The new Thanksgiving plan (for anyone who reads my blog) was terrific, and everyone is invited here for next year. Bring your own sleeping bags, though. 😉

The past week or so has been an exercise in coping. Most of it was in preparation for my abusers visit to my home yesterday. It was their standard visit – some Sunday, from 1-3pm. It has been five months since I have spoken to them, and nine months (I think) since they visited my home, although occasionally emails were exchanged. I expected this visit to be a major triggering event, so we established boundaries, physical and what-not. Over the weekend my husband and I composed an email that would end all verbal and physical contact with them, but still allow some contact with the kids (they have no contact with them anyway) because we knew that my parents would invoke their Grandparents Rights just to be assholes.

I emailed Tai and asked her to read over the email because she had recently ended contact with her mother and I really needed some input (She was awesome, as usual.). It should be easy to do this, but it’s not, and I want to be careful and cover all my bases. Here is the draft of the email I wrote. I haven’t sent it yet:

*After many months of personal deliberation and years of therapy I have decided that in order to heal myself and make the best out of my life I am ending all verbal and physical contact with the two of you, as well as the rest of my family. The damage you have done to body and psyche has made it extremely difficult to simply find my way through life, much less succeed the way I wish to. Ending any and all relationships with you will help me move through my troubled self and regain what is left. I no longer need you in my life, and I no longer want you in my life in any capacity.

I know this decision will not come as a complete surprise to the two of you, so don’t pretend it does. I have wasted enough of my life simply patching up what the two of you have done, and I must move on. I feel no responsibility towards you or any family member, and I have no regrets making this decision. It is the best, most positive decision I can ever make. This is my personal decision that I have reached alone for my own health and well-being.

I don’t care if or how you choose to explain my decision to anyone. I don’t care how you feel about my decision. I don’t care about you, and I am choosing you out of my life.

I invite you to maintain contact with my children but I fully expect you to respect and abide by my decisions.

In good conscience I am returning the Christmas gifts you gave me so there are no false pretenses.

You may write to my email address, but do not expect any immediate response.

Most Sincerely,

Lisa*

This email wasn’t sent because the creatures that came to my home yesterday were old, bitter, feeble, sick, powerless, ugly, beaten, and no threat. I maintained my boundaries, did not offer them food or drink, did not allow them to go anywhere else but my kitchen, did not laugh or respond to anything they said, maintained eye contact, did not start any conversation at all, offered no information about myself, hubby, or the kids, etc.. Towards the end my father offered me an envelope of cash and I told him that I didn’t want his money, and that really embarrassed him (I haven’t accepted any money from them in years. I even mail it back to them if they try to put it in a card.). I wouldn’t touch them when they left and I held the door and ushered them out. At no time did they ask why I haven’t called, or when I would stop down to their house (I haven’t been there in over a year.). Even on their way out the door there was no, “Be sure to call me!”, or, “I’ll talk to you soon!”.

I was so busy doing those things that my husband said they looked very nervous and scared. He told me, “You were completely in charge and they knew it and it scared the shit out of them! That was great!”. So, now I’m wondering if sending that email is necessary at this point. It felt so good to do what I did and not be triggered, not feel guilty, and not feel like I had to justify anything. The idea of watching them wither away mired in their own shit, knowing I’m safe and in control and have the support of my husband is enough for now I think. I’m saving that email, though, until I really need it.

I would appreciate any thoughts about how I handled this. I honestly don’t feel like I chickened out. Rather, it was empowering to be in control and not be triggered, or spend the rest of the afternoon hiding under the covers. I feel good. I feel stronger. I hope this lasts for a few days, but I know I could crumble if there is an internal backlash. Ending all contact was so important a couple of days ago, but it doesn’t feel as important now. Has anyone had a similar experience? Should I have ended all contact anyway?

Holiday happenings…or not

November 23, 2010

We’re staying home for holidays for the rest of our lives. It’s no longer important to visit with people who trigger us (hubby and I), behave like idiots in front of everyone, upset the kids, and just depress us in general. Most are very upset with our decision. Fuck them. I’m no longer wasting my time, life, etc. because it’s “expected”. I take enough Xanax already. And this was all hubby’s idea, too. The holidays are just another day to us, anyway, but we try to fake through them for the kids.

– We’re smoking our turkey this year and it will take 14 hours to cook! We thought a horror movie marathon would help us stay awake.

– The chocolate pudding and pumpkin pies, as well as the cranberry bread were made in partnership with a 22-month old I’ve been babysitting the past two days. They are messy, probably unsanitary, but yummy, and I send home bread and pies to her mom, too.

– Each kid picked out a side dish, so we have mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, sausage stuffing, chicken fingers, french fries, cheesy quesidillas, and cocktail meatballs. The table should look quite interesting if everything fits.

– Everyone also picked out what to watch over vacation. We have “Mork and Mindy”, “Happy Tree Friends”, “The Tick” (live version), and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” so far.

I don’t make a list of things to be thankful for. I just try to make it through a day. If I didn’t have a little-bitty to watch this week I’d be carving up myself as well as a turkey. Any contact with the abusers will be terminated as of January, but hopefully they will die in some freakish, painful accident before then.

Life is okay here in the house, but not in my head, or in my body and I can’t disengage. I don’t know why. Having little-bitty-Mia-Monster is a big help, though. I’m so glad I kept all of these toys. It’s fun to play with her. I half-wish her mom had asked me to watch her more often. At least she knows I can do it in a pinch.

That’s all. The kids will be home Wednesday through Monday. That should keep me safe.

Mia just finished lunch (I think. If it’s on the couch I think that means she’s done.) and we have two more pie crusts to roll out. Huzzah!

love & disappointments

November 17, 2010

Parents can be such an amazing disappointment sometimes. Most people are capable of being vile, careless, baseless creatures. It’s there, somewhere in our genetic makeup. I always figured that the biological urge to reproduce accompanied the urge to nurture and protect. It doesn’t work that way so naturally sometimes, and (many moons ago) I also used to be quite optimistic in general. To make the choice to warp and twist a life is inconceivable to me. How strong must a person’s will be to overcome the natural urge to comfort and nurture their child and instead disregard or experiment with it. Choose to bring them into the world and then choose to exploit and abuse them. I think it takes a mighty strong will.

My father is a vile creature. From what I have heard he has been vile most of his life. My mother was already screwed up by the time they met and I think it was easy to manipulate her, but she also had choices.

I know my parents do not love me. I know I was not wanted. If I were to “love” as they taught me growing up then I would most likely be in jail for abusing my own children, or dead.

When I look at my own children I know I love them but I often hold back on feeling that love. Seeing them interact with me, their father, each other, pets, or even stuffed animals demonstrates to me that they really do understand love. I don’t recall making a choice to love them, but at some point there must have been a spark in me and I passed it on to them. I don’t think I love appropriately sometimes, though. I still wade through the waters, trying to find the right current.

I believe that love is inexplicable and difficult, if not impossible, to define. I know it can be found and shared. It can be held and released, but it’s form eludes me. I know I can see love, feel it, hear it or touch it, but I can’t describe it. I’m pretty sure I’ve found it, but I don’t know exactly what to do with it.

If love is everywhere and accessible what is the point of trying to twist it and use it as a weapon, as punishment, or a sick kind of reward? I’m no longer sure what I’m even writing about. The closer I get to my hate and anger, the louder a small voice inside cries, “I love mommy and daddy!”, and the greater the urge is to stop everything.

 

Today is Rearrange and Consolidate the Kitchen Day. It’s celebrated several times during the year at my house. Dust bunnies are hunted down, cookbooks that I never use are stored away, appliances (like sno-cone machines) that are seasonally used are stored, and all shit magnets are cleared. The XM radio antenna broke and there is no sound. The TV is too far away for background noise and it gets a little spooky in the kitchen. Hopefully the new antenna will arrive today.

There is no sound except for me…so my brain goes a-wanderin’…and this is part of what spilled out…

 

When you run, run, run,

you become so tired and could sleep all day and dream, dream, dream.

If you stop the past runs up to you, and

you stay for it to reach you,

for them to touch you.

They ask why…what happened…

…did we do something wrong…is this real life…

…how come you never stopped before?

Do you hate us too?

 

I needed to stop and relax for 90 minutes so that weird, little poem could come through, as well as a nasty memory. My super-supportive ETMRT needed to be called in also: https://roseroars.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/emergency-traumatic-memory-response-team/ Well…we dealt with it, we’re okay and now we get back to work.

I am sooooo looking forward to the new antenna.

Processing

November 10, 2010

Above my head and over to the right is where an emotion might be. Since it’s over there I can’t reach it or feel it, but I know it’s there.  On the other side, perhaps farther to the left, are images. It is like watching a movie. Below me, also out of reach, are physical sensations. They are below me, but they can move up and into my body sometimes.

I like them separated that way. Everything has its place and it’s not too close to me.

When they all come together at one time it makes Lisa throw her glasses off, cry spastically, claw at her face, hide in her coat, shake uncontrollably, and want to hurt, hurt, hurt  herself.

That younger girl was really out. Weird. I had no control.

Today was a big step for me in therapy. We got through it, I am not in the hospital, and everything ended with me being sarcastic and able to breathe. I looked horrible, though.

It was easy to slowly work through memories and start identifying emotions bit-by-bit, but I can see the benefits of experiencing everything at once in a safe space and working through it that way. It felt like I was there for a week. It’s not over for that particular memory, and I’ll probably take back everything I’m saying later, but I came out okay afterward. It felt calm and peaceful for at least 30 minutes or so.

Did you ever feel like, “Wow! That was intense! Bring me another memory! I can do this shit!”? That’s how I felt at the end of the session.

Just wanted to share that.

 

The dogs *trigger*

November 9, 2010

My dogs constantly follow me around the house and yard. They accompany me while I fold the laundry and feed the birds. They climb the windows when they see I’m home. The bathroom door needs to be closed when I’m in there because they want to be with me.

They are always watching. Most of the time I think they are looking for food, but that’s not important. What’s important is that they are always watching. I know it’s crazy, but I feel like they have cameras in their eyes and are recording everything I do. I only sit down when I’m on the computer because I think if anyone sees what they are recording they will think I’m lazy because I’m not working, working, working around the house.

As new memories surface I becaome more paranoid and their staring is almost painful to me.

I was trying to pin down this intense paranoid feeling over the past few weeks and it comes down to them. The paranoia is from being watched when I was a little girl while being sexually abused.  I have memories and flashbacks of being watched, and if I’m upset or anxious about that I have two dogs who sense that and stay with me, watching, to help me feel better.

These dogs shove my husband out of the way when I have nightmares or night terrors. They are the best watchdogs. They can smell me just thinking about cooking a roast beef, and I can’t stand to be near them. I want them to shut up, stop making noise when they walk, and stop looking at me.

This post should be about something more important or interesting, but it’s been difficult doing therapy homework with them around. I was thinking about how something as simple as my dogs wanting to be with me brings back the same feelings I had as a child. They are watching me. Other people used to watch me and hurt me, too. The dogs want to hurt me (go syllogism!).

There are triggers everywhere in the big, wide world. I’m dealing with them much better now, but those triggers are outside of my home. It’s hard to get away from this particular trigger.

My family made me very angry today. The stress and heightened emotions from that are making me more upset and paranoid. Tonight is a Xanax night. I am hoping to figure out how to separate the reason my dogs are looking at me from the way I was watched as a little girl. I’ll end up living in my car if I don’t.

Little girls are not very good cooks. They don’t drive well, either. They interact very well with girls their own age, but have trouble communicating with their parents. They tickle, eat candy, and squirt water at people. Some of those people are her own children, but in the moment they are just other little girls. She gets strange looks from parents when she’s talking because she isn’t talking like a 43 year-old. So…….

1. Attempt to have conscious control at school functions.

2. You are not 8 or 9 years-old physically. There is no memory of those ages, either.

3. It’s called a whisk, dipshit. You’re cooking meatloaf, potatoes, and gravy.

4. No, I will not be at the party. My daughter will be. Sorry for the confusion.

5. A belly-button lint Bratz doll is not a good conversation topic.

6. You’ve seen Aladdin 4 million times and you’ve never cried at the end before.

7. Yes, you do drive a minivan.

I hate it, hate it, hate it. When I go out in public I make a complete ass of myself. There was one person at my daughter’s musical who actually likes me and she just giggled. Any other adults I came into contact with just stared or frowned at me. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

At least I’m not volunteering at the school this year.

I don’t know if I’m switching, co-conscious, or just letting my guard down around the kids. I think I was caught up in the story, songs, and the fun the kids had on stage. Whatever it was I hope there isn’t another school function for a while. Someone even walked up to me and said, “Lisa? Hey, Lisa?”. Grrrr…..that was really embarrassing.

Maybe if I close my eyes real tight and wish extra, extra hard some people will forget I was ever there today. Sometimes when I’m so in that space, even before the DID diagnosis, I have no idea how my behavior looks to others.

remembering

November 5, 2010

I don’t want to feel like a little girl anymore. Sometimes it felt good and she can’t understand why the rest of the System is reeling.  When it was scary it was very scary. I used to be two years old, and I know what it felt like to live in that little body. Names and faces of people I haven’t thought about in years are back. I felt funny about them back then and I’m learning why. I know why some people disappeared from my life so completely and no one ever mentioned their name again. I’ve learned why I behaved certain ways when I was with certain people, even if we weren’t alone. I know why certain people stayed away from me. I know that some people suspected something bad was happening and were so very nice to me. I was a very strong, strange girl.

 

This flood gates are open, but that’s the way I work in general. Get it out, get it over with and deal with it. So it’s coming up and out. I’m very good in emergency situations. I react quickly, seek help and provide immediate first aid. It’s just odd applying such skills internally.

So I switch frequently, even in therapy sometimes. I’m dizzy most of the time, I vomit nearly every day, and my vision is often blurry. On the up side, the house stays moderately clean, my System is communicating better, people get where they need to go, and there is food on the table. If I can maintain that I think I can stay safe.

Be good to yourselves.