Fighting for hope.

It’s like a Thursday ritual.. therapy procrastination equals a blog post.

 

I am desperate to see my T for reassurance and guidance tomorrow. I’ve been hanging on all week… I am afraid of what I feel. I am afraid of what may happen. I am deeply afraid that I am going to be left alone..

It’s been a tough week, horrible, horrible thoughts. Dissociation and flashbacks. Fear and loneliness.

 

I am not suicidal, I do not want to die. But there are fleeting moments of  “what if?” “Is this impossible” “What if I cannot?” My children and their dependence on me quickly eradicate those thoughts. I have to always look for hope, especially in my darkest moments. He cannot win. I will not allow that.

 

I do not want to self harm. But there are times this week when it has crossed my mind.. When I am in the shower, with the razor close to hand…it feels like it is almost calling to me. Like a long lost friend. And I have to take a stand and be firm with myself. I remind myself that I have been hurt enough. My body is scarred enough. I must not and cannot do that to myself. I do not need to bleed for him any longer.

While the moments pass and the thoughts fade, it is only a matter of time before they return again. And then I must battle to find myself….The 30 something year old woman, who can handle things without hurting herself. I am not that teen anymore, those thoughts do not have a place here any longer.

I know this is probably to be expected, I am struggling with my own identity because I am battling shame. Shame has to be the worst thing I have felt. It is like a burning inside me and I guess it has always been there, smouldering deep within me. Now it is at the surface and I know the only way to extinguish it is to let it out.

And then, what if? What if I cannot do it? What if I am not really the me I so desperately want to be? What if I am her? What if I am still those things.

So many questions with answers that can only come from myself.

 

 

It is snowing here right now (I hope it doesn’t last), it’s beautiful out there and it’s beautiful inside my house. My children laughing, there is warmth and there is light. When the dark thoughts take hold it is this I hold onto. It is the present that is my anchor. What I want, I already have. There lies my hope.

 

 

Advertisements

Too big?

I am comforted by the warmth from the nearby radiator, the smell of my new flowers and the presence of my youngest son cuddled next to me. I do not want to move. I do not want this moment to pass. I do not want to leave my home and make my way to work. I do not want to fight through another shift filled with dissociation.

I have seriously been considering a career break. Time at home, while I go through what seems to be the hardest part of my journey. Time to rest, time to heal. Then the burden of earning money for my family reminds me that it would be unwise right now. We are not broke, we could, just about, manage on one wage, but what if? And what about my own career long term? And I fear loneliness and isolation. The few friends I have either work full time or are too far away to visit regularly.

I am trying to keep in mind that this will pass too. The dissociation will improve again and I won’t come across quite the idiot that I am doing so right now at work. Last week, I swear, I was away with the fairies, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t speak coherently. That was until I met with my T and it all flowed out almost easily. It’s like there is just too much in my head and so much of those things, are so bad, so, very bad, that I am doing everything I can not to think of them. But there’s no room left for “normal” thoughts.. am I even making sense? It all feels crowded.. I feel claustrophobic in my own head.

I told my T something massive on Friday, or more I admitted to myself, while in his presence.. because I don’t think I could have done it on my own. It was and is so, very big. Big enough for my T to have some concerns about my ability to contain it between sessions.. which isn’t something he normally worries about.

It is the ultimate question, it is the very core of all my issues.

And it is so much bigger than me.

 

Today, I will go to work, I will fight through the dissociation and try to sound coherent. I will collect my child from school, I will cook and I will clean, because that is something I know I can do.. I know how to get through.

 

 

 

Who am I (again)?

Each week I seem to face the biggest therapy session to date. Bigger and scarier and deeper. What I unearthed today is worse than anything I’ve talked about and quite frankly, worse than anything I’ve been through. And that is quite a statement to make. Not a trauma, but a feeling, or set of feelings.

My T spent the last 10 mins of the session today trying to help me contain enough to be able to cope over the next week. I think it worked, I am coping already. I collected my child from school and while he was out this evening, I played with my youngest child and did the usual mummy stuff.

Perhaps I should be a sobbing, broken mess after our session today? Instead I feel sort of haunted and afraid. Haunted by how it used to be and afraid of myself.

I cannot face this. It is far bigger than me. I fear I cannot handle this, I fear I haven’t really handled anything as well as I make out. I do not let people see me, I do not even dare look for myself and now it seems I should, or more that I must.

 

I fear I am failing those who believe in me. I fear their scolding and their judgement that I feel this way. Or even worse that they will see right through me and learn who I really am.

It’s like it used to be (which is so fucking triggering), living with the knowledge and fear that it’s just a matter of time before I will be caught out. Then they will all see the truth and then I will have to face it too.

Am I lying to myself?

How do other people cope with intense fear and pain? How do others live with such shame? I swear, I feel like I am dying here. I want to run away, but how do you run from yourself?

Thank God for my children and my husband, they are my only reason right now.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure at new depths (TW).

 

Thursday afternoon procrastination is something I know well. It is a time for therapy preparation and that is not something that I usually look forward to. I have a little less time today, due to working a longer shift. However there is certainly adequate time, should I set my mind to it. Except, that I am doing everything but.. I have cleaned a little, re arranged my flowers, taken care of my boys, made a drink, had a snack, put laundry away etc. etc. And now I am here, in the hopes that blogging about my thoughts will be enough.

I am having body memories, ongoing on and off since my last therapy session. Partly connected to my last session and some that seem disconnected right now, however it’s likely once I face it, I will find myself saying “Oh yeah, now I get why I was feeling that”.

I am back and forth between cramps- as if I were having a period and more recently, jaw/ mouth pain. The jaw and mouth pain isn’t something I usually like to admit to, mostly, because I’ve always been embarrassed and ashamed. As someone who has been a victim of rape, to talk about a body memory that includes jaw pain, it is pretty obvious what caused it. And that has always caused me much embarrassment and shame. Now I feel I can be frank. I am in pain because my body is remembering the brutal oral rapes I suffered. 

That I can be open and honest- here and with the right people- shows progress, I think? It shows that the shame has shifted somewhat, doesn’t it? I am able to admit something that previously would have me muted by such embarrassment. That has to be progress. Understandable, of course, it seems to be the way with sexual abuse particularly, but staying silent only serves to further my own discomfort and suffering. 

Body memories and flashbacks, nightmares and triggers, usually mean I need to talk about a memory with my T. Often a first disclosure, or at least re examining a previously disclosed memory, normally at a new depth. What is going on for me is both, I suppose. It’s not like others however.. these are unclear, intertwining memories.

It isn’t like I haven’t talked about oral rape with my T before, because I have, but as I blogged the other day, there are more details that need out. It’s not limited to oral rape, the stuff that is getting to me is the “day to day” stuff he did. It isn’t the big memories that sort of stand alone in my head, but the mass of memories that I haven’t been able to unpick. They are all so messy, in terms of what I remember.. things that happened all the time, over and over.

 

*Trigger warning. Survivors, please be careful.. I haven’t been overly detailed, but it does refer to my sexual abuse. *

*Friends and family, please be warned. If you don’t want to know about my abuse, please do not read any further.*

 

This stuff is close to the aspects of abuse where the control was at it’s peak. Hence my apprehension.

It was as if I was owned by him. Where I had to seek his permission for the most basic of things and do sick and horrible things  in the hopes that the permission would be granted- which it often wasn’t. This was abuse that I suffered most days/ nights when I was 14. My body was a mess from his continued rapes/ sexual assaults and the only way of coping with the pain was to create a world of my own to escape in.

These things require a new level of disclosure. Things my T is aware of from previous discussions but not at the level I need him to be. These memories need out, but in order to purge myself of the trauma that remains, I know that I have to be detailed, more so than I have ever been before.

How do I do that? It is hard enough to describe the way in which I was abused- to use the horrible words necessary to describe rape… but more details, of humiliation, of pain, of the disgusting things I remember..God, how do I tell him?

I have to find a way, because what was previously enough, simply isn’t any longer. Because I feel, more than I ever have and I guess it makes sense that what worked before is no longer sufficient. I am finding that I need to tell differently, slower than before and at a new and deeper level. 

It’s kinda funny (weird, not ha ha), how I spent years hiding this, with an absolutely desperate need to keep it all inside and now it’s quite the opposite.. the need to tell goes so deep, I feel like I have little control over it. Strangely, it kinda reminds me of childbirth.. where it doesn’t matter how much it hurts, no amount of fighting will stop that baby coming out. Your body takes over and does what it needs to do.. this is so similar in that way. My body and my mind have always known what to do to protect me, they have saved me a thousand times over. The urge to get all this out is taking over, my body is hurting and my heart is aching. I trust myself and so I will follow this instinct, which tells me, that it doesn’t matter if I refuse and it doesn’t matter how much I fight it, this stuff will come out one way or another. 

A dark week- life after abuse.

It has been almost a week of darkness now. I have been stuck in this terrifying, suffocating blackness. Trauma and fear and horror every single moment. It feels like the past is infringing on the present, like he is here, watching and waiting to pull me back into his control.

Whenever I leave the house he immediately appears, a ghost on my shoulder, a shadow chasing me. And even at home I can barely make it through an hour without having to fight his presence. Even where I am safest, he still finds his way in. I cannot explain just how frightening that is.

 

My T was incredibly understanding yesterday -as always. He told me I am traumatised following my flashback last weekend. He said that my mind believes it has just happened and believes that I am still trapped. He said it is shock and it will take time.

I feel better for having seen him and for the space to be completely open about my fears and pain. With a new and surprising raw honesty, I shared the impact this is having on me. It was a relief not to pretend and a release to let some of it out. His understanding and validation and the freedom to talk has helped a little of the darkness lift. He help me find my strength and renew my faith in my abilities to climb out of this black hole.

It wasn’t all good stuff, I also left feeling somewhat frustrated and even sad. We talked of the future, how to ensure that feelings of being trapped do not always trigger.. it is a conversation we have had many times, over other feelings- fear, abandonment, rejection etc. I know it has to be tackled, so it  doesn’t happen again- having a way out and a way forward normally appeals to my need to control, my determination and even my stubbornness. Yesterday though, it only served to upset me. Even during the session, as he encouraged me to face a trigger I was experiencing, not only could I not do it, I didn’t want to.

I don’t have the energy for it right now and just the idea that I will have to at some point, pushes me close to despair. More things to do, more challenges to face, more pain, more difficulties. Another battle to fight and to win. I want to get through, of course I do- and heck, I know myself well enough now to know I will do whatever it takes.. but it isn’t fair is it? I’ve already been through hell, a thousand times over. Sometimes I get so very tired of living a life tarred by the remnants of my past.

 

Pain and shame.

A long and painful month. 31 days and we are at the end. Is this really the end? I fear it is only the beginning. I am only just learning to sit with feelings. I am only just beginning to feel the agony and rage. I am out of my depth and overwhelmed by things I have never experienced.

First day back in therapy today and it was intense. I was practically bursting when I got there, a secret that has been killing me. After the anniversary and body memories this week, it was time to tell. Except, I can’t switch off and just tell like I used to – telling as if it happened to someone else. That responsibility and that shame, choking each and every word so they could barely escape.

It took some time, but I told. Some. What I could. Then we sat, in silence. Feeling. Hurting. Fighting the shame. And then an intense and deeply touching “it wasn’t your fault” from my T and I had to leave. Leave because it hurt too much, leave before the crying started. Tears I feared would spill so ferociously, with such force that they’d drown me in seconds.

 

And now I am left with pain and with shame. What I did- if you knew, would you hate me? Judge me? I justified myself over and over today- for me, I guess. The things you have to do in that situation- to get out of it and especially, to save someone else….such loathing for those actions, for what I did. I know I have to work on transferring that to the one who is really responsible. I know my T is right, I know deep down it wasn’t my fault.. I just wish the rest of me would listen and I wish I’d pushed through the agony this afternoon and stuck around for more of his reassurance.

Flashbacks and change.

I got through a challenge last night/ this morning- I am pleased with myself, somewhere inside. Yet the PTSD is trying to ruin it- or actually I think I prefer to blame the cause.

It is HIM, what HE did. HE caused the nightmares last night, HE caused these PTSD symptoms. HIM.

He was there every time I closed my eyes, turning my dreams into my nightmares. Fighting, battling against him all night long. My T was there, in those dreams and though I don’t remember specifics, I know he was with me- I guess I really do rely on him now? Scary. At least I wasn’t alone this time. 

I wish I could etch him from my memory, what he caused for me, but right in this moment, mostly, what he did. It’s swimming around my head, memories I am having to control. I could smell him. I still smell him. How do you describe it to someone who hasn’t lived it? How do you explain, really, truly explain what it is to have flashbacks and body memories? They are more vivid than other memories. It isn’t recalling, it is reliving. In recent posts, I’ve referred to feeling raped/ violated again. It was a feeling brought on my the huge trigger of a news story. Really though, it is how I feel every time I am struggling with flashbacks. 

The flashbacks have been frequent the last few weeks, but they were fading, until my therapy session Friday. Last night I found myself suddenly scared out of my head, for a few moments as I checked the locks and wondered if he knew where I was, would the doors keep him out? Then a flashback of his violence and power that he so often demonstrated. Terrifying. 

Something was different after my session on Friday which I know is at least in part behind the fears and flashbacks- it will be progress once I am through it, I hope. Feeling that abandonment, rejection and loneliness again has changed some of my understanding and the way I perceive things. Right now, old fears are back, though thankfully, not as intrusive as they once were-but I do not want to minimise- fearing my rapist could hurt me again is no walk in the park.

Therapy is the hardest thing I have ever done, the further I get into it, the harder it becomes. Hoping to find some peace from this today.