Thursday, June 28, 2007

Enough is Enough Already

I have enough professional training to know that when a child exhibits certain behaviors or characteristics, that one ought to do some investigation and further inquire into the possibility of sexual abuse. For years I've ignored the fact that I exhibited (still do to some extent) those signs. Signs that point to the fact that there is something there Pre-Toilet. Lately this fact has been coming up over and over and over again. Situationally as things at work strike a chord, posts I read on different boards, flashbacks and panic/triggers.

I tried to talk about them last night in counseling. Couldn't say it out loud of course (typical for me). So instead I went home and wrote it out. In so many ways it was worse that writing out my story. Because this was stuff I had done - maybe out of reaction to something done to me (of which I still have no memory). But it was my actions, behaviors, sayings, etc. So it's something I am extremely embarrassed, ashamed and terrified of. I feel awful, dirty, like a lowlife, disgusting. I panicked and dissociated the entire time I wrote it. But I knew I had too. I sent it to my T. On the one hand I didn't want her to read it. On the other hand I needed validation that the things I remembered were real causes for concern and I wasn't just overreacting. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) T validated that they were all "legitimate question marks."

I have only ever told one other person about all these things. She is an online friend. (Hi - if you are reading!). We've not met in real life. But we chat almost daily online. I've told her things I've never told anyone else. I feel safe talking with her. It doesn't make sense to me, with my trust issues, that I can trust someone so much that I've not met in real life. But she has experienced a lot of what I have. And I love her openness and honesty. She doesn't let me shy away from the hard stuff. And has a remarkable ability to push me to deal with things, without pressuring me beyond my comfort zone. I've written her some pretty awful stuff and so far (LOL) she hasn't run away screaming. That means so much to me.

So last night I wrote out everything - eyes closed, dissociated, never read it, free flow thinking, doesn't make a ton of sense writing. (I will not be posting it here). I emailed it to my T. I was so sick afterwards. I felt so much shame. I truly value T's opinions and trust her in this process. I care about what she thinks. I knew intellectually it would be okay. But I have so much shame about everything that I can't help but wonder why anyone would want to have anything to do with me after finding all this out.

Saw T today for a few moments. It was hard. To see her in person. To sit across from someone that knows my deepest secrets. Because I still feel sick over having written this out and discussed it with anyone. I still feel dirty and nasty and sick and ashamed. I dont know what to do and I'm really overwhelmed right now. How much more is there for me to deal with? I thought I was making progress. I know I have. I thought things were going well. I was ready to think about getting off meds. And now this. I can't deal with any more. How much is enough? When will these be over? How many more times do I have to claw my way up, just to be thrown down into the pit again? Maybe I should just stay in the pit this time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

TAG - I'm it - You're It

Yeah - It's my first game of online tag. I got tagged by Rindy. It's a great way to get to know others, and to explore blogs you might not otherwise go visit.

This is how it works. I write 5 things I dig about Jesus, tag 5 people, and they write, then tag 5 more. If you haven’t been tagged, join right in and leave your five in the comments…let’s see what you can come up with -

My five things: (as an aside, I am struggling with my faith right now and this was a great reminder of WHY I need to keep struggling and fighting - because I do "dig" Jesus and want a greater connection with Him)

1. He has totally changed the way I live life (trust me, there is a definite clear line between before Christ and after Christ in my life).
2. He understands me and knows what I mean even when the words don't come out right (as they so often don't).
3. He knows all about me, everything - and still loves me (that's truly amazing).
4. I "dig" the fact that He died for people as unworthy as me - when He, Himself is perfect in every way.
5. I love the fact that He is so forgiving - and gives me second chances (and third, and fourth and fifth..........).

The five people I tag:

So why do YOU dig Jesus?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What Happens if I'm not Fine?

What happens if I am not fine? If I am unable to function? If I admit, to myself and/or to others, what is really going on? If I quit playing the "I'm okay" game?

That sounds like a stupid question, but it has given me food for thought. I'm always fine. I've been down and out a bit following jaw surgery. Following the birth of my daughter I had some help. I've had other colleagues cover for me when I'm out sick or on vacation or otherwise not available. I really don't think so highly of myself as to think I'm irreplaceable. But I will not allow myself to think that I am unable or incapable of doing something.

I've always had a "I can do anything I set my mind too" mentality. The philosophy around my house wasn't "try your best," but rather "never let them see you sweat." My dad was a compulsive over-scheduler/over-achiever. His house was pristine - even the vacuum tracks ran the same way. My mom (after divorce) was the most unorganized, disheveled, mess that existed. Her house - well, let's just say forget about eating off the floor -- you probably don't want to eat anything prepared in that kitchen, even if served on a table. Filthy doesn't begin to describe things.

My sister and I both multi-task quite well. We laugh at how over-scheduled and over-organized we are. Our husbands refer to us as "anal" and "compulsive" with our color-coded calendars and filing systems. I went the route of education, job, provider, I can provide for myself financially, I don't need a man route. My sister is the nurturer, stay-at-home mom, active in her children's daily activities, room mom, etc. In some ways we are opposites. But in our commitment to our families and to never end up like our parents, we are the same.

My sister had a time when she was in the midst of dealing with our childhood "issues" where she went to stay at a "resort" (read hospital) for a few days. There was also the period of time where her health was so poor that she was forbidden to do anything and her driver's license was temporarily revoked. Believe it or not, life went on. Her house got a bit messy and her children missed some activities. There were far more take out meals and frozen entrees. But everyone survived and my Sister learned that she didn't have to do it all. This is a fact she reminds me of quite often.

I have this compulsive need to do it all. To me, success is having it all. I am just not sure at what cost that comes. I had a picture of myself with 3 children, happily married, big house, successful job, active in church, vacationing in nice places, private schools for kids and nice cars. For awhile I was on that path to success. I had (still have) a great job. Husband and I were able to move out of our apartment into a house sooner than we thought. We each bought new vehicles and ventured a bit further with travelling. We decided we were ready to start a family and 4 months later were pregnant with our daughter. She was born healthy and things were great. S...C...R...E...E...C...H Things came to a halt. I have no regrets at all about having my daughter, but throwing a child into an already hectic and overscheduled life, has resulted in chaos. My house is not pristine anymore. Home cooking has gone out the window. My car is always filled with trash and toys and misses it's weekly "baths." I don't know what happened but things are not in order any more.

I've adapted to life being more chaotic. The mess in my house and crumbs on the floor don't freak me out and send me into tailspins as often as they used too. Medication has helped (ha ha). I find myself relaxing in the evenings, instead of running around crazy trying to pick up and clean. In some respects, I've gone too far the other direction. I really could stand to sweep the floor a bit more often.

Despite this "progress," I still refuse to admit that I can't handle everything. I am proud that no one knows my struggle. I am proud that I have hidden it so well. What is that saying "pride goeth before a fall"? Watch out, I think I'm falling...

I read my morning devotion and the verse is from Jude 24 - "God is strong and can help you not to fall." The message talked about being on a great climb. The day we accept Christ as our Saviour, a rope is placed into our hand. Your steps are confident at first, but with the journey comes times of weariness, and with the height comes fear. We lose our footing, and for a moment that seems like forever, we tumble wildly. Then the rope tightens and the fall stops. He is strong; He is our guide; He keeps us from falling.

I want to stop falling. But I won't let Him take the rope. I won't give up my hold on it. So it is burning my hands as I slide down, down, down. I'm afraid to let go.

I don't want to acknowledge that I can't do it on my own. Actually I'm afraid to do it any other way. I had to do it all myself for so long. I don't know any other way. While knowing that it has, I don't want to admit my childhood and the abuse have had an effect on me. It's too powerful. Gives it too much credit. I don't want to admit that I'm not "fine" or "okay."

I'm not sure the point of all this rambling. Maybe it will make more sense later...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Collision of Personal and Professional

My professional persona is....well, professional. No one at works knows about my childhood. I've not told anyone why I have an appointment with "T" one day a week. It's just on my calendar, without any notation. No one knows about the panic attacks or all the medication I'm on. Any possible "evidence" of weakness in being the strong, professional one, I've blamed on my jaw issues. I dropped the lighting on the side of the building issue, for fear of someone discovering why I really don't like being alone on the side of a dark building. At work, I'm calm, cool and collected.

My personal persona is more complex. Very few people know the real me. The one that is a victim, trying to be a survivor, suffers from panic attacks, etc. My church friends think the reason we've waited so long to have baby #2 is because of all my jaw issues. That the reason I don't sing in the choir anymore is because my jaw doctor advised against it. Now that all the jaw surgeries are complete, that excuse is stale and I need a new one. Most people know the "me" I allow them to know. The fun me, but the "still in control" me.

At home, in therapy, online and with a very, very select real life friends, I let on what is happening. Sometimes. Rarely. These select me know the "not in control, often a mess, does not have it all together" me. If you're reading this blog, then you have had a really good glimpse at this side of me.

On rare occasions the personal and professional personas intersect. Since starting to deal with all this junk again, I've tried to limit my involvement in really nasty cases or where there is childhood sexual abuse. Not always possible, but I've done fairly well. Before I was on medication, I was involved in this one case. Probably the nastiest case I've ever handled. After four days of a trial, on one Friday afternoon, I had a panic attack. But I muddled through. And took extra precautions in the types of cases I've taken on. And managed to keep the professional mask in place for the most part.

This morning my worlds collided. With a huge bang. I am going to have to make a choice. Do I continue on in this matter, trying my best to be objective? Or do I back out. Continuing on is probably best for the overall case picture. Backing out is best for me personally. If I don't back out, can I handle it? I'm just not so sure. It's a matter I've been involved with for awhile. At the risk of sounding as if I'm bragging, I know this matter inside and out. There isn't anyway anyone else could get up to speed quick enough to handle things right now. And I'm not sure anyone else would take it on given it's current posture. So that leaves me. And I'm committed enough not to leave these people stranded. But doing this, means dealing with some nasty issues that are going to stomp all over my feet and any aura of objectivity I have. My worlds have collided and it's about to get really ugly.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Saddam Hussein --> Toilet

This has been a tough weekend. Friday I chatted with a friend online. We're both pretty stubborn. Amazingly, I can argue with her about why what happened is not her fault, and vice versa. But both of us struggle with relating it to ourselves. We talked about the "R" word and my post. It made for a tough time Friday.

Yesterday was not so great either. I was managing okay and we all went to a friend's for supper. She is a survivor just starting on her healing journey. We put the kids in the next room to play while she, her husband, my husband and I all watched a comedy. It was a good escape until the end. At the end, they showed a spoof with a man who looked like Saddam Hussein.

Ironically, Toilet and Saddam Hussein look a lot alike. Heavyset/thick with longish hair and a long beard liberally sprinkled with gray. My Sister and I both struggled during the trial of Hussein and the beginnings of the war in Iraq - back when Hussein's picture was all over the news all the time. I can't handle seeing him. Like Hussein is the epitome of evil to the world, Toilet is evil to me.

When I am having a rough time, one trigger can set off a whole avalanche of triggers. Seeing Hussein was one in the middle of a series. Then there was the waggling tongue spoof on the movie, then husband putting his hand on my shoulder from behind, husband wiggling his toes. Then the flashback visions started. Like a strobe light flashing in my head. I was nauseous and dizzy and just not doing well. Came home, took a xanax and hit the bed.

This morning was a bit better but as the day goes on, it's getting bad again. We're to go to a cousin's birthday party at a park. It's about 1 1/2 drive. It is the park where my husband and I first met. I hope I can nap on the drive there and relax enough to enjoy it. I need a break from all of this. I was trying to figure out why weekends are so tough and had assumed, all along, that it was because I was at home without work to distract me. Then I realized that, perhaps, it is because the weekends in the summer were the days when Toilet and I would go for drives to fetch/refill the beer keg.....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not doing so good

Was it just earlier this week I thought I was all well and good and could get off my medicine? I want that person back. I've not been doing well since Friday. Tons of flashbacks and triggers are everywhere. The panic attacks are horrid. I'm going to try to escape into sleep and pray for a better day tomorrow.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Carnival Against Child Abuse - One Year Anniversary

It's the One year Anniversary of the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse. Happy Birthday! I hope you will check it out.

The letter of the Day is R

(The first part of this post is Here.) Sometimes when I'm working on something or struggling with a particular though/topic, it seems like everything I do or read or hear is related. Almost as if I'm going to be inundated with that subject until I deal with it. Sure makes it hard to ignore things.

On AS awhile back, we had a topic chat with Dr. Patti Feuereisen who wrote Invisible Girls. Several of us decided we should read the book and discuss it online. Like an online book club. Somehow I was volunteered to lead it. Like most projects, I dived right in. I really have enjoyed the book.

I love books. When I get a new book, I have to smell it. I love the smell of new books. Then I love my book. Open it slowly, in the method taught to me by my college professor so that the spine isn't broken or creased. After that, all niceties are off. I write the date on the front cover. If I ever go back and re-read a book, I write the subsequent dates here too. When I read, I underline, highlight, fold pages and take notes in the margins. If I re-read the book, I read my notes and respond. It is interesting to re-read books and my notes and see how my perspective had changed. I also like to lend books. Some people are reluctant to write or mark up someone else's book. But I have a few people who humor me and will write their comments or mark their favorite sections. I like to share my favorite books and then read their comments. In a way it's like a book club, without the need for face to face discussion of personal stuff.

My Invisible Girls book is highly marked up with lots of pages folded. I'm preparing to start leading this discussion on July 1, so I now have sticky notes in the book too, with possible questions and fodders for discussion. Last night I was working on dividing up the book into sections for discussion. My book kept falling open to a particular page. Page 156. Chapter 10. One small paragraph, 3 sentences at the end of a section stuck there in the midst of a page.

"Many girls ask me if being forced into oral sex is rape. In my opinion, and in the opinion of other professionals, the answer is yes. While this might not hold up in a court of law because the legal definition may be more restrictive, any forced sexual entry is rape. That means if someone forces his penis into your mouth or forces anything into your vagina or anus, it is rape."

There's that R word again. I feel like I'm on Sesame Street and the letter of the day is R. It's everywhere lately. I keep finding different definitions of what "counts." Except for my state's legal definition, I fit into all of the. The state where it happened, a lot of other states, and everywhere else I've read. All the psychological books label it with the "R" designation. I really don't know what to do with this. I feel as if I am trying to struggle into a jacket that is far too big for me, but I can't figure out why I have this insane, intense need to wear the jacket. I feel like a fraud. I feel like I'm making far too big a deal out of this. Out of what happened in the first place; out of my loathing of this label; and out of my desire to reject it, while at the same time a need to accept it.

I don't doubt that what happened to me was bad. Or evil. Not anymore. Online posters will periodically say that what happened to them "wasn't all that bad" or that they "had it easier than so and so." With other people I have no problem telling them that they shouldn't compare. That it is all evil. With myself, I'm not so easy. I criticize myself for having such problems/issues when my story "isn't as bad as so and so." I think we can all think of ways that someone else had it worse, and ways that someone else may have had it better.

One day online several of us got into a discussion about why someone else's abuse was worse. We were trying to convince each other that their abuse was more horrid than our own. Debated whether stranger rape/abuse was worse than with someone you know or a family member. It was absurd. It's all evil in it's own way. Who is to judge what is worse or better.

{raising hand} I am. I judge. Not others, but myself. I hold up the legal standard and say it's not R***. I then hold up another legal standard and it is R***. I read books and hear friends say it "counts." But the part of me that minimized what happened for so long, and still minimizes it to some degree today, rejects the notion that what happened is significant enough or "bad enough" to be R***. People keep asking me if I've said it yet - the "I was ___ statement." No, I've not. I feel like that is a huge statement - a huge step. As was telling my story. Which, while I've done online, I've not done outloud.

Maybe I'm just pushing too hard. Maybe I don't really need to do all these things - say what happened out loud. Make that statement. Or.....maybe that is just wishful I don't have to face the hard stuff......

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It is NEVER a laughing matter

I'm still in a mad mood today. Luckily some idiot posters on another board gave me an outlet for my anger.

Background - last night an online friend on another board (let me assure you that I do really have real life friends too - LOL) posted about what happened to her at a retail shopping center last evening. She bent over to try on shoes. A strange man came up behind her and groped her from behind. Not an accidental thing by any means either. She immediately went to security and filed a report, but was understandably shaken. She is now wading her way through the criminal process.

Most of the comments on that board were supportive. A few people wrote about what they would have done (I would have kicked his ass; I would have chased after him) or told her what she should have done (you should have kicked him between the legs; you should have made a 'citizens arrest). Then there were those people who made comments about "I live in NYC. I think I must've been groped a bazillion times on the subway when I went to college." Some posters responded by saying, "I must've become so immune to the whole thing because I remember being annoyed my reading was interrupted " or "What's even worse is when I wasn't felt up, I was wondering why." Some of them said they were "just kidding."

I had to respond. I tried to hold my tongue-lashing, I really did.

My Response - This is totally not a joking matter. Neither is becoming immune to being "felt up" on the subway. Nothing makes me madder than to see sexual assault, sexual abuse or rape being made into a joke. It's simply not funny - not any time or any how. What the hell is wrong with society that we women get immune to these types of things? It's time to stop ignoring it and do SOMETHING. Yell, scream, step on his foot, knee him - something. We need to show our children especially that this type of conduct by men is not tolerated. Think about it - when the dirty old perve down the street feels up your daughter, are you going to want her to scream? Or just to stand there immune? It isn't okay for someone to do this to my child. And it isn't okay for someone to do it to me - in a store or on a subway.

I actually received a tongue lashing for my post. Some people thought I was criticizing anyone who laughed in the moment. I had to clarify that immediately. I would never judge anyone for how they reacted in that moment. Laughter can be a coping mechanism. I have way too many of my own unhealthy coping mechanisms to ever criticize anyone else for theirs. What I am criticizing is those who think that sexual assault is a joke or funny. Those who think it is "no big deal" or that society ought to just become "immune to it."

Comments and jokes like these are the reason so many of us draw up our knees and turn our back on society. The reason why so many incidents are not reported. And why people remain silent.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Old Habits Die Hard - (die already dammit)

Anger is an emotion I struggle with expressing. Usually I turn it inward. Or direct it toward a safe person (usually my husband). That is a pattern I am trying to change. I'm trying to learn to express anger in a "healthy" fashion, although I really have no idea what "healthy anger" looks like. For me, anything that doesn't involve injuring myself, is probably healthy at this stage. Right now, expressing anger involves a lot of foul words and not a whole lot of making sense (for those with sensitive ears, that is your warning). I also tend to argue with myself when I get angry, and the rationalization makes me even madder.

"Rational Self" made me go to the doctor today to follow up on my med levels and talk about my sleeping problems. I left frustrated, and with a prescription for Ambien. My trileptal levels are good. We talked about how I was doing. He asked how long I'd been feeling pretty good and I told him about 1 month (I've been on the trileptal 2 months now). Doc says the minimum time to be on the meds is 4-6 months and he'd like to see me go the six month range given that this is my second round on anti-depressants. Damn it. That means putting of trying for baby #2 another 3-5 months. Shit.

Rational Self recognizes this is the right thing to do. I need to be in a good place mentally before I try to add any more stress to my life. I know the doctor is right - I've only been "stable" for one month really. And the doctor doesn't even know about the cutting (oops?!) so I'm sure if he knew that, he'd really want me on the meds for the longer time period.

When I agreed to try this trileptal medicine, I was desperate for the panic to end. I told both my T and my doctor that I'd do it for three months. No one told me that trying it for "only" three months was not an option. I know I needed to do this - to get on these medicines. And I might not have been willing to start on them if I knew how long of a process this would be. So maybe my not knowing was a good thing. On the other hand, I hate not knowing. I want to know all the details up front so I can make a decision for myself. I know in my head that it was the right thing to do this, but damnit, I didn't want to commit to this long.

I went in today wanting some sleep meds and wanting to get the protocol for weaning off these meds. Had it all planned in my head of course. Start weaning next month after beach trip. Pregnant by end of year. Put of partnership 1 more year because of baby. Partner in 2009 after numbers are back up. On the track again after a slight detour. My best laid plans interrupted by a FREAKIN HUGE SPEED BUMP. Actually forget that -- I think my (crazy) train got totally derailed. The doctor wouldn't even give me the protocol for weaning off. Told me not to do it on my own or go cold turkey. Said we'd discuss it in Sept when I came back for another blood level. Damn doctor knows me too well and knows I'd start the weaning process on my own if I knew how.

I talked to my husband and asked him how he felt about the delay in baby #2. He's so unemotional. Says, "well I expected it" and "I'm not disappointed." What the hell? I'm disappointed. I tell him this and he gives me the "our time will come" and "we'll get there" and "time will go by quickly" and the worst "it's for the best." Who's best? Not mine. I know all the rational argument shit. I do not want to hear it. Not right now. I just am, want to be, need to be, MAD right now.

Damnittoallhell, these same issues keep re-surfacing. Why can't they just die already? I really don't like my body. I'm not talking about disliking my nose or hips or anything like that (although I really do not like those parts). It's more of an intense dislike of the physical body. My body betrayed me. During the abuse, it responded in ways I did not want it too. It dissociated. It just didn't do like I wanted. And now, again, it's not acting like it should. All these panic attacks and anxiety. Damn it, haven't I suffered enough? Why can't the abuse be enough? Why all this after-effect shit? I'm tired of it. I want my body to quit all this crap. Knock it off already.

The abuse has "stolen" so much of my childhood. And now it's consumed 18 months (that I'll admit to anyway) of my adult life as I've dealt with all this crap. I have accepted (albeit reluctantly) that fact. So why the hell do I have to keep letting it take more and more and more? I want my life back. I want my body back. In a new and improved format of course. Haven't I suffered enough? Isn't there some switch to be thrown or a button to be pushed that goes "presto chango - all done?" I want to be pregnant and happy and secure in my job. Content with life - enjoying life. Not fighting my way through every freakin second just to stay sane and on track and not carve up my own self. What the hell is wrong with me anyway?

I want to give up. Go up to whoever the hell is in charge of this game and say "You win - I give up. I can't fight any more." I feel like my abuser is sitting up on some pedestal saying "I win." I know rationally that isn't true. Frankly, he probably could care less about me at this point. But I'm so pissed that I've had to spend all this time and energy dealing with this abuse crap that he foisted one me. Damn him. A part of me says God is in charge and "giving up" is what I'm "supposed" to do. I don't know though - if that is true, then why can't this just be over already? Hello? God? Hello? I am tired of this. Haven't I suffered enough already? Can it be over already?

(Dammit Lynn, I need to borrow your shotgun - there are some issues and habits I want to blast)

Monday, June 18, 2007

After Silence T-Shirt and Message

I post frequently on the After Silence (AS) board. I've found invaluable support there and made some wonderful friends. AS supports itself by contributions from members, as well as by selling T-shirts and other products. I'd encourage you to check out their online Store. Some of their products say "I am not ashamed" or "this is what a survivor looks like." I wasn't quite ready to throw the "this is what a survivor looks like" statement across my chest. And not sure I can pull of the "I am not ashamed" statement convincingly enough. So I ordered the T-shirt you see at right. It says "After Silence" and in smaller print

I will save myself from blame
I will feel because I am worth it
I will know I am not alone.
I bought the shirt knowing I might never wear it. In fact, it is sitting in my drawer in pristine, folded condition. I told myself that I bought it to support the AS site. That was part of it. But really, I purchased it in hopes that someday I can wear it. I know I could put it on and, in answer to any questions I get, explain what I do for a living and that I'm supporting the cause. Also, the shirt really doesn't say what exactly After Silence is. So some people would just take it as an inspirational T-shirt. But to do those things, would be to minimize the importance of what happened. It would be to live under the veil of shame and guilt. It would be blaming myself...not feeling as if I'm worth it.....and staying inside myself - alone. It would mean remaining "IN" silence instead of being "AFTER" silence. In other words, the direct opposite of what AS hopes to achieve.
Some day I will wear that shirt. I'm determined. Hopefully my time will come before I'm too big to fit into that size! When I do wear it, it will be because I mean it. So if you see me coming in my new shirt, watch out! I'll be a changed woman.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Victory .... in an old, old body

It is 10 pm on Sunday here and I'll be going to bed soon. So I feel comfortable posting this now. I made it through an entire weekend SI-free. Can't remember the last time I've done that. It's a victory and a huge step. Saturday was easy. I didn't even think of SI until late at night and never felt the urge. Today was harder, but I made it. YIPPEE !!!!!!!

Last night a friend and I went to see a movie and had dinner together. Girls' Night Out. It was so nice to eat an entire meal in peace. The restaurant even seated us in such a fashion that there were no children in earshot. After dinner, my friend wanted to go for a drive. Like me, she struggles with not wanting to believe her past. To think of it all as a dream, while at the same time needing to know her memories are trustworthy. So she had decided to drive by the place where her story happened. I would not let her go alone. So we drove. Only seven or so miles away by car, but a lifetime of hurts are encompassed in that distance. The house was still there, although she says the carport is different. Two cars in the drive, which suggests he (the evil one) is still alive. And the abandoned old house where her story was written is still there. She had hoped it had fallen down. Even joked about throwing out a match. We turned around and drove back. Probably a twenty minute journey in all. Yet I know that twenty minutes will be with her for awhile yet.

Had a good Father's Day this morning. Woke up early and picked up donuts for my husband - his favorite. Sunday school was good. Church was okay until the sermon. Of course, the preacher talked about fathers. I was prepared for that. Popped a xanax as soon as that word came out. Then he started talking about reconciling with fathers and seeking them out. Seeking forgiveness and restoring relationships. I left the sanctuary and ran for the bathroom. Faintness won out over nausea but the xanax kicked in before I passed out completely. One good thing I've noticed about all these medications is that, while it doesn't stop the panic completely, it does significantly decrease the recovery time. In fifteen minutes I was composed enough to walk downstairs and help out in the nursery. Hubby went out and I chose napping over SI. Good choice. Later my daughter came in and we snuggled and napped together. That was sure nice.

This evening we had our huge week-end celebration for Vacation Bible school at a nearby pool. I learned that I'm far too old for many things. Going off the second high dive (still pretty high) and hurting my ear drum cured me of any notion of going off the super high one. I should have stopped there. Instead I jumped off the rocky area with all the kids. Maybe I should have paid more attention in physics class --- older (and heavier) bodies sink faster and harder. A 5'7" body jumping off a rock into a pool of water she assumes (and yes, it did make an A** out of me) to be ten feet deep, but which is really six feet deep......well, let's just say I felt the shock in my right heel all the way up every vertebrae of my spine and into my neck. I came up gasping and, after looking around to make sure no one noticed my idiotic move, crawled onto the edge of the pool and sat there. In two minutes I felt the same as I had felt the morning after my last car wreck. Which doesn't bode well for tomorrow morning..... In any event, husband played the "I told you so card" which didn't sit well. But he rubbed my back later so I'll forgive him! Urgent care was closed and I refuse to do the ER thing. So I will hang out until tomorrow and see what agony awaits. I'm pretty sure it's just a bad bruise on my heel. Chalk another one up for me. At this rate, I could write a book about all the stupid ways I've been hurt. I wonder if AFLAC has a limit on "idiot claims" before they drop me......

Mon morn update -ouch, groan. I'm way too old for this. I did make an appt with my chiropractor. At least someone will benefit from my stupidity....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

O what a Beautiful Morning..........

The window blinds are open as is the front door. Light fills the house. I can hear the birds chirping and my dog happily knawing at her bone. I've got all the windows open and a light breeze is blowing through. I can hear the wind chimes dancing in the breeze. I taste the strong delicious coffee I've made and I feel so relaxed and peaceful. It's amazing how twelve (yes I said 12) hours of sleep changes your perspective on things.

I'm deliberately ignoring the load of laundry in the wash, the dirt on the carpet, the fact that the weather says it will be 86 and I will need to shut the windows up and turn the air back on, the fact that my twelve hours of sleep is due to two xanax, and the huge packing project in the garage. For now, life is good.

Father's Day and Mother's Day are weekend long events at our house, starting on Friday evening. So yesterday, my Dear Husband (DH) went to daycare to have snack with our Dear Daughter (DD). He brought her home and I met them here after work. We went out to eat at a restaurant of DH's choosing. The meal was good. DD's throwing a huge fit was not so good. On the drive home as we loudly talked across DD's screaming and tried to ignore her, we realized that after a LONG week of Vacation Bible School and being up at least 1 hour past normal bedtime, that DD was entitled to be cranky. When we got home, we decided to let it all loose and play. Ignore the housework. So we roughhoused on the bed, tickled each other and played keep away with the new light-up ball DD had found. It was fun.

At 7 we decided to make up for lost sleep and put DD to bed early. Read her six books, including my favorite, "Snug in Mama's arms" and put her in bed. I went into our bedroom and DH was having his quiet time. So I picked up my devotion, made myself comfy and began to read. There is something comforting about praying in the same room as someone else. DH, who is much more "connected" to God than I am of late, was still praying when I finished. I just laid in bed and watched him. I felt a bit guilty observing his personal devotion time, but there is something special about watching him pray. He is so relaxed. I can feel that he is totally in tune with God. As I watched him, I realized just how fortunate I am to have such a husband. I know that I love my husband, but it's not common that I really, really, really feel it. I felt the love last night.

When DH finished praying, we both just laid on the bed and started talking. Now that's been a rare event in my house of late. I was sleepy and we both dozed off and on. But it was a comfortable silence, even if it was interrupted by DD needing things in the other room. DH & I were connected in our common goal of relaxing, chatting and making sure DD went to sleep. It reminded me of her infant years when we would both lie in bed, afraid to move or talk above a whisper, for fear of waking her up.

(TMI alert) I'll spare you the details (ha) but let's just say a 2 month hiatus was broken last night. I could say that it was the obligatory Father's Day thing, but that isn't exactly true. I had wondered if the subject would come up given the holiday but MUCH to DH's credit, it did not. And he has not been pushy or suggestive at all in many weeks. I did have to work pretty hard at times to stay in the "here and now." But it was nice. I did start to panic after when DH wanted to talk about things. He wanted to know if I had discussed "our intimacy issues in therapy." Uh no - I don't talk about that stuff, thank you very much.

Anyway, took 2 xanax - I knew I needed to get to sleep before the triggering feelings really kicked in. I slept from 9:30 last night until 9:30 this morning. A good solid sleep too. I laid in bed for another hour, did my Bible reading in bed, and finally got up. I don't think I've slept twelve hours straight since I was a teenager!

I actually chatted with my mother on IM this morning. I was feeling so good I decided to give it a shot. It was a nice conversation actually. We chit chatted about DD mostly. And even talked about maybe meeting 1/2 between our houses one Saturday morning for a few hours.

I've got a "date" with a wonderful girlfriend, George Clooney and movie theater popcorn at 4. We're going to see Ocean's 13. Now, Brad Pitt doesn't really do anything for me. But I've always thought George Clooney was really good looking. And movie theater popcorn with loads of butter is just awesome (yes, I know I'm not supposed to have it with braces, but oh well). I think we might even go out to dinner after - just us girls. DH will be home late tonight with DD - they are at his parent's because DH took his dad out to play golf.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to get up early and hit Krispy Kreme. DH loves glazed donuts. Then we'll have church. After church, DH wants to take the dog hiking. Not sure yet if he wants to go alone or as a family. If it is really going to be 93 degrees, I hope he wants to go alone. Tomorrow night is the Vacation Bible school pool party. DH wanted out of attendance but I asked him to go. I hope he will. I know it's Father's Day and he would rather do his own thing, but I'm not so sure about getting in a pool with church members. I do have a skirted bathing suit, but still.......

Anyway, I'm going to sit here a few more moments with my coffee and relax. Then I guess I'll get some lunch (what happened to breakfast time? Oh yeah, I slept through that!) and at least switch the laundry.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Triggers, Triggers Everywhere

Having my daughter jump into my bed, startling me out of a sound sleep. Then realizing that the alarm must have already gone off, husband left, I re-set the alarm and went back to sleep - yet I remember none of it.

Looking at the calendar and realizing that the bloating, weepiness and light cramping means my favorite (insert eyeroll here) time of month is coming soon. Knowing that my fingernails which I finally stopped picking at and have finally grown just a little will have to be filed off.

Driving down the road and having daughter point out - Mommy look at that man's really long beard. The man in the ball cap.

Husband asking how workout went yesterday, thus reminding me that I left because the man across from me freaked me out, and I couldn't handle all the people walking behind me.

Remembering that I was so exhausted yesterday that I fell asleep in my office chair, soundly for 20 minutes, anyone could have come in and noticed, and my back was to the door too. I never sit with my back to the door unless I am on red alert.

Realizing that while I wrote down that I was taking a xanax this morning, I then got a phone call. Now I can't remember if I actually took it or not. So I will spend hours panicking over whether I took it, and not wanting to take another because 2 will surely knock me out.

Knowing that Father's Day is this Sunday. Five years ago on Father's Day my father came back into my life briefly, when he and his wife temporarily separated. He walked out again when they reconciled.

Realizing it is only Thursday and I have another full day of this crap before the weekend.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Head v. Heart - and the 4 letter "R" word

For the prior post about this, see Here. I have been struggling with this 4 letter word since Sunday. I talked with the friend from the original conversation again last night. Haven't ever met her - but I feel like I know her and she knows me fairly well in an odd sort of way. We exchanged first names for the first time last night (LOL), but she knows more about my true thoughts and emotions than I let a lot of people know. I am thankful to have people like her in my life. Some people tiptoe around me (like my husband) and don't throw the hard stuff at me. I need people like her to make me face things I need to face, even if it is tough. Am I glad I have this knowledge now? Yes. Is it really difficult to deal with? Yes. Have I been able to say it yet? Nope. She asked me last night if I had done that yet - said I was ______. Nope, not yet. To do that would be to resolve the Head v. Heart battle raging inside me. And I haven't yet accepted it either........

Heart - This really hurts.

Head - Get over it. It's just a four letter label. Why the hell does it matter so much?

Heart - because it validates how I feel. It really was that bad.

Head - and it really wasn't R - not in your current state under it's definition and not where it happened - because they don't call it "R"

Heart - who cares what it is called? In the state where it happened, they treat it the same, regardless of the label slapped on it.

Head - You are the one hung up on the label, getting all bent out of shape because you have this new 4-letter label to contend with.

Heart - I don't want it to be "that bad." But then again I do want to know it was "that bad" and that it is okay to feel the way I do and be struggling the way that I am.

Head - your wishy-washyness is driving me crazy. Just figure out how you feel and be done with it already.

Heart - how I feel? I feel sick, nauseous, jittery, panicky, sad, confused, broken, shaky, ugly, dirty, ashamed, weak, guilty ----------- is that enough for you?

Head - I'm done -- escaping into "la la" dissociation land..........
Heart - I'm done -- escaping into numbness...........

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Carnival Against Sexual Violence - New addition

Happy One Year Anniversary to the Carnival Against Sexual Violence !! The latest issue is HERE. Please support this cause by checking out the latest edition.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It was "Bad Enough"

My "need to know" frequently leads to my finding out information I wish I hadn't have gone looking for. Last night an online friend and I were chatting. On a prior occasion she was saying that she felt her childhood abuse by a mom's boyfriend "didn't count" because it wasn't "as bad" as a future event where she was raped. I assured her that wasn't true. Last night she had read My Story and remembered my remark from our discussion where I said mine wasn't "that bad," comparatively speaking.

My friend told me, "Girl, you were raped." I just stared at the screen. She apparently read my silence correctly, and went on to say. "He penetrated you - it was rape. Digital penetration counts in most states." I was shocked. I told her I wasn't so sure that was true. Then I just changed the topic as her prior sentence had contained three Trigger Words (one of the twice) and I was panicking.

Being the legal "scholar" and needing to know if what she said was true, I went and researched it.

In my current state, there is a difference between "rape" and "sexual offenses." In my current state, what happened to me would be deemed 1st degree sexual offense. However, the state where this occurred, is much different. I'm not an expert in interpreting the laws of other states, but I think I am reading this correctly. In the state where this happened, the laws were re-written in 1980 and everything is referred to as "sexual assault."

An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:(1) The victim is less than 13 years old;

Sexual penetration" means vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or insertion of the hand, finger or object into the anus or vagina either by the actor or upon the actor's instruction. The depth of insertion shall not be relevant as to the question of commission of the crime.

Toilet was convicted of lewdness for acts relating to my sister. If I had pressed charges, he could have been convicted of aggravated sexual assault. Because there was more than one "act," he would have received a MINIMUM of five years active time. No ankle monitor option for him (which is what he received for lewdness.)

So a few things stand out to me - (1) I should have pressed charges. (2) the law (apparently in that state anyway) treats what happened to me just as seriously as rape (which I'm defining as intercourse). I'm not so sure what a rape victim would think of that, but from my perspective, that's intense.

Having this knowledge does not change what happened. But it has certainly affected me. I'm posting this without having had time to digest these facts. This has thrown me into a whirlwind of panic, and now, thankfully, numbness. I also feel validated. Like now maybe I can accept that what happened was bad and I do have a justifiable reason to have been affected and be going through all I've been through/am going through.

I'm conflicted. Part of me wants to ignore this knowledge - stuff it like I've stuffed so many other things. Part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops. "See, it was bad. I'm not crazy. I have an excuse - a reason for being as messed up as I am." A part of me wants to drive to my mother's house. Throw this information at Toilet and tell him that it doesn't matter what I said or didn't say. That he could have gone to jail. To yell at my mother and tell her that I have a legitimate reason for not "getting over it." Part of me wants to curl up and cry because it really was "that bad."

Friday, June 8, 2007

Disjointed Thoughts

A workbook that I worked through awhile back had me do this exercise where I had to free-write for 10 minutes about a topic, my thoughts or my feelings. It was like vomiting on paper. The thoughts were disjointed and not always cohesive. But at the end it was eye-opening as to what I was thinking. I was telling someone online that I felt like my head was encompassed in a tornado with all these thoughts swirling around. She suggested I do that very exercise to get these thoughts out and then see if I can find an overriding theme. If not, I've at least gotten them out. So it's quiet here and I've set the timer. Ready, set, (deep breath) go........

- I am worried about what will come out. People are actually reading this now. Some people I know in real life are reading this. What if they read something and don't like me anymore - or think I am crazy? I mean I feel crazy. But what if they really think I'm crazy. I'm ashamed of some of my thoughts. Fearful about people realizing how dark and ugly my thoughts really are.

- It's been 5 days since I cut last. The urge today is horrible. It's been tough for 2 days now. Usually I can resist 2 days before I can't resist any longer. I just got an email memo that 3 of the partners are out all day. I know 2 more will leave early because it's Friday. I know one is playing golf this afternoon. So I can easily leave early. But I know I should not go home. I need to go home and clean my house. I need to go shopping. If I go home though and am alone, I know it will be harder, if not impossible, to resist cutting. I don't want to be at work, but I know what will happen if I go home. I want to cut. I've been in this downward spiral of depression and darkness for a few days now. Cutting with break it. I hate that it is the only thing that does that. I can use the rubber band or ice to keep from cutting. But they don't work to bring me out of the darkness.

- I really need a hug today. I needed one last night and came really, really close to asking my husband for one last night. But I backed off at the last minute. Why did I do that? Someone joked the other night about whether Husband and I had figured out the whole kissing with braces thing. We laughed it off. Then I realized that it had been about 1 1/2 months since I got braces and we've never tried to figure it out. That makes me sad. I wish I had a friend I could go up to and just ask for a hug and get one. My daughter gave me the best hug last night but I need someone my age or older. It's just different that way. What I'd really like is a mother's lap to sit in. But that is totally unrealistic. So I'd settle for a hug. I think a hug would be nice.

- At least I was smart enough to wear bracelets today. They will hide the red marks on my wrist from snapping this rubber band. I've seen people look. No one has commented (except T). I try to read peoples' eyes when they look - to see what they are thinking. Judging me? Pitying me? Condemning me? I want to hide my wrist, while at the same time drop my pants and say, "stop staring. It could be worse."

- When will I learn to apply things to my own life? I did my Bible reading last night about fighting the good fight. About God sometimes rescuing us from battles. Other times, equipping us to fight. Like David - God was there with him during the fight. I immediately thought that I needed to email that to one of our church members who is serving in Iraq now. Never could figure out how to apply it to my life. Why do I think I am not worthy enough?

- I chatted with a friend via IM last night. She told me her story. First time she's said it at all. I'm so proud of her. It was very hard for me to sit through, but I wouldn't have dreamed of backing out on her. She kept asking me if I was 'okay' and I said yes. I knew she needed to tell it. I was okay in the moment. (Well I dissociated some....and panicked some). Not so okay today. The things her abuser did and said are very similar to mine. Actually that's why she chose to talk to me. She had read my story and knew I could relate. Some things she said caused "flashes" in my head that I am trying to ignore. I can't deal with anything like that today.

- Why did I just tell my assistant to book a replacement appointment for the one that cancelled this morning. Why didn't I take advantage of the break to go to the park and just cry?

- Shouldn't have had the caffeinated coffee this morning. Now the room is spinning. Or maybe it is the panic that is looming about. Setting in because I'm being so open and honest on here and not editing my thoughts.......... (ding) time is up. Now to hit "send" without editing.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I Killed Her (Trust)

Someone on my AS board posted about having a tough time responding to what I suspect was a somewhat critical or questioning email from a work superior. She brought up with her T and was given a homework assignment — to think about "why she didn’t trust herself?" It prompted some discussion and I began thinking about how I would answer that question for myself.

It’s far easier to reflect on why I don’t trust other people. That answer is pretty obvious, given my background. Some of that answer intertwines with why I do not trust myself.

Like the original poster, I am overly critical of myself. If I get summoned to a partner’s office, I assume the worst. When I got into a heated discussion with a partner about parking lot lighting, I took it really hard. It threw me into a panic. Today someone wanted to vent to me about one of my colleagues. I was very panicky because I felt conflicted and in the middle of things.

My line of work is based on conflict. I do fine dealing with conflict of others most of the time. When it is directed toward me though, or involves me, I get panicky. I always assume the worst about myself. I overanalyze every conversation, action and event. I repeatedly plan out what I will do and how I will react.

The original poster on AS said, "It wasn't who the email was from that triggered me. It was the inaccuracy of the information that she was given and was asking about in the email. I was afraid she wouldn't believe me, over the members of her cabinet. WHY? Because my mother's denial of what happened to me and denial of the right to have the feelings I had, were so consistent, so intense."

I can relate to that. My mom didn’t truly believe my disclosure until Toilet confirmed it. To this day, I don’t know exactly what he confirmed, but given her subsequent comments, I don’t think it was the full extent of what happened. My mom’s version of what occurred was "NO BIG DEAL." His constant exposure - NO BIG DEAL. His fondling me - NO BIG DEAL. His comments and pornography addiction - NO BIG DEAL. She told everyone that. Told me it repeatedly. Told me to "Forget about it." I began to question myself. Was it really such a big deal? Was I making a mountain out of molehill? Was I just being a prude? Was I really overreacting?

Mom always reminded me of all the good things Toilet did. How nice he was. That he bought me things. That he stood up and protected me against my Dad. When my Dad stopped all contact, she reminded me that Toilet had stood by us. She referred to us as a family. I slowly began to accept her line of reasoning. I began to refer to him by his first name. I referred to he and my mom collectively as "my parents." Many people assumed he was my biological father.

Little thoughts would pop up in the back of my head - questioning why I was doing this. At one point, I was involved with a child abuse case. Thoughts would pop in my head about the similarities of this child’s life and mine. When those things happened, I shoved them aside. Told myself it was NO BIG DEAL. Made that part of myself die. Many people refer to this part of themselves as the "inner child." My inner child is dead. I killed her. It was a slow death. Painful too. I killed her by squashing her spirit and believing my mom’s lie.

The reason why I can’t trust myself or believe in myself is because I betrayed my Inner Child and killed her. I did anything, including believing what happened was NO BIG DEAL, just so I could survive. Even when I escaped from home, I continued to believe the lie. It never occurred to me that I could disbelieve that then. Thus began an inner battle between a teeny tiny part of me that wanted to, and needed to, overcome that lie - versus the big part of me that had accepted that it was NO BIG DEAL and that I needed to just let it go. I didn’t trust myself. How could I? I couldn’t even figure out internally whether something had happened that was serious or really NO BIG DEAL. After all, I had killed my Inner Child by believing a total lie and discounting what I knew was really real. I began to rely on what others perceived as reality, including Toilet and my Mom.
I continue to doubt myself. My memories are so fuzzy, I can’t trust those. I have trouble remembering what I did just one day ago. I can’t keep my imagined reality and real reality straight. Even when I have "proof" in front of me, I continue to doubt. I have a skewed sense of who I really am. I don’t feel like others see me. I don’t feel like the respected professionals that others see.

When there is a confrontation or question about something I’ve done or said, I automatically believe the worst about myself. I assume that it is my fault and that I am to blame. When someone (usually my husband) tries to point out that the other persons involved may bear some responsibility, I will find myself defending the other persons.

In summary, I do not trust other people. Except that when it comes to other people versus me, I trust them over myself. So, now that I’ve identified the issue, what do I do about it?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Life In General - just an update

Sometimes people will email me and ask for an update on something I posted here awhile back, or just to say Hi. I figured it might be time to tie up some loose ends. Besides, I'm feeling apathetic today (how's that for a new emotion word!) and too tired to go off on some intellectual diatribe.

Jaw - done with all the surgeries. Just wearing clear braces up top now and will get bottom ones at some point. I had a bracket break loose this morning so I called and they worked me right in. I took my xanax in advance and headed over. I survived. Rewarded myself with a frappucino from Starbucks! I did ask about a mouthguard while I was there - I've been clenching my jaw really badly lately and don't need to aggravate the TMJ or undo all the work that has been done. Because my teeth are shifting with the braces, and because I have the braces on, I can't use the "snap to fit my teeth" kind of guard. So they gave me general sports-type mouth guard. It will prevent my from grinding my teeth or harming my teeth if I clench, but will not actually prevent me from clenching my mouth. So we'll have to see how that works. That is, if I can actually wear it. I tried it in and because it doesn't snap over my teeth tightly (like my old one did), it really feels bulky and triggers my overly sensitive gag reflex. I asked about the "boil to fit your teeth" type and they said no because my teeth need to be able to freely move and adjust. So we'll see how this works for now.

Work - I have a new assistant who is working out wonderfully. She is so on top of things. I'm getting much more done and am much more organized. I have to play catch-up still from where I got behind. I'm still having trouble working up enough energy to focus and really care about work. But it is getting a bit better.

Home - Husband is good. We still have our squabbles but we're plugging along. We decided (well he did) to do a Bible study together this summer. I got to pick the topic so I picked a devotional based on writings of CS Lewis. We've both been wanting to read some of his works, but find it a tough read. So we're going to tackle it together. Daughter is wonderful, of course. She is my reason to get up on those mornings when I just want to bury my head under the covers. Last night I didn't get home until she was in bed. I went in to pull the covers up and kiss her anyway. She woke up and seemed a bit dazed. Then she blinked and realized it was me. The biggest smile came over her face. She reached out, pulled me down for a hug, moved her head onto my lap and said "Mommy, hold me awhile." So I held her and stroked her hair and told her how much I loved her. Prayed over her and just sat there a bit. Those are the moments I treasure. Those are the moments that keep the bridge columns from winning.

SI, Abuse and other "Issues" - still plugging along. Snapping a rubber band works to keep the minor urges away -- although it was pointed out to me yesterday that it leaves big red welts on my wrist. Oops. I honestly hadn't realized. I'm going to have to watch that. Red welts, while they fade quickly, are more noticeable than the cuts on my legs which I hide with clothes. Holding ice seems to work too - especially putting it on my stomach and neck. I'm limiting the actually cutting to about once a week (and moving it to places hidden by summer clothes). And while my brain tells me to just do it already because it releases the tension so immediately and easily, so far I'm not listening, and am trying to fight the urges.

Faith - I am doing really well with having a quiet time. I bought this book that is real small. It has 1 paragraph readings that are written as if God is writing a letter to his daughters. He refers to His daughters as "princesses." There is a verse that goes with it. I've been taking that verse and reading it, along with the chapter it is contained in. Then trying to reflect on it. I still get SO easily distracted when praying. It's like my brain shuts down. Especially when I try to pray about serious (feeling-type) stuff. But I'm sticking with it. I still don't feel "connected" to God. And there are still serious trust issues. But as I'm reminded often, this is a process (albeit a long one).

Exercise and Health - Having a bit of trouble sleeping. Which makes for a long day. But on the other hand, it makes it easy to get up at the first sound of the alarm clock, rather than hitting snooze. I mean why not get up if you're already awake. So I've been getting to the gym earlier and having longer and harder workouts. I feel good after a hard workout. On the other hand, my eating habits are horrid and I've gained 15 lbs and am up 3 sizes. So I have one (and only one) pair of shorts (besides exercise elastic waistband shorts) that fit. Luckily they are somewhat long and a neutral navy color so I can wear them often. And fortunately capris are in and I have a few pairs of those that fit. However, the beach trip is one month away and it would be nice to wear shorts there.

So, that's it for the updates. In the immortal words of Porky Pig -- "That's all folks!"

I'm NOT okay

There's a song I like that has the lyrics "I'm not allright. I'm broken inside." I feel that way right now. Why is it that when people say "hey how are you" that I just instinctively respond "I'm okay" or "I'm good" or "fine, how are you?" Of course, most people are being polite and really don't to know how you are. Can you imagine if I actually said, "well, the bridge columns looked really good today -- how are you?"

On the AS chat, I've gotten a bit better about not just saying "okay" in response to "how are you." I'll actually say "bleh" or "not so good" or sometimes even say "pass" in response to the question. In real life though, you're most likely going to hear an "okay" from me. That seems to be my worse possible answer in real life.

I wasn't allowed to be "not okay" growing up. I had to have it all together. I don't know how to be "not okay" now. I'm scared to be "not okay." Scared of falling apart and not getting it back together. Scared to let anyone know I don't have it together. Scared of being vulnerable in front of someone -- enough to let them know I'm not okay.

I'm trying to learn new words for emotions and figure out how to label these things I'm feeling. Beyond just "sad, glad, okay, not okay." I think right now I'm melancholy (how's that for a big word), anxious, wound up, sad, depressed and just plain NOT okay......

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Random Encounters

Lynn's post on her blog, Spilling Ink in Public about Random Encounters reminded me of a random encounter I had that touched me.

I had to go to the dentist while in law school. I was a broke student who was easily triggered by dentists. I waited until the pain was unmanageable before going. I went in and warned the dentist that I really didn't like having dental work done. He was so nice. He was an older gentleman - old enough to be my father. He talked to me throughout the process. When he finished his exam, he told me things were worse than he initially thought. I needed a big filling.

After the talk about what all was involved, of course I needed to know about costs. He said it depended on how deep the filling would be and how many shots of Novocaine I needed. I told him to keep it minimized. Here I am, a huge sissy about dentists and actually asking him to go easy on the pain meds.

He filled the tooth with little discomfort to me. I thanked him and went out to pay. The receptionist smiled and told me there was a zero balance. She said that the dentist had said that he knew I was a student and had no money. He wanted to help me out. All he asked is that someday when I was in practice that I return the favor.

I have already returned the favor once. I recounted the story and asked the person I helped to pass it on. I intend to do it again as I can. It is such a good feeling to know that this stranger cared enough to help me. And I want others to feel the same way.

Temper Tantrum

Pity Party - table for one...unless anyone else wants to join me? Never mind, forget it. I can't even work up enough energy for a proper pity party. Or a temper tantrum for that matter. I am having one of those "don't want to deal with anything, no energy to work, just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head and hide" days. Only that won't work because my stupid mind doesn't necessarily shut off just because it's dark and the covers are over my head.

My jaw hurts because every moment I am not consciously thinking about it, I have tensed it and am clenching my jaw. I need to call the jaw doc about something to stop me from doing it. I know he can come up with something for night time, but I don't know what to do about the daytime.

I'm depressed because none of my clothes fit. I worked so hard to get back down to my goal weight and start working out. I looked pretty decent. Now I'm up 15 pounds and 3 sizes. I have no summer clothes. Only one pair of shorts. Really though, it's okay because my legs are so messed up I wouldn't want to wear most of my shorts.

Doctor's office called and said med levels were a bit low based on blood work, but to stay on current level and test again in 1 month. Uh, that's great, but you have no idea how I'm doing on it. You haven't called to follow up. I don't know what to do about the med levels and frankly I'm too apathetic at the moment to care.

Husband and I bickered again tonight. He's irritated because I'm "pushing him away." Because I get irritated when he stands in a doorway blocking it, push him away, make faces when he is wiggling his toes or eating. Same issue, different day.

Work is there. I get bursts of energy on occasion. But mostly I just sit and stare. I was always known for being so prompt. Not anymore. I have a handful of cases I keep up with. The rest are collecting dust on my desk. I just don't have enough energy to deal with it.

I can't work up the energy to care about much these days. Not even life in general. Everyone tells me I have to keep moving forward.....I've come so far....keep fighting. They just don't understand. It takes every ounce of energy to get up in the morning. I am tired. I don't want to do anything anymore. I just want to curl up and disappear. If only it were that simple....

Monday, June 4, 2007

Watch Out for Rolling Heads (not mine this time)

I am so tired. Despite getting 7-8 hours sleep Friday and Saturday night, and napping Saturday for about 45 minutes and Sunday for about 1 hour, I'm exhausted. I was so jumpy last night. I took a xanax about 9 and it calmed me down but didn't make me sleepy. I finally went into bed at midnight. Hubby was all over the bed. Wouldn't stay on his side. Kept tossing and turning. Kept touching me. At 2 am I went to the couch. Finally dozed a bit until Daughter woke up screaming at 5:30 am. Her nose "was bleeding" (which is what she claims any time she has a runny nose). I fixed her up and decided to just hit the gym.

I have been praying for a long time that Husband would step up to the plate and take more responsibility for our relationship and family. He's been attending this Bible study for seven years now and his knowledge of the Bible has increased tremendously. He is also much more secure and self-confident about his knowledge and speaking up. Even so far as to teach Sunday School. It's been a good change.

Around the house though, and in our relationship, he still refuses to step up to the plate. When he does, he goes way too far. He doesn't want to take responsibility for big decisions. Just wants to "exert his authority" over little things.

We had a big discussion about pine straw versus mulch for around the house. We both gave our points and he said "I'm going to make a decision as head of the household and we are using pine straw." I bit my tongue and said "okay." End result - pine straw in back yard. Front yard remains undone. And my daughter learned a new curse word when I walked from the back door to her pool and got a huge splinter of sharp pine straw in my foot.

Yesterday we had a disagreement about finances. Hubby mentioned that I probably should wait on buying a new bathing suit because money was tight until he got paid. Yet, he suggested we all drive 45 minutes to a hunting store for some "family time." He got huffy when I called him on the gas prices issue. So we did end going to the mall where I did find a suit (on sale no less). Later I mentioned going home and getting Daughter some supper and to bed. Hubby wants to debate for 15 minutes about whether we should eat at the food court in the mall or not. Now I wasn't hungry and didn't plan on eating so I didn't care. Was not participating in the discussion. So he argued with himself. And says, "well as head of household, I ought to set a good example and not be buying food all the time." (Direct dig on my coffee addiction and the fact that when I'm gone from the office all day, I do eat out). After changing his mind several times, he decides we can go eat at the food court.

I want to encourage Hubby to take more of a position in making decisions. To take some of the stress off of me. However, I need him to do it with important things - like making Daughter mind and not chase after me in the dressing room. Like enforcing the "I told you no books tonight" rule with Daughter, which actually requires him to go in and put her back in bed several times, rather than take the easy way out and just give in. To check for himself whether or not the second half of our vacation deposit is due or has been paid, instead of having me (who does not pay the bills) do it. To leave the file cabinet alone when I ask you too, knowing I am the one who gets tax stuff together and has it organized how I need it. And most of all, to respect my boundaries and keep your blasted feet on your side of the bed. And for the millionth time, do NOT come up behind me to snuggle. Because if you do it again, ...........I'm going to knock your head right off your household.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

When my Rights and His Rights Collide

It has been a huge struggle all weekend not to SI. I was doing fairly well. Today was Sunday which means Church. Sometimes that is a tough time for me -- all that talk of emotions and stuff. It was okay today - a bit crowded but I had an end seat so I was okay. I got home and was able to take a nap for 2 hours. That helped bring my panic/anxiety down to a manageable level. When I woke up, I talked Hubby into getting out of the house. I knew it was best for me to get out for awhile.

We decided to go to the mall so I could get a new bathing suit. I've put on quite a bit of weight and none of my clothes or bathing suits fit. And...well....I wanted one with a skirt bottom that will cover my legs up a bit better. So we all headed to the mall.

We are trying to teach my Daughter not to interrupt and to wait her turn before talking. She's doing pretty good for her age. Says "excuse me" and can wait a short time before talking. But not real long. She's still young. Hubby gets into these long winded stories and then gets mad when Daughter can't wait to speak. So he talks over her. And she talks louder. It's like having two toddlers. I try to stay out of that battle. But they just get louder and louder - both vying for my attention and I just need them to go away for awhile.

I told Hubby that I needed him to go to watch our daughter while I tried on suits. Lately, Daughter has taken to running out in the midst of my trying on clothes or using a public bathroom. Not exactly in a position where I can easily run out after her. Instead of watching her, Hubby lets her run back and forth into the dressing room. Where she bangs on the door, walks in and out, peers in the vented doorway. Ugh. A bit triggering when I'm standing there half-dressed. But I get over it. It's my daughter and I try to let it go for her. But why can't he take charge?

So I find a suit that works. And we go to leave. Hubby starts saying how good the suit looks and it shows a lot of cleavage - first thing he noted. How I "looked so hot and everyone will be staring." I ask him to stop. He says "what? Am I not supposed to notice?" I tell him just to quit talking about it. He says, "Well maybe you should get another suit if you don't want people looking." We had this whole conversation about how I didn't appreciate his comments at all - but especially in front of my Daughter and especially not in public. He gets all huffy because "can't he make a comment about his own wife?"

On the way home he is trying to ask all sorts of questions and push me to talk. He had his counseling session this past week and he gets pushy for me to open up afterwards. I try to be a bit more open but then he tries to "fix me" and tell me why things shouldn't trigger me. Tonight, Cold Case was on and it was a child murder case. He asked if I needed to shut it off and I said, No, I was okay. So then he tries to argue about how come that doesn't trigger me but other things do.

I've repeatedly told him things that trigger me - chomping food, chomping gum, wiggling toes. He won't stop. He says it is automatic. But when I look/glare at him, he gets all defensive. "What, why are you glaring?" And then he says, "well sorry. I can't help it." If I ask him to please cover his feet, he gets huffy. Then wants to dissect why I am feeling the way I am.

What happens when his rights and mine collide? When I need more? When I need an extra nap but he hasn't had one. When I need him to put Daughter to bed but he did it last night? When I need him to put a blanket over his big, stupid feet and he won't stop moving them? UGH.