A new home.

Tomorrow we get the keys to our new house- woo! My first real house (we have always rented).

Over recent years we have been living in a different town and county to where I grew up and where the abuse took place. I feel safe here, content even at times. There’s a freedom here that I have never had before.

I have spent so many years feeling in limbo. Never really belonging. I always had a constant pull towards my home town which caused me so much conflict. I hated that town, going there made me feel suffocated. I felt in danger. I was surrounded by triggers. There are so many reminders there and the very real and valid fear that I could run into my abuser. Yet I continued to be drawn there, to my family, the familiarity, to friends. I loved it. I hated to love it, but oh how I loved it there.

Somewhere over the last year or so, those ties have broken. I am no longer drawn to my childhood town. I no longer want to live there, it is no longer my home.

I feel like we belong here in the town we live in now, the town and county I now call home.

 

The house we live in right now is pretty tiny, it has lots wrong with it. I will miss it though. My youngest child was born here, we became a family of 4 here.

Two years ago, healing began in this house. I have put a lot of effort into making the house a safe haven to aid that healing. When I am feeling bad with PTSD, or my heart hurts, my living room is my sanctuary.

Home always felt like a prison- a prison I did not want to leave. My home here does not feel that way, not for at least 6 months ago now. I feel safe here. It is the first house I remember feeling safe in.

I am excited to have all that and more (well apart from the giving birth part) in my new house. I intend to make it a home for us as soon as possible. We have planned the move carefully. The living room is the last to be packed and the first to be unpacked. I have already chosen new items to aid the grounding process.

This house will give me security. I can and will install (actually the husband will) a decent alarm system and door and window locks. The house will be ours to stay in for as long as we want. I will never be forced to move somewhere else due to financial reasons.

 

I have some fears. Fear of the chaos and stress during the move. The fear of not being able to sleep in a new place. Fears of how I will handle things until it becomes a familiar and grounding place. Those fears are valid- I expect to have sleep issues, I expect to have to work harder to ground- but at least they are only going to be temporary things.

I have some guilt over the move too- of course. Survivors guilt my T calls it. That comes and goes. Perhaps it always will.

There is so much excitement over this, I am so thrilled about this move, but my heart is heavy for others and from guilt that I am surviving, even thriving.  I feel guilty that I am striving so hard to be anywhere close to that dark world I knew. It is a fine line between removing myself from any reminders to avoid triggers and pretending that world and those things do not exist. I never want to cross that line. I never want to bury my head in the sand.

Nothing is ever simple is it? It is so difficult to break away from guilt and fear that has been instilled in me for so very long.

It’s been a rough week, it continues to be. The body memories are disturbing, even frightening at times. I am at a very difficult turning point while this house move goes on. I have to have faith that this will bring more healing. That the body memories are a step forward, however unpleasant they may be. I am coping, just. It is barely bearable, but I am bearing it. And tomorrow is another huge milestone. Not a new start as such, but a new chapter in my life and in our lives as a family.

 

 

 

 

Abuse should never be the norm

 

I woke today with my wrists feeling sore, though the bruises healed long ago, the pain feels very real to me. My husband seemed to know, he took my hands and caressed my wrists gently and then held them firmly. I felt safe, loved and comforted. I thank God for my husband everyday.

I have been with my husband for longer than the abuse went on for. Though I trust my husband completely, as part of the PTSD, the hyper vigilance remains. The fear of being hurt again is always there.

This morning it struck me that it was a little messed up to feel so grateful that he did not and does not hurt me. That should be a given, with every man, with every person. No one should be abusing anyone else.

I am grateful for how wonderful my husband is- but I should not have to be thankful that he is not abusing me. It should never have to cross my mind.

Abuse should never be the norm, rape should not be part of every day life. What kind of world are we living in where this is accepted even ridiculed. Rape can destroy lives, abuse eats away at the soul.

I should not have to feel relief, or be grateful that my husband or any man in my life treats me the way I and everyone deserves to be treated.

 

Abuse is not OK, it should never have been part of my life. No one deserves abuse and I will never accept it as the norm.

 

 

I cannot write in my journal. I cannot explain here what is going on and I have no therapy this week.

I am struggling lots this morning.

 

The truth is all I have ever wanted, I want to be free, I want to know and process everything. I thought it would make me feel sane.

Now I know (and I mean really know) the truth, I feel crazier than ever. At least right now. This is too much for one person. This sort of stuff breaks people.

I do not have time to be broken, I have children, a husband, a job and a house move.

The memories need to stop. I feel trapped right now. Trapped by the truth, the reality and the memories. Each day I remember more, I know more and I feel more. I know I was abused now, really know.

I was abused, for fucks sake- what do I do with that?

I feel tortured by memories. I feel tortured by the truth. When will it end? Will it ever end?

Somewhere inside I feel like this is killing me.

I am strong. I know that now. My T would tell me I am tough, I can handle this. He would tell me it is necessary to feel this way, but it will pass. Oh God, I hope he is right. Because I cannot help but think that this is too big for me. Too big for anyone.

I am not OK. Not even close. I need peace so desperately right now.

What do I do?

 

 

 

The need to be believed

About a week and a half ago, I reached a HUGE and life changing goal.

Things are different, new, changed. All of it, everything. Most of the time I feel like the bottom has fallen out of my world. Yet there are times when I realise things are clearer, the past and the present. There are even moments where I feel as if I am really starting to find myself.

It is a lot- too much to explain here. And right now I cannot blog about the specifics of this step. Particularly, because I am way too close to what it has changed in the memories of the abuse. Until I share those things with my T, it is better I stay away from them as much as possible. Heck, I am even nervous to journal about it too much.

My mind is working over time though and so I would like to share some general thoughts over this new step.

I have always needed for others to believe me, like an absolutely desperate need. I have worried and feared endlessly that I am not believed.

I am automatically suspicious of people, I wait to be screwed over by everyone. There are lovely and amazing people there for me but (and I feel so guilty for this) I guess I even wait for them to change their mind and no longer believe me. The more I share of my (unbelievable sounding) story, the greater the fear that I will be branded a liar and then rejected and abandoned. I cannot help it. I wait and I prepare for rejection.

The last few days and this afternoon in particular, I have been thinking about that need to be believed. I think as things are becoming clearer, my perception is changing. Do not get me wrong- I still have that need to be believed, I still want that. I even still have that (embarrassing) expectation that I will be abandoned at some point, but I am starting to wonder how much of that need to be believed is about other people rather than me?

What I mean is- perhaps I have had it all wrong. Maybe I have been placing too much importance on others believing me and my story. I suspect the insecurity is about a lot more than having not been believed years ago. I suspect it has a lot to do with my own belief in my experiences. Or perhaps that should be lack of belief. Because I am not sure I have ever really believed any of it myself.

Until today, I did not realise that I did not believe my own story. How messed up is that? I want so badly to be heard, to be understood and to be believed. Yet I could not even do that for myself. That feel like such a failing.

This recent step has forced me to face the ugliness of my past as a whole. I cannot hide, I cannot escape- I have tried. Now I see and now I know and oh, how I feel it too. How can I not believe myself now?

How could I have ever expected other people to believe what I could not?

Maybe when the shock wears off and the pain becomes more bearable, my belief in my own story will be enough? Perhaps my need for others to believe me will begin to fade? What a relief that would be.

While I get used to my own story, please (continue to) believe me?  It is more important than ever. For now.

I cannot deny it any longer. I believe my story.

Would you? Do you? Will you?

Ready?

Trigger Warning for swearing.

 

Thank you for the support yesterday. It was a rough afternoon. I wish I could say it passed. If anything it is worse this morning, but that may be because I am laden with guilt right now too.

My husband went out for a ride first thing this morning, I called him home shortly after he left. I needed him, I needed comfort, I needed his help with the children. But he needed that ride. He needed time out before looking after the boys for the weekend. It was so hard for me to ask for help, but I was falling hard and fast, I felt I did not have any choice.

I also called my friend, at first I was going to cancel our plans today, instead we pushed it back to later today and agreed to a quieter evening in at her place. We had planned a meal out and then onto the City to hit the bars. I am relieved. I was looking forward to those plans, but in this state a night in sounds better.

I feel guilty I changed her (and our other friends) plans. I want to cancel completely. I can’t stop shaking. I feel a wreck. My husband is encouraging me to go, he thinks it will be good for me, that it will ground me. I need that for sure. Maybe he is right.

I have body memories and I’m fighting off flashbacks left, right and centre though- maybe home is better. I am not sure.

 

I expressed my fears to my T yesterday and he said that a year ago, or 6 months ago I would not have been able to handle this. I would have been overwhelmed with anger, pain and triggers. He said I have this now, because I am ready but ready doesn’t mean it will be easy.

Well he’s right about that. And ready? Hell, I don’t even want to think about what this would have been like if I wasn’t ready. This is so fucking bad, so fucking hard.

 

Yesterday I faced something I’ve been waiting for. I knew it was coming, I’ve been working towards it for months and now it has happened. As expected it has changed everything. My T said- yes changed everything back then, but not now. Here and now is the same. I am hanging onto that right now.

This is what I need. It is what I want- to heal. But I never wanted it to come to this. I never wanted to be in this fucking position in the first place.

I did not want to be treated like a fucking object, used and abused then thrown away like I was some worthless broken toy. I should not have been left alone, forced to pick up the pieces and repair what was left of myself over and over again.

 

I know my T would encourage me to feel what I feel right now, he would reassure me that it’s ok that it hurts. He would tell me it’s OK to struggle, but to remember that I will come out the other side. I am holding onto those thoughts right now. Thank God for my T.

And thank God for my husband, picking me up each time I cannot find the strength this morning.

I am no longer alone am I? Sometimes I forget that.  I do not have to build barriers and compartmentalise any longer. My T is right. I am here facing this, because I am ready.

 

 

 

 

The wait.

I am waiting.

Waiting for someone to make this better. Waiting for something to make this all go away.

Waiting to be picked up off the floor, soothed and comforted.

Waiting for the chaos within me to settle down. Waiting for my memories to quieten.

Waiting for company, I feel so very alone.

Waiting for my strength to kick in, to dust me down and give me a much needed forward shove.

 

 

The hours following an intense therapy session are almost unbearable.

Wild and dark thoughts. Flailing around for something to make this go, someone to make it OK again. Brief thoughts of self destruction-vodka or self harm- will they ever completely go?

 

Waiting for this to pass.

Waiting for peace.

Ever struggle to find the words to describe how you feel?

Something big has shifted (which apparently is a major milestone) and now my memories are different. I have new ones, gaps have been filled in and I view them all in a new way.

It is as if the separate boxes of memories have been thrown together into a new bigger box. It is chaos in my head, like they are all clambering for my attention “Look at me, see how different I am” and “look, I am new, process me”. More to accept, more to face.

It’s shit. That is about the only word I can find to describe how I feel. It’s not even accurate, I just don’t think the word I need exists.

I should be sitting in the garden recovering from my therapy, avoiding my laptop, just journalling or relaxing, but I cannot.

I am very aware that in 24 hours I need to be OK, I have plans with University friends who I see so rarely, I don’t want to cancel. I need to be better, but right now I cannot switch off. I am restless and fidgety.

I didn’t want to leave my therapy session today. I guess I need some guidance and reassurance right now. Because this is so massive- massive and scary.