Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SURVIVOR~ Heal Thyself!

Yes- I've miraculously had a huge breakthrough in that I'm so much better at "navigating" through the SHIT and quieting all the voices! Yea me! Or perhaps I just don't have the energy to send 100 emails, or call you, or ‘challenge’ you… knowing that it no longer matters, or if I actually say everything I "feel" then you'll "change" again.

History has proven that is the case:
(Just my perceptions, not yours, but you told me that it doesn't matter what you think, what matters is what I think)

"Your unrealistic email reliance and expectations of me now require me to stop it- draw back- care less"

"Your behavior is out of control so you must go to dbt"

"If I don't think you can keep yourself safe, I'll just slap your ass in the loony bin."

I express that I "can't" call you- because ‘she’ won't let me…and I wasn’t joking! Your response: "I don't believe you"

So then what?
Fear kicks in and I have to put my own "measures" in place (even if they're *maladaptive* and *self-destructive*) because I realize that if I do tell you how I ‘cope’ now it doesn’t matter, that you can only be here ‘in the limited ways that you can’ – because your life changed.
Fear that if I express how I really feel, what I do to "cope" with those feelings/emotions - I will be met with one of the following:
1. Suck it up
2. Silence
3. Grace is manipulative and attention seeking
4. Grace is out of control
5. DBT or some other stupid training that costs a lot of money but doesn't work
6. Grace isn't trying hard enough
7. Sorry- my time is limited - you know that
8. Grace, obviously you're confused about how phone contact works
9. “Work it out”
10.“Deal with it”

Like, we’ve been there, DT…so Grace has finally got the rules through her thick head. I'm not trying to say that I don't appreciate what you do for me- I do appreciate your emails and I understand your "limits" (at times)~ I don’t like the changes, but I ‘deal’ with them. And I'm not saying that you don't "care", I know that you do. But as I told you today, I just feel defeated- because it doesn't matter- now you're just like "the others"...
(No offense meant by the above statement)

"There's nothing wrong with her- I'd know"
"She gets straight As"
"She has perfect attendance"
"She's outgoing~ has lots of friends"
"She behaves, never acts out"
"She smiles"
"Obviously all is well- she's so well-adjusted"
“She would surely say something if she wasn't *ok*"

It may take awhile, but I learn what to say and when to say it.I know how to "fly under the radar" and "pretend" ~ and I know how to make appropriate small talk. I know how to stay out of trouble, how to walk the line. I learned a long, long time ago what happens when you "misbehave" ~ believe me!

Have you ever felt a belt buckle on your bare ass or thighs?

Have you ever been made to sit at a kitchen table for 4 hours trying to eat a bowl of onions?

Have you ever had all your hair cut off because you cried when your mother brushed it (not so gently)?

Have you ever been kicked outside, barefoot, into the snow, for *misbehaving*?

Have you ever cried for your mother because you’re being fucked by your father for years!! But never get a response?

Maybe you have, and if you have, then you know eventually you learn to just shut up- because crying & talking & telling just makes the punishment worse. And you know that if you d0 tell, no one would believe you anyway. So you suck it up, or, as they say in DBT, you “Shut up & Behave”.

You told me that it was okay to feel and talk and share and that I would not be judged or punished- but it doesn't feel like that anymore, your rule changes still feel like punishment, and I know that it's my fault they were put into place. I pushed the limits for a long time…and I know you went above and beyond to help me, and I know that I became dependent on you to help me, because you were the first person I really “trusted”. But I know now to dial it back- and I understand what I can and cannot say, or write, to you.

There’s no reason to cry out loud when no one cares or hears you. You just do what you can do, keep it to yourself, and try like hell to "follow the rules". Which, when you know what the rules are~ are certainly much easier to follow ~ so thank you for continuing to drill them into my head. I mean that sincerely, I do.

But really, DT, I thought you knew me better than to say, "You must be doing better since you don’t email me nearly as much, you haven’t called me in weeks, and you don’t “act out” nearly as much now.”

Just because I don’t email you pictures of 20 ativan or blood running down my arms and pooling on the floor, doesn’t mean it’s “better”. It doesn't mean that I am better at “riding the waves”, as you say. It means only that I understand the ‘expectations’ and the ‘rules’ and the 'boundaries’ that are in place now, in our relationship, and I have ‘adapted’ to those rules.

* If I don't have tears running down my cheeks, does that mean welts on my ass and legs from his belt buckle don’t hurt?
No, it means I realize that if I show tears, it will hurt worse.

* If I no longer "cry" or "try to reach out"- does that mean I'm no longer being fucked?
No, it means that I have accepted that there will be no response- so there's no reason to "ask for help".

Unacceptable things are only done in private, in the dark, and are not to be shared with others, in the light. That's the stuff you aren't supposed to talk about. I know that- I forgot for awhile, but I remember now, most times. So, for now, I spend "our" time talking about dear husband’s grocery shopping and my anxiety about my children’s safety on field trips. I talk about the dog puking, and I talk about work. And I will tell you about my inability to sleep…but I’m no longer comfortable telling you what I do to finally get to sleep. Or how I cope on the weekends, or the nights it truly becomes unbearable. Because now I’m afraid again…

Its fine though- I really am grateful for your willingness to negotiate. We humans are adaptive, and just as I adapted then, learned what to expect and when to expect it, (for the most part) I know those expectations, and limits, with respect to the ‘therapeutic relationship’. I’m not, in any way, saying that you are cold and uncaring – you’re truly the opposite. And I really do appreciate the emails you send to me on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays… I know you don't have to do that- and I look forward to them- just like I looked forward to going to school every day, like I looked forward to gramma's house, like I looked forward to growing up and getting out and never looking back.

So- its okay- I can "deal" with it- and when I can’t figure out how to ‘ride the waves’ - well I have to deal with that too- quietly, alone, and in the darkness. That's just how it is- "radical acceptance" isn't that the term? Its my fault you're not there, it's my fault he hurt me, it was always my fault – so I deal with the consequences now, just as I did then…but hey-
"Life is a tavern and all you need is a good fuck"

I guess it’s going to have to hurt -I guess I'm going to have to cry. But I have to hurt and cry…quietly, in the dark and alone. Its okay, DT, I know you care…and I know you try so hard to help me, and I appreciate it.
But I’m still scared of the dark and the voices never relent. I still hurt and it’s all still here, every single night. But I don’t want to cry out loud anymore because it doesn’t matter, no one hears, no one ever will.

You can't pour raindrops back into a cloud, DT.
You just can't.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I just found your blog. It was suggested by my T that I try a DBT group @ McLean. The stuff you've written about DBT scares the shit out of me. I just got off the phone with a friend in recovery, she said it will be good I'll be able to use my "wise mind".

    Anyhow, I hope you are ok and my mom cut off all my hair like a boy when I was nine, I understand.....