Going back in time

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Going back in time, if pain lives there, can be one of the most difficult things a person would have to do. Some can leave the past in the past and they are ok with that. I envy them for being able to do that. I would guess that the majority of us can’t. When it comes to our childhoods though the circumstances vary from person to person and even from one sibling to another, not a single one of us grows into adulthood without some scrapes to our tender emotions. No parent is perfect. There is always some measure of dysfunction carried into adulthood. Often it plays out on our own children but those of us who truly love our children can’t possibly imagine inflicting the same pain on them. Sometimes it is an unconscious impulse. Then there is regret and an attempt to make a repair with our child. If we don’t want our childhoods played out on our children then there is much work to be done on ourselves.  That might take getting some therapy to work through it all.  The length or severity of trauma will dictate how much effort we need to put forth to clear the pain of our past. It’s the brave who go back and do the work. It’s the ones who truly love their children that go back and do the work. It’s all of us who want a better life for our children and even a  better world. We are the ones who do the hard work despite or fears. It is commendable.

If I had a choice to not do it then I would choose not to do it. But I don’t have a choice. My life is deeply affected by what I went through. The positive in going back is exposing the perpetrator for what they are… selfish sick depraved horrible beings that dare grace the term human.

Here is an example of an EMDR session I had a while back.  We stuck with a single target memory until it was finished. That means taking all the charge off the memory so that it is just a memory without the pain or negative ideas that I believed about myself that just were not true.  That’s how EMDR works. So I first watched her hands with my eyes causing the rapid eye movement and I could feel the powerful thoughts and feelings welling up in me and lo and behold, the waterworks started. I worked at that memory intensely all the while being cheered on by my therapist. Her compassionate guidance made such a difference. She would say, Linda, I know you can do this. It was one of the many rape experiences from my childhood at the hands of my father. She had me tell him whatever I wanted to tell him without restriction. I yelled at him. I called him a liar and a manipulator. I even said that I hated him, though I am not sure that I meant it. She was giving me some ideas of what I could say and even do to him which helped but I found the courage to say it in my own words. I gave those words power and I threw emotional darts at him with that power. It was a power that I really did not believe I had. The tears of pain fell from my eyes like waterfalls. I thought it would never stop but of course, it did. I probably have a lot more crying to do but for just this day I had accomplished a lot. I was proud of myself and grateful to my therapist for seeing the strength in me and drawing it out. It did not kill me to do this and I am here to fight yet another day.

Linda

P.S. Soon I will be back working on the memories again. Group therapy has given me the strength to continue.  It was a much-needed break.

A note on fear

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Bad things can invade our lives, leaving disaster in their wake.  Locked out or locked in, it does not matter when they come to infect my day. Fear is validated through my allowance to let it exist at least temporally until such time as it is necessary to start facing this fear without running away. Courage is moving through the trauma despite the fear.

I have been having a much-needed break from therapy and working on this trauma from my childhood. It is important to take care of myself. That might mean stepping back a bit if it is all getting overwhelming. This has happened to me from time to time.

Working on the trauma of any kind is far from easy and it’s not something that can be rushed. I have tried that with disastrous results and it set me back so far that I ended up in the hospital. I know now to take my time. It really does not matter how long it takes. The abuse affected my entire childhood and it stands to reason that it would have a big impact on adult life as well.

I am going to give myself credit for working on these difficult memories because it does take courage and great strength to be in this recovery until the end of it. I have come so far now and I am not giving up.

I have seen positive results from sticking with it no matter how much it frightens me or no matter how much it hurts.

I am a survivor and so much more!

So are you!

Linda

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I watched a very moving video of a forty-year old woman who was abandoned by her Mom when she was only eight years old. It was a very powerful movie.  She found her mom and she asked her Mom to stay with her for 10 days and she helped her mom see how this abandonment negatively effected her life. In the end the mom felt such guilt over leaving her. The daughter asked her to come because she was dying but did not let on right away about that. I wont go any farther than that so if anybody wanted to watch it I wouldn’t give it all away. You can find it on Netflix. Its called Illness.
It left me crying for a while and then I was ok. I started doing other things and suddenly I started to feel empty and even raw. I did not understand right away why I was feeling this way. I also felt a deep sadness. I finally realized that the movie touched on some nerves with my own mom. She did not abandon me like the movie. But although I saw her everyday of my childhood, I felt abandoned and betrayed by her. There is a difference between the mom in the movie and my mom. The difference is that the movie mom had finally realized what her daughter had been through and wanted to make a difference. In the final days of that girl’s life her mother was completely there for her. They made peace with past. My mom was there all along in my life but it felt as if she wasn’t. I needed her protection but she failed horribly. I needed her love but could not feel it. I always wondered just what was I to her? Perhaps a burden. That’s all I knew was this feeling that she did not want me and maybe she wished I was never born. This may not be true but that is how I felt.
She is not even in my life today. She lives in Tennessee with my youngest brother. I hardly hear from her.
Oh well, the movie made me sad and made me think of her. I do still love her even after everything that happened but I am not sure of her love for me. She could say it from time to time but actions speak louder than words. If only she could tell me and if only I could believe her then perhaps maybe I could have peace with it all.
What a Sunday!
Linda

Please hear me!

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I don’t know where to begin or if I should speak at all.

What we say and do can have a bigger impact on people than we might think.

I have learned lately to never assume things about myself nor to assume things about others and how what I say or do affects others in my life.  Especially the people closest to me, my family and friends.

From my perspective, life is not about me, although it might seem that way from time to time. I know that it is more about how people see me from the outside. Its there perspective and judgments about me.  It means more to me, that I show respect and genuine honesty and carefulness with my words and actions toward the people that I love and respect.

Lesson learned! I have had to learn a lot of lessons in my life the hard way. It’s not important to get into all that. This is more about misunderstandings, mix messages and inconsistencies that I send out.

I don’t expect anyone to understand me or even really know me when I set up all these protective walls. For me, its about survival mechanisms. They were maladaptive ways to survive that I learned from the past.  I don’t need them anymore and I am learning to change. I don’t expect anyone to understand all of it or the extent of it or why I do things the way that I do.

The world is so much bigger than any of my issues.

I have pushed so many people away lately.

I hurt my brother by pushing him away. He’s one of the last people in the world that I would ever want to hurt. I missed an important event in his life. The graduation of his twin sons from high school. I felt awful. I know that he forgives me but that does not make me feel any less guilty about it. I will make it up to him and my nephews. But I can’t be there for anyone else if I cant even take care of myself very well right now.

That’s the tragic thing about child abuse recovery. It steals little pieces of your life and can isolate you from the people that you care about the most.

I am working in therapy with the darkest and most traumatic memory of all.

The woods!

When I finally work that out then I will be able to work on repairs in my relationships.

I hope that they can all be patient with me. The ties that bind us as families can become so damaged whether we intend it or not but the flip side of that is, they can also mend with time and genuine effort.

Linda

 

 

 

 

Moving forward from being stuck

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I have asked myself if I am technically,  still stuck or am I moving forward.

If I am in treatment and actively working on my issues then I am definitely moving forward.

So with that out of the way, I have to say that group therapy is a positive move in my journey of healing from the effects of child abuse. It’s never easy to reflect on the things in your life that has caused so much turmoil. But just starting to deal with the emotion, although painful, is necessary to heal. I know this because I have already felt freer after working on some memories. Its does get better. when I feel myself falling back for a while I will always have the experience of feeling better to encourage more work, more movement.

I use a lot of self talk to keep me on the right track. It’s so easy to get discouraged and even think of giving up but the results of working hard on yourself can reap huge rewards.

No matter how long it takes or how long I have struggled.

Linda

Missing time

My therapist asked me if I experienced missing time. It was asked at the end of session. That’s it. I did not really answer her and she did not say why she asked me that.

It’s made me very worried. It may be nothing.

I’ll have to ask after the IOP. I start that tomorrow. I am really nervous.

I sure I’ll be fine. Just first day jitters.

Linda

IOP (Intensive Out Patient Program

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I just returned from therapy and I am exhausted. I have been seriously depressed for about three weeks. My therapist recommended taking a break from the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This a form of treatment that has become very helpful in dealing with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has helped to deal with painful memories from my childhood. But its been getting increasingly worse more and more and harder to deal with it all. I guess it is time for a break.

IOP will provide the stability that I need right now and being out of the house will be scary but healthy for me.

My heart goes out to all those suffering from depression and anxiety and dealing a painful past.

I am sending a mental and emotional hug to you all.

Take care and stay safe.

Linda