Offloading

I have been writing since I came home from therapy almost two hours ago and I really need to share some of it. 

I don’t think a trigger warning is needed, but perhaps a caution to those who know me. It’s honest and perhaps a little darker than normal….

 

As I made my way home, I was driving towards the clouds.  I noticed the light cutting its way through them and an almighty rage within me began to grow. Rage at the world.  At the light.

At Him. 

 

How dare there be sunshine today? How can there be light and beauty in such a dark and ugly world?

I cannot help but feel that He is mocking me..today, He is but a cruel and distant King.

 

The very ones who should know better. The ones who proclaim to serve Him. Them. They did it. And so the list grows longer. Too many. 

 

What is wrong with them? What is wrong with me? 

Was it me? Could it be my fault, for being her?  My fault for being me?

 

There will no be closure. Not for this. There are no answers waiting for me. Who would even believe me? 

 

 

So, how can there be beauty today and how does the sun continue to shine? 

When all I see is darkness, how dare there still be light?

 

 

 

 

 

Reconnecting. Letting go? Some positive thoughts.

I have been thinking this for a while, I have just been too nervous to discuss it very much. As if by uttering it out loud, or writing it in ink (or typing it online) it would somehow make it untrue. It’s good, positive and therefore, I am terrified and paranoid. Can it possibly be the truth?…

It seems to me and perhaps, maybe (hopefully), to those around me, that I am starting to reconnect with the real world somewhat. Sure, things have been changing slowly, I’m doing the school run, I am able to go to the shop alone or with the children, I go to work each morning, without a panic attack or a few tears in the car park. But it’s only very recently that I have felt able and really willing to reconnect with other people- new people, but more specifically people I knew before I started this therapy journey a little over two years ago.

I have friends coming over this Saturday.Two weeks ago, my cousin and her family visited.

I had my parents visit for lunch 3 weeks ago and over again for the day today. My brother and his family are visiting in two weeks.

I could not have even contemplated those plans a year ago.

 

I never thought this could happen. How could I have people from the past in my life, when I was striving so hard to move away from that aspect of my life. How could the past be part of my future? At one point, I thought it could not. I went through weeks of therapy discussing how I move forward without those people from my old life. It was a heart wrenching, difficult time. It was a very possible reality, I was terrified would come to be.

The thing is, I knew I so badly needed to put my past behind me, I thought that those relationships may just be the sacrifice I had to make. In order to move forward, I needed to let go of the past.

That is still true, but it’s not quite how I expected it to me. You see, it isn’t about leaving people behind at all.

To continue relationships with people from back then, or people from the years after (but pre therapy), does not mean I am staying in the past. I think can find a way and in fact I think I already am finding a way, to have these people as a part of my life now and in the future.

That is huge, is it not?

I have also rejoined Facebook (though to be honest after 5 minutes I was bored, not much has changed in the last 7 months!). I have deleted many people- anyone that causes me upset, triggers or anxiety. I was very relieved and excited to reconnect with some old school friends, particularly one. In a private message, she was the first to welcome me back and told me she had missed me. The feeling was mutual. I could not see her name without guilt less than a year ago. Last week, to see a message from her brought sadness and pain- a sort of memory jolt, but at the same time there was also joy. I missed her a lot, she is very dear to me.

Who knows if I will stay on Facebook, should it cause me anxiety or stress at any point, I will leave again, for now though, it is good to reconnect with my old friends.

 

Aside from people and relationships, there are some other ways I feel as if I am connecting to life now and planning life in the future.

I have been considering returning to Church. It is unlikely in the near future, but no longer a “no way” thought I have had for the last year or so.

I have also been reading at times. The PTSD and therapy has the ability to fill up my head. So often it has and sometimes still does, feel as if I do not have the capacity to retain much information. Anything slightly complicated or even just trying to remember a story line and I can end up anxious and stressed out.

With the relief from PTSD more and more often lately, I can read books that are slightly more challenging than a 2 page short story about something “light and fluffy.” Sure, the stuff I am reading is hardly War and Peace, however, it does mean that I can actually read a little of the Bible (where the religion triggers allow) at a time without brain fog and resulting distress when I forget everything I just read. It also means I can get (and already am getting) my teeth into some of the books written by some  awesome feminist authors that I have had short listed for some time.

I can read sometimes! Now that is amazing, isn’t it?

 

There are still things I avoid; people, places, websites, newspapers, live TV in general. Triggers, news, politics, debates. I still feel as if I need things to shield myself from those things for now. So, I cannot have a conversation about current events, because other than the odd news story I happen to hear on the radio at work or in a shop, I have not read, heard or watched the news in many, many months. I worried about that for a long time, I did not want to stick my head in the sand about the tragedies and horror in the world, nor be ignorant to the mess the government (so I hear) is busy making. I am actually quite comfortable with that decision right now.

I have not been and have no intention for now at least (and who knows if I ever will again) to go to my home town, where the abuse took place. I cannot tell you how much better I feel for that. That is not a challenge I will be facing any time soon and I am OK with that.

Reconnecting with people from the past does not mean going back to places or people that trigger or upset me. In fact, it is not about going back in any way at all. I feel as if I am sort of waking up, I guess. It is like real life has been going on all around me all this time and I have been dipping in and out where necessary, but seemed to remain firmly rooted in the past. Now, I can see that shifted. I am present more often and some days it feels like it is completely the other way around. I am dipping in and out of the past, but firmly rooted in the present.

That’s a huge victory for me isn’t it? Another battle won against him (though the resulting anxiety that thought causes is something to ponder/ explore sometime), right?

I have talked with my T about how things shifted a few months ago, where I started to feel that it was no longer him causing this stuff. It no longer felt as if he still had hold of me and was pulling me down. Instead, I could see I was holding on (through no fault of my own) and it was about finding a way to let go.

I think that letting go isn’t just a decision, where I suddenly decide “no more, I am done”. That oversimplifies it, I think and begs the question, well if it were that simple, would I not have done it already? No, it isn’t that. It is a process. And this feels a bit risky to type, I think I am already in that process and further on than I could ever have imagined.

I can see now, clearly, one day soon, he will truly be in my rear view mirror and I will be able to say “I did it!! I let go!”

 

While I am being honest, open and daring, I will admit, writing this made me cry- three or four real tears, tears that feel so precious, I barely dare to wipe them away.

There is hope, there is a future and I am already living it.

 

 

 

Easter Hope

What does Easter mean for you? Is is about chocolate? (I am not judging, chocolate is awesome.) Is today about family? Are you a Christian, have you been to church to celebrate today? Or is it just another day for you?

For me, Easter has always meant very little. As a child and a teen, I went to Church every week. On Easter Sunday, I would attend an Easter service of celebration. Along with everyone around me I would exclaim “He is Risen”. We would shake hands- supposedly sharing joy and hope with each other. Except I did not and could not feel it. I gave very little thought to (and nor did I care) what those words could mean for me.

I was being sexually abused, how could I know hope or joy?  I did not see that Jesus had paid the ultimate price for me. In fact, it felt like an insult when I was told that Jesus had died to save me. How was I saved when I already felt like death had found me and condemned me to Hell?

How could I understand that Easter was to mean a time for renewed hope, when I could not remember ever having felt hope. The darkness of the abuse was like a thick black shadow over my life,- past, present and future. I could not remember the joy and hope in my childhood, I could not find any joy or hope in my present and my future did not seem to exist. 

I did not care that Jesus had died to save us all, I did not care that he rose again. It meant nothing to me at all.

At most Easter was about an Easter egg hunt, eating Easter chocolate and having a lovely roast dinner with family. In some ways today is no different, it has already or will include an Easter hunt and then eating that chocolate. There will be an awesome (if I do say so myself) roast dinner with my husband and my children. Those things are traditions, I do not want them to change. But this year is different for me. I am different.

I finally feel that hope others talk about at Easter. I have enormous, wonderful hope for the future. Hope for happiness, hope for healing and hope for peace. I am not sure what that means for my relationship with God, but I am certainly less resentful than I used to be- I have hope things will continue to change.

There is so much pain evident in the blog posts I am reading today. People feeling as I have and sometimes still feel. It makes my heart ache particularly today, for those people who have seen, lived and been touched by the agony of abuse. 

If you are one of those people, then I want you to know that even in the depths of despair, hope is there. I want you to know that when you cannot see past the darkness and you are feeling as if you are losing the battle, every breath you take is a win. 

If you have been or are in crisis, you have probably heard the same as I have- “one day at a time,” or even “one hour at a time”. An hour can feel like a life time when you are in the agony of flashbacks, or suffocated by shame. Forget one day or hour at a time and take it by each moment instead. Each moment is step on your journey, a step further away from the past and a step forwards on your path to healing.

Please do not give in, you deserve to heal and you deserve to find peace. There is always hope.

Ashamed.

Trigger warning – please be careful.

 

I know I shouldn’t be ashamed, I know I need to give this back to you- that’s where it belongs, not with me, but with you.

I feel it dragging me down, it will not let me go. Oh how I want you to take this back, I don’t want to carry this.

It’s telling me to be silent and it’s telling me to hide. It wants me to keep our secrets, it wants them kept inside.

I am ashamed of what you did and I am ashamed of what you took and I can barely look in the eyes of those who know that truth.

I fear they see right through me, I fear they know who I really am, I fear they see me as you did- just a dirty little girl.

 

I know it may sound ridiculous, but I find I hide myself from God; you made me feel so unworthy, as if I would forever be unloved.

I am ashamed I was your victim, I am ashamed I have been raped. The only ones who will really know are you and me and God.

Does that scare you too? Because believe me, it should. Can you stand before God knowing what you have done? I know right now, I could not, not with what we did.

I deny myself that comfort, I do not listen to a word, I am afraid of what He would say, I am afraid of the truth.

And I blame you for that, for so many things. I blame you for all those rapes – making me lose sight of me.

 

I am ashamed of who I was, I am ashamed it’s still inside, I am ashamed of the truth and I am ashamed of the lie. I am ashamed that people know and I am ashamed of that life.

The life that’s still inside me, the life that was once real, the shame of losing my virginity at only 14.

The shame of the assaults on my body, the scars that will never heal, the shame of being trained and the sexual deviancy.

The shame that you had me, in every single way. The shame that my body remembers and hurts from what you did.

The shame as I feel your touch and I react to what was and the shame that my body does exactly what it should.

 

I am ashamed of who I was, I am ashamed it’s still inside, I am ashamed of the truth and I am ashamed of the lie. I am ashamed.

Anger, God, Triggers..

This may not be all that coherent, I’m dissociating just at the thought of approaching this.

So when I began this blog I wrote a brief post about how I wanted God in my life, that I was praying, reading the Bible (though admittedly not enough) and that I was trying to move forward in a relationship with God. However, as things get harder I find I move away from that rather than towards. I have noticed that when things are easier, I feel as if I’m moving forward, I’m starting to learn, I find time to read the Bible, etc etc, but when things get harder, I get angry and I feel bitter. I struggle with rage and often it is directed at God.

I’ve not brought this up in therapy yet and I’m not sure I’ve got my head around it, but Church, God, the Bible anything around God and Christianity can be a trigger. Oh Church is so wonderful sometimes, a place where I can believe that with God in my life I can heal. Then things get bad again and that comfort becomes a trigger. I find myself running away, because it’s too painful and too hard to be in that mindset, to take part in those things again that remind me of that time.. a time, that when I am feeling so bad, is way too close.

When things are really bad, it often manifests in anger (at a lot of things), I can barely control it. I just feel so attacked all the time. Then, if I try to pray or read the Bible, or anything that reminds me, it adds to the anger.  It’s not even about the whole “why me, where were you God?” blah blah, it’s rage at wanting to move forward, to have Faith again, but when I need it the most, “God stuff” is so damn triggering and that makes me angry(ier).

I don’t even know if this makes sense? I’m just rambling I guess.

I lost control a little in T on Friday with regards to anger, it was something I was aware of but not the depth. Though, it wasn’t related, it got me thinking about how far removed I’ve felt from God lately and how close the anger is. The two seem to go hand in hand. The idea of praying causes me chest pain right now though, the idea of going to Church scares me, I dissociate at the just the thought of reading the Bible. I feel the further I get into it, the further away I am from God. It’s not what I want, when I started all this, I felt it was the beginning of finding my Faith, but that seems so far away now.

What am I supposed to do when it’s all so triggering? There are so many triggers everywhere, it makes me sick and very very angry.

I will bring this up in T when I can, I’m determined to find a way through this.

Ok, can’t do anymore right now, feel like I’m wading my way through a thick fog.

Thanks for reading.. I’ll probably cringe when i read this tomorrow.

Waiting

It won’t always be this way

you have to believe

Believe.

It won’t always hurt

have faith in him.

Have Faith.

 

So you do all the right things, you get therapy and you listen to your T.

You eat well, you stay hydrated, you stay away from the alcohol, you try to sleep and you keep to a routine.

You do as you are told.

 

And you wait, not so patiently, but you wait all the same.

 

Waiting.

Moments

We all have those moments,

it can’t just be me?

Those terrifying moments

that leave you wondering

how can this be?

Those days when you are ready to give up

when you want to say enough.

Even those days

interspersed with happiness

remain blighted by what was

 

So what do you do?

How do you keep going?

Would it be easier to still pretend?

You find yourself wondering

whether it will be worth it in the end.

When you find yourself alone

you are overwhelmed with these questions,

feeling too heavy emotions

that refuse to be concealed.

You just can’t take anymore

and something inside snaps,

silently you scream

as you sink to your knees.

 

You find yourself asking why

and you find yourself asking when.

You demand answers,

you demand comfort,

you demand never to be alone again.

You wait and you listen

barely daring to breathe,

perhaps for divine intervention

or a simple witness to your pain.

But there’s nothing to be heard,

you realise there’s no gain.

You wonder if your heart is breaking

as you declare “I give in”.

And you are falling

you are falling hard, you are falling fast

you hit the floor alone.

 

Laying silently, heart pounding

you curl into a ball.

Listening to your gasps of breath

you wonder “is it too late?”

You close your eyes

accepting your fate.

But there’s a stirring inside you,

calmness moving throughout.

A gentle reassurance

something deep inside,

a whisper, barely there

but one you cannot deny.

Something is willing you,

pulling you to your feet.

As you dust yourself down

calmness restored,

the realisation hits

maybe you weren’t alone afterall.