“Talking out loud about your abuse can help bridge the gap between the emotion and the memory.” – Therapist

“I was severely and seriously sexually abused. I was neglected, verbally, emotionally, and psychologically abused.” – me

This has been going around and around here for weeks.I’m waiting for some breach in this wall inside.

I have a question: Often when a memory comes through, whether new or revisiting, it is accompanied by an intense physical reaction and it is difficult to reach the emotions associated with the memory. Do the physical responses block the emotions? Do I have to keep reliving these body memories before the emotions come through? Is this one of those “Everybody’s different” questions?

Two things that have been helping me sleep better: Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations” and Lao Tzus’ “Tao De Ching” audiobooks on my MP3 player. I figure that by next year I will become a Stoic Taoist naturally after listening to them each night…… Without the audiobooks my dreams are either horrific or symbolic. I’d rather be a Stoic Taoist.

I would love to share relevant information or amazing insights, but I got nothin’. I’m just taking it moment-by-moment.

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Coping Season

August 11, 2010

Summer has been “Coping Season” here. That makes me think of hunting season, which makes me think of how I feel hunted by memories. Not haunted, because that would be spooky, and spooky is cool. A hoard of fragmented memories is constantly chasing me while I do my darndest to stay ahead. I’m not winning. They tackle me and beat me up most of the time. Hey! let’s see how many metaphors I can fit into one paragraph!

This is how it feels during Coping Season:

I can’t make my own art, so I have to steal it from other people. It’s all mixed up inside. There is no consistency. While one coping skill works one time, I have to try a different one the next. If nothing seems to help I often end up self-injuring.

Last month I decided to believe I wasn’t DID and hoped it would go away and now I’m trying to repair the damage that caused. In April and May I thought I had a good thing going. I had journals and cards for alters, daily internal meetings, and felt confident I could get through this process as long as I stayed focused.

I would very much like to be organized internally again, but I’m not sure how to begin. My therapist is terrific, but she feels our main focus should be coping until the kids get back into school. I agree with her for the most part, as the host, while others feel much differently.

Personalities are popping up, remembering, chatting, etc., and I’m trying to maintain some stability while the kids are home. I don’t want them to see me as broken, or as an explosive force, or whatever. I want them to know I love them and I am responsible and dependable.

“Coping Season” sucks.

This article from MSNBS bothers me. I’ve removed the link to it because I think my day is now shot after reading it and I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s day. Basically the study proves that having friends or a social network helps you to live longer, healthier lives. Duh. It’s recommendations are what triggered me. I’m not sure what to call this kind of trigger, so I’ll try *Trigger Warning – Control Issues*:

The study recommends that friends or other family members have more control (decisions, etc.) over someone’s medical care. The idea of some “friends” or other family members having control over my medical well-being is scary. I know that something like that will probably never be an implemented policy, but just knowing that this study is out there is going to bother me for days now.

I don’t have friends, but it’s a choice now. When we moved here I really tried, but as usual people took advantage of me. I joined local groups, volunteered at school, and worked at craft fairs. At each place I was given much of the work other people were getting paid for, asked to do the “dirty work”, and it was assumed that I would do whatever any other long-time resident didn’t feel like doing. In most situations, when I realized what was happening, I tried to get out very politely, without ruffling any feathers and simply refused any further invitations to be manipulated. On two occasions I had to resort to “Leave me the fuck alone!”, which actually didn’t work the first time I said that, hence the second time I said that. So far they have not returned to bother me again.

I’m done trying to make friends. I honestly don’t see myself having any deep, meaningful connections with anyone where I live now, and I rarely leave the house, so I doubt I will make friends elsewhere.

That doesn’t bother me. The thought of sharing part of my life, problems, or whatever with somebody else really makes me angry. The kids have lots of friends, and they are welcome here, and I’m on good terms with the parents. I’ve never restricted them in that way, and they never ask why their dad and I don’t go out with friends.

I think it might be because in the past when I thought I had a deep, meaningful relationship they left me. They may have left when I revealed a deep, dark secret, or when they found something better.

I used to feel that I wasn’t worth it, or good enough, or too messed up to have a close friend. Now it is my choice because I have no desire to share anything with anyone. I’m sure there is still that fear of abandonment, but I feel better that I’m not wasting my time trying to find someone who will want to be my friend no-strings-attached.

So, as far as around town here, I am very polite, respectful (I was to begin with, anyway. I swear people take advantage of you when you’re kind.), but I’m good at saying “No” regardless of other people’s feelings or expectations. No one except my pharmacist knows what might be going on in my life, and I no longer ask “How are you?” when I see someone I know. I don’t care. I don’t care if people think I’m eccentric or weird (which I’ve heard several times), or think that we should be participating in all the town activities, or that I don’t know certain people or families.

I have enough insecurities without some stupid study like this being around. I think it’s obvious that positive emotional relationships are healthy. What a waste of money.  Sorry for the rant, but that just really bothered me.

Monday I remembered what they said when they hurt me in college. I already had the flashbacks a few weeks ago, and the details have been filling in ever since. I saw the common room, the curtains, and their faces. Nothing.

Tuesday afternoon I drove past the house where he started the sexual abuse and saw that it had been torn down and a small parking lot was in its place. Nothing.

Later that afternoon I had a flashback. I remembered where I was, what happened, and why I know so much about ceilings and ductwork. I heard the voice, felt the pain and the confusion. Nothing.

I can’t bridge the memory with the emotions. It still seems like it happened to someone else, but intellectually I know it was me.

During therapy today we talked about that bridge and how I will eventually get there. I could feel the emotions trying to surface, but another voice broke in and said, “No time for that. We have to go to Gander Mountain and the grocery store after this. You can’t go there as a mess.”. I told her about that voice and she feels (so do I) that I’m protecting my kids more than myself. I don’t want them to see me broken. We agreed that until the kids start school again it may be very difficult to make that connection.

Now I’m home and it feels like a battle is raging inside. Some want to scream, some want to forget, and some are wondering what we are going to do with the ground beef for dinner. Cooking Mommy is winning.

An Unconscious Validation

August 3, 2010

Headaches and fatigue have been constant companions the past few days, and I’m still working with flashbacks and trusting my memories. My days drag on and on…..blah, blah…

So, I have this dream last night at a particular house where I was abused. I’m the age I am now, though. A group of people arrive downstairs to perform a ceremony while I’m upstairs nursing a new mommy groundhog and her three new babies to health. Mommy groundhog wasn’t ready for her babies, so I’m feeding them and putting on premie-sized diapers.

I know all of the people in the ceremony because they have all hurt me terribly in the past. I see the people with me upstairs take sides, either to stay with me or be downstairs.

Then I run out of diapers for the baby groundhogs. I grab my wallet and cell phone in one bag, and a cut-out pattern in the other to make my own diapers, and decide to go to a store I’ve never been to to buy what I need. I walk instead of drive and end up going through a long, old, scary tunnel (see the symbolism!), and I sing all the way through it.

At the store I hand over my bags at the bag check and the man tells me they don’t sell any of the items I need. I sign to get my bags back, but he keeps the one with my money, identity, and only way of communicating, and says they must keep them for at least one month unless I speak to Doris upstairs. Upstairs I go, up a long, dark, broken, old, black staircase to a poorly lit open office. I ask for Doris and they tell me she’ll be around after she takes care of more important things. I’m surrounded by dead bodies, killers, rapists, thieves, and they are all either younger or older than me.

I spot a well-dressed, pleasant-looking woman and assume it’s Doris. As I approach her she smiles. I say “Doris?”, and she nods her head and asks, “Are you the married one? Get out! You don’t belong here. Your bag will be waiting for you downstairs”, smiles again and walks away.

That’s it! It made soooo much sense, though. I know it only makes sense to me, but I felt validated by my unconscious self. I don’t know if that makes sense, either, but it feels good. This comes after days of these headaches and fatigue, and I only dreamt this after sleeping for 12 straight hours last night. It’s lucky I didn’t have any pressing engagements this morning (ha!).

It felt so good that I’m not hungry and I woke up with a lot of energy. However, a youngin’ is now harassing me for some computer time, so I’m off!

*something else I found out late last week – they tore down the house I lived in when my father first took advantage of me. not sure what to make of that.