Thursday, May 28, 2009

The ache of the darkness...

Every day you wake up and you feel it, there, within you, that implacable ache. How do you explain the pain? A shot or pill doesn't make it go away. You suffer it. It consumes you, the dark loneliness. You look in the mirror, run your hands over your body and are surprised to realize that you can't see or feel the hole you know is right there. All day long it dogs your steps, mocking you as you try to ignore it and move past it, or around it.

Not understanding how to battle it, controlled pain gives you a fleeting sensation of triumph. When you are dealing with the pain of an empty stomach, the burning in your throat from the purposeful vomiting, the pain of bruised and lacerated flesh, the dark ache is forced to the background. You have triumphed! You are tough!

You feel invincible as the shadow has been made small and been put in its place- all by you. You begin to feel that if you can sustain the pain, the silhouette will be forced to retreat forever. But like any drug, it begins to take more and more pain to win the battle.

You find yourself losing track. How long has it been since I last ate? Where did I put the razor? People talk to you and you don't really hear them, you’re so focused on your own internal battle. Everything starts to seem far away, as though it isn’t really happening to you, but a character on TV.

It has tricked you and all you are doing is nourishing it. Feeding, nurturing, encouraging it to grow. With each of your attempts to erase the darkness from your spirit, you are giving it the ultimate control. Each act of self-inflicted pain is fostering the next, weakening your spirit and allowing the darkness to fester. Your technique of starvation doesn't work any longer because you can't feel the pain, so you move to cutting, purging, thinking that it will bring back that sensation. The darkness cackles with amusement at your foolishness.

Each day, your body grows weaker, less able to sustain you. Your physical power is depleting along with the power of your spirit. The world is losing color and you begin to ignore it. The battle inside has become all consuming and nothing else exists. You feel sure that the next time you will defeat it. Everything around you is the darkness, the pain, the hole in your heart has engulfed your whole being and you need to fill it. Because of this, because of your knowledge of the battle, of the strength it requires, you stop listening to the weaker individuals around you. They have no idea and couldn't possibly understand what you are dealing with. They have no idea that you are failing! You are losing this battle and nothing else matters.

How could they like someone as incompetent as you, let alone love you? You can't even manage to handle something as simple as this little hole. Your spirit has weakened. What's left? You are physically and spiritually weak, possibly dying, and you still have yet to achieve your goal. The belief that sustained you, the belief that you could create enough pain to banish the shadow, is fading. Yet, you continue to hang on to it. You need to get to that place of perfection… If you can just get there, you think you will be whole again and you will finally be worthy of love, worthy of the admiration and respect you crave. You will wage the battle in silence, never letting anyone know, so the victory will be that much sweeter, the love and respect more worthwhile for the extra effort required to earn it.

You keep telling yourself that soon you will be able to walk in the light not realizing that your resources are depleting quickly. You have become trapped. You can't escape. The light is so small now. You know that the end is coming.

Do you wait for it? Do you let go and die? Do you do the unthinkable and ask for help? Both options are unpalatable, as they require an admission of failure, the admission that you could not conquer the darkness on your own. An admission of how weak you really are.

The first is the easier option. You let go and let the darkness wash you away. You never have to face the ones you have been fighting for. You never have to see their disappointment in you. It is the cowardly way. You have avoided your punishment for failure. It is the end, the ultimate surrender.

Or, you face them, the ones you have tried to impress, and admit to them that you lost. This is the true test of your determination, to admit your weakness and ask for help. This is a true sacrifice. To face them, knowing that they won't understand or they may not care. The pain of opening yourself up is more painful than any bruise, cut, or empty stomach. You have to face all that you fear. All that you have been fighting and more, you face the total destruction of your spirit, a total loss of who you are and the loss of the world as you know it.

Your first true combat with the darkness begins. You feel alone… you feel stripped and naked. You feel fear. You have bared your soul, you have admitted defeat.

The real battle has begun.


Pull up a chair and I'll tell you as best I can. I hope you have some time, though, because the story isn't short and sweet. I have always been a 10 words, or less, kinda gal, but life isn't really about 10 words or less, is it?

The demons inside my head continue to scream for release. Eventually, they will tear me to pieces~ there is nothing I, or anyone else, can do about that. The nightmares are horrendous, the shame unspeakable. My jaw aches, my head hurts, I am constantly screaming and slamming stuff around, cursing myself out...I'm surprised I haven't been carted off to the loony bin.

I'm really not well. The all-consuming parts of me have drown out the logical adult Grace and she is no where to be found. If I could only identify where they reside in my body, I could cut them out. I'm not afraid of the physical pain, physical pain is nothing compared to the pain inside of my head, inside of my mind & body.

Yesterday, I walked out of my T appointment 20 minutes early. I just got up and walked out. I sat in my car and pondered my next move, drove directly to the liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka, but I didn't drink it then. Not in the middle of the day, I went back to work instead...pretended like everything was great. Yes, folks, Grace is back in the building. "Living the Dream" as always.

You may be wondering why I walked out of DT's office 20 minutes early. I walked out because I'm so tired of struggling, in hell, every single night and she isn't here. Now, before you comment or roll your eyes, please understand that 'adult logical' Grace understands this is not a realistic expectation, and in fact, a quite selfish, and childish frame of thought. To put some color around these feelings, these selfish desires, these constant struggles....let me say this. For 2 years, DT sent me daily emails, checked on me when I was in "crisis", she was "THERE". No one had ever done that for me before. Why would they? I didn't matter - I was nothing. But she made me believe that I did matter.

But all that ended when she got a boyfriend and no longer had time to do it. Now, again, from an adult, logical, standpoint, I know this sounds absolutely insane (of course...I think I am but in 'our' minds, when we are in crisis, and feel unable to deal with it without hurting ourselves, or contemplating ending life...DT is suddenly the 'real' mother, the mother who never answered Grace's cries. The mother who was drunk and passed out while HER husband raped Grace night after night after night. The mother who was NEVER there - the mother who showed Grace that she was a bad, terrible little girl who did not deserve care or love. And Grace grew to accept that. OK - just a fact, file it away with every other 'fact'...Grace is 5'3", blond hair, blue eyes...all facts. And the fact is, that every single night, DT becomes that mother. Because he comes back at night, and Grace can feel him, and hear him, and smell him...and she calls out for DT and DT isn't Grace pictures DT passed out drunk, not caring what happens to this frightened little girl. Why doesn't she care? Because Grace doesn't matter.

And this constant daily struggle has exhausted me! And I can't do it anymore! DT won't be there, she now has a life, she isn't available. And logically that makes sense, but from a child's perspective, it makes no sense at all. And this plays out every single night. I am so tired, I am so weary...and it just feels like she doesn't care. And I can't fight all of the little girls.

So, if I'm going to do it alone, I have to try to do it alone. If I make it, I make it - if I don't...then it will be no one's fault but mine. I'm done wasting DT's time. I'm finished with the constant struggle between her and I. I could see how tired she was weary from fighting with me, and I felt really bad. And the only thing I can do for her is to walk away. She has tried to help me, but I am a stubborn, bad, selfish little girl, and she can't help me. And she's really a good person, so it isn't fair for me to keep telling her that I hate her because she isn't there for me.

I have rope burns on my hands from trying to hang on. I don't know to stop it, I don't know how to live with it and I am WAY too tired to fight it right now....

So I will be *alone*. It's the only way I won't hurt anyone else. DT doesn't deserve my hate, she really is a good person. I am bad, I deserve the hate and the pain. Not her. Me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I seem to have found myself in quite a pickle

I did something really stupid last night....but in my dissociative state it seemed a necessary thing - and something I couldn't stop.

I don't think I can stay safe unless I take some drastic measures - and I don't quite know what that needs to entail. I don't know what I need but I'm overwhelmed with everything right now - it's like I have no skin sensory department is on high alert. My skin feels as though it's on fire. I'm unable to regulate my breathing...and it feels like no one cares.

And if no one cares, why should I? There's really no need, is there? What do I offer except the usual burdensome borderline CPTSD traits? Which seem to grate on everyone - even those trained and being paid to deal with.

I can't do this by myself. I can't. I tried and it leads only to more self-destruction. I don't know the answer and apparently DT seems to think her newly *stringent boundaries* are the that leaves me to have to find my own way. Which when those within take over...typically involves something self-destructive.... so I hold on for the ride - and just wait to see if the car jumps the track.

Around and around and around it goes...where it stops... I surely do not know!

It is not what "I" is who "I" was...

As a child I did not know whether it was the act itself or the knowledge that I was the receptacle for malevolence and cruelty that made me so vulnerable. At first I thought it was God's punishment for something I had done. I took an inventory, desperately seeking the deed that triggered the retribution. But I could not identify a single act. Even my accumulated errors, transgressions and unkindness’s did not exact the cost. Then I understood: if I could not isolate a deed, or pattern of deeds, commanding the punishment, it must be me. It is not what I did. It is who I was...a fundamentally, intrinsically and irredeemably bad little girl. I negotiated my adolescence and early adulthood with the mathematical symbol for "less than" (<) attached.

I would like to be able to write that I am no longer negotiating my adulthood with the same mathematical symbol attached. But that would be a lie. It is pervasive. It is formidable. And if I do not keep it contained, I am so afraid it will be debilitating….I've been down that road a time or two. At times it has enveloped me, penetrating my pores and drowning everything essential and vital inside.

Undisturbed, it is docile, sated. But aroused by even the slightest hint of beauty or strength or grace it is a painful reminder that I am...somehow...contemptible...that I am still fundamentally, intrinsically and incorrigibly...what? Flawed, imperfect & bad? You may say, "But we are all flawed and imperfect. And our flaws and imperfections make us more interesting...more truly beautiful...more human." And perhaps you are right, but this inexorable deprivation makes me somehow subhuman... less than human...permanently broken. I am a receptacle for malice.

I skillfully deflect praise directed my way, an effort to soothe the inescapable conflict inside. Moderate praise induces a subtle tinge of embarrassment; more effusive praise incites the consuming and agonizing feeling that I am irreparably damaged, hopelessly broken. It has contaminated, compromised and diminished every accomplishment, soiled every success. People sometimes tell me that I am humble and that it is an admirable trait. But the modesty and humility they identify helps me to mask the mortification stirring inside. I have gotten so good at hiding it from others that I have nearly learned to conceal it even from myself.

At least that is what it feels like...right now.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Appears as though *distraction* time is over now for the the darkness settles around me. I can feel my breathing quicken, I can feel my thoughts begin to overwhelm. The voices inside my head become louder and louder. The car has moved from 0-80 already tonight...and once 90 hits - I will crash into a brick wall and a borderline ranting, complete with SI and alcohol and OD of ativan and klonopin is sure to ensue...

And what the hell is up with the stupid mail-order prescription plans anyway? You dispense a clinically depressed, suicidal, self-injurious, PTSD borderline patient a 90 day supply of sleeping pills and 2 different kinds of anti-anxiety meds?

And they claim that I'M the crazy one....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Whip it! Whip it Good!

As most of those who read my 'thoughts' regularly know~ I've been in a bit of a funk lately. Well, perhaps that's not even an accurate description of what's been going on...I've been in a state of dissociation, increased SI, ED with a side dish of SIB and typical borderline behavior at DT.

Friday evening this is what she said to me after I said I was feeling apathetic on Friday..which I will take, and multiply compared to how I've felt the past few weeks.
She said, "Slow and steady, take a break, move up a bit....move down a bit.... you can feel "ok" and "not ok", feel a lot, feel nothing (numb) and all of it is learning how to live as "gracefully" as humanly possible."

And tonight I was thinking about that and rather than thinking things like, "Yes, that's how it goes for us, isn't it? Some moments we feel "ok" other moments we fill so overwhelmed that we want to disappear from the world. Sometimes we feel numb, and sometimes feelings surge through us like bolts of lightening. There are times when we would like nothing more than to take a break from this process. And still other moments when we move like the beat of a metronome from 'ok' to 'not ok'...

But I wasn't thinking that at all tonight. Tonight I was thinking about how we can "WHIP IT!"
And I started laughing out loud at DTs words because it's true, isn't it?
Sometimes we have to 'crack that whip...give the past a slip"
When something goes wrong, you've gotta 'whip it'.
And when a good time turns around into something bad, you must whip it.

Now whip it...into shape...shape it up...get straight!
Go forward...Move ahead...Try to detect it...It's not too late

Thank you everybody...Goodnight!
*Grace blows kisses to all*

Friday, May 22, 2009

Introducing Lydia Linehan!

Ms. Lydia Linehan!
DBT Lion Extraordinaire
The Estranged Sister of Marsha Marsha Marsha
(Told you there was a lion in the room~ Lydia is the lion that Marsha has been avoiding all these years...because Lydia knows the truth about DBT!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It is beautiful...and you are never invited!

I’m closing my eyes tightly squeezing my eyes shut
and looking for myself
Somewhere in this darkness as the color behind my eyelids changes from blue to purple to black.
I will find the girl I was before you changed me into the woman I am today.
Do you think I’m asleep?

I live my life in the night behind my eyelids.
My world exists here, I exist here, you do not.

My friends are here, friends who know nothing about you.
I feel safe here.
I have security.
I travel...I write.

My house is open.
It’s sunny and airy and inviting and calm
And it’s all the things I want to be, and all that you were not.
And it’s mine, not yours.
My time is mine, not yours.
My thoughts are mine, not yours.
My days and nights are mine, not yours.

Behind my eyelids my world is amazingly beautiful
And you are never invited there.

"YOU JUST HAVE TO GET THROUGH THE...enter (minute, hour, night)

"You don't have to be okay, or perfect, you just have to get through the minute, hour, night..." That's what DT said to me last night when I called her. "Grace, you don't have to feel 'ok' you just have to get through the night."

But...DT, what about tomorrow? And the next night...and the night after that. I'm so tired of watching the clock and just "getting through the next minute".

"Grace, you know it comes in 'waves' you're feeling now. There are times when you will be better, and times when you are worse. You know that."

Yes, but what happens when I drown in the next wave, or the wave after that one?
DT was able to calm me down, last night. I was full of fear, fear of the time each night when "logical" Grace disappears and the irrational angry and sad ones take control, put on the red boots and walk all over DT and me! And Grace had one boot on last night when she called DT.

"I don't want to die, DT, I don't want to die..." That's what I kept saying to her, on the phone... and I don't, I don't want to die...but I'm so scared that I'm going to die because the pain becomes so overwhelming that I will do anything to make it end. DT told me what to do, step by step, she told me: Grace, I want you to go and brush your teeth, take your medication and tuck yourself into bed. Then tomorrow morning, you will get up, shower, get dressed...and get to work. And then you will come to my office at 2 and we will continue to talk about a plan to keep yourself safe."

And all the Grace(s) were so happy that the decisions were made, we followed through on the instructions given by DT and it was a better night then it has been in weeks!

But now tonight, the migraine that I have been battling all week has now pulled out the new arsenal which is immune to all medication. The lack of sleep has made my eyelids as heavy as bricks, my mind cloudy and my body weary. I am unable to focus on a task, which includes the ability to shower and get dressed. The nausea which subsided for a day is now back with a vengeance. I have thrown up multiple times tonight – and I although I continue to brush my teeth, I would pay the asking ransom for some stronger mouthwash and perhaps some diet sprite.

Although the nightmares abated for a few days, they have returned from the game of hide and seek – l am now hiding and they are now seeking. The ever present feelings of discontent will no longer allow me a moment of peace. This journey to “inner peace” seems to be an impossibility right now.

There is no party at the end of the rainbow – where my heart will sing and my soul will dance with joy. Instead, all I find is the hurt – and sometimes it is so painful, I want to cut out my own heart to keep from feeling it. I am an emotional baby in an adult body and I don’t know how to grow up. I am overwhelmed; there are not enough words in the dictionary to express how it is that I truly feel. Yes, there are times when I want to end it all, but really, I don’t want to die, I want to live, but I want to "live" and not just "survive" the day.

"Take your meds and tuck yourself into bed, just have to get through this minute, this hour...this night". That's all...and then tomorrow, you can do it all over again.

Just get through *this* night.

Say goodnight, Gracie...

Goodnight Gracie...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grace will be back shortly...please enjoy the music while you wait...and Keep Breathing

I've always wanted to help others.
"BE A VOICE" for the abused children, and the adults who were abused as children.
I wanted to change the world!
But right now, I just want to hide under the covers....
This song sums things up for me quite nicely today.

KEEP BREATHING ~ Ingrid Michaelson

The storm is coming
But I don't mind
People are dying
I close my blinds
All that I know is I'm breathing now

I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
Now now now now

All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing

Monday, May 18, 2009

What a good little Gracie...she 'worked it out by herself tonight'.

I hurt myself on Sunday night. I tried to reach out to DT but she wasn’t available (as usual). I did leave her a voicemail. Tonight DT emailed…..

I recognize that you had a VERY difficult night last night. I realize that you still weigh the options of living vs dying and that this continues to plague you on a daily basis. You are angry at me for many things and I will continue to do my best to listen, while I realize that often doesn't make things any better or different for you. Try to keep in touch with the other parts of you that also need attention and a voice. These "parts" of you are just as worthy and important. I was glad to get your voice mail from your 11:30pm call and I realize that you did what you felt was your only option. I would like to clarify that the 24 hour post-self injury rule pertains to phone contact. Your sessions are still also available to you as scheduled. I have you scheduled at 12:30 on Wed... so i will see you then.

Grace replied:
DT, Thanks... and I wish it mattered to me still that you were 'listening' as you say you are (to the best of your ability)...but it no longer does. I'm too tired. I don't want to talk anymore, I'm all talked out - and it hasn't done a lick of I don't want to talk anymore. I just need it to be over. Realizing you did your best - which is always *good enough*'s just not working.
Regards, Grace


But, no worries…Grace has “worked it out”!
I took a handful of ativan (they're really tiny and only .5mg each) and I'm getting ready to take a couple of seroquel - so hopefully she'll be asleep and therefore unable to fly into a borderline rage at her perception of DT's absence of care.

YEAH! Gracie is "Dealing With It" What a "good" girl she is! What a good little girl.....

Now let me go tuck her into bed before she's not conscious enough to walk up the stairs....

Just work it out!

Last week, I had a horrible night, and since DT's continued mantra that I should "call" her and she's available until 10pm...I actually relented and called her.
After abaout a minute on the phone, DT said, "Grace, I'm working at the hospital right now and I can't it out."

Work it out? That's what you tell the psycho PTSD patient in the middle of a flashback? "Work it out?"

I worked it out.... I cut myself and watched the blood drip onto the floor.

DT called later and apologized, telling me (again) that she's human and will make mistakes...but I refused her call.... work it out?


I don't know what I'm asking for...Prayer? Strength? Faith?

I often wonder if depression and anxiety manifest in your body in a physical sense. I feel despondent today…I’ve been nauseous all day and have vomited profusely. I turn on the water so no one hears me. I lack the enthusiasm and energy to do anything. I am fearful every evening of what will come in the night. I know I should just grit my teeth and push through this phase. ..but l currently lack the fervor and oomph.

Darkness has closed in. The storm clouds that were looming over the Rocky Mountains has finally rolled in and settled right over Boulder County. My body feels like it’s filled with lead. I am exhausted physically and mentally. I’m walking in the rain and the wind caught under my umbrella and pummeled me into a brick wall. I am constantly fighting against the winds. The winds of my fear, my anxiety, my depression, my hopelessness and shame…and the anger, holy smokes! The horrible anger that overwhelms me.

I don’t sleep, the darkness invades my dreams. When I do finally fall asleep, it’s only a half sleep. I toss and turn and wake up multiple times during the night. I don’t eat because it always comes right back up.

So much of what I feel is irrational and the logical part of my brain tells me that – but Ms. Logic can’t win against Ms. Scared –Angry (she has a hyphenated last name). I need help – I know that. I know that I am not “me” and I am not in control of us, not anymore. I know that the strength and spirit and determination I had has been drained from me.

I have been thinking terrible thoughts at night. Thoughts like: what if I just take the entire bottle of ativan and chase it down with a chug of vodka. It isn’t about suicide – I assure you, it’s about making it stop! It’s about stopping the crazy voices inside my head; it’s about killing the physical and mental pain in my body. I realize how twisted that sounds…like the mentality of an ‘addict’. Something I never want to be.

I never wanted to be ‘this’ woman. I used to be strong – a fighter! And I have been through worse! But I feel like a runner who hit the wall. I just don’t feel like I can push forward anymore, not now. Thinking about the darkness that overwhelms me at night is like looking down the barrel of a shot-gun. I just wait for the bullet to come…wait for the past to start ravaging my body and my mind once again. And I hate it! I hate it! I hate the voices, I hate the feeling that he’s here with me. I hate the way my body aches, the way my hips hurt and my chest feels tight. I hate the way my breathing gets shallow and I hate that I can’t seem to stop it. DT said I should be able to stop it. I don’t understand why I can’t do that. Why can’t I do it?

I feel so depressed, so anxious so sad and scared. I am such a disappointment. I’m so ashamed of myself. People tell me how inspired they are by my courage and perseverance, and here I am…thinking of overdosing on anti-anxiety and sleeping meds. I need help. I’m so ashamed. This isn’t me – I don’t even know who this is. What do I need to do? I don’t know what the answer is. All I know is that I need something – something to hold on to. I’m overwhelmed by fear and darkness. Thunder and lightning are raging in my head ALL OF THE TIME! And I’m scared.

The SI is back, and I’m so utterly disgusted with myself for falling back into that! But like an alcoholic, I cannot stop after I make that first cut. The endless crying is back – it’s all back with a vengeance! The deep hole inside of me is growing like a cancerous tumor. It’s so hard to even stay alive and no one gets it. Each day is more and more difficult to get out of bed, there isn’t a better day now – and there isn’t another escape that I can think of. This is killing me anyway – a slow painful death, eating me from the inside out – what’s the difference? Why hang on for more pain, when I could just take a bottle of ativan and a bottle of seroquel and stop it myself. Take control of my own destiny. I just don’t know how much more I can take – I’m drained, worthless, helpless, sad, angry, disgusted, depressed, self-destructive…I hate it! I hate all of it! And I need it to STOP!

I am an evil, bad, mean, nasty girl! Mother and father were right. I am terrible! I don’t deserve love or care. I am undeserving. Hopeless. It is hopeless. There’s nothing left. I’m too tired. I can’t bleed or puke the badness out of me. It won’t leave!

If you even read this I am not writing to cause concern and alarm. I am writing this because this is it! This is my struggle~ this is a transparent and honest account of what I’m feeling. I realize everyone has their *struggle* – this is mine. There cannot be hills without valleys – but I’m caught in a landslide! I don’t know what I’m asking for… I just can’t seem to face it anymore. Prayer? Strength? I’m so flipping sick and tired!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Knowledge may be power but ignorance is bliss

Everyone has their own struggles. My struggle is no more painful or important than anyone else’s; we are all human, right? My struggle right now is focused around the pain from the past, and I feel downright deficient in the skill set needed to do this. During the day, when I can distract myself, I feel so far removed from this fight, and yet every night, I find myself fighting right on the front line.

I am not nearly as emotionally secure as I used to be. I used to be unshakable & steady, but now I feel like the wall of a dam during the day, and at night, the dam breaks and the water gushes over me, drowning me in memories and feelings I don’t want to feel.

I read so much about the daily achievements and struggles from fellow ‘survivors’ and I find myself cheering them on when they report their victories, and I am saddened when I read expressions of trashing violently through a scuffle of the past. And it’s like that, isn’t it? One day you find yourself standing on top of the world, screaming, “You will never destroy me! I am a strong and courageous woman now, not a broken little girl!” And the next day, you find yourself curled into a ball, huddled in the corner of a dark room, rocking yourself in fear…and those days you ARE that broken little girl.

And I find myself wondering if it ever WILL be ‘better’. Is there an end to this road? Recently dear therapist told me I could feel this way for another 2 years, or maybe more, and she went on to add that this ‘process’ could take 15 years or more! What? I don’t think I can survive another 2 years in this place! I read your words and I take them in, and I want to encourage each of you…and then I feel like such a hypocrite for sending you the strength and the courage that I don’t feel. What are the odds? What am I playing against? I want to know. I’m writing this because I was interacting with a woman who was strong – I thought, made of steel. She was a survivor! She trudged through it…it was hell but she made it…all the way to the top of the mountain. My hero! And then she fell, and this time, after so many years later, so many stages of healing and processing and fighting, she gave up. And when I read this I felt my head begin to spin and vomit in my throat. This woman, this woman who had worked so hard for so long…this woman who was so inspirational for me, recounting her stories of hope and healing…she herself lost the battle. And that just made it seem so much more perceptible, so much more real. I suddenly feel even more fragile, even more breakable. A part of me did break…I ran to the bathroom, choking on sobs and vomit. Suddenly the small flicker of hope I carried with me was snuffed out and I the echoes of defeat consumed me.

I am shocked and horrified…this woman was so much stronger than I am. If she couldn’t make it, there’s no way I could make it. My heart aches for her because I know what it feels like to not want to go on…when the weariness overtakes you and you just can’t face anymore. I know that feeling – because there are so many nights when I find myself begging to be free, and it is a battle of will between each one inside of me, and I am afraid one night, the wrong one will win the fight.

Knowledge may be power but ignorance is bliss! And there are things I don’t want to know right now. And I acknowledge that there are things I shouldn’t try to face right now.
I am fragile – breakable. I am living my life on the edge of a knife and I don’t dare stumble. I am afraid. I am so afraid...

Balance is the key – unfortunately that is an elusive concept that I constantly struggle to achieve…

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* Frenzied efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
* Actions of impulsivity that are self-damaging (sexual impulsivity, extravagant spending, substance abuse, eating disorders, reckless driving)

Well, now there’s a solution!
BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE HCL is FDA approved and was developed by Dr. Iluvu I. Hateu. It is a safe and effective way to treat the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE is much more effective than DBT, the treatment program designed by Marsha Linehan. It takes less time for patients to experience symptom relief, there’s no therapeutic training, and no irritating classes to teach!

How does it work?

BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE works with the limbic system to suppress the borderlines urge to act impulsively, self injure and commit suicide. It abolishes those ‘pesky’ emotions that you abhor in your patients and are socially unacceptable.

Listen to what our experts have to say!

Borderline individuals are the psychological equivalent of third-degree-burn patients. They simply have, so to speak, no emotional skin. Even the slightest touch or movement can create immense suffering. Borderlines are the most difficult patients to treat due to their extreme socially unacceptable behavior. I’ve suggested all of my borderline patients to try BENZOBORDERCLORIPINE and I haven’t had a late night suicide threat, or a call begging for ‘safety coaching’ in months! This is much more effective than suggesting a cup of tea or a distraction technique to my patients. With BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE not only do my patients stay alive and out of trouble, I can turn off my phone at 10pm every night- and not worry about voicemail or email messages that will be awaiting me in the morning!
~ Dr. Elizabeth Terrior

I was treating a patient, Ginger, for 13 years and I tried everything! She had been in alcoholics anonymous, psychotherapy and group therapy. Then, 18 months ago, she began participating in a BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE trial at a Boulder mental health clinic. Since then, she has used alcohol only twice, had only one encounter with police (and controlled herself so that she didn’t end up in four-point restraints) and is now studying for her GED. This is a huge success for a woman who hadn’t been able to keep family, friends, jobs, or stability together—ever. Typical of other borderline clients, Ginger seems to have been born with a predisposition to over-the-top reactions to just about everything. She also grew up in a difficult, neglectful home. It is the combination of these two factors—called “emotional vulnerability” and an “invalidating environment”—that give rise to BPD. Over time, people like Ginger have learned to respond with maximum emotion even in the face of minimal stimulation, and dangerous behavior is the result. Since she began taking BENCOBORDERCLORAPINE, Ginger is able to go to her ‘wisemind’ in seconds!
~ Dr. Cassie Kitzen

Many therapists have no idea how to treat Borderline patients, and with BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE there’s no need! "The good news", says Dr. Hateu, "is that there is no need to teach these annoying clients how to unlearn dysfunctional behaviors. The BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE will take care of that for you. And as therapists, there is no need to continue walking on eggshells!"

Prescribe BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE for your patients today!

Turn your patient’s black and white views into shades of gray!
You’ll be thankful, and someday they will be too! With the help of BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE, your patients will ‘radically accept’ the borderline label bestowed upon them and love themselves in spite of it!

A caveat: BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE is not for everyone. It is not designed for the average person who might seek help from a therapist. BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE is probably not appropriate or necessary for fairly “normal” people who might need therapy to cope with this or that mild neurosis. It’s best for those with more intense or advanced disorders. While many BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE candidates have been diagnosed with BPD, other severely disordered or self-injuring clients can benefit as well.

The standard dosage is 600 mg daily taken in two 300mg doses: one in the morning and one prior to bed time. The patient should be started on 75mg twice daily and increase by 75mg twice daily every 7 days until the full 600 mg dosage is reached.

Common side effects include:
Excessive Sleeping
Inability to ‘care’ about anything
Decreased ability to sing and dance
Obsession with Marsha Linehan
Inability to become enraged, or exhibit fierce anger, or, any anger, really
Unable to feel fear, even when there IS a lion in the room

Disclaimer: ALCOHOL may intensify the effects of BENZOBORDERCLORAPINE. Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery until you are certain how your body will react to the drug. Do not participate in any activity requiring full mental alertness EVER.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I want someone to tell me that I will be 'ok' one day...that there is hope.

I want someone to talk to about how I feel.
I want to talk to someone who knows how I feel, someone who’s felt what I feel, someone who's been in my shoes. Someone who has been here, stood where I am now, someone who can tell me that it will be worth it and that my feelings are normal and that it will be better someday, and when it is, I will want to live. Because right now, I don't really feel that, I don't feel like it will ever be better. And I feel like I will continue to be here, in this place, forever. This place of depression, fear, sadness, worthlessness...anger.... a place no one in my life seems to understand. I don't think anyone understands how much I hate myself. I don't think anyone understand how much it humiliates me and makes me want to hurt myself...or worse.

Maybe no one ever will. Maybe it will never get better - each day seems darker and darker...maybe I will inch inch further and further away...until I disappear altogether...

Around, and around, and around, it goes...where it stops, nobody knows

Choose your destiny – spin the wheel!Where will it land…*spinning*spinning*spinning*…and the choices are flashing before your eyes…*Moderate self-hatred*
*Complete self-loathing**Suicidal Thoughts**Self-Injury happens now*
*Needs work, but getting there*
*On a healing path**Give it up girl!*
*Just do it already*

Spin the wheel – around and around and around it goes – where it will stop nobody knows…
I want to punish myself. I want to punish myself for not eating, punish myself for eating. I want to punish myself for vomiting, I want to punish myself when I don’t vomit. I want to punish myself for punishing myself. I am so tired of myself! Everything is the same – and I’m sorry to sound so cliché but everything hurts right now. So I sit here wanting to die and wanting to live. I sit here begging to not feel this aching pain anymore. I am tired of being such a needy person.

Sometimes I feel like there’s no place in this world for me. I feel useless – Like I’m just taking up space. What do you have at the end of the day when you feel so worn out and alone because you’ve blocked everyone out and all you have as fuel to go on is self hate and a small spark of hope that gets smaller and grows fainter each day? So many days I cannot come up with a way to release the emotion that has built up inside of me.

If I could just quiet the voices in my head maybe I would be able to clearly hear the voice that is saying, “help me”. But I’m terrified of that voice – asking for help takes away control. My mind will take a memory and provide running commentary in my head that takes me back to a place where I don’t want to be. And the little *movies* that seem to appear at any time and send me back to a part of my past that I pray I can just forget. Most of them seem just as powerful, if not more powerful, today as they were when they happened and they send my mind into an emotional straight jacket that I don’t know if I can escape from.

I am afraid all of the time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why can't you see her?

I wonder.
It's so quiet, so still.
Doesn't anyone see her?
Am I the only one who realizes she isn't breathing?
I wonder what she thought…. What she did.

Rape in itself won't kill you.
The rapist can.
He pushes, kicks,shoves and then hits.

Abuse – torture – rape.
All these things...
I wonder.
I wonder how we stay sane.
How do we stay safe?
How do we stay alive?
It seems so difficult.
It seems too difficult when no one wants to speak of the obvious horror happening around them.

She is dead.
She knows it
She feels it.
All of it.
Her blood and sweat

Does he know it?
Does he?
His eyes – crystal blue….
I don't want him to die.
I want him to live.
I want him to think about it every day for the rest of his life.
I want him to live!
Because in living... I hope he will feel death.

Sometimes we say its okay, but it's not. Sometimes we say we're alright, but we're not.

It's funny how we hide behind words what we really feel and yet we are the words we make. My mind is easily distracted tonight and I’m finding it hard to focus. I'm looking out the window, trying to calm myself with the image of a gold curtain billowing in the night breeze. I close my eyes and imagine I’m sitting underneath a weeping willow tree surrounded by colorful spring flowers. The dress I’m wearing white and made of soft cotton and the gentle breeze touches my face and sweeps my long blonde hair behind my shoulders. I try to focus on the sound of the willow leaves rustling in the gentle wind but I find my mind wandering. I think of Virginia Woolf- I think of her madness and I wish my head would stop going in that direction.

Unpredictable … inconsistent… incoherent? My mind is searching for a word. Sometimes I will write 2 or 3 pages and abandon the writing because I'm unable to find the right words to express what it is I'm trying to say. It amazes me how many of my thoughts end up forgotten in "draft" form- never to be finished. ..thoughts that had meaning to someone inside of me, but cast aside by another who refuses to make room for a conflicting self.

My heart feels heavy, my chest heavy making it difficult to breathe, making me feel dizzy and disjointed. I wish people could see inside of me, understand me, but they don’t, they can’t. And so I write in words, what they cannot see. I write to express that which I am unable to speak. I write to express my feelings. When I'm in this place I am now, it's difficult to be with people, even those who show love, even those who show understanding.
I long for compassion ~ but I feel shameful and undeserving of care.
This thought makes me so happy-I could cry, it makes me so sad – I could laugh.The dark comedian in me is shouting, "get medicated” would ya?
I'm no longer making sense because I'm agitated and on edge.
I'm searching for a word- I'm thinking, you're thinking.
Is there morbid pleasure in wallowing in dark thoughts?
Sometimes there's this feeling inside of me that I don't completely comprehend. I know that there must be hope. And yet I wonder why I feel like I want to give everything up and fade away- leave it all behind.
No words of comfort can pacify the waves within me- no reading of anything *enlightening* can change the feeling- no warm *hug* could erase that enigmatic feeling. No- nothing seems to be working to get me back to my wandering feet.There's no suicidal thought- or anything heading to that evil trap- not tonight. I just feel so detached from everything and everyone.

I wish I no longer existed.
Life is a conundrum...Do I even have all of the pieces?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It would be so easy to let go...

I walk a dreadfully narrow & fragile tight rope and there often there is no safety net beneath me. And as such, a slight wind will often make me stumble and fall right back into the cavernous black hole that I spent a significant amount of time climbing out of. I used to be so thick skinned, but my skin seems to have been scoured into a transparent epidermis that now barely covers my flesh. And I don’t know why words seem to rip right through that now clear layer of covering and sear through the sensitive tissue beneath. But they do, and just like that, I am back in a place where I feel like I must punish myself. And I want to feel the pain externally on my body because the interpretations of the verbal words I hear resonate through me and each time the words are repeated, the internal pain increases.

And it doesn’t stop there. The words become thoughts and the thoughts turn into internal voices that torture me and say terrible things. They torment me and tell me that I am worthless, that I will never be able to get through this, that I am a bad, filthy little girl and I deserved everything that happened to me. And the truth is that I can’t find a voice to tell me that isn’t true and it then feels commonsensical and spot on to me. And the frightened little Gracie says, “I know mother, I deserve to be hurt. You should let him hurt me because I am bad. I will always be bad.”

During the day I manage to quiet the voices, and push them deep down inside of me because I have to function during the day, I cannot allow myself to fall apart. But every day I am a virtual time bomb that cannot be disarmed, and when the darkness falls, the device beeps and I blow up. And the reality is there is a gaping chasm between ‘healing’ and where I am right now. And frankly, I’m not even sure healing is possible. And I want to give up. I work so hard to climb out of the darkness, back onto the tightrope, toward the light, only to have something else knock me back off again.

When that all too familiar wind blows and knocks me from the rope, I try to hang on. I try not to allow myself to fall completely into the darkness, the place where there is no shred of hope left. But I often wonder what it is I’m holding on to, and what I’m holding on for. And I don’t know why I’m still holding on. Not anymore.

There are too many competing voices. They all have wants and needs and I’m too tired to listen to them anymore. They will never become one. They are too different to be integrated. And I’m so tired. And the rope is burning through the already thin layer of skin on the palms of my hands and it hurts and I want to let go. I want to let go. I want to let go of the rope and the pain and the anger. I want to let go of the depression and the tears and the fear. There’s no balance now, there’s only vertigo, and it’s so hard to hang on.

It would be so easy to just let go.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hope is Stronger than Grief

It occurred to me today that it takes a lot of courage to be hopeful. One has to walk into hope with the knowledge that hope is just a dream, yet, with hope that dreams can come true. What a dichotomy!

hope /hoʊp/ hohp] hoped, hop·ing.
–noun 1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best: 2. a particular instance of this feeling: 3. grounds for this feeling in a particular instance: 4. a person or thing in which expectations are centered: 5. something that is hoped for: 6. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. 7. to believe, desire, or trust: 8. to feel that something desired may happen: 9. Archaic. to place trust; rely 10. hope against hope, to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it:
Often we have no hope at all that a certain desire may be fulfilled. So much so that we discard the desire as a dream that is dead and buried, and turn to a journey where we actively work for someone else's desires to be fulfilled. As we travel the road of fulfilling the hopes of another, our own hope peeks out from around the corner then darts back out of sight as soon as we turn to look at it - taking its essence with it. (Wait a second! I sent that hope died and I buried it a long time ago) Then, it begins to get more bold, and stay just long enough for us to begin to recognize its face. It essence invades you, almost against your own will, to make a real change in your life.

You begin to question. . . Do I dare to hope? Do I dare take the chance? Do I have "reasonable confidence" (as is expressed in the definition above) that this can morph from being dead and in hell into livable reality? I can't go through much more pain, unless the pain actually produces some positive results. Is this a *real* hope, or only real because I secretly long for it to be so?

Hope is just a . . . thing. But what courage it takes to dare to accept it.

I guess I have begun a new journey. A journey of hope~ this time for myself and not for another. So, for today, I choose to be brave. For today, I choose to hope. Today, I choose to rescue hope from the hell to which I, personally, banished it - come what may.

Have you seen my shovel?

Happy Birthday, Gracie ~ You are loved

Today is my birthday. I find it difficult to celebrate the day I came into this world…an unwanted and unloved child who was born to serve the needs of others and to suffer abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to be protectors. The thought of celebrating that birth doesn’t make me want to break out the piñata.
But others in my life had a different point of view and chose to celebrate my birthday because they wanted to celebrate me. My day started at 4:50am, when my dear husband leaned over and with a gentle kiss on the cheek wished me happy birthday before leaving for work. At 6:30a my beautiful son and daughter wished me happy birthday, complete with birthday hugs and kisses.
Upon arriving at work, I opened my office door to find a gorgeous hand crafted birthday cake made of roses that my administrative assistant left for me. It was breathtaking and it touched my heart to know that she thought that much of my birthday, a day that was really never mentioned when I was a child. I had gift cards for movie theaters, cards from the office and a spa gift certificate from the staff. My direct reports took me to lunch…I couldn’t believe that I meant that much to people in my work life.

My Birthday Cake of "Roses"

I had emails and voicemails and text messages from friends wishing me happy birthday. I even had a friend leave a singing message on my phone. My friends made me feel cared for and appreciated.
I had an appointment with dear therapist this afternoon. Last week she suggested we think about making mother’s day and my birthday into something positive and angry girl balked at that idea ~ how would we go about doing that? The facts are the facts. I was never wanted. My mother ingrained that into my head very early on, and she never let me forget it. During our appointment I was sharing with DT how I was trying to ‘take care’ of all of us at night, efforts at being ‘proactive’ to head off the storm before it hits the coast of Grace. I made a book with specific things DT has said to me in emails past, things that comforted all of us, made us feel cared for and wanted. Made us feel like we mattered. I showed her this book today and she seemed impressed at the effort I put into making it.

Comfort Journal

Then she reached behind her and handed me a box. Inside the box was an angel. A “May” angel. The card attached says this, “May is represented by the Emerald, ‘gem of hope’. May’s positive energy blossoms like a sunflower in sunshine’s beam. Patient and calm, May’s angel embraces others with confidence and constant love.” I didn’t know what to say to DT. Tears forming in my eyes, I looked her, and thank you didn’t seem like enough. I am never speechless, but in this moment, I couldn’t express how much it meant to me that she thought about my birthday, and she recognized how hard it is for me, and she cares. She listens and she cares. And I love her for that. I love her for staying with me through all of this. She puts up with so much from me, so much that she doesn’t deserve. She is the recipient of the rage I feel toward my mother, the sadness I feel when frightened and alone. She gets it all! Believe me! And still sticks around and tells me I’m not crazy…and it will be ‘ok’.
May Angel

Tonight DT sent me an email as she does every Monday night: "Grace, You will be ok and you are not "crazy". I am thankful to have been a part of your 38th Bday if only in session and in thoughts. Be good to all of "you" tonight...! I insist! Happy Birthday to every little, big, mature, immature, smart, inexperienced, mad, sad, happy part of you! Dear Therapist."

Today, Grace feels loved. Happy Birthday, Gracie. You got through today with Grace & Style! And you are loved...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I have an unwanted and unwelcome houseguest

You know what sucks about *distraction*? When you stop distracting yourself all the crap you were distracting yourself from barges back in, uninvited, slamming the door behind it. It doesn’t really care that I didn’t extend an invitation, and now, once again, I have an unwanted houseguest. And of course it expects to be ‘entertained’, it can’t just sit quietly in a corner, in the farthest room of the house and read a book or something. No way! It’s always right in my face, under my feet, vying for my attention. It’s vile and ugly ~ I don’t want it here! I can’t stand to look at it, and when it forces me to stare into its craggy, decaying face, cracked and scarred skin.
It displays my past with sober horror as if it’s a cabaret, and I am the audience. I can feel the bile rising in my throat; there is vomit in the back of my mouth, threatening to come forward with powerful force.

It croaks and taunts me, “Come on Grace, let’s have another look at today’s lunch.”
I’m sick to my stomach just being in the same room with it and I know it is only a matter of time before I will be sick. It sits down next to me, I feel my breath quicken in apprehension of what is to come. It smells of liquor and stale cigarette smoke and I gag as I try to slow my breathing down, try to calm myself.

It inches closer to me, touches my thigh, whispers into my ear, “Mind if I sit down, have a glass of wine? I prefer red, but if you don’t have an open bottle, white’s fine. I don’t want to be an inconvenience.”

Yeah right! My leg feels like ice now, my skin crawling from his touch. I begin to shake as I try to move away from it, remove his hand from my upper leg. It won’t let me escape; it knows there is no way to break free. It knows once the film starts I will be unable to look away from the turmoil that is happening in front of me. And not only is the movie in 3-D, I can actually suffer with the star of the show, I feel what she feels, I see what she sees. When she bleeds, I bleed. When she cries, I wipe her tears from my face. I feel her fear and her angst.

As the film starts, it knows I’m unable to shelter myself from the motion picture and it flaunts it in front of me as though it is a screening fit for the Cannes movie festival. Incapable of looking away I see my own eyes looking back at me. I become her, the girl on the screen, I feel his hands on my body and I feel his breath on my skin.

I can feel the filth on my soul like it’s my own skin. I know my worth. I burned it into my existence. I am branded. I am unclean. I can’t wash him off of me. I have dry heaves now, there’s no more vomiting tonight, there’s nothing left inside of me, except filth and shame. I can feel my heart beating in every single inch of my body. My face is hot and my cheeks feel bruised.

I scrub my skin until it’s read and raw but the filth cannot be removed. I vomit until my stomach convulses and there is nothing left but he is still inside of me. I cut my flesh in an effort to bleed him out of me. I watch the blood run down my pale skin and pool onto the floor but I still feel him, he’s still here.

I am nothing. He made me nothing. I am pathetic for struggling with this still, years later. Grace, get over it! Move on!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

A Newborn's Conversation with God A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"
God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."
The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."
God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel you angel's love and be very happy."
Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."
"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."
"Who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."
"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."
God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."
God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."
A very close friend of mine sent the above to me yesterday, via email. She found it very touching and wanted to pass it along to touch the heart of others. Here's the thing. I'm not trying to sound cynical or bitchy (wait, the word bitchy would make Marsha's hair barrette twist into her skull ~ I should, instead, say, 'emotionally disregulated') but I am not a fan of mother's day. I do have 2 children of my own and I cherish them every single day. I would give my life for them, and on the flip side of that, many days the only reason I stay alive is for them.
But the sad little Gracie inside of me cries because she knows she must be a terrible evil little girl because God didn't give her to a mother who loved her or cared for her. And so many times Gracie has asked, "Why God? Why am I not good enough for a mother's love? Why did I spend my years being abused and not loved? What is wrong with me?"
And adult Grace knows the answer, but she isn't able to comfort the little girl. Adult Grace knows she wasn't deserving, that she is bad, a child not even God could love.
I hate mother's day. And I hate my 'birthday too. Neither are days for celebration. Not for me. Last year my birthday was on Mother's day - this year it's the day after. So I can extend the pain for 2 days - and on a DBT night - if that doesn't call for a suicidal strawberry cocktail, I don't know what does!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oh! Now I Remember!

On Monday, when angry girl, sad and lonely girl and sarcastic girl showed up, I was overwhelmed with the desire to SI. I know this because I found the evidence in my sent box ~ an email to DT telling her that I would "resort to my old coping mechinisms and *deal with the pain* on my own, so no worries!

Tuesday morning I searched my body for evidence of my self-destructive behavior. I didn't discover anything, and I was sure glad, since I told her I was going to carve "F-U" in my skin. Tueday night when DH returned from work, he said, "I found glass in the bathroom, let me see your wrists."

Whew! I don't know which Grace made that wise decision, but I sure am glad she did!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's a long, long road from here to there...and I am drained tonight...

Late Tuesday afternoon, dear therapist called me to tell me she would be available during the evening until 10pm if I wanted or needed to talk. She did the same thing on Sunday night. I think she is trying to encourage me to call her rather than email her when I am in distress. I was ‘ok’ last night so I didn’t call her but I was happy that she thought about me and called me to check on me.

I had an appointment today with DT and I always feel so ashamed when we have a freak out session as we did on Monday night. But, DT is always the same, never criticizing my freak-out rants. As soon as I sat down today, she asked me why I didn’t call her Monday or Tuesday. I told her that I was okay on Tuesday night, and I think it helped me that she called me earlier that after noon. This may sound strange but sometimes it helps me just to know that she is there if I need her.

DT asked me why I am so angry with her and I told her I hate her new time limits and there are times when I need her after 10 and she isn’t there anymore, she used to be, and now she isn’t. I went on to add, that the new time limits coincided with the new relationship with her new boyfriend, and that I hate her new boyfriend and her because my mother always picked men over me, and I feel like DT did it on purpose because it’s exactly the same. She understood why I feel that way.

When sad, scared little Gracie reaches out for DT at night and she isn’t there, Gracie pictures DT as the “host body” (mother) and then she pictures DT drunk and passed out in the bedroom next to hers because that’s what always happened. Is that helpful? Not really. And Gracie started to cry.

DT asked, “What happened on Monday night? From what I could ascertain from your emails, you were very angry at me and then you became very sad and scared and you weren’t able to soothe yourself.”

“I don’t know.” Grace said quietly. “Scared…my body hurt, my hips hurt, I was scared to go to sleep because my body hurt so badly. I couldn’t get comfortable in bed, so I got up and laid down in the hallway. I curled up into a ball and rocked back and forth. I wanted my gramma.”
“What would your gramma do for you if she was there?” DT questioned.

“She didn’t come to get me. And neither did you!” Grace sobbed. “Sometimes I send you and gramma telepathic messages, telling you how scared I am – he’s hurting me, please help me. But you don’t answer.” Grace is now curled into a ball with one of DT’s pillows, rocking back and forth, no longer safe in DT’s office, but back in the past.

DT repeats her question, “What would gramma do for you if she was here now?”
“She would hold me!”

“What else? Would she wrap her arms around you?” DT asked, “Did she rock you like you’re rocking yourself now?”

“Yes,” Grace cried, “She rocked me in her old gold rocking chair and she sang to me….bye-o-baby.”

“Can you hear her now?” Grace doesn’t answer DT. “Grace, do you know where you are? Can you hear my voice? Do you have tunnel vision? Look up at me. Grace, can you look up a minute?”

Grace looks up briefly, puts her head back down and continues to cry. “Grace,” DT says, “Can you hear my voice?” Grace nods. “Do you want gramma now, Grace?”

“No cause you’re here. My stomach hurts, I’m going to throw up”

“You’re in my office, can you hear my voice? Do you hear the water in the fountain? Can you hear the sound machine? These things are all unique to my office. You’re safe here, Grace. You’re not 5, or 13, or 18, Grace, you’re 38 and you’re safe now. No one can hurt you in here.”

Grace continues to cry, and softly whisper, “I want my gramma,” over and over again.

DT reminds her to breathe. After a few minutes Grace looks up and sees DT taking notes. DT never takes notes during session, and wonders why she’s doing it today. As though reading her mind, DT tells Grace that she’s taking notes so she can help come up with a plan to help Grace stay grounded at night.

Grace stopped crying and felt a wave of anger, “Do you think I want to be like this at night? Do you think I want to cry and feel rage and send you 30 emails telling you how much I hate you and then become scared and cry because I want you? How borderline is that? I don’t want to die!”

“No, I don’t think you want that, “DT says gently, “Do you think you can just let it be without judging it. Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can do right now? I know you don’t want to die, Grace. I understand that. I know how much you struggle, and I know that sometimes there doesn’t seem to be another option for you. I know that. I see it at the hospital every week – and I know it’s real for you. I know how easy it is for some people to say, ‘well, there’s this choice, and this choice’ but it doesn’t feel like that for you. We are working to get adult Grace to recognize the triggers and then to be able to stay grounded, in adult Grace form at night. You can do this. You need things to reassure you that you are an adult, you’re not in the trailor anymore, you’re in your house, with your husband and children. You can look around your bedroom, and see a picture of your daughter and say, oh, yes, I’m an adult, safe in my own home, I see the new shoes I bought at Macy’s last week, and a picture of my children, I hear my husband breathing next to me.”

“But when you say it like that, and I can’t do it, I feel like a failure!”

“Grace, you’re not a failure, I don’t expect you to be able to do it tonight. This is a long process.” DT said in her reassuring voice. “In fact, getting through everything that’s happened to you, working through all of it, can take 10-15 years.”

“Thanks, I’m looking forward to lying on the bathroom floor rocking in an effort to soothe myself, and sending you and my gramma telepathic messages to help me when I can feel him at night.” Grace says sarcastically. “It’s just that everything has come easy for me, from a cognitive perspective. I never studied, not even in college, and always made the honor roll. I always wonder why it takes my peer at work 3 days to do something that takes me 2 hours. But I cannot seem to do this ~ and it’s so frustrating!”

“I know, but if you tell yourself you’re never going to be able to do it – it’s going to take twice as long for you to learn it.” DT states.

“I know, I hear you,” Grace says, “I hear you…and I hope I don’t go borderline on you tonight.”

Grace left DT’s office feeling better, knowing that even if the girls don’t understand DT is here for us, even if they question her care, and say they can’t trust her, I know in my adult, logical mind that she is here, and that she does care.

And after today’s appointment, I am emotionally and physically drained! *YAWN* Maybe I can actually sleep tonight .

*Grace crosses her fingers*

Where the hell is the 'recall' button?...Can someone PLEASE keep those girls off the computer!

I don’t know who gave the angry, irrational, shattered children my email password, but they have run amuck and are way out of control! I don’t know when I lost control of them…well, I’m actually not sure if I ever HAD control of them, but I need to get a plan together to reign them in before we all end up on the psych ward!

You may think it’s as simple as, hey Grace, why don’t you just change your password. Well, I tried that. I even set up a ‘fake DT’ email address thinking in their extreme distress and despair, they could use that one and then all the crazy borderline emails would actually go into cyberspace, never to be read and analyzed by DT. But they caught onto that after a couple of days… I tried to reason with my faithful canine friend, offering him a pound of bacon if he would keep an eye on these girls at night and at any sign of distress (be it crying, labored breathing, moaning, rocking, childish temper tantrum) a good face licking might be as good as a dousing of cold water to chill them out. Needless to say, the past 2 weeks, the bacon remains uncooked and uneaten as Mr. Canine has not been able to hold them at bay either. He’s adorable and loyal ~ but he’s also male…and not always in tune with the girls ‘feelings’.

If I can successfully coerce the girls into bed at a reasonable hour than I can head off the borderline rage at the pass, but often times they are afraid to sleep because of the nightmares and they become frightened and angry, alone in their despair and then I wake up to a colossal mess that takes hours to clean up! Each morning, I slowly walk down the stairs, eyes bloodshot and squinting, wondering what kind of chaos they have left from their ‘slumber party’. I find empty wine bottles, lip-stick stained glasses & Kleenex thrown about the kitchen and family room. There’s the occasional broken glass that needs to be swept up and hidden in the garbage. Then I try to assess what other damage they may have done. I start by looking for any sign of blood or band aids…then I count the anti-anxiety meds to see how many are missing. I clean up the pillows that have been strewn about in anger, collect the crumpled paper trail left behind, review the written journal I keep, and then I hold my breath as I sign onto the laptop…and log into my email. It is in my sent box where I can see the true evidence of the irrational behavior from the previous night. And as I go through each one, I can see who has come forward to express her ‘feelings’ that have been left unspoken for over 30 years.

At times it’s only the angry one, lashing out in hate, expressing feelings of abandonment and loathe at being abused and unheard all these years. The more she drinks the more irrational and angry she becomes. Other nights, the sad, scared little girl begs the substitute host body (DT) to help her. And from her writing it’s clear that she doesn’t understand why there’s no one answering her cries. Other times, the sarcastic little devil shows up looking for something, anything she can grasp on to and run with, leaving trails of mockery and cynicism behind. I can also see evidence of the creative one, writing comically her thoughts on DBT, therapy, psych meds, the mental health profession, and especially Ms. Marsha Linehan (she despises that woman & everything she stands for). I also find her poking fun at me and all my despair through her writing.

I have learned to tell the difference in their writing styles over the years and I can tell who writes what but what I cannot seem to do is keep them off of the computer! I have verbally revoked their email privileges several times but they are all willful and defiant, and my lectures seem to go in one ear and out the other. I am at my wit’s end…we’re already in therapy! DT and I try to work with them to gain some sort of cohesiveness and DT has been more than patient with all of them. She is a virtual punching bag most night as they lash out again and again, crying out in anger, fear, sadness, sarcasm, hopelessness and shame.

An Example of Angry Girl expressing her ‘feelings’: “Coming out of this kind of a purposeful, proactive weekend into a tough day at work and DBT class, is quite naturally and likely going to lead you to want to release emotions, be heard, validated and understood...” REALLY BECAUSE i DON'T FEEL HEARD, VALIDATED OR UNDERSTOOD TONIGHT.
“Just make some space for it if you can and try not to clamp down on it or amplify it. It is ok to feel intense anger and resentment..see if you can just watch it. Sometimes the anger will transform into sadness which might be a bit easier to comfort your "selves" through.” UM, THIS IS DBT BULLSHIT - WHICH I THOUGHT WE AGREED THAT WE WOULDN'T DO SINCE IT REALLY SERVES NO PURPOSE AS FAR AS 'SOOTHING' GOES - IT JUST CHAPS MY ASS! AND MARSHA SAID IN HER VIDEO TONIGHT THAT SADNESS IS BAD BAD BAD! BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN 'ANGER' IS JUSTIFIED. AND SINCE SHE IS THE ALL- KNOWING (AS I SEE IT: THERE'S GOD, JESUS, MARSHA AND THEN THE HOLY SPIRIT) OR AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOU!) SEEM TO THINK! TIP: DON'T DRINK THE KOOL-AID IF MARSHA OFFERS IT!

Sad/Scared little one: DTI’m too scared to go to sleep Tonight. Y don't u care anymore? Y urnt u here? I'm scared to go 2 sleep. It will never endIt won't gte btr-now u don't care u left me here alone with him That wasn't nice. Y did u do that? Becuz I was bad. I'm bad. I can't go to sleep. And I'm scared . Nothing is wkn tonite. I don't feel goodAnd I'm scared to sleep. My body hurts. My jaw hurts. I want my gramma. It hurts to much To tired. Nobody hears me. I don't matter

DT has been helpful in that she is willing to try different things and even offer suggestions…and we try different things. But it seems like the problem is that what works for angry girl, doesn’t work for sad girl…and so forth. So I think the key now is to find some sort of synthesis between all of the girls, a cohesiveness of some sort, so that they can all feel heard and yet not go borderline at night. As soon as I figure out what that is….I’ll let ya know.

Because right now these girls are maniacs!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Spread the word...I'm fixing to make some lemonade. GALLONS OF IT!

You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Like it or lump it.

The only constant is change.

Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!

Life isn’t fair!

If life gives you lemons…make lemonade.

I feel trapped. Trapped in this life I don’t want to be in, trapped inside my head, inside this messed up~ used up body. Trapped by the conflicting voices that argue and debate constantly…never a minute of peace and quiet! Trapped!!!

I continue to live inside this chaotic crazy world of confusion and I don’t know which way is up anymore. I cancel appointments, I lash out at DT, tell her she isn't helping me and I hate her. I dissociate, to kill the pain, I drink too much and abuse the drugs that have been prescribed, I vomit profusely and SI to try to get the bad out of me, I don’t sleep, most weekends I don’t even have the energy to go out of the house…but none of it matters….because “it’s all part of the process”…perhaps DT could provide me with a bullet point of the ‘process’ so I can see where I am now, and how many more bullet points there are to go…so I’ll have all the evidence and be able to make an ‘informed’ decision of whether I have the stamina to do it. Isn’t that part of the ‘discovery’ process?

Nothing gets processed, it never gets better. I don’t think I even understand the concept anymore. I mean I’ve read so much about it ~ treatment approaches; behavioral, psychodynamic, cognitive, eclectic, holistic, existential, person focused, CBT, DBT, and more! I’ve researched and studied trauma symptoms and what to expect, how to handle them. I’ve read about the long-term effects of childhood abuse~ the fear of abandonment, inability to trust or feel safe, inability to self-soothe or regulate emotions, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self injury, suicide ideation, the tendency to ‘repeat the trauma’.… oh, I “understand” it well, from an educational perspective. I have good insight. I can explain it to someone else…but emotionally, and physically…personally, I don’t comprehend it, I can’t apply it to me. It’s all just words, I have no personal connection to them. Just like the terms: mom, dad, safety, trust, intimacy…all words in a dictionary. I understand them, I know the ‘meaning’ of the words but I have no real human connection to them, they have no personal meaning to me. Like reading a physics book…all words and terms and models and notions and things…I sit and observe externally, but none of it is part of my internal world.

That’s my problem right now…(well, one of) is no one listens! NO ONE HEARS ME!!! Everyone just shoves information at me – techniques, tools, lists, print outs, videos, cds, diary cards, words…and I see them, and hell, I’m pretty sure I could teach them all to anyone with an IQ over 50 – but how does it relate to me, to my life? The stupid exercises in DBT…”practice them” go to class, talk about them…
DBTC says, “Don’t you feel better/happier/distracted/grounded/soothed now?” And I just pause and take an internal inventory and say, “NO!” I don’t because it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.
“Oh, well, then you must be doing something WRONG. You are a failure – you aren’t trying hard enough.” Yes, mother, it’s my entire fault. I will try harder. And I try harder, and it doesn’t work, and then I become more frustrated, like a 1 year old trying to fit a round toy into a square hole. It doesn’t fit! And I try it over and over and over, and it still doesn’t fit. And I become more and more frustrated and feel more and more worthless and stupid…and no one listens because it’s my fault. I’m not trying hard enough! I should be able to do this! I should be able to ‘soothe’ myself and ‘ground’ myself and ‘feel safe’ and make him go away when he comes to me at night, and be happy when I’m sad…and pretend, pretend, pretend, fake it. Shut up and behave yourself, young lady, so everyone can see how much better you're doing...another DBT success story!

Maybe I should try "Finishing" school next!? Maybe they can teach me to shut up and behave there~ or at least how to be polite and curtsey when it's appropriate. Since clearly the DBT isn’t working. Well, I’m not getting it – of course it was developed by a genius, and it’s been proven to be a VERY successful *therapy* for freaks like me – if I’m not doing better after 16 weeks of classes, then I’m not trying hard enough to learn the ‘skills’ or I’m just dumb...and I don't think that's the case.

Nothing is shifting and I’m still stuck. Read it, live it, apply it, love it! I read the material like it’s a prerequisite class in college. I study it, I learn it, I recite it, I ace the exam, I can tutor others on the material…but like finite math – I’ll never use it, I don’t apply it in my own life. I don’t incorporate it on a personal level – it’s just a class I have to pass to graduate.

Nothing is stable, nothing is safe, there’s nowhere to turn, no one to turn too. There’s no one here – no one listens – no one cares about what I say is working or isn’t working. The echoes of my screams just resonate through the cavernous canyon. I look around for the Verizon network and there’s nothing – no one. No one HEARS ME! DT used to hear me, but not anymore because now you don’t have time. “Sure I do,” says Dear Therapist/substitute host body, “every Wed at 1:30 I have a whole hour.” And you can call me until 10pm each and every night, if you need too, and if I’m available and not (enter: in session, out w/my BF, at the hospital working, running, in yoga class…or just plain not wanting to answer the phone) I will *listen*. On other words, of everything else falls through, then 'maybe'. Gee, I should jump on that; because that’s more than the ‘real’ host body ever gave me!

Truly, I should take it, run with it, put it in the blender with some water, and make lemonade for EVERYONE!

Yes, my world today is so much different now than it was then. The only difference is the scenery.

Everything is still there: the fear, the lack of trust, the lack of safety, the ED, the SI, SIB, the pieces of me, the unfamiliar woman in the mirror looking back at me.

There's no where to run to ~ no where to hide....from myself. That's what it comes down to in the end, I can't hide from myself, and I can't seem to help myself either.

Patient/Therapist Methods of Communication *Would really appreciate your comments* ~ if possible*

Dear therapist has been encouraging me to reach out to other 'survivors' for support for quite some time. I am not comfortable walking into a support group for incest or CSA survivors, at least not at this time. I enjoy writing, and expressing how I feel through writing, so I started a blog. During the few months I have been writing, and reading other blogs, I have found comfort and support. Dear therapist knows I blog and read other blogs.

Last Friday during my appointment with DT, she asked me about other survivors and the methods of communication they utilize with their Ts.
Some examples:

1. Emails: accept email/return emails - limitations?

2. Phone calls: self or group practice. Accept phone calls, if so, time limits (ie: till 10pm), must be dire emergency? If group practice, do Ts share 'on-call'?

3. Text messages: accept and/or return?

4. How long are sessions?

5. How often do you meet w/T?

6. Do you also utilize other 'clinical' support? (PDOC or any type of group therapy)

7. Is T open to negotiating terms/modes of communication?

8. Have the methods (boundaries) changed during the course of treatment? (ie: T used to accept and respond to emails, now he/she does not, or T used to have no limit, but now responds only set # of times per week)

If you are reading, I would really appreciate it if you would take a moment to respond to the questions above.

Thanks so much!!
~ Grace

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dear Therapist~ I hate you because you are her

You said I need to work toward being independent. That you’re not always available and I should have the skills to ‘soothe’ myself and get through the night. I shouldn’t be ‘dependent’ upon you for ‘comfort’ at night when I FEEL as though I can’t keep myself safe. That sounds blaming to me. Like I am a drama queen trying to manipulate you at night and I don’t really need you, which really contradicts what you said on Friday, that you don’t think that, but now I think that you do. So I guess what I need to do is ‘suck it up and get over it’ ~ and NOT call you because that’s not what I *need* ~ and certainly you would know better than I. It doesn’t matter anyway; you’re going to believe what you want…

And I don’t know how to show you how much I struggle at night. When I can’t stop it, when I go from 0-100 in 30 seconds and I find myself reaching for the ativan and the alcohol before I curl up into a fetal position on the floor, rocking myself for hours in an unsuccessful attempt to make it stop. My mind races, replaying scenes over and over, trying to escape, wondering why no one will help me. “I will be here in the ways that I can and though the form of this will change, it will continue, just at it will be there tonight and nights to come.” What does that mean exactly…the ‘form of this will change’? Already planning the next change?

I'm sorry that the angry and scared and sad little girls take over at night and I can't control them. And I'm sorry it happens during the times when you ‘can’t be here’..when you aren’t here, when you’re busy, when it’s not within the 15 minute availability you have when you’re driving from one destination to the next, and you have ‘time’ to talk to me. That’s just the way it is for me. I don’t ‘program’ it… it’s not on TIVO…it happens, and sometimes I can stop it but sometimes not. Some nights I can’t get the smell out of my nose and it doesn’t matter how many candles I light. Some nights I can’t stop the nausea no matter what I try. I used to be able to push it aside, or just force it into non-existence. But not anymore. Some nights there isn’t enough booze or ativan in the world that takes it away.

I’m sorry I became so ‘dependent’ upon you. Believe me, it was the LAST thing I wanted! I fought it, I despised it…but you WERE THERE! Every single night, you were there, always there, and I began to trust you and believe you and then I became dependent on you to help me. And you encouraged it – even if you don’t see that! You were there for me when no one else has been, not like that. And I’m sorry that you suddenly snagged a boyfriend, and suddenly I became too dependent and life draining. I’m sorry I feel sick and tired and fragmented all the time and you don’t have the ‘availability’ or desire to ‘be here’ now. And I’m sorry I begged you to help me. I’m sorry for all of it. Mostly, I’m sorry that I trusted anyone. And I’m sorry that I’m still alive because I’m sure it’s draining to everyone. And I was never wanted in the first place. Did you really think I could change that thought process? Did you really think after hearing how unwanted and unloved I was for 16 years that I would somehow believe that I mattered to anyone (well, when it wasn’t “CONVENIENT” for them)? I guess maybe at first you did, but then you must have realized that it wasn’t going to happen, huh? My mother may be crazy but she must have been right.

See, I so wanted to be normal; I wanted to be like everyone else and so I pretended that I was. But I’m not. I wasn’t then, and I’m not now. I have been shattered into a thousand screaming pieces, and I cannot even find all the pieces, there's no way to put them back together. And the few who know the 'real' me, they say, “Grace, you made it, you survived, you could have died, but you didn’t. You persevered you were ‘strong’. “ And in response, I want to say, don’t you get it? Don’t you understand ~ I really did die, this isn’t living. There’s nothing inside of me…I don’t have the capacity to love, I don’t believe in intimacy; I shake at the thought of being touched. I’m an empty shell walking around half wishing I’d be hit by a train or a car, even the city bus. Sometimes I lie in bed and wonder where my guardian angel is take me away. Please, just take it away. I'm begging you to make the pain end.

And on those dark nights, when I have to watch the movie of the week, over and over again ~ how I hate you for not being here, when I have to be here. How I hate you for not scooping me up in your arms and holding me close to you, telling me I will be okay, that you will help me stay safe. I never asked for it. I didn’t want it then, and I don’t want to deal with it now. How I hate you in these moments, when you are not here, when you are her…when you could give a shit less about me. How I hate you when she is so scared and another is to angry to call you, because you said we are too dependent on you….so if it kills me, I will NOT call you, I choose to die first! How I hate you when the tears won’t stop falling and my breath quickens and he’s here again, and you don’t care, you just sleep peacefully oblivious to all of it. How I hate you as my hands are shaking and I try to remember how many ativan I’ve taken and if I can take just one more. God, how I hate you when the pain is so powerful it takes my breath away and my entire body feels like it’s on fire; thoughts, hands, smells, fear.

How I hate you because you are her, the host body…and I could NOT depend on her, I knew that, I learned that early on. And then you came along and I somehow unlearned that and now I can’t depend on you either. God how that makes me hate you. Right now, as the lump in my throat threatens to cut off my ability to breathe, as the tears are like a faucet I’m unable to turn off, as my head aches and my chest feels too tight, as the waves of nausea keep me 5 steps from the bathroom. Tonight as my eyes continuously scan the area around me, refusing to close, as my body is on high alert, tense and ready to flee…I really hate you. I really hate you. Tonight I really hate you. I hate you for not caring, I hate you for saying I’m ‘dependent’ on you. I hate you because I trusted you. I hate you because you showed me how to ‘feel’ the pain and then you left me to deal with it.
I hate that you cared.
I hate you!