Monthly Archives: June 2012

Words of appreciation

I have been going through a bit of a rough spell, but I just wanted to thank all of you in this blogger community for being there, for offering support, and for being you. Today was spent reading and responding to many of the amazing blogs on here that I follow; your words give me inspiration. Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing the blogs you do.

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The building blocks of my despair

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Things build on top of other things. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact root cause of my despair. Maybe it’s the body memories that have been eating away at me. Maybe it’s because I was unable to get an appointment at the free mental health clinic, and my meds are running low. Not having health insurance sucks. (Can someone say “understatement”?) Perhaps it’s because my partner is working long hours this week and that leaves me home alone, contemplating. Maybe it’s because I’m just feeling, quite simply, overcome with loneliness.

Whatever it is, I don’t like the thoughts that are trying to make their way into my mind. Thoughts of lost hope. Thoughts that it won’t get better. Thoughts of giving up.

When we are this down, how do we bring ourselves out of it? I just wish I knew. The world just seems so dark right now.

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Darkness and Dreams

Darkness threatens to swallow me whole
Where are the dreams which nagged at my soul
Dreams of love, light, and laughter too
Now they dance like shadows
On the window sill of lost virtue

This darkness, it keeps me up at night
It mocks my dreams, it steals my life
My life, which has been a struggle for sure
Feels broken somehow
A sickness with no cure

Alone with my shadows,
Alone with my soul,
Alone with my dreams with nowhere to go

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Pulled back under

Just when I thought the body memories were getting better, they have returned with a vengeance.

I want to scream.

I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t know what this is connected to. I thought it was related to the prenatal trauma, but the time doesn’t seem to match.

I can’t describe how I’m feeling. Every cell in my body is screaming. I have the unexplained urge for someone to beat me to a bloody pulp. To crush my body. That somehow that would calm this bodily angst.

Sorry for the graphic nature of this post. I’m just having all these crazy body sensations and don’t know what to do with them.

I wish I could lie down and have someone run over me with a semi-truck. Perhaps that would calm these awful sensations.

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Glimpses of Good

I’ve realized that for a while now, as I’ve been tackling my issues of trauma and dissociation in therapy, that I’ve been focusing on the painful, difficult memories. Not to say that this is bad, or wrong, and in fact I think it’s an important step toward healing and coming to terms with the painful aspects of ones past. However, I feel like I haven’t been given the good, positive memories their due recognition, and this is the reason for writing this post.

Within the last year, when I began thinking about my past – particularly my childhood – I began to realize how much I don’t remember. So even though some of these memories that I share here may seem incomplete, one of the main purposes for me is to get at the feelings behind the memories rather than getting caught up in trying to remember the details. (The details can be nice too, when they are there!)

~~First good memory – great-aunt and jacaranda trees~~

I have been told I was very close to my great-aunt D, my grandmother’s sister. I don’t actually remember her (I believe I was five or six when she died), and I really wish I did. Apparently we spent a lot of time together, and I’ve been told she loved me very much.

For some reason, whenever I think of her, images of jacaranda trees enter my mind. For those who are unfamiliar with them, here’s are a couple pictures I’ve taken of them within the last couple weeks. They will help give you an idea of how beautiful they are. As you can see, they have brilliant purple flowers.

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I suppose having an association between my great-aunt and these trees isn’t a “memory” per se, but it makes me happy to know not all of her is lost to me.

~~Second good memory – Brandic the bird rescuer!~~

When I was five or six, I remember rescuing a bird at my school. This is the only memory of that school that I have. The little bird was right next to a chain link fence, and it was struggling to fly. I think its wing might have been hurt. All the other kids were walking right by it. I was with a friend, and I picked it up in my hands and I brought it to the school’s office.

To this day I wonder what happened to that little bird, and if it turned out okay. I’d like to think so.

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~~Stuffed animals~~

I had quite a few objects as a child that I remember with fondness. I remember having Care Bear stuffed animals. I had a pink stuffed bear named Pinky who I loved. I had a stuffed animal lamb named Lamby whose stuffing was coming out and whose eye was falling off! I had this black stuffed animal dog that my own dog would always chew on which would make me horribly upset. Oh I also had this bear with its tongue sticking it that was wearing a blue and white striped shirt. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I remember that detail!!

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I have a vague recollection of playing Candyland the board game. I imagine I must’ve played this with friends, cause I don’t have have any memory of my parents playing board games with me.

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~~Neighborhood friend~~

I had this childhood friend who lived down the street from me until I was about eleven or twelve, when she moved away. Even though I have next to no memories of my own family or my own home during this time, I have quite a few memories of hanging out with her, both outside in our neighborhood, and at her house. Her mom treated me like her second daughter. This friend and I had a car washing business. We would go door to door asking the neighbors if they wanted us to wash their cars for them. And at the risk of bragging, I think we did a pretty good job on those cars! We would take the money we made and walk into town and buy ourselves sandwiches from Subway. If we’d made “a lot” of money, we would order a Dominos pizza to be delivered! Cheese pizza of course!

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~~Summer camp~~

Every summer I attended the same summer camp. It was outdoors in a wilderness area near my parents house. I remember quite a bit about it – playing in the creek, making lanyards, singing songs, playing connect four, swimming in the pool… We even did a “hike” through the underground drainage system that ran from where the camp was all the way to the ocean. Gross, dangerous, or perhaps scary you might think? Well looking back, it was totally gross, and probably quite dangerous. We were slogging for miles through god-knows-what (the camp counselors called it “mud”) in the pitch black of this underground run-off system with only the counselors’ flashlights lighting our path ahead. And when we made it to the “ocean” – which we couldn’t even access! – we had to turn around and slog all the way back! Well, to a nine year old (??) kid with an appetite for adventure, I’m sure to me it was the most amazing “hike” I’d ever been on!

I also have a vague recollection / hazy memory of a camp counselor one year who I became really attached to. It’s kind of like the memory of my great- aunt – I can’t really remember any details about her – but I know deep down she made a lasting impression.

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This is a photo taken in the same nature area that I attended my summer camp.

Those are my “glimpses of good” from my childhood. Hope you enjoyed them 🙂

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Coming out of perpetual crisis

This cartoon doesn’t exactly fit, but I thought it was funny!

 

These last several weeks, although punctuated with intense body memories (that thank the lord in heaven seem to have subsided), have seen me the most stable than I have been in a whole year. I have been pondering the causes of this newfound stability, and I’ve come to some realizations.

Main cause of perpetual crises: triggering relationships

Last Spring, I entered into an extremely unhealthy therapeutic relationship (see prior post). Not only was the relationship with this therapist both co-dependent and unhealthy, it was extremely triggering. And since I had almost daily contact with her, I was being triggered by her on an almost daily basis. It got to the point where, since she was constantly “in my head,” I was being triggered by her even when I wasn’t in contact with her. I knew that my life was spiraling out of control, and that I was in a state of constant crisis (to see the type of crises I was in daily, one can simply go back and read my earlier blog posts. In case you are actually considering doing this, just to warn you: it’s not butterflies and unicorns). I just didn’t know why, nor did I think to even consider my therapy as the cause of my crises.

After my therapist (quite fortunately) ended our therapy together, I jumped into a friendship that had very similar dynamics for me. Different type of relationship (after all, this friend was not a therapist!), but the unhealthiness was very much present. The co-dependency was very much present. The being constantly triggered was very much present. Rather than being able to build a solid foundation of strength and resiliency under my feet after ties were severed with this therapist, and heal from that traumatic experience, this relationship kept me in a traumatized state. This is not my way of heaping loads of blame onto this person. If anything, I was just as much to blame as she was. Neither of us realized the dynamic, and when we did, things turned quite ugly, and ultimately, I had to sever ties.

Looking back on this past year, and really analyzing these experiences, has led me to realize that my emotional state doesn’t exist in a bubble. What I mean by that is, if I am constantly finding myself in a state of crisis, there must be a reason for it. I think that being raised in the family I was, I got well accustomed to living in a constant state of inner crisis and turmoil. It felt familiar. It felt “normal.” Therefore when I find myself in crisis mode, I don’t blink an eye or even think to question what may be causing it.

 

The lessons that I can draw from this past year are these:

~ My emotional world is very much tied to my outer world. If something is askew* on the inside, most likely there’s something askew on the outside.

~ My emotions don’t exist in a bubble, and in fact they hold important information. I shouldn’t disregard my feelings, because then I would be disregarding whatever it is my mind/body is trying to tell me.

~ I need to learn to listen to myself and trust my intuition. I am so good at ignoring when things don’t feel right, or when something is “off”, that I will stay in very unhealthy situations that are ultimately detrimental to my well-being. 

~I need to learn to judge myself less, and accept myself more. And trust that when I make a decision that feels right, even though it may be painful (and may even hurt or disappoint other people), that I truly know myself best and what is the most beneficial thing for me in any given situation.

 

* askew– I just love that word, don’t you?

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*Immediate response required*

Something just dawned on me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to respond almost immediately to comments made on my blog, as well as to post comments instantly on other people’s blogs. I don’t know why this is. I realize I’ve been doing this the last several days, which is why I’ve been spending way more time reading/responding/commenting than actually writing new posts of my own. I’m following a lot of blogs, so the (self-imposed) need to read and respond immediately to every single one of them is taking up so much of my time. And there’s so much I want to talk about!

(Don’t get me wrong, I love reading everyone’s blog!)

I think it may stem from a deep sense of insecurity. I think I hold a core belief that if I’m not making myself be known (aka showing support, responding immediately) that I will be forgotten about. That the blogging community will move on without me without so much as a thought in my direction. I worry that if I don’t comment, and give feedback, I won’t mean anything to anyone. I will become obsolete.

Like I said above, it’s not that I don’t enjoy reading and commenting. But there are times it almost becomes compulsive. Like I do it out of necessity rather than choice. That if I don’t, this fear of being forgotten and turn into nothingness will take hold and actually become a reality.

I think this stems from being ignored (and often forgotten about) by my mom. I had to make my presence known for her to actually pay attention to me. Otherwise she was just wrapped up in her own stuff.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to let go of this fear, and trust that my fellow bloggers who show me the kindness of following my blog won’t forget about me if I’m not actively commenting on their blogs or responding immediately to their feedback. It’s going to be very difficult, since it’s stepping up and challenging a deeply engrained fear.

It feels very selfish of me to put myself first, but I just have so much I want to write about! I have about seven drafts of posts that I started (most of them have only a title so far) but haven’t actually gotten the time to finish.

Here I go, stepping out into my fear. Please don’t take it personally if I don’t comment as much for the next day or two – this is my own personal challenge ! I must look this fear right in the face! I must prove to myself that my worth is not measured in how much feedback I give, but that I am worth something simply by being me and by sharing what I do. (Whew! That’s a hard one to swallow!)

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