Stuck

I don’t know what I want to talk about today. I wanted to avoid blogging but I decided it is best. This past Sunday was an ugly one for me. I can’t even say the word Sunday sometimes. I know I need to work on my trigger words- I haven’t yet.

But anyways… My husband really wants to be involved in our church. I do too at some point, but I can’t now. As soon as I go into church, around smiling, happy faces I feel like I have to be smiling and happy too. It is annoying and stressful- to pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t.

But let’s say I make it through that part. The part that really chokes me up is seeing everyone with their families, all sitting together. Babies, sisters, brothers, moms, dads, grandparents and so forth. It reminds me how for most of my life I truly felt rejected by one side of my family and of how my own mother doesn’t want me in her life.

I am too much of a trigger for her. I can’t see or spend time alone with my sisters. They are growing up without me. And not by my choice. It wouldn’t matter if I was the most perfect daughter in the world- she still wouldn’t want me there. I look like my dad. I am close to my dad. I went to live with him when I was 14. So in her mind I chose him over her. Which in reality I didn’t. I didn’t feel wanted or loved with her. I wanted to go somewhere where I was loved.

That part- I can never make it through because if I try- I can’t pretend I am happy at that point. I start to cry or frown, get jealous, mad, lonely, anxious. I then feel that pain of rejection for the rest of the week.

I decided I am going to try and go back to therapy. It won’t happen till probably next year because of my job but I will try. I have no idea how to face this. This past Sunday was ugly because I didn’t want to go and when someone pushes me to go- I get extremely hateful, snappy, depressed and angry.

I feel like a frightened dog that is cornered and afraid of confronting it head on. It also feels like no one understands. Sure they understand it for a little while, how I can struggle with this for a little while. But to struggle with this for 13+ years, people start to get less understanding and more pushy.

Even my own father says it’s like I am still 13 and stuck.

Sundays are a Trigger

I have until July 1st to see my therapist so time is precious. She told me a story about how when you talk about old wounds in a safe place and work through them & the emotions it brings to you- you are cleaning your abscess.

Abscesses are wounds within the skin full of pus and without proper treatment, they grow inside you destroying more flesh and causing more pain. But when an abscess is treated, the doctor has to go in and remove all the toxins, pus, dead flesh and clean the wound. That leaves you with a huge, tender opened hole.

Sundays feel like that to me. I had to go to church every sunday and put a smile on my face. I had to hide the abuse, go through the ritual of sunday morning church, worship, tithe, notes, prayer, communion and more.

Now since my abscess has been cleaned out and I have cut out the poison in my life- I had a huge triggers aka open holes when it comes to my Christian beliefs, sundays, prayer and worship. You would think that once you deal with pain and the emotional turmoil that you get better and feel better. My reality is I actually trigger easier, have migraines, I get so mentally exhausted and my nightmares are worse/more frequent.

I confronted my therapist about this. I am so puzzled as to why I FEEL more things. I used to just be numb and stuff things down inside of me. Now I am feeling every emotion all at once sometimes. With her soft smile and warm eyes she told me that she is proud of me.

I had to check me ears. Excuse me? You said you are proud of me? Have you been listening to the stories I have just been telling you? I feel worse! I trigger more easily and I am so exhausted anymore. How can you be proud of me when I feel so horrible, overwhelmed and just guilty for not being able to even say a full prayer for more than 10 seconds?!

My therapist simply smiled at me again. “Have you felt the need to self harm?” I looked at her blankly for a second. I answered no and that kind of surprised myself actually. I always turn to self harm when  I get overwhelmed and I hadn’t thought about that once recently when it used to be an everyday thought. She told me it is because I am allowing myself to feel my emotions and go through it.

It is like the default way I deal with things is to cut and stuff. Since I have turned away from those as a natural response- I am now no longer numb, depressed and stuffing. I am feeling, vulnerable, experiencing and dealing. That is why she is proud of me. Realizing that- I am proud of myself. It takes hard work to be in this place. It takes even harder work to allow yourself to feel.

I just can’t wait until my open sore is healed for good.

The Broken Record

Vinyl Revival

You would think I would know how to prepare when I see it coming. You would think I would know how to let it “roll off my shoulders”. But holidays are spent with family, laughs, food and traditions. What if you are uninvited to your own family get together? No word, no call, no letter, nothing.

I have talked about this a little bit before. I knew the email was coming. I had a gut feeling but what I did not know is how much it really does effect me. It wasn’t until I had an anxiety attack at church this Easter Morning I realized the severity of it. Easter is a time of rejoicing, praise and worship. So why was I asking certain songs to be muted and certain phrases to be not be spoken?

My ears cringe every time I hear someone say or shout, “He is RISEN!” or I hear the song, All in All or In Christ Alone. I finally have figured out why it throws me into a swirling sea of emotions- it is because of my mother.

Every Easter when I lived with her or visited her she would say this phrase and I had to reply back with another phrase. If I did not- I would be in trouble. I cannot stand that phrase even though I love the meaning behind it. I love Jesus and I am so thankful he took my guilt, my shame and all my sin away. I beyond happy that he defeated death and rose again. But just that phrase or those songs that she used to play all the time just make me want to hurl or lash out in rage.

If you have been reading my blogs you know that I do not get emails (/contact) currently from my m. at all and if I do they are generic greeting cards. And that I do not have contact with her by her choice. So in the middle of worship at church the triggers were thrown at me. I had to sit down and try to calm my anxiety attack down.

I had a normal day today besides the fact I am still mourning family members’ passing and being away from my family. My husband’s family came, we had a great dinner, some time to talk and an all around nice time together. My heart longed to be with my sisters or to at least have them included in my life.

I received an email from my m and of course- I saw it coming. I knew it would happen. All it said in the message was “He is RISEN! He is Risen Indeed. Love, Mom.” That’s it. You know how that made me feel, EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT WAS COMING- it broke my heart. Not even signed with love from my sisters or step dad. Not even signed with a thinking of you, or love you.

At first it didn’t bother me but sitting there thinking about how I am not wanted in part of my family’s life- just tore me apart. I wanted to scream and to email a quick response back with something snippy and clever like “Why don’t you try sending a real email next time or just don’t bother at all- I only hear from you on holidays anyway. At least I had the nerve to call you and wish you Happy Easter.”

I didn’t even respond but that is what I would of loved to say. I did call after that email was sent and of course had to speak to the voicemail. She screens her calls and decides when to answer. And it is always so awkward for me because normally you say “See you soon or talk to you later” well, in my case that is not true at all. I won’t see her or my sisters soon and I mostly like will never talk to them again until she decides to let me.

It burns me. It really burns me. I am going to bring it up to the therapist when I go this next week and see what she says. This happens every year and I get the same crash afterwards and you know it probably doesn’t even bother her. She is just thinking “Okay, I did the bare minimum to still remain the title of Mom.” At least that is what it feels like to me.

This happens every single year and I can predict down to the WORDS of what she will say to me or how she will say it. You think by now I would be okay with it or not care. I wish I didn’t care. For my birthday card one year I got in my 20s she signed it: “Thank God you are here one more year to serve him.” That is ALL SHE WROTE ladies and gents- ALL SHE WROTE. Not an I love you, not Happy Birthday or anything else personal.

I was in disbelief when I read it. I just couldn’t believe it. Aren’t you some what thankful for me? Don’t you love me? Don’t you want me? You can see now how easily it is to have animosity towards God because that is how her abuse and control is delivered. It is so hard for me not to cut myself right now. I have so much bottled up- even the tasty cheesecake can’t comfort me.  Don’t worry- I won’t. I haven’t cut for years because I made a promise to my father to not cut anymore but the urge is getting stronger.

 

Alphabet Soup

A, B, C, D, E is where I stop. I used to be able to say the whole alphabet. Sounds weird right? Well, my alphabet wasn’t like yours (hopefully). There was a Bible verse tagged to each letter that I have to remember and recite. Every day my m. would drive me to school- I had to recite these verses with where they could be found in the Bible.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my spiritual abuse. It goes deeper than this but this is a good start. I was actually driven away from Jesus because I thought he was only about rules, regulation, memorization and worse pleasing my m. She would twist and turn verses in order to make her point valid and to make me obey. I was never taught about his true love but I was able to recite it like word vomit.

A- Be sure that your attitude reflects that of Christ Jesus

B- Be sure that your sin will find you out

C- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

D- Do everything in love

E- …?

Those might not be completely accurate but I hope you get the point. It has been over 10 years ago and I still know some of those verses. When I was in my “prime” I would go through all the ABCs and started another set of memory verses in the same format of ABCs.

I did it please her because in my previous blog I told you as a young girl I made the connection that if I did what she wanted and did it perfectly- I would gain affection and approval from her. I desperately wanted that. I thought that was love.

Now that I am older I realize what a true mother’s love is supposed to be like. It isn’t earned. It isn’t fake. It isn’t based on accomplishments that she would approve of. It is unconditional- like Jesus’ love for us. But I also was given a very false impression of his love too. In my mind I thought that if this is how she is and Jesus is like this too, I really do not want to love him at all.

I do not know what her end goal was with me in teaching me all of those things but all it taught me was to despise it. She calls it love- I call it torture. I was forced to do things she wanted me to do, to learn and to grow into what she wanted for me. I forced to clean everything, cook, sew, learn the Bible, listen to the Bible on tape, listen to the Bible at night, watch Bible movies, go to Church, go to Vacation Bible school (which was just at our house with my cousins).

I understand chores and I do not disagree but to the extent of what I was doing- wasn’t right. Meals like breakfast were planned out each day what I was allowed to eat. I had a couple options and that was it. For a snack I was allowed either apple, banana or orange. I use to always take the apple because I would be so hungry  and now I cannot stand apples. I do not like to cook or sew now because it was forced on me. I can do a little bit of it but it is too much of a trigger for anger outbursts.

The really weird thing about church was we moved around from church to church. We never stayed at one long enough. I will let you in on a secret of why I suspect that is… she longs to be valued at a church. For example she wants to be put on this “you are an amazing woman” pedestal by providing for the church. At small churches she wants to be in charge of music, help out the youth, hold a women’s study, clean the church, provide for the sick, cook meals and more. She wants to be looked at like she is superwoman. If she can’t have that or if people start to question her she leaves the church. I remember for awhile we would have church at our own home just because we couldn’t find one.

I am not meaning to put her down or to paint her in a awful light. I am trying to process all of this to help myself realize she is sick. She is not normal. There is a complexity in telling my story. I want my voice to be heard but I do not want to hurt her. I want to protect her and make excuses for her. If she ever found out about this- I would be even more so uninvited and despised.

I feel like I am an awful child for speaking out about this which causes me stress and anxiety. I feel brave enough sometimes to speak but other times I feel like it’s all my fault and I am just putting it on her. I am so messed up myself from all the manipulation- I don’t know which way is up, right, or down.

Alphabet_soup