to share. My reality is far more interesting to most people than my poorly executed fiction.
I decided to write my memoir. I had this idea that a memoir tells you the end result. But there isn’t an end unless I’m not here to share it. And it hit me . . . It’s like my past relationships. All of them left, but I’m still here. It’s about the process that I keep working on trusting. It’s the idea of how I get there, not where I end up or how I started. This process is why it’s time to write that memoir.
It took sixteen days. After work, after traffic, after helping with homework, after making dinner, after golfing with my cousin and meetings that ended up in a shopping trip with my mom, I wrote 35,115 words. After years of researching the best writing software, I used Google Docs. After focusing on query letters, I decided to self publish. It’s not the start or the end but the intentional work of getting there.
I still need to edit it and there’s so much I’m learning in the process. But it is a process and I’m trusting it.
And hey, you get the bonus of me finally updating my site. Just take that as a win.
Leadership is Bossing Up.
There’s a cost associated with the life we get to live. I’ve had to learn to be resilient, and resourceful. I’ve had to learn to be adaptable. In the end, I’ve learned how to boss up in my life. I know that my life is a result of the many choices I have and continue to make. I know that staying in the choices that no longer serve me is a choice. I can choose differently.
I have boys that follow my lead. I have parents that have relied on my abilities as a business woman. For years I’ve transacted business, negotiated deals and supported those that needed it. For weeks, it’s finally landed that I am a businesswoman. It’s a mindset. It’s the ease with which you get things done. It’s knowing the answers, but knowing you can find the ones you don’t already have.
It’s knowing we receive what we accept and that we can always raise that bar.
Making Ends Meet
Sometimes making it happen means you compromise your wants for your needs. Sometimes it’s finding ways to get support through low income discounts with utilities or applying for programs designed to help people in your exact situation. For me right now, it’s about a side hustle. I’m a single mom in Los Angeles. If not for my mom, I’d be homeless. If not for my tribe, I’d have it worse than I do. If not for my hustle, I couldn’t survive.
In 2004 I found out that autism was living in my house and it had been there for a few years. There isn’t a handbook. I’ve looked. There is a community but this means you have to open your most private insecurities as a new parent to the judgement and opinions of the world at large.
It’s about IEP’s with the school district, and IPP’s with Regional Center. It’s finding services and supports like respite care. It’s maneuvering through SSI and IHSS. It’s learning that workers are supposed to help you while not telling you all that you have access to.
It’s becoming an advocate while making sure you meet your children’s emotional needs, and hopefully you have space for your own emotional needs.
It’s learning that every document matters and you have to find a way to organize it all so you can find that one assessment you were given while wrangling your child into their stroller.
Starting Over After Divorce
One of my favorite things about starting over after my marriage is the part where I get to fall in love again.
There were crushes.
There were situationships.
There was love that looked a lot like what love used to look like. Abuse. It looked like abuse.
I wrote about surviving that first wedding after your marriage ends.
I wrote about that first crush.
I wrote about online dating and how to spot a Catfish.
There’s life after marriage and it’s pretty sweet when you decide to love yourself first.
As a teen, I believed domestic violence was black and white. If he hits you, it’s abuse.
Financial Abuse looks like control. It’s maxing out a credit card, then refusing to pay for it. It’s not allowing you to have a separate bank account. It’s living in the home but refusing to contribute to the food and utilities they use.
Emotional Abuse looked like being called names and being told I was a terrible person because of all of the ways I failed what they wanted of me. It’s isolation. It was telling me he didn’t like my friends or making me feel bad for wanting to spend time with other people. It’s monitoring where I was, so I would have to check in every hour, even when going to the grocery store. It’s humiliating me, then convincing me it was my fault, or I was overreacting to them being playful. It’s being accused of cheating out of the blue. It was telling me what I couldn’t wear outside of the home. It’s cheating on you, then making it feel like their inability to remain faithful had something to do with you.
Sexual Abuse and Coercion isn’t always forcible rape. It’s being guilted into sex you really don’t feel like having. It’s being held down and hurt in the name of passion. It’s being insulted in a sexual way for being a sexual being or for not being interested in sex.
Reproductive Coercion can look like being forced to have children you don’t want. It can be a refusal to wear a condom or other forms of birth control. It can be removing or breaking a condom during sex, and is called, “stealthing.”
Digital Abuse can look like limiting the people you can be friends with. It can look like sending you hateful messages online through posting on your walls or sending direct or private messages to hurt you. It’s stalking your activities online and putting you down in their status updates. It’s stealing your passwords to spy on you or pressuring you for pictures. It’s sending unsolicited dick pictures. It’s tagging you in pictures to hurt or upset you.
You have the right to firm boundaries. You can get help.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline https://www.thehotline.org/
Domestic Shelters https://www.domesticshelters.org/los-angeles-ca-domestic-violence-help
I find the liminal spaces between what I want my life to look like and what it actually looks like can be the hardest seas to navigate. I have been pushed and pulled by hormones. I have been pushed and pulled by what I felt was expected of me. There’s hope.
I find the best ways to learn to cope is to ask for help. Whether you see a therapist that helps you find tools to get through a bad day, or a psychiatrist that can prescribe medications, you have to decide you want to live. You get to ask for help.
I’ve learned that the only thing I can control is my reaction.
I’ve learned that sometimes shifting my perspective is all I need.
I’ve learned that the spaces I occupy can make all the difference and often find calm while watching the ocean, or a sunset, or even birds or butterflies in flight.
I’ve learned that you have to keep asking for help when you need it.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention https://afsp.org/
Suicide Prevention Resource Center https://www.sprc.org/
Babies and Loss
Fertility has always amazed me. In my early adolescence, I became an egg donor. In my marriage I would carry three sons. I would also become a surrogate mother three times, carrying four more children to help other families grow.
In 2017 I would suffer a miscarriage. It was a surprise pregnancy that I didn’t want at first. As my pregnancy survived a gallbladder removal one heartbeat became two, I began to dream and wonder and plan for my children. Then I lost them. The waves of grief still hit me at the most random times and with marketing magicians that will remind me they should be having their first birthday, even if I know they won’t.
There’s support. Lots of support. Want to be a surrogate mother? Let me refer you. Want to know about the process of egg donation or IVF, been there, and posted it.
I’ve shared about the loss of my children because it’s a topic most grieving parents rarely feel safe enough to share. Most sites cover the science of it but what about the pain of it?
Author Yessica R. Reedy
I write about my life in a way that allows a small peek into the dark while showing you that silver lining.