Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Story of Dave

(names changed to protect the not so innocent) A song by Chicago just came on the radio. It was Dave's favorite group and reminded me of him. Well actually DH said "hey wasn't this the group that guy liked?" Then DH laughed. He thinks the whole thing is funny - probably because I've always laughed it off as a joke - not letting anyone know how stupid and hurt the whole incident made me feel.
I had a disaster date the spring of my senior year in high school. I went to this guy's prom with him, and well.......that's another post. Anyway, I swore off guys for awhile. My best friend and I started going to this church to play volleyball - it was supposed to be a group of Christian adults - mostly singles - getting together to play. So I met this guy "Dave" and we started chatting. I was 17 at the time and he said he was 19. We started grabbing a bite to eat with a group after the games. He seemed well-liked by the other people there.
Soon Dave and I were dating pretty regularly. He told me that his mother had passed away, his dad lived far away and he was living with an older brother. The first clue I had that something was weird was when he went through this big thing about changing his last name. Something about his mom's estate or something. It was weird. But I dismissed that little nagging in the back of my head.
Dave's friend started dating my friend and we had fun together hanging out. But Dave and his friend argued some, about something that they wouldn't tell us. Dave escorted me to the prom. At the last minute, he said his car broke and another friend ended up driving. He didn't have any money and I had to pay for everything. Later there were other "oddities." His older brother wanted some beer one night and Dave offered to go get it. Got carded and didn't have any problems. I just figured it was a fake ID. He got invited to a wedding, invited me to go and then backed out last minute - I later "stalkered" him and was pretty sure he went.
But I reminded myself we had met at a church volleyball event. My parents met him, my sister liked him, my grandparents even met him at graduation. No one brought up any weird vibes or signals.
Anyway, he acted less than 19 at times. Very immature and extremely insecure. When I left for college, we left things open-ended. About 4 weeks or so after being down there, I found out from my friend, whose boyfriend had just told her, that Dave was really THIRTY-ONE (31).
I was shocked and hurt and disgusted. I didn't handle it well. Okay, I handled it like a typical 17 year old, I suppose. I called Dave's home number and got his "brother." Turns out they aren't really brothers - just roommates. The roommate/brother had known my age and that Dave had been lying, but didn't consider it his place to say anything. He did give me Dave's dad's number. I don't know why I thought a 31 year old's father needed to know - guess I was still thinking of him as 19 - but I called his dad and reported what had happened. His dad started making excuses and I threatened criminal charges - I hadn't told his father my exact age and insinuated I was younger than I was. His dad said he'd "take care of it." I never did talk to Dave again.
So here I was away at college and freaking out. I finally confided in a girl on my hall. She suggested an HIV test. So I made an appt at this clinic. Totally paranoid. No car so I had to borrow one. Fortunately it was negative.
I'm not sure if this incident ever really got around campus, but I was convinced it had and that I was wearing a scarlet letter. I had gone to college hours and hours away to escape who I had been, only to bring it with me.

Home



This picture is from http://http://www.postsecret.blogspot.com/ Post Secrets. It makes me think. I'm not sure where "home" is for me either.

Sometimes I hate myself

Tomorrow is March 1st, SI awareness day. More on that tomorrow. So I saw that this morning and realized it had been 1 week since I SI-ed. When I looked at my legs I saw one or two faint marks, but that was it. Instead of being proud, happy, excited about the accomplishment, it threw me into a panic attack. Why? Am I afraid of "giving up" my coping mechanism? Afraid of what I'll turn to next? I don't know the answer to that - all I know is that there are 8 fresh marks on my leg and the xanax can't kick in fast enough.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My husband, the Protector & Standing Up for Myself

Over the weekend, one of my colleagues gave my home telephone number out to a client. My home number is unlisted precisely because I deal with people who are not always acting in their finest, sanest moments at the times I am dealing with them. I was mad that my number was disclosed and that this colleague didn't at least call me and have me call the client back. I sent out an email requesting that it not happen again, and received some less-than-positive responses. Ultimately I resolved the situation at a staff meeting today, and my colleagues understood (or at least accepted) my revealing my cell phone, but not my home phone number.
When DH heard a client calling our home number, he was livid. He doesn't often "put his foot down" about much, but when I first started this job, he was adamant that our home number remain unlisted. It's a safety thing with him. His quote when I told him about the comments made by colleagues was "You tell those damn men that that can deal with me if they have a problem with an unlisted number. I will NOT have crazy clients knowing where my wife and daughter live." He went on to say that frankly, he was irritated already at the number of after-hours and weekend calls I got already on my cell phone and that it was interfering with our family time.
At first, I got a bit irritated thinking to myself "Okay, I can handle this myself. Don't go getting involved in this. I need to handle it in a professional manner." But then I realized how GOOD it felt for him to say that. To stick up for me. To worry about me. It felt nice -- first that he was concerned about my and DD's safety; and second, that he was concerned about family time being infringed upon.
In the end I did handle it professionally and even garnered the support of my main "boss" who told me that he thought I was certainly assessible enough and he had personally talked with the two colleagues who had given me a hard time and told them he supported me. So that was nice too.
It was also nice to actually stand up for MYSELF. I stand up for and fight for clients all the time. But I usually back down, even in work situations, when it comes to personal things. So it was nice to take a stand for myself today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sick - ugh

I hate being sick. I've had a bug since yesterday afternoon. Being sick = out of control = panicky = mimics panic attack symptoms = panic attack = sick. Vicious circle. I stayed out of work and slept most of the day - in between "emergency" phone calls from the office. DH tried to be a bit more helpful with DD so I did get to relax some yesterday too. Feeling better now - just weak still. Waiting for DD's bed time so I can catch another nap myself.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Intimate Encounters

We'll see how far I get writing about this before I have a total meltdown/panic attack....DH & I have been on intimacy hiatus for awhile now. It's definitely taking its toll on our relationship. Last night we snuggled for awhile on the couch watching a movie, which we fairly quickly turned off because of language/topic. So we watched TV for awhile and went into bed early to catch up on sleep.
Often we'll have our most intense conversations lying in bed before going to sleep. I think it's because we can't see each other very well in the dark so it's "safer." Anyway, DH was rubbing my back and we talked for a long time. It was nice. Well one thing led to another and......it was okay -- I had to keep reminding myself to stay in the here and now. To not dissociate. To open my eyes and remember it was DH. It was tough, a strugge, but I did it. Barely. And I have to say it wasn't all just me giving in because I felt I had too. I did want to - for DH, because I love him.
Afterwards, I was a wreck. I kept having flashback images, sounds, feelings. Yuck. I wanted to shower but I knew that would lead to too many questions. So I washed up best I could and laid in bed. I took a xanax and waited for it to kick in and knock me out, or DH's breathing to even out so I'd know he was asleep and I could go to the other room without waking him up.
Saved by DD's cry. She had a nightmare. It was horrible. Couldn't get her calmed down. Her eyes were open but she wasn't there. She finally woke up and clung to me. I just took her to our bed and put her in the middle. Then we all slept soundly the rest of the night.
DH hasn't mentioned last night and neither have I. I'm hoping we don't have to have this long "analyze what happened" discussion and that he doesn't assume that it's no holds barred, back to normal, now. We'll see........

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Normal versus Not Normal

Funny how I posted that poem from the Sadly Normal site earlier today. My entire day has been a compare and contrast of "normal." I saw normal today. I was meeting with someone when their DD (age 20 something) called. and she chatted with her on the phone. It was interesting to watch and sort of listen. I felt kind of weird sitting there while she was talking but on the other hand I totally appreciated the opportunity to see and hear what NORMAL is. Kind of like in high school and college when I would go home with friends and just observe and study and soak in their families. A huge treat for me.
So here is this woman talking to her DD. Her voice softened and she laughed such a free laugh and was so interested in what her daughter was saying. Even though I was there, she did not hurry her daughter off the phone or anything. This is a daugther that is out of school and lives somewhat locally so I know this mom sees her and talks to her often. It was so refreshing to see a parent take time for their child and be truly interested in what they are saying - to take time out of their schedule and their day and what they are doing to be there and to listen. And I could totally see the love on her face for her daughter. At the end of the conversation she said "I love you too" and I knew she was saying it because she meant it in that very moment - not just saying it at the end because it was something to do. I just sat there soaking it all in - watching and observing. It was a huge treat to just sit and watch NORMAL. It's refreshing to know that exists in this world. It gives me something to strive for with my DD.

I AM going to have that with my DD. I get teary eyed just thinking of it. I got a glimpse of NORMAL today and it gave me hope. I know that this woman has no idea that the simple act of eavesdropping on her conversation with her daughter, observing just one side of the conversation could mean so much. I am not even sure what they talked about - I wasn't really listening. It was more just watching the expressions on her face. That's what a Mom should look like when talking to their daughter. I know at one point mom asked something about having her daughter email her something - she was interested in her daughter's school work. To the extent of actually reading it. I know my mom never did that. She would ask what classes I was taking, but that was about it.
It was such an awesome feeling and a privilege to get a sense of normal - even just as an outsider looking in and getting a small glimpse. I can't even explain it. I came home and just gave DH & DD a huge hug and kiss. I felt ...............uplifted and hopeful. WOW - that's a profound statement - (1) that a I "FEEL" anything, (2) that I KNOW what I'm feeling, (3) that I can NAME what I'm feeling, and (4) that it's something positive.

The contrast was with the phone call I received from my own mom. I haven't talked with her since her visit here almost 3 weeks ago. When the phone rang tonight, I knew it was her. Only a handful of people have my home number and today is her day off. I felt a rush of panic, and irritation, when she called. Maybe even anger. I actually debated not answering. I mean I was in a good mood. But I answered. As soon as I picked up, DD asked "who is it" and I answered. She wanted to talk so that gave me a moment to take some deep breaths. So anyway our conversation was okay. I asked about her new phone (we got disconnected one time and she had previously sent me a new cell #). She talks about how "WE got Nextel phones" and "WE can walkie back and forth and it's neat." She sort of hesitated before saying the "we" and then went on with it. So I'm simultaneously appreciative of her hesitating (as if she did it out of some pang of consideration for me) and irritated at her for hesitating and STILL going on and saying "we."
Later on we talked about my sister and she made a point of how my Sister calls her every weekend, but then diminshed it by mentioning how it is always while driving to/from a regular weekend appointment.
So Mom continues to say things like "I missed not talking to you" and "I miss you" and all that mushy stuff. And it just annoyed me. I felt like I had to say it back but I didn't. And I don't -- I think about calling her every so often because I feel like I have to, or should, not because I really miss talking to her. And because I think about calling a real Mom - the mom she should have been.
So we end our phone call and I say "I love you" and it was totally because I 'had' too. Talk about a contrast with the conversation I heard earlier.
I am determined that my DD will have conversations with me like the one I observed, rather than the one I had with my mom.

Sadly Normal

From - http://sadlynormal.org/sadlynormal.htm (main website here - http://sadlynormal.org )

I am sadly normal - 1 out of every 3 women and 1 out of every 5 men have been sexually abused by someone they trust by the time they are 18 years old.
I am sadly normal - We feel unimportant, discounted, worthless, shameful, powerless, unlovable.
I am sadly normal - We are forced to hide within ourselves by our abusers.
I am sadly normal - We are forced to keep our dirty little secrets. It's easy to do because we believe it was our fault.
I am sadly normal - We learn not to trust anyone, including ourselves, and the adults who were supposed to keep us protected.
I am sadly normal - We learn to survive by lying, pretending, manipulating, and stealing.
I am sadly normal - We learn to cope however we can. Drugs, alcohol and food are used to numb us and provide the comfort we have missed out on.
I am sadly normal - We learn to find our way around it, while we struggle to find ourselves.
I am sadly normal - We think and learn and are told it doesn't matter. We believe we don't matter either.
I am sadly normal - We think there are no effects of the abuse, while we can't figure out why we are the way we are, and why we do the things we do.
I am sadly normal - We become experts at fooling others, and ourselves.
I am sadly normal - We become exhausted from hiding the truth, thinking we are responsible for protecting those around us. Some even protect the abuser.
I am sadly normal - We reach adulthood, and deal with it for as long as we can, until we can't deal with it any longer.
I am sadly normal - We lose concentration and focus. We become more anxious and nervous. We feel like we are going insane.
I am sadly normal - Emotions fill us. Craziness, sadness, anger, rage, irritation, frustration. Loneliness.
I am sadly normal - SOMETIMES, we find a way to break our silence. We get help, and we learn to live, not just survive. Some never get to that point. Some just live with it. Some die with it. Some take their own lives because of it.
I am sadly normal - SOMETIMES, we seek counseling, and the healing is finally allowed to begin. Many don't discover the help that is available until we are in our 30's or 40's. Some never discover it.
Does this sound like you? You are sadly normal too.


I was going to highlight the things I could relate too, but sadly I can relate to all. So I just hit the really important ones. I'm sadly normal too. Sad anyway. Not so sure about the normal part, LOL. It is extremely sad and disheartening to think that 1 in 3 women have been abused. Last time I checked stats it was 1 in 4. It's sickening.

--------- I have to drive to a neighboring county for work today. I'm looking forward to the drive in the sunshine - with windows open, music really loud, and driving fast (well until I get to that part where the cops sit!). Wrong direction this time, but sometimes when I drive the other way, I get the urge to just keep on driving. I could drive a long, long way the other direction before I'd run out of road. I wonder sometimes if I could drive far enough to escape. Except, since it is myself I want to escape, I'm not so sure running away would help. I think about people who flee to other countries and assume new identities. I'd like to start over in a nice, warm, tropical climate. No debt, work just enough to have a little shack and some food. No worries. No past. Totally start over.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Intellectual Ramblings

As I was driving home from church after a wonderful Ash Wednesday and communion service, I had a thought. Suppose just for one miniscule second that I did have some fault in the abuse, that I had a reason to feel guilty, that I had done something wrong. Now fast forward a bit. I did lots of things wrong after the abuse. Lots of things that I knew I needed forgiveness for. Still do lots of things I shouldn't do. Still sin on a daily basis.
Why do I accept forgiveness from God from those sins - the non-abuse ones - but not the guilt I feel over the abuse? Why do I feel cleansed from the other sins, but dirty over the abuse?
I look over these posts and over everything I've written anywhere over the past year. I see patterns - a huge vicious circle - where I go through and "deal" with the same issues over and over. I wonder if they will ever be resolved. I try to remind myself of the progress I have made, but I keep getting stuck in seeing the issues that remain unresolved. I'm tired of dealing with this, but I'm scared to quit.
It's just that I feel stupid and crazy sometimes. Like nothing is sinking in. Like I'm going round and round on the same issues. I can "get" things intelligently sometimes but it won't sink in. And I don't know how to make it. And it is SO frustrating. I really just want to SCREAM.

New Way of Thinking

So J says the biggest "revelation" from yesterday is realizing why Toilet said what he did. We talked more in detail about that. It comes down to the fact that his words, during the abuse and after were him telling me to KEEP YOUR (MY) MOUTH SHUT. It was to make me feel so guilty and at fault that I wouldn't tell.
It sounds like such a simple concept but it has blown my mind. For years I have beat myself up because there were no direct threats not to tell. Other people I know were threatened - you tell and I'll kill you, leave your mom financially ruined, etc. I wasn't directly threatened. I never considered that his words were just as much of a threat.
J asked me yesterday if I had any good memories of Toilet. And I felt myself soften just a bit. Because I do. He was there to protect me against my drunk father one time; to protect my mother against my drunk father on several ocassions; he stood up for my sister & I against my mom; he lobbied for my sister and I to have more freedom; he was like a "friend" who never told on us when we did something bad, let us get away with stuff, and made us feel like we were on his team. I have two distinct memories that I know intellectually were further set ups. But at the time, we thought he was just so "cool." First, was in the apartment, when Sister and I found adult magazines and "toys" in my mom's dresser. Mom was mad we went through her stuff but didn't say one word about what had been in that drawer. We had no idea what all that stuff was. Toilet came in to see me later, in an older brother type of way and was all smiles saying something like "did you like looking through that stuff" and "did you learn anything?" Me in my cocky 6th grade self said "yeah, I didn't know men had hair between their legs too." I've always wondered if that exchange gave him the wrong idea that I was somehow not disgusted by that kind of stuff (another self-imposed guilt trip I suppose).
The second time was in high school when my friend and I found X rated movies on my mom's nightstand. Not hidden, just stacked on the bookshelf next to her bed. We pulled one out when no one was home and watched it. Curiousity I supposed. Toilet noticed they had been rearranged or moved (or maybe mom noticed and thought he had been watching it). Anyway he told me he knew I had watched it. I denied it. Instead of calling me a liar, he said "look, you can watch them anytime you want, just put them back exactly as you found them to make sure your mom doesn't find out." Again, since I didn't express any feeling of disgust (and my friend & I were disgusted at those videos) I wonder if I gave him the wrong idea.
He'd make comments about my mom and him and I'd say "ew that's my mom" instead of "that's not appropriate to discuss with me." I mean what 12 year old really uses the phrase "that's an inappropirate discussion to be having with me???"
But hindsight is 20-20 and I keep playing the "what if" game. What if I had made it clear that those magazines, videos, comments were not okay and had mentioned it to my father or someone. What if I had told my dad or someone when Sister went home and found him naked on couch one day. What if...What if....what if.........

For years I have thought of him (and my mom) as weak, unintelligent, pitiful people. People that I had to care for. I was the person in charge growing up. I made the decisions. I handled service repair calls. I handled medical issues. I handled disputes with finance people. I took care of it. So to see them as deliberate, manipulative, knew what they were doing, people is confusing me.
The Catch22 is - if he's a weak person, then why the heck did I "let" it go on? It is easier to see the abuse as something that just happened, he fell into it, got carried away. It is easier to see my mom as this weak, pitiful person who was so down-beaten by life that she was utterly incapable of making a decision to save her children. But if he is a strong person who did this deliberately, set out to do it, set me (and Sister) up, "groomed' (GAG) us, did it on purpose, intentionally, then it makes it worse in my head. If Mom deliberately chose him over us, with a full understanding of what he did, not so much as a feeling of being "trapped with no other choice" but a deliberate choice after weighing all odds, wanting to keep him in her life, then that makes me sick, mad and sad. It makes them both more evil and bad. And it makes me mad enough to want to throw something - HARD. And sad enough to want to just run away somewhere and cry. And panicky enough that the xanax I took isn't enough to keep the panic attacks away and enough that I broke my 7 day no-pinning streak and turned all that rage and hurt inward on myself. AGAIN.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Out Loud

I have posted quite a bit about my inability to vocalize certain things. About 1 year ago, there were some memories/events that were really fuzzy. Some of those became more clear, after I stopped instinctively blocking them. Usually they start out as pictures - no sounds or words. Then I would either start hearing words/speaking words in my head or write them down. Usually, if it was intense, I’d write it out first - often with my eyes closed and not looking. Freestyle writing where I just let the words come without conscious thought - which is why typing is better than writing because I can keep up better with my thoughts. After that is when I’d "practice" saying it to myself in my head. Sometimes I’d take the extra step and say it out loud in the car. Then, and still not then sometimes, could I even think about saying it to someone else.
Before I could even think about talking to J about the abuse memories, I had to go through all these steps. Even now, there are certain words that get stuck. I can think them but can’t say them. J mentioned today a connection between my lack of a voice as a child and my inability to vocalize things today. DUH. That makes perfect sense, now that I think about it.
Skipping ahead through the abuse to when I first told someone – I told my Mom. She didn’t really believe me at first, until he admitted it. I don’t remember a whole lot about that conversation but I remember feeling sorry for her - as if I had destroyed her world. That I was responsible for throwing her a curveball that she couldn’t handle. I don’t remember how long after that, but there were at least two more occasions where I was told by mom to "get over it," ‘move past it," "put it behind me" and "forget about it." Toilet got counseling. I got nothing. I don’t remember Mom ever talking about it with me again, at all. I was forgotten.
I don’t remember who I told next. At some point I told my friend. She had been raped by her grandfather. So I felt somewhat like my abuse was minimalist compared to her. I told my boyfriend. I think maybe I told a guidance counselor at the same time I told them I was pregnant. Maybe? I know that I told a different guidance counselor at school later and I started talking with her some and later, attending a group type session with her and other abuse victims. I don’t have any idea how that happened without someone reporting all of our cases to DSS, but I remember she only lasted with our school less than 2 years. From that occasion I remember anger. This counselor was angry at the world it seemed, and especially men. I know the focus wasn’t on expressing what had happened to me or how I felt.
I’ve told other people over the years. No one in detail about what happened. I usually stick to the word "fondled." A former GAG word that I’ve resigned myself to using because it is the least bad of the bad. And because it’s nice and generic, and most people don’t ask any questions after that. I am at the point where I can (although I don’t) say I was sexually abused. But to vocalize what that means - not there.
This online group/forum I’ve been posting to is called After Silence (
http://aftersilence.org) It’s logo is the lotus flower - "the lotus is a flower that rises from the mud. The deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms." I like that. Anyway, it says that "breaking the silence is the first step to recovery." I know silence is the power that abusers hold. I know I need to take that back. I’m just not sure how and I’m a little afraid (okay make that terrified) of the process.
So, we started today with my talking out loud about the incident where Toilet confronted me on the stairs and told me it was "mutual," "I liked it," etc, etc. J had said we were going to work on talking about things. Rush of panic. I said a quick prayer that this first one would be easy. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as I would have liked to start with - but, I could tell it without using any GAG words, so I survived okay.
So we talked about why Toilet said those things. My first response was that it was to alleviate his guilt, but I’m not sure he ever felt any. Then either J or I said it was to keep me silent. And that’s it. To make me feel guilty (well, continue the guilt since I already felt guilty) and therefore not tell. Same reason probably that he said all those things during the actual touching about my liking it, feeling good (GAG), etc. (the ‘etc’ part is so I don’t have to write them all out - yuck). So it worked. I kept quiet.
Sometimes I wonder why I never told my Dad. He hated Toilet. The one person who would have loved to "get revenge" against this man who "stole my mom" from him. Then again, he would have found a way to make it about himself. Same way he made Sister’s suicide attempt about himself.
I read something somewhere that said to write down my list of GAG words - I’ve done that. Then to say them outloud in any context, fast, loud, soft, somehow, anyhow they come out - just do it over and over until their power is gone and you can say them looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing they are just words. Easier said than done (no pun intended). I tried - can’t do it. Even out of context. I don’t even want to hear someone else say them.
We talked a bit about what would happen if I ever saw/talked to Toilet again. I have nightmares about that. Waking nightmares too - not sure what they are called. Not flashbacks, because it’s not something that happened. More like uncontrollable thoughts while awake. Sister & I have talked about it too. I’m not sure what I would do. In my "whatever you call them" sometimes I remain silent. Other times I "go off" on him. Funny though that when that happens it’s out of anger at something he said. Which is the same reason I told my mom in the very first place - all because I was mad at him. The outcome varies - usually Mom walks away with him. Sometimes he acts like I got to him. Other times he says something nasty that just cuts me to the quick - something along the lines of what he said in the prior hallway incident. I’m not sure I could handle hearing that again from him. That thought fills me with fear - nightmare material and has been for awhile. The first fear that comes to mind is that someone will hear him and believe him - my mom, DH or anyone else around.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Saw III - the movie

My DH & I have been married 7 years. He has no idea at all that I SI. We watched Saw III over the weekend, and he was baffled at what the girl was doing. The character's flashbacks made it clear she had SI-ed and then you see her pull out all her instruments, then decide to grab a knife and cut her leg instead - you can see the scars on her leg from prior incidents. Then later she grabs something sharp in her palm and squeezes and you see blood dripping. DH was totally confused. He said "what is she doing?" I said "she is self-harming, self-injuring." He had no idea what that was and wanted to know "why the hell would anyone do that?" I explained that some people do it to escape the pain or the numbness of life, but there were lots of reasons. He said "well that's just crazy." Hmm -- think I'll tell him about my pinning anytime soon? Nope.

On that front, today is 1 week since my last pinning incident (said in my best confessional voice as this feels a bit like a 12-step confession). But my doctor visits are now over. We'll see what happens.

Forgive and Forget

I've heard this so many times - you just need to forget about it. You need to forgive him. The Bible says you have to forgive. The nicest response I can muster up is a big eye roll and a sarcastic "whatever." I saw a quote today - I like it -

We are told to forgive and forget. But I couldn't forgive and I couldn't forget.
Then I realized. I have a right to remember and I leave the forgiving to a higher being.

After Doc appt

Update after last night's vent post - DH gets irritated when I won't apologize immediately after an argument. He is so quick (too quick I think) to say "I'm sorry, forgive me." Then he brings up the argument again and again. It takes me longer to apologize, but when I do, I try really hard, and think I do a decent job, of letting that issue go and being done with it.
So he went to bed, having said he was sorry (quickly) and I went to bed still mad. But I woke up this morning with a clear head and fresh perspective and realized that our argument wasn't 100% his fault last night and there were some things I needed to apologize for. So I'll do that tonight - actually I bought him a card apologizing and hand wrote a note in it. I'm still not sure what we're going to do on the underlying issues. It's not so much a "he's right or I'm right" type of thing - we just have a difference of opinion and there isn't much middle ground there.

Doctor's appt - Full blood and urine screen. Everything is normal - blood pressure was high for me (130/70 when mine is usually 90/60 at home and at rest); iron levels fine; blood sugar fine (in the 80s); bad cholesteral okay - 3 pts below average, good cholesteral was 4 points above. So my overall ratio is good, although he suggested I watch that a bit. Everything else was good. He did not run a hormone level screen, even though I had asked the person setting the appt to do so, and that person assured me they did that as a matter of course. The thyroid screen also has to be sent out and isn't back yet. My B-12 levels appear normal based on the shape/size of my blood cells so he didn't see the need to do any further testing there, although he said a supplement couldn't hurt.
We talked about the meds. He said 2 xanax a day at the dose I'm on is perfectly fine. He suggested I talk to my ob/gyn about meds adjustments since one of my main issues was seeing what I could take and still try to conceive (that is if I ever get this whole intimacy thing figured out ). He also suggested letting them run the hormone levels since they can look at my ovulation cycle charts and figure out exactly when might be best to do that. Since my appt is in April, it's not too far off. He also said that new studies lead him to think that we might be okay to up the lexapro and drop the xanax or do some other cocktail. The xanax is definately out with trying to conceive but there are some anti-depressants we can try.

So....all of that to find out that I'm physically very fit (we won't talk about their scales ABSOLUTELY have to be off because there is no WAY I have gained that much weight over goal - AGH). So basically I'm fine physically and it's all in my head. Lovely. Why am I so loathe to admit that? I didn't really want to find out I had some horrible disease or something, but a nice little issue that would explain away all the panic attacks, would have been nice.
So today has been a no good, bad day. I think I need to just sleep through Mondays from now on.

I'm also not doing so well in the Wife department, my husband thinks I am emotionally dead and wants time apart (which means him staying at his parents on weekends and keeping himself busy almost all the time), not doing so well in the mom department since the xanax and panic attacks combined make me really sleepy and I tend to want to/need to nap a lot which means DD ends up watching a lot of TV. My attention span at work is totally slack and I really don't care. I mean I care about my clients and I'm still doing a good job in court - but on the paperwork side, the run-of-the-mill stuff, I'm totally slacking. On the personal front, I've gained back a lot over my goal weight; I'm eating horribly - not eating for several days, then splurging on others, drinking more caffeine than I need to be, not exercising like I should, not mention the pinning, panic attacks and anxiety that keep me edged up all the time. I just don't feel like I'm doing a good job with anything about now.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday evening Fight

Okay, last weekend I tried that kissing thing with DH. Then Monday I had that bad day with all the flashbacks. I told DH I was having an awful flashback but no details. I told him I couldn't talk about it, even with J. I did mention having written it out - he wanted to see it and I said NO WAY. First of all, there is no way that would help our relationship one single bit.
So Monday night he goes to a new study program at church. Tuesday I come home, help out with DD and then go to Bible study. Wednesday is church. I pick up DD and go to church; I bring her home and put her to bed. Thursday I straighten the house and do 3 loads of laundry - DH cleans up dinner and goes to play basketball with the guys. Friday, DH leaves work early and then goes out with the guys to watch the Nascar race. Saturday he lets me sleep in, I plan a morning out with DD. Then I put DD down for a nap and lay down myself for a few hours. He listens to the race on the radio, after calling a few friends and trying to find somewhere to go watch it. Then he lies down for a 2 hour nap while I take DD out to pick up a movie. He and I watch a movie. I go to bed about 10:30. This morning his church. DH had stayed up late and overslept. So he misses his study group. We go to church together, come home, I take "5" in the bedroom and then get up and get myself and DD together. We go to a friend's house - my friend invited us over to watch the race on their big screen. We had ribs & chicken, the kids played and we had a good time. We came home and he put DD down while I showered. So I come out to the living room and turn the TV on because I want to watch Amazing Race. He says he wants to play playstation and can I go in the bedroom. I say not really because I plan to work on my computer and since he wants to hit the bed early, I can't be switching back and forth. so he wants me to tape my show. So I get ticked - I've catered to his nascar all week and I can't watch 1 hour of tv that I want.
So we start arguing and it's pretty apparant that it's not really about TV. He just keeps yelling and he's going in circles. I'm not spending enough time with him - when I ask when since he's been gone a lot, he says that he went out to leave me alone because he thought I needed space and then I might want to spend more time with him.
So I bring up the fact that he keeps adding and adding things to his plate for him to do - this new Sunday men's study; basketball on Thurs nights; teaching Sunday school; the monday program at church. He says "well you keep cutting back." (never mind he encouraged that). Then I say well I did offer to help get childcare for the next Sun. School fellowship and then he says "see, you're taking on more responsibility."
So then he says that he is mad because I don't tell him things that I tell J. That's absolutely true. One, he's a man. Two, he's unable to be objective about it. Three, he gets pissed anytime I talk in detail about the abuse. Four, he's not trained to help me with it. Five, I can't talk about it - not even with J sometimes. I try to talk to him about how counseling went. I try to give him updates about progress. But I'm not going to tell him everything we talk about. I'm not going to go into detail. He says he wants to know if I'm making progress. I told him there is no way to measure it but I felt like I was.
So apparantly I'm not affectionate enough. I don't kiss him good bye in the morning - I don't because I don't want to wake him up. Wrong choice on my part again. I don't write him love notes - he never showed apprecation for those before. Just when I get the rules down, he changes them.
As usual it all comes down to SEX. I hate that word. We talked about the fact that we had agreed to put sex on hold indefinately - about 4 months. I have told him I knew it was difficult for him and that I appreciated him trying and being patient with me. I've repeated that to him. So he plans this get-away. I finally get up the nerve to tell him I don't want there to be any pressure about sex. He's upset - we fight, but he agrees. And apparantly M (his counselor) mentioned something (or so DH says) about sometimes people changing their minds. So he's got his hopes up that I'll change my mind. But then I get my period and all expectations are out the window. I'm relieved, but at the same time, mad, that he had expectations despite our talk.
So last weekend I get this stupid idea. That maybe I ought to show more affection. Work up to it slowly. So I wait until DD is in the bath, ask for a back rub and start kissing him. I asked him specifically if he would rather (1) me do nothing until I was pretty sure that everything would be okay or (2) start out slow and work our way up to things. He chose door #2 and we had, what I thought, was fun. We've not done anything since.
So DH, male that he is, was ticked off that (1) I chose to kiss him then when DD was in the tub so it wasn't " a good time." Then (2) because I didn't do it again this week. And (3) because I haven't progressed down the time line far enough to where we're sleeping together again.
I'm not trying to drive this man nuts. It's only been 2 months. But I need him to back off. And he won't. He claims I don't show him enough emotion - don't show him my heart. I offered to go in the bedroom and give him anything he wanted if all he wanted the physical. Of course he says that's not what he wants.So I told him then if he wants the whole physical/emotional experience then he needed to BACK THE HELL OFF RIGHT NOW.
Apparantly what happened last week wasn't good enough for him. First, it didn't apparantly count as trying anything. But on the other hand, I apparantly didn't get the rule book which says that if by X time I haven't tried Y maneuver, I'm wrong.
I AM SO READY TO WALK OUT. I seriously was in the other room tugging on jeans to go to a hotel, but then the lawyer side of me kicked in and realized that it probably wasn't such a good idea. So I'm here and MAD.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Lap

I have this safe place ("warm") where I go when I need to escape. It is lying on a raft in the middle of a lake basking in the sun, and rocking on the gentle waves. Ahh....I'll try to simulate that sometimes by going to the tanning bed (did that at lunch today) or taking a hot shower or bath. I have another "safe place" though - one I've not told anyone about. It is a lap.
I don't have any memories of curling up on anyone's lap. I remember, maybe because I've seen so many pictures of it, being held on my mom's lap about age 7 when I was throwing a supreme temper tantrum. But to curl up on someone's lap to read a book, snuggle, get reassurance or cry -- no memories of that. Nursing DD was one of my fondest memories of her infancy. I loved nursing. I loved the bond, the closeness and most of all, holding her on my lap and stroking her head and fingers. The way she would clutch my hand. Talking softly into her cute, adorable face. And watching her drift off to sleep. I poured every need I had into giving her what I missed out upon.
So my safe place now is odd because it's not somewhere I've ever been. It's somewhere I've longed, and still long, to be. I've thought about curling up on DH's lap. I know he'd let me if I asked. And I've sprawled out on his lap before. But I don't think that's it. My safe place with DH is lying half across him when he is on his back, and resting my head on his chest. I can hear his heart beat and the sound is reassuring. Plus he has such a manly, broad chest that its strength is comforting. And because I'm lying half on him, he is not holding me down -- I'm free to get up at any time. He's not really "holding" me at all, but rather letting me feel like I'm being held.
Anyway, back to the lap - I try to picture myself in God's lap. I've gotten there a few times - not without panic. God is a man and as hard as I try to picture a fatherly, grandfatherly face, it doesn't work. Picturing God as Jesus doesn't work either. I haven't ever really had a safe older male figure in my life so I just can't "get there." So I think my safe place would be a woman's lap. Not my mom's. Maybe my Nana's. She would have let me sit on her lap. I remember curling next to her in lawn chairs sometimes. Definitley not someone my age - so a friend or my Sister wouldn't do. Someone older - mom's age or grandma's age. A mother or grandmother type figure. That's what I picture. Someone strong - whether physically or just a strong individual. But soft in that they are comforting. Strong enough to handle my breaking down and letting go. Soft enough to handle it and offer me comfort.
When I picture it in my head, it is usually a slightly older, mother-type figure. Faceless - just a blurry outline of a person. So I know it is not a specific person I'm seeking. I just curl up in their lap and they hold me, stroke my hair, whatever. And I let loose. Cry, wail, scream, whatever. Let it all out. They aren't uncomfortable with my outburst. They don't tell me to "relax" or that "it will be allright" or "let it all out." They don't try to make me stop. They just let me be. No pressure to hurry up and quit it so they can get me off their lap. Just a person who is there.
When I think about this, I often get sad. When I thought about it in the car this morning, I was surprised to find there were tears on my face. The thing is, I can't imagine ever doing this in real life. Letting go like that in front of someone. I cry in the car more now. And in the shower. And if home completely alone. But that's it. I'm not sure it is something I could do, am capable of doing, in real life. Although I would like to be.....someday.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

After EMDR

So today I met with J to do the EMDR on that horrible flashback. I had mixed feelings. I was dreading having to re-visit it. But on the other hand, I was so ready to try something, anything, to make it go away or at least lessen the intensity. My biggest fear about the whole thing was trying to talk about what I was seeing or hearing - even though I had written it out before. I remember a blog I posted an excerpt from earlier, said, "I can tell a memory until I get to the descriptive parts, then my vocabulary seems to leave my mind. And I feel dirty, and gross for even thinking of saying those words. I know that in my heart I need to, badly, but those words strike to the core of my heart ." That is me. I just can't say certain words. The EMDR was easier once J gave me "permission" to not tell her out loud what I was seeing/hearing. Revisiting/seeing the incident while in the same room as her (or anyone) was enough to make me nauseous. Actually describing what I saw/heard would have put me over the edge. I don't cry in front of people and I sure don't get sick in front of people!
A couple of things from today stuck in my head - first we talked about my guilt about the abuse. I compartmentalized things - "Toilet" is the abuser. X is the person after the abuse - the one who I pretended was a halfway decent stepfather. That led into a pre-abuse/post-abuse discussion. And talking about my holding onto guilt/responsibility about the abuse. J mentioned something about letting go of the guilt/responsibility regarding the abuse being different (maybe easier?) than letting go with respect to post-abuse -- what I did after the abuse (acting out, sexual promiscuity, drinking, etc, etc). I responded that I thought it was the opposite. I have some pangs of guilt every once in awhile about things post-abuse. But not so bad anymore. I think a lot of that went away when I became a Christian. I was so focused on letting go of that. And the first round of counseling helped with that.
One thing I was thinking tonight too. My EX-boyfriend from college kept reassuring me that my actions pre-salvation were forgiven. He didn't seem to have too many issues there. His big issue was with the fact that I still had contact with and a relationship with Toilet. Treated him like a father. He and his parents couldn't handle that. That is one of the major reasons we broke up.
Some other friends knew the real basics and vague details about the abuse. They also made comments or gave me looks when I would mention Toilet. One friend questioned why I still had contact with him; another made a disparaging remark about him walking me down the aisle. I think maybe that is where some of the guilt/responsibility comes in. I don't, so much, feel guilt/responsible for the abuse actually starting, happening. I feel more guilty/responsible for (1) not stopping it, and (2) for not reporting it, telling, (3) especially for not protecting Sister from the years of exposure, etc. and (4) especially for continuing to have a relationship AND treating this monster as my father. Even my real bio father made a comment about "choosing Toilet over him" after "what Toilet did." And while no one has ever verbalized this to me, in my head I hear people say to me "if you didn't tell, if you kept up a relationship with him, you must have liked it."
So I'm supposed to think about the fact that perhaps one reason I hang onto feeling dirty/icky is to keep people at a distance (at least I think that is what I'm supposed to ponder). I think that I feel responsible and therefore dirty/icky and feel like if I hadn't been so vulnerable and NEEDY (key word) then I wouldn't have "let" it happen. I know that is cylical thinking, but I'm trying to think this through.
The actual abuse/touching doesn't so much make me feel dirty as the words do. His attempts to make me feel responsible, a participant-- you wanted it; you liked it; words about my body responding (not going to re-write them again here tonight - GAG); words directing me how to move/participate. One thing I see over and over again is the conversation in the stairway. He is a few steps below me and I don't remember why we were having the conversation but I was mad and he looked straight at me and said "look you need to get over it; you wanted it as much as me; you enjoyed it" or words to that affect. UGH. I don't remember my response - I know I didn't yell or scream. I think I may have shaken my head no, but otherwise been silent. I know that is what he thinks (or at least what he makes himself think). I am fearful that is what others think - especially given that I maintained a relationship with him.
I feel as though people in general judge me for (1) not telling; (2) not breaking off a relationship with him OR see it like he did. I mean I have those feelings toward myself sometimes.
So the words make me feel responsible/guilty which makes me feel dirty. I try to figure out how I ended up in that boat and I think it was the "needing" - needing a father figure; enjoying the attention he gave me; enjoying having someone on my side against my father and mother. So if I don't let anyone in, if I don't need anyone again -- then I can't be hurt.
That last thought makes me sad - I want to need. I want to let people in. I'm tired of fighting this on my own. Tired of standing on my own. Just tired. I just need to figure out how to quit automatically, without thinking, throwing up these blockades.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Catching up

What a tough week. Monday was full of panic and I finally wrote that flashback memory down. I called to cancel counseling, or so I thought, because of a work conflict, only to find out J had a cancellation that day. So I ended up rescheduling. I printed the prior flashback post out and brought it with me - even though I had no intention of giving it to her. But then I did. I wanted to and didn't want to at the same time. That post is raw, ugly, disgusting. I am ashamed of thinking it, writing it and let alone sitting in front of someone who has read it. J asked if I wanted to do EMDR on it and I think I do. It scares me silly. But if it will help, I'll try it. Provided i don't have to talk about it, of course. I think the hardest thing is the words - I wasn't sure how else to describe it. But even the softest words I could use were ugly and disgusting. They feel dirty and pornographic and I hate that.
Last night I compiled all my panic attack, depression, anxiety, medication and pinning records into one big sheet. It helped me pick out patterns. Lo and behold, my pinning is up when the panic attacks/anxiety are up. When I get into a panic attack/pinning cycle, it gets worse and worse until I finally break down and take the medication. When I diligently take the xanax, I'm fine. I'm hoping the doctor on Monday can prescribe something that I can get pregnant on that will have the same affect. Otherwise I just need to take it until things get better or give up having another child (or adopt). But I'm getting way ahead of myself there.
J and I talked a lot about God and my "not feeling" Him. Last night at Bible study, Teacher said that if you don't feel close to God, guess who moved? And that we have to "do" God to "feel" God, meaning you need to stay in His word, etc. I've not been doing that. It got too intense and like always I swung too far the other way and did nothing with God. J says that if you want to feel God you have to "pour your heart out to Him." That's tough for me - to pour my heart out to someone I don't feel. The only saving grace is that I have felt God before. I have no doubts that He exists and cares for me.
I tried really hard to pray more openly to God this morning. I somewhat pretended He was my passenger in my car. I tried talking out loud but it didn't work. So I just prayed silently. I think my saying that I don't feel God may be may way "out." That I'll give up on God before He gives up on me. I know intellectually God won't give up on me - but I have trouble holding that in my heart. It's a trust issue. I just pray that God can love me in my inability to trust.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Sound

I have never ever written this down before, let alone said it outloud or thought it outloud or anything. I gag just thinking about it. But hey, today has sucked so far anyway, so why not see if something therapuetic comes of getting this out there. It's not like I haven't already thrown up, had major panic attacks and pinned already today.
I have previously written certain words, phrases, sights and sounds that set off a panic attack. That are triggers for me -- words like "you wanted it, you liked it, how does that feel, move over/this way, moist, wet, mmm that feels good, did you like that." Sights like mens' feet, men sitting with legs apart, especially in shorts, and closed in situations. Sounds like the rasping of hands over nylon running shorts, smacking of gums when eating, dentures smacking in someone's mouth.
But there is two bad ones that totally freak me out. One I can talk about a bit. That is the whispering in my ear situation. Especially wet whispers. Gag.
The second one I can't talk about. I'm not sure how to describe it. Remotely and detachedly (is that a word?) at first maybe. It is the sound of "moist" (a gag word). It is the sound that a stick would make when stuck in thick mud and pulled out. That slurp, sucking sound.
It is the sound I hear over and over in my flashbacks and dreams. It is him behind me or in the car next to me. It is him putting his finger inside of me - rough and calloused - and saying "doesn't that feel good" and "you're so wet" It's him directing me how to move. It's him pulling his finger out - and that sound. THe suction cup sound. I hate that sound.
And this post, having taken forever to write with interruptions of panic and nausea, and trips to the bathroom to get sick, has changed my mind about ever letting anyone I know in real life ever seeing this. No way! I know I should send this to J so we can do EMDR on this memory - it might help. But the thought makes me nauseous and there is no way I can do it right now.... maybe never.

Who am I, really?

Who am I really? Am I the professional who has it all together, never cries, advocates for my clients whole-heartedly, arrives on time, neatly put together, coherent speaker, eloquent advocate, good mother, good wife, active church member, fit person that I outwardly portray? OR am I the person I feel like on the inside - a mess, crazy, jumbled up, can't put two words together, cries all the time, sad, depressed, no passion for life, panicked, disorganized, basket case?
I feel like a fraud. Like I'm play-acting no matter which image I portray. Neither image seems to fit real well or be real comfortable. Neither seems like the real me.
I know that I could drop out of my online group, the SI forum, counseling, and all other related things, and probably cope just fine. Outwardly that is. For another few years maybe. Or maybe not given the panic attack I had this morning. A real bad, on the floor gagging in the toilet one. Lovely way to start the weekday. I was all set to post that it had been 2 days without pinning. Until 10 minutes ago. And worst part is, I have no freaking idea what set this PA off. How am I supposed to get a grip on this crap if I don't know what is causing it. Damnittoallhell

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sunday evening musings

Had a rough night. I had some caffeine a little later than usual but had also had a glass of wine so I thought I'd fall asleep easily. But I just couldn't relax. Then DH rolled over and grabbed me from behind, and 1 second later asked if it was okay. I said okay but I had jumped already and just reminded him to ask first BEFORE grabbing. I couldn't relax and he finally fell asleep and moved. Then just when I was drifting off, he started tossing and turning. I had my back to him and he rolled over behind me and grabbed my bottom. Freaked me out totally. I got up and came to the couch and read for a bit, then went to sleep. DD came out a few hours later and slept with me and snuggled.

Sunday school was rough with a lesson on becoming like children. The teacher talked about all the wonderful things parents teach us - couldn't relate to that at all.

There was a spark of romance in my house which is total progress on my end. DD was playing in the bathtub and I asked DH to come in and rub my back. Then I asked him if he'd rather start something and have me say "stop" or me not start anything until I was pretty sure I wouldn't need to say "stop" or have a panic attack or whatever. He said he'd rather the former. So we pretended we were highschoolers and made out for a few moments. It was fun.

Had one earth-quaking experience with DD today. She was still wearing the dress she wore to church although she had taken her tights off. We were playing and I grabbed her and was tickling her by smooching her neck and grabbing her "piggie toes." She grabs herself between the legs and says "Mommy, tickle my butt" (She calls the entire area her butt). I was calm and told her that no one should ever tickle her in her butt and repeated it with the other words she is learning too. I handled it fine in the moment, although a wave of "I'm going to pass out now" did come over me. It made me think though. DD wasn't asking me to do anything she thought was wrong. To her tickling is fun and feels good. And she is just now at the age where it is occuring to me to start having some of those good touch/bad touch conversations with her. I think I'm more inclined to do it earlier than much given my own background. I don't remember my mom ever really having a conversation like that with me. I remember the "don't get into cars with strangers" talk, but that is it. SO, if no one ever had that conversation with me, and if Toilet started setting me up like I remember with the arm rubbing, back rubbing, safe touch sort of thing, then it makes sense (objectively, intellectually, aloof-thinking about it, type of sense) that I would experience pleasure and have conflicted emotions/feelings/responses to it (okay, don't ask how long (GAG) it took me to write that sentence). It makes me sick to my stomach (regretting the supper I just ate now) but also mad. Mad at mom for not teaching me boundaries, mad at my father for not giving me safe fatherly attention/touch, mad at Toilet for setting me up and taking advantage of the situation -- just mad.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My efforts to reach out

I enjoyed my girls' night last night with my 2 friends. We got a lot of scrapbooking done. At one point, K was upstairs and it was just L and I. She knows just the basics - that I was sexual abused by mom's husband and that I'm in therapy for it. She & I were in college together so she knows a lot about my family dynamics and stuff. We were discussing our parents getting older and stuff and I mentioned that Toilet had been in the hospital. I said, in a pretty hateful tone, "I wish he would just die." She looked at me and said "that's a horrible thing to say. I know what he did to you was bad but still..." Still what? I said something about needing him to die first so I wouldn't have to deal with him when mom died. Then changed the subject. But it bothered me. I felt judged. Why can't I wish him dead?
I opened up this blog and made it public. There aren't any identifying details so I still feel anonymous. And it's not like I publish the fact that I have this or anything about it. I do have it listed on the SI group/forum I've joined. But I'm anonymous there too. I doubt anyone will read it (hey - if you're reading this, please comment so I'll know!). It feels risky putting it out there even though no one I "know" will read it. Maybe someday I'll send the link to some people I know in real life. Now that sounds really scary and vulnerable.
I did okay today. I was panicky last evening and it took all I had not to take a xanax before going to scrap. But I didn't want to be sleepy. So I thought I'd see how I was when I got there. Was fine of course once I got involved and busy. Had 1 glass of wine and some caffeine and was feeling really good. I took a xanax when I got home at 2 am. I knew I'd sleep in and the morning wake up would be hard. But I didn't wake until 9:30 so the xanax had worn off plus I was late with the lexapro so the morning was a bit rough. Decided to give the lexapro time to work so went to breakfast and coffee with my friend and to the scrapbook store. One bad moment in a really crowded aisle when I was "stuck" in the middle. Then was fine. As soon as my friend left and I was in the car by myself, I got panicky. I had a real tough talk with myself which went something along the lines of "stop being stupid. You are by yourself. Get over this crap. Suck it up and deal with this." Didn't work too well!
Grocery shopping was okay - I held it together. Came home and checked email briefly and then laid down for a nap. Like last night, I had odd dreams. Not really storyline, make sense dreams, but odd images that sort of flashed across my senses. Not good pictures either - that stupid movie we attempted to watch last week and that rape scene. Ugh. I'm hoping tonight is better.
Got panicky again after waking up because I was alone at home. Kept busy with dinner, making cookies and work. Then DH came home. No pinning today thought. So that is good (said quietly in a good voice so as not to jinx myself).

EDITED TO ADD - I have opened this blog up to a few people. It's listed on some of the SI and SA survivor sites I post on (anonymously) and I opened it up to my online group and one friend on another buddy group (Hi Tina). I'm still remaining anonymous so no one else in this big bad world can find me. But it's open. And if you are reading this, please comment so I'll know someone is seeing this)

Friday, February 9, 2007

Bad Day

I know today is going to only get worse. And it is already bad. Today I find out the ruling on my case - the longest case I ever tried; the one involving a rape allegation. I am so concerned about the outcome. I forced myself to eat something and took a xanax. Hoping that takes the edge off. It's been 20 minutes ago though and while I've started yawning, the tingly feeling in my fingers, jitteriness and panic isn't ending.

I have a 10:30 meeting after the verdict announcement and I'm hoping and praying for time to go somewhere for a few moments by myself between the two.

Found a SA survivors board too. Not sure if this is going to be helpful or too much. I also need to be careful not to spend all day playing on the computer and not working. Should have checked out the SI board before pinning this morning and tried some of their tips, but wasn't really ready and didn't have the time. Seems to be a pattern lately - panic, take xanax, doesn't kick in as fast, get more panicky wondering if it is going to work, so go pin to get some relief until the meds kick in.
__________________________________________________________________
Back from court. Judge left things "as is" pending the rape trial. Client is distraught. Her father is pissed. All understandable. I'm very upset too. Think I'll leave for my mediation and go somewhere - maybe a WARM park.
__________________________________________________________________
I left to try to go have a few moments alone (WARM) and got a call that if I wanted my emergency case heard I had to get back to the office for a phone conference with the judge. Did that and judge left kids with mom (not my client) who has a cocaine habit and refuses to get a drug test. She says my client has a drug/alcohol problem so I made him go take a test yesterday - came back clean today. So kids are with mom until Tuesday. Saving grace is that they are old enough to call police if the end up in an unsafe situation - not that they will do it, but at least they are capable of it.
At that time it was time for lunch. So put on my best happy face and went to the bar meeting. Just got back and now I'm in my quiet office and going crazy. I'm going to return phone calls and go home for a nap so I can be presentable tonight for my girls' night. I'm just not in a good place right now. I took a xanax earlier and really can't have another yet if I want to stay awake tonight. The pinning is bad today. I need to go home but I have so much at work. Think I'll just take it home. I was hoping to work a full day today - there's been a noticeable pattern of my leaving early on Fridays. But I don't think I can do it today.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Summary of today

Today started out with a temper-tantrum throwing fit by DD and a DH who didn't handle things well. Then one of my cases fell apart. The pressure at work is intense and I feel overwhelmed. I used to escape at work. It was the one place I could function even if I wasn't functioning on any other level. Not any more - I'm so apathetic about work. I postpone everything, run up against deadlines, can't muster up enough energy to really care.
I joined a SI online forum today. I'll have to see if it is for me. My SI is not as "bad" as anyone else's, it seems. But then again, many on there have stopped and I haven't. And I know better than to compare my pain to anyone else's.
Was concerned enough about a collateral to call their therapist and tell them this person was having suicidal thoughts. Couldn't help but hear that song, "Isn't it ironic" in my head. I made the call because I knew it was the right thing to do. Then felt bad after. If people knew what went on in my head......then again, I'm smart enough to keep those thoughts to myself.
I didn't have to take any xanax today. I did have one panic attack but diversion worked. And no pinning. I guess that's a good thing. I still feel really sad though - cry at the drop of a hat when I'm alone. Actually I do well as far as panic and mood if I'm with others. When I'm alone I have problems. Maybe I just need to hire a nanny or companion to stay with me at all times.
My mom is acting odd. Very clingy-like. Her emails, IMs and even her visit was very "touchy-feely." She makes comments about wishing she could have stayed longer, missing me, and all that jazz. It annoys me. On the one hand I want her to be motherly. On the other hand I want her to go away. No mention at all about the Wounded Heart book she was reading or anything related to her last visit.
I've got a girls weekend. I'm excited about scrapbooking with the girls. Not so looking forward to being alone all day Saturday. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

This made me feel (slightly) better.....

Bittersweet - glad I found someone else who felt/feels the same way I do and expresses it so eloquently. Sad that there is someone else out there like me. This is from another person's blog. A person who is exactly like me it seems. http://truing.blogspot.com

Fucked
Today, my friend -- my friend who does not read this, my friend who maybe I will tell someday about this place -- today you found out that your brother is dying. And he was not a good father, you tell me. Three out of three of his children agree: he was a shitful bastard.Not in the same way my father was. Not the specifics of the sin against the child. But they seem to be of my tribe. The tribe of the Fucked Up.
So he's dying and you wondered - should they talk to him. What did I think of what you saidwas important, what you thought his children should consider? You advised:
1. Talk to someone - a therapist or clergyman, someone - and get their advice, even if you don't follow it. See what they have to say.
2. It's not about him, it's about you - and decide based on what it will or will not mean to YOU.
3. You're a parent yorself, and try to look at it from that perspective - how your last moments with your father will define your relationship with your own children.You are smart, sweet friend. And stupid. And unknowing. And not of our tribe. (Oh how happy I am for it, that you avoided being one of us.) But you are kind. You try. You at least knew that it wasn't about him - it's about them. But still - you don't quite know, sweet wonderful friend.
Counselors and clergymen advise forgiveness - they are ever so predictable in that "make your peace" spiel. But what the fuck is forgiveness after all? Who knows? Not me. To even try to understand him makes me ill. Makes me pour myself some more scotch in the glass so I can get past it and get on with this and finish my weekly spill onto the page. There's no forgiveness and no peace - that's the part that really gets to me: no peace. Always there, always. No getting rid of it entirely.If he had lived, if he were alive now. My father. What would I do and what would I say. If it were his deathbed. He in front of me.Sometimes I wish it. I wish him alive so I can scream and yell and demand answers.
But you think of it and you realize (I think of it and I realize - first person - no distancing here, self, own up to what you are and how you feel, the dark places inside of you) -- I think of it and I realize: nothing. It would mean nothing. There wouldn't be any satisfaction that would come from saying it to his face. Because he knew that I hated him, that I loathed him, that he sickened me. He knew I had no respect for him, that I considered him laughable at best and sickening at worst. He knew of my murderous hatred for him. It was in my face every time I looked at him, for years.And if he had lain on his deathbed and I had the chance last chance to talk to him - scream or cry or quietly say spiteful and damning things to torment him. If he were alive and I the adult could demand answers?
What did you say, dear friend, when we talked? You asked me - if I ever ask him in my mind, ask him how dare he. How could he. Give me an answer.It's so stupid and useless, you see. There is no answer, of course. He did what he did to get his rocks off, as you so astutely noted. I mattered nothing next to what he wanted for his own passing pleasure.I am sick. It makes me sick, to think like that, from his perspective, acknowledging his desires.Right. Focus. Where was I -What answer could he give, could he ever give, that would satisfy or make anything better. Don't you see?
Even if he were sincerely sorry, even if he hated himself for it and begged forgiveness and gave me permission to hate him, and hated himself for it, damned himself to hell - and he did, you see -- he DID. I saw it in him, the regret, every bit as much as he saw the hatred in me. He was so very very sorry for hurting me.But what good does that do? It makes it even worse. It makes him human. It makes him someone who loved me (oh how I want to smash something to use that word, but he loved me, how I hate him for loving me, don't love me, don't, you sick fuck) and sorry for my pain. I wish more than anything that I was that teenager again, sitting on the couch and silently, full of malice, praying for his death, every time he entered my field of vision. A hated thing. An evil. Nothing to him but a thing to die and die quickly, old man, no one will miss you, I will laugh and spit on your headstone and you will rot in hell screaming in agony as I delight in it -- and other teenage dramatics like that.
He was just a figure to be hated for years, until I remembered one day - that I used to love him. That he used to be a good father. He was, for a while. And acknowledging that there was more to him than just the bad - that's when I began to unravel. Only then.So let your brother's children yell at him on his deathbed. Let them not even acknowledge his death or his life. Let them try to forgive him. Let them ask a him thousand questions to which there is no answer that will bring any variety of peace. Let them try to understand him as a person, or let them try to hate him as a pure evil. Let them try it all, or none of it.It doesn't matter. He still fucked them over. Long after he's dead, they'll still be fucked. And they know it. Which only makes them hate him more, because he gets to escape this fucked up life.

You know your day is going to suck when.......

you wake up already panicky; opening the refrigerator causes you to gag; putting a sleeveless top on makes you feel overheated; you get dizzy walking to your car; you know you shouldn't drive after you very nearly run a red light; the columns on the bridge look way too good; the smoothie you force yourself to drink so you can take meds makes you gag; it's not even 8:30 and you've already filled out 1 panic attack sheet and been sick in the bathroom; and you know that you need to take a xanax but the bitterness is just going to make you sick again. Yep it's gonna suck allright. 3 hours and counting until I can go get WARM in my car and SLEEP and ESCAPE.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

After counseling

I was so busy all day that I didn't have too much time to worry about my session with J. I was concerned that she'd ask "what do you want to discuss?" and we'd sit there in silence. But we walked through the panic workbook for awhile. That was okay. There were some difficult things to talk about but because I was reading them from the book and could look at the book, it was tolerable.
My anxiety had kicked in before the session and I really don't like to take xanax pre-mtg. Not sure if it's because (1) I'm afraid I'll be too relaxed too open -- say something I'll regret saying later - something too open, raw or honest (yeah I know that is probably something I ought to strive for, instead of fight against). OR (2) it could be that I am afraid to be too calm, and so I'll downplay issues that, but for the xanax, would bother me. Also (3) I made a committment to myself when I started counseling that I would be as open as I was able and not lie. While I don't think the xanax would make me lie, I think it might make me minimize something or not react like I would off the meds. And since I want off the meds, I need to be able to talk about, discuss and cope with the issues off the meds.
In any event, I have taken the xanax in the middle of a session on prior days, and usually end up taking one right after. Tonight I took one after. J & I were talking about something and she, out of the blue, asked "so have you pinned today?" Well, she already knew the answer from the look on my face. And since it was a yes/no question, I did manage to say Yes. Surprisingly able to say that aloud. But I know if she had asked why, when, what caused it, or details, I wouldn't have been able to answer. Luckily she didn't.
We did talk about things that can stop me from pinning, and also a panic attack. I mentioned that distractions sometimes work - a phone call, or whatever. J said something about praying for distractions.. Well, she and God must have a quirky sense of humor, because I was on my way to a really nice (insert sarcasm here) panic attack sitting in my car outside her office, wondering if I should wait to pin until I got to church, when J called my cell - a nice, work-related distraction call. The distraction worked and I made it to Bible study. Panicked when I walked in. Room was full and 2 seats left - 1 with back to door (nope) and other with a view of the door but between 2 other people. I chose that one. Teacher said something that struck me - can't remember what but the panic came back and I went in the bathroom and pinned. I'm sitting there enjoying the relief, while at the same time freaking out because I'm doing this in God's house (well, okay the bathroom of God's house, but whatever). I was crying - silent tears of course (can't let anyone hear me). Gave myself 2 minutes and pulled it together. Survived the rest of the study, but boy was I fidgety and my finger is a mess from digging my nail in.
Thought about pulling over somewhere on the side of the road and just having a cry fest, like I do when I go to the park and sit in the sun. But doing that in the dark didn't feel too safe, so I skipped out. Opted to come home and shower. Cried some in the shower. Then had to pull it together to come out and check in with one of my online friends. She's having a rough day and I had committed to call her, or touch base somehow, at a certain time.
DH asked, of course, what J & I talked about, how I was, etc, etc. I answered vaguely. Then he wanted to read me something from his Bible study book but I was too worried about online friend and told him I really needed to focus on her. He went to bed - once again I shut him out. I just can't muster up the ability to try - to put forth the effort. Not with him, not with work, not with anything.
Had a "mess up" at counseling today. J had me list the symptoms I feel associated with a panic attack. I had checked all but a few - one of which was "fear of dying." So she asks "you haven't ever thought you might die from a panic attack?" I said, "I have wondered if I might, but the question was did you FEAR dying, and my answer to that is No." Semantics maybe. She pressed the issue some and I explained that I don't fear dying. To me it's not a big deal. I used to worry a lot about something happening to me and what would happen to DH and/or DD. But I don't worry so much about that any more. For one, DH (and his family somewhat) and definately my Sister comprehend the seriousness of what happened in my childhood and the need to keep DD away from Mom and her Husband. Also, DH has come a long way and I know that while he'd be hurt and sad, he would survive. I'm not so sure if that is a good thought or bad thought to have - I mean on the one hand, it is good that I am more confident in DH. And healthy enough to give up the thought that I have to be in control of everything. On the other hand, not so good to be thinking along those lines.
But good or bad, my thoughts are what they are. I am SO glad J didn't press the issue. Don't want to go there. I know enough of the language/criteria to know that I don't technically meet the commitable "dangerous to self" standard - but I'm honest enough with myself to know that I'm not far from it. And I sure as hell know enough not to admit it. But going back to my "I won't lie in counseling" rule, I don't know what I'd do if asked point blank. Probably find some loophole to avoid the question. I certainly don't have a suicide plan. (side note - I hate the word suicide, I much prefer "dying" or "ending the pain"). But the bridge columns are looking pretty good these days, as are big oak trees, brick walls, deep caverns/ditches, and other solid objects. At intersections I look, not to see if someone is going to run the light so I can stop, but hoping they will. I stare at the bottles of medicine in my cabinet - xanax, lexapro, zyrtec, hydrocodone, 800 mg ibuprofen and then all the OTC stuff. (funny how I never think of the multitudes of guns in the house -- hmm wonder why?) Ideally I'd rather it not be my choice. Some accident. Someone hits me, something like that. I'm having these thoughts fairly often and they don't scare me like they sometimes did. But since I have no plan in the foreseeable future, I've convinced myself I don't have to tell anyone..........yet.

My Revenge --- It's a War I Need to Win

Healing in the end will be my Revenge.

I found that statement on another blog and it has been reverberating through my head all night and morning. Different people have made similar statements to me in the past - staying a perma-victim is letting "him" win; hating yourself is what "he" wants; staying silent, feeling ashamed....all of that stuff...lets the abusers win.
I am a competitor. I hate losing. But I can't seem to muster up the strength and the courage for this war. I find myself fighting, and sometimes winning, an occasional battle, but the war is long and drawn out and I am tired.
For today, I'm going to try to have a better outlook. Until 5 anyway. Then I meet with J. And if I go in there with this great, I'm going to win, attitude, we'll never get to the real stuff. The raw stuff. Which, while I'd love to skip, I know I can't. Because it's part of the war.
I need to, and I will, I hope, win this war....the war of healing....which in the end is the ultimate revenge.

Random Thoughts

This blog is just for me so I'm going to quit restricting what I say and how I say it. I remember going to college and having such a foul mouth. A professor, one of my favorite, took me aside and told me that he didn't care how I talked or what language I used, but others would form opinions based on my language. He said some other things too and as a result, I cleaned up my language. I rarely curse now - have a reputation in my professional life of not using foul language, so much so that other colleagues frequently apologize to me when they use a curse word in my presence. However, when I write on here or talk about this subject, I find myself reverting to foul language and then feeling guilty about it. Well, I have enough guilt in my life -- so I'm freeing myself from the "no bad words" rule and am going to let it all hang out on here. No censorship - it's only for me anyway. If someday, someone else is allowed to read it (and I can't ever imagine that at this point) then they can just deal with it.
A couple of songs struck me this morning as I was driving to the gym. Reliant K's "Who I am hates who I've been. I sure don't want anyone seeing inside my heart or seeing who I've been. Sometimes I want to just shout it out - shock all my co-workers and church friends. Say THIS IS THE REAL ME.

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics... '
cause I don't want you to know where I am 'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.
This is no place to try and live my life.
Stop right there.
That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line.
Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there.
Well I never should have said that
It's the very moment that I wish that I could take back.
I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again 'cause
who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.
I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.
I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.
And I can't let that happen again 'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.
This is no place to try and live my life.
Who I am hates who I've been A
nd who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been 'cause who I've been only ever made me...
So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again

Hawk Nelson's "Everything you ever Wanted" is really about a father who walks out on his family. It is a song from the son's point of view. I tend to think of it from my point of view, singing to God....
I walk the line
Leave it all behind
I've been waiting forever
Let's go back in time
When I could read your mind
So I've been waitin'
It took a season's going by
To know it's not my fault
I tried to be perfect.
Tried to be honest.
Tried to be everything that you ever wanted.
I tried to be stronger.
Tried to be smarter.
Tried to be everything but you...
It's been so long
Since you've been home
I used to wait up forever.
Used to say a prayer
Wishing you were there.
And I'm still waiting...
You told me once
You'd show up,
But I fell for that before I fell to pieces
Then I woke up to no one
Just a picture of Jesus
And a house left in pieces
And it took a season's going by
To know it's not my fault.
I want you
I need you
I want to believe you
I want you
I need you
I want to believe you
I tried be perfect
Tried to be honest
Tried to be everything but you...
That's me - trying to be perfect. Wanting and needing God, wanting to believe Him, but trying to get there on my own.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Journal - Panic attack

Seems like all i've done is write today. I think DD finally fell asleep. I'm glad because she was crying and upset and I knew I needed to let her just be whiny - that I couldn't give in to her wanting to come sleep on the couch or have me sleep in there, but on the other hand, her screaming/crying is driving me crazy.
I came home, barely making it in the driveway before the panic attack took over. I came in and told DH I needed a shower. Sat on the floor of the shower and tried to cry, but couldn't. Tried to pray but couldn't get the words out - even silently in my head. So I just sat there, until the water ran cold. Then "faked it" for awhile.
Tried to do my Bible study tonight before class tomorrow. Doing fine until I get to the part about presenting each part of your body to Christ for His service. Hands -- okay fine. Eyes -- okay fine. Feet - okay fine. Flip the page. Stomach - hmm that's a little hard. Sex organs --- what? WHAT? You want me to give those over to you? Where the hell were you when I wanted to give them up at age 12. You could have had them then. I'll give them up. I sure as hell can't control them. They don't do what ~I~ want. Don't respond when I want. Don't fail to respond when I don't want them too.
I can't read any further. The rest of the study is about using your body to function in God's service and about letting Christ control your body instead of you. What the _ _ _ _ ? I don't want my body. I want it gone. I want you to take it. Now. You can have it. All I do is let it be destroyed - destroy it myself - avoid it - try to escape it. So you want it? Fine - have it. Tonight I drove by the bridge columns - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 break, 6, 7, 8,9, 10. DD was in the backseat. But I wanted to hit them. Hard. Give that physical body up in a second. Take it from me. There are plenty of ways for you to do it. I don't want it any more.
I want so badly to reach out for help and find someone that will just hold me and let me cry. Not try to solve my problems. NOT ASK WHY (that's for you DH - I don't KNOW why so QUIT asking me). To not judge. To not commit me to the hospital when I say I don't want to live anymore. To not try to change my mind. To not try to convince me that life is grand and good. I think I could find someone to do some of those things, IF I were willing to ask and reach out - but not sure about all of them.
If money and family and everything were no object, I would somehow transform it into summer right now. I'd pack up my bags - not much stuff - a few clothes, lots of good books, some scrapbook supplies, paper, pens, and lots of suntan lotion. I'd head for the Lake. Just me. Maybe the dog and a big stuffed animal. I'd lie on the beach. Take a raft out to the middle of the lake. Push my body harder and further to run a greater distance, swim across the lake, everything. I'd lie under the sky and scream at God. Cry my eyes out. Give a voice to all my feelings. All the things I am unable to do here and now. I can't even let all my feelings out on paper, although I'm getting better. I can't say it silently inside, or pray it silently to God or even myself.
I can't imagine going on another year, month, week or even a day, like this. I'm tired. I can't get up the strength to fight. I just want to go to sleep forever. In a way it was easier when it was about the abuse - that is ugly and evil and I expect it to be. But now it's more about me - the middle ground - what I've done with it. And that's looking inward. Much harder, much uglier, taking longer than I thought. I try to find a reason to live and I think of DD. I don't want to screw up her life, like my mom screwed up mine. But really, am I screwing it up worse by being here in my present state? I don't know.
Couldn't work........again. Browsing survivor sites. Trying to find an answer, some answer, some tidbit that will help me go on. I did find a good site today. Lots of poetry that speaks to me. http://overcomingandconquering.blogspot.com/

One day,
I’ll be able to find the words
To speak the unspeakable.
One day,
My vocabulary wont become paralyzed..
And the words will just flow off of my lips..
One day,
I wont hold myself back,
The tears will just cascade down my cheeks.
One day,
I’ll be able to say that my past
Isn’t stuck in my present.

HOW? How do I do this? How do I make the words come out? The tears come out? The feelings come out? They are welling up inside and I think I'm going to explode.

little girl.
What do you do with yourself?
When the tears feel so near,
Yet they are miles away from
Streaming down your face?
How do you hold your head high?
When your heart is drowning
Within sorrow?
When does everything slow down in your mind?
Just enough so you can,
Hear yourself think?
How do you resist the urges?
To throw everything away,
How do you resist digging into your wrists?
And releasing all of the built up emotion?
How am I supposed to overcome?
When I can’t even speak the words?
How am I going to further myself
When I’m continually losing control?
How do you reassure yourself?
That healing will really be worth it
In the end?
How am I supposed to let go...
When fear paralyzes my vocabulary?
I become frozen within my mind,
Lost within my thoughts
My lips stationary…
My eyes trying to speak the embarrassing pain
That has obscured my vision of myself for too long.

That is me - my thoughts, my fears. How do I release the words. How do I let go, when fear paralyzes my voice and I become frozen (disoriented, stuck) in my head. My lips stationary. How do I reassure myself the healing will be worth it?

Fear. I hate that word. It holds so much within its meaning.. vulnerability... being a huge chunk.. In session on monday morning, my t, asked me to say a word "x" ..(( I dont even want to put the word here. Too much of a trigger. )) I stared at her, I looked around the room, fidgeted, rolled my eyes twice, and was swallowed by fear. My t said to me, you are allowing a word, to have so much control. you are making a word have human traits, its breathing, walking and talking to you. Which later on made so much sense, I am giving a simple word, power over me. I cannot say this word. and my T even tried to get me to use the word in a sentence unrelated to why it triggers me. and I froze. and I couldnt. how do you get the power back, from a word,that you made a person.the fear,the control....how do you ignore the fear.. or bury the fear..so the words can flow?Im not sure thats possible...to do without feeling extremely vulnerable....

That's exactly what is going to happen to me tomorrow when J wants me to talk about myself and my issues. This writer is about age 20 and is so much further along than me.

last week in session I said to Donna that I cant answer her because I was afraid she was going to think I was bad or gross or dirty b/c of my answers... I said that if she heard one of my memories, I was afraid that she would hate me.. so she turns around and says lets see, tell me just one memory.. and I know you have one on the tip of your tongue.. and of course I froze up just as I always do... I have realized over the past few weeks that I cannot picture or rather allow certain words to fall off of my lips. I just cant. and that in turn holds me back, for the most part. There are words that just feel and to me are dirty.(or are in my head because of what happened to me) Penis, anal sex, I cannot say the word lollipop without gagging.My uncle used to call himself a 'lollipop'. Hence my feeling the way that I do. I can tell a memory until I get to the descriptive parts, then my vocabulary seems to leave my mind. And I feel dirty, and gross for even thinking of saying those words. I know that in my heart I need to, badly, but those words strike to the core of my heart and make me want to breakdown and Im scared to cry. Because crying is bad. (yes, I know that crying isnt bad and IS very healing) but this little girl doesnt see that yet. Im working on that with her. We will get to that understanding, sooner or later. My little girl knows that she needs to talk, we can feel that, but the fear of 'losing it' seems to overtake any conscious feeling, and Im trying to figure out how to get over that obstacle.

I call them my GAG words. The ones that make me want to throw up.