Tag Archives: body memories

I will not survive

My mind and body are screaming in horror and agony. The end is closing in on me. I will not survive.

At least this is what it feels like. I try to tell myself that this is not real, that this is not really happening, that everything is okay and that I am safe. It’s not helping. I feel like a cow that’s being dragged to slaughter. It knows its own fate even before seeing it.

Why do I perpetually feel this way? What has happened in my life to create these feelings in me that I’m heading, overcome by terror, toward my death. That I will not survive.

Impending doom.

Pure terror.

Screaming in agony.

I know these. But how? Why? What has happened in my life that I would know such terror?

I want to know and yet the answers are eluding me.

To my body and mind,

I want to know. Please tell me what it is you’ve been trying to tell me. I can feel this horror, this unbelievable pain, this sheer terror. I can feel it. I am experiencing it, with no reprieve. Can you not share with me the source of these things? I want to know. I can handle it. I feel ready to handle it. I want answers. I want my life to make sense. Right now it doesn’t make any sense. Right now I can’t think of a time in my life when I’ve ever been truly terrified. I want to know the source – of all this pain, of all this fear, of all this torment. I want to know. I am ready. Please please let me know what it is that you are trying to tell me with these flooded feelings and sensations. This is my life. And I want to know. I want to know so that I may heal. Please please tell me what it is so we can all heal from it and move forward. Because if I don’t know the source of these feelings, the healing can’t happen, plain and simple. I may not have been ready before, but I am ready now. I am tired of feeling like an emotional punching bag. One emotion punches me from one angle; another emotion from another angle. It’s truly exhausting, and I don’t feel we have to live this way. We deserve better. We deserve to be free from this torment. We deserve to live. We deserve to heal. We deserve peace.

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Chasing smoke

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So I’ve been smoking again. Bad habit, I know. Smoking is bad for you, it can kill you, yes I know all these things. It had been about a year since I last smoked, and I had been doing really well. And then the overwhelming body sensations / body memories started happening, and I didn’t know how else to cope. Smoking has always been my go-to coping mechanism when all else fails. It’s not something I’m proud of, it’s not something I want to do, but I’m doing it and it provides me some sense of solace.

I began smoking when I was twelve. A friend at the time introduced me to it, among other things (which I’m not proud of either). Those other things didn’t stick; the smoking did. I have struggled with this on and off for years, and am now in my early thirties and still struggling with it.

Partner hates me smoking, so when I first started I tried to hide it from her. Of course that started me down the rabbit hole of shame and guilt, and I eventually came clean. She understood, but I could tell she hated it. She reminded me that I wouldn’t be able to smoke on our camping trip, and I determined that the trip would provide me with a great opportunity to stop. I smoked (what I thought) was my last cigarette before we hit the road on Tuesday. Finished the pack I had. Threw the empty box away. Didn’t smoke, or even crave it at all during the trip. The hiking with the backpacks thoroughly exhausted me physically, and the fresh mountain air did me good. But then I came home.

Of course I didn’t smoke during the day today, since I won’t smoke around Little Guy. After work, I resisted the urge to swing by a gas station on my way home to pick up a pack. Luckily for me (or perhaps unluckily for me), my partner wasn’t home when I got home. She took this week off from work, and she is out at the movies. I paced around my apartment for a few minutes before jumping back in my car to drive to the nearest gas station to buy myself another pack.

As I sit here outside, smoking, I am again overwhelmed by feelings of shame, guilt, and the feeling that I have failed. Not only myself but my partner. I am trying not to be too hard on myself, not to judge myself, but it’s just so hard. I told her that I would quit, and I failed to do so. Failed.

——-

I have awards to accept, and I have posts to respond to, and I have comments to answer, and I apologize for not having gotten to them yet. I will, I promise. I’ve had the attention span of a gnat today, so you’ll have to forgive me. These cravings for a smoke have been all consuming. How do I let this control me?

I tell myself that I wouldn’t be smoking if it weren’t for the horrible body memories that keep assailing me. But perhaps I’m just lying to myself. Perhaps I’m just making excuses. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to practice self kindness when I know I’m doing something that is both hurting me and my body, as well as letting my partner down.

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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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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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Clinging to “okay”

I’m trying so hard to be okay right now. Probably the biggest reason I haven’t completely lost it yet is because I have the enormous responsibility of taking care of a young child. He needs me to be okay. So I have to be okay.

But it’s so hard.

Every single afternoon I’m being flooded with these body sensations. It takes all of my will power to focus on Little Guy and ensure that he’s getting the love and care and support that he needs. I feel like I’m having to be Super Woman.

I know I’ve been complaining about this a lot lately, and a part of me thinks I need to shut up because everyone’s tired of hearing about it, but I need to keep writing about it. I need to keep writing to stay sane.

These (nightmarish) bodily occurrences are squeezing out of me every last ounce of energy that I have. After the afternoon onslaught is over, I have no energy left in my reserve.

So right now I’m clinging to “okay”, and hoping against all hope that my therapist will be able to help me work through this stuff – and soon.

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Tormented

It’s hard to describe what I’m feeling at the moment. The only word that aptly describes it is tormented. These body memories, or body sensations, or whatever you want to call them have me in their clutch. I don’t know why it’s worse today but it is. I feel like my insides are being squeezed and pushed. My mind is agitated. I wish there were something that could calm these feelings. They make me want to scream.

When these body sensations take over, I lose all sense of myself. I can’t think clearly… My mind is beyond restless… The world hurts… I don’t know what I can do to help myself. People have suggested sitting with the sensations and turning my attention toward them rather than away from them. That only increases them and all the agitation and swirling that goes along with it. Also, I can’t do anything too extreme – ie let myself go into a trauma memory (if that is, in fact, that’s causing all this) – because I’m at work. And by the time I get home these body sensations have subsided.

I can’t get out and take a walk, since the child I care for is napping and I need to stay here and monitor him. And besides, walking hasn’t seemed to help when I’m in this state, since being out in the open and having to pass by people just seems to increase the already overwhelming pain and agitation.

All I can think to do right now is keep breathing. And wait for this torment to pass.

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The hurt that keeps on hurting

The following is an email I sent my therapist about an hour ago:

Hi [Bean]. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. My body is pushing and hurting and crying out. Not in my mind but in my cells. It’s horribly uncomfortable and makes me feel like I’m going crazy. Or that I want to go crazy.

Please help.

These body memories – I know what they are now! – are killing me. Not literally (obviously) but I don’t know how much more of it I can take. Quite honestly I don’t know what to do. This pain is a pain that hurts me on a cellular level. I can take a lot. But this is beginning to feel like more than I can handle. I need relief. And I have no idea how to get it.

The only good thing is that it seems to let up in the mornings and evenings. It’s the afternoons that are unbearable. But in the mornings I’m so exhausted from my chronic insomnia, and in the evenings I’m often dealing with some other emotional conflict. Usually my time at work, with the child I care for, is a welcome break from all my psychological crap. Usually I can be with him and enjoy him, and for the most part he is a wonderful and delightful distraction.

Since last week, it takes every ounce of energy I have to give him my full attention. My body is screaming out in agonizing pain and it’s trying to take over complete control of my mind. Part of my attention is on him, and part is on the discomfort and pain and anguish in my body. It’s pretty much impossible to ignore it completely – despite the fact that I’m quite good at ignoring pain. This is the worse type of pain. It’s not purely physical and it’s not purely emotional. It’s emotional pain trying to push its way out of my body. And I really don’t know how much more I can take.

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