Friday, December 27, 2013

2 Years!

So this is why I was never any good at blogging.  I've started multiple posts, gotten about half way through and then gotten distracted and forgot to finish them.  Hmph.  Maybe I will at some point, but for now there's big news to be celebrated! :)

Anyone noticed that lil sobriety counter on the side of this site?  Today it reads 735 days!  Holy crap!  That's a lot of days!  After not coming to the site for a while and then returning to it I was shocked to see that I was in the 700's.  For someone who truly didn't believe that I could go a day without a drink to numb the pain I was in, the fact that I've gone more than 700 days without a drink and am still doing ok (actually doing pretty well) is beyond incredible.  It's unbelievable.  It makes me believe in miracles, because I can't explain it any other way.  My higher power gave me a way out, and for that I am so, so grateful.  

So, for those that don't have their calculators handy, 735 days is just a little over 2 years.  On 12/24, Christmas Eve, I had my official 2 year birthday.  I know some people get confused when I call it my birthday, but I've never liked celebrating the day I was born.  But the day I entered in to recovery feels like the day I truly entered life for the first time.  Though I had no idea what I was getting in to at the time, it was the start of an incredible journey.  It was the start of truly living rather than running and hiding.  It was the start of being able to feel things, good and bad, without falling apart or needing to instantly numb it.  It was the start of having real, genuine friends.  I could go on and on.  I got to chair the meeting on my birthday, and the topic I gave was on gifts we've gotten from sobriety (since it is the holiday season after all).  We all agreed that we could talk for hours on all the gifts.  Where I am now would've been beyond my wildest dreams when I started this deal.  When I came in, all I wanted was to not be completely miserable.  I would've never dreamed that I could be truly happy.  The problems I have now are nothing compared to back then.  

But the funny thing is, the circumstances of my life haven't changed all that much.  Yes I have way more friends now, and I have a place to turn to for support, but mostly it's been a matter of learning new perspective and coping skills for the life I already have.  I'm learning to find happiness from within, rather than from outside circumstances beyond my control.  I have a connection to the world around me that I've never had before, as well as a connection to the spiritual world that I always sought in one way or another but could never grasp.  I used to think I had nothing to be grateful for, but now as ya'll know I can write a gratitude list a mile long.  

I will say it's been a tough year.  A lot of work went in to this.  I think the first year was all about just learning how to function again.  This year has been much more about getting to know myself, and it hasn't always been pretty.  But the amazing thing is that now when I deal with something, I'm actually dealing and not just burying it away.  That means that once it's gone it's actually gone.  It's unbelievably painful at times, but now I have hope, and faith, and I know the pain will pass.  I'm excited to see what the next year will bring, especially because the holidays are finally done, so hopefully my brain will start returning to normal again.

(I try to like the holidays...really I do.  But they bring up a lot of old shit for me, which brings up a lot of my old bad habits of being terrified everyone is going to abandon me and that no one really likes me and yada yada.  But hopefully moving past that now! lol)

In honor of my new found ability to feel I leave you with this clip from The Grinch, which I happened to watch on Christmas.  I hadn't seen the movie in a long while and had forgotten this scene....so when I saw it this time I about fell off the couch I was laughing so hard!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8J-YmVs1j0   

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I want to be hurt today

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I'm not looking for someone to hurt me!  What I mean is, lots of days I'm strong.  Lots of days I'm happy.  Lots of days I'm looking forward towards the future.  Lots of days I'm thinking positively.  I used to spend every day being sad, angry, hurt, and scared.  Most of the time now, those take a back seat.

But I want to be hurt today.  I'm tired.  My positive energy is faltering.  I'm starting to learn that I can still be overall positive about life and still have days where I hurt.  That's a struggle for me because I feel like if I admit I hurt I'll lose all the positive progress I've made.  But when I look back at when I first started this blog I'm clearly not the same person as I was then!  (That's a part of what made me want to start writing again...it's amazing to see the difference!).  Anyway...I feel like I have to justify feeling hurt.  When I start to say anything negative I want to follow it up with lots of "buts."  But I know I'm very blessed today.  But I know things are better now, and will continue to get better.  But I know I can help someone else.  Maybe when I used to be negative all the time I needed those buts.  But (haha) today I want to be hurt and have that be ok.  Most of my friends are supportive of me when I'm hurting...some take the tough love a little too far.  The tough love is what I needed so badly early on, but now I need to figure out how to let myself grieve and be sad.

I was hurt bad as a kid.  I went through a lot of pain.  Yes it happened many years ago, but that doesn't really matter.  It was far more than physical pain.  I lost my parents.  I lost my childhood.  I lost my ability to trust.  I lost my freedom..my chance to be care free.  I have memories of being surrounded and hurt by a group of people, completely unable to move.  That's something that doesn't go away.  It's just...pain.  I wish I had more words for it.  It's just that complete loss of control....in that moment absolutely everything was taken from me.  My body...my dignity...my humanity.  I'm so proud of myself for how far I've come, but I hate what my little self had to go through.  I hate that I know what it feels like to go through those times when everything is taken.

I went out for a beautiful dinner tonight with some of my favorite people in the world for my sponsor's sobriety birthday (16 years!  Damn!).  I was in quite a mood the whole time...I got to see some people I hadn't seen in a long time and my smart ass was goin full bore!  I had everyone cracking up and it was super fun.  It's funny to me that at the same time I can hurt so much.  It's not a coping mechanism.  It used to be to some extent.  If I could keep people laughing they wouldn't see I was hurting...  Really it's probably a lot of what kept me sane.  Even at my worst I've always been able to laugh.  Tonight was genuine and fun.  I love being able to give that to others.  My sponsor told me yesterday that I was on her gratitude list...(i'd written on her bday card that I was grateful for her, and I so am, but it still amazes me that she's grateful for me).  Anyway, she'd written that I'm "delightful".  I love that word!  I've definitely never been described that way before!  She said she loves my happy and child-like energy and how I make things fun and make her laugh.  This is coming from a woman who knows more about me than practically anyone else alive...and definitely more than anyone else in my face to face life!  I know I'm not an easy person for her to work with...my moods are crazy at times and I've had some big mental health stuff go on while I've been working with her...combined with the obvious PTSD, flashbacks, extreme emotions related to that, etc.  A lot of people (including my first sponsor) wouldn't be able to handle that.  But she sticks with me through all of it and is still able to call me delightful!  It gives me hope that maybe the good inside me really is starting to outweigh the bad.  I also loved that she had it actually written down on her gratitude list.  No matter how much time I spend around a person, my immediate reaction when they say something nice about me is that they're saying it out of pity or out of obligation or something.  But she'd written that as part of a list of lots of stuff way earlier in the day, so it must be true. :)

Wow I really did start out planning to write about how much I hurt today and how I want to just be hurt, and I STILL end up writing about happy things! lol  I feel better just acknowledging that the hurt is there though.  And it is helping with my theory that I can be positive overall about life and still have parts of me that hurt like hell.

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This post has a lot of gratitude in it already, but I want to get back in the habit of ending my posts with something I'm grateful for.  Today is easy...I'm grateful for my sponsor and that I was lucky enough to find her...for the wonderful friends I've made in the last couple of years, my sense of humor and ability to laugh, and the fact that the bad days are the odd and unusual ones right now since most of my days are good.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A beautiful thing

Well I guess this is why I suck at blogging.  I wrote a big long post the other day but didn't have time to finish it.  Then I totally forgot about it.  I don't have the energy right now to finish it but came across something else I wanted to share.

http://distractify.com/people/bikers/

It may be just that it's the middle of the night but this had me crying big time.  And I'm soooo not normally a crier for this kind of stuff!  I would've loved to have someone like this when I was a kid!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happiness


Hi everyone!  Long time no blog eh?  But I'm back.  I've been wanting to say this for a long time so I figured this would be a good place to start.  It fits with the theme of thankfulness and this time of year as well.
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I grew up in a pretty ugly place.  I’m not about to say it was the worst anyone’s ever experienced.  I’m sure there’s way worse stories out there.  But I could give many rough childhood stories a run for their money.  In fact, last year I tried going to a support group that was said to focus on the kind of abuse I endured, and was shocked by how different my story was from all the others.  I remember one woman struggling so hard to finally be able to tell the big thing that happened to her.  I had to hide my shock when her “big thing” was barely more than a typical, decent day for me.  I realized then how different I was.

But something else amazing happened in that support group.  At the end of the session everyone was asked to say something good that had happened to them during the week.  My immediate thought was, “Wow it’s so hard to choose!”  I finally settled on telling one funny one and one more serious one.  As it turned out, I was the only one who could readily come up with an answer to the question.  One woman couldn’t at all, and said there was nothing.  I reminded her of my ridiculous funny story (I was very proud of the fact that I hadn’t introduced myself as an alcoholic when starting my new classes….a new fear of mine after saying “I’m River and I’m an alcoholic” at so many AA meetings!), and how she must have at least something like that.  She laughed and thought again and came up with something that was actually really awesome.

What I learned that day, besides that that support group was not the right place for me, was that happiness isn’t based on circumstance.  True happiness can’t be.  I have a wonderful friend that I care very much about.  She is the queen of the “If I could just…” and “If I only had...” attempts at happiness.  “If work wasn’t so stressful I’d be happy.”  “If I could just have a bit more financial security I’d be happy.”  “If people were nicer to me I’d be happy.”  It sounds nice, but it will never work.  Those things all help, but they’re not what bring true happiness.  We’d all like a bit more financial security, but we get a bit more money and we start wanting a bit more stuff.  We get a bit more stuff and then we want the other nice stuff that the neighbors have and we can’t be happy until we get that.  Or if we depend on others to provide our happiness, what happens when someone says something mean?  If I depend on my friends saying good things about me for me to be happy, do I lose my happiness when one is having a bad day and blows me off or snaps at me?  What if I can’t get a hold of one of them for reassurance?  There’s no “just a little more” that can ever be enough. 

I wasn’t any better than anyone in that support group.  I didn’t have any better circumstances.  What I did have is a whole lot of practice finding the good already in my life and inside of me.  This was the kind of good that runs deep, not that’s fleeting depending on day-to-day circumstances.  It took me a long time to find that good.

Just a little over 2 years ago I was locked in the psych hospital having tried to kill myself.  I saw no good in the world then.  None.  I relied on others to make me feel like there was good around me and in me, but I had isolated myself so much I wasn’t able to see that they cared.  When I stopped being able to enjoy the activities I once had, I lost sight of anything good at all.  I’d tried very hard to be happy, but I’d followed the superficial clich├ęs that had only built up my misery inside.  I was chasing the impossible.  I seemed happy on the outside.  No one knew that when I went home at the end of the workday I fell apart completely.

Fast forward to today, I consider myself one of the happiest people I know.  That’s a big change in just 2 years!  It started by learning true gratitude.  I had to learn that true gratitude wasn’t, “well yeah I have that but everything else still sucks!”  I had to let go of the notion that the world owed me anything extra because of the pain I had endured, and start appreciating what I already had.  I remember one particular day when this finally clicked.

I was totally exhausted and super stressed from trying to keep up with school and taking care of my mental health while barely being able to sleep at all.  I was on my way across campus to take a test that I was definitely not ready for.  I arrived a few minutes early, and rather than race to study a bit extra I decided to lay down in the grass instead.  I closed my eyes and felt the sunshine on my face.  And it felt incredible.  The grass was soft, the sun was warm, and in that moment I had everything I wanted and needed.  I wished it could stay like that forever.  But that got me thinking.  All I’d needed was grass and sun.  There’s a lot of grass and sun in the world.  Suddenly I went from being able to list basically nothing I was grateful for to having a giant list.  I’d always loved sunrises and sunsets, but I began to even more.  Just think, no matter what else happens in a given day or night, there is always an unbelievably beautiful gift waiting at the end of it…no strings attached, no fee required.  I’m lucky enough to live somewhere where there’s mountains, and I see incredible views every day.  I’m pretty sure those mountains have been around a lot longer than I have, but it wasn’t until this revelation that I began to truly see them.  Before they had just been a backdrop to my stressful, challenging, impossibly difficult life.  Now they were a thing of absolute beauty and I wondered how I could’ve missed them.  And it wasn’t just nature.  Even the city and its skyscrapers had a picturesque quality about them. 

I began to see that in all those times that I had spent so many years complaining about, there had been people around who had done all they could to care for me.  They were the reason I’d been able to survive.  I began to recognize all the people that I was pushing away, who were willing to keep coming back where I don’t know that I would’ve.  I saw the people out there truly trying to help, and the good deeds that are done every day.  When I stopped seeking out the ugly, my eyes were opened to what a beautiful world we live in.

This didn’t happen overnight.  It is a long, slow process that is ongoing still.  But it shifted my drudgery through the daily darkness into an journey of discovery.  Even better, when I started to see these bits of beauty, I started to see that I could have a positive impact on the world.  At the time I lived in a bit of a rough neighborhood.  I had been homeless before so I was very grateful for my apartment, but it was loud, falling apart in places, and there was trash everywhere.  One day while on a walk I picked up a piece of trash.  And then I picked up a few more.  And then the biggest smile came over me.  Not only was I seeing beauty, but now I was also helping to create it.  True I wasn’t painting a masterpiece or moving mountains, but the next person who walked down that trail wouldn’t have to see those pieces of trash.  They’d still see some but it would be a little better.  I could take ownership of a little piece of the problem and actually be a part of the solution.  Another building block to true happiness!

The funny thing is, it’s actually when my recent circumstances were at their worst (or at least at quite the low) that I really began to discover happiness.  I’m realizing that the benefit of seeing what I’ve seen…seeing some of the depths of human darkness firsthand, I can appreciate things in a way others can’t.  You can’t truly be grateful for your food unless you’ve been starving.  I mean that literally and figuratively.  Of course people can be thankful for food without being hungry themselves, but I remember one night I was full on sobbing over a box of Rice-a-Roni.  I was so glad someone had donated it, and so totally grateful to have it and have good warm food to be eating again.  It’s also true in a figurative/spiritual sense.  Without experience true emptiness, you can’t quite know just how amazing it is to be full.  

You can’t know how amazing a calm night of nothingness truly is if you haven’t lived in true fear of someone close to you.  You can’t know what a blessing it is just to be.  I have seen some truly sick individuals in my life; the kind that do things to children that the average person couldn’t imagine.  I’ve been, as a small child, surrounded a group of the people who are supposed to be caring for me, while they inflict what basically amounts to a mental and physical torture.  And because of that, today, as the numbness of my years of addiction and other ways of burying emotion wear off, I am sometimes simply too overwhelmed to function.  But I’m no longer overwhelmed with anger or sadness.  Today it is gratitude.  In fact just the other day I was walking across campus and I actually had to stop and sit down.  I was just so amazed that here I am today a free person with an amazing, normal life.  To most my life is verrrry basic, but as a child I never could’ve dreamed it.  Even 2 years ago I couldn’t have dreamed it.  I couldn’t imagine that I would reach a place where I was simply ok.  Sometimes it’s still too much to grasp. 

I’m not writing this to give advice.  I don’t have any.  This is a deeply personal journey, and no one could possibly tell another how to take it.  It is a journey though.  People told me for years that I needed to just choose to be happy.  That’s bs.  It’s the right idea, but it’s a process of seeking out your own good.  And it doesn’t require going to the depths of ugly either.  That’s just the way it’s worked for me.  Besides we’ve all had ugliness of one sort or another in our lives.

All I know for sure is that there’s good and bad in every situation, and whichever I seek I will likely find.  That doesn’t mean that the other can be fully denied, but it’s a different perspective.  In a sense I truly love my bad days these days.  Obviously they still suck, but I see things like my friends being willing to be there for me…something I never had before.  My friends today are true friends, who do what they say they will even after learning about the ugliness inside me.  I get to see the fact that today I can overcome pain.  I get to see that nothing today is insurmountable, and there is a satisfaction in making it through the yuck and coming out on the other side.  I get to see how strong and powerful I am for what I’ve overcome.  I then get to turn around and tell others that they can do it too….that they can get to the other side just like I did.  And I get to see how much my life has changed.  Most of my bad days today are about silly stuff like having too much homework or having too many people wanting my attention.  These are the problems I could only dream of before.  Even when it’s the really bad stuff, it’s just different now.  Just a few months after I got out of the hospital I wrote a prayer in my journal asking my higher power to “take away my constant terror.”  Even my worst days are nowhere close to constant terror.  Even in the midst of misery I can take a deep breath and do what I need to do to get through it.  I can see the bridge back to the other side.

When I first felt calmness and serenity inside it was so foreign to me I had to ask someone what it was.  Today it is a part of my life and it is at my core.  It’s the norm that I come back to after the stress occurs, rather than the other way around.  And that, I believe, is true happiness.  It comes from a peace within, that no matter what, I am ok.

(And I just realized part of this story is the same one I wrote in my last post way back in March...I guess it's stuck with me even more than I thought!  And I can't believe I haven't written since March.  Really want to try to get better about this.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Gratitude

I by no means have gratitude all figured out, nor am I necessarily good at it.  But a lot of things have become clear related to it that I never really understood before, and it has been life-changing.

Years ago I had zero gratitude.  I was too angry at the world and all the people who had hurt me for that.  I would get angry at anyone that would suggest I should be grateful, and instead felt like the world owed me for how broken I was.

Learning to be grateful started slow for me, but then suddenly it clicked.  As I came out of my big breakdown and started to feel a little better, I started to be able to appreciate the little things.  I remember one day in particular that I was soooooo stressed out at school.  I was on my way to take a test but I had a few extra minutes first so I found a nice spot and laid down in the grass and let the sun shine down on me.  That sun felt better than anything had felt for a long time.  For that moment I didn't have to stress, I just got to enjoy the sunshine.  Soon I could write a super long gratitude list in a matter of seconds, because I realized that I'm grateful for grass and sun and mountains and my car and my home and my dishwasher and...well you get the idea.  We talked about gratitude in one of my treatment groups back then and one of the women there got so mad that I had so much to write about and she had nothing to be grateful for.  It made me chuckle a bit inside because I was still in a pretty shitty place then...but it was cool to show her my list.  She thought about it for a sec and said, "yeah I guess I'm grateful for those things too.  I didn't think of doing it like THAT!" lol  

Gratitude is all about perspective, and one of the things I'm most grateful for is my perspective.  As you probably know since you're reading this...I came from a pretty ugly past.  Back then I thought that gave me reason not to be grateful for anything because damnit the world was an ugly place and no one could ever understand my pain.  But now it's different.  The ugliness I lived through allows me to see the beauty in the little things around me.  Anyone can say they appreciate the little things...those little moments of peace/happiness in the world...and maybe they do...but I feel like I appreciate them on a deeper level because I truly know how bad it can be.  It's just like the example I've used before on here...You can appreciate having food to eat, but you can't really and truly appreciate it to your core until you've had to go hungry.  The more you've been without, the more having even a little bit means.  It's like after you've been out sick for a week, how suddenly just being able to stand up and go for a short walk without coughing/sneezing/puking is the absolute best thing ever...when before your sickness you probably never gave it much thought.  

I had a hockey game tonight.  It was the first game of our big final tournament.  We lost by 9, and a lot of my team was really frustrated and pissed off, but I couldn't stop smiling.  After this last week, with emotional pain beyond anything I've ever experienced before, I was so happy to be out on the ice and free just to let loose and play.  In that moment hockey was the absolute greatest gift that could've been given to me.  I didn't care what the score was, or even that we were losing.  I couldn't explain my emotional week to my teammates but it was genuinely weird to see some of them so upset when I felt so good.  So I'm grateful for hockey and grateful for my perspective.  :)  And grateful that the intense emotional pain seems to be lifting and I'm catching glimpses of the rainbow after the storm.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I am strong

Tonight I went to work out at the gym.  Now my gym is made up almost entirely of unbelievably hard group workouts.  They don't do the solo run on a treadmill thing or anything.  I am generally the most out of shape person there, so these workouts are extra hard for me.  Tonight's workout ended with 50 pushups.  Pushups are hard enough (even doing them on my knees!) but having done a bunch of other exhausting stuff first it was just that much harder.    I got to about 5 and was already really feeling it.  But I'm a stubborn lil monkey.  I just kept doing what I could, and went in to this almost trance-like place.  There was chaos all around me because our tiny little gym was WAY overly packed and there were people all around doing the workout, shouting/cheering, music blasting, etc.  But all of that went away and it was just me, the space right around me, and those damn pushups.  I was literally dripping with sweat.  In that moment, nothing else mattered.  As I tried to push myself up with my arms shaking and painful underneath me I thought, "Fuck you pushups, I've been through way worse than this."  I got a burst of energy and finished every single one of those pushups...still just a few at a time but 3-5 at a time rather than 1-2.

As I finished I realized something.  Many people in my position wouldn't have done those push-ups.  They would've quit when it got too hard or when others around them were finishing (being the last one to finish with everyone watching does kinda suck, though ppl are supportive).  Even more people would've never made it in the door of the gym.  But I showed up, and I did the pushups.  And I realized that I am strong.  And I'm not just strong at the gym, it goes for life too.

Others who have been through what I have don't make it as far as I have now.  Some never recover from addition, from abuse, from whatever else.  But I show up, I do the pushups, and I show my strength.  I've had A LOT of help to get to where I am today, but I realized tonight that some of it really is me.  I've fought through a lot and I keep fighting.  I've had people tell me that they're jealous of the healing progress I've made.  But the truth is, it didn't just happen.  I showed up and did the pushups, and I still continue to.  I can see it now.  I have a strong spirit that keeps me going and gets me through. I don't know that I was alwas wrong...but my life made me that way, and now I can halde a lot.  I can do a lot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

In case you're wondering...

Some of you saw (or read about) my very emotional post from yesterday.  I've temporarily hidden it.  It was just too much for me to have just sitting out in public.  I may share it again some time, I don't know.  I'd like to write something though...I really do want to write on here more because I want to have somewhere to connect with people.  I don't like it just sitting blank.  But for now I need to take care of me and that means hiding myself a bit more than I have been.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

No one wants to hear it

I've joined a support group recently to start processing some issues from my past.  At first it was really great.  It was like coming in to AA for the first time...scary, but amazing because I was hearing people telling my story...telling the stuff that I always keep deep inside or don't have words for.  But after spending a bit more time there I'm realizing how "out there" my story is...even within a support group.  I'm not trying to prove that mine was worse than anyone's or that what other ppl went through doesn't matter...but as I listened to others in the group talk about their experiences...well it's different.  I was raised by truly psychotic people.  I believe that some of what I experienced comes pretty damn close to torture.  I know I'm not the only one that's experienced stuff like this.  I know there are others who have been through much worse.  But I felt out of place in the group when people were talking about having been molested once.  It just felt like my experience is a different kind of crazy, and that's scary.

And I don't know what to do with it.

I have very caring and supportive friends through AA.  But they are very much the "get over it" types.  They understand that it's a process....they're not like some who think that because it happened a long time ago I should just let it go....but they don't want to keep listening to me be miserable/grumpy/whatever.  My sponsor is the only one who knows any detail about my story...and she knows very little.  She knows there was sexual stuff involved though, which makes her different from anyone else.  I know it upsets her though...the other day I showed her a poem I wrote and she said it was good but then she had to turn away cus she didn't want me to see her cry.  (Totally strange since she's seen me cry a bunch of times, and has been in AA for a long time where everyone talks about being open bout how you feel...but that's another story for another time).  Only a couple of others in AA know I was abused.  I know there are lots of ppl in AA that care about me, even w/out knowing...and would want me to feel good, but i'm just too overwhelmed right now to care.  I've been hiding away from everyone for days now and really have no desire to go out in the world or talk to anyone.  I'm just tired and angry and overwhelmed...and I know what i should be doing to feel better but i don't want to do any of it because I don't care.  I think being in this group is tearing away a lot of denial for me...and I didn't even realize I was still in so much denial.  I'm just really overwhelmed by the enormity of what i've been through and there's no one I can talk to about that.  (I do have an amazing friend I can talk to online about it, but I mean in my face to face life).  There's no one that wants to hear it.  Even the people who want to be supportive don't want to know the details of what I went through and I don't want them to because I don't want to see their looks of horror.

I don't know what I want...I just know I feel really really isolated right now.  I feel like I don't want to venture out into society because I don't fit in anywhere in the world.  There's no spot for me right now. I wish I'd never joined this group.  Before joining it I was happy most all the time in AA, and was finally feeling accepted and like a part of something.  Now I'm back to feeling completely alone.  I'm supposed to be getting together w/aa friends today and i think i have to go because my sponsor is hosting it but I so don't want to.  I don't want to call anyone....which is another thing i'm supposed to do when I feel like this...I just dont want to have anything to do with anyone because I feel like shit and don't want to be around people who won't get it.  And I'm sure that's selfish or whatever to say, and I know even pl who have experienced different but similar stuff can understand more than i'm giving them credit for and all that...but damnit right now i'm sick of this and i don't want to hear anyone else's crap.  Ugh I sound like an ass.

I wish someone would call me...but I'm kind of a pest usually so usually I'm the one doing the calling.  It's rare for anyone to call me...which of course makes me wonder if people are sick of me or don't want to hear from me.  I'm sure i'm overthinking it but that's in my head too.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Where does that leave me?

Tonight I told a friend a piece of my story.  She sort of knew what I'd been through.  I told her a bit more.  She said it made her feel sick.  She meant it kindly, and I hold nothing against her.  It's sickening.  It makes me feel sick.  It should probably make any sane, rational person feel sick.

But it's also who I am.  It's years of my life.  What the hell do I do with that?  The experiences of years of my life make any sane person want to vomit.  I know I'm not at fault for what happened.  I don't blame myself.  And yet I feel like I bring horrific negativity into the world just by existing and just by holding my story.  I do't want to be ashamed of where I've been.  I want it to be just a part of me like anything else.  I hate that things inside me are so disgusting.  I hate that though I did nothing to cause it, I have become the personification of so much of what is wrong in the world.  I know people are disgusted by those that did it, not by me, but it's still me and it's what I have no choice but to carry with me.

I know people mean well when they talk about the things I went through as horrible and that it makes them sad and hurt and angry and sick and everything else.  But where does that leave me?  What do I do with that?  I hate being the bearer of so much evil.  And I don't have the luxury of turning the tv off or walking away from the news.  The images, the experience, will always be with me.

Not sure if I'm even making sense.  I should be sleeping but nightmares are keeping me from it.  The good news is, I didn't wake up afraid from the nightmares.  Just unbelievably pissed off.  I don't hate those who did it so much anymore.  I understand that they were sick people.  But I still hate what they did and hate that it happened.  I hate that I had to experience what I did.  And I hate that the child version of me had to experience so, so much.  I wish I could go back in time to stop them.  To save her.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Most Kids

When most kids cry, someone comes running to them to help.

Most kids have a mommy and/or daddy that comes to give them love and hugs and kisses.

Most kids have parents who protect them.

Most kids have parents who look out for them.

Most kids learn that home is the safest place they can be.

Most kids face kid problems, like who to play with at recess, and what toys they want.

Most kids don't know what it means to live in fear.

When most kids are sad, scared, angry, etc. their biggest relief is seeing a family member there, especially an adult.

Most kids cry for mommy, and for most kids mommy comes.

Most kids.

But I'm not most kids.

Never have been.

Not even close.

I learned early on not to cry for mommy because mommy didn't help.  Mommy looked on and laughed, and sometimes made it worse.  My cries for mommy made everyone laugh.

I learned soon after not to cry at all.  Any crying at all added more pain, so I kept quiet.

Then I learned the impossible game.  If I cried, I got punished more.  But they would never stop the pain until I cried.  There was no way out.

I learned fear.

I learned that home was not a safe haven.  Home held the very worst of places.

I learned that no one around me would or could protect me.  They couldn't even know.  If anyone else knew, it would only get worse for me.

I learned secret safe places: the back of my closet where I was hidden from view, or under the bed where no one could reach me.  There I would silently cry.  I would pray that no one would hear.  I would pray that no one would come running.

I learned to be alone.

I learned isolation and solitude.

I learned to be strong, but I also learned not to trust.

I learned that no comfort would ever rush to my cries.  There were no loving hugs and kisses.

I learned that I was not most kids.

I hid.  I cried.  I prayed.  And I tried to hope.

And I learned that I was alone.

No one was coming to comfort me.

No one to care.

Little girl.  Alone.