Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a boring, uneventful week…..

My ex-husband is a fucking useless waste of life. His oxygen use should go to others who really need it, and the space his body takes up could be used for an extra set of shelves or something. Anyhoo… today may be the last day I ever have to deal with him in a “we have a child together” way. My plan of attack………….apathy. I’m picking up my son and his belongings because he’s moving back in with my family. He wanted to live with his dad a bit, which is great, and I’m glad he did because he learned what a jackass he really is. Good life lesson.

My husband won’t be there because he’s a feisty Italian, and the girls won’t be there because they don’t need to be. The greatest weapon in my Asshole Arsenal is apathy. Asshole tries to bait me again and again, but as long as I’m armed with Apathy, and use it well, it always protects me. If I don’t care then you can’t hurt me. If I don’t acknowledge your stupidity it can’t affect me. If I pretend you don’t exist I dehumanize you, take you for granted and you are nothing to me. I’ve fallen for his stupid games a couple of times but it’s okay. Apathy is my weapon and my defense.

I don’t feel comfortable using Apathy because it was used against me for over forty years. It’s hard to wield this mighty weapon, destroyer of self, self-confidence, and hope. It goes against everything I believe in – the value of life, the validation of existence, the importance of feeling important. It’s a cruel, wicked thing that can mean the difference between life worth living and not feeling worthy of life. Apathy is insidious. You can’t see it or touch it but it can put a hole right through your heart without leaving a mark.

I know that throughout most days Apathy means little, but Apathy constantly drilled into you day after day, and reinforced by the rest of your world time and time again………it’s like being pulverized into sand.

However….today I am not going to be hurt. Today I am not going to be put in a position where I am forced to do anything I don’t want to. Today I am not going to say anything I will regret. Today I will use Apathy in my defense to protect myself and my son.

I imagine that if I were being shot at and the assailant dropped their gun, I would pick up that weapon and defend myself to the death. Yet, to choose Apathy as my weapon, knowing how to use it and how it’s been used against me, knowing I need to use it….well, it feels so heavy, so burdensome, and so overkill.

Sometimes I need to fight like the enemy. And that is the most disturbing truth of all.

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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.

Chuggin’ along…

December 27, 2010

It has been very heartening to read how well, average, not-so-well, or okay many people managed the holidays. I feel it’s important to write it out, whether it is a good or bad or so-so experience. I don’t believe writing it out and/or reading others experiences just for comparison, but rather for inspiration and ideas. Certain times of the year are triggering, or just plain annoying, and reading about how people approach those times of year and deal with it help me feel a little less alone.

Over the past few days I’ve been debating writing about how it has been for me. It was not good. It is not good now, but I’m still here and my kids had a wonderful time. I tried really hard to see this time of year through their eyes and that almost helped. I never want them to associate the holidays with anything other than wonder and joy, so that’s my focus.

I will do whatever I need to do to move through these next couple of weeks intact. Hopefully I will look back and see how I can do things better next time.

Invisible

October 18, 2010

I am invisible. They don’t see me or hear me even if I raise my voice. They walk past me as if I were a ghost. I’ve cried around them, gotten hurt around them and there is no response. I’m standing still on the shore and dark, powerful waves of memories beat against my body one after another after another. I’m bleeding and nobody cares. When I’m invisible like this I don’t eat and I don’t sleep.

I’m going to be very quiet around them now and see if they notice. If they don’t notice I don’t know what I should do next.

Therapy is Thursday and I want to ask about these new memories I have as well as my new invisibility powers. This has me very confused. I feel much like I did growing up, and I don’t understand how this happened. There is a great, gnawing ache inside. This is weird.

ranting again

October 10, 2010

My brain has shut down the parts that held the English language beyond a fourth grade level. I can’t find the words I need to express myself and I sound like a stupid little girl.

I used to be the editor of the college’s feminist newsletter and I trained to be a government documents library technician (long title for someone who knows the Library of Congress’s system), and I trained as a pharmacy technician. Lots of long names in the pharmacy business. My majors  in college were social anthropology and German. Lots of long, interesting words there, too. Be damned if I can remember any of them.

I can’t find a language or words. There is no access to them. It’s like a big door is blocking me to those words.

Last night I had a dream. there was a large field with many people milling about at the Mental Health Picnic. I went to a counter to order 2 pizza slices, 2 tuna fish subs, and 2 club subs. The lady didn’t see me, so I was politely waiting to order. Another girl pushes me out of the way and barks her order and the woman immediately responds. I lose it on the girl, scream in her face, and push her. Then everyone at the picnic goes silent and they are staring at me. I profusely apologize to the girl and say that there was no reason for my behavior. She gets her order and I get mine and everyone gets back to having a good time.

No consideration for me whether I’m polite, whether I am respectful, whether I’m nice, etc.. But as soon as I step out of that character I get in trouble, I’m at fault, I’m in trouble, it’s my fault. Now no one can have a good time. I ruin it for everyone. I am so fucking tired of this!

There is nothing for me. If I die life goes on. of course it does. If I leave life goes on. If I stay and play nice-nice things go more smoothly.

I’m not self-centered or a narcissist. I just feel like I sacrifice, play nice, and give up what I want and need, or it’s taken and I don’t do anything about it. Why should I? It would probably make my life more difficult anyway, and it’s already difficult finding reasons to simply get through the day.

I couldn’t finish my degree because at the third college I attended because someone found me in a corner of the government documents bleeding from a hundred slices I’d made, and she quickly put me in my car and told me to go home. I wish she had gotten me to a hospital. Maybe someone could have helped me. I couldn’t finish at the first college I went to because of mental health issues and they gave me back to my father. I couldn’t finish at the second college I attended because of mental health issues so I eloped and ran to Texas.

If I raise my voice or become angry here at home it really frightens my kids, so I try to reason with them. I don’t hit and I’m lucky because I rarely need to take something away from them if they misbehave. They really are good kids. Not angels, but good.

I wish I could show you how I’m crying and pounding the desk while I’m typing. Even if I went to my therapist feeling this way I know I would not thrash around this way. I would be very polite and quiet and try to keep my voice even.

How do I write the way I really feel? I don’t communicate well.

My FIL is coming over in half-an-hour. I would like to tell him to fuck off because he is so annoying. Hopefully he won’t stay long.

Okay. Enough ranting.

poem

September 20, 2010

Not here, nor there
or anywhere

Up, up, up she goes

Silly girl
you can’t fly

So down, down, down
and a great big thud

Deep, deep, deep she tries
the dark, dark sees
and the dark knows

And the dark puts her
here or there
or anywhere

Where she is nobody knows

Respect your alters, part 2

September 1, 2010

So, Seroquel sucks. I’d rather continue to experience psychotic symptoms than deal with that crap (Hello shadow people whom I don’t recognize and voices just behind and to the right of me!).  The Seroquel allergic reaction sent me spinning into Nearly Unbearable Anxiety Land, but it felt like it was getting out of control in comparison to the swallowing of the one pill. This is how I have been feeling:

*potential medical trigger*

This past week I have been trying self-soothing, blah-blah-blah and I keep reminding myself that we must get it together before tomorrow because my husband is having his wisdom teeth removed. The more I remind myself, the worse the anxiety becomes. So, as I’m putting the groceries away this morning I say to myself, “What’s the problem? You went through the same thing 25 years ago!”. And that’s when the memories exploded. I was 19, my mother took me to the oral surgeon on the bus, the actual procedure was never explained to me, and when I walked into a nearly empty room with sharp instruments about, the technician made me sit in the chair and promptly strapped my arms down, shoved a needle in my arm and began counting, “100, 99, 98…”. It was terrifying. That poor 19 year-old has been trying to tell me all this time how it really felt for her that day.

I feel so much better now. I’m pretty calm, ready to take care of hubby and very hungry. It never occurred to me to dig deeper and understand why I’ve been so anxious and thinking I would end up in the hospital for a while with either a stroke, heart attack, or breakdown.

What happened after my wisdom teeth were removed was nearly as traumatic, but I can use those memories to give my family what I didn’t get when I needed it. Awww…..that’s almost poetic…but not quite……

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.