Thursday, June 30, 2011


I went hungry a lot growing up. Sometimes it was just due to lack of money (though I'm questioning this now, considering the incredible amount of money that I can now as an adult see that they spent on other things). Sometimes it was because I was in trouble and denied food. When I was older and homeless, I had to fight for what food I got to eat. Meals were never guaranteed. I had to do a lot just to get something to eat sometimes.

Today, being hungry is a giant trigger for me. If I feel hungry and don't have access to food, it can incite panic pretty quickly.

When I pack a lunch for work, I pack enough that I could get trapped in the mountains for days and not go hungry. Of course the likelihood of that actually happening is miniscule. But I carry the extra weight around with me as a comfort all day. In fact I generally eat until I'm full at lunch, eat more of my lunch as a snack on my way home from work, and still have plenty leftover to carry over to the following day's lunch.

A few weeks ago I went camping. It was a camping trip through my work and one of the perks of it was that it was totally catered. I arrived with a fairly large bag for just a weekend. There was very little clothes or anything else in the bag, but a lot of food. A lot of food that I didn't need, but I don't think I could've comfortably left my house without. Whenever I'm nervous to go anywhere, I start packing food until I feel better. This includes to places like an hour long meeting, an appointment somewhere, etc. I guess no matter what else happens, at least I know I won't go hungry. I keep snacks in my car, in my backpack, and in other strategic places. I don't often eat them, but if it's not there I tend to freak.

When I did my Outward Bound course we did a "solo" where we spent 3 days on our own. As the instructors were explaining the area we would be in and all of that they included, "and by the way, we'll be collecting your food in one area for this evening and will distribute it each morning." The reasoning for this was we had to hang the food in a tree to keep it away from bears and other animals. They decided it would be easier and safer to keep all of the food together. Makes sense but a total shock to me. Most ppl were freaked out about solo because of the time alone in the woods. I LOVED that tons of journaling and relaxing done. However it terrified me, especially the first night, because my food was suddenly taken from me without warning. I panicked badly that night. Cried my eyes out in front of ppl before we even separated to our sites. I managed to direct a lot of my nervous energy in to what was determined to be the best "mailbox" in the group. We were required to mark a spot where we wanted the instructors to leave our food that they dropped off to us each morning. I made a square out of sticks and then traced with bright yellow leaves "Put Food Here," and a giant arrow. It got me through the night, but it wasn't pretty. To make matters worse, our food allowed for the three days consisted of a bagel, a couple of peices of cheese, and an apple. I feel like there was something else I'm forgetting, but it wasn't much at all. They did surprise us with corn bread on one of the days, but it was still extremely limited.

It was one of the roughest times I've had in my adult life. One of the most frustrating parts of it was that logically I KNOW I can make it without all the food I feel I need. However at this point I don't WANT to. They insisted that it was not meant to be a "survival" thing, just a simplicity thing, but it was fully uncomfortable. Part of outward bound is to teach not actual survival skills, but mental strength and survival mentality. It's meant to help ppl find their inner strength in a more simple life, and see that they can do more than they think they can. I really enjoyed the climbing, hiking, canoeing, and backpacking we did on that course. The hunger was awful. Even on the non-solo days, the amount of food just wasn't enough to ever feel full. I hate like a horse for nearly a month after I got back from my month-long course. No matter how much I ate I just never felt full.

The point is, yes I survived my course and can survive on much less food than I like to have. But to me it's just not worth it to try. It's a comfort thing. It makes me feel good to have that extra food around.

But this is not meant to be a critique on outward bound. Just a side to the food issues in my life.

One of the reasons I'm writing this now, is that today I forgot my lunch for work. I packed myself a beautiful lunch for the day and left it sitting on the kitchen counter. I asked my supervisor if I could run out and get something but unfortunately I was barely on time as it was and there weren't any stores in the area. The kids would be arriving soon and I needed to be there to supervise. We had some extra granola bars and things so I didn't go hungry, but it was horribly scary and stressful for me to go without my food. I think at this point food is just a comfort item that I just need to stick with and allow myself. No real reason to change.

I do get physically sick when I get hungry...sometimes even a little hungry. What I wonder now is, does the physical sickness come from the stress of being without food, or does the sickness come from some underlying physical thing which causes the stress level to increase?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So is it just me, or does it TOTALLY defeat the purpose of distance learning if every question I ask I am told that I will need to "come in to deal with that." One of the courses I am taking right now is through a school on the other side of the state from me. I was told that I could register for this class from any of a group of schools, so I chose the one that was most affordable and the school that offered most of the classes I need just to avoid the issue of credit transfer. (None of them are offered over the summer at the school I'm actually going to, but my school is networked to a bunch of others around the state.

It all sounded like a great plan, but it's been nothing but trouble. First, they insisted on having my immunization records even though I won't actually be on their campus. Fine. Now I'm registered but having major issues with logging in to actually get to the information for the class (which by the way was supposed to be mailed to me, not emailed, but I guess they missed that minor detail). Now everyone that I talk to to get to this online thing tells me that I just need to come in to the ________ office. I have told multiple people multiple times that I don't live anywhere near there. They don't seem to get it. I'm irritated. This was supposed to be a summer project, and the summer is more than a third of the way over (wow time flies!). Part of that is my fault in being a bit slow to get all my info in. But I start face to face school in late August, leaving me very little time to get these pre-reqs done. The whole idea was that I wanted school to be non-stressful over the summer, but it continues to stress me out and it's going to end up rushed.

The (sort of) good news is that I'll have next week off from work. I had planned to work but because of the holiday there are way fewer kids at camp than planned and they asked for volunteers to take the time off. Though I could use the money, I have enough other stuff going on that I think i'd feel bad taking the work away from others and then being stressed all week about my other life stuff going on.

It's only sort of good news because I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that much downtime. It's down time that seems to always get me in trouble.

I just left a very angry message on the voicemail of the admin office of the school i'm working through because it was 4:58, the message said they closed at 5 and to call back during normal business hours. Petty, yes? Not a way to make a good impression. I think I'm glad i'm not there face to face! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

It slipped

So yesterday evening I was walking out of the grocery store, having just bought my lunch makings for the week. Previously I had been at a friend's house helping her give her st. bernard a bath. (An interesting experience to say the least!) As a thank you, she'd then taken me out to dinner at a place with one of the most unbelievable burgers I'd ever eaten. It had all been very good. A whole evening of good. This is the same friend who had helped me the day before to get over my fear of thrift stores (worried about finding something from bio's house) and buy the perfect dresser for my new room. Even though she didn't quite get it, she'd been amazingly patient and helped me through it. More good.

As I walked away from the store I thought about how my room was filled with unpacking and organizing tasks to keep me busy; and about how right outside my bedroom window was the veggie garden just waiting for me to dig in it and plant more. I was thinking about how soon I will be able to finalize everything for school and finally start my correspondence courses (it's been sooooooo slow but that's another story). These things are all so good for me. Time at home with nothing to do is a source of a lot of misery for me. Distraction is good, but it's a matter of finding restful distractions (rather than something that will exhaust me further). Few things can keep my mind active but allow me to rest. Setting up my room, gardening, and yes even schoolwork (w/out the stress of deadlines) are some of those things. This is the life that I was aiming for when I moved here and was so picky about my housing needs. It took me a month to find it, but I did.

As I walked away from the store, something slipped which surprised even me. I looked out at the beautiful setting sun and I let out a happy sigh. I smiled. "I love my life." No, I'm not making that up. In that moment, there was peace.

There's probably a lot that can be said about my jumping back and forth between hating life and loving it and being unable to find a happy medium, but for now I'm going to revel in that moment of peace, when all was well.

(You all were expecting this to go a different direction, weren't you? :-P)

Things are still pretty good today. I slept well in my room last night and was triggered a bit at first but was able to talk myself through it and calm down. I didn't sleep all that well, but that was mainly because I accidentally put my fan on the wrong setting which resulted in my room being VERY hot. Lesson learned!

Work is going well too. The stresses of last week have been removed. For the first time I didn't feel absolutely exhausted afterwards, and was able to come home and actually be functional.

Life is good. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The big move

So I've been in transition since about mid May. Not good for somebody who really likes routine.

I packed up and left my winter house around 5/20 to come to where I am now for a week of job training. I had found a great house and roommate and had planned to move in in the few days before work started. Of course I didn't expect the call right before I left from new roommate saying that her landlord had decided to sell the house and she was moving in to an apartment. Ack!

Thankfully I was prepared and had two back-ups. Back-up #1, the guy had been smoking inside for months. It smelled AWFUL and made me sick being in there. He said he'd move it back to outside, but I was afraid the smell would never leave. Back-up #2 seemed great. I told the guy there that I liked it a lot but wanted a night to think about it bc I didn't want to make a decision while tired from travel. He said no problem but then called me the next morning to say that he'd found someone else he thought was a better fit. Doh! I found other options but they all had issues of some sort.

Ended up getting kicked out of the hotel I was staying in bc I didn't ask for additional nights early enough..was about out of money anyway...ended up living in my car...had a breakdown...ended up w/foster family. Stayed there for a bit but still felt in transition...never really moved in at all. Decided I needed to move somewhere more permanent and close to work. Found my current place which I really do like and it totally seemed meant to be...EXCEPT that the good room in that house wasn't open yet. I needed to move in soon bc I couldn't handle driving over an hour each way for work from my parents' house, so I moved in to the little room w/the small windows in the new, meant-to-be house.

Last week the roommate in the good room moved out (yay!). But then we needed to paint the room (it had been needed for a while but made sense to do when there was nothing in there. Then I had to wait for the paint to dry and stop smelling yucky. In the meantime I'd moved back out of my room bc it was right next to some plumbing issues and I was worried it was going to get wet in there (and it was starting to smell like plumbing backup...eeeeewwww!). So i was living in the living room...which was actually a choice beyond all the plumbing and paint and everything else because with all the crap i've been going through being on the couch instead of in my room in bed was the only way I could sleep. Being in a bed, in a bedroom was just too triggering for me with all the stuff in my head.

Soooooooooo...the point to all of this is, I FINALLY have a room! My own room that I'm moving in to. Yaaaaaaaaaay!! I actually could've moved in yesterday (or even the day before), but I've been putting off moving the bed out of the other room bc I wasn't sure if I was ready to commit to being in there and giving up my excuse to be on the couch (don't tell my roommate!). I finally made the committment to do it today though, and we moved the bed this morning. I went out shopping w/a friend and bought a new dresser, and will soon be getting my bookshelf out of storage. Most of my stuff is moved in there now, and just waiting to be organized. I'm feeling pretty good about it. I'm excited to have my own space again that I can move into and set up how I want. I'm a little worried about sleeping in there, but I've been spending lots of time in there today while it's light out so I can get used to it before it's dark. Usually this isn't such a big deal to me, but it's in the midst of all the new memories coming back this time. (I have had times of needing to sleep on the couch in the past though...when I was younger I used to sleep under the bed!) Anyway, I mostly have a good feeling about it now, though I feel like I need a ceremony or something to dub it a safe, "bad people free" room. Still working on that. So far it's consisted of sort of sitting in it and "memorizing" it and remembering that it's mine and very very far from the old house. Here's hoping!

Poetry Time!

We know a darkness,
buried deep below.
Our own underworld,
oft cut from light and air.

Many speak of dark,
and think that they have seen,
but to us down below,
their dark is a blinding beam.

We who know the darkness,
We see a different world.
We may never find your normal,
freed from daily fear.

We've felt the all-consuming pain
and we have prayed for death.
We've screamed the screams that no one hears
and fought to take a breath.

We know what it's like,
to truly have to fight.
We've witnessed the pure evil,
That we hope most never know.

We have fought a war,
And we've come out alive.
Our work is never over,
but we have found our light.

We know the value,
of real, honest, Good.
And we won't take for granted
Each peaceful breath we breathe.

And when we sink back to the black
and our light starts to srhink,
We reach, we grab, we hold on tight.
Search deep for long-lost hope.

We have seen the darkness.
It's a constant war we fight.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I sure know how to pick 'em!

The dr. thing didn't go well. I went to a walk-in clinic and the guy was a total ass. I told him what was going on with my legs and he said "well I'm not sure what you want me to do about it." Ummmm maybe tell me what I should do about it? If I need to worry? Maybe show a little compassion?

Maybe to him it's "just a cramp." I've never seen or heard of a cramp being so bad I can't walk for bad that it brings me to tears (I have a high pain takes a lot to do that...), or a cramp that still hurts more than a week out. In fact, when I talked to my softball team on wednesday, they were all shocked that I hadn't gone to the dr. after seeing the amount of pain I had been in the game before. (Softball is where it had originally happened...running to first and suddenly my legs cramped and gave out. Everyone on both teams was pretty freaked out about it).

This dr. asks, "You drink a lot of water?" How's that for generic?

I answer, "Um, yes?" I probably don't drink enough for the amount of time I'm out in the heat....I can't seem to stay hydrated...I know that's part of the problem.

He asks, "You sweat a lot?" Love these "a lot" questions...isn't the idea of these kind of things to get specific info?

"Um...yes." (Don't we all when it's 90+ degrees out?)

"Maybe you should drink some gatorade."

That was the extent of his diagnosis. I told him I can't stand drinking gatorade because I can't deal with the sugary syrupy-ness when I'm out in the heat. I've always been of the belief that sugary drinks when you're outside sweating and working hard is a bad thing. I ran out of water at a soccer game a while back and only had gatorade to drink...while it was better than nothing, I still felt sick in a matter of minutes. But any of this that I said to the dr. he completely blew off. I know there's stuff out there that can help with this but isn't so sugary. I'm looking in to that, just shocked at how unhelpful the dr. was.

I had hoped that I could ask this dr. about anxiety meds, and have him help me get set up with a primary. I guess I got lucky where I lived before...I found my primary that I loved through a place that did walk-ins and regular appointments. Everything was same or next day scheduling, so I didn't have to deal with an appt. looming over my head for a long time. It looks like finding someone here is going to take a lot more work. How I wish I could make my dr. from the winter move with me!

I'm off to get a massage now. I'm hoping that will take some of the pain away. I'm also hoping this person can be more helpful than the dr. or the therapy ppl. They didn't give me much of a choice of who to see, so I couldn't ask if the person is familiar w/trauma stuff. At least I know she's female, so that will help a bit.

More later!


Update: I spoke/worried too soon. The massage lady was AMAZING! She beat the crap outta me, but in a good way. She was able to loosen up my muscles enough that a lot of my pain went away. I feel SO much better! The place I went to does a cheaper introductory massage and then the prices go way up after the first. The good news is that this woman told me that she also does massages out of her house and stays at the intro price. So, if I could work out the timing I could keep seeing her and have it be affordable. My plan for now is to dedicate my planned therapy budget to massages and go every couple of weeks. Since I've been dealing with TONS of body memories since my new memories came about a month ago, as well as tons of stress and also doing a lot of physical stuff, I've been left with a lot of lasting physical pain. My hope is that if I can get some of the physical pain worked out, it could help my overall stress level to lessen. Not a permanent solution, but hopefully it can help me to not be at this super-stressed level all the time and be able to enjoy things more than minute by minute.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm running out of interesting post titles...

I was going to title this one update. Because yeah...that's exciting. I gotta work on that.

Things are actually better. Which is good because after my last post I don't think they could get much worse.

So the whole 24 hours thing from the last therapist really freaked me out. I wrote her a very angry email back telling her that here is the email she wanted so badly...that i was tired of being lied to by everyone in that place, and that there was no way I would accept a referral because there's no way I would go through another intake anywhere as this one has been so hellish.

I'm not proud of that. I know I get angry, but I really try not to act out in anger towards anyone else. (Those who know me well know I fail at that, but I really try). The funny part is, the day before I had asked my roommate to call this woman and tell her to leave me alone. When I got the new message I told my roommate about it and meant to tell her not to bother with calling her but I guess that message didn't go through. So this woman also got an angry call from my roommate. Except that my roommate works in the medical field and does a lot of on the phone stuff, so I'm guessing she was a lot nicer and professional-like than she claims. :-P Either way, I was likely emailing from the library at the same time my roommate was calling. Apparently she got the message. No big surprise, I haven't heard back.

I was all set to swear off therapy, since just looking for a therapist has stressed me out so much. Then, I remembered why I had started the hunt in the first place. I was miserable, and knew I needed real help to get better. So then the misery sunk in, and the fear that maybe I never would get better....that maybe I'm stuck as a half-functioning individual for the rest of my life. I've gotten pretty good at functioning to the outside world, but there's a huge part of me inside still screaming I'M NOT OK!! I can't deal with relationships. Getting close to ppl (even just friendships) scares the hell outta me and I tend to end them before they get too serious and wind up alone. I deal with intense anger. I hurt myself because I don't know how else to process things. And we all know about my breakdown. So yeah...realizing that I may be stuck like this forever...not a good night. Thanks again to my wonderful friend for talking to me and getting me through. It was scary.

It's still scary. For the moment I'm getting better. Without the stress of thinking about talking at therapy, I'm calmer. I'm able to function and I feel a lot more human. I'm not hallucinating and I'm not living minute to minute reminding myself to breathe. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not thinking about that right now. Yesterday after work I was able to go home, take a nap, garden, clean the house a bit, and go to my softball game. Most days after work lately I haven't even been able to make it home because I've had to pull over to deal with an intense flashback or otherwise scary thought. Or to just sit and sob.

I guess I'd consider looking in to therapy again...but it took me 5 years to try again after the last one went bad (granted that one went bad after trusting the woman for a year, so it was different, but still...

But the new issue is that I need to go to a dr. I am getting intense pain in my legs, sometimes making me just barely able to walk. I can't run without my legs literally falling out from under me. Much of my abuse was carried out by ppl in the medical profession (or those pretending to be) so while any touch is scary to me dr. visits are AWFUL!! I probably wouldn't go, but I need a refill for my meds anyway so I kind of have to. The problem is for just the meds I could skip sitting on the table and having anyone touch me. The other problem is that before I moved I had an AMAZING doctor who I trusted fully. This time I will be seeing a stranger. I'm going to an urgent care walk-in place because with all the therapy stuff I haven't had time to look for a dr. Soooooo...wish me luck! I'm just hoping to get in the door.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Therapy, part 3-ish

I have no idea what part i'm on. I just know that the therapy saga is turning in to a complete joke.

To recap...started w/emailing a couple of different agencies. No luck except that one gave me an 800 number to call. Called there and got numbers for two different places that I could supposedly afford. One was way out of my price range. Other was ok. Called the ok place. After many days of phone tag finally talked to someone. Did an over the phone intake with a woman that made me want to hurt myself and/or punch my hand through a wall..or a person....she's referred to here as multiple variations of evil bitch woman. I told her multiple times during the conversation that it was nearly impossible for me to talk to a therapist. She didn't seem to care. I told her I'd been badly burned my last therapist. No reaction. I told her that the thought of having to talk to 3 different therapists about personal stuff just to get through the intake was only just barely managable to me. She continued to not care...except to look down on me in a way I could feel over the phone when I wasn't able to answer her questions or wasn't able to answer them as completely as she would've liked. (My one word answers were BIG successes in my book!). Anyway, she told me her schedule was full so I wasn't too concerned.

Then I get the call back from the place after all the intake stuff, and it's her saying that she's who they have picked for me. I tell her I'm busy (i was) and she pushes me to schedule a time to talk. I hang up and call one of the ppl I did the intake with and said absolutely not I am uncomfortable with her, can't see her, etc. He apparently passes the message on to her. She calls yesterday at our scheduled time. I don't answer. She leaves a message with such a lecturing tone that my roommate hears it too (without knowing any of the back story) and says there is no way she could EVER talk to this woman about anything of value because she is so condesending. I decide to ignore the message for the time being.

She calls again today. Just now. She leaves a long message saying that she understands that I left a message with P (the intake guy) saying that I was uncomfortable with her, but she needs to hear from me about whether or not i'm uncomfortable with her. Ummmmm wtf? That's her wording. Doesn't me leaving a message saying that i'm uncomfortable tell her i'm uncomfortable? What is wrong with these people?! I told both of the therapists I met with for the in person intake, IN WRITING, that I am very uncomfortable talking to therapists in general and yet they're making me tell this woman to her face that I don't want to see her? What is the point of that??!!

She also mentioned in the message today that there are NO OTHER THERAPISTS AVAILABLE except for her. So they put me through allllll that intake shit when I told them repeatedly that it was an incredibly difficult thing to ask of me, when they had NO THERAPISTS AVAILABLE! (I'm assuming there weren't any, considering that she is now the only one and she told me when we first spoke that she was full). Again...WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??!! She said she'd give me other places to call. Great. So I can start the whole damn process over again. Because it's no big deal...right? Seriously...I get physically sick walking in to a therapist's office. Having them ask the intake questions...even the basic ones...make me want to curl up into a hole in the ground. They make me want to cause pain to myself because of the horrors in my head. And they make me believe that people are coming to kill me with enough conviction to hallucinate. All the more reason to be in therapy, I get that, but the point is this is not something that I can take lightly.

I am soooooooo frustrated and angry right now. She finished the message by saying that I have 24 hours to hear back from me, so she needs to hear from me by 4:00 tomorrow (when, by the way, I'll still be at work...wednesday is my long day). I kept waiting for the or what that I expected at the end of this threat (it sounded like a threat) but it never came. Makes me even less interested in calling her because now the grumpy, manipulative side of me just wants to piss her off.

The thing is...I was doing much better before I started looking in to therapy. I know I need the help...absolutely....but the search is killing me. Literally. I don't want to scare anyone, and I'm fine right now, but there have been some very bad thoughts in my head. Last night I was at the store and started thinking about how I should spend all my money on nice things for my brothers and sister so they'll be less sad when I'm gone and I'll know my money will go somewhere good. (Again, don't panic...I have good people looking out for me...just want to give ya'll an idea of what this has been like).

So i'm stuck in a lovely catch 22. Am I better off struggling through it on my own...fighting through all sorts of shit but at least functional...or attempting to get help when continuing to try brings me to darker, more desperate places. I want to get better. I don't want to be in the midst of this shit anymore. I want to feel happy and have a real life. I have big dreams for my future. But I'm really starting to wonder if there's anything out there for me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Therapy update

Last night I called the guy that I had met with during the intake interview. I told him that working with scary lady was not going to work for me and asked if there were other options. Today scary lady called as "scheduled" (she made me pin down a time for her to call when I told her I was too busy to talk so I just threw one out there). I assumed that meant the other guy hadn't gotten my message yet. Instead, she said that she "knows I left a voicemail with him expressing my concerns, so she wants to know yes or no whether I want to work with her".

Why are they making me tell this woman to her face that I can't work with her?! She terrifies me! The way she talks triggers me every time I have to speak to her. She talks down to me like I'm in trouble because I don't do what she asks...because I don't answer questions the way she wants me to (sometimes getting one word out is a giant success, and she responds with apparent disappointment)...when I do manage to say telling her in detail over the phone about how my last therapist totally screwed me over and made me really distrust the whole profession...her response was silence while she was apparently writing things down. She "explained" it later by saying she needed to take notes, but not an ounce of "i'm sorry that happened" or "i can't believe she would do that" (what happened was beyond unprofessional)...When she called and I was busy w/friends and couldn't talk, she acted like how dare I not listen to all she had to say. Shouldn't that be part of confidentiality when I tell her i'm not in a place where I can deal with that conversation? Then her message when I didn't answer her call was entirely hello you're not answering when you said you would and i hear you've been going behind my back...

One of the hardest things for me is feeling like i'm "in trouble." I have MAJOR authority figure issues, which I readily admit to, but as soon as I feel like I'm in trouble everything else shuts down and I go in to fight or flight mode. It's to the point that I can't even speak to this woman because she always makes me feel like I've been bad. So no matter how much of this is in my head, as soon as I hear her voice I freeze up, and turn it all inward. I'm afraid to say anything at all..I go quiet or just agree w/whatever she says...while on the inside i'm ready to punch my hand through a wall or hurt myself just to make it stop. Not a good thing. I wish I could get these ppl to understand that.

No idea what i'm going to do now.

Good dads...they do exist..

Father's day is a tough one for me.

There are not words for my father's level of evil. It's nearly impossible not to be triggered by a day dedicated to celebrating dads.

That said, I do have a good dad in my life. It's my foster dad, and he often gets a bad rap.

He and I have always had a rocky relationship. Through no fault of his own, he happens to have the title that terrifies me most. But he has shown an unbelievable level of patience.

When I came home this last time, after my breakdown, I couldn't be in the same room as him. To be fair, sometimes I couldn't handle my mom near me either, but seeing my foster dad was instant panic. No matter how much my logical brain told me that he was nothing like my bio dad, I just couldn't handle it. I know it was hard for him to stay away when he wanted to help both me and my mom.

We've talked about that since and made peace with it, but I now feel like I've added a bit of insult to injury by not coming to his father's day dinner. I had told him earlier in the weekend that I wasn't feeling very good and may not be able to come. On sunday afternoon I told him the honest truth, that I was overwhelmed by life and I wanted to spend the time w/a friend and pretend father's day doesn't exist. (I missed a friend's bday so she and I were going to do a makeup dinner....she has a crappy dad too so it was good for both of us). I think my dad was a bit hurt, but ok w/it. I told him I wanted to see him if we could skip the "father" thing. We agreed to a "just for the hell of it" dinner next weekend. Again he shows how amazing he is...being willing to work with me and what I can manage. He has given me a lot over the years, but unfortunately it's such a giant gap for me to trust any father figure. Even though my bio mom was evil too, it's like I've always wanted to find a mom so it's a little easier w/my foster mom (though until this last breakdown we were much more like friends than mother and daughter). I have gotten so much from my foster dad...I just hope some day i'm able to really express it and not keep hurting him by keeping him at a distance. (Oh and just a disclaimer...I know I tend to use the word foster at random when talking bout my foster my eyes they are my parents...i just want to make sure it's clear that i'm not referring to my bio actually feels strange at this point to label them foster).

Anyway, in honor of him and the good fathers of the world, I thought I'd share a quick story. Some of you reading have probably heard it before.

I was 17 when my new baby sister (foster, now adopted) came to live with us. She was a preemie and absolutely tiny. I was genuinely afraid to go near her because I thought I might break her. (Really I was afraid of most babies for that reason, but especially I didn't even want to be in the same vicinity!). One morning I had gotten up early and was on my way out to the living room when I heard her start to cry. My foster dad was there with her. In that moment my heart sunk. I knew what dads did to little girls. Especially those who cried. I cringed and hid in the corner. But what I saw instead was the big man that is my foster dad ever so gently pick up this tiny little baby, cradle her in his arms and rock her ever so kindly. He looked at her with love and compassion...nothing like I remembered seeing in my bio dad's face when he'd look down at me. He fed her a bottle, calmed her, and laid her back down. I couldn't take my eyes off of it for I don't know how long. I don't know if he knew I was there or not. For him it was an every day moment, doing what needed to be done. For me it was life-changing. For me it was the first time in my life that I saw how dads were meant to treat little girls...even the smallest and most fragile. In the worst of times that moment sometimes comes back to me. It's how I know for certain what a real dad can be.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Therapy fail

So remember that therapy intake appt I went to? didn't go so well. I thought that being there for the interview was the hard part. Boy was I wrong!

I did ok on wednesday night after a long talk with a good friend.

Thursday night the power went out. Not a big deal you might think. Well, when you add to the mix that in my mind, any amount of telling anyone will lead to my death, it was not pretty. I know the likelihood of them finding me and killing me (or finding out that I told at all) is basically none, but when the people causing you unbelievable pain and terror on an almost daily basis tell you that they will find out and kill you if you tell....well it just doesn't seem that far fetched. These people had the ability to do some truly terrible things.

Right as the sun went down, the power went out. I held it together for a bit, or so I thought, but my brain managed to convince me that somehow the bad ppl had turned our power off so they could get in and get me. No matter how well I knew that no one could get into the house or into my room, it didn't matter. I didn't realize just how far gone I had gotten until the lights came back on and I was so totally shocked to see myself at full size (not as a child) and in my own house.

Then on friday the therapy place called. I wasn't going to answer it as i was getting ready to do something fun, but I thought it was someone else. The call was from the horrible woman who had done my phone intake...the evil woman who had made me feel even worse about therapy but told me (reassuringly to me) that her schedule was "unfortunately" full. She said that she'd been matched to me. Ummmmmm no. I told her I couldn't talk then and was busy and she kept pressing the issue...another thing that shows me she's not right for me. I had friends in the house w/me and was trying really really hard not to break down in front of them.

Since then I pretty much totally lost it. All that and they match me with the person who I KNOW won't work for me. At all. I'm working up the strength to call them back and see what else they can offer or if they can refer me elsewhere...but for now lets just say that Saturday was bad. Really bad. Like, haven't felt that way in many, many years kind of bad.

I think I'm going to call the person I did the physical intake with and see if he can help me. I know this doesn't sound to most like a big deal, but I put ALL my energy and strength in to going to that appt. It was/is a big deal. I'm doing better today, but the body memory pains are i think just pain from me being so totally stressed lately. It pretty much hurts to move, but at least I'm not totally in the dark place. Will update if there's any new news...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lots going on

I have a lot of life stuff to update these days.

I'm not living with m foster mom anymore. It was a mutual decision. We both decided that I need my independence and that I would make myself crazy not working all summer or giving up my job that I worked so hard to get. So I've found a place to live close to my job. Last week I worked 2.5 days. This week I'm working 5 half days (exhausting because I have to start early every morning, but good for me to get on a routine). Next week I'll be back to full time staff. I'm very grateful that my job has been willing to work with me through this and keep me on staff. From what I understand they hired less than 20% of the total applicants, so it's not like there's a lack of replacements for me.

So I've found a place to live. It's a great house with an amazing garden area in the yard which makes me very happy. During my whole housing search I was more adament about a garden than the actual house for the most part, since gardening is such a big summer stress relief for me and I knew I'd have so much stress being back in this city. (I didn't know just how much stress, but yeah...)

I like my roommate a lot. She's a survivor too (don't know if sa, but abuse) so we seem to click pretty well. She reads my emotions really well. Like scary well. I think that's good and bad. It's nice to be able to hide things, but nice to have someone that gets me a little better than the rest of the world. I mentioned to her that I was calling therapists and we ended up talking for over an hour about all our experiences with therapy, good and bad. She said a lot of the same stuff as I was thinking, which was cool.

Speaking of therapy, I went yesterday. It was good and awful all at once. I guess I'm glad I went...sort of. It's terrifying for me to tell anyone anything. Add to that my last awful experience with therapy and it's just not a good thing. Just being in the place made me feel sick. But I got through it. I couldn't answer a lot of their questions (just said "no comment" which thankfully they didn't follow up on) or just gave one word answers, so I managed to finish what was supposed to be a 1.5 hr appt. in 50 min. That's gotta be some kind of record, right? :)

Even though I didn't tell anything about my past, I'm sure I gave them plenty of hints. When they got to the abuse question I said no comment. When they got to the SA question, and started listing all the types of SA they got as far as incest (the first one) and I nearly shouted no comment. They trailed off and I started to cry. The guy started on a "we know this is hard.." thing and I cut him off and yelled "just keep going." He tried to pause again and I said/yelled, "Just keep going. I just want to get out of here so do what ya gotta do so I can leave!" I was really tempted to jump outta my chair and run, but I didn't, so I guess that's a good sign. I stayed through the whole thing and gave them the letter I posted earlier. (I actually gave it to them at the beginning but they didn't read it till the end which was a little frustrating bc it would've explained part of why I was so flipped out. But I guess they were worried I wouldn't want them to read it in front of me. The interviewer guys demeanor changed after reading it and he seemed more understanding).

So I survived. I sat in a therapist's office and was interviewed by not one but two therapists. They asked the questions that terrify me (thankfully some of the other bad ones were in writing so that was a little better) and I managed to stay. I left lasting marks in the back of my leg from digging my thumbnail in to keep from freaking out, but I stayed. I guess I'm proud of myself. Mostly terrified.

They told me that they have their staff meeting on friday where they'll take all my info and match me with who they think will be best for me. Then whoever they match me with will call then or within a few days to schedule an appt. I change my mind sometimes by the second on whether or not I'm going to follow through with this. Mostly I'm trying not to think about it. It's easier this way. It already feels surreal. I'm already wondering if it actually happened, or maybe it was just a dream.

I panicked pretty bad after, but thanks to a wonderful friend I made it through. I made it home (though it took me many hours to be functional enough to drive) and sat down to watch tv. I watched cartoons for a bit (my favorite bit of distraction) and then fell asleep watching the hockey game (if you know who won DON'T TELL ME! :P). I slept like i'd been drugged. Never made it off the couch. Slept through my alarm even though it was super bright and I was sleeping somewhere I'm not used to. I think my roommate came back sometime during the night (the other roommate I don't really know who is moving out in a couple days). I think I even talked to him but I don't really remember. Now I've made it through all day today with only a little stress and without even feeling sick. YaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY DENIAL! :-D

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where to go

I have a problem.

Well really I have lots of problems, but there's one specific one that seems to keep coming back right now.

I went through a lot of shit as a kid. That goes without saying these days. Enough that I find it rather amazing that I'm as normal as I am. No, I'm not totally normal (I know what a lot of you are thinking) but I have a good job and I do it well. For the most part I take care of myself, and I make it through from day to day. To the outside observer, no one would guess my past. Then again, there may be a lot of others like me that are "normal" on the outside with a past like mine. I have no way of knowing.

The problem is, I don't feel normal. Not fully. When I hang out with "normies" I feel out of place. A bit of a memory will come back, or my mind will wander to a bad place, and i'm quickly reminded of how not normal I am.

I don't talk about my past with most people, for a variety of reasons. Mostly because it shocks people, which makes things uncomfortable, and because I don't want to be defined by it. I don't want ppl to worry about what they're saying around me. The one friend I told started acting WAY differently around me after it came out. I also don't want ppl to ask me questions I'm not ready for. And I'm afraid that if things went bad someone could use it against me. It has too much power over me still, and therefore a person could use that against me. Finally, it's personal. Very personal.

Anyway, I've told a few ppl online. But it's been a struggle to find the right place. I found an online community for a while, but I realized there that they were not ready to hear what had happened to me. I found somewhere else. But there were major issues there too.

I'm starting to wonder if it's me. I'm starting to realize that it probably is. I don't fit places. I don't know why. I know I have issues with authority type folks, so maybe that's why going to these websites doesn't work out for me. I've tried to reach out to others individually but have found that i'm way too clingy most times. Anyone who's willing to listen to me tends to get way more than they can really deal with and tend to disappear. I don't blame them. I don't know how to pace myself. I get so excited that someone is listening that I tend to spill it all all at once. I also tend to forget that ppl have lives of their own and I get frustrated when ppl aren't where I want them to be at the time.

I created a blog in hopes of having a place where I make the rules and set the stage. I thought it would help me to get stuff out there in my own way. But it's lonely in this corner too. I've been absolutely shocked at how few of my friends have shown ANY interest in reading what I have to say. I thought it was a given that ppl who cared about me would be interested. Maybe I've scared them away. I scare a lot of ppl away.

This isn't meant to be a guilt trip. Obviously if you're reading this you aren't one of the ppl I'm talking to. I just genuinely don't understand why I struggle so much to be anywhere. I don't mean to be scary, and I don't mean to cause trouble. I do my very best to care about my friends. And yet when I invite ppl to read a bit into my life I'm met with silence. I didn't even scare them away with the details. Apparently I scared them away up front.

I sometimes feel like ppl care about me because they think they have to. Like they think i'm so pitiful that they give me just enough that they know they're not leaving the poor piece of nothingness entirely alone. This feels like one of those times. I know this will all sound like whining. I know I can't make ppl care. I totally understand ppl getting totally flipped out with the details of what i've been through. But why do they get scared away by the surface? What am I doing wrong? :( Why can't I have the friendships I see from so many others in the world.

I think i'm asking too much. I think I'm just too broken. I think I'm so broken that my brokenness is seeping out my ears and keeping ppl away before they even have a chance.

Sorry for whining.

Update from yesterday

I don't think many ppl are reading least not anyone that I don't talk to regularly anyway. But in case anyone is wondering, yesterday/last night basically went from bad to worse. Some stuff brought up some major stress and panic for me. I ended up getting sick a lot, which is how my body deals with that level of stress. I threw up a lot and then just sat and cried. I remember feeling like I really, really needed to cut. Sometimes that's the only thing that can make it better. I don't really remember cutting. Well only a bit. The next thing I remember clearly is lots of blood. It was pretty bad. Definitely the worst in a while. But I don't remember feeling it. I don't remember it helping. I remember "coming back" later and really terrified. Thankfully a friend was there to talk me through it. I stayed pretty sick for the rest of the evening/night. This morning was a struggle but I made it to work and I'm starting to do a bit better. I guess this just has to be an accepted part of my life right now...that sometimes, out of the blue, I just can't function anymore. I only vaguely know what triggered it. Those are the worst...going from ok to horrible so fast...Anyway I'm ok for now, just back to sort of afraid to move and potentially trigger myself again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not good

Things are really, really not good for me right now. Can't say much more without sounding really stupid and whiney. So that's all for now. Just trying to hold on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My two lives...

I was going to title this "living as two people" or something like that, but that sounds like DID (dissociative identity disorder) related stuff which is not what this is about. Instead it's about the fact that I have an inner me and an outer me.

I've had some good days lately. Some things are going very well. I've started back to work a couple of days/week right now and it's going well. My job is awesome and I'm good at it. I'm working with kids, which surprises some people when they know my past, but I connect very, very well with little ones. MUCH better than I do with adults. I'm working at a summer camp. Today I taught a 7-year-old to ride a bike. He was bummed when the other kids in his group took of riding without him, and just kept saying how bad he was at biking. But after working w/me for a while he got really in to it, and by the end of the day was very upset that we had to put the bikes away.

When I'm at work, or often just generally out in the world, a different self comes out. No matter how messed up everything else is, I walk in, smile, say hi to coworkers and the kids, and proceed to have a great time with the kids. I get very, very actively involved (truly enjoy playing w/them) and get to care about them very much. (I still think about and genuinely miss campers and kids i've worked with from many years ago). The point i'm trying to make is that it's not fake. It doesn't feel forced or contrived or anything like that. But then after the moment is over, and i'm back's like i'm sitting there wondering what the heck that all was. It actually frustrates me at times...friends will call and ask me how I am and I say "great, how are you?" Obviously, if you read my blog at all you know my life is not great right now. But I'm not trying to lie purposely. I'm not trying to hide anything. I want them to know. While I'm saying that i'm great i hear a voice inside of me screaming "I'm not ok!! Help me!! I'm not ok!! I'm drowning here!"

I don't know if this is denial or what it is. I was taught from a very early age to put on a brave face and not let anyone know how bad I was hurting. Maybe I've gotten too good at it? I like that I am able to function very well in the outside world, but I hate the feeling like I'm living a lie. I also hate the idea that when I'm not 100% distracted i'm back in the bad place. For example, work goes so well, but as soon as it's over my mind races back to the flashbacks, the pain, body memories, etc. All of it, like I never left. It's kind of bizarre really how quickly I can switch. I used to just keep myself distracted all the time, but I realized that that is a very exhausting, unhealthy way to live. I'm trying to find the balance now but it's hard because it's all in or all out. The highs are high, and the lows are low.

There is one bit of good news in all of this (besides that my job is going well again). I talked to a therapist last night. It was an intake worker person, but she was a therapist. Honestly the place really pissed me off because they require a phone interview, then a 1.5 hour intake interview with two different therapists (apparently one to ask questions and one to write...yikes), and then after that you can be matched with a therapist who will likely be different from the three you've already met. So how's that for crazy? I'm terrified to talk to one therapist and yet i'm venturing in to potentially talking to 4! I almost backed out on the spot when they told me all this but this place has been highly recommended to me and they offer a "real" sliding scale (as in, actually affordable...not sliding down to a rate still WELL above my means, which seems to be what the other places offer. It's been surprisingly hard to explain that my stress issues will not be resolved if I'm going broke in the process.

Anyway, this woman called, and I was very impressed with myself. I talked to her, and I was real. I hate that word used like that, but it's true. I was a total bitch to the woman, which I should probably feel guilty about, but that's the way I feel about therapists. My past therapy experiences have left me entirely jaded, then add to it that these are total strangers asking me deeply personal questions and getting irritated with me for not wanting to answer. Yeah, they piss me off. A lot. So maybe I should've felt bad for being a bitch, but they should know what they're getting themselves in to. The woman I spoke to claimed that the whole idea behind all this intake craziness is that they can find the right person to match you with. So....who wants the bitch?! lol

I'm scheduled to go for the in person intake next wednesday. We'll see how I'm feeling by then.

Oh, and in some somewhat but not really related news...I had a softball game last night and I kicked ass! Made an (according to my teammates) "web gem worthy" play in the field and and got on base and scored twice. Yay! That was another one of the good exciting things that outer me has done lately. My team won 11-10 in extra innings so it was super close and exciting. Just had to brag. Now you can congratulate me. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just a little less than human...

That's how I'm feeling right now.

Sorry for all the negativity lately. That definitely wasn't my goal in starting a blog, though it seems to be the way things are going right now. I'm still pretty well devastated by the yesterday post stuff, though I can't figure out why it upsets me so much now. It's not a new memory or anything. Just seeing it in a new and rather creepy way.

Now I can't seem to stop reliving it. I hate it. Every time I see it in my head I start to feel a little less human. I never was treated as a human growing up, so that shouldn't surprise me. I just always want to pretend that there was love there. That I was a lovable child with "real" parents. The more I'm "forced" to revisit this stuff, the less I can hold on to that belief.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh. My. God.

For years now i've had this memory, or flashback, or something. I don't know what to call it. I'd hear this screaming in my head. This horribly pained, desperate screaming for mommy. I assumed it was my little wanting attention. I'd get so angry with her. I'd yell at her that we don't have a mommy and then I'd feel like shit.

Something I was reading got me thinking about when I was young and my mom would hold me down while my dad beat me with a belt. It's not a new memory, it's always been there, and I've always felt a lot of anger and hatred towards my mom for this. Anyway, it was on my mind and I couldn't think of anything else. I let the memory play out in detail and I remembered looking up at my mom. The way she held me put us face to face (why i hate her for it even though my dad was doing the beating). I'd look at her face and look for any signs of love or compassion....any little apologetic look. Never happened. As I let the memory play through, the screams started. The exact screams I've heard in my head for so long. Begging my mom to stop the beating.

This is huge. I'm not sure why it's huge but it's huge. I was driving when this all came to me. I had to pull over bc my body went limp. I still feel weak. I just don't know what to do with the fact that the voice I so often hear screaming is my own.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Something for me

Ok trying one more time to write this (see post below) as apparently it really wants to come out and body feeling really unsettled with not having to keep it alone. So...take 2!


Last night I did something for me. Just for me. For my healing. I know that sounds selfish to "brag" about, but that's something I always struggle to do. I'm much better at looking out for others than truly caring about me.

So...I called a hotline. I've been in the process of looking for therapy for a while now. Unfortunately the process of finding the right person at a price I can afford without getting totally overwhelmed has been nearly impossible. I finally found someone that was willing to help...a group that connected me with a social worker who very convincingly said she was researching it all for me...then she suddenly added on that she was going out of town and wouldn't be back until 6/25. Nice. I'm the type of person that if it doesn't happen now it won't happen. If I wait till then I will have talked myself out of it. Not to mention this stuff is pretty urgent. I told this social worker it was urgent and she told me to call the hotline.

The hotline lady was nuts, but at least I called. I told her my situation and she gave me a couple of numbers to call. Oh, and she wasn't really nuts. It's more that I've gone so far off the deep end that normal people confuse me entirely. I talked to her a bit about some of the "anxiety" i'm experiencing that is causing me to look for help. (It really is anxiety...and that's all I felt like telling her for details.) She was unbelievably bubbly and annoying but then suddenly got all serious and concerned sounding. She said "oh it bad enough you're thinking of hurting yourself?" I replied, "Not killing myself!" The last time I called a hotline I ended up with ambulances at my door bc I mentioned that I'd considered killing myself. I do consider it. Often. And I decide against it and don't consider myself dangerous or suicidal or any of that. But I learned to be very careful with answering such questions. "But what about hurting yourself?" she asked again. I laughed. "Oh I do that all the time!" Ok I don't think I was quite that obnoxious about it, but I'd forgotten that to the normal world, cutting oneself is not that comment and is possibly considered rather frightening. The poor woman was beside herself, but tried to keep talkin to me about other stuff. She kept telling me how brave I was to call (which annoyed the fuck outta me) and I said that it was only because I'd bought new toys and wouldn't let myself use them after I'd made a phone call to help myself. She got back to the super seriousness and said " to hurt yourself with." Ummmm what??!! I guess the average adult doesn't talk about things they buy as toys. I refer to any fun thing I buy as a toy. These particular toys were seeds and a new planter for my garden...cus i'm a garden geek and this makes me very happy.

Anyway...she gave me two numbers and I called them both. It was late at night so I knew I wouldn't have to talk to a real person, which helped. Both places called me back this morning when I didn't have my phone on me. I called them back and had to leave messages again. Finally just got a call back from one of them. I'm quickly deciding that I despise all ppl in the mental health profession (no offense to folks out just all sounds so fake and so obnoxious that they ask all these personal questions when i've only just met them. I get that it's for their job and meant to help and all that, but it irritates the crap outta me. After all these woman's "I see..." and "thank you for sharing..." crap when she got to the "were you abused as a child" question I answered, "nothing major." Ha. Ha ha. If only! I'm pissed at myself for answering that way but I just don't want to have that "out there" just yet. It doesn't matter too much as even this place's sliding scale is really way more than i'd wanted to pay. We'll see what happens w/the other place.

After making the calls last night I had more to get out so I wrote a letter to a future therapist about what I'm looking/hoping for. I'll share it here in case you're interested/bored.

To whom it may concern:

I'm writing this to express what I'm looking for in a therapist/counselor so i can express it before I'm too stressed to do so.

First, know that I hate absolutely everything about therapy. i don't want to pay someone to talk to me. I don't like to talk period. It all feels fake to me. That said, I'm desperate. What I've been doing isn't working so I'm willing to try anything. I'll try not to take my anger/frustration out on you but I might. Don't be easily offended. If you are easily offended, you're probably not the right person for me.

Next, I don't trust people. It is very rare for me to trust anyone. My only prior experience with therapy was a very, very bad one. I let myself trust her and was let down in a big way. That was 5 years ago and I still can't walk in to a therapist's office without feeling physically sick. Understand that that makes this a HUGE step for me to be trying again. Also, if there's any chance you'd be willing to meet in a non-office setting it would be a million times better for me.

Next, I'm not good at speaking out loud. However, I love to write (hence this letter). Give me a chance to express myself through writing and you'll get a lot more out of me. Expect me to talk a lot right away and I'll likely shut down entirely.

Finally, for all the reasons mentioned above, I'll look for any and every excuse in the book not to do this. I'll look like I don't care. Trust me, I do. I need someone who will believe in me because I'm pretty sure I don't believe in myself or believe I can be successful. I struggl eto believe it can get better, which makes it very hard to keep trying. I need someone who is very patient with me but also willing to execute a bit of "tough love": someone who will hold me accountable and not let me give up.

If you've read all this and believe you're the right person for me, then let's talk. If not, please tell me now so i can find someone else. I can't let myself be hurt again by having a bad match and having it fall apart again.



I then added a very dorky PS. "PS Though I'll never admit it, I'm secretly jealous of the little kids who get to play with clay, paint pictures, etc. during therapy. When my hands are busy doing something (especially something fun), I'm much less likely to get overly stressed out and panic. Though, just to be clear, I absolutely DO NOT want to be treated as or talked to as a child. That for sure won't go over well."

I doubt I'll actually give this letter to anyone. I kind of hate it. It makes me sound like a total bitch.

The thing is, I just never know how I'll react. In situations like this I generally:

1. Get way overly happy and jokey....turn all the serious questions in to jokes in the hopes of making ppl laugh and distracting from the real stuff.
2. Shut down entirely. Refuse to talk or move. This is how I dealt with counseling when I had to go as a teen. Usually what happens after the joking doesn't work.
3. Overly emotional mess. Ask me how I am and I start bawling my eyes out. A personal favorite of mine as I find it very entertaining. Well, I find all of these 3 very entertaining honestly. Because I'm still manipulative like that. Guess that shows why I need help. :P
4. Angry bitch. See letter above. My angry side hardly ever comes out face to face. I've squashed it down pretty well after doing some really bad things in my past. However those that know me well online have likely seen it. It's "easier" for me to let the anger out when I don't have to actually see my target. And when I know I can't cause physical harm (not that that makes it ok). The angry bitch stuff is usually hiding under the surface under all this crap.
5. The real me, ready to talk openly. Ha ha. Yeah right. Don't think so.
6. When all else fails...LIE! I had thought I was mostly over this one. My talk with the intake lady showed me better.

I know this is all coping mechanism, manipulative crap, and yet i'm not sure i'm ready to put the letter out there and admit it. I've always thought that maybe I need this stuff in order to get used to someone, and that any therapist worth their salt should be able to figure it out. Sending the letter feels like putting way too much out there too quick. Or maybe it's that I know the letter is self-sabotaging my ability to manipulate, and that pisses me off!

Damn I confuse myself sometimes!

I just wrote the world's longest, most heartfelt post I have ever written and the evil fucking library computer deleted ALL OF IT! The blogger thing said it was auto-saving all the way through but now it's gone gone gone. Damn damn damn. This is killing me. And now I only have 8 minutes left in my time and who knows if I can get more time. So pissed right now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So much to say, so little time!

I've had soooo much going on to blog about in the last few days, but unfortunately my computer is being eaten away by a nasty virus. I rely on my computer for EVERYTHING (connection w/ppl, scheduling, all my important info, pictures, etc.) so this is really, really not good! And I just miss having my outlet. My brain is full! lol

I'm at the library now. I have 10 min. till my session runs out so I don't have a lot of time to say much. But I'll try to do a quick update.

Things between my mom and me are getting better. We had a rough patch after I had a flashback that really threw me for a loop. It got me so flipped out that I actually lost my ability to speak for a while. My mom and i came up with a very cool plan where we're now reading Harry Potter together.

K cue up the I was attempting to explain to her (in writing since I couldn't speak it) about what a flashback is like. For me, a flashback generally starts with seeing/feeling/hearing/etc the bad ppl at a distance and if I can't fight them successfully they get closer and closer until i'm fully back in the moment. I told her I genuinely didn't know how she could help get them away. my mom (gotta love her) said that maybe it could be like Harry Potter, that a mom's love keeps all the evil away, even evil you don't quite understand. So my turn to be corny, I asked her if she'd be my "Harry Potter mom" Hahahaha It worked though bc we both chuckled and i was able to look at her w/out bein scared for the first time since the flashback. So we decided it'd be fun to read Harry Potter...because it's something we can actively do together but isn't stressful for either of us. Keeps us from just sitting there frustrated with each other! :P And keeps my mind off the bad stuff. Oooh and it is really helping me find my voice again since i've been struggling so much with speaking out loud. It's like I get to practice speaking, but the words are there provided for me.

This probably is going to sound strange to just about everyone, but it works for me!

Other than that, the next big thing going on is that we've got some big decisions to make. My moving in here was never meant to be a permanent thing. It wasn't meant to be moving in at all. Mom had planned to get me in safe for the night to help me detox and then ship me back out on my way. we both got A LOT more than we bargained for! the thing is, as i've let myself get close to her my healing has regressed. A lot. i don't think it's true regression though. i think it's more that i've reached a safe enough point that what i've been keeping deep down and buried is now coming to the surface. I've always been independent because I've had to be. But I've always had a great deal of pain hidden under the surface. I've known I wasn't truly healed, though my life on the outside seemed to show me as happy, successful, etc.

This breakdown occured because i tried to do too much on my own. All in a very short time i had terrifying new memories come back, i moved back to my hometown where it all happened, i started a new job, and i ended up living in my car because my housing fell through. I got afraid to ask for help because I thought that asking for help would be admitting that I couldn't handle it. That was a mistake that I realize now.

soooo...I could take this knowledge and find a place to live and go back to my job, knowing that i can't do it ALL alone. Or I could spend the summer living w/my family again (foster family...I consider them my family so calling them foster is unnecessary to me, but just want it to be very clear i'm not considering going back to evil bios!) and working through all this stuff with my mom. When i'm around my mom i become a much different person. I become much younger, much more dependent, and much more needy. I don't know if this reaction means that it is something I need to do in order to heal, or if being around my mom just makes me less willing to fight/heal. I'm guessing it's the first. I think i am healing, though it's strange and different. For example, lately I've been in a place where I'm not trustworthy to be alone. I need someone around me 24/7 just to make sure i take care of myself. But maybe without someone there 24/7, i'd get it figured out.

Anyway, mom is a teacher so for the most part she has the summer off. I have an amazing job set up for this summer that i worked very hard to get, but the truth of it is that i'm not sure if i'm in the right place to do it. So maybe this is meant to be...this time with both my mom and i free, and me having nowhere else to be anyway. But both my mom and i are not sure how much time we really want to commit to this. It has been a full time gig for the last week and a half for sure!

Wow...good thing for time extension at the library...i had a lot to say! :) I have a lot more to say but that'll do it for now. Hopefully this makes sense...i'm still writin in a rush. hoping for a fixed computer and calmer entries soon! :-D

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The legal gets personal (part 2)

This is a continuation of the part one post below. Please read that first so you know where I'm coming from. This was meant to all be a rant/discussion about the legal system and court cases, but this one gets a bit more personal. Ok a lot more personal. I'm questioning if I should even put it out there, but I feel it's an issue that needs to be discussed somewhere. Might as well be here.


On a somewhat related topic…the next issue that gets to me…

How much of a person’s bad decisions can be excused by past abuse? I don’t have a good answer for this one. On the one hand, when someone hurts someone else, especially in these severe/extreme cases, I believe that nothing should excuse it. An abusive past might be the reason for it, but their sentence shouldn’t be any less because of it. Millions of people are abused as children and would never dream of doing something like that as an adult. On the other hand, kids who grow up with abuse often struggle to learn anything different. It’s called the cycle of abuse for a reason.

There’s many cases out there of kids who have been abused being placed in foster homes where they end up acting out their abuse on their siblings. (I’m sure this happens in biological families as well, I personally just haven’t heard about it as much). This acting out can be physical or sexual, but of course it is the sexual abuse that gets the most notice. When a young child sexually abuses another, it is in my experience generally looked at as sad and unfortunate for both children. The perpetrator is looked at as a tragic victim of circumstance. After all, where could an innocent child have learned such a terrible behavior?

Now repeat that scenario again, but this time the perpetrator is a teenager. Now it gets trickier. S/he no longer looks like an adorable innocent child. S/he is now an attacker, an abuser. Maybe. Maybe not. Should that child/teenager be sent to jail? Or sent to treatment? Are they still a victim? Does it matter? What is the right way to handle a child like this? After all, they are legally still a child. And the fact that they must have learned the behavior somewhere still holds true. Somewhere along the line, something happened to them to cause them to hurt another.

Then you have the adults in trials like Casey Anthony’s. Again I don’t know the story there, but I know there has been a lot of discussion about blaming a past of abuse for inappropriate actions. I believe that adult abusers of children should be punished. I would love nothing more than to see my abusers be severely punished for what they did to me. (It’s one of the few situations where I find an eye for an eye to be fitting!) It doesn’t matter to me that they were more than likely abused as children. They were the ones meant to raise me, love me, and protect me. I was an innocent child. They should be punished.

But I can’t draw a line of where I think blaming the past is appropriate. In a sense, it’s always appropriate. Growing up in abuse makes people do sick things, whether it’s hurting others, hurting themselves, turning to drugs and alcohol, unhealthy relationships, etc. And it may just be that a bad past is to blame for those decisions. What becomes not appropriate is claiming that punishment should be lessened or non-existent due to past experience. It’s also NEVER appropriate to stop trying to heal from the past. It is never ok to sit back and say “not my fault, I was abused.”

The grey area comes in the form of those people who are working to heal but slip. If an alcoholic relapses we generally give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re willing to work with them to find their way back to sobriety. But if that hurt child, now an adult, reacts to a situation in anger and physically hurts someone…is that not a similar type of slip? Yes one involves hurting other people while the other does not, but in many ways they are fundamentally the same.

The thing is, I have a different perspective than most on all of this. I hope to some day have the courage to tell my story, but for now suffice it to say that I was a bully. Starting in elementary school, I was the child that everyone feared. I grew more physical as I grew older. I wasn’t looking to hurt anyone, but I came from a house where pain and abuse were the norm. I knew that the best protection for my scared little self was to be feared. If they feared me, they wouldn’t try to hurt me.

I also believed that I was standing up for myself, and for those around me, when I got in fights. Sometimes maybe I was. But when I got older and my anger increased, I’d fight someone just for looking at me funny. In time I targeted others and did things I’m not yet ready to speak of. I was in my teens.

I by no means excuse myself for what I did. I blame my past in the sense that it was that pain that left me with no other knowledge of how to deal with my peers. It was the abuse that was done to me that left me afraid of everyone and believing that I needed to acquire power in order to survive. And I’m not speaking in hyperbole here…in my head it was truly a matter of life and death.

I hold a great deal of guilt for the ppl I hurt. It’s a guilt that eats away at me, and leaves me feeling like less than human. However I also know that there is much good inside of me. I no longer hurt others. It has been many years since I have. These days, I feel guilty if I squash a bug. Heck these days I apparently feel sad if a weed dies (see last post :P). I have worked with kids and I know I have helped them. Today I work to protect others in a healthy way…especially kids.

I remember specific decision points in my life. These were points where I was literally deciding between becoming healthier or becoming like my parents. It may sound strange to those who have not been there, but it was never an easy choice to make. It wasn’t that I wanted to hurt anyone. Instead it was a matter of fighting against those deep down urges and desires to cause pain to others. And the worst part of it was, there was nowhere to get help. If I tried to voice the thoughts in my head I was told to keep them to myself. Or I was punished for them. Or I was told that if I didn’t stop thinking that way I’d be locked up.

It is my belief that society lacks any sort of realistic system for helping rehabilitate abusers and possible future abusers. I hear often that abusers are a different breed; that there is no helping them and they will never change. And as much as I may want to feel that way about the people who hurt me, I know in my heart that it’s just not true. I see myself in my abusers, and in others I read about. We reached the same decision point. They took one fork, I took the other. But we’re not all that different, really.

A bit about the legal system... (part 1)

So the Casey Anthony trial is going on. Heard of it? Haha. It seems like everyone and their mother is following this thing! I’m not, but that doesn’t stop me from having some definite opinions on what I’m hearing coming out of it.

The Elizabeth Smart trial just wrapped up. It didn’t seem to be followed quite so much but I think it’s an important one. Ms. Smart was unbelievably brave in facing her attackers in court on a very public stage. I was glad to see them brought to justice.

Both of these trials have brought up some major issues in my mind. The biggest of which is the idea of being not guilty due to insanity. Wtf? I mean come on…you kidnap a young child, hold her captive in the woods and rape her repeatedly…how could you be anything BUT insane??!! Same with killing a child (disclaimer, I know nothing about the Casey Anthony trial and at this point don’t want to. Just sayin.). Or killing an adult for that matter! SANE PEOPLE DON’T KILL PEOPLE! Period. End of story. Yes there’s accidents and self defense, but go with me here. If you find a need to kill or seriously harm someone, I don’t see how you can be in your right mind.

I remember watching the news coverage for the Smart trial. The reporter listed all of the horrible things that Smart’s attacker was known to have done to her. Then she followed it up with, “But the big question now is, is he insane?”

I screamed at the TV, “YES! Of course he’s insane! He’s sick and twisted and evil and insane and needs to be locked away forever!!” Then I listened to more of the coverage and realized that Elizabeth Smart and her lawyers were having to argue that Brian David Mitchell, her attacker, was not insane in order to get him put in prison. How’s that for a paradox? Looking at your rapist and not only saying but having to convince others that yes, he’s in his right mind.

I understand that the legal definition of insanity is different from what I am using here. I still don’t think it matters. If you’re interested, here’s the legal definition:

I stand by my original statement. Sane people don’t kill people. Sane people don’t sexually abuse people. Can a person who does these things really, truly know right from wrong? They know it’s wrong in the sense that they hide it, but if they understood how completely and utterly wrong it is, how could they do it? Maybe they are just that evil. It’s possible, but I don’t buy it. I don’t believe that anyone is born evil, so something, somewhere along the line must’ve twisted their thinking. I don’t believe AT ALL that that should excuse ANY PART of what they did but for whatever reason I do believe they’re insane.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


So apparently I'm now triggered by basically everything. No exaggeration. I went to get gas today. Looked at the gas tank opening. The gas pump. Yeah. My mind went to bad places. No I'm not kidding. I wish I was. But really, I couldn't make this stuff up!

I used to pride myself in not being easily triggered. I could watch most movies, hear stories from other people, etc. and keep it seperate from my own stuff and have it not bother me. Not so much anymore. Now everything gets me. Sitting for too long, sitting in different positions, laying down, sounds, random images, etc. etc. I've had to walk out of the room in the midst of conversations bc something is going on in my head.

My emotions have gone haywire too. I was out w/my mom and we drove past a controlled burn brush fire. I started crying. My mom asked me what was wrong. I said, "There's a fire." She reminded me of the obvious that it was someone's controlled burn...not a house on fire or anything like that.

My reply? Still in tears..."Yeah but everything is burning up and then it won't be there anymore."

Because clearly, weeds and brush not being there anymore is a cry-worthy tragedy.