From what I have read over the past years a high pain tolerance may be an aftereffect of child abuse. I think I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and I compare most pain to labor, which was the most pain I ever experienced, but dammit I was going to deliver that baby naturally! I did, and now I have a threshold with which every other pain in the Universe is compared to. (N.B. The other two kids were c-section, but I think I would have asked for the meds.)

So when I experience pain, say pain that feels like a lightning bolt ripping through the lower left side of my abdomen, I think…”Well I can still make dinner and I’m not incapacitated, and I got through labor, so this should go away and be fine.” and I get on with life. La-la-la… When the pain moves across my back and I need to lay down for a bit I think…”Oh, maybe my period is coming.” La-la-la… If the pain is still there when I wake up and roll over in the morning I think… “Either there really is a sharp, hot metal pipe in me that I seem to have missed or perhaps it should be checked out.”.

Physical pain is nothing. I’m proud that I can put my head through a television and still shop for groceries. I can still drive with a pitchfork in my ears, too. That is also why I miss warning signs.

I almost missed this warning sign, but hubby helped me decide to go to my gynecologist. It was a good idea, maybe he really does care about me, and it’s fucked-up in there. Not an emergency, but I’m on hormones to do this-and-that and there will be surgery soon. (and I was gently chastised about comparing my pain to others or labor) After all, if I don’t have at least one surgery a year I simply don’t know what to do with myself!

I did the same thing with my gall bladder, arthritis, and pleurisy.

I’m curious to know if other survivors, DIDer’s, C-PTSDer’s, etc. also have a high pain tolerance, or are afraid to show pain in front of others. Now I feel stupid for not listening to my body.

Note to Self

March 22, 2011

There are many things I need to keep reminding myself of. Things such as:

*My opinion is not important

*I enjoy being interrupted mid-sentence since I couldn’t possibly have anything relevant or interesting to say

*I really do only exist to serve others (Bene Gesserit maybe? If you get this reference I’ll love you forever.)

*It’s not necessary that I have time to myself

*I must always be at the beck and call of others, and always within hearing range

*If anything should happen to me I must deal with it alone and unsupported

*Anything medical-related is my own problem and cannot inconvenience anyone else

*I am responsible for any and all negative happenings to anyone

*The only hobbies I need to have are those that benefit others in any way I can

*There is nothing I can do or say that have any worthwhile contribution in human society

If all you knew for years and years and years was abuse then you make decisions based on that experience. Can changes be made? Yes. Is it worth the pain, agony, misunderstanding, confusion, and anger to make those changes? Maybe. Do you need to reinforce those changes constantly? Yes. Does it ever end? I doubt it. Will you die frustrated and unfulfilled? Probably. Is this what life is all about? I have no fucking idea.

When I was young I used to pray and talk to god and I could feel his love as a warm blanket, wrapping me up. Now I know it was dissociation.

I could feel Jesus laying down next to me in bed and I loved him like an older, protective brother. But I was dissociating.

When I received the sacraments I felt the holy spirit blessing me. I was dissociating.
When I was eighteen and found Wicca I knew that was the goddess spilling into me and encircling me. It was really dissociation.

During Ceremonial Magick rituals I felt I was a conduit between worlds. But I was dissociated.

This is absolutely not meant to mock anyone’s spiritual experiences. It is my story of what happened when I received my DID diagnosis. When I left the office that day I tried to find solace and understanding in my pagan faith. There was nothing. No “whoosh” like I had felt before, no connection when I prayed or did a ritual. It felt like a switch turned off. It felt like my spiritual life was a lie and I was abandoned. The new knowledge of these other parts protecting me and existing within me made me feel naked and stupid.

A few months later I boxed up all of my personal tools, clothes, books, and supplies. My kids still believe, and when they talk about gods, goddesses, faeries, and invisible connections I sometimes want to scream how it’s all a lie. I know it’s not a lie for them, and I’m glad they have faith. My husband still practices and he feels sorry for me because I’ve lost faith in anything beyond the physical.

Layer after layer is revealed until I’m just a naked, unwanted child. It makes me feel cold and cynical. It makes me want to stop everything – eating, walking, waking up, talking… It makes me angry. It makes me feel stupid for espousing my beliefs and practicing so openly.

It has been a year since my diagnosis and there is still nothing. The less I dissociate the more I see how dumb I am. Now I can see my real face in the mirror and it’s wrinkled and looks like my parents.

I was hoping that by now I would feel something. If I felt that connection again, if I could see faeries again, or marvel at nature, or be amazed at anything outside (or inside) myself I think I would know there is a reason for anything.

It has been difficult finding my voice, but it was behind the couch the whole time. (c’mon…laugh…it was cute…)

Hubby and I made a decision last year about how to end contact with my parents. We chose to do it step-by-step and thus far it is working. We also knew that my parents would work very hard to regain some control over me and that it would be difficult to ride through in the short term. I told him that they would, at least through their words, play a pseudo-legal game as a threat, even if they just hint at it. And so they have already. It’s just their game, and it is only words from desperate people, and we’re handling it okay. They like to threaten (even if it’s a subtle threat) and manipulate. They’re special that way.

A few therapy sessions ago my therapist said that we could consider legal avenues if we feel it necessary and I would have her support.

So anyway…I know many people don’t agree with the way we are handling this, but we feel it is the best way at this time. We know how my parents think and so far have been ahead of their games, remained safe and in control, and have support. Those issues alone are so very important. Had we suddenly ended contact it would have created far more complicated problems. Situations are different and this is working best for our situation.

This is the email we received last weekend:

> To: “Lisa”
> Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2011 1:17:32 PM
> Subject: VISITATION RIGHTS
>
>
> As grandparents, we hereby insist that you pick a day, Saturday or Sunday, between now and March 31st, to allow us to visit with your family.  If you’re lucky, we may bring a ‘token’ for you, as a recognition of your birth.
>
> Please consider, and reply at your earliest.
>
> Dad

My response:

> April 3rd or April 10th is best for us. No need to bring a ‘token’ for anything, we’re fine.

And then:

>Hi honey,

>We will see you on April 3rd, what time is good for you? We will not bring any ‘token’, we are just bringing the birthday presents we got you, so if you do not get a card on your birthday, please do not think we forgot. We would not forget your birthday Let us know a good time.>Love you, Mom

I don’t acknowledge my parent’s birthdays and my mom recently had one. That’s what her condescending little jab is about. The subject “VISITATION RIGHTS” is a pseudo-legal threat from them. Writing the words out is supposed to slip into my subconscious and bend me to their will. I’m serious. That’s how they think. As if they’re spies or something.

My therapist agrees with our approach and the way I am keeping boundaries and control.

An important realization over the past week is the fact that my parents gaslighted me. By constantly telling me, as well as family and friends, I am a liar and a faker and threatening me besides made it impossible to accept the belief in my own existence. If what I went through happened, and yet I’m being barraged with “You’re always making things up.”, “You never tell the truth.”, “No one can ever trust what you say.”, “Stop faking it. You’re not really hurt.”, it’s no surprise I can’t tell what is real. One incident in particular stands out. My parents took the day off work to meet with my 2nd grade teacher and tell her how I constantly lie, so anything I may have told her is unbelieveable. I don’t remember what I told my teacher, just the meeting. Accepting this truth also brought with it sensations of being choked and dry heaves. No anxiety though, and only a single thought of self-harming.

No one else in my life has not believed me or told me to shut up and stop lying. No one else has questioned what I believed happened in any circumstance. My parents constantly played these head games to the point where I question my own exsitence.

It is such a relief to understand this. I feel like “Yay! I’m not totally nuts, just broken!”. Broken I think I can work with. Being insane means “Why bother?” to me.

For the most part, life sucks, but it’s workable. I’m not in my happy space yet and these understandings and other crap are extremely tiring. I don’t know if this is a good post, but I am curious if anyone else went through something similar with their parents. I am also very nervous about what the next phase of healing will be like. Today I feel like I took a big step forward and banished some of my negative ways of thinking. Ways of thinking that were not even mine to begin with.

 

Just FYI

March 1, 2011

It’s hard to know what to write when it feels like a lot is going on. No, wait. I am feeling very little, but a lot is going on.

I think I’ve been taken over by the If You Ignore It – It Will Go Away entity.

I can’t connect inside or outside. Not sure what this phase is all about.

Just FYI.