The Second Visit

Getting to know someone new is always a bit of a slow process. Today was my 2nd appointment with my new therapist. It went so incredibly well. I feel so relaxed and things just kinda flow out of me. I think going to therapy has increased my happiness and decreased my depression. I have been depressed because I have felt alone. I don’t really have anyone to talk to day in and day out about my struggles because even the most faithful friend or family member doesn’t want to hear about my issues all the time. It’s like my dad has told me. He is so happy that he is finally getting to talk to “me” and not my problems or my anxiety triggers. I can understand that too about my friends. I felt like I was scraping out of a deeper and deeper hole when I had no one to talk to. I was scrambling to get a footing without a therapist to help me. Now that I have someone I can count on and depend on- my “fix” has been met. I still get very terrible migraines and headaches during and after an appointment. But I know that is to be expected. I also know that once an appointment is over- I need about a 2 hr nap if not more. I am not saying everything is perfect. I am still pretty tired actually. I am starting to feel a whole let better. ūüôā

The First Day Back

Seeing a new counselor is unnerving for anyone. I was so nervous I wouldn’t like this new person or what if their advice was a bit out there?! lol But that is (thank goodness) not the case here. Sure this one is different than the last. Everyone has different animations, thinking processes, reactions and quirks. It will take time adjusting but I really hope this works out. I am a a little reserved because I am testing out the waters.

I do notice that when I speak about things that happen to me. It is a record playing feeling. I don’t process what I say- I just speak it. I don’t feel, I don’t think- it just comes out of my mouth plain as day just like if you asked me about the weather.

My new counselor has a very easy schedule, which is nice because of my work. I know I am blessed because I can still work full time and get the counseling I need. I already feel better just knowing I have an outlet. Someone who will always listen and who will try and help me.

She asked me to rate how my condition is and I was surprised myself to just see how much my anxiety and avoidance has taken over again. Instead of just occasionally happening, it is everyday, avoidance type thing. Plus sleep disturbances, flashbacks, nightmares, and instead of flashing back all the time, my mind constantly makes up new trauma that could possibly happen before my very eyes. Like robberies, car accidents, shootings, my own death, rape again, violence and more.

I did have a bad headache when meeting with her, and whenever I talk or think about these things. I am starting to get one now and I also get extremely tired. Alright sorry to end so abruptly but there is only so much I can talk about in one sitting before it becomes too much.

Going Back to Move Forward

Today is my first appointment to go back to see a counselor. I am pretty nervous considering it is a new person and that I will have to open up all over again. It feels like I have a pretty good handle on my feelings when there aren’t triggers around. But there seems to be always small triggers.

I hope it goes well today and that time doesn’t seem to go too fast like it normally does. Thankfully I have the day off to then relax afterwards. I normally try and have the day off because it makes it so much easier. I don’t worry about having to suck it all back in to make it to go to work.

Well see how it goes. I hope to keep this appointment and go for awhile. I know God is in control and I believe he made this happen. Hopefully it will continue.

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 Secret Beast

Now that I have talked about the issues with my birth mother and I have publicly opened up about how life was with her- I am moving onto the next hard topic. It is probably harder than the problems I had with my mother.

We ¬†(my therapist and I) are going to start tackling the issues of my rape¬†&¬†molestation, my attention seeking, how I can go from wanting sex all the time to “don’t touch me”. It will be really hard. We briefly spoke about it today and I have been doing some research on the internet. I still fantasize about rape situations so much that I want it to happen again with anyone. But during night I will have nightmares of cheating on my husband and I wake up feeling so shameful for enjoying sex with others.

I was raped two weeks (roughly) after having sex for the first time ever, by an acquaintance. But in truth that is actually my 3rd encounter with sex or something of that nature. When I was 6, I was molested, I can’t remember all details- I wish I could. Then I had sex when I was 18 for the first time with a guy I was seeing, then raped 2 weeks after someone different. So my first couple of experiences have been mostly bad.

The fantasies I have will be hostage, dominating, humiliating and forced but even just typing it- I am really liking the thoughts. BUT I did find something online that talks about people who have had sexual abuse associate sex=rape=pleasure and that I have to go through some intense brain re-wiring to know that rough sex isn’t the only way.

I just hate the fact I want attention so badly. I can drive down a road and every man I see I can see them raping me and I feel so terrified with panic attacks but the next day I could do/see the same thing and totally want it to happen.

I am really wanting help tackling this secret beast. It’s taking over my waking life, my dreams and affecting me.

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My Current Playlist

I wanted to share my playlist with you. I have been honest with myself this past week about the relationships I need and the relationships I don’t. There has been a lot of mixed emotions from empowerment to “what in the heck am I doing?” moments.¬†I am so much stronger now than I have ever been.

What has been helping me stay strong is I put together a playlist that talks about the way I have been treated or felt all my life. There is a mix of genres because I like all music. It took me a couple days to put this together, it is 20 songs and I am in total love with it.

I have not been able to work out at all because of my abuse when I was younger but with this playlist- I just might be able to one day. Okay- so enough chatting- here is the list. Enjoy! & Let me know what you think below. Plus let me know what songs help you out when you are having a difficult time staying strong.

I titled the playlist- Stronger

  • 1 Fighter by Christina Aguilera
  • 2 Just Like You by Three Days Grace
  • 3 Mean by Taylor Swift
  • 4 It’s Been Awhile by Staind
  • 5 Breakdown by Seether
  • 6 Brave by Sara Bareilles
  • 7 Mean Girls by Rachel Crow
  • 8 Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield
  • 9 Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson
  • 10 Wide Awake by Katy Perry
  • 11 Roar by Katy Perry
  • 12 Country Strong by Gwyneth Paltrow
  • 13 I Don’t Want to Be by Gavin DeGraw
  • 14 What It’s Like by Everlast
  • 15 Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
  • 16 Not Afraid by Eminem
  • 17 Liar Liar by Christina Grimmie
  • 18 King of Thieves by Christina Grimmie
  • 19 Not Fragile by Christina Grimmie
  • 20 Cries in Vain by Bullet For My Valentine

It’s just under 80 minutes and I love every single song on here. So if you are a sufferer of abuse, you get all the blame shifted to you, been bullied, being left alone, depression, self harm or suicidal- one of these songs just might help you. ūüôā

No Longer Silenced

Therapy was a break through for me and so was yesterday. I think it just all clicked in my brain. I know I still have a journey ahead but I am making some huge steps. I have ALWAYS feared my m. whether I would like to admit it or not- I did. I would fear she would take my sisters away for good, I would fear of disappointing her, I would fear of the degrading letters and emails she would send. I would fear I wouldn’t measure up, gaining too much weight, not pursuing the career she approved of, not living the life she approved of. But mostly I was fearful of losing my sisters.

My therapist sat back after she heard some more stories I shared with her. Just to hit on briefly about how I cannot go into a church sometimes and sit through a service without triggers. I can’t see families together because mine isn’t. I can’t hear the familiar Bible stories or verses because it’s pounded into my head. It brings back painful memories of childhood. Not only would memories verses be plastered all over the walls in her house but she would play a tape for us of the Bible at night that we would have to listen to to fall asleep. We’d move from church to church, lesson after lesson, daily readings of the Bible together. Memory verse contests, home schooled teachings of the Bible, video tapes of the Bible would sometimes be the only thing I would be allowed to watch. IT was horrendous. Everything was pounded into us¬†&¬†shoved down our throats. There was never a choice involved- it was forced fed.

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A couple¬†of the most prominent verses are¬†“Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Colossians 3:20. I didn’t EVEN HAVE TO LOOK THAT UP! I knew it by heart. This one I did have to look up, Ephesians 6:2-3,¬†2‚ÄúHonor your father and mother‚ÄĚ (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 ‚Äúthat it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.‚ÄĚ

Those two verses are seriously the first two you learn growing up in that house. I lived there til I was 14 and had to visit there until I was 17-18, so I saw my little sisters and how they were raised. If they didn’t comply, they weren’t spanked- they were literally beaten until they stopped. Not just 1 smack with discipline- it was smack, smack, smack smack smack!

I brought a letter my m. sent to me on my birthday so my therapist could see it. She was astonished. This card didn’t look like a birthday card and it was a blank card originally. It wasn’t signed by the whole family, (I got nothing from my sisters but a group voicemail), it was just signed by m. But it was written in to the max of just Bible verses about love. Make me puke! My therapist had then told me that I have been severely Spiritually Abused by her.

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She picked up the card and said, “How many more times do you want to go through this?” That didn’t really sink in until the next day to be honest. But what she said next hurt so bad I couldn’t believe she said it. She said, “You already do not have a relationship with your sisters. You are not in their lives.” I got a lump in my throat and my eyes started to burn. I had never heard that or thought of that. I told her how much that statement hurt but I couldn’t repeat it. So she said it again. I flustered and started crying. “It hurts you because deep down, you know it’s true.”

It is true. All this time I had been fearing the most damaging thing my m. could do to me and she has already done it. My therapist let that soak for a minute and then began to comfort me by saying another truth. “You don’t have one now, but you will have an opportunity. They will come to you whether they are 18 or older, and your mother will no longer have control over them legally. And ya know what, I am so proud of you for actually being able to even attend church with how much you have been through. You may not be able to go when you have triggers but you need to learn to separate the difference between your abuse and what it’s like to have faith.”

The next morning I sat up a Googled Spiritual Abuse. I found this really good article/site that talks about how God doesn’t approve of spiritual abuse. Matthew 18:6, “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

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That is the EXACT moment of when it all clicked in my head. The reason why I never ever could really go against my m. or step dad fully was because of the guilt of disobeying God. I had to honor them, and obey them in everything. That meant eat what I was told to eat, sit when they said sit and be who they said be. It all makes complete sense to me now. Thinking on this is actually comical to me now, how easy it was to fool me. I can see it plain as day. And now I know God is not thrilled about this at all! It is not my fault, I was a little one she caused to stumble. She is control and power hungry. She twists the words of God to benefit her. And it is better for her to drown in the sea.

Once I was able to see all that so clearly- I felt God stand behind me and empower me to do what I did next. My therapist recommended that I speak up. I kinda shook at the thought because I didn’t want to, I couldn’t imagine doing that. She asked why. I responded, “because I don’t want to stir up the hornet’s nest.” She asked why again. I couldn’t come up with an answer. Fear. Fear of what? My sisters are already taken from me. It was because back to that key thought, “well if I do that, I am not honoring my mother and father, I am rebellious, ungrateful, horrible daughter‚Ķ.” THOSE aren’t my words- that’s what I’ve “been trained” to think.

So next, I went onto Facebook. I made a status talking about how I do not want a relationship with my m., I have never had one with her. (I don’t ever call her mother, I call her by her real name) How it breaks my heart I have to have pre approval to be able to see my own sisters. And that I am not going to stroke her ego to just maybe be able to see my sisters. How my m. uninvited me to this past christmas, how I never hear from her for months at a time and I want nothing to do with her. I am done being silent.

Now my m. doesn’t have facebook but my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends do. I didn’t post it to be mean or to get back at her. I posted it to let everyone know what they have always assumed. I then later posted another status saying that no one has to choose sides mine or hers. And that if you have a relationship with her you will still be able to have one with me. Also that I will never talk about situations about her unless that person asks- then I will answer.

I got a lot of support from my friends and family surprisingly enough. But the family that is related to both of us pretty much stayed out of it. Except a couple people who said “it takes two”- meaning I am at fault too. Well, I am not and some of my friends stood up to them for me, which was nice. ¬†I didn’t expect to “start a war”, I am just letting people know I’m not faking a relationship with my abusive m. anymore. Then that is when my therapist’s question that lingered in my head was answered, How much more are you going to take of this?.¬† ¬† ¬†None.

 

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The Words that Heal

Last time I visited my therapist she said to think up of an action plan of what to do when I feel overwhelmed. I have been drawing a blank these past couple weeks and I couldn’t figure out anything. I saw this post on Yahoo the other day that talked about an Anger Box for newlyweds.

You get a box, you and your husband write love letters to each other  whenever you want and however many times you want. Fill up the box and then shut it. Then whenever you feel like giving up/calling it quits or get so mad at each other -you will open up that box and read your love letter written to you by your spouse. It helps remind you what it is truly all about.

I do have a blessings box. That is when I write about blessings God has provided for me so I do not forget about him. I have kinda slacked off/not being noticing the blessings during my “haze”. And like my last entry (speaking in quotes) sometimes I just don’t want anything to do with God because of my abusive triggers.

My task today besides cleaning the house and going to therapy will be to get these boxes together and start writing some letters. I might write on the outside what it will help for. So for example I will write a letter that will explain how life is so beautiful and all my plans if I become suicidal. Also my husband’s letters will help remind me how much I mean to him and that will help.

Another one is if I feel so overwhelmed by sharing living space with others- I will write a letter about how much of a blessing they are. Or if I can’t stand to read a scripture because of a trigger- I will read a letter I wrote to God. I struggle with seeking attention to wanting to be covered like a nun. I also struggle with extreme anxiety, nightmares, fantasies, anger, depression, self-esteem, using food as my comfort, exercise abuse triggers, anti social behavior and more.

I haven’t developed anything else for that action plan but I know this will help. I am excited to start this journey of helping myself heal. I might even put a couple letters I write to myself on here to share. I have a lot of work to do. ūüôā

 

Haze

It’s been two weeks since I have last blogged. I want to avoid certain topics. I can feel myself start to zone out. It is like a haze over a pond early in the sunrise. Gradual, silent and lingering. I just want to disappear. I have not been able to go to counseling for 3 weeks now. Not because of my choice but because she has been unavailable or sick.

Of course realistically I do not blame her, but in the hazey fog- it’s all her fault and I want to quit. Why do I depend so much on other people to make me feel better when they just let me down? The past couple weeks have been huge triggers, an episode of self harm, brutal nightmares, panic and anxiety attacks so bad I have to leave certain buildings, I am not only thinking about a world without me but how to commit suicide.

My life honestly in “real eyes” is not that bad at all. I actually have it fairly easy right now but on the inside I am screaming. My eyes lust for my own blood, my brain thinks any¬†man will hurt me, my body shakes and cringes because I feel like I am about to pounced upon. My hands scratch and pull at my own disgusting fat body. I cry hot tears, my chest gets these sharp knife like stabbing pains ever so often that bring me to my knees and then I go numb.

I enter in the haze. It is not a daydream, it is not a sleep, it is not anything. It just is numb. I need her help and for 3 weeks I have been stuck in this haze longing to get out.

 

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Parent or Guardian

Laying in bed this morning after my therapy session yesterday I have a lot of anxiety. I am listening to peaceful music, praying and deep breathing- trying to get rid of all my anxiety. I have heard therapy is challenging. My therapist has even told me that it takes courage to heal. My 3rd visit was yesterday and I have met my first challenge.

She mentioned a few key elements that I have always wondered about. A question that is always on my mind is what would my m. be like if she wasn’t mentally sick. I remember her before it got bad and how fun she used to be. My therapist answered that long lost question of mine. My m. would be me. She told me that I am the best part of my m.

I have never heard that or thought of it that way. I have been told I am like her in negative ways but never in positive ways. She said that I am the best part of her and that’s part of the reason why my m. chooses to direct the abuse at me.

If you are wondering why I choose not to right mother or mom and only m. is because I do not call her mother. It is strange for me to hear it, say it, or write it. I normally call her by her first name (not to her obviously) and for the sake of privacy I do not put her real name. My counselor also addressed that yesterday asking how long I have not called her mom. I told her most of the time nowadays I call her by her first name.

When I hear the word mother or just type it- I get extremely sad or depressed. I sometimes think about my step momma who I do call mom sometimes but most of the time it just feels like an empty word. One of my goals in going to therapy is to be able to hear, write or talk about a mom, mother, mother’s day, and holidays without it being a lonely depressing trigger. For awhile I felt like I was mourning the loss of a mother. I felt motherless.

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I am trying my hardest now to not give my m. so much power over my emotions and my life. I took the first step in moving her email address into spam (which is huge for me). I did send her birthday greetings and she responded with requesting I call her sometime soon.

At first I had a rush of hope that she missed me. But being honest with myself I know this happens every few months when she chooses not to contact me. Even without hearing her voice just reading the typed words in the email I know it’s not sincere. I hope differently and try to¬†lie to myself that “maybe this time it will be different”. I began to tell¬†my therapist how I felt about this.

I told her that I feel like my m. just wants to know and she doesn’t really care how I am. My m. values information. My therapist smiled and nodded her head. She told me that that is exactly why my m. sent that response and that I should trust my gut. I knew I was right deep down inside but I have such hope that she’ll change- I blind myself.

Next subject that I talked to her about it when it comes to her birthday, mother’s day and holidays should I send her cards and gifts? My counselor looked at me as if she read my mind. I kinda was fearful to admit my true feelings. She sighed and told me how I have felt about it all these years. It was just like calling her mother or mom- it is awkward.

It is so awkward to feel obligated to acknowledge someone who isn’t there. I don’t want to come across mean or ungrateful. When I was growing up it was said to “honor your father and mother” to not be “ungrateful” to be “respectful of your elders”‚Ķ ¬†My mind is conditioned to believe if I don’t notice her I am a horrible person. She will become “so hurt” by it. Of course that brings me shame, guilt and makes me feel like a failure. I am almost in tears and I don’t exactly understand why.

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I had a mild panic attack last night for awhile and I am starting to have one now. My anxiety is just overflowing again. My breath is short and my head is hung low. I don’t want to be an ungrateful child. My m. makes me out to seem like I am some rebellious, foul, shocking person and I believe it.

My counselor gave me a challenge to overcome and this triggers all my anxiety today as well. I need to give myself permission to not care. I need to give myself permission to let go. I need to give myself permission to have a thought of my own. Permission to not bow to her. Permission to have my own life without her control.

I do not know the woman. I never really have. I mean I know her pain and why she is the way she is but I do not have a relationship with her. I need to be honest with myself and give myself the permission to go on. As soon as I try to, I have a tremendous amount of shame and guilt.

My chest gets so tight. I am worried about what she will think. I have always been a people pleaser and it’s time to stop. I want to be truly happy and to have thoughts of my own. I even try to please my husband to get affection. For example, I will deny myself food for hours to just wait for him. I never really do anything for myself.

I heard this song the other day, Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield:

“I used to care so much about
What others think about
I almost didn’t have
A thought of my own

The slightest remark
Would make me embark
On a journey of self-doubt”

¬†That couldn’t be more true. I want to start having thoughts of my own and stop worrying so much about what others will think, if they will approve or accept me. I know this journey is going to be a long one. I am having such a hard time giving myself permission. Maybe I will make little slips out and write down everything I give myself permission to do. That might be a helpful activity and I will place them where I can see them everyday. Until next entry.

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