Tuesday, July 3, 2007

One of "Those" People

(disclaimer - I am only talking about me here. Just Me. Not passing judgment on anyone else except myself.)

I guess I'm one of "Those" people now. The crazy ones. The one that blanks out frequently and then startles when their friends snap their fingers in front of their faces. The one that has those weird marks on her legs. The stupid one that cut her wrist instead of being content with cutting up her legs. The one who can't be satisfied with the memories she does have, but has to go digging new ones up. The one who is so screwed up that she can't figure out what memories are real and what are not. The one who has panic attacks over the littlest things. The one who can't enjoy or laugh at a stupid little joke but panics instead. The one who freaks out when her completely innocent, adorable daughter hugs her from behind. The one who freaks out when her wonderfully, fabulously, patient husband rolls over in bed and touches her, even on accident. The one who has to dig up her past and try to make sense out of memories and events that have lay perfectly dormant and non-threatening for years. The one who can't go anywhere without having child abuse issues thrown in her face - all the time anymore at work. What the hell is wrong with society? Is there not any custody case where abuse is not a factor anymore?

I'm the one that hears voices in my head. Battling back and forth. One saying I'm an idiot, making this all up, crazy, lunatic, out for attention, stupid, shameful, dirty, deserved it, and all those other words. The other saying that it's okay and I'll get through this and to just hang in there.

You know those people that just seem crazy? They have all those problems and issues and always seem to be in a crisis? The ones no one really wants to talk to or be around for fear of being sucked in. Yeah, that's me now. Except I don't tell anyone about my issues/problems. Because I know better. I know what happened in childhood when I told. I know what happened when I tried to talk to friends in middle school/high school. I was the weird one with the weird family. The one that everyone thought was odd because I couldn't keep the stories straight about why I couldn't join certain clubs, do certain activities, have people over to my house. The one that was seen as odd for not remember what version of what half-trust I had told to what person on what occasion. I was seen as a liar. I was seen as out for attention. So I just keep being the professional helpful one that helps others deal with their issues, while I ignore mine. I try to play the "I'm okay" or "it's nothing" game.

When I was about 12 or 13 I had horrible cramps. Took some ibuprofen. Then went to an activity where I had to run a mile and try to make it under 8 minutes. Pushed myself hard. Immediately before the event I took some more ibuprofen. Then couldn't remember when I had taken it so took more. Counting back later, it appeared I had taken about 12 or so. Got extremely sick. No one believed I didn't do it on purpose. Mom punished me and degraded me. No doctor call or hospital visit for me. Just shoved me in the car, drove me home, sent me to bed, and told me to quit it. Years later, when my sister actually took pills on purpose with the intent to commit suicide, Mom punished her and yelled about the hospital bills. That's all Mom cared about - the bills.

I had my suicide attempts later. But I kept them secret. Didn't tell anyone. I never wanted to be accused of doing it for attention. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on the day) I didn't succeed. I get mad when people think that SI is a suicide attempt. It's not. I have never thought of it that way. Never ever done it with that intent. For me it relieves the pain or the numbness, depending on the day and time. It is as if I can cut the emotional pain out and replace it with physical pain. I know how to handle physical pain.

I don't want people's pity. I don't want their sideways looks like "there goes the crazy one."

My husband tells me to just talk about it. He doesn't understand that I can't. That I want to. That I open my mouth and there is stuttering and gagging and nothing comes out. I KNOW I need to talk. I need to LET GO and give up this tight rein on my emotions. I KNOW I need to let God in on this process. I KNOW I need to stop trying to restrict the memories and block them. I KNOW I need to stop SI-ing and develop better coping mechanism. But I don't know HOW. No one has an answer for that. The "how" part. Other than to "just do it." Yeah, as if it were that easy.....


Lynn said...

Here's one part of 'how'. First recognize that the negative and critical voice was put in your head by your mother. "You're making too much of this." Does that sound familiar? That voice is yours to tame and incorporate now. You have to take responsibility for it. Can you rephrase what it says and then answer it with compassion for yourself? Perhaps instead of saying, "Just stop it," the voice could say, "It's too bad that this is happening." Rerun what it says in your head. You could then say, "Yes, it is. This is happening and I have to work through it."

Do you still have contact with your mother, Enola? Are you still making things okay for her at your own expense? What gives her the right to decide that you are making too much of things? She doesn't know jack. She doesn't know because she can't. She's too busy protecting herself. You don't need her anymore. She wasn't there even when you did!! I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I care about you, Enola. If you need to delete my comment, there will be no hard feelings at all. I respect your right to protect yourself in whatever way you need to right now.

I hope you can stop beating up on yourself. Want to know how I did it? I'm not angry with myself anymore. I refuse to say bad shit about myself. I have taken the anger and the disgust and the loathing and put it exactly where it belongs -- with the abusers and with those who lie and minimize to protect themselves and to protect the abusers. Screw them!! Up theirs!! I didn't do this to myself. They did it. I owe them nothing. Not one damn thing.

There comes a time when you have to accept yourself instead of chopping yourself up into pieces, Enola. THAT would really make them happy, wouldn't it? To see you divided against yourself? Don't give the SOB's the satisfaction. YOU are YOU, and that's a good thing.

I wish I had good, experienced advice about the memories, but I'll give you what I have. EVERYONE -- I don't give one stinking shit who they are -- has things they can't remember. You are going to need some self-love and compassion to deal with memories, Enola. Start there. I don't remember, either. I'm starting to come to a point where I see that I might end up having to live with not having proof or details. If that happens, I have this -- SOME THINGS I JUST KNOW. I know that someone who was supposed to love and protect me used me for their own sick pleasure. Maybe I will learn to live without 'proof'. Maybe I will learn to at least believe what I DO know. Maybe you will, too.

Hold on, my friend. You're worth it. You made it this far, you're not going to sink now.

Remember the Jesus meme I wrote? Shake her denying, self-and-toilet covering, lying-ass dust off your feet and leave her stinking town, honey. Jesus would. And I would give him a standing-freakin'-ovation when he did it.

Beauty said...

Wow, I just read Lynn's comment and realize there is nothing I can add to her well articulated words.

I will just emphasize one thing she mentioned: you really would benefit from being able to show yourself some compassion. I don't always do this for myself, but I know it's something I've gotta work on. I'm trying, when anger at myself sets in, to visualize myself as a little girl. I would never treat a little girl or speak to her the way I treat myself, or speak to myself constantly.

Please know that you're not alone in your struggles. That knowledge is sometimes helpful, sometimes not. But there are those of us who could read just one line of your post and know exactly what you mean. Exactly. And we're here for you, offering moral support.

I thought I didn't have anything to add to Lynn's comment. Guess I was wrong!

Kahless said...

Hello Enola.
I agree with Beauty; Lynn has written well articulated words that make sense. They speak the truth.

But it is so f**k*g hard to put into practice isn't it. I relate to all those negative 'critical' voices. They need to be told to shut up and go away. But that's hard. And to worry that no-one wants to be around you, because they see you as crazy or a leech. Or needy. So instead you 'suck it up' and hide away / sit on your feelings.

I could clonk my therapist when he says 'let go' or 'surrender'. If only.

Keep up the good fight Enola.
Hope you don't mind a stranger giving you a

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I could have written this. You are the voice in my head. I am so relieved that someone else feels this way. I blank out too, at random times (of course I'm not really blank, I just stare blankly and don't move - but inside my heart is racing and my mind is flashing all these different memories and thoughts, and I'm so embarassed and ashamed when my friends have to shake me or tap me or do something to wake me up from it) and whenever someone asks me to talk about it, I try, but nothing comes out. And at the same time there's that loud obnoxious voice going LIAR LIAR JUST DOING IT FOR ATTENTION STUPID ASKED FOR IT DESERVES IT MAKING IT ALL UP ANYWAY (usually much worse than that but that's the gist) and it's all I can do to muster up the strength to trust myself, to trust that it really did happen. Even if it relegates me to long-sleeves I'm glad I scarred my arms because I can always look and remember what caused me to get so upset that the only way I could stop crying was to cut.

It's so effing hard to just try to live day to day, especially knowing that you might be in a nightmare that's just about to get horrible - or worse, that you might be attacked again).

One thing that helps me is that whenever I feel those thoughts coming back I have trained myself to examine the sky. I am constantly pointing out to people how interesting or unique or pretty some particular part of the sky looks right now (and forcing myself to believe that seeing the beauty of the sky is enough to make life worthwhile), but I don't tell them why I notice the sky so frequently. I don't know you but I bet you're an amazing, empathetic, wonderful person in spite of everything, and I hope you find some peace.

cest.la.vie said...

I just want to offer you this:


It's something I wrote after recovering from being "One of Those".

I understand. And more importantly-- there is hope.

quacks like a duck said...

I know this is a year and a half old...
this post sure did ring true to me though.
I question my memory and my sanity almost constantly some days.
Thanks for putting that out there, it feels good to recognize that I must not be COMPLETELY crazy...