The end. And still we will rise (saying goodbye).

I have been blogging considerably less lately.

There are a number reasons for this. Partly, it is simply that I longer need to share in the way I have done previously and more importantly because I am finding that I do not need validation from the world any more. If I cannot find it in myself, I look to my T, my minister or my husband instead.

The main reason for the lack of posting, is because I am finding sharing here has become more difficult. I am left with a bad taste each and every time lately. There has been so much fear, paranoia and resentment.

I am not sure when it changed, but lately I find myself wanting to keep my memories and my pain, close to me. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not about holding it inside, it’s not about keeping secrets. In fact it’s probably the exact opposite. I do not need to blog, to try to feel what is going on inside of me. Feeling, is becoming more natural. I am becoming more comfortable in feeling whatever it is that I am feeling.

Somewhere in there it is also about self preservation I guess. I do not want to be hurt. I do not want to be judged or rejected, and that is more important than ever before. I may be more robust than before, but I am no longer willing to allow others to hurt me.

Furthermore, I do not believe everyone needs to know what I went through. Not because this is something that should be kept private, or something to be ashamed of (though that’s a whole other issue), but it is more, I don’t think everyone deserves to share my pain. Not everyone deserves to know my memories and most importantly, my progress.

I had decided to move my blog, perhaps make it more private, but I find myself reconsidering. While there are still times, I crave sharing what is going on with me, I am not sure I want to do that here, any longer.

This is mine. My pain, my memories. Mine. I am the one who went through it, I am the one who is still living with it. I am the one who survived it and I am the one who is giving everything I have, in order to make a life beyond it.

Those individuals who have been bravely listening to the details of what I endured.. they are the ones who have earned the right to know my pain. The handful of people who have been there every step of the way, validating and supporting me, are the ones who have earned the privilege of watching me grow.

So, exactly two years to the day this blog began, is this now the end? I think so. I am done sharing my memories here and I am done sharing my pain.

It has been instrumental in my healing, but it is no longer. And so I must bring it to an end and say goodbye. So thank you.. for reading and supporting me. Thank you for sharing your own experiences – you know who you are.

 

 

In some very dark moments, finding fellow survivors here was life saving.  It is a club, no one ever wants to be part of, but I have found and continue to find comfort in knowing that as a survivor, I will never, ever be alone. There is a bond between us and though men may have created it, it is something they cannot take away. One day I hope it will end and we will finally be equal in this world..until then take comfort in knowing we are never alone.. Until then, we rise.

 

 

 

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

 

Advertisements

I’m alive.

Some big news, I just need to share……

I am a real, live, feeling person. Did you know?

I am not so sure I did before now.

All this time, there was someone real underneath all this show, pretense and trauma. Someone with thoughts, wants, needs and desires. And passion. So, much passion for life. Oh my word, I feel so alive.

I find myself wondering if other people see and feel what I do. Is this how everyone feels? If so, why aren’t you weeping all the time- whether with joy or pain? How on earth do you stay so calm and controlled? I feel like a toddler, discovering the world.

Everything is so much clearer. Beauty. And pain. All of it seems so much more vibrant than ever before.

Do you see it? The life? The peace? The freedom?

It’s so damn close, I can taste it and damn, is it so sweet… even the grief, even the pain. All of it.

* Trigger Warning*

 

In some ways, I’m in hell. The memories I am containing right now- hell. The body memories causing surging pain through my jaw right now- hell. I’m containing, suppressing. But it seems, even those things now make me feel alive.

My eyes are opening.. I see what is all around me as clearly as I am beginning to see what was back then. You see, I’m disclosing the worst bits to my T now. Yes the worst. The intimate details.. where I have to tell him the specific ways in which I was hurt, how it felt, what I smelt, how my body reacted, the things I had to do, the things I had to say.. things I have patchy memories of due to the level of trauma. In order to do this, I have to step back into the room in which I was hurt so many times. It began last week and so far, I’ve had to dissociate to disclose, but I’m getting closer, closer to feeling it too and God, that is where the freedom lies. The beginning at least. I’m sure of that.

Because that’s the key.. the very secrets I was certain I’d take to my grave…are my way out from under him, where if I’m honest, despite all my efforts, a part of me has remained.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking torture, yet I have to do it, because I know it is the only way to face who I used to be. And it is the only place I can face him. Only in that room, only by freeing myself from these secrets, can I truly see him for who he is and what  he did to me. This is beyond what he took from my body, instead it is what he tried to take from my heart and soul. It is where I find me.. and I know because it’s already happening. I am already doing it. This is where I take back control.

He told me no one would believe me, he told me my only worth was my body, he told me I was just a set of holes to be used. He told me it was all my fault. He told me I was dirty, over and over and over again.

He called me sexy, and he called me ugly. He called me slut. He called me slag and filthy whore. And worst of all, he called me his…which is why I’ve got to keep doing this, it is why I have to tell every sickening detail. I am not his, I will not be his, we will not share these secrets together. This is the only way I can be free. I am not those things and one day soon, I’m going to know that within my heart too. I’m going to win.. did you know? I am not sure I did.

I’m going to win, I’m going to be in control and I’m going to be free!

 

 

 

Moving forward

It seems like forever, since I saw my T. I feel like a different person to the one who met with him just 3 weeks ago.

I think I have been different for some time, but too caught up in PTSD stuff, to notice the changes taking place, right under my nose.

It is now I feel I can breathe again, that I have been able to reflect on all the progress I have made.

I have written for hours on end. Recording, reflecting, expressing and healing. I have cried, more than I ever cried before. Crying, limited by PTSD triggers, but with many more tears than there have been previously. I have faced the hardest anniversary so far and I grieved like I have never been able, or allowed to do before. It was agony, but I am finding with agony there is a strange sense of peace.

And in my pain and honesty with myself, I have found new depths of healing. With every tear I have managed to shed, I found myself another step closer to freedom.

Over the last few weeks, I have made some decisions, one in particular is a pretty huge, life changing decision. Just by being able to make these decisions, I see the change in me. I have found that I want and can, at last, put myself first.  I have my own hopes and dreams and wants and needs that I have never really dared to have before.

 

I do not want to return to therapy tomorrow. I feel strong and alive and with such desire to move on. I want to be done talking about all those who hurt me. I do not want to give them a minute more of my life.

Yet, return I must. Because although the end is near (of therapy, at least), I am not quite done yet. So tomorrow I return to begin to tell him the remaining secrets left within me. I am resentful of that and afraid.

Wish me luck.

 

Choosing to heal.

 

* Trigger warning for SI*

I really want to share this with someone, it’s kinda scary to do so, but I’m going to be brave, because I think it’s important that I be honest about this.

 

I did something today. Something completely unexpected and out of the blue.

I think doing this “something” will prove to be incredibly healing for me.. the pain and the anger that vibrated through my body as I did this “something” has to be a good. It has to be healing. Because I didn’t push it back down, not this time. I let it out. I let it breathe. At least until the tears came and I was forced to ground.

This “something” isn’t altogether why I am writing, or what I want to share- mostly because I cannot share the details. Instead, it’s more about another thing that happened during this “something” this afternoon.

In the midst of what I did today,  a disturbing thought more than crossed my mind. One from back then. One that came from her- the person I used to be. This thought was about self destruction, self hate and self mutilation. And it was close, far too close.

After the “something” I did today, I knelt among the debris, breathing, shaking. Recovering. It felt like the debris was sort of calling to me – as crazy as that may sound. Even crazier, it felt like someone inside was listening. I don’t even remember doing it, but I must have reached out and taken a piece, because suddenly it was in my hand. I was dissociating somewhat, I guess. I remember being preoccupied by the way this shard caught the light. Any danger seemed so far away.  There was such temptation and there was familiarity and a great deal of need. Complex, chaotic, need. Need that can exist, no matter how empty and numb you may feel. It is a feeling, we have touched on in therapy lately…and it’s horrible. And it’s scary. It would seem that in the wrong setting, it can be dangerous also, as today has taught me.

This is where it gets hard to admit.. but I came as close as I have been in years to letting her take control. I am ashamed to admit, but I got as far as running it across my hand, more than once.

Too close. But I stepped in and I saved myself. I chose not to apply pressure. I chose instead, to feel the anger. I chose instead, to feel the pain. And most importantly, I let them both breathe. For as long as I could stand it.

Today, I think I made a huge step in healing, by this “something” I did, but more crucially, when my old self wanted to self destruct. I chose recovery,  I chose self care. I chose me.

Strength?

I’m tough. I am the strongest person I know. Is that conceited? Either way, it is true. I have endured much and have lived to to talk about it.

I escaped my abuser and I found a good man to fall for.

I am strong.

I’m not sure I always was.

Where did that come from and why does it bother me so?

In therapy we somehow got on to talking about a friend who helped me. Someone, who was his victim too. Someone who saved me more than once and someone I relied on to help me cope with the pain, the panic and the fear. We talked about her for some time. It proved to be very painful and incredibly upsetting. I wasn’t altogether successful at holding back the tears.

I have been writing about her since I got home. I ache. Not for her, I don’t miss her. I don’t want her. She belongs back then. In my memories. But in talking about her, once again I was touching on who I used to be.

It’s a very strange place to be. Not quite grounded, but not “in it” either. It’s scary, but also a powerful, intense place to sit.

I remembered how I used to feel and I do not remember strength then. I relied on her. And most of all, I relied on my abuser.

When it got too much and I couldn’t calm down, I relied on her gentle touch, to bring my breathing under control. It was her closeness that stopped the shaking. I couldn’t do it for myself. Not then.

And then there was him-who could shut down my pain with just a look. It worked. I was grateful for that at least.

Did I grow strong over time?

Is my strength a direct result of what was done to me? That disturbs me. I do not want to be strong because he made me so. I do not want to be able to shut down my pain because of years of his control and fear enables me to do so.

I need this to be mine. Not another result of grooming.

My strength. Not his.

 

Why after all we’ve talked about today, is this my focus? My T suggested that I may need to talk about her again, however it may be more like how we dealt with disclosure, sometimes once was enough. Perhaps he is right? I get the feeling that we stumbled upon her because she blocks where I need to be (which I am guessing my T suspected too). After talking and writing about her, she is moving out the way and what lies behind her is mountains and mountains of pain.

 

Pain that includes the reality of his control. And somewhere in all that I am caught up in a desperate need to find something of myself now (or before) in myself back then. By that I mean, something of me, the real me, perhaps that was there before, or would have been whether I was abused or not. Instead of the completely broken child that I am beginning to see in some of these memories now.

I lost so much. He took my body and he took my heart. Did he take my soul too? Was there anything left? Was I strong before? Did that remain and then grow?

I need for there to be something. A spark, a flicker. I badly need to find something he didn’t create. I need to find something he didn’t take from me. I cannot be a result of his abuse. I cannot.

 

Am I making any sense? I’m not so sure.

 

 

Needing him.

I have wanted to write since Friday. Journal, or blog. Something. Anything.

I need to write, I know that. I need something out. I can feel it.

Except now, I finally feel I can, I find myself hesitating. Although it seems as if my journal is calling to me, I am struggling to find the courage to pick it up. I hold back here, but maybe I can at least find some relief.

 

Therapy last week, was, as it has been for some time – excruciating. I was closer than I have ever been to who I was and more importantly, what I felt and what I feel.

I’m glad to have been able to step away from that somewhat since then. After a great deal of grounding this weekend, the triggers are not as persistent as they were on Saturday.

It was a scary and stomach churning experience on Friday (therapy day). It was like stepping back into my old shoes, right back into who I used to be. Looking through her eyes as the horror of my daily life unfolded before me. Hell. 

I connected with myself. And I could feel a familiar emptiness and most of all, need. An all encompassing need.

Back then, I could have killed for that need.

My T suggested that it was a need my abuser created and so he was the only one who who could fulfill it. It was engineered that way. For him. Not for me. There was no other option offered to me. My T said, had there been, I would have taken it.

Would I? Really?

I couldn’t explore that properly with my T, because more talk of control and choice caused a horrific flashback, therefore the rest of the time, was spent grounding.

 

I remember that overwhelming and all compelling need. Perhaps not as well as I did with my T on Friday, but it hasn’t gone. I cannot shake it completely. Back then it was my waking thought. My only thought. Him. And my need to be with him. No matter what that meant for me. Or anyone else.

It ruled me.

Or he ruled me??

It’s like he was surrounded by a powerful magnetic force. I was drawn to him. I sought him. I needed him. So badly. It was as important as air to me. Can you imagine that? Do you know what that was like? Do you have any concept of the depth of my need? I’m not sure many could. Terrifying. Until Friday, even I had forgotten- buried, what that was like.

 

As I got older and I was no longer exclusively his, or he mine, I found myself pining for him. My addiction remained. Although I saw him regularly, I missed him, so very much. Too much. And so I got hurt more. For him. For me.

My T suggested, that was at least in part, because I didn’t know how to function without my abuser. He told me what to do. He told me what I should feel. And no matter the consequence for asking, I needed to need his permission for even the most basic of things. It was what made sense. It was safe. He was safe. The world was a scary place without him. How messed up.

 

I needed him to save me. And he did. He saved me over and over again. Except the only thing I really needed saving from, was him. He engineered that. He created my need for his rescue and so I had to return. Don’t you see?

Does anyone see? Can anyone understand?  I owed him. At least, I thought I did.

My saviour. My addiction.

 

Loss

Is it possible to grieve through PTSD symptoms? Because I hurt. I physically ache, just as I did back then. Yet I am not traumatised, not like before at least. It will always be horrific, but I am sure it is not trauma, not anymore.

Then the physical pain has to be a manifestation of the emotional pain that I just cannot release, right?

The only release is to cry, and therefore that means, right now I have no choice but to try to keep it inside. I have been fighting the tears all day long. And fight it I must because to shed tears, is to plunge myself into darkness. Into a black hole, that is so deep and so dark that I am terrified I won’t ever find my way out. Until I find a way around that, the pain can only be released by my agony. Hideous, awful, physical pain.

Mother’s day was just too much, it reminded me of that day. And now I cannot shake the feelings of loss. And I cannot shake him either. What he did and what he caused.

*Big Trigger warning here. If you are likely to be triggered, or if you would rather not know some details of my abuse, please don’t read on*

 

******************************************************************************************

 

As I lay underneath my husband last night, I felt my abuser. Where I was safe and loved, he disturbed us. He interrupted something beautiful and intruded on what is ours.  And I was there, back there. It was no longer night and I was no longer safe. Trapped, afraid and in a great deal of pain.

That day he pushed me to floor, like so many times before, and he took. And he took. Despite my pleas, despite the blood, it would not end.

Then he abandoned me, leaving  me completely alone, with a burden I did not know how to bear.

And out there, in the cold and surrounded by death, we lost all that we had left.

 

 

I lost so much and it hurts. I hurt.

I wish someone could take this from me.