Saturday, December 29, 2007

Healing the Father Wound

I had counseling this morning and I focused on the fact that I can't seem to let go of the "Rejection Trio". That while I understand certain things intellectually, I just can't seem to get those thoughts to travel the tenuous trail from head to heart.....from brain to soul.

I take a few minutes to meditate and breathe now before I go into an appointment. I focus on relaxation first and then opening myself up to emotional receptivity. It works so well. Today I went in and I just started pouring it all out and I was crying as I was talking. Just tears streaming down my face as I was actually comfortable. In the past when I've cried in front of my T, I've held it back so tightly that it causes pain in my neck and throat. I've hidden it by putting my hands up or turning around. I would neatly fold a tissue into a perfect square in a frighteningly OCD ritual and dab away any tears that dared to form before they ever spilled from my eyes. Now I just let them go as I look T in the face and continue talking and feeling. It's incredible! I asked her if this was my medication and she said sortof....if you go with the onion theory, the Effexor took off the skin so that I could get at the layers underneath!

Anyway, I told T that I wanted to stop feeling this desire to reach out to them, to hold onto them. She said indeed I'm very determined to drag my past around with me like a giant set of luggage everywhere I go. I said that I think I hold onto all of that because deep in the back of my mind I feel like there is some slim chance they will change and come back looking to make things right with me and I'm afraid to cut the cord "just in case". Of course I know that will never really happen. And, like I said.....if it really DID happen and one of them became convicted that they needed to make things right with me, they would seek me out. They all know where to find me. do I let them go?? I said to T that I was so scared to hear her answer because I was sure it would be basically to just wait it out.

Instead she suggested something a little more proactive.....something at least making me feel like I am doing something to work at my goal and dare I say to help me control the situation a bit. I hate being at the mercy of time. Time heals all wounds....BS. That's not enough for me. So she suggested I do some imagery work. Visualize a disconnect from each of them individually. Picture things like a cord between the two of us that shrivels up, turns to dust and blows away. Or maybe like a vacuum cleaner cord that I unplug from the other person and suck it back up into myself. Or picture my hopes of them each going into a moving box, then packing those boxes on a truck and watch it drive away. Write names, expectations, emotions on pieces of paper and crumple, throw away, burn or flush them all. T said this is an active method to engage my emotional and intellectual selves at the same time. ie: head/heart connection working together. I should allow any feelings to come through me as necessary and then perhaps visualize any associated tears that ensue as being washed down a drain. She said I should find the images that work for me and then replay them every night.

In addition, she gave me some tapes by John Bradshaw called "Healing the Father Wound" to help me in this process. FYI: I took a quick look at his website and he has SCORES of self help books, tapes, seminars on a variety of topics from addictions to family to codependency. Very interesting stuff.

So I mentioned to T how DD has been asking alot about her Daddy lately and how I'm struggling with how to explain things to her as she gets older because I'm wrestling with my own father issues. T asked me what is the first thing I would say to a little girl who questions why her father isn't the person she needed him to be. I answered "It's not your fault; it's not about you." T asked whose fault was it, then? I said "the man, the father." So she asked me to tell her what kind of a man my father was/is.

Here is what I know about my father:
His bio father was an alcoholic.
His bio-parents split when he was young and his mother kept him. She remarried to another man who I don't know all that much about but I do know that more than one young girl had accused him (the step-father) of making inappropriate remarks or touches.
My father has severe animosity toward his older sister. I suspect she may have possibly abused him or done something inappropriate with him.
He's a very angry man.
He was a workaholic.
He used to tell me he liked me fine til I started talking.
Money was very important to him.
His sister lived with their mother and took care of her through her illnesses, cooked, cleaned, took her to the Drs, gave her daily injections, etc. She (my aunt) was single and didn't have a whole lot. My father had a great job and plenty of money. When my grandparents died, they willed their estate at a 55/45% split in favor of my aunt, which makes sense. My father sued her for the 5% and didn't stop til he won it.
He only wanted to be a parent to me when there was something bad going on.
He was a completely different person when we had company.
He was paranoid...never wanted my mother to have friends or do things without him; was convinced that she was ashamed of him.
He had an affair when we moved to California (I was about 5)
He used to sit in the dark in silence for hours at a time.

After I shared the above with my T, she made the following observations:
He is emotionally immature. Something happened that shut him down at an early age.
He is intimacy avoidant (ding-ding.....there is the similarity to my XBF)
He threw himself into work because it was the only thing he could connect to that was safe.
Highly depressed
Acting out in anger was the only way he escaped his depression b/c he could not find peace and joy in life. In some subconscious way, we (the family) played into this and provoked his anger to get him out of the depression states.
He is closed off with no capacity for empathy (this reminded me of when I broke my collarbone and he grabbed me by the arm with the broken bone, flung me around by it, told me it wasn't broken and to buck up)
Seeing vulnerability in another person triggers him in rage and discomfort b/c it reminds him of a time he was vulnerable and hurt. This is probably the reason that the brunt of his anger was directed at me, since I was the most vulnerable of the family.

T asked me what he was like when he was young and how/when things started to change in him. I said I really had no idea. She suggested that since all of my father's family is now deceased, my mother may be the only possible source of information. I hesitated for we all know my mother's perception can be MILES away from reality. But I got home and decided to go for it. She was at my house babysitting and so I hit her up with some questions. "What was Dad like when you first met him?" Here's what she said:
Confident. Strong. Self assured.
People were drawn to him, he was very magnetic.
He was fun and popular, a star on the basketball team.
My mother moved to his area, his school, in their senior year. He was dating someone else at the time and she was the most popular girl in school. She was very smart and strong minded. But then they broke up and he went for my mother. She said she didn't understand why since she was the total opposite of his prior GF. (what came to mind for me is that he probably didn't particularly like a woman who was strong/smart and wanted to be an equal).
He was very social, had alot of friends, was the life of the party kind of person. I asked my mother if she felt this was his true personality or if it was a "show". I don't think she understood what I meant. I asked her what they were like alone or at home. She said they were very quiet.
I asked about his family life with his parents. She said his mother shaped his personality. She was a very spiteful person and, if he didn't do something the way she wanted, she would punish him, stop talking to him. He decided to play her game and do it better so he would out-spite her.
His bio-father actually literally just walked out the door and kept on walking when my father was 1 year old. He became kindof a town drunk/bum and my father was very ashamed of him. He never tried to pursue meeting him later.
He was extremely ambivalent about his step father. Nothing positive or negative. That struck me as a protective move on his my first father walked out on me so I'm not going to risk feeling anything for you so that you can't affect me no matter what you do.
At the time my parents met, my aunt (his sister) was living in an apartment and was "running around" father hated this, hated her and constantly called her a whore. (This reminded me of a time I came home very, very late one night when I was out with a boy. My father grabbed me by the wrists and twisted me down to the ground and kept asking me "What ELSE were you doing with him??" I think he acted out his feelings about his sister on me. Doesn't help that I look like her.)
He left CT to go to college with his friend in Chicago and he came back right away b/c he "missed my mother". He came back with no money at all and dodged tolls driving back b/c he had nothing. He took a clerical job at a small firm and they got married shortly thereafter.
He wanted kids. My mother says he was a very proud father. (I surmised in here that he thought he would change and his life would become happy if he married & had a family. I think the more that didn't happen, the more he withdrew into himself and became pissed off at us for not accomplishing what he expected.)
When I was born, he stopped talking to his mother b/c he told her she was not allowed to come over and wake up me or my brother. She got mad, he decided to get more mad and they didn't talk for 3 years.
Finishing college was a sore subject for him and he would become very angry/defensive when anyone said anything that remotely questioned his intelligence, authority or decisions. (This reminds me of a Christmas gift I asked for. It was a book called "An Incomplete Education" and when I opened it, he scoffed "You already have one of those, I don't know why you need another one." I think he projected his feelings about college onto me)
She said his personality changed dramatically when we moved to CA. I asked her what sparked that and she wasn't sure. She felt part of it was the job and the pressures of the promotion.
He got a mistress immediately.
She could feel him pulling away before the move happened. She kept trying to do things to bring them back together. He told her that every time she opened her mouth, it drove him farther away.
He changed even more for the worse when we came back to the east coast 5 years later.

I have not spoken to my father in about 7 or 8 years now and the last correspondence was by letters. I don't know what he's up to now so I asked her. Apparently, he is in failing health. He had a small stroke a few years back. Bad heart. Needed a hip replacement but had to wait on it b/c his heart was too weak. Finally had that last year. I had no idea but my mother told me today she went to visit him in the hospital and then stopped by his house to check on him afterwards. When she checked on him, he was in complete respiratory failure and ended up back in the hospital with permanent lung damage. He's diabetic and oxygen dependent. Yet he lives. How does he live through all this??

Apparently he still works for his same old employer doing consulting 5x a month and also does the books for a friend of his who is a Dr. He's got some friends, he's got a dog. His neighbors look in on him regularly. They don't even know the monster he has been. They think he's some sweet old man.

While I remembered the part about him sitting alone in the dark, I had forgotten that while there he would listen over and over and over to one song. I just looked up the lyrics and I'm going to post them here because I think it says ALOT about the kind of man he is:

A winter's day-
in a deep and dark December
I am alone-
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock, I am an island.
I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mity
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
friendship causes pain
It's laughter and loving I disdain
I am a rock, I am an island
Don't talk of love
but I've heard the word before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber of the feelings that have died
If I never loved I never would have cried
I am a rock, I am an island
I have my books
and my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armour
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb,
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock, I am an island
And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.

WOW, that is disturbing. And that is my father.......doesn't it make you all warm and fuzzy inside??

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 ~ 2008

Looking back and Looking ahead.

2007 ~ The year in review.
1. Buying my own place & moving. A definite HIGH point!!!
2. Breaking up with my XBF. A low point at the time but something that's been really good for me.
3. Getting on anti-anxiety medication. Something I fought for a very long time and finally acquiesced. It's been helpful.
4. Resuming an old friendship.
5. Therapy work - several epiphanies have occurred and I feel like I've made more progress in the last couple months than in the years prior.
6. Addressed my addiction though I have not yet gotten a handle on it.
7. Dating & being able to walk away from people who would have previously sucked me in. Having a better handle on who I am and what I expect from a relationship.
8. Starting a new way of relating to my mother.
9. Being able to spontaneously process emotions & doing some anger work.
10. I believe I have lowered my unrealistic expectations of myself to at least some degree. I still want to be able to accomplish more than most human beings! But I've allowed myself to relax at times instead of forcing myself to continue "doing" all the time.
11. I've been in touch with myself enough in times of stress to do my grounded breathing and relaxation exercises.
12. I finally got over a huge hump of not being able to call what happened with my brother abuse. I can say it now. I can believe it now.

2007 ~ My Goals at this time last year & how I did with them:
1. Finish reading my self help books: I not only didn't finish the ones I had but I bought new ones that I didn't read either!!
2. Move out: Check it off the list, it's done!!
3. Find a realistic level at which to deal with my mother: I am hovering around this place right now. A work in progress.
4. Growth in relationships with XBF (see #2 above...we see how that worked out) and with DD, which is very stong and happy.
5. Decide how I feel about God. If I say I decided that I still feel confused about God, does that mean I've done this one?? ;o) **Added 12/30: You know it came to me as I re-read this that I did figure out how I felt about God. I feel ANGRY. Really, deeply incensed and the mere mention of trusting Him triggers my rage. I think I like to say I'm "confused" instead because I know how wrong it is to feel fury at God. But I do. That's where I'm at and it does no good for me to be less than honest.
6. Come clean to my T about my addiction: Yes, I did that much.

Goals for 2008
1. Let's just start back at the same my self help books!
2. Continue good therapy work, which includes progress in my emotional work and anger work, as well as firmly establishing this new "dance" with my mother.
3. Attack my addiction. Establish healthy coping skills. Maybe even join the group therapy at the eating disorder clinic.
4. Find a babysitter other than my mother.
5. Try coming off medication
6. Try a new church....just go at least one time and see how it feels.
7. Do the meditation CD's that my T is going to give me (hopefully tomorrow)
8. Do Inner Child work
9. Bridge the Heart/Head gap at least somewhat or on some subjects
10. Get more sleep & make time to do some grounded breathing every day.
11. Grieve my losses or at least understand what it involves to do so. I don't think I've ever done it which is why I think I'm holding so tightly right now to trying to change the way certain relationships ended.

Okay....I think that's enough for now. Seeing T tomorrow.....lots to discuss.

Sign Of Saturn

I'm adding this to my blog so that I can find it easily......I'm gearing up for the new year. And I'm going to get my MoJo back!!

This is something I wrote back in March of 2007:
I was most dismayed as I read through my old journal yesterday. This was 13 years ago. THIRTEEN YEARS. 13 Years of life and experiences, relationships, books, counseling. And I feel like I am essentially still in the same place I was then. Look at my patterns: latching onto a man to give me my identity, protecting others above myself, panic, distance from God, no self worth, the "in-between" stage of being aware but not being able to change. I was discouraged and disgusted. This morning, I was thinking over things.....what I'd read in my journals, the situation with XBF. And then I had my epiphany.

I am a woman who fights tooth and nail for control of every situation, yet I am a woman who gives away my power to everything and everyone else in my life.

I give my power to my father, my mother, my brother, my anger, my boyfriends, my friends, memories, words, addictions, food. I strive to control people, things, situations that really are beyond my control. WHY then do I not control the one and only thing I CAN control, which is me and my power. Girls: I am back. I am a stone cold warrior in a battle to RECLAIM MY POWER. This is MY power and I am damn sick and tired of not owning it and rejoicing in it. Why in Gods name would I ever give it away? Why do I waste all my time and energy in this futile attempt to control that which I cannot and, in the end, I let that "failure" consume and control me? I stopped what I was doing this morning when I had that realization and went into my craft supplies and pulled out a bag of these wooden circles, like big poker chips, sortof. I took out my pen and I wrote POWER on one. I'm carrying it with me. I will continue to carry it with me. It is a reminder, a symbol, that I own my power and I will not give it away to anyone or anything again. I'm on a mission to take it back from everyone and everything I freely, and foolishly, relinquished it to.

I am waging a war on my addiction. Food is not stronger than me. It does not hold power over me. I will no longer allow it. I have some plans in place about how I'm going to make it through the cravings and the desire to rely on my addiction to comfort me, to hide behind. This time, I'm actually going to employ my tactics. I really didn't before. Yes, I was being accountable but I don't think I was even really trying not to give into the addiction. I cannot imagine a world without my constant comfort/release. One of the very few things I can depend on to always come through, be predictable, ease a pain or numb a feeling. But it's consuming me. It's killing me. It's not who I want to be. I gave my power away to an addiction and I'm taking it back. I will not let it control me anymore. I am in control. I will control the only thing I can control. ME. I've been so afraid to not be who I have been because I don't know who I will become. Well, it's high f***ing time I quit being afraid and find out who I can become.


Searching for something more permanent than the Power Chip....I went looking for a symbol I could tattoo on myself as a reminder and this is what I found a couple weeks later:

As an old Italic deity of sowing and harvest, Saturn became the Roman god of agriculture, gardening and vineyard cultivation. He was also a benefactor of humankind, a promoter of prosperity, and good manners and customs. During the Roman Empire's first centuries Saturnalia were celebrated, that is the midwinter festivals of Saturn, a period of unrestrained merriment in the celebration of the winter solstice. Slaves were given their freedom and were serviced by their masters. All enmity and animosity was forgotten, and all punishments were postponed.
Astrologically Saturn has become a symbol for implacable powers, restrictions impossible to overcome, relentless natural forces and the hard, fixed structures of the world of matter. In astrological graphical symbolism, the sign of Saturn illustrates that the crescent of receptivity, (the personality), submits to the restrictions of matter, . Saturn is known as the Greater Malefic; the bringer of sorrow, and the one who deprives. But Saturn only brings sorrow and deprivation in those areas of a person's life that are based on illusions or unrealistic expectations. Saturn represents the unrelenting aspect of reality that forces the individual to abandon all ideas that are not based on a realistic perception of the material conditions of life. A child is protected by his or her parents from physical and psychological harm. (Yeah, well....not always.) But for self-fulfillment the child must at some time free himself from this protective shield, its parents. (Or in my case, free herself from the bastards who didn't protect) Astrologers suggest that the inner being, the self, in a similar way is protected by the personality, the psychological structure envelopping the self, spirit, inner being, or true individual. Through the imaginations, conceptions, and games of the personality, the inner being is protected until that protection is no longer needed and becomes a hindrance for self-fulfillment. Once this stage of development has been reached the outer shell must be broken. The position of Saturn reveals the way in which the protective shell will break, the price that has to be paid for the freedom necessary for further development, and the pain that has to be endured during the process of really becoming a grown-up, a kind of rebirth. If the implications of Saturn are ignored, the planet becomes precisely the symbol of deprivations, inhibitions, and hardship just mentioned. What Robert Hand has to say in this respect is most enlightening: "Every time we do what is untrue to our nature, acting not from a real necessity but rather to fulfill what others may expect of us, we commit a crime against ourselves that is peculiarly Saturnine. We move a bit toward death, more of our potential becomes actual, and what is actual does not express what we are."
And so I got the Sign of Saturn tattoo on my forearm. (Think I'll try to add a pic of it) It meant so much to symbolic. Now it mocks me. Look what I've become. Look how I have let go of my power.

Yet, in re-reading the first part of this post (the part I copied back from 3/07), I see I've made progress this year.
Latching onto a man to give me my identity: I've been single for almost a year now and enjoying building my own strong identity.
Protecting others above myself: Not really anymore, no.
Panic: Well....medication controlled but still....that was a big step!!
Distance from God: Errr, okay.....I had to leave myself something to work on in '08
No self worth: I won't say none anymore b/c I do have self worth and I can say that when I am feeling unworthy, at least I'm quick to question what is behind that feeling.
The "in-between" stage of being aware but not being able to change: I don't think this is so much an issue now either...."not being able to" sounds so weak. I think I take more responsibility for my choices now. I feel like I need to go do the Year In Review/Goals for 2008 to start another post!! I'm a posting fool this week!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still confused

I didn't think I would make it another week wrestling with these thoughts and feelings but I guess the holiday took care of that for me. I didn't have extra time to dedicate to pondering. But I'm back to questioning today. Thinking of my "trio"....XBF, DD's bio-father and my father. Honestly, I think about my own father least of all. But I still believe he is the root of my wanting to contact the other two.

DD has been asking about her Daddy alot lately. XBF took the role and the title of Daddy willingly. He and I started dating when DD was 2 months old. He's all she ever knew. And then we broke up when she was 2 1/2. It's been nearly a year since she has seen or spoken to him and yet she remembers him like it was yesterday. I never thought she would remember him this long. So when she asks for Daddy, he is who she is talking about. I don't know how to explain to her that he couldn't be who he promised to be for her. And that, worse, the very person who created her life refuses to be a part of it. I don't know how to tell her that at the tender age of 3, she has already had two fathers who have both turned their backs on her. I don't know how to explain this rejection to her when I struggle with my own.

I don't understand how my own father could so coldly reject me. I don't understand how he didn't want to love me, protect me, believe me, cherish me. I don't know how I will be able to objectively explain things to my daughter without projection my feelings of shame, betrayal and unworthiness onto her. I want her to stand strong and know, in mind as well as in heart, that whoever does not choose to be part of her life is missing out on something extraordinary. I don't want her to feel that it's her flaws that drive people away and make her unlovable. Because that is how I feel. I feel unlovable. My own father. My brother. My mother in a different way. All the "boyfriends" I've ever had. You know I was pregnant once before when I was 20? My BF of 2 years told me if I didn't have an abortion he would never speak to me again. These are the kind of people I've foolishly chosen to give my heart to. My exhusband who abused me. DD's father who lied and turned his back on me. XBF.....who I loved so deeply even though I see it was not healthy love. I know they are his issues. I see him repeating his cycle....why am I stuck on feeling like I should have been "good enough" to change him? Why do I feel like a failure that I wasn't different in his life? It wasn't my job. It could have never been a successful relationship because HE is not healthy. Why are there parts of me that cling to what was?? Just because I miss feeling in love??

I don't know....I feel so confused. I still feel this gaping void between head and heart. And I so desperately want to bridge that gap but I don't understand how and I swear that the answer cannot be to just give it time because if I have to give it any more time, I'm going to contact one of them and I'm going to open myself up for bigger hurt. I've already written a letter to DD's bio-father though I did not send it. While it begs the question of him "What do I tell our daughter when she asks about you?"....the hidden question that he cannot answer is "Why did my father turn his back on me?" I know that there is no way for these questions to ever be answered. I can speculate from here to the ends of the earth but I'll never know. And the people who hold the answers within themselves are so completely out of touch that they could not explain it if they tried. What does a girl who craves the "Why?" do with permanently unanswered questions? How in God's name do I learn to make peace with that?

Let's think for a minute about what would happen if I actually did reach out to any of the "trio". There are basically three ways it could possibly end.
#1: they do not respond at all.
#2: they respond in a negative way
#3: they respond in a positive way

Well, #1 and #2 are pretty much setting myself up for re-traumatizing. More rejection, more pain, more laying my heart on the chopping block for someone who never deserved it in the first place. There is no good to come from either. Do I need confirmation of what I already know to be true?? And #3....what would I do with that? I don't think I can possibly face or forgive my father. I suppose if he were truly repentent about it, I'd hear him out but let's return to reality....not going to happen. If he were that remorseful, he would be contacting me.

If XBF responded positively.....what would that mean to my life? He's not getting back in. He can't be trusted. He doesn't get another opportunity to hurt me and by all means, he's not going to see my DD again.

DD's bio-father.....well, I'd like to think that someday she will have opportunity to meet him but I also envision that happening with him being a stand up guy. I see what I'm hanging my hat on here......I'm stuck on that miserable like .00000000001% chance that any or all of these three sorry-ass excuses of men will recognize and work out all their issues in a heartbeat and be longing to making things right with me. Curse that blasted Disney company!!!! I am holding out for the impossible, fairy tale, happily-ever-after ending. How many times do I need to circle the bowl with this one before I can finally flush the hope for something that will NEVER happen??????


Well, it was a fabulous Christmas. I feel like I have to think real hard to remember what's happened since I was last here! Saturday we got out nice and early and hit up a few stores as they opened to get last minute items done. I'd left my cell phone at my office on Friday night like a knucklehead and I just couldn't go almost a week without it so I had to come in on Sat to pick it up. Mind you, I live about 30 miles away from my office..... *sigh*. But, while I was here, I squeezed in a visit & cookie delivery to my friend and her DH/kids so that was nice. My DD had a blast playing with her kids. It was a long day....we were gone from 6:45am til 7:30pm. Sunday I cleaned, wrapped, did laundry & stuff. Monday, Christmas Eve....more laundry, lots of cooking. Too much multi-tasking which resulted in a seriously UN-fun injury. Let's just say the moral of the day was "Topless Baking Should Be Strongly Discouraged!!" Don't ask....... Suffice to say, unlike Enola.....I will NOT be posting photos of my injury!!

After that fiasco, we went to my friends parents house. They are like parents to me as well. They always call me their honorary daughter or fourth child. I love them so dearly. We had a really nice night just visiting with everyone. DD did not want to leave. She managed to stay awake all the way home and we left out cookies and carrots. She went to bed and then I was up til 3am putting her big toys together and filling the stockings. Slept til about 8:40am and she was still sound asleep! I woke her up to peek downstairs and her face was just utterly priceless when she saw Santa had come. I wanted that moment to myself before my mother came over.

Mom showed up at 9 and we did some presents, breakfast, more presents. Playing. Dinner. Playing. Dessert. It was really a wonderful day. DD was the focus all day so it was fine as far as interacting with my mother. A few times she crowded me in the kitchen and I just told her to go enjoy her grandbaby and let me do my thing in the kitchen.

Yesterday was bliss. We deemed it "Reheat & Relax". My best GF came over and we lounged in our PJ's all day, watched movies, ate leftovers, played with DD. It was lovely!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Morning musings

I was thinking this morning on my way to work. Thinking about this latest topic on my mind; the desire to contact people from my past. I've been considering calling my T for some guidance and I started thinking about what kind of questions she was likely to ask me. *Mental Note* It's probably a sign I've been in therapy too long when I can have a "session" without my T actually present!! LOL. Or maybe it's just a sign that I'm finally starting to "get it".

Sidebar note....I've been on Effexor for about six months now and I know my Doc said at 6 months is when you really start to see the full effect as it's finally integrated into your system. I have to say the work I've been doing in the past month or so has been more focused, effective, heartfelt and productive for my long term mental health than any I've done before. I am not so terrified of feelings. I'm not afraid to question why I feel the way I do about things. Instead, I actually WANT to do that so I can get to the bottom of it and get it out of the way!!

In any case.....I started to think. Of all the people in my life, past & present, good & bad, people I loved or disliked, people who were influential or pivotal.....why THESE three people? What is it about them? What is the commonality? Well once I asked that question, it made perfect sense. These are the three people whom with I've shared what should be the strongest bonds in existence. And they are three people who, despite this bond, have rejected me. My father is an obvious bond. XBF was the first man I truly loved. DD's bio father, well....we created a life together.

Beautiful Dreamer's response to my last post was right on. We want, and are practically bred to expect, that happy ending. The fantasy. The fairy tale. The Disney movie where everyone realizes their shortcomings and mistakes then move heaven and earth to change themselves and prove their love to those they have hurt. And they all live happily ever after. What could beg more for "happily ever after" than a father/daughter, first true love and having a baby together?

So....the question becomes "how do I find my ending"? How do I drop the expectation for the happy ending? What do I need to do to accept the reality and stop trying to rewrite the script of what really exists?? It's like watching a movie.....a movie with a really disappointing ending. And no matter how much you didn't care for the end, there is no changing it. It is what it is. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself?? My desire to reach out to these people is my desire to turn the tables; to flip the rejection. Or maybe just even to hear one word that makes me understand something so incomprehensible.

So I think I'm understanding what I'm doing and why. I accept that it's a futile wish, to change what is. I understand my task is to make peace with what is and find some way to stop feeling unsettled that I don't have the fairy tale that I feel so robbed of. Here is where I need my T. I don't know how to do this. I know she will tell me it's something that will happen in time. I want it to be a 1-2-3 step by step formula. Bam, bam,'re over it!! I think I need to call her tomorrow.....I don't think I can wait another 8 days with these feelings. I'm going to cave and contact at least one member of the "Rejection Trio"!! And that will be bad. Bad!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wrong Tactics, Right Result

I don't know what it is about this time of year. Why does it make me (and so many others) so nostalgic about people and relationships? Is it the ending of a year and the desire to put closure to old issues simultaneously? Is it the promise of a new year and wanting to facilitate some sort of fresh start? I've found myself itching to reach out to several people in the past few weeks. Strongest desire has been for my XBF.

T has been known to say that when something lingers for this long, it's old stuff. I did identify that my feelings of unrest with XBF relate much to the situation with my father....a relationship full of expectations. A relationship that failed; that ended in anger, hurt, disappointment, confusion and profound feelings of rejection and unworthiness. Lately I've been replaying a specific conversation that XBF and I had shortly before the demise of our relationship. Although I *know* it not to be the case, I insist on squandering my energy in "what-iffing" this conversation. What if I'd actually said what was on my mind? What if I'd stood up for myself? What if I'd realized that I deserved more than what he was giving me and I demanded it from him? If only I'd have said it.....then, surely, he would have developed new-found respect for me. In my mind, this night was a turning point. I want to believe that he was giving me the opportunity to be an equal half, to assert my importance, to speak my mind. I'd become lost in him, for the second time around. I never demanded anything of him. I let him set the pace. He spent one night talking to me about some things that were bothering him and he asked me to vent my frustrations as well. I didn't. I told him I really didn't have any. I did. I had frustrations. Sadly though, I didn't know just how many frustrations I had til weeks later. I managed to stuff the majority of them down. I managed to take on the burden; to find ways to blame myself for his issues. (*Whoa* Ding-Ding.....isn't THAT an old & learned thought process coming to the surface?!?)

Why is it that I can know something yet still not believe myself? Why have I known for a fact that what I'm replaying in my mind is not reality but I can't stop myself from imagining a different outcome? I know this is a waste of my time and energy. But I've been torturing myself with it. I've actually had the urge to apologize to HIM for not being enough of a person to speak my mind. WTH?? I need to apologize to MYSELF, not him! More to the point, I need to accept my own apology and know that I did the best I was capable of at that point in time.

I have been known to be a bit of a sneak. :o) I'm a snooper. I did it with my XDH and I did it with XBF as well. Last time I checked his email was mid summer and I found out that he'd gotten back together with another woman who he dated in between the two times he and I were together. Their emails were all lovey-lovey.....talking futures, vacations, marriage. All the things he and I had talked about. One part of me scoffed at it believing he has too many issues to ever make a relationship work. The other part of me felt like a total failure....wondering if he would go on from his relationship with me to actually get married and have a happy life with this other woman. While, of course, I died alone and miserable.

Well.....I decided to check his email today. I know. I know. It's wrong. I know it is. But my instinct has always been so strong with him. Even when we are not in touch, I somehow have a sixth sense about him. So there it was.....emails from her that seriously could have been from me a year ago. Replaying the exact situation that happened with me......"you only let me in so far and then you back away", "events that should bring us closer drive a distance between us", "why are you avoiding me?", "you say you want a future with me and then when it starts to go in that direction, you run for the hills". It was uncanny. And again, I know it was wrong for me to look. But I was able to exhale a sigh of relief and finally accept what I really did wasn't me. It wasn't me. It wasn't me.

I'm worthy of love. I'm worthy of commanding someone's time, attention, love, pride, respect. XBF is screwed up and it's not about me. My father is screwed up and it's not about me. My brother is screwed up and it's not about me. My mother is screwed up and it's not about me.

So it felt a little empowering to say those things....however, can you tell me why I still have this desire to contact people? I still want to get in touch with XBF, with my father, with DD's bio-father. Even with another XBF. Okay....I feel very ashamed to say this but I have to be honest. There is some part of me that wants them to want me. Oh. I guess I want to reject them back? Hmmm....well the 2nd XBF, I DID reject.....but that's a different story. I want them to feel like they are missing out on something? If I really felt convicted that I was so lovable then I don't think I'd feel like I wanted all these people to be pining away for me again. *sigh* (Perfect is screwed up and it *IS* about me, LOL) I know how F**ed up this is....but my most comfortable "relationships" are the ones where someone else adores me and I could give two craps about them. ugly to admit it. But it's true. I love it when I have nothing to lose. And apparently I still have an innate need for approval. Dammit.

What does this all mean? Is this my anger? I want to punish them? Revenge? Is it my wish to put closure on things? Because the closure is within me; I know that much. Closure is not going to come by talking to any of them. I already know I won't get the response I want. Things with XBF ended in anger over a completely miniscule misunderstanding and we never spoke again. Things with my father ended in anger with my writing him a letter about my disappointment in his actions and his sarcastic response concluded in his telling me to "let it go". Things with DD's bio-father ended in an ugly court battle (which I WON, thank you very much). I think my feelings about him are somehow replaying my own situation with MY father. Parental rejection. It absolutely tears me apart that he has no desire to know his daughter. I don't know.

My head is reeling. Someone...everyone....please say something to convince me that I don't want to reach out to all these people and give them the opportunity to disappoint me again. What do I need to do to resolve this in myself and bring closure so that I don't need to replay the scenario over and over and over. What do I need to learn, know, accept, believe, to make this STOP?? STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update After Counseling

Had T this morning. Unfortunately it had to be a phone session since I didn't have a babysitter. But was still good. I feel like I'm making alot of progress in counseling lately, really gettting some stuff out. Yay!

I was talking to T about the taxi situation when I took my mom to NYC. You know, I never really identify things as a "trigger". I rarely use that word. Even though I often say something wil "bring up" some sort of feeling. I need to start identifying this correctly. When my mother doesn't listen to me, it is a trigger. And it makes me feel frustrated, angry and resentful. Now, T pointed out something VERY interesting. I described the taxi scenario. T asked me to take myself out of the situation and "watch" it from a different perspective. I realized that she acted this was with my father as well. It's her people-pleasing nature. T said this has very little, if anything, to do with me. T asked me if I felt like I was even in the picture with my mother and I realized that, no, I did not. Until she got what she wanted and finally turned to me and asked "Is that okay?", I really felt like I was invisible. She didn't hear a word I said. T said "She cannot hear you. She is in a trance." She's in a state of panic that goes back to her own issues....child of an alcoholic and alot of family drama. T also said she believes my mother was traumatized in some way. She said this is really old stuff for my mother and it existed well before she even married my father at age 19. Until I'm able to pull back from it, I can't react to it differently.

T commented on my mothers question once she returned to the present moment with me, asking if this was "okay". T said "Look at her...she is a child asking for approval" Told me that my mother gives me alot of power over her. I had to laugh at that b/c I also give alot of power to my mother. In any case, there is a complete lack of consciousness on her part.

I got angry in this and I let it fly, which felt good. I didn't censor and I ended up just yelling out "I want HER to be the grown up!!" This is the whole issue with my being "parentalized" as a child, being forced into a parental role since she was unable to do it. So clearly my anger is rooted here as well...I don't want to be the parent. And, speaking of anger....again, it just really pisses me off that I'm the one who has to do all the work around this. Once again, I have more work to do because of HER issues. I mean,. I recognize that dealing with this will benefit me. I'm doing it for me and for my DD, not for my mother. But STILL.....dammit. Doesn't she ever have to take responsibility???? T said my mother is just plain unaware. She really is living her family life in a total trance because it's all she can do. So, it's not my job to take care of my mother but my task is to learn to detach instead of react. ie: Let my mother do her little frantic thing (knowing that anything I say will be futile) and when she's done, say something like "I didn't need you to do that. Did YOU need to do that?" I commented that when I say anything like that is when my mother goes into her guilty-for-existing apologies. T said to say something like "STOP reacting to me like I am someone who hurt you." Oy....I so can't imagine saying that to my mother. I think she would faint. Or I would, LOL.

In pointing out how unaware my mother is, T said that with knowledge comes responsibility and that is why it comes back to me. I'm not taking care of her....I am freeing myself. Not trying to "fix" her. Just making choices in my own best interest.

Now, THIS part was highly interesting to me.......I was relaying the story of the kitchen, where I felt trapped and was only able to respond to my mother in small "hmm"s & grunts. That is exactly how my father acted with her. T said that my mother sets this up for herself unconsciously. It's something she feels the need to relive for whatever reason. And b/c I react the same way, she's learned how to recreate the experience with me. So again MY task is to learn how to shift something so that I can achieve detachment. Which means I have to control the panic, take a breath and refuse to get into the same old dance with her. Tell her to stand in a different spot, change the subject, tell her she's making me uncomfortable....whatever works for me. But I have to stop allowing her to get me into that dance for her. I have to just be able to identify that something doesn't feel comfortable and so I need to change an aspect of it.

I have dream interpretations but I'll have to come back with them. I promised DD we would play a game when Frosty was over...and it's over.

More Dreams

I was in a diner type place and I think I was with another adult female but I don't know who she was. I never got a really clear view of her face. There was a young couple in a booth across from us and they had a tiny baby. I was watching the baby and smiling, admiring how tiny and cute. The girl came over to me with the baby who was VERY tiny and naked and was showing her to me. I said that the baby must be a brand newbie b/c she was so tiny. The girl said yes, that the baby was only one day old and she only weighed 2 pounds. She asked me if I wanted to hold the baby and I said yes. So I was holding the baby who seemed to be getting smaller in my hands and I was just admiring how precious. The girl walked away from me. I started to ask her why the baby was not in the hospital since it was so tiny but she wasn't answering me. Suddenly we were all outside and the baby was even smaller, like I was holding her on the end of my fingertip and I could see she was in complete distress, dehydrating and dying. I was trying to give it water and I had one drop hanging off the end of another fingertip that I was trying to get the baby to drink but I was afraid it would drown her b/c she was so tiny. I grabbed the girls hand and put the baby back in her hand. She wiped the baby back onto my hand which for some reason now had a white m&m in it and the baby ended up smeared onto the m&m and was all in pieces. I cupped my hands around it and didn't let the mother know the baby was dead. Then we were all in a kindof dark old room, like a musty cabin or something, very cluttered and kindof poor condition. There were 2 doors to this room and the other adult girl and I were tying the doors shut. In the dream we were keeping the girl out of this room where I still had the m&m baby in my hand but the purpose of this was somehow to make her deal with what was had happened to the baby. We were keeping her out but it was keeping her in?? Weird. Finally I had to tell her that the baby was dead and she needed to accept that.

I was in a house that had tons of people in it. I know that me, my mother, DD and "A", a casual friend of mine, were there. Then there were a bunch of other people who I don't know but I did know them in the dream. DD ran outside across the yard and out into the road to go to the mailbox across the street. A van almost hit her on the way over and then a blue car almost hit her on the way back. I just stood on the front steps and watched, screaming, my hand half over my eyes and on my forehead. I was staying there b/c I knew there was no way I could make it to her in time. I was screaming at her STOP, DD, STOP! But she was just running around without a care. She did not get hit and she came back to the house. I was yelling at her. "A" was there and saying the same things. I didn't want her involved so I took DD to the bathroom which was like a public bathroom with multiple stalls. I decided I needed to take her out of the house to talk to her and so we went to this roadstop type of diner/restaurant. We went inside and it was FILTHY with food and vomit all over the place. It was very narrow and crowded and the only couple tables that were empty were just gross. So I kindof sheepishly made my way to the other side of the restaurant (shaped like a half moon) to the exit. the other patrons were sneering at me and calling me a snob and a princess.....that I thought I was too good for the place. I was still scolding DD for going out to the road. I told her she she never go out into the yard without a grown up and she should never ever ever ever ever go out into the road. never under any circumstances. She was kindof laughing at me and saying yes but I knew she wasn't taking me seriously. We were walking along some path talking and I think my mother was there also. We were picking flowers along the way. Next we were back at the house with all these people. In fact, I think it was my condo. There were extra people and beds and stuff everywhere. I had to climb over things to get to any room. I was still trying to talk to DD. She was tired from the walk and she layed down in the sink. She was a baby again in size only. My mother and her friend "L" were there and I was trying to get the flowers into a vase but my mother kept stopping me to show L what each flower was and the story behind DD picking each one. I went to put water into a vase and I let the water run into the sink while my mother was telling L the story of the vase, also. Then I remembered DD was napping in the sink and I turned off the water in a panic, frantically feeling around in the sink among dirty dishes to find her but I could not. I looked over at my mother and she was holding DD (still a baby) on her shoulder. Then DD was her regular age again and I was still trying to talk to her about running out into the road. There were 2 little girls, possibly twins who were trying to talk to me and tell me about their father or grandfather who had to go get a heart stint. Apparently they lived in the house too. So I was trying to talk to them, talk to DD, talk to my mother, do laundry, bake a cake, prepare dinner, find all the ingredients in the kitchen and having to climb all over the extra people & things in the house. I just remember feeling like it was completely ridiculous that I was trying to do so much at once.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Wrestling with some feelings today. My mother was over last night. It's a regular Weds thing. I was feeling a real invasion of my personal space yesterday. My house is not all that big to start off with but I was baking and had some extra tables set up, some related clutter. I have 2 doorways to my kitchen. One was blocked by the set up table and she was standing in the other. Ah! Trapped! Not a good feeling. My mind wanted to go in 2 different directions. There was part that was trying to talk me off the ledge of a panic attack and the other part was ready to launch into that panic attack. I become very withdrawn when I feel that way. Part of me manages to feel guilty b/c I know I act like my father when I'm feeling withdrawn and I think about how that must make my mother feel. Stress on top of stress on top of stress. When my mother was leaving, she was kissing my DD goodbye and DD says to my mother "Kiss Mommy on the head five times." I couldn't think fast enough of any possible way to get out of that gracefully so I just let her do it. DD started to tell my mother to do it again and I managed to redirect that, thank goodness. Should be no big surprise that I woke up with a horrendous migraine this morning. So bad I could barely open my eyes and felt like I was going to vomit every time I moved my head an inch off the pillow. In the big picture, turned out to be a good thing since it snowed really heavily today. So I'm glad I stayed home. But......

I need to talk to my T about this. I don't know what to do with my feelings of invasion, discomfort, guilt, inability to voice my needs with my mother. I've tackled one situation with cutting off certain behaviors of hers and not worrying about the reaction. Others seem a little more touchy. How do you tactfully tell your mother you would rather she club you with a sledgehammer than kiss you??? I guess I just feel like there is too much behind that. There is anger. There is sadness and disappointment. There is the feelings of betrayal. If I said anything to stop her from kissing me, I would have cried. And I don't want to cry in front of her. I don't want to be vulnerable in front of her. And I didn't want to let all that out in front of my DD. I don't know how to set boundaries here. I feel like I don't have the ability to decide what boundaries are appropriate until I am able to deal with some of these feelings.

Okay...secondary to mother feelings.....I've been feeling very alone lately. Hmm, funny how it's easy for me to let some tears come on this subject but not about my mother. Anyway, when I was decorating my tree last week, first I felt really first tree in my first home. WooHoo! DD went to bed and I was finishing up and I felt so alone. I got really sad all of a sudden that I was doing this by myself.

Today, we had a big snowstorm. As I was getting ready to go out and shovel, I remembered my XBF telling me that he would make sure he always slept over when there was snow so that he could shovel my walkways, clean off and warm up my car for me. Feeling alone again. Missing being in a relationship. And feeling very unworthy of love for some reason. Unlovable. Sad.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A new game plan

Some background first:
I've had a friend for over 20 years. I've mentioned her in my posting before...she is the one with the great Dad; the one going through a breakup right now. We were best of friends for years and years. I am a year older than she. We met at a time that I was just emerging from the sexual abuse, still living with verbal and physical abuse and not talking about any of it. She was timid and shy, inexperienced with boys. The way our friendship naturally developed was a big sister/little sister dynamic. She came to me and I always had all the answers for her. I didn't look to her for anything. When I did, I was inevitably disappointed. Not because she's not a good friend but because I had issues FAR beyond what she could comprehend and I'd shut down immediately if she didn't give me a response I expected. As the years progressed, I felt the need to keep up the front of being perfect, composed, having all the answers.

She and I put our friendship on hold while she was in this bad relationship that has now ended. Since they broke up, we have happily resumed our friendship. I found myself very easily sucked back into the pattern of big sister/little sister. Particularly because she came back to me in a time of need. Heartbroken, looking for answers....things I've been through. And then I realized what I was doing. It began as a struggle for me to read her emails or listen to her cry on the phone and not feel the need to rescue her. It took a while for me to find the balance of listening vs solving. And even more time for me to acknowledge when I had to leave her on her own because I had my own issues to contend with. In the past, I would drop anything of my own feeling obligated to help her instead. ie: everyone else is more important than me.

Well, on Friday night, there was a wonderful and VERY vulnerable turn of events. I was upset and stressed. I was on the phone with her. And while I could not be overly emotional about it b/c my DD was with me, I did manage to share with her some of my stresses, stuff that had happened with my mother the day before and angst about spending the following day with her. While J talked to me, I had to fight the urge to be the "know it all"....the together woman who has all the answers and doesn't need input from anyone else. It's so hard for me to be the "needy" one....the taker and not the giver. It was uncomfortable. But I'll tell you, I am proud of myself for riding out the discomfort and really listening to what J had to say. Because she really helped me by just bantering back and forth.

We discussed this whole "no-win" situation with my mother. How no matter what I do, it results in her feeling guilty or apologizing and then I soften up a little. I realized through talking to J that I reacted in a predictable way to my mother. It is our "dance". And since I know my mother is incapable of change, I realized that I need to be the one to put a new step in the dance. So we figured the best thing for me to do is not to react in the same way to my mother. Not to feed into her little guilt trips.

When I was there on Saturday, I was on edge. And then I realized.....why?? I'm wasting what could be a really enjoyable day! DD was having a blast shaking sugar sprinkles over cookies, my mom was having a great time with her "girls". Why should I be in knots over it? I was able to remember that I had a game plan in place....I was prepared. And there was no reason for me to be on edge in the meantime. mother did her usual of jumping hoops around DD trying to anticipate her every need... "Does she want some cheese? Are you hungry? Is she tired? Do you want to lay down? Is she hungry?? I don't have my DVD hooked up, does she need a movie? Does she want books? Does she need water? Is she hungry?" I said "Mom, she's not a baby. She is 3. She is perfectly capable of asking for whatever she needs. She'll tell one of us if there is anything she wants." And I just went on with my baking. My mother made some of her usual little comments about "You're right, I'm sorry, just being stupid, it's hard work raising a mother" etc, etc, etc. Normally I would have taken the bait on one of these and softened things up with a little levity or making her feel more comfortable, easing her feelings. Instead, I changed the dance. There's a new game plan in town. I just keep decorating cookies and didn't say a word. I let her do her thing. And I gave her issues back to her by not taking the bait to help her out. Those are her issues and I hereby officially relinquish them back to her. They are no longer my problem. If she has guilt, she can stew in it. I'm not throwing the life preserver to her again. Sink or swim, Mother....sink or swim.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Combat Fatigue

The original title of this post was "I feel......uuuuhhhhhh.....????" But I had to change it and you will see why in a moment.

I seem to be doing everything in my power today to avoid figuring out what I'm feeling. So I'm here to try to make myself figure it out just so I can begin releasing it. I know I'm not happy today.

Shell-shocked.....that is how I feel.
Numb.....that is how I feel.
Tired. Overwhelmed. Listless. Sad. Angry. Unmotivated. Disorganized. Stressed.

I got that far and I went to my trusty friend to look up "shell shock". And under that entry was simply listed "combat fatigue". So I went to the definition of combat fatigue and it says: post-traumatic stress disorder under wartime conditions (as combat) that cause intense stress
Ironic. Almost funny, actually. I certainly have been fighting a war.....for more years than any decorated veteran. And I'm tired. Just so very tired.

I spent the day with my mother and my DD yesterday. That could certainly be part of it. But I don't know....the anger work I did definitely shifted me in the right direction. Not that I'm done, by any means....but at least I felt like I had a real handle on what the triggers were. My phrase to my mother from anger work was "You get in the way of everything. Why didn't you get in the way of the people who hurt me?"

This is a slightly different spin on what I've recognized my issue with her to be, which is that she wants to help me all the time in things I have no interest in her helping me with. Why now? Why try to help me now? Why not then?

Also, she doesn't listen to me. And so....that's clearly a theme I feel repeating as well. She didn't listen to me then. She doesn't listen to me now. And it's all for her own comfort. I know she *thinks* she is doing what's best for me....but really she is doing something to soothe her own wounds. Yesterday in the city, we were ready for a taxi. There was one parked nearby but there was no driver. I said forget it, we'll find another. Instead of listening to me, she goes over to the cab and then starts scouting nearby people to see who drives the cab. She finds the driver who is in the middle of getting lunch from a street vendor. I keep saying "forget it, forget it....there are a dozen cabs up the road" but instead she interrupts the guy getting his lunch and tells him we need to get to the train station. He looks irritated but says he will take us, which means he has to wait to have his lunch. I just was pissed off at her. I said "Let the guy eat his lunch!" and she says "He can take that okay??" NO IT'S NOT OKAY. Why???? Because I said I was ready to find a cab, she has to get hysterical to "please" me and jump hurdles to get the nearest one. I don't want your help. There is nothing you can do today to make up for what you didn't do when I was a kid. And frankly to see you go out of your way to do something so tiny pisses me off extra.....was it too much trouble to ask you to go out of your way to protect your only daughter?? It was the same thing yesterday with Starbucks. I said I wanted to find a Starbucks. This is NYC, for God's sake....there are Starbucks about every 2 blocks. But as soon as I say I want a coffee, she starts asking every stranger on the street. "Where's the nearest Starbucks?" Dammit. SHUTUP!!!! I am capable of asking for's not what I want to do. It's a fun day in the city....we're walking around seeing the sights, window shopping. We will stumble onto a Starbucks in no time. It's not like my jugular has been slit and we need to find the hospital, you know?? But that is how hysterical she gets. She seriously cannot stand to see me or my DD want for anything..............................WHY NOT THEN?????? Dammit. I don't want your too-little, too-late offerings now.

You know the fact is that this is just my mother. This is who she is. She desperately wants to make up for what happened, I know that. Except she is only capable of doing it in this manner. I know that. And so, here are my choices:

1. I can confront her and tell her these things. And then she will sulk and apologize and will act funny because she doesn't know how to be any other way. but she will try to be the way I tell her to be. Because she has no idea who she is. She has no identity of her own. She wants to be the way other people want her to be.

2. I can just accept that this is her and set boundaries when I need to. I was on edge yesterday waiting for another episode of her interfering in my disciplining DD. I was prepared to say something...anything. But it never happened. Still...when it happens again, I want to say something to her. You know, but then it's more of #1. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry....I'm so sorry...."

I thought I'd already done #2. I thought when I saw her reaction when I confronted her last summer that I accepted her for what she is. Maybe accepting the facts and accepting HER are not the same. Or, maybe I haven't reached acceptance. Just acknowledgement. Or maybe I really have accepted it but it just still totally pisses me off. I feel like a prisoner of her behavior. If that's how I feel, then it's something I'm doing to myself somehow. How do I set myself free from that?? The thing is, like I mentioned in #1 above, I can say something to her and I know she will try to stop. But it makes things supremely uncomfortable because she doesn't know who to be anymore. And I'd rather have her just continue being the way she actually irritates me more when she tries to change how she is for my sake. Because she doesn't understand the weight behind it for me. Because it's not real change. It's "keep the peace" acting. And she's a crappy actress. And there will be a million slip ups, and profuse "I'm sorry"s. The apology for existing. Just shove it. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear your guilt when you STILL can't, in any meaningful way, acknowledge what happened or hold my brother accountable for anything. I hate that you carry on a separate relationship with him as if nothing ever happened.

I hate that *I* have to do all this extra work to adapt myself to the way she is. Nevermind coming to terms with what she didn't do then, but now having to deal with a whole 'nother set of issues to deal with her guilt-alleviating, unwanted actions. For years, I have told her not to do things for me that I don't ask for. It's pointless for me to ask. She is who she is. She has her good points, no doubt. She's just so clueless.

And I am spending the day with her again tomorrow. *sigh*

Monday, December 3, 2007

Update after counseling

Saw my T on Saturday. It was a great session. Lately, I feel like there has been a slight but noticeable shift in me. I used to go to counseling in a harried state, frantically thinking how much I could squeeze into the session. Now, I do relaxation breathing ahead of time. I go in calm and in a receptive state. I go in thinking about how much I will get OUT of the session instead. I knew I had a lot to cover but I didn't feel pressured to discuss all of it. Instead I felt like I would allow ample time to cover each thing. Lo and behold, I actually had time to cover it all! I guess this is what's happening with the shift in me. I'm more in touch with what I'm feeling and through the blogging, I'm identifying and processing it appropriately. So basically I spent the first half of the session just sharing the dreams I'd already figured out, the feelings I'd already identified. T didn't have much to add. She said I did a great job.

I shared with her my anger work. I'm exceptionally proud of that, really. I have struggled with anger in a HUGE way so to make even one small step forward is really huge for me. You know, I've always known that I still harbor anger at my Mother. It's been very obvious. What I ended up screaming during the anger work session ("You get in the way of everything. Why didn't you get in the way of the people who hurt me?") now makes sense as to why I get my back up the absolute most when she invades my SEVERE sense of personal space. Note that the personal space exists only with her or people I find threatening. I'm actually a fairly "touchy" person in other circumstances. But I can't stand to have her close to me. Anyway, T said that even just letting that one thought out will start to change the energy I feel. We'll see. I'm going to be spending at least one, maybe two, days with her this week. At least I know I have the bat & chair available to me as an outlet!!

We talked about the night I had the three dreams in a row. T said these were much less obvious than the prior dreams. I really had not deciphered these dreams at all. She said they were "validation" dreams and highly symbolic. Dream #1 about "Big Mother". She said that Big Mother is me....that part of me that wants to hold control, maintain the appearance of perfection. The reference to the "lesser" women are the other parts of me that I judge and scorn and my DD in the dream is my innocent self, or my IC.

Dream #2 about my XDH, she said is about betrayal and the part at the end where I'm hurting the boy who is trying to pin me; that IS in fact my rage, as I'd theorized. There was a significance to the fact that I referred to all of these "boys"...high school aged boys. B/c my brother was a HS teen when the abuse worsened and concluded.

Dream #3: This one felt the least significant to me when I was writing it out and actually turned out, symbolically, to be the most. The fact that I was on the stairs below my friend who was acting inappropriately sexual with me. T said to consider this....I am "below" someone else and they put me in that position where there was nothing I could do about it. She asked me how I felt in the dream about what my friend was doing and I said that I felt uncomfortable and tried to dismiss it, ignore it, ride it out til it was over. Yeah. Then, the fact that the 4 1/2 year old was wearing heavy adult makeup......I'm not sure which way this goes but it has something to do with adult vs a child turned into an adult at too young an age or an adult who is still essentially a child (IC). But the most interesting thing....T pointed out the child's age 4 1/2 and then the teen girl who comes into the room....that is my range of sexual abuse years (at least with my brother, anyway).....about 4/5 through teens. Interesting. Now, the thing with her jumping into the bathroom ahead of me.....I shared with T that my father and I used to have this malicious competition to see who could get into the bathroom first. He didn't like to go after me b/c I used all the hot water. I didn't like to go after him b/c when he left the bathroom, it absolutely reeked of him, including a cloud of Old Spice powder. So we had these unspoken bizarre competitions to "control" the bathroom in the morning. Like to the point that I would get up at 3am to take a shower and then go back to bed. And then the next morning, he would do the same. And then finally, in the dream, when I fell and sighed "that's two", T said I'm referring to THE two - my brother and my father and the fact that I'd fallen and was so sullen in the dream was my feeling defeated by them.

So it was all very interesting. T was supposed to give me some meditation CD's and she wasn't able to finish burning them. I'm so anxious to begin them, though. I'm feeling pretty good, actually. I'm feeling like I've made some progress and anxious to make more. I even (as of this moment anyway) feel motivated to address my eating. I know those feelings can change from moment to moment. So we'll see.