Sunday, March 8, 2009

Writing my Thoughts...again!

Nearly every day I write my thoughts and feelings in a journal ~now a collection of journals documenting my walk through the dark forest of PTSD are stored in a dark cedar chest with a locked lid. I chose to lock them there because there are so many pages filled with my rambling words that I don't even remember writing. Pages upon pages of horrific dark nights~ so much pain and anger. Different handwriting styles and syntax~ clearly the writing is done by different entities deep inside of me, each one wanting to have her say, expressing her feelings on paper. Many of the pages prove to me just how close I was to dying, and that even though I was alive, much like a hospice patient, I was just medicating the keep the pain at bay, waiting for death to take me away. There are dreadful thoughts of death and documented self-destructive moments, complete with some color photos. Each time I complete a journal, I lock it away and for a few minutes it represents closure to me. It feels good to put that part of me to rest, to move forward, but it also brings feelings of sadness, emptiness~ no one will ever know the history of the scars I carry with me each and every day. No one will know that there are parts of me who fought to kill us, and parts who struggled to stay alive and still other parts who received no respite from the demons who dwell inside.

I have been here before. I see the place clearly~ it is a place I visited as a child, and now, as an adult, I've passed by that same place, and I think to myself, "I've been here before, and it looks now just as it did then." I feel that now. The overwhelming anger, the pretending, the tiredness...the desire to prove to everyone that I am okay, better than okay - I am someone no one ever thought I could be! I am successful, I am smart, I am educated, and I don't need anyone, certainly no one to give me a directive. I am the one who gives directives. I control and direct others, people do not control and direct me.

I now spend time researching and looking for evidence to discount that which I don't believe in. I am angry at those who I loved that betrayed me, and with everything in me, I will prove to them that I am fine, great, and I don't need them! I don't need anyone because I am the one in control. And I can't help but think if I had not walked into DT office 3 years ago I would be in a different place than I am now. I was independent, strong - but all of a sudden, I became the 35 year old woman who needed a mother she never had? I didn't need a mother then, why the hell would it occur to me that all of a sudden I needed someone else to "care" about me, to "hear" me say the things that never needed to be said? To explore parts of me that never needed to be explored, open doors that never needed to be opened....I have cried more tears in the past 3 years than the previous 35 combined. And where am I now? In the exact same place I was before. The anger and the endless craving to discount that which I believe is unhelpful, and perhaps, even harmful in some circumstances. The passion inside of me now is on an endless journey to prove what I believe in, or I should say, disprove (or as Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, might say: "UN" prove or "NOT" prove or "NON" prove) that which I do NOT believe in, or find helpful. I long to find any piece of evidence to discount the "therapies" and "techniques" offered. Just as I did before...

Alcoholism is a "disease"...God! It used to make me SICK that everyone made excuses for alcoholics! "It's a disease, she/he can't help it." "She/he would never do that sober."..."That's not the "real" her, that's the booze talking." Give me a break! Because someone "chooses" to drink, they can act the way they want to act, do what they want to do, and have everyone make excuses for them? They can even drink themselves to the point where they can apply and receive disability benefits! For being a drunk? My parents did. What a fine use of our tax dollars! How about saving that money for the "Victims" of the drunk abusers? At first I bought into it...yeah, maybe they're right...maybe it is the vodka talking. I bet she doesn't really hate me, and I started to have these fantasies that if my mother were sober we would do everything together...she would love me, we would shop together, have these great girl "talks"....and on and on and on. Guess what? It never happened. And eventually the fantasies went away, and I was jilted back into the "real world". The thought I had started very early on....if they would just stop drinking, he wouldn't beat her, and us, all the time...she wouldn't cry and try to kill herself...he wouldn't come into my room expecting me to do things SHE should be doing if she wasn't passed out drunk!

My fantasy went so far at one point I honestly believed that since I looked nothing like my mother that I had been switched with another baby at the hospital and someday my "real" parents would figure that out and come back for me. I used to go to the park, with my walkman and my Lionel Richie cassette and swing on the swing and dream about the day my parents would come for me...but that day never came.

And what's so hard to understand is that even during the times when the demons of my past aren't tormenting me, I'm still not "well", not emotionally, mentally or physically, I'm not "well". There are so many layers to this and when I peel one layer away, there are so many, many more. And sometimes the pain is overwhelming, it is no longer constant, it now comes and goes, like arthritis or an old injury. And there's the nagging side-effects that have to be cleaned, dressed and bandaged...the anger, depression, pain, sadness - the resentment Tedious things like anger, resentment of those who don't understand. Those are the things that really wear me out. Those are the things that literally exhaust me, I cannot get enough sleep.

But the wound that hurts the most, the one that bleeds out, is the overwhelming feeling of worthlessness. If I had been worth anything to anyone, someone would have taken notice, someone would have helped me...but no one did. Why? Because I just didn't matter. I did not matter to anyone as a child - no one ever reached out to me, no one! Not my friends parents, no one in the church, my grandmother, my teachers, no one at school - the many MHPs my mother saw.... It was so painful at the time but I actually used that to my advantage. I developed a desire to prove to all of them that I was worth something, that even if they couldn't see it now - they would eventually see it. And so it began...I came from nothing and I made something out of my life. And I did it all to prove that despite what everyone thought about me, I was worth something. I did matter! I am good enough! And I overcame it all not because I am more intelligent than anyone else, but because I had the burning desire to overcome. And then I wanted to climb to the top of that mountain and look down at everyone from my past....both the abusers and the ones who never took notice, or chose to ignore my screaming, "HOW DO YOU LIKE ME KNOW? DO YOU STILL THINK I AM NOTHING?" I am GOOD ENOUGH! And I believed that was true.

But then I opened the forbidden door, and once again, I fell back into the trap of my past, and once again, I screamed out for help and no one noticed, no one helped me. Once again, the ones I looked up to, the ones I needed ~ thought I was nothing, undeserving of their help. But I made a fatal mistake this time, one that I didn't make as a child. I made the mistake of wallowing in self pity and not making a 'fall back' plan. I had no safe room this time. I allowed myself to become too trusting, too vulnerable. I became too dependent, too believing in those in the 'helping field'. That was my fatal mistake. And I am so angry now, not at myself, but at those who said they would help me - those who said they would 'be here' for me if I chose to continue this journey. And they lied. I stepped out of my comfort zone, my safe place and into the darkness of the past...and when it got to scary for someone else, they hit the road and left me in the midst of all of demons and dragons and darkness...the rapists and pedophiles. Had I known that was going to happen, I would have probably chosen a different way. There were many times I wanted to tell someone, but I never did. And now the decision I made then has been reinforced because of what has happened now.

"Good girls don't do that""Bad things happen to bad people"I went to church, I knew it was a sin. Even though I never spoke of it, I knew that was why the other girls at church didn't like me~ they could sense that I was evil, shameful. It never seemed to happen to anyone else, so obviously my fault, I was a sin, I was bad. I was a horrible disgusting little girl~ dirty, wrong and bad! No wonder I never told anyone! And I know underneath all of this anger, this burning desire to prove that I am worthy (I am smart and resourceful and I don't need anyone!) I know underneath this tough brick exterior there are termites eating me from the inside out . The part of me that has kept it at bay for so long - it's worn thin. Defenses unraveling. And very day, I go on with my life and you would never know it was me who got fucked. Except sometimes I drink too much so I can forget it all, sometimes the pain and shame inside of me are so intense I make myself vomit to get it out of me, and sometimes I have to talk out loud to quiet the voices in my head. And there are times when I become overwhelmed, so filled with pain, that I have to put my head down until it passes. But every day of my life I go on...and I act so normal that no one would guess the things that happened to me, the things I've done. No one sees the edges fraying inside of me- like a worn out pillow, or the hem of your favorite pair of jeans. But each day I go on being the same woman I was before I opened the forbidden door -but under it all - they don't know me. But they don't know me. There's them, and there's me. I don't want them to see any of it. I will never, ever be 'real', not with anyone. I showed someone the 'real' me, and I now feel rejected, abandoned. It's okay - really - I don't like that girl either. But I'm angry.And what I fear now, what scares me, is what will happen once the anger ceases.....DBTC would say, don't worry about that now, stay in the present.So I will, for now....I'll "sit" with my anger at DT, and the others in the MHP....

I trusted her...I believed that she believed in me. I don't know if I believe that now and if I cannot believe that, embrace that,in there's really nothing left, is there? I mean, she knows so much about me now, I can't take any of it back. I will never trust, or allow myself, my "real" self to be seen to anyone again. That part of me no longer exists.So I go back to being "Senior Executive, professional and confident- the woman who had no childhood at all - I was BORN an adult...and DT can go back to whatever it is she do....helping people, caring about herself to the "helping" profession, getting people to "trust" her and rely on her, to believe that she cares. And I hope that she doesn't abandon them, invalidate her other clients. Because, from my recent experience, it feels like having the floor drop out from under me.
I'll get through it because I'm strong.I survived but others may not...I won't be her "first" suicide...I hope no one else will either.

1 comment:

  1. I told my doctor one time about one of my most terrible memories a a child and after it was all out the very first thing he said was are you sure that it happened. Now he wonders why I refuse to "share" anything with him and why it is so unbelievably difficult to open up my soul to the variety of nurses, mental health workers and what have you. It destroys me every time I have to relive my past but I know now that if I do not take care of the ghosts from yesterday that they will haunt me forever. Take care