Writing, healing- stuff.

It has been a rough week. Kinda expected after my therapy session last Friday. We poked at a lot of old wounds.

I muddled through the week, but reached exhaustion Thursday evening, so much so that my husband was trying to convince me to take a sick day on Friday. If you know my husband then you would realise what a big deal that is. My husband never takes time off and he rarely encourages anyone else to, he is of the “push through” school of thought when it comes to work.

I didn’t take time off (I guess I am not so different from my husband) but I planned an hour or so to myself in the afternoon, when I would normally be with my T.

However, my afternoon didn’t quite go to the original plan. I had a bad morning at work and I was home late as a result. My toddler was very unhappy from the moment we got home. He proceeded to scream at me for most of the afternoon.

Honestly, I felt quite resentful that my afternoon was not going to plan. At times, I was tempted to join in the tantrum with him. I just wanted some time, time to attempt journaling, time to lay in the garden under the trees and think, or not think.

But the 3 year old had other ideas. He was very unhappy- teething I think -and only mummy would do. In the end, I took my angry, red faced tot outside with me, lay down with him and quietly sang to him until he calmed down. Which he did.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent on the blanket under the trees, cuddling, singing and looking at the clouds together. And you know what? It was actually pretty awesome. Not the afternoon I had planned, but healing in its own way.

So I didn’t quite get time to spend on journalling, but perhaps that isn’t a bad thing? I was grounded and found a great deal of comfort in that closeness with my little boy.

 

I feel a little better this morning and as my toddler woke at 6, I have had some time to journal a little first thing. It has helped. There has been so much to think about, so much bothering me lately that it’s all felt a bit too chaotic to make sense of. Right now, I feel I have a little more clarity on what it is that needs to be dealt with and what will need acknowledgment and time.

In recent weeks I have been facing my past as a whole. There is no longer a retreat, or a way to hide. The full extent of what he did is what I see now. It’s better, for the long term, but very painful and scary right now. I have felt quite overwhelmed by it all this week.

I think this morning I have decided I am taking on way too much when it is not altogether necessary. Just because I now see my past as a whole, does not mean I need to face all of it as such. I cannot handle all the memories at once, I just cannot, there are too many. The trauma of those processed memories may have faded but the horror has not and maybe never will?

This morning, I have given permission to myself to section off the memories where I can- not quite the same as it used to be, where they were deeply buried in many, many different boxes, but more compartmentalising where possible. It is not simple at all, but I feel relief at just allowing myself some let up from all this. Not suppressing, or even distracting necessarily, but separating memories and putting away whatever I cannot or do not want to think about. Those processed memories are slotting away fairly easily- apart from two which I have noted to bring up with my T (when he has finished gallivanting across the country).

I am not sure if this will help or even work, but right now I feel better for the clarity journalling has brought and for being a little more proactive in dealing with things. It all felt a bit too much like I was just supposed to let it happen to me and I do not like that idea at all. But healing is personal, I have to find my own way. Letting things just happen or just be, is too scary for me, it is not my way and it was not working and is not likely to work for me.

So, maybe nothing will change, maybe I won’t be able to compartmentalise everything, but I feel like I can breathe a little easier right now. And I am glad for that. 🙂

 

Happy Saturday people. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

Therapy today- reeling.

I am reeling after today’s therapy session. Some encouraging things, but mostly uncovering the things I have been distracting from recently. I am feeling emotional and sad and shocked and hurt and disturbed. I am grounded, no flashbacks or body memories, but pain, lots and lots of pain.

 

Abandonment, rejection, grooming, helplessness- all came up today. Him, it was him, all of it was him. I cannot escape that anymore. I see what he did, how he got me, the pressure, the lies, the force. I was his puppet, he used me- and that control went deeper than I once believed. It is terrifying the depths to which I was controlled. My body, my memories, my thoughts, my feelings. Everything.

 

We returned to choice briefly, to what that meant and the enormity of admitting of how it was better when there was no choice- I cannot begin to explain what that means, what I admitted and how disgusted I am (with him, not me). It’s all so fucked up. How I could ever prefer the lack of choice- what on earth did he to do me to ground me down that much, to make me prefer “that”?

And then the resulting “does he believe me?” thoughts- which more recently I know to usually mean “do I believe me?” I didn’t ask him. I cannot ask myself. Because how can I believe it? How can I expect anyone to believe me? How can this be true? Any of it? Who does that to someone else? I will never understand, the rapes, the abuse, the devastation he caused. I remember but can barely believe the extent to which he broke me down, how hopeless I felt, how destroyed I was. What I admitted today was true- and evidence of what a number he had done on me- but I am not sure I dare believe it. I am not sure how to handle the magnitude of it all. It is unbelievable.

 

Then there was something new, or something old that now makes a little more sense. My fear of being asked anything more than basic questions, the pressure I feel to answer “correctly”. Normally I push through, sometimes it doesn’t bother me too much, but today, real fear stopped me answering. When my T asked me what words I would use to describe something, I couldn’t push through  and I couldn’t tell him why. I felt under threat- yet I knew I was safe with my T and there is no wrong or right answer.  Something else to explore, I guess.

Now my T is away (again!), no sessions for 2 weeks, a good thing perhaps, time to let this sink in a bit, to do some processing and maybe a little down time (yeah, fucking right). His being away is not helpful with the abandonment issue that surfaced today.

I should at least be grateful the PTSD isn’t bad.- I am, somewhere, I think. I just don’t know that I have the capacity to feel good about anything this evening.  This isn’t OK, it isn’t OK that I had to go through it, it isn’t OK that I have to go through this pain now. I am not OK with it.  It’s fucked up, all of it.

 

 

 

2013 – My Journey.

Wow, what a year! What a long and painful, roller coaster of a year. But, what an amazing year it has been in so many ways too.

There have been many changes in my life and in myself. I don’t think I am a different person, in fact I think I’m more me than I have ever been before. I’m glad about that. Somewhere under all the low self esteem, under all the self loathing that was groomed into me, I think I could start to like the person who is emerging.

 

I had a wonderful Christmas in many ways. Sure I was often tired, sometimes quite badly triggered, sometimes grieving Christmas memories past in more ways than one; but I also felt a sense of freedom and with that freedom came relief. It has been awesome to feel that way at some point every day for the last week or more, awesome!

 

This year has been the most challenging of my adult life so far (and ever I hope). I have made massive changes and major progress in the last year. I’ve really started to notice those changes in the last few months.

I have settled into therapy now, I trust my T more than I could have ever imagined. I have told him things that this time last year I was convinced I would never tell anyone. Therapy is changing my life and I can honestly say that over this last year, I have given it my all. I am so glad to have my T guiding me through.

Early this year, I did something else I thought I never would; I told people about my past. It was so incredibly hard. It was painful, so much more than I expected, but it has changed my life completely. Though I have had to face harsh truths and accept disappointment, I have been learning to allow others to support me. I am still learning and still struggling with trust, but while I can count on one hand the people I trust with my past, the trust within those relationships has deepened over the past year.

I am able to talk about this with one brother particularly, while I go through periods of saying very little about the details of the abuse, I know I can tell him whenever I need to. He checks up on me lots, he’s there with a understanding, but grounded and level headed response whenever I need it. I’m so glad he knew before everyone else, he’s been on my side every day since.

Besides my T and my brother there’s also my minister and he is fantastic. I know I’ve mentioned him in blog posts before, but I cannot say it enough, he is an awesome guy, he really is. It’s always very scary to tell someone new about the abuse, it’s hard to know how someone will react but in this instance, I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction. And then last Christmas, after the carol service at the local Church I remember telling him that I planned to talk to my family (and then friends) about my past and my issues since and now. He immediately said, we should get together in the new year and chat about it properly. I was completely stunned (in a good way!) and have continued to be stunned and wowed by his consistent support since.

I do not trust easily, I don’t know how or if I can ever widen my “circle of trust” but the trust I have in those already part of it, has deepened tremendously over this last year. I am moved by the support and understanding I have from those people and I am so very glad to have them on this journey with me.

 

The last year has also seen an incredible improvement in my marriage. It was never bad, in fact it was good a lot of the time, but I had so many issues that I, nor my husband understood which caused us both problems

I’ve learned a lot about myself this last year, even in recent weeks. I usually know when I am triggered now and recently I’ve started to react early enough a lot of the time that I ground before it gets too bad. Not always and not when the trigger is particularly bad, but often enough to make a difference to my daily life. My husband has also learned to read the signs of hyper vigilance, triggers, dissociation etc. again, not always, but often enough to make a difference. I have told my husband about some of the abuse, I have told him a lot about the way I felt then and the way I feel now. He has supported, encouraged and sometimes simply just held me through it all. He makes me feel safe, he allows me to be needy as  necessary while also reminding me that I am a strong and capable woman.

Our sex life has improved dramatically, (family can look away now) I enjoy it now, but I didn’t used to. As with everything in my life, I faked and I pretended. With a lot of work and communication things are a lot better. My husband reads me, we have signals between us, he knows when I am triggered, often before I do. He knows when we need to stop without our word being said. It’s amazing and wonderful to have such a loving, attentive and affectionate partner.

My work in therapy and our work together at home has made us closer than ever before, we are now a team and I love him more every day.

 

 

My ability to ground has improved over the last year, I have found what works for me and use those techniques all the time, whether I am triggered or not. More recently, using some of those grounding techniques, I have been “reclaiming my bed”. It’s working. I actually enjoy being in bed most of the time now. I spent many years feeling unclean in bed, years of feeling incredibly grumpy every morning until I showered. I didn’t understand why. I do now and through therapy and taking steps to make my bed as grounding for me as possible, that has changed. My bed will probably never be my safe place when I’m triggered, but now I no longer feel dirty and unsafe every morning when I wake.

 

A few months ago, I was promoted at work. I thought that worth noting, because while it has been such an incredibly difficult year, I still managed to do well at work, so much so that I have been recognised for my achievements with a new job title and pay rise. I think that’s pretty incredible. Some days, many days in fact, I wonder how I will make it through work. I battle hyper vigilance and dissociation, at times I have battled flashbacks that have made me physically sick, all while managing to do my job (mostly) as efficiently as normal. It does affect me, holding it all in isn’t ideal, but I like my job, I want my job and I need it too in many ways. I’m proud of the way I have handled work this last year.

 

This last year has seen me face the lasting impacts of his grooming. I believe there are still aspects of his control in my life, but I know what they are and I am working or will be working through them. I now know that I do not love and have not loved him for a long time. I know the man I thought I loved never existed. I have and do feel a sense of loss, I hurt and I grieve, but he no longer controls me in that way. I have let go of a lot of guilt, I have realised that blaming myself was part of being groomed, some remains, I am in no doubt, but a lot of it is back on him, where it always belonged.

Besides accepting and facing that I was groomed and all the issues that has caused, I have also faced several of the incidents of abuse. I told (and not just my T) and now they are no longer deep, dark secrets. The triggers and flashbacks for them are not what they were and the nightmares for those, few and far between. While it was hideous to disclose those details, I am glad I did. It feels good to start the New Year with the knowledge that those things I once thought unspeakable, have now been given a voice and released.

 

There are some other achievements/ improvements I am aware of, but I won’t detail those right now, mostly because I cannot explain here but I do want to note how my attitude towards the future has changed. I always wanted a future, always wanted a husband and children, but I didn’t believe I’d have it. Even once I did, I couldn’t imagine any kind of future with them at all. A part of me always assumed “he” would come back into my life at some point. Now I am free to dream of my future, I am able to make plans with my husband and I am able to feel excited about those plans. That feels really great.

 

I know that the new year ahead will not be easy. I have more to disclose to my T and more issues to deal with. I won’t lie, I am afraid of what is to come, but I know that I will do it and I know I will come out the other side because I am strong, I am capable, I am determined and I am in control.

 

 

Sharing

I had therapy today. I found the courage to share with him and as always, he was amazing. I wish our session could have been longer, I wish I could have stayed with him, where I felt safe, where he told me it wasn’t my fault. I almost believed him. But now I’m home and I feel like I’m fighting. It’s as if all these bad thoughts (of guilt) are trying to force their way in and I can’t hold on to the feelings I had when I was with my T. It’s consuming, it’s powerful and loud. I cannot ignore it.

I wrote some, I can’t and don’t want to post most of it but I will share a small part of what I wrote to a friend. I wish I could share it with her, but for now it’s just out in cyber space.

Have you shared our secret? Because I did today.

I often wonder if you remember in the way that I do?

It hurts so much today, I can barely breathe, I feel smothered by pain and regret.

It feels so deserved somehow, yet I find myself desperate for comfort,

seeking my own way out.  But why should I feel OK now, when you had suffered so?

My head is in a spin, I don’t want to remember or to feel, or think.

And I don’t want to let it go, because it feels disloyal or a disservice to you.

As if my suffering can undo what was. Oh if only. I wish it were that simple.

I’m so sorry, but I know words will never be enough.

He said nothing he could say will make it better for me or take the pain away,

but that it’s not my fault, that we were both the innocent ones. 

If he’s right, (and he normally is) then why do I feel so tortured? 

I cannot get you out of my head and I won’t ever forget. 

So now, what do I do with this? How do I continue on?

When my heart is breaking for you and what was back then?

How do I live with this now it is out, now I can no longer run away?