Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let’s go surfing now ~ everybody’s learning how….(surfing the trauma waves)

Yes, the therapist would say, “You have to learn to ride the waves, Grace.” I surfed once, in College, on Spring Break ~ Daytona Beach…it didn’t work out so well. Turns out I wasn’t able to ‘ride the waves’. Ride the waves…study the tides, Grace.

I sometimes feel trapped inside my head – worry that I've made no progress in therapy since it comes back time after time after time. And each time I get up on that surfboard, the cresting waves slam me into the beach of hell. But I keep trying. 

I remember the pain of that child, and I remember it in vivid detail. I can’t forget them. She won’t let me…and if I dare try to forget she reminds me – not so gently. And the therapist can say it a million more times, “Grace, you are not a child. You are not a child.” And yet the thoughts and memories still play out as though I am a child; the nightly attacks that leave me struggling to find some battle armor and I don’t mean a scented candle and a peppermint tucked away in a pink basket. I mean Maximus Decimus Meridius armor…and his gladiator fighting skills would be handy to have too…you know, in a pinch.

But I’ve promised myself I’ll fight through it this time. Try to learn and someday be able to predict the ‘tides’. I write that, but inside there are 5 voices screaming, “We can’t do it! You are a liar!” I have so many different color marks in my calendar –Last day for SI (11 days), bleeding AGAIN!, alcohol, ativan, bad night, crazybrain freak out, lost time, and now even the therapist's Feb hospital schedule!  …- I now need a key to keep track of all of the different things I’m trying to keep track of.  It reminds me of when my son was an infant and we had this feeding/changing schedule posted on the fridge...yeah, after about 2 weeks of that, I was smart enough to realize he had his own agenda and didn't care what the fridge calendar said.  Um...3 years later, I still carry around a pink daytimer and a selection of colored shapries for the "Grace" calendar... When will I learn???!!!!....

I need a new brain ~ my mother was right, clearly mine was wired wrong. My mother always said to me, “Grace, when God was passing out brains, you thought they said trains, and you ran away.” I think I know what she meant now when she said that to me as a child. Too bad I didn’t run away when God was passing out parents!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Simmer Down, CrazyBrain...

All week CrazyBrain has been boiling with anger and last night the emotional volcano erupted; CrazyBrain slipped past the internal guards, who obviously had fallen asleep on the job, and went on a full -fledged crazybrain freak out! Like, in my house, the FREAKS really do come out at night! Angry and shaking uncontrollably, screaming for it to stop...but it wouldn’t stop. CrazyBrain is angry and distrusting all the time.

I keep thinking there has to be a way for her to get past this…work through it, once and for all - and put it behind her and move forward. I know the core issue is “trust”. Shattered and broken~ pieces of trust swirl around inside of me like a tornado. And it all comes down to finding a way to stop the tornado inside of CrazyBrain, and rebuild the trust. But how? Sometimes I think it’s futile…a waste of my time, a waste of the therapist’s time…like- if CrazyBrain hasn’t learned it by now – it ain’t gettin’ in! In the argument of CBs distrust and the therapist’s patience…the therapist’s patience won last night. I don’t know why she still cares…but I’m really glad she does.

After the week of screaming and fighting you would think that I would eventually fall into a slumber that would mirror that of Rip Van Winkle – but it never happens. At night, the monsters and demons play games in my head and they keep me awake. And I am scared every night.

The therapist doesn’t have an extensive background in dealing with “traumaheads” like me…but she can juggle all of the parts of Grace pretty successfully. In the past 4 years she has fought and argued, pleaded and struggled…she has built trust and set limits with “all” of Grace. I imagine there have been times when she has done all she can and has to go on hope that I can stay alive for another day. And depending on the moment, I curse her and thank her for helping me stay alive. I know that I am lucky to have her in my life. I hope someday, the really traumatized and untrusting parts of me will see that too. And I hope that until that happens, the therapist will continue to hang in there, knowing that she has already helped me so much, and I do love her.

Friday, January 29, 2010

"After the first death there is no other." ~ Dylan Thomas

I have been screaming inside…and yet no one can hear me. 
I needed her to see the message I was trying to communicate. I needed her to understand what I was saying. For many years now…I’ve been screaming inside, yet my screams remain unacknowledged, unheard, by the outside world.

I’ve been waiting for a light to go on…like she’s finally going to understand this terribly important thing that I’m struggling with and she’ll help me understand too, and she’ll explain it to me. But instead, she offers some ‘mindfullness’ thoughts and says, “Keep doing the best you can, Grace. Just as you have been doing. You’re making progress, Grace. “ Meditate harder, Grace
Pray harder, Grace
Find your spirit connection, Grace
Try harder Grace.
You can do it Grace
I tried…I did. I have no spirit guide. No ‘inner wisdom’.
There is no one left to talk too…no one to trust.

Clearly I am of no importance at all. I am less than a client. I am not even a person.  I am scared I am not going to get through this…and yet, at the same time, I don’t care if I do, and a part of me actually hopes that I won’t.

I died over 30 years ago. Yet I am still here until I learn to mourn my death. As the great poet Dylan Thomas said, “After the first death there is no other.”

A refusal to mourn the Death, by Fire, of a child in London
Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.
Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.
~ Dylan Thomas

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Her Death

Death is a dark, cold, house full of malice.
Surrounded by a garden of dead flowers and trees with a deadly disease
With black leaves covering the hateful lawn.
It is the darkest place I've ever seen.
I hear things, snakes, spiders, slivering in the ground
I want to turn away but something keeps me tempted into this scene.
So I keep walking in the twisting darkness, a faint whisper of cold air blowing.
The leaves rustle beneath my feet, swirling in the wind and bleeding on my clothes.
The damp air has turned my tears to ice and the black memories of my past are now drawn about my shoulders.
I close my eyes.
When I open my eyes I gasp in horror at what is before me in this house of loath.
The room is lightened with red broken hearts.
I am surrounded by bodies with empty eyes
the smell of alcohol and stale cigarette smoke is overwhelming.
It is too much to bear, but as I stare into the darkness,
I force myself to face the darkness inside myself.
I sink down to my knees and sob big, heart wrenching, horrible sobs that shake my entire body. I feel bile rising up into my throat and I vomit until my stomach is as empty as my heart and soul.
Eyes tired
Mouth dry
Heart beats
Death she cries
No emotion
No devotion
No creation
Dead inside
Sweet silent sleep
Awake no more
Blessed her heart
Death she greets

Feeling the same way all over again...singing the same lines all over again...No matter how much I pretend

Do you ever have this feeling in your gut that you are in a relationship and you aren’t sure you want to be in it anymore? And it isn’t because you dislike the other person, you just feel unsure if this person can offer you what you need any longer, or maybe they never did…which seems such an odd thing to say when you don’t know what you need, really…but maybe you would know it if you had it?
Sadly, I feel this way right now. I think I’ve felt this way, off and on, for quite some time, but not being the best communicator (in personal relationships)the unease just gets pushed back, and I try to continue to trudge along, gripping tightly onto hope that may or may not really exist. And I hear the conflicting voices: walk away,'ve felt this before.  You know this person, this person knows love this'll pass. 
For better or for worse...
There is a certain level of comfort that comes from being in a relationship for a long time, isn’t there? Realizing there is no perfect relationship, we have both overlooked things. I have compromised, my partner has compromised…but sometimes I feel like I have compromised too much, and for the wrong reasons, and I wonder if I can ever be happy in this relationship.
I do care about this person and I believe this person cares about me – I also wonder if sometimes we stay in relationships out of comfort, or maybe because it’s easier than starting over. And I am afraid if I leave, I will regret it. And is it fair to leave without being honest about my feelings? What happens if I stay and then many more years pass by, and it still feels the same...and then it's too late to start over.

Nothing makes sense right now. I don’t know what to do…it feels lonely. I’ve no one to talk too…

Oh, I'm sorry! I was under the assumption that since I gave birth to him ~ that I get to make the decisions about what's best for his safety...

I didn't realize the "transportation" department was more qualified to assess the safety of my child.  Thank you for clearing that up for me, dear lady who answers the phones at the school.
My son is scheduled to go on a field trip tomorrow.  That'll be love field trips.  But here's the thing:  I live in an area of the country where it snows...a lot.  And it's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow...and the field trip is nearly 2 hours away - and guess what will  cover the roads at 7:30am when the bus leaves?  Yes! SNOW & ICE! 
I tend to be a *smidge* overprotective, so I called the school and asked about the field trip tomorrow and what should happen should there be inclement weather.  Phone lady said that the transportation department will make the decision.  So I said, dear woman, what if I make the decision not to let my son go on the field trip tomorrow due to my concerns of his safety.  She said, "Well, Grace, that will be an unexcused absence."  I'm sorry, what?  She went on to say that "we" don't even know what the weather will be like on Thursday.  Well, dear lady, I'm no meterologist, this is true...however I can read a weather report which states there will be snow and slick roads where my son will be traveling. 
I'm not sure who the genius is who plans these *field trips* in January where I live...but I hope they are not also in charge of academics.  I think I'll now call the transportation department and chap their ass with my worry meter! 
And if need be, I will be prepared to list my qualifications that makes me "head decision maker" for Grace's son's safety:
I laid on my left side for 15 weeks with terbutaline dripping into my veins so his lungs could develop so he could be born "safely"~ I went through 12 hours of back labor with an epidural that did not work~ I had an emergency c-section when his heart rate dropped to a level that was not "safe"~ I paid the NICU bill and home health when he was born premature~ I got up every two hours to feed him for 6 months~I hug him when he's sad, laugh with him when he's happy.~I check on him while he's sleeping~I feed him, clothe him, help him with his homework~Cheer him on at sporting events~Make sure he gets enough rest.  ~Schedule play dates, birthday parties, and sleepovers.~I will be the one to pay for his college education
I fight sui thoughts every day to be here for him because I know he needs me.
I am his mother.  Not the school.  Not the transportation department.  Me! I am not the perfect parent, but I'm pretty sure I am the best decision maker when it comes to the safety of my child. 
(And I dare anyone to disagree)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You can GUARANTEE me all that? Well, where do I sign up! I think we got ourselves a ZEN revival!

I will concede that I don’t take very good care of my body – in fact, I take pretty bad care of my body…and I know it. I never learned how to take care of my body – and in fact, truth be told…I hate it. If there were some scientific research study looking for volunteers to learn to live without their body, I’d be the first to sign up! Obviously, an area I need to work on. I get that. The therapist wants me to take a self-defense class, a yoga class, do some meditation…something that will help me (as she says) learn to “love” my body. I told her I would look into it. I would LOVE to have a punching bag with Marsha’s face on it…but I haven’t been able to find one yet!

I like to stay busy…I like to work on a lot of things at one time…I call it multi-tasking – but it’s really the only way for me to stay out of my head. I’ve done this for so many years I don’t know how NOT to do it. What’s that old definition of insanity? Trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results? But, see, here’s the thing…I don’t expect to get different results by doing this. I expect the same results I’ve gotten for years – and that is to NOT feel crazy, to NOT stop and listen to the craziness inside my head. This is a way for me to do that…I multi-task- I learn- I’m successful at it, fact, on paper – I could not look better!  You should see my professional and financial portfolios - you'd be amazed that a crazybrain could accomplish so much:-)

I have asked friends about their interest in taking a yoga/self-defense class…and I have had positive responses. But *yoga* ain’t going to make me “love” my body. Been there, done that…still have the water bottle. But I can commit to yoga….

The Zen spiritual stuff ~ not so much. Since I live less than 20 miles away from the Granola capital of the U.S – there are a lot of people practicing meditation – and from what I’ve read experiencing quite the *soulgasms* (that cracked me up!)…but I cannot buy into the spiritual BS that these Meditation Masters are selling. I raise an eyebrow and feel vomit rise into my throat when I try to “accept” that they really believe that their “prayers” and “meditations” take away all their “needs”. Really? ALL of your NEEDS? Don’t we, as humans, always have “needs”? I guess not if you’re a Zen Master.

Here’s what I have to say to those “Meditation Ads” that *promise* if we spiritualize our lives we will: BECOME HAPPIER, SMARTER, MORE LOVING, MORE POWERFUL, MORE ATTRACTIVE, MORE STABLE IN OUR FINANCES, LESS ADDICTED, LESS DEPENDENT, and LESS SICK.

Is that a money back guarantee? Because the “GOD” I prayed to as a kid while being fucked- yeah, that “Church” promised me that too. I didn’t get it! I guess I didn’t *want it bad enough* right? I didn’t “pray” hard enough? NOW I can’t stay in my body because I need to meditate more? No one can hurt you if you meditate hard enough.

WoW! That readin’ was more enlightening than the Billy Graham crusade my grandmother took me too when I was a kid – I prayed and prayed there-and it felt great! It was the day I gave myself to GOD…but I guess he didn’t want me- cuz the SF still f’d me when I got home).

But wait, let me read that again: Are you ready to spiritualize your life? Everything will go better. WE BECOME HAPPIER, SMARTER, MORE LOVING, MORE POWERFUL, MORE ATTRACTIVE, MORE STABLE IN OUR FINANCES, LESS ADDICTED, LESS DEPENDENT, and LESS SICK. Really? You can teach me all that?  What if I already think I'm smart enough, invest my money soundly, physically attractive enough (on the ouside)?  Can I skip those classes or are they prerequisites?  Where do I sign up? Does that include the soulgasms, too, or is that all “sold-separately”? Are buckets included too?

I think we got ourselves a ZEN REVIVAL!
This ranting has been brought to you by the untrusting, angry, willful, disbelieving one who knows better than to believe a sleep study and some BS meditation is the "cure all".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Are we ready to stop being 16 now Grace?

Sometimes I have to sit back for a minute to really appreciate all that the therapist does for me. Like she has totally put up with a lot of shit from me…like she never knows who will show up for session and so I imagine she braces herself right before she opens the door to “greet me and invite me in”…which as I’ve told her a million times – I won’t enter her office until she officially asks me to come in- even if she stands there all *smiley and welcomy* in the therapisty way… evil cannot cross a threshold without being invited in. She knows that! Hum…maybe that’s why her office always smells like garlic (well, when she doesn’t eat onions before my session!) because she’s trying to ward of Grace’s evil spirit…I’ll have to spend some time thinking about that…

And I know that the therapist gets me…like most of the time, she can deal with all of me – but then, there are those times when she will say something so completely off the wall, I’m all like, WHAT? Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast? Today, she made one of those suggestions that made me loudly interrupt her and want to scream, OMG! Do you know me at all??? She said she’d been thinking about my inability to sleep…compounded by the nightmares and terror when I do actually sleep – and she suggested that I go have a sleep study done. (WTF!) she thinks my brain is oxygen deprived and I have sleep apnea? YES!  I'll be that IS it!  I'm sure it's really low O2 sats and not the fucking kid flashbacks!
Hello! I cannot FALL asleep! I cannot RELAX enough to fall asleep! So she quotes some ridiculous study about how people who with sleep apnea have more nightmares, etc. OMG! Seriously! How big was that brain tumor you ate Doc? The majority of the time I fall into panicky flashback hell is way before I fall over from exhaustion! HELLO!?!?! AND! Just to be clear – I can barely find a safe freaking place in my own home to feel relaxed enough to sleep – so what the fuck would make her think I would actually go to a sleep lab – surrounded by a bunch of freaky clinicians – with wires all over my exposed body and SLEEP??? Gee – is there free WIFI there at that sleep lab, DT? Cuz, maybe then I’d do it – since I’D BE UP ALL NIGHT! Jumping out of my freaking skin at the slightest movement! Like, I cannot even believe she suggested that! And would she make herself available after 10 when the freak outs start, or just let me completely lose it – OUTSIDE the “safety” of my own home until some freak at the clinic slaps my ass in the looney bin! I doubt it!(Maybe that was her “alterior” motive…get Grace locked away so she can run away and marry some Zen Monk and live *spiritually ever after*) Get a freakin’ clue!!!! NEWSFLASH: Afraid to sleep! F-E-A-R!!! BEFORE sleep! Unless the O2 is lacking when I’m awake – I’m nearly positive that is NOT the problem here ~ Doc! 

And then like she KNOWS I haven’t been on top of my game, right? Ya know, with the late night panic attacks, the dissociative freak outs that last for hours, the cutting relapse.  So after the “sleep lab” suggestion and the cutting analysis, she decides to say,“Oh, by the way, I’m going out of town for a week in February, do you want to spend some time talking about that?” WTF! What’s to *talk about*? What are we going to plan? You’re going out of town, and that’s just it….You gonna leave me your rock to carry around as a transitional object while you’re gone? Get a clue, DT! What does she want me to say or do? Beg her not to go? Like hello! She is entitled to vaca – deserves time off, just like everyone else - especially from crazybrain! I totally get that! But does she want me to “guarantee” her that I’ll stay safe while she’s gone? Well, I can say it – if that makes her feel better – but truth be told – I’m on the ledge every effing night – and I typically call her about 3x a week right now for help – so even if I say the words – words mean nothing! So whatever! I asked her what did she want me to say? Bon-voyage? Have a good time? And what if I don’t feel *safe*? What’s she going to do about it? Wrap up her rock in a blue blanket and tuck it in my purse? Threaten to slap me in the psych ward like she threatened 2 years ago?  Yell at me to grow up like she did before? Doubt it! No matter what I say – it doesn’t matter. She is going to “trust” that I’ll keep myself safe. 

And sometimes I wonder if what would happen if I didn’t spend so much time trying to “prove” to her that I was okay. I mean really! Like today, all of this crazy shit is streaming through my head like the Michael Jackson Thriller video – but I just sat there and chewed gum, playing with my headphones while she talks about sleep labs and her upcoming vacation. Whatever! She has done so much for me in the past I am NOT asking for any sort of retarded transitional object while she’s away.  Maybe that's why she forgot the 2 emails.  Maybe she did it on purpose as a "test" -- to the upcoming DT departure.  Whatever!  I say make the break now and then no one has to worry about it!

Like it doesn’t matter anyway – since I’m going to be gone the 2 weeks prior to that. And I told her that today, too. I’ll be gone Mon-Thursday 2 weeks in a row and then she leaves the Thursday I get back for a week. So that’s 3 weeks, sans therapy…since she doesn’t do Friday or weekend appointments. And I guess I didn’t look distressed because she sure didn’t offer up any suggestions! Fine! So next week is my last appointment until March. Whatever – I’m so not going next week either! Fuck it!

And then she got frustrated and said, “Are we done being 16 today?” Gee – I guess not, DT.” You know, for the record, I have a friend I’ll be seeing in a couple of weeks who PREFERS the 16 year old! She’s much more adventurous than most of us and she is always up for a party! And I’m sure her teenage defiant ass will be out in full force without the therapist’s “help” for 3 weeks – in fact, an email contact in preparation has already been sent.

Dear *Friend* ~ I will be in town on (these dates) and I would LOVE to *get together*.
Dear Scarlet ~ I am confident something will work out…C U THEN! 

Ms. 16 year old is now going to go raid the liquor cabinet and the anti-anxiety meds...Let's Party!  I totally love that she "Trusts" me ~ though - I really do. Hilarious!  Sad...but still funny! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Sometimes the injury is so bad – you have to cut – and cut big."

In last episode of Grey’s Anatomy ("I like you so much better when you’re naked" - no, really, that's the episode title) Meredith Grey says, “Sometimes you can’t limit exposure. Sometimes the injury is so bad, you have to cut, and cut big....and once the incision has been closed, you wait...and you hope that you haven’t, in fact, just made everything worse.”

Meredith was, of course, talking about surgery in a literal way, but I am now going to take her words and apply them to my night last Wednesday when my 4 month SI hiatus came to an end, and the clock had to be reset.
Some nights the pain overwhelms me and I do not know what to do with it. It suffocates me and traps me and I cannot find a way out of it. Nothing feels safe and nothing brings comfort. I shake and cry and try to quiet the angry scared screaming voices inside of me – but I cannot escape the brokenness.
That happened to me last Wednesday night. I locked myself in the bathroom and at first I tried to talk quietly to those inside as I rocked myself in an effort to soothe them. But it didn’t work and so I tried to call a friend, she didn’t answer. So I tried to call the therapist, she didn’t answer but she did return my call an hour later. In the chaos of my mind I did not hear the phone ring, but I did get a voicemail from her. In her voicemail she said, “ I’m sorry you’re having a rough night. If you feel the need to give me a call back I’ll be up till 10. I do ask that if you call me back I do want to know not just what the problem is but the things you’re trying to do to at least tolerate whatever’s going we need to have a constructive conversation. If all is alright, that’s fine too - you don’t have to call me back, but if you do, bear that information in mind and we’ll talk later.
The therapist’s voicemail made me feel like a failure. Obviously she didn’t think I had tried to *self-soothe* and just expected her to fix everything. I felt angry and ashamed and I did not her back. I took a razor and I cut myself instead. I cut myself because I could not limit my exposure to the chaos inside my mind. It hurt so bad I tried to cut it out of me. I cut myself because it felt like the only option left for me. My body was shaking so bad I could not escape. I wanted someone to help me calm them, calm myself, but I felt like a failure for reaching out because I couldn’t do it on my own. And I shouldn’t have relied on someone else to help me. And so I cut myself.
And I was too tired to move Thursday and Friday. I felt even more ashamed and I really just wanted to stop breathing – I wanted it to stop – I was afraid I would cut again because I was constantly thinking about it.
I marked the calendar in my daytimer with a big red “S” for shame and I started the clock at zero. Four months of SI free is now only 5 days free. I touch the scab of shame and I chide myself for giving in, for giving up. Tomorrow I have to feel even more ashamed because I have to face what I did in front of the therapist. I tried, nothing else was working. I was not able to limit my exposure. I was drowning in the poison and I had to cut- and cut big. And now I have to wait for the incision to heal – and hope I haven’t made everything worse.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There seems to be a book burning party going on in the survivor community...

The book is called: The Trauma Myth: The Truth About the Sexual Abuse of Children and it is written by Harvard educated Susan A Clancy. (I think the “A” may stand for asinine) In her book, Ivy league degreed, yet still *uneducated* Clancy claims that children who are sexually abused are rarely damaged physically OR psychologically.
In an interview, Clancy was asked, “What do you mean by the "trauma myth"? 
Her explanation: “The title refers to the fact that although sexual abuse is usually portrayed by professionals and the media as a traumatic experience for the victims when it happens — meaning frightening, overwhelming, painful — it rarely is. Most victims do not understand they are being victimized, because they are too young to understand sex, the perpetrators are almost always people they know and trust, and violence or penetration rarely occurs. "Confusion" is the most frequently reported word when victims are asked to describe what the experience was like. Confusion is a far cry from trauma.”  Clancy went on to say, “For 30 years we've been working on preventing sexual abuse. But we've skirted around what sexual abuse really is. The kids don't know what's going on, and they often enjoy it. They're not going to resist.”
Clancy also shares that she experienced quite a backlash from her book while working at Harvard. When asked how bad it was she says this: “It's bad enough I moved to Nicaragua. When I was at Harvard — the peak of my career, at the university you want to be, surrounded by all the people who were the titans in the field — there was just so much bullshit going on. People focused on a type of abuse that affects maybe 2 percent of the population, millions of dollars for funding that doesn't apply to most victims, bestselling books written by therapists misportraying sexual abuse. I would try to tell the truth. I would be attacked. Grad students wouldn't talk to me. Professors would tell me to leave for other fields. I just felt disillusioned. I got this opportunity from the World Bank to do cross-cultural research on how sexual abuse is understood in Latin America. I came down to Central America, and I've stayed.”
I have so many thoughts swirling around in my pea-sized trauma-brain I am not yet sure how to process what she is saying. I vacillate from wanting to tell her it is “that bad” to just shaking my head and letting it be –because clearly she will never understand. But my problem with letting it be is so many people already ignore what goes on, or believes that it isn’t “that bad”, that I cannot, in good conscious, not speak my peace about this outrageous misleading book, written by an uneducated woman who not only believes that there are no lasting physical or psychological effects from being sexually abused as a child but also believes it is not the abuse itself that is traumatic, but rather, the “Therapeutic” culture dictating to the victims how they should feel about the abuse they experienced.

Listen up, Susan Clancy:  It is that bad. And 5 year olds do not “enjoy” being fucked by grown men, in their own homes, which is supposed to be a place of safety. A 5 year old's vagina is not meant to be penetrated by a grown man’s penis. A 5 year old does not find it “pleasurable” to have a grown man’s dick shoved down her throat. It is that bad, Susan Clancy, and it does have life-long lingering effects. And as far as the “therapeutic” culture telling me how I should “feel” about it? Well, I have trusted only one therapist with how I “feel” about it, she did not ever force her opinions on me of what I should feel. I’m fairly certain she wishes I didn’t *feel* as bad as I do most of the time, as I’m sure she does not want to continue taking dissociative midnight phone calls from a child who relives the pain over and over and over again.  I'm pretty sure she hates that I continue to test her care and question her trustworthiness after we've worked together for nearly 4 years.  But she has never once said, "Grace, it wasn't that bad."  And she believes me when I tell her it is that bad. 

There are lasting effects, Susan Clancy. I could write a BOOK on the effects, both physical and psychological. Just because someone chooses not to disclose the abuse for 30 years, or even in their lifetime; just because someone can outlive the abuse and grow up and function in society so no one would ever guess what happened – that doesn’t mean it was okay.

I was 5 years old when my mother brought my step-father into our home. I was 5 years old when he first touched me. I did not find it pleasurable to have a drunk man pawing my 5 year old chest. I felt only searing pain the first time he fucked me. And he did it again, and again, and again. Year after year he fucked me and sodomized me, Susan Clancy. And if you met me on the street, you would never know that. You would think I am an educated, polite, well-functioning woman, living the American dream. But I cannot even pour bleach into the washing machine because it reminds me of the SF’s semen in my mouth. I cannot eat or smell specific foods. I have no idea what intimacy is and I cannot make any sort of connection between sex and love. I have trouble fucking my husband not because I don't like to have sex, but because of the "lingering effects" that happen after I fuck him. I cannot trust people to see the "real" me, because of the ignorance of people like you who will say, "It was not that bad.",  and on most nights there is no safe place. But you would never know of those “lingering effects” of being fucked as a child. 

And for me there is no escape Susan Clancy. I was 5 years old and I could not jump on a plane to another country to escape the “backlash” I lived in. For me, it was “that bad”, Susan Clancy, and there was no escape.  And it's uneducated nitwits like you who speak on a subject they know nothing about; people like you, Susan Clancy, who make us believe that we should be ashamed for believing it was "that bad". 

It is people like you, Susan Clancy, who make me thankful for my therapist who does believe me when I say it was "that bad".  It's people like you, Susan Clancy, who make me want to flush my shame right down the toilet and write my own book telling everyone just how bad it was to be fucked as a kid.   And some day, I just might!  And when I do, I will send an autographed copy, first edition, to you - in Nicaragua, where you ran away to hide, because the backlash of your unsubstantiated theory was too great for you to bear. 
*Oh the Humanity!*

There is no monster in your house, Grace...turn the light on and look around. You are safe now.

The therapist tells me I should not sit in the dark. I know she thinks I never listen to her or work on my own to improve the nights as they exist currently, but I do. And so I’ve been trying to leave a light or two on at night. But it doesn’t seem to make any difference. I find myself in this paradoxical conundrum: the little girl is afraid of the dark ~ but she can also hide in the dark. The therapist tells the 5 year old and CB that there is no reason to be afraid anymore. Turn on the light and see, Grace. There’s no monster there with you now. There is no lion in the room. Get up and turn the lights on, Grace. And do it now!

So in an effort to "learn" from the CB/5 year old freak out last night, I tried to remember what happened right before the irrational hide/shake fest began on the stairs. It happened another time last week. The running to the darkness of the stairs peering under the door to where the light is; heart racing, wating for the shadow to appear under the door... What the hell did she see that freaked her out? Because the goal is to figure it out-and "reframe" it so she doesn't freak out again, right? Was the freak out caused by a shadow on the kitchen counter?
I know it is hard for a non-crazybrain to take what I am saying at face value and not roll their eyes and call me psychotic – but at night she cannot hide when the lights are on! And there are freakish shadows in the light, and a freakish monster looking face on the counter in the kitchn. Yes, adult rational Grace understands that the monster face on the granite in the kitchen is a reflection of the pictures and stuff on the wall ~ but you cannot tell that to a 5 year old who was fucked by a monster. And she stood up from the chair (chair with the blue blanket on it) and looked into the kitchen, saw something, freaked out and ran straight for the stairs where she slammed the door shut and called the therapist in full-fledged crazybrain panic. It was obvious from the huge exasperating sigh on the other end of the phone that the therapist was not happy about the late night phone call but she helped crazybrain anyway.

The therapist said no one ever died from a panic attack and we weren’t going to die either. But it feels like it when can’t slow down your heart and you can’t breathe – it feels like you’re going to die. Anyway, the therapist helped calm CB down and she slept in the laundry room by the dryer with Hello Kitty blanket and blue blanket.

The therapist said she wasn’t mad, just tired (yeah, tired of Grace!). But the 5 year old did see a monster in the kitchen! I didn’t mean to make the therapist mad. I should be able to do it on my own. I should be able to count on the hus to help me sometimes...but the truth is – he’s sort of the monster too. I didn’t mean to make the therapist mad last night. I don’t think I’ll leave the kitchen light on at night anymore. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dear Little Gracie...

Dear (5 year old) Little Gracie,

Please just stop it. I do not know how to help you right now. I am as lost as you are and I really need you to stop crying because if you do not I am going to cut you right out of me. And I know that neither of us want that. I know it hurts and I know it sucks right now. I know you’re scared because there is no one to help you and you have to lean on me and we all know that I do not have a clue. Hell – I don’t even like kids (no offense).

Yeah, I screwed you up. I know that. I would tell you I’m sorry for last night but sorry doesn’t really mean much…people say it all the time and to say I’m sorry would imply that it won’t happen again, and we both know that it will. I know that I am the grown up and I should be better at dealing with this. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Gracie, I don’t know why I cannot get a grip. But how can I possibly take care of you when I cannot even take care of myself?

It just feels like nothing consoles you, you know? And I don’t know what to do except scream at you to go away. I want to cut you out of me, Gracie, I do. I know you feel that too. I know it isn’t nice but gawd I’m as fucked up as you are! And I blame you for that. I do. I get that it isn’t fair to blame you for everything- but I do it anyway. I blame you because you make me remember and I don’t want to remember, Gracie, I don’t want to see it again. It was way bad the first time around- now the pain is unbearable. I don’t know why you survived. And a lot of the time I wish you wouldn’t have lived. I know that’s a horrible thing to say but it’s how I feel.

I’m sorry the therapist forgot you last night…but you know better than to count on anyone else to do what they say they will do. You’re not worth it! I know you think the therapist cares about you –and I’m sure she does: “In the limited ways that she can…” –and I don’t get how it happened either but she forgot- so get over it and stop crying about it because if you don’t – I will cut you. I will. You know I’ve done it before – a thousand times- and I’ll do it again if you don’t stop crying. I will!   And stop depending on the therapist to do what she says she’ll do – would you? It’s not like she’s going to be around forever – it’s not like she can take your pain away either! No one can! We’re on our own girl! Just as it’s always been – so suck it up! You have to stop with the crying! And you have to stop crying now because if you don’t – I’ll have to shut you up – and that will only hurt you more, Gracie, you know that. I’m all you got girl – and we both know I don’t even like you. But I’m all you’ve got.

Yeah, he hurt you. And then I let everyone else hurt you too. The therapist forgot you last night. I let him fuck you again last night. The list of your grievances is endless, isn't it?  But I will not tell you I’m sorry and I will no longer listen to your crying today.  So stop it right now – or I will give you something to cry about! And neither of us want that. Right? I swear I will!  And I will pour vodka down your throat and I'll let him do it again tonight.  You have to stop it right now, Gracie.  Stop it right now!

Be quiet kid – life’s a bitch! You should know that by now….be a good girl and shut up and behave yourself.

In Frustration, Grace

Last night felt like a Friday. But it's been a bad week, so maybe it wasn't really...

Last night wasn’t Friday was it? I know Fridays are really bad for me, but this past week, every night has been bad. But last night couldn’t have been Friday because I did not get an email from the therapist –and the therapist ALWAYS emails on Fridays (well, when she doesn’t forget –which has now happened 2x this month). But maybe last night wasn’t really Friday because I only remember about 10 minutes of the night anyway. And those 10 minutes are sort of sporadic and not really a “whole” picture of the happenings of last night. Which is probably a good thing – since the 10 minutes I do remember are not pleasant, and when I woke up at 3:34am in the basement, sans clothing and freezing cold, I tried to put more together but it just isn’t there. It felt like Friday but as I said, it’s been a bad week, so maybe it wasn’t really.

I haven't eaten or slept in days. I called in sick to work Thurs and Fri because I could not bear to leave the house....and it looks as though today will be more of the same. I am so tired of all of this. I can barely move right now. But I'm not "calling" out for help…It doesn't matter anymore. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am so tired just trying to 'survive' ~ I don't have the energy to 'live'

When I was a child I just focused on surviving. Now I am sick of working so hard to survive…when do I get to just live? Not ‘relive’ ~ live.
How do you find the balance? How do you let yourself feel and not become overwhelmed? How do you listen to the hurt ones and not blame them, feel too much, and become incapacitated by them?

Both Wednesday and Thursday nights I found myself so overwhelmed with the pain that I was lying on the bathroom floor in a full-fledged panic attack; alternating between shaking uncontrollably and hitting my head on the floor, to pacing the floor considering ways to kill myself. In that moment, anything, including death, is better than living like that night after night. Major crazybrain freak outs both nights!
I feel so far away from myself. Each morning, after a night of dissociative fear and destruction, I try to put myself back together again. But each time I break apart, it gets harder and harder to fit the pieces back together again. Somewhere in the midst of these nightmares I lost my soul. I am not connected to this soulless body ~ it is merely a carrier for my traumatized brain. I feel tangled inside a mind I cannot escape.
Every night so many voices, so much confusion. His face before me, his hands on my body, his breath breathing on my neck. She takes a step back to avoid contact with him. She cries out. He advances toward her. She takes another step back, retreats further into the dark abyss waiting for another to help with the pain. Hopeless. She reaches out faintly while being overtaken by the memories boiling over. Step back! Get back! Step back! Get away! Over and over, night after night. Shame. The unspoken pain and shame.  What happens when it truly becomes so overwhelming that it does kill me?

This is not good. Every single night I fight for a reason to live.  Every night a coin is tossed ~ one night I'm going to lose the toss.  Why does my body continue to scream at me? Why is it so hard? Why is there no end in sight? When will it get better?  I am so tired *surviving* ~ I don't have any energy left to *live*! 

I know so much ~ but I do not know myself

I am a stranger to myself. I do not know how to be gentle, compassionate, or loving, to any part of myself.

I have always been able to present myself well in most public situations, be it work, school, parental obligations, parties. I can be calm and level-headed. I am able to problem solve in logical and intelligent ways. I can be humorous and glamorous when need be. But it seems as though that power and confidence, that grace and strength, is only a mask. I now have more days when that mask feels heavy. And when I lack the strength to put it on, I have to hide myself. And I’ve been hiding a lot lately. I hid yesterday. I am hiding today.

I hear the words of care that others speak, but they don’t feel real to me. Sometimes I can accept their words while knowing that they do not realize that I am a disgusting person who deserves to be treated badly. They see what I want them to see. I watch them interact with the humorous Grace, the intelligent Grace, and I watch it all from the outside. I want so much more for myself. Who is this Grace that is respected by so many?

I want to be loved and to feel love. I want to be free from the step-father and the host body. I desperately wish to be free from them, and not just in a surface way. I want them out of me forever. My soul cries out for kindness and gentleness – and yet when it is offered I cannot accept it. I want to be respected and loved and yet I do not know how to love or respect myself.

I know how to pretend. I wrote the book on how to hide your feelings. I know how to smile, I know how to laugh. I know that I have been given gifts but I don’t know how to use them. And the ones who were abused, raped, assaulted, degraded…they are afraid to dream that there is more to life than this. They cannot fathom that there exists a world where they can be loved in a gentle way, touched in a way that does not hurt. They stopped dreaming a long time ago.

I want to stop fighting so hard, so much of the time...fighting myself, the therapist ~ the fighting stubborn one just comes out in full-force at any perceived threat and I want her to stop fighting when there is no reason to fight.  I want to learn to trust in myself and others. I want the chaos and confusion inside my mind to clear and I want some sense of cohesiveness and togetherness inside of me.  I want to believe that there is more to life than pretending behind an illusion of imaginary togetherness...more than just feeling ashamed and degraded.  I want to trust that I am allowed to heal. I want to believe that I am worth the time and the effort it is taking, and the pain I endure every day. I want to believe that I am not what they said I am, that real love actually exists, and that I am worthy of receiving it.

And even as I write this, there is that voice inside speaking to me, "But what if you're not worthy, Grace?  What if you are what they said?" She is a big part of me~ she has a loud voice.  And if I don't believe in myself - how can I convince that part of me that I am good and I am worthy?

Today I am wrapping myself in bubble wrap...and hiding the arsenal

That should keep me safe today, right?

Yup, I've come unglued and this unglued non-pulled together Grace is not fit for private, nor may she be viewed by the public eye.  I cannot imagine going outside or doing anything for myself.  I cannot imagine taking a shower or getting dressed right now.  So again today,  like yesterday, I am going to hide inside myself and pretend I have no responsibilities.  In fact, I think I will stay hidden until next week sometime.  Maybe it will feel safer then. 

I feel disconnected and detached from everything, including myself.

Last night I struggled with the strong desires to SI.  The screaming inside is overwhelming! And I cannot take care of myself right now.  I know that.  So until I can I will wrap myself in bubble wrap and hide the SI arsenal.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I cannot find a way out tonight

I will take responsibility for all of it. It is not her fault. I blame me and I punish myself for being bad. I was bad. She loved J & G so I must have been the bad child. I’m not coping well. I feel trapped, caged, with nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide, I cannot find a way out. I run away from them, but I can’t escape them.

I am heartless, cruel, a seductress. I am bad. I betrayed them by telling. I shouldn’t have told. I have poisoned them and myself, hurt those who hurt me. I am responsible. I should have continued to deny. I should have continued to let it poison me...but unknown, unseen, it would cause harm to no one else. No one but me. There was no one to protect me then, but I never protected myself.

Why did I speak? It did not change anything. The reality is it still happened. He still hurt me, she still hates me. Nothing will change that. But I will not longer ask for help because the rejection hurts worse than what they did to her. Maybe it is true that I do not deserve help. I should only suffer silently, secretly, alone. I should not have reached out. Reaching out and finding nothing is worse than not reaching out at all.

I reached out for help, “within the parameters that were set forth” by the therapist, and to no avail. Why? Because I am a pathetic, inconsequential, wounded failure. I want to hurt myself. I want to make myself suffer and bleed. I want too. I tried the other route. I hasn’t worked. Now I just want to bleed and hurt. I wanted help. But there is none. I have a really bad feeling about tonight...bad...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I have reached the bottom of the well of logic & rationality today ~ and it is bone dry!

Gosh, it sounds like you had a really *scary* night last night.
Really?  I hadn't noticed Dr. Obvious!  I don't need "validation" about how hard the night was!
I WAS THERE!  At least for some of it!
And the most fabulous thing is...if you hang on till the next day, no matter how much it sucks, you get a quick pat on the back for not "hurting" yourself.
***NEWSFLASH # 2***
Doesn't make it suck any less!!!!!

I have reached deep into the well of logic and rationality today and the well is dry.
So I'm done!  FINISHED! 
It doesn't matter.  It never did. 
I can't do it.  I am not strong enough.
And it seems as though it doesn't matter how difficult it is as long as you don't cut yourself - then everyone thinks everything is fine.
And I want to just scream out: NOTHING IS FINE!!! CAN'T YOU SEE THAT?
But it wouldn't matter if I one listens. 
If there are no external scars - no one listens - so it doesn't matter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I am taking away your maladaptive coping skills!

cutting, boozing, promescuity, ODing on benzos, vomiting, excessive spending....

I am taking away all of your maladaptive coping skills...if you need them, they will be in either my purse or the refrigerator - neither of which you are allowed to prowl without my permission, which of course you do not have.....
And what will we be replacing them with?
Oh -I'm glad you asked, Crazybrain! 
We are replacing them with the following:
Radical acceptance
Half smile
Oh, you could exercise too, if you want: fat-ass!
Just deal with it! 
I personally think it's stupid to take away a person's crutches in life and expect them to deal effectively for more than a couple of days - without a mental meltdown!
Because then you get to live in hell until you can learn to short-circuit the brain's automatic responses that you developed because of a lifetime of f**kedupness.
DUMB!   I'm just sayin'    D~U~M~B!

Grace, put down the cupcake and no one gets hurt!

I wrote a month or so ago that I have been making myself vomit again.  I had stopped for a few months but now it's back.  I dont' really talk in much detail about the puking to the therapist - like, there are other, more serious things, we discuss each week. 
And then last week, when we were talking about food, she said, "Well, Grace, something's getting in or you would be wasting away in front of me."  OMG!  Did the therapist just call me fat????  And since then the 'Grace is fat' crew is on high alert and anytime I think about food, I hear her.  If I eat something, I hear her.  So now it's even worse!  Yesterday I ate lunch AND dinner - and so I made myself puke 4 times and took 5 laxatives.  And I STILL feel fat and bloated today! 
In my office, there's 1 bathroom that's off the beaten path, and it's a private bathroom.  So I've been making myself vomit at work now too.  And I always take a tooth brush and toothpaste with me - so I can brush my teeth right after.
And the past two weeks I have had horrible acid reflux - I don't know if it's from the puking, or not, but now it's constantly annoying me. It happened before and I became reliant on zantac...I'm trying to remember if it was associated with a previous vomit-attack monster - but I'm not sure....  But it's either that or throat cancer...see, the hypochondriac monster is trying to attack me as well.
And if the therapist thinks I'm fat - that probably means everyone else does too - and just doesn't say anything - that's why I got the adipex from a friend who ordered them on the internet. And bought more laxatives on Saturday.  I don't want to be called Chubs...that's what the SF called me when I was a kid. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feelings ~ Woe-oh-oh ~ Feelings...

Nothing more than feelings....(I hate that song!).  Holy smokes! I am so sick of feelings! I am so drained from all the *feelings* she feels, which, in turn, makes me feel too much...and unable to juggle them all.  I am *feeling(d)* out! Today I feel tired and drained.  I suppose drained is acceptable - compared to the anxiety-ridden frazzled crazybrain I’ve been for a few weeks now. I detest that she overwhelms me and I don’t know what to do with her. I don’t want to feel what she feels because it hurts too much. She feels too much – and even though the therapist says, “Grace, they’re just feelings. Let her feel. Grace, they’re just tears, let her cry.” Can’t she see that she feels too much?
When she overwhelms me and I don’t know what to do with her I want someone to help me take care of her. She isn’t like a colicky baby.  I cannot just walk away from her until I have the patience to deal with her because she is inside of my head and try as I might, I have not been successful in getting her out.  I no longer try to cut her out of me - that never worked, so why add additional scars that are visible from the outside.  I now just try to keep the scars on the inside.
Last week was a difficult *feeling* week...overwhelmed by the anxiety and fear, the feelings of helplessness which lead to anger, which ALWAYS lead to something destructive (even if that something no longer involves a razor).  So I spent some time today thinking about how to identify what happens right before Ms. Destructo~ Crazybrain feels abandoned and goes to great lengths to prove to the 5 year old that she is unwanted and unloved and only good for one thing.  Crazybrain won on Thursday ~ she wouldn't let the therapist help her, but just wanted to fight and *prove* to the therapist that she is bad...which I know I need to talk to the therapist about - but I don't know if I can without CB freakin' out.  Friday was not great but I was able to "live" through it, thanks to my friend Lynn I reached out, she took my hand and helped me come up with a workable plan to do what I wanted, and needed, to do.  And Saturday night I even succeeded in telling the hus *no* and not giving in to something I know would have upset the 5 year old terribly - which made today much more tolerable than Thursday and Friday night. 
So, Grace, how has the weekend made you "Feel"?...cheese~n~rice! 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"I don't know what I need", cried the eight year old girl, "But I hate my life the way it is."

My daughter celebrated her 8th birthday today. There were 10 little girls in the house, running around, singing and dancing, eating pizza and cupcakes…and how there are 4. DD has3 friends spending the night tonight for her birthday. She must have caught me in a serious moment of weakness because nights are bad for me and to have 3 additional 8 year old girls in the house...

It always makes me nervous to have a lot of kids in my house. Maybe because I never know when I might have a crazybrain freak out and although I can typically *act* normal during daylight hours, the additional people in the house tend to put me on high alert and of course the hus (who has always wanted a big family) is absolutely ZERO help with any of it. In fact, I haven’t even seen him in over 4 hours now, as he is quietly tucked away in the mancave watching the football playoffs.

As I have always said, I am one generation away from poor-white-trash. The fam and I live the American dream as do the majority of the friends DD spends her time with. There are, however, a couple of exceptions. And I wonder about them…their parents – what they are thinking, how they are really feeling.  I worry about the kids - I don’t know why – but I do.

Friend 1 for the sleepover: dropped off 30 minutes early by her mother and drunk boyfriend. Her overnight bag reeked of cigarette smoke and pot and her mother and her boyfriend were practically screwing in the entryway of my house. Friend 1’s mother goes upstairs chasing after her daughter to say goodbye, her boyfriend tells me he likes my stairs and my choice in paint colors (what?). He then tells me that he wants to show me some pictures of some stairs he built and he takes out his blackberry; and as he starts to thumb through photos he says, “There may be some naked photos on here, but ignore those…” Seriously? Then he proceeds to tell me he’s a little buzzed, but not near enough. And all I keep thinking about is my daughter’s little friend and what her life at home must be like.

Friend 2 for the sleepover: had a meltdown about an hour ago, crying and telling the other girls that she hates her life the way it is. I went upstairs and she told me the same thing; she hates her life. What? She’s 8. I sat with her for a while and I asked her what she needed. Of course, that was a really stupid question; I know…I hate it when the therapist asks me that – so I cannot even believe it came out of my mouth. And she said, “I don’t know.” I told her that was okay, I don’t always know what I need either…a lot of the time. And she and I sat on my daughter’s bed and I held her while she cried, rocking her as I do myself when I don’t know what I need. After she cried she asked me for a glass of water and after she drank her water she went back upstairs to play with the other girls.

Friend 3 has always been my favorite of DD’s friends. She’s an old soul. Her calmness and patience amaze me and I often think she may actually be older than me. She used to call me her step-mom…now she calls me her second mom. I absolutely adore her. She is the most beautiful child I have ever met, inside and out. I think because she’s here tonight, I might actually get through the night.

Being responsible for other people’s children makes me nervous. I’m always afraid I won’t be able to do it. I’m afraid I’ll have one of those fear nights where I cannot move and just sit on the stairs for hours at a time unable to figure out where I am, or what year it is. But then I feel it unfair to punish my children and not allow them to do normal kid stuff ~ like sleepovers, and birthday parties – because crazybrain might show up. Gawd ~ I hope she stays away tonight…I can’t have a basement stair night with other people’s children in my house.

I had a night like that last night…one of those~ I hate my life but I don't know what I need ~ I don’t want another one tonight. It’s so unfair to everyone. I really just want to be normal.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I can see the shadow of the freak-out monster in my peripheral vision

Tuesday in session I talked a little more about the Friday night creepshows of the past and present. And even as I spoke, it wasn’t me saying the words. I heard the words come out of my mouth.  I could hear the words, I could see the therapist sitting across from me, but it didn’t even feel like ME ~ it wasn’t like I was consciously speaking the words, but yet they were pouring out of me in a steady tone of voice.  A voice I was not able to stop. Was that my voice? I did not speak those words.

After the words were spoken, I told the therapist that I hoped to not freak out later. But I can see the freak-out shadow in my peripheral vision; it frightens me and now I can move only my eyes but not the rest of my head, or my body. I want to be disconnected from my body tonight and yet try as I might; I still feel the churning in my stomach, the pounding ache on the left side of my head. I feel the burning in my eyes and the tightness in my chest. It is difficult to keep my eyes open and impossible to take a deep breath.

She has cried non-stop since last night. Even in bed, huddled in the corner, far away from the door and wrapped tightly in her blue blanket and surrounded by pillows, she shook and cried. And still tonight she cries in fear and pain. She cries about sticky humiliating smelly messes. She cries about mirrors and blood. She cries and she cannot be soothed.

Why does she remember? Why does she remind me all of the time? Why does she ruin everything? Why can’t she just go away? Why does it still hurt so bad? It shouldn’t hurt now. It does but it shouldn’t.  And she continues to cry...

I hear her crying, I see her crying ~ but I don't know how to stop her cries.  I don't know how to make her pain go away.  All I can do is watch her and hear her.

I cannot figure out how to unplug the *Emotional Pin-Ball* Game. And I am finished playing for now!

There are nights when I am absolutely afraid to move. Anxiety and fear ~ my current nemesis. Like, one night, when I was on the phone with the therapist and she was telling me to get up and do something, I could not do it. And it was not because I was trying (in that very moment) to be argumentative and defiant, it was literally because my body was frozen and I could not move. And she seemed frustrated, which I understand, as she was trying to help me, and it’s not like she could grab my arm and physically move me (not that she would do that in her office either, but I suspect it’s a little bit easier for her to deal with me in that situation when we are in the same room). It’s so difficult for me to communicate at that point.

Right now I am in this space where I really wonder how I can continue to live up to the person everyone thinks that I am. Who is this person that everyone has created in their minds with my name attached to it? Yesterday I took a phone call from my boss in the middle of therapy. Even though she didn’t say anything, I’m sure the therapist was thinking, “Gawd ~ can’t she even stick up for herself during this hour?” Dang! Grace cannot set limits with her boss, her husband, or anyone else for that matter…

And I have to say that I am not really in the position right now to be all warrior-like and face all of it head-on. It is really one of those days when I want to curl up in a fetal position with a heating pad and pull the covers over my head. Even though the therapist would say that isn’t a good idea for me to hide myself away from all human contact…I still want too. I don’t have any desires to hurt myself; I’m just tired and I don’t want to be all happy and sunshiny for other people right now.

My body hurts today. I told the therapist I think I have a brain tumor and she was all like, “Well, then you should go get an MRI.” What else is she supposed to say; she is a PhD, not a medical doctor. And of course my head is hurting now and I’m constantly dizzy so that’s probably the brain tumor too. But what about all the other gross body issues?

WAH! I’m sure it’s all “emotional” overload, right? I feel like a pin-ball machine…hit the emotional ball and see where it bounces around and what part of my body it hits! Headache/dizziness: 100 points. Hip pain: 50 points. Nausea/vomiting: 150 points. Insomnia: 200 points.  Cramps/bleeding: 300 points. Uncontrollable shaking or inability to move at all: 1000 bonus points.

*SIGH*  I cannot figure out how to unplug the Emotional Pin-Ball Game....

I didn't have the words

I don’t remember ever being innocent or pure. I remember how wrong and dirty and secretive it felt. I was 5 years old. But I didn’t talk about it. I was not supposed to talk about it and, really, I didn’t even have the words. I spent my whole life telling myself it wasn’t that bad…maybe I could even forget. And then I would try on the feelings of denial and pretend to be okay.

But it was that bad. It really was. Some nights it still is that bad. And I still can’t find the words. But I feel the words. I feel them physically in my body. Terrible things that I don’t understand. And then I wonder if they are really true. I asked the therapist that today. I asked her about the physical things that happen that have no explanation. I asked her if she believed they could happen. I find them to be distressing. I have a headache and I cannot sleep.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just die already!

Today I told the therapist that I wish the host body would die.  I just wish she would die already!  GAWD!  I hate her!    Who wishes their mother, the woman who gave birth to her, to die?  Someone evil, that's who.  I actually wished my mother would die....and I spoke the words out loud to someone else!   Who thinks that?  What kind of person thinks that?  I mean, no matter what he did, what she did, it's so wrong to wish another person would die.

When I was a kid, the host body made several suicide attempts.  Like, every few months, she would lock herself in the bathroom and OD on xanax.  And it was so embarrassing!  The ambulance would show up and all the white trash neighbors would be outside gawking at us, talking about how crazy we were...and I remember that even back then I wished she would just die!  Why did she just keep living?

Even then, I hated her so much.  What kind of child hates their own mother and wishes her dead?  But I did.  I fucking loathed her!  I could barely stand to look at her!  And I wished she would die.  I used to swear she had a damn hospital wing named after her crazy ass she was there so many times....and every time, the doctors would tell my grandmother that the host body had to quit drinking and ODing because she was going to die.  And I would WISH and PRAY that she would die.  OMG ~ what kind of evil person wishes their mother dead???? 

When I was around 16 years old (after the SF had left) my mother was in the hospital after another drunken suicide attempt, and my grandmother and I were with her.  The host body thought she was in the hosptial because she had a baby (thank God that wasn't the case!) and she kept asking my grandmother, "Mom, where is my baby?  Why haven't they brought my baby in?"  And my grandmother would say, "Well, crazy host body, I'm not sure why..."  And then the host body looked at my grandmother and said, "Mom, why do you have that dishrag on your head?"  And my grandmother replied, "Well, host body, I didn't know that was there."  And my grandmother actually raised her arms up, and *pretended* to pull something off of her head that was not ever there in the first place!  WTF!?!  I wanted to punch them both for being so stupid!

I wished my mother would die.  For as long as I could remember, I wished she would die. 
Who does that?  What kind of person wishes her mother would die?  Sadly, I truly believe she wished I would die too... and tonight, as I'm sitting here in my freakin' huge house, crying because I feel like an evil person for wishing my mother was dead, she is probably 1200 miles away, sitting in her trailor, wishing I was dead too.... or maybe, she doesn't even realize I'm still alive at all.  I'm not sure which is worse....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Maybe you fight me because you are afraid if you don’t, you will lose me

It makes me tired sometimes, the constant fighting inside my head, the constant aruging, yelling, fear, discord.  It's tiring.  And PAG fights the therapist like the female version of Rocky.  Today, as I was leaving the therapist's office, she said, "Maybe you fight me because you are afraid that if you don't you will lose me."  When I asked her what she meant, she said she didn't know, that it was just something that popped into her head right that very minute.  Popped right into her she could have had a V-8!  What?  I'm not really sure if she just wanted me to take the statement and try it on, or if she really just said the first thing that popped in her head.  
"Maybe you fight me because you are afraid that if you don't, you will lose me"
After I left her office, I stopped to get a diet coke, and I thought about what she said.
When I got back to my office, I walked into my office and took off my coat, and I thought about what she said.  I logged on to my computer, and pulled up a report I needed to prepare for an afternoon meeting, and I thought about what she said.
"Maybe you fight me because you are afraid that if you don't you will lose me."
Early this evening, I was talking to my friend L and I thought about what the therapist said.  I decided to ask L what she thought it meant, and L said, "I think she means that you look for things to argue with her about to try to push her and test her; but deep down you know she won't leave you. However, you continue to battle with her so there is a state of constant conflict in your relationship so you don't have to deal with the real issues, the real problems that you need her help with. "  Maybe she's right...

Since L has been so insightful and has had her own "therapist" hat on, I decided to ask for her help with another crazybrain issue that's been dormant for awhile, but has again reared it's ugly head.  Something that I haven't asked for the therapists help on because I know that it won't matter what she says, PAG will just be pissed about it.  This issue surfaced nearly 2 years ago, and reappears at times, but not nearly as strong as it was in the past.  It's so irrational and embarrassing, and logically it makes no sense - I KNOW that!  But yet, here it is, as irrational and embarrassing as walking out of the ladies room with your skirt tucked into your panties and not noticing (not that that's ever happened to me - but it would be really embarrassing - this is that kind of embarrassing).... The 5 year old is scared again that the therapist will leave her when she gets married.  And the 5 year old is once again jealous of the therapists' BF.  OMG!  TOTALLY irrational, Grace - you are so crazy!  It is so NOYB and so not fair to the therapist.  Yah, I know that...but the 5 year old is still sad sometimes.  And if I were to bring it up with the therapist, I'm afraid she would say something like, "Grace, my life - NOYB."  Which would totally freak out the 5 year old and piss off PAG.  And adult rational Grace "gets" that it isn't about the therapist and her BF - it's really about the host body leaving me for men.  And I hope someday the 5 year old will understand that too - but she doesn't right now.  And I don't know how to get her from point A to point B.

L said she totally gets it.  She said that she still gets jealous of the time her mom spends with her sister and she's 37 years old, not 5.  She said that in a kid's mind it doesn't matter - feelings are feelings - and it's not a horrible thing.  She didn't think it was nearly as embarrassing as the wardrobe malfunction described above.  I, however, still do. 

L tried to reassure me that we all have our shit.  We all have things we are embarrassed about, and she said that I have to be honest and patient with the therapist and she has helped me, and she will continue to help me, if I let her.  L told me that I have to someday find a way to accept that my childhood was less than ideal and it wasn't my fault.  And that the things I have done as an adult, willingly, and/or unwillingly, that may feel shameful and wrong to me, I'll have to accept that too...but it will probably take a long time because I have never let anyone know me before, I've never let anyone "in"side my head to really know me...except the therapist.  Not even the hus.  She said that hopefully someday I will learn to trust other people too, and know who I should trust.  I hope she's right.

Before I left, L told me to text her if I felt alone, scared, just needed to talk...and went on to say,  "As long as I'm not having sex with the married man I've been telling no for 6 months, but he still comes by and I do it even though I don't want too...I'll text you back."....I fell out of the chair onto the floor in hysterical laughter!  See...we all have our shit. 

Maybe you fight me because you are afraid if you don't that you will lose me
What does that MEAN?

I just want to feel safe, dear therapist. It’s been a really long time since I’ve felt safe.

I had a bit of a mental meltdown last night.  (That's a big shocker, Grace!)

The therapist had not emailed me by 10pm, and it had already been a really emotionally charged weekend. By 10:01~ the 5 year old was crying from fear and feelings of abandonment, and PAG was hoping the therapist would forget again so she would have a reason to be pissed off at the therapist. Okay, that isn’t a fair statement~ PAG gets pissed off at the therapist all the time for reasons she makes up in her crazybrain. Maybe it would be more accurate to say PAG wanted a reason to that she could throw in the 5 year old’s face to PROVE to the 5 year old that the therapist doesn’t care about her. Anyway, it didn’t happen for her because the therapist emailed a few minutes later. It didn’t matter though. Crazybrain was already at defcon 4 and inches away from self inflicted pain. So Grace called the therapist for help, but PAG wouldn’t let the therapist help, she just wanted to fight with the therapist….the therapist was not in the mood for a fight (she never is) so she told Grace that if she wanted help she had to listen and stop fighting the therapist! Eventually Grace listened because there are no cuts or bruises today.

Thanks to the therapist’s help and patience, we stayed safe from self-jury, but were still unable to find a sense of safety, it was a constant battle to stay present and not dissociate but it was a losing battle for most of the night. In the moments I was in my body, I felt like there was a bolt of lightning constantly circulating through my body. I could not relax, I could not concentrate, I couldn’t even order coffee at Starbucks! Calling in sick was not an option because it was a day packed with deadlines and yet I could not even find a folder that was right in front of my face. I thought I should make a list of things that I had to get done but I couldn’t even figure out how to get that done! Extremely frustrating to find myself in a position where I cannot concentrate at work. Typically, work is a place I can escape the craziness in my head but it wasn’t working! Nothing felt safe and yet a small rational voice knew there was no logical reason for the fear and anxiety which increased the frustration, leading to more anxiety…and suddenly Grace is on her own personal Crazy~Brain~Carousel, complete with the circus music!

I met with the therapist at 10am this morning but I still couldn’t explain what was happening with the lightning inside my body or the fear inside my head. I couldn’t speak or look at her for the longest time. Eventually she asked me what I wanted to get from the session today and I said I didn’t know. But I did know. I just wanted to feel safe…even if only for a few minutes. I just wanted to feel safe. And the therapist made me feel safe today. Today, even just sitting there, in her office, my body full of electricity and 10 different voices inside my head, the therapist made me feel safe….just because she was there. Just because she’s the therapist....

She listened, she sat with me, she tried to help me stay grounded today...but most importantly, she made me feel safe.  She was still there...still trying to listen and understand *all* of Grace...because she is kind and patient.  Because she is the therapist.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

How low can you go....anyone for the Limbo?

Many years ago I won a weekend trip to Vegas by doing the Limbo…how low can you go….how low can you go…these past couple of weeks I feel like I’m playing the Limbo again. Just when I think I’ve hit the lowest point I can possibly hit, I get “challenged” to go even lower….and lower I go.

I am on the cutting edge tonight. I feel it. Earlier, DD wanted me to cut something out for an art project she was working on, and as I held the scissors in my hand, I could feel it…the overwhelming urge to cut. I finally told her to go see her father, and have him cut the paper for her. He didn’t, and she came back to me. I cut the paper for her, and the scissors are right here, still beside me. She never put them away. Looking for a sign? This is it.

When this all bubbles up I can no longer just shove it all back down again, not like I used to. It just lingers in the back of my throat, in the pit of my stomach, and threatens me with nausea and the taste of vomit when I least expect it. I want the therpaist to help me but PAG pushes her away and is so mean to her.  But I need her help but don't deserve it.  I want to scream! I want to just get what I deserve! Just do it already! I want to disappear from it all. I hate it! I want to destroy the parts of myself that make me “her”. I’m so tired of feeling overwhelmed and alone in this. I don’t want to remember. I want it to go away, and yet still, it lingers. It feels like a pair of razor sharp scissors slowly piercing my skin from my elbow right down to my wrist. It leaves me bleeding, an open wound, scars on my soul. I know exactly how it feels, I can imagine it right now, the sensation of the scissors piercing my skin and it thrills me and repulses me at the same time. Why won’t someone take it away? Even just for a day. 

Why doesn’t it go away? Why can’t I trust? Why can’t I get through this?
I am lost and afraid.
If I reach out, she could hurt us, if I don’t, I could die.
Reached out.  Bad Idea.  She was mad at me for bothering her.
I could tell.
I don't want to play anymore.


I woke up this morning in trauma brain hell!  Physical pain, emotionally exhausted - the best part of waking up on a Sunday morning (it's way worse than Folgers)!!!  And I have been desperately trying to ignore it, but I can feel it - I can't make it go away.  I watched a moive...I can feel all of it.  I took a bath...It won't stop.  I cleaned the's still here. I just want it to go away.  Nothing helps.  And I feel so GD worthless and defeated!  What a failure!

It’s like she said it to throw it in my face! I wouldn’t have even known there was a trauma seminar coming to town if she wouldn’t have mentioned it. But she did! And it wasn’t long after she spent 6x the cost on DBT. And of course crazybrain freaks that the therapist isn’t going. And then the therapist says, “Whether I go to the Van der kolk or any other seminar on trauma treatment or otherwise, I feel a need to remind you that the work in therapy right now appears to be your struggles with safety and trust. Of course you are going to be vigilant to whether safety exists in the context of facing your past, in my office or anywhere else when feelings, memories or core issues arise. This is an adaptive self protective function. I think it is important to remember that the safety is not just in my office or in our conversations, but in your ability to care for yourself when experiencing triggered emotions and thoughts. As you know, there have been times when you were not able to do this and this was terrifying. So, the pacing of your process needs lots of respect and time!”

But crazybrain says, it’s not about the safety and trust. Not as she sees it. It’s about the commitment of the therapist to help crazybrain. That’s what she thinks! She isn’t *committed*. Why did she even mention the stupid seminar anyway? Just to throw it in crazybrain’s face that she isn’t committed enough to helping crazybrain so she isn’t going? Even though she had just said she would “jump at the chance to go to a trauma seminar”…if there was one available. How does SHE know how “terrifying” it is? She isn’t here! I’ve been patient! She is committed to DBT –and onions- NOT to me! 
Why does CB think that?  Why can't she just get past it?  Why is she so GD irrational?  Why can CB just not STOP IT!  JUST STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

See, the past keeps coming up anyway!  It continues to haunt me mentally, physically, emotionally - whether I can "deal" with it, or not!  How am I going to LEARN how to "deal with it" when no one will teach me!  It just gets worse!  It keeps getting worse!  And I am still "ill-prepared".  It isn't like it just STOPS because I can't figure out how to find "safety and trust" - no - you know what?  Actually, that just makes it all worse.  It just makes it worse!  Can't *face* it - can't *outrun" what does that leave??? Continuation of circling in hell?  Because I can say I can't do that much longer.  It hurts all the time!  I am ashamed and embarrassed and I feel like I deserve the pain and I take 20 steps backwards every single day and I want to pull my hair out from frustration!  I feel worthless!  I feel useless to even my children right now! I have NO faith anymore! NONE!

Don't *ask* me how I *feel* because no one cares how I *feel*.  I don't feel very safe right now.  Why do I never feel safe?  Why is there no safety anywhere? 

"WHERE ARE YOU TODAY, CB?"  IN HELL...just something else you can't "help" me with...
I'd write about why I'm in hell, but the therapist said that would just make it worse.  And since I am searching for a reason to keep breathing - I'm guessing making it worse wouldn't be a super idea.  THIS is bad enough!