Tag Archive: abuse


A Childhood Want

elfquest

Suntop, Skywise, Cutter, Leetah, and Ember all sleeping

If I was to think back to when I had my first experience with poly in any form, I would have to say that it went back to when I was in middle school. My friends were just getting into Elfquest. It was something so very new. My mom wouldn’t let me read comics when I was a kid because they were evil or something. In all fairness, I have no idea why they were considered so bad. The storylines at that point were still fairly simplistic.

There were three characters that shared a loving V relationship. They are Cutter, Skywise, and Leetah. The connection point between Leetah and Skywise is Cutter as he’s the one with the intimate relationship with the other two.

I didn’t realize how profoundly the image of the three of them sleeping was for me. After all, I never had that closeness when I was younger, despite how much I wanted to feel like people wanted to be close to people.

There was something comforting about the relationship between the three of them, that just made me feel… I don’t know… comforted. I think that would be the most accurate, especially because at that point in my life, I didn’t even have a good place when I was home with my birth family.

It’s funny, because I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to have a warm and loving family. I didn’t really have that experience when I was a child. A majority of my childhood was chaos and anger and fear. It was everything that you would never want to have as a child. Looking at a picture of Leetah, Cutter, and Skywise sleeping peacefully with Leetah and Cutter’s children…

It’s something that I desired when I was a child. It’s never something I really experienced nor do I have a conscious moment of when I was younger. There was a lot of anger, pain, and fighting… but never a sense of peace of serenity. Never a sense of what I hear is supposed to be what it means to be in a family. The strife that I dealt with when I was younger has made me a bit more standoffish than I think anyone should be.

Life does seem to have a way of righting itself some of the time. While chaos will always be a part of life (as much as I dislike it), It is possible for things to right themselves. The peace that I saw in that picture, the love that I saw in that relationship… that seems to be within reach. I keep hoping and waiting patiently to have that an image like that of my own… and it’s possible that maybe I can have that family. It’s certainly something that I want more than anything. I want to have in my adulthood all the things that my childhood never presented me. I want constancy. I want a warm and loving environment. I want people who will actually love me, make me feel like I’m loved regardless.

All it took was a simple picture of three people sharing a loving moment…

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The Path Back

Now that I’ve actually confronted a lot of my fears and negative emotions from my abuse… I have other things that I need to deal with. All of which are dealing with this thing called abuse. None of it is any fun. You know what, it’s something that I do need to deal with. It’s something that I’ve hidden from for… well, more years than I care to count.

It’s something that I have decided that I can no longer sit on. It’s something that I’m not sure serves any purpose. I have cut out pretty much everything in my life that brought me here.

So, how do I fix this?

I honestly have no idea. I’m feeling triggered from having worked it all out. I figured out what feelings and fears come from all the different instances of abuse. Each instance has made it increasingly difficult for me to trust people. I’m at the point where the only way I can trust new people is if the people who I trust trust them. That’s a pretty sad way to live. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of being afraid of being abandoned. I’m tired of the insecurity that this all breeds.

More than anything, I’m tired of feeling like I’m an outsider. PTSD is an asshole… and with more information and learning about how things like sustained abuse can affect the brain, it’s interesting to see how I see it in myself.

I do understand that everyone has the capability to see a bit of everything in themselves. It’s frequent that medical students do this all the time. It’s something that I’m aware of… which is why I tend to be a bit more skeptical. At the same time, it’s hard not to look at it and say… yeah, I can totally see this. You can’t be abused for 25 years and it not have a negative affect on your psychology. In many cases it forms the neurological responses in the brain. The brain re-wires itself in order to handle pain responses. It becomes a core part of your personality.

The thought of that scares me. The thought of trying to fix this and losing myself is scary.

Of course, the reality is that something like this can’t be fixed. There is no such thing as fixing. There is, however, trying to work around these responses. This is where I am. I want to work around crippling anxiety. I know that I can feel genuinely happy, if anything the time I have spent with my Significant Other and my new partner have taught me some very profound lessons on finding grounding people… people who I feel genuinely and amazingly happy with. I am just tired of this undercurrent of fear, anxiety, and depression.

So, I’m working on it. I’m not just working on it personally. I’m working on it clinically as well. I want to be the best version of me. No matter how much I embrace who I am now, I know that I could be better. This isn’t about being a perfectionist or anything of the sort. This is about me feeling comfortable in my skin. I’m hoping soon that I can be, finally.

It’s going to be work, just like all things in life.

There are some things that are worth working for. There are some reasons that are worth it. All of which are my own. I just want to be the best me I can.

Then there was living with my mom’s ex best friend… that was a living nightmare. Every night I would hope for some way to escape. I would wish that someone would take me away from this place. There were a lot of things that happened there that are absolutely beyond what would be acceptable to do to anyone.

Punishment in that house would come often for the eldest children. The younger children would get off scot-free. I remember plenty of punishment that would be about embarrassment. I used to love bananas as a child. I was punished once by being forced to sit on bananas… for something I don’t even remember, possibly something trivial because serious punishments were mortifyingly bad. Since that day, I can no longer have bananas without it evoking a response of disgust. It was so bad, that I just wanted to hide. I was constantly mocked, even while I was doing what I was asked to do. It wasn’t just by her either. Her children would also make fun of me. There was never a moment where I wasn’t being beaten down emotionally, if I wasn’t being hit.

The beatings, however, were bad enough.

I discussed it back in 2011, as I went to therapy to talk about the time where I was beaten because someone had written my name all over furniture that was mine (it was given to me by my godmother). She got so mad she repeatedly hit me. She wouldn’t stop. My mom was there and when I asked her for help to make it stop, my mom just watched. She did nothing. I have talked to my mom about this and she doesn’t remember it happening. Since she was out for the weekend from the hospital, it’s possible that she was heavily medicated. I just remember pleading for help, my eyes stinging from the tears as I was still being hit… and no one helped me. They all just stood there and watched.

After she was done, everyone left the room. I was left by myself, curled up in a ball, crying.

This might be the most compelling reason as towhy I have issues with asking for help. This, of course, is magnified by my mom repeatedly telling me that I have to fight my own battles. I’ve never had help, even when I needed it most desperately. So, it’s of little surprise that this incident might be the inciting incident.

This wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me in that house. One night, while I was sick with flu… I was forced to sleep on the drafty living room floor. The room that I was sharing with the other eldest daughter (it’s easier to abuse that which you hate if they’re together) was being used by… I think my mother… or a guy who was living in the house. Her genetic daughter was given the couch, so I wound up on the floor.

I was so chilled because my fever was high. I curled up and tried to keep warm despite the fact I was ill. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. I was chilled to the bone with fever. I got up several times in the night to vomit. I would moan because my body felt so awfully… yet no one checked on me or offered to let me sleep somewhere other than the cold and drafty floor. It wasn’t until everyone was getting up and getting ready to go to school and someone finally checked on me, that they realized that I was sick. I was about to pass out from exhaustion and sickness. Then I was allowed to sleep on the couch. I spent most of the day asleep while trying to let the flu pass.

I remember thinking about how this was like Cinderella. Being forced to take care of everyone and being treated so horribly… and that maybe, some day, my Prince Charming will come to save me from this torment. I was 7-years-old. I was looking for anyone to be my savior, anyone to help me and save me from this torment. I felt more like a slave and less like a person. This is a fact that I never let show at school. I maintained many good friendships, while hiding everything that was happening to me. I felt like I had done something to deserve this. That it was my fault that I was being treated that way, so I couldn’t report it to anyone. I felt like I had no self-worth. I certainly had no agency there. They threatened to throw me into a pool that I wasn’t comfortable with. I would never swim there because I was afraid that I would drown. It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to swim or anything… after the beating where no one would help me, I knew that no one would help if I were to flounder and then wind up drowning.

However, none of this is the worst thing I dealt with while living there. One night, the youngest daughter picked a fight with me… and I fought back. I didn’t take anyone’s shit that night. I think I had snapped after being constantly verbally beat down for so long. So, instead of hitting me, she opted for something worse. She grabbed a roll of duct tape and taped my mouth shut, straight off the roll. Every time I would try to move my mouth, lick my lips, try to talk… I could feel the tape pulling skin off the area it was touching. The pain was horrendous. I remember thinking when will this tape be gone. Then thinking about what it would feel like to have the tape pulled off.

I ran to the garage to hide. I was so scared of the pain. I knew it would be worse than when I would move my mouth… and I knew it would be a fast yank followed by burning and pain. I wasn’t sure whether it would make the area around my mouth, and the mouth itself bleed. I hid in the garage, not wanting to be found. I would rather keep the tape on my mouth.

Eventually, the tape was carefully pulled off of my mouth… but I was scared by that point. There was no reason to have someone use duct tape to cover my mouth. Any time I see anything that advocates the usage of duct tape for bondage purposes, I feel such a pure and hot rage. When I mentioned this instance to a therapist of mine, they called what happened torture… and I would agree. I didn’t know what would happen, why it was happening… and the thought of it being pulled off scared me. When the tape was gone, the area was red. It still pulled skin off my face, but there was no bleeding. It was red and hot and in pain.

I have such a great amount of anger when it comes to her. It was so bad at one point that I called her, justifiably given my experience, a psycho bitch. Everyone wanted me to apologize. I didn’t I stood my ground. I can’t stand that woman. I don’t want to see her again. I’m so pissed off by the degree of abuse she did to me. I felt like a slave, the red-headed stepchild (ok… I am a redhead, but that’s beside the point), the whipping boy. All I wanted to do was to escape. I wanted to be free of the abuse, the negative words, the beatings, the fear that I might die there.

Now… all I’m left with are some deep-seated fears of never having any help and anger… lots of anger. It also alienated me more from my family. No one helped me. No one told her to stop or stood in the way in defense. She was allowed to do whatever she thought was fit… even if I had no idea why. It’s forever altered me in so many painful ways. It made it hard for me to trust anyone… especially people I didn’t know. It put me even further in my shell and made me shyer because I was constantly belittled. I had no sense of being a person worthy of anything… and that’s the worst part. I thought I deserved the torture and pain. That I must have done something wrong… even if I knew that I did nothing.

Since I’m enjoying feeling less encumbered from having done a lot of work on dealing with my rape, I figured maybe I should tackle the bigger and scarier monster in my closet. This is one that I wish that I didn’t have, let alone have the need to kill it with fire. And, since I actually dealt with the rape fairly quickly… thanks to writing and having visited the place where I was raped. Now it’s time to do the other.

I’m not sure I need to visit the places I was abused. I have been back to them since the abuse happened. Every time I go there, there’s’ a certain amount of anger that accompanies me. I think that’s largely due to the fact that I don’t understand what I could have possibly done to deserve any of it. Like, what could have been so bad that I deserved the beatings and the words that I received?

So, I guess the best place to start this is at the beginning…

My childhood was… not optimal. I think that’s the best way I can put this. After all, there’s a lot that happened. I was given a set of circumstances that most don’t deal with. To this day, I have no idea how I managed to fight through it all. I had to be strong all of my life. I never had a childhood.

OK, I need to stop dawdling. I’m stretching this out because if I put it in words on a page, then I can no longer sweep it under a carpet. I have to face that this is what happened. This was my childhood. The enormity of that almost gives me pause. Then I remember how hard things that discuss abuse hit me… like an emotional Mack truck. I have to get through this, despite the pain.

The first instance that I remember of physical abuse was at the hands of my father. Granted, there was an instance that I was too young for it to pop into my memory where my mom beat me for saying no… and not just a slap or a spank. I was repeatedly hit… according to my mother. I’m going to take her word on that because I can’t think of a parent who would openly admit to repeatedly hitting their child. Which is good that she admitted that she not only did it, but she did realize what she was doing and stopped. This seems about right because the psychological slide downhill happened after my memories start.

My dad was in a motorcycle accident before I was born. He was in a semi-coma for several months (I’m not entirely sure about the length of time… it might have been just a couple of months. He has brain damage from the incident. It’s not bad enough to have incapacitated him or leave him in a vegetative state. It was bad enough that he doesn’t seem to have matured past being a teenager. To this day, he still acts a lot like a teenager. This is something I have accepted as the way he is. I don’t remember him ever being any different. This is also not an excuse for what happened. More, it sets the stage for what happened.

My sister and I would often stay up late. I have always been a night owl. I still am. This wake up early rubbish is for the birds. It’s at this time, my mom was already starting to experience issues with her bi-polar. So, we’d still be up pretty late… like to the time when my dad was coming home from his swing shift (I think it was swing shift, I’m not entirely sure what time it was because we didn’t have a clock in our room).

Now, I have no idea how or why my name was written on the table in our room. But it was. I don’t remember doing it. I’m not sure that I did… actually, I’m pretty sure I didn’t. My dad was very mad when he saw it and asked who did it. I said I didn’t and my sister said it was me. He grabbed a metal hanger and proceeded to spank me with it. I still remember what it felt like to this day. Metal hangers sting more, even if there isn’t a lot of surface area to the hanger. I kept crying that I didn’t do it, but I was still hit. I’m lucky that the hanger didn’t do any permanent damage or drew blood… I just remember how I felt. I felt scared. I felt that I wasn’t being listened too. I also felt betrayed. This wasn’t a one-time instance. Any time something happened, I’d get hit. It got to a point where I’d be afraid where I’d get hit for nothing again, because my dad was mad. I remember just feeling so helpless. I would lie there and get hit.

Now, my dad has apologized for doing this. I’m not sure whether or not I can get past this. I did nothing and got hit. Of course, this isn’t the only instance where I would be blamed for writing my name on something. I’ve written about that instance before, so I won’t go into detail because I covered it all before and I’ve processed that instance.

But this… This is…

It’s hard I try to view things realistically. I try to have faith that nothing malicious was meant. But… it’s hard to do that when I remember how I felt every time the hanger hit me. I remember feeling incredibly small. I felt like the scapegoat. That maybe the start of why I feel like I deserve all bad things that happen to me, despite whether or not I did it. This might be the start of so many negative thoughts about myself. It’s not the only cause, but it’s a major source.

Sometimes it’s weird how these chains of thought develop even when one processes through all their personal stuff.

I didn’t think I was going to find this whole new random thread among the clutter of others. But as I was writing about my rape again (because each time I find another piece that I hadn’t worked on before). This time… something that has been a huge glaring part of my entire childhood peeked out to say hello.

Lately I’ve been getting plenty of reassurances from my partners that I’m not alone and that they’d be there to help in any way they can. For me, it’s mostly in the form of reassurances. I have to work through this old frayed knot to take it apart and fix it and make it stronger. And the more I picked at it yesterday, I kind of had a come to Jesus moment in the form of feeling horrible about myself.

One of the things that stuck out to me was something I always remember my mom telling me when I was younger. So, along with the abuse that I dealt with when I was at home, I was also relentlessly bullied from the age of 8, which is also when I started puberty… or maybe it was 7. Anyways, when I was far younger than I should have been.

I used to ask my mom for help, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a young kid, right?

Well, I was never really offered much in the way of reassurance of any kind (which is why they tend to be so powerful to me now). Nor was there an offer of how to cope with the teasing or how to help me lose weight (which is funny because I was a very active child). Instead, I was told I had to learn to fight my own battles. That’s not exactly the most helpful of pieces of advice, now is it?

Especially when you’re an 8-year-old little girl who doesn’t understand why she’s the only one in her grade that needs to wear deodorant and a bra. Where people would make fun of my relentlessly because I was fat, because I was poor… both things I had little control over at the time.

So, instead of anything that would ease me through this abuse, I was once again left to fend for myself, to figure out the best way to deal with it. I did this with no knowledge of psychology or why any of this was happening in the first place. Every time I had a problem I couldn’t solve because I lacked the knowledge to do so, I had to handle it myself.

It was said so often that I stopped asking for help. There was no purpose to ask for something that I wouldn’t get in the first place. So, I spent most of my times trying to figure out how to fix these things… something I had no knowledge of how to do at the time.

So, no wonder I beat myself up relentlessly over why I couldn’t fight back when I was raped. All I ever heard was fight your own battles. It’s why I never told anyone about the rape until I was 18 and taking an abnormal psych class. I looked at the DSM and looked at what I had been experience for those long 5 years and realized that was it. I was dealing with my rape and it made it hard to live.

Even when I sought help, I did it on my own. I went to an outside therapist that had a sliding scale. I didn’t use my health care… but realized that I needed more care than I could afford that way.

Everything I’ve dealt with has been a self-struggle, not by choice but by piss poor design.

So, someone telling me that they’re there for me is a little strange. I’m not used to support. When your life has been entirely self-preservation, the idea of a life raft quickly becomes a little strange. I’m never sure how anyone can help. Especially as I work through this, I’m not sure what more anyone can do but be a sounding board and offer reassurance both verbal and physical, if physical is possible.

This has been… well… pretty much a life-long struggle.

More than anything, this pisses me off. I’ve always felt like I have always been forced to be the adult. I have to be responsible. I have to be in control. I never had a chance to be that child. I had to fight my own battles. I had to watch my sister. I had to provide my food (as in it was in the house, but I had to earn to cook very young). I had to be beaten into submission by any and all means possible (as you can tell, that turned out so well).

Some days I just want to end it all. I’ve been an adult for almost 30 years now. I’m tired. For someone as young as I am, I shouldn’t be so world-weary… yet, here I am. Aged well beyond my years because I had no choice. And now… now I want the freedom to act reckless. I want to be able to do the things that I never could when I was younger. But, for the most part, I don’t. Someone needs to be the adult. Someone needs to be responsible. And I wear that mantle far too often.

Thinking about all of this makes my heart weep. I don’t know how to be a child because I was never one. Why did I have to be the responsible one? Why did I have to be the adult? Why couldn’t I have been able to depend on my parents?

Why did I have to fix everything? I was a child and didn’t have the tools at the time. I wasn’t being told this as a teenager, I was being told this as an eight-year-old. That’s a lot of responsibility for a little kid… and why did I have to do that in the first place? I wasn’t a parent and I certainly wasn’t old enough to understand everything that was going on.

The more I write about this, the angrier I get. I hate that I even had to relinquish my childhood. I hate that I couldn’t ever experience what it really means to be irresponsible. I have no idea what childhood means. To me, it was looking after my sister. It was trying not to get beaten. It was just trying to make it through the day without negative comments about my weight or that I was poor.

This isn’t exactly the childhood that I wanted nor is it one I think that anyone really deserves. It’s what I have to work with though. Sometimes that’s all you really got. So, I’m going to make do with what I have and figure out how to be comfortable accepting the help of others. I like being in the place where I can get help… I just wish I was more comfortable with people reaching out to me.

I made a promise to myself this year. It’s a pretty big goal, especially because I gave it a deadline, but I tend to look at things and tear them apart to make sense pretty quickly. Every time I listen to music from when I was in high school, it takes me back to that time… and how I felt. This was further amplified when I took a day to wander around Telegraph.

Even though things were so different, they’re also very much the same… So, I’m going to attempt to sort through my fear, loathing, and inner pain that I felt all throughout high school in context to the time it was happening. That means talking about the nineties as I remember them from when I was in high school.

Oh, the halcyon days on the nineteen nineties…

Yeah, right. It was all but halcyon. My life was in turmoil. I was abused both by friends at school as well as my family. I had no real sense of safe space. It took me many years to understand that safety isn’t just four walls, it’s the people who you invite into your family. I become more aware of that as every day passes.

Maybe it’s because I now feel more capable of being myself instead of fitting in some pre-poured mold that is gender. I now know the people I’m with are going to accept me for all of me, not because of expectations.

I certainly didn’t necessarily have it when I was younger. I also didn’t understand what my gender really was. Being non-conforming was… difficult. It was so difficult to deal with because there was a lot of puerile jokes, including repeatedly calling me she male… This is what my friends called me.

It made me realize how angry I was. I didn’t lash out like most teenagers. I didn’t lash out at my parents or do things like drink and smoke when I was in high school. My issues… were a little more personal, even if lashing out at my parents would be the entirely appropriate course of action. I did it by hurting myself. More importantly, I did it by cutting myself. It’s a behavior that I kept up with for… well… I think up until I was 25. I’m more to lash out on myself than anyone else.

This included my desire to do heroin. This amplified exponentially after my rape… which occurred not even one month after I started my freshman year. Surprisingly, as hell-bent as I was to actually shoot up… and having it repeatedly offered to me… for some reason, I couldn’t. Everything in my wanted to sublimate, to take the pain away by any means.

But I didn’t…

And I’m not sure why.

I dealt with the pain every day. I would often not fall asleep until 4:30 in the morning, only to need to wake up 3 hours later to go to school. Every time I went to school, it was this cruel reminder of what happened to me, how it felt to be cornered and incapable of leaving. It also brings up the mixed feelings of how I should have been able to fight back, but I didn’t. It’s something that I always take out on myself. I consider myself to be a strong woman, yet I couldn’t fight back. I couldn’t get out of the situation myself. Which is something my parents and specifically my mom used to tell me. I need to get myself out of difficult situations.

This is probably why, by and large, that I tend not to talk to people about my issues. I largely deal with them myself. I’ve never felt like I could talk to anyone or depend on anyone… I have always been made to feel that I can only really ever depend on myself… in all ways.

So, I always feel like I should have had the ability to get out of that situation. It makes me cry sometimes because I didn’t/couldn’t fight back.

So, that’s something that I still struggle with. I blame myself for not fighting. I don’t blame myself for the rape itself. That’s something that I need to stop doing. I need to look at myself and realize that it’s not something I could have really controlled.

And while I can say it, I don’t necessarily believe it. That’s the hard part, believing that I couldn’t have fought. I don’t know what to do about it though…

But it’s something that I have had in my life for over half my lifetime now… and the older I get, the bigger a timeframe it will take up. It can’t be like this forever. And it’s something that I will work on and kill (hopefully with fire).

Sometimes I Feel…

I’ve been thinking as of late… about things I probably shouldn’t be. I’ve stayed too long in the dark recesses of my brain. I wish that I didn’t necessary feel the need to do so, but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

I’ve been talking, as of late, of confronting some of the truly shitty parts of my life. It’s not a place I relish, but it’s a place that simply exists. I’ve been thinking about going back to those horrid citadels of pain that I remember from my childhood. Those places where I was beaten, I was neglected. I’m not sure if that includes my home up until I was 7. I have visited there since. While it is the place where my mom would try to kill herself and it was the place where my dad used to beat me with a wire hanger, for some reason it doesn’t seem to have a dark haze about it.

Sure, it’s the place where I had to grow up quickly. I had no choice, after all. My mom wasn’t really there and my dad didn’t have the maturity to be there, he also worked the graveyard shift, so he really wasn’t there. But I also have a lot of good memories. I would get up early to watch very early morning cartoons… maybe that was indicative of my issues with sleep, now that I think about it. It’s where we would play Atari. I had friends that I would go and hang out at their place. We’d watch movies and play together.

As dysfunctional as it was, it was also where I grew up.

Then there’s the place in Antioch. I spent a year there. That was one year of hell. It was a year where I was the whipping boy. I was constantly beaten or humiliated for nothing. It’s the place where my mom wouldn’t help me when I was being beaten… even as I was pleading with her to do something, anything to make it stop.

Then there’s the first high school I went to.

For some reason, that place fills me with a dread that… I’m not sure if I can name it. I haven’t been back to the school since I left it at the end of my sophomore year. The thought of going there… I have mixed feelings. I feel like I need to go there. There’s something that I need to reckon with there. There’s something so dark and black that I almost flunked tenth grade. I barely showed up to school because going there made me panic. I couldn’t sleep on school nights. I’d stay up until 4 in the morning, only to wake up 2.5 hours later.

I know going there will be incredibly powerful. It’s not something that I do with any great relish. I do it because there’s a very real need. I feel bound by my rape. It’s something that I can no longer abide. I need to stand up to this.

Then I think about why I’m so fucking damaged. This is something that I am so angry about. A good part of it is that I feel like I allowed it to happen to me. It’s so problematic that I have a hard time thinking that there isn’t something so horrible about me. That I deserved the 25 years of abuse. That I deserved every unkind word, every slap, every punch… I deserved to sleep on a drafty floor while I had the flu.

This bothers me. This makes me feel irreparably broken. While I know I didn’t deserve it, I don’t believe it. I still think that I deserve it… I think that I deserve it when a partner treats me like shit. I can’t do that anymore. I can’t allow for that. I’m so very tired of feeling like I’m some horribly evil person that deserves nothing but bad things. I try not to be that person. I try to look past it. For some reason lately, I can’t anymore. It’s in my face.
I think I know why too…

So, this my new thing. Go back. Face those stupid demons. Try to move on to a healthier and happier life. That might be asking for too much, but I have to try. There’s nothing wrong with trying.

Once again, I find myself in a triggered state… where all I can do is feel lousy. It’s not something I can do much about. I was triggered, now I need to work my way out of it. Of course this isn’t going to be short work, because it never is. This is about working through years of abuse. And in this case, other related feelings that aren’t directly about the abuse.

So, what am I dealing with this time?

Well… I’m dealing with the feeling of how alone I was feeling during the abuse. I’m dealing with feeling that I was never important enough to have anyone help me. I had to fight against it by myself. This is harder because this deals with a lot of feelings of abandonment and neglect. It’s not an easy path to figure out.

When I was triggered on Sunday, all I could think about was that no one really wanted to help me out of the abuse. Granted, yes, I know that the abused needs to want to get out of it on their own. They’ll never leave if they don’t want to. They’ll find excuses to stay there, even if they know it’s not good for them. In my case, I didn’t have that luxury. I was abused as a child first. It’s harder to leave, even if you desperately wanted out. I couldn’t be emancipated, because I had no way to support myself. I was stuck in places where I was beaten up, either physically or emotionally. When your whole life has pretty much been full of abuse, it’s hard to realize that isn’t normal. This is a lot like feeling sick after eating my whole life. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal because that’s the only thing I ever knew.

Granted, at some point, I realized that I was constantly not happy. It wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t keep consistently feeling miserable. How is that good for me? If I kept this up, I wasn’t going to live for long. Being unhappy didn’t suit me well and decided that I wanted out.

There was never really anyone there who was supportive of this with me. This is something I had to do by myself.

Then there was the abuse when I was a child. There was no one who would fight for me. I would take the beating, regardless of whether I deserved it. I was often beaten for things I didn’t do. I watched my mom watch me being beaten for something I didn’t do. I would take beatings for other people. I became a literal whipping boy…. But not really a boy.

That’s the hard thing… when you realize that not really anyone in your own family will advocate for you. So, I was beaten with fists and wire hangers, I had my mouth duck taped shut. I was forced to sleep on a drafty floor when I had the flu. No one helped. No one did anything.

This is a reality that I *need* to live with. That I never had help. It might be why I’m not always comfortable accepting other people’s help. I never had it. I don’t know how to accept it. I’m getting better with it. I’m starting to accept help. For so many years, I never had it. I had to help myself, even when I was 7-years-old.

That kind of thing can warp your world view.

That’s one thing this latest triggering has taught me… I can ask for help now. I can ask people to just be there for me as I try to work through all the stuff I had to fight against as a kid. This isn’t something I’m used to. It is something that I’m working on getting used to.

This last triggering has taught me some things. It has taught me that I’m no longer alone. That there are people who are there for me and can help me. I need to figure out how better to get the help I need now, but I do love knowing that there are people who are there to listen, there are shoulders to cry on. For those people I am truly grateful.

Once again, I’m stuck with this whole heart/head disagreement. Now, this is because my head is always expecting the other shoe to drop… like all the time. Now, this is largely because for every good thing that’s happened, something worse has happened. Is that the case here? Probably not.

I think what this boils down to is that I have anxiety issues.

I know I’ve talked a lot about being triggered and dealing with that ad the depression, but I haven’t actually talked about my anxiety issues. More importantly, I have social anxiety issues. I’m never sure if I’m screwing up socially. So, I always feel like I’ve screwed up unless I get direct feedback. This used to be a bigger issue when I was younger. I can generally figure out if I’ve done something wrong in social situations, thanks to being empathic.

But anytime I’m engaging in non-one-on-one communication, I’m never sure. I start feeling totally unsure of myself and my anxiety kicks in. It’s something that I work on, but there are moments where it kicks in hard. I dealt with that today.

So… what do I do?

I honestly have no clue. Thanks to years of emotional abuse, I almost always think that I’m a huge screw up. That’s what I was always told… that and that I was also not attractive. That’s a thought process that I’ve been getting better about, but I have negative body issues from that.

What’s more…? I hate being anxious like this. It becomes very physically and emotionally tiring. I almost feel like want to emotionally shut down, this is especially true when I actually have a panic attack. It’s also not something that just goes away. It lingers. It then makes me depressed. The funny thing, I don’t know where else this could have from besides the abuse and rape.

So, why did I start feeling this yesterday?

I don’t know. That’s really it. Maybe my fear got the best of me, no clue where it came from. Thankfully… I’m starting to find that writing is helping me sort out my thoughts better. More importantly, it helps organize otherwise all-over-the-place thoughts. It also gets me to feel how absurd the thinking really can be. Usually, it’s more something in my head than it is something based in reality. I know that, but it’s hard to turn it off once it’s started.

But I’m trying. Trying is all I can really do when it comes to negative emotional feedback. I am learning that doing this, writing, is really therapeutic. I might start doing that more when it does happen. It’s good to know that I have another outlet besides just going through it.

 

Personal Demons

Once every 3 months, I always deal with this emotional roller coaster. It’s largely due to hormones. As a woman, this gets to be both frustrating and an interesting learning experience. This time, it’s probably been the most debilitating to my self-esteem.

Something I admit to is that I’ve always had poor self-esteem. I’ve gone through a lot in my life, most of it being harsh criticism about my appearance. So, once my brain starts telling me bad things it tends to be all downhill. And, as of late, I’ve been feeling quite down about myself… largely where my weight is concerned.

I’ve been so down about my appearance that I have a hard time even looking at my reflection (either in the mirror or window or what have you).

This is something I’m not sure how to fix. I know I’m hormonal now, but I don’t know that that’s what’s causing it. It may partly be, but then there’s the countless voices that tell me I’m fat, unattractive, an embarrassment. These voices are hard to hush.

I’m working on it, but I still have a hard time looking at myself. I feel so defeated. It’s something that I know that I need to fix… but I haven’t any idea of how to fix it.

Maybe it’s time to go back in to talk therapy, talk through this. It’s the only thing that I can think of. I know that I can’t keep thinking this way about myself.

Some times I just feel lost. That’s where I am, at a loss for what to do next. It’ll come to me. I just hope it does sooner rather then later.