Friday, March 7, 2008

Two years progress report

I'm doing an assignment on a chat board I belong to. We have been posting together for 2 years now and, in honor of that "anniversary", we're looking back in review. I figured I'd share here as well. These are some of the highlights of my time on that board and my life over the past 2 years.

MY CONFESSION ~ Very early into the group, I made a terrifying confession that I had never shared with another soul. It was freeing to admit it and to be understood in why I did what I did. I later shared it with my T and don't feel like it burdens me anymore.

BROTHER ISSUES ~ #1. My brother (one of my abusers) was accused by a co-worker of sexual harassment. I remember it hitting me pretty hard b/c for some reason, I never thought about him directing that behavior at anyone other than me. I also recall my mother being in complete denial that it was even remotely a possible true accusation. Immediately she starts spewing corporate politics, agendas, cover-ups, etc etc. He was framed, he was set up, it was all lies but they HAD to find him guilty and fire him just so they "looked good" Uh-huh. Okay. And that's why he didn't fight it. Yup. #2: I severed contact with him altogether. I remember he sent me an email that was so "normal" and I remarked to my T that he had no right sending me something so "normal" and she said "why not? Didn't you just send him a normal birthday card?" Her comment made me realize I was guilty of giving him mixed messages. So I put an end to that. I haven't seen him or spoken to him in over 2 years now. #3. Up until last year, I never felt convicted that what he did constituted abuse. That was something I really struggled with no matter what other people told me. I finally put that to rest last year with some research, honesty, cutting myself some slack and lots of T!!

ADDICTION ~ I still continue to struggle with this, day in and day out, in the worst way. I took a small step of progress that I admitted to it. I also consulted with an eating disorder rehab center. But in the end, my lifestyle makes participating in their programs extremely unlikely.

FALL IN LOVE TOO FAST ~ This was a problem I used to have where I'd latch on to someone SO tightly and feel like it was instant love. Of course what I was doing was desperately trying to lose myself in another person. I do not have that problem anymore. In fact quite the opposite. I don't like anyone anymore!!

CHILD SUPPORT CASE ~ A serious highlight of my past. Drafting my own motion for a deviation from state law, representing myself in court (I am NOT a lawyer, BTW) and kicking DD's bio-father's ASS!!!! Man, that felt good.

XBF (& XBF) ~ Getting back together.....and breaking up again. The ultimate high when we got back together after almost a year of being broken up. But immediately afterwards, my anxiety went through the roof and I started with the manifestation of physical symptoms of panic. And then, 9 months later, we broke up again and it tore me to shreds.

ALL OR NOTHING ~ I was guilty for a long time of "all or nothing" thinking. Very black and white. I can't say I do that so much anymore. I'm much more likely to try to consider other aspects and options. Lots of gray in my world now. (And not just in my hair!!)

FEELINGS ~ Don't we just LOVE feelings?? (insert sarcasm) I have accomplished techniques that allow me to feel my feelings. That's major progress. It's particularly noticeable when I go to counseling. I used to go into T so tense and bottled up. If emotions came, I would fight them back so hard that it would cause me physical pain. If a tear escaped, I'd fold a tissue in an even, OCD manner and dab it away before it ever made it's way down my face. Now, I do my grounded breathing before T and embrace whatever emotions are present and are to come. I often am crying the minute I walk in the door. I let myself cry as needed. I use tissues like a "normal" person instead of practially making origami out of them!

ANGER @DD ~ I used to have an overflow of unexpressed anger that ended up being directed at my DD. I cannot remember the last time that I did this. Now I can still feel rage toward a situation with her. But I also immediately realize it's not about her and know what I need to do so that it's not directed at her.

POWER/CONTROL epiphany 3/5/07 ~ I think my old power epiphany is posted somewhere in my blog...aha, here. The one that led to my tattoo. I wish I still felt as convicted about it as I did then. I do to a certain extent when it comes to not giving my power to other people and situations. But I definitely still give my power to my addiction.

MOTHER ISSUES - CONFRONTATION ~ Wow, I still can't believe I did this. As I read back over the correspondence between us, I sobbed and I sat open mouthed in disbelief. I still cannot believe I had the courage to confront my mother, challenge her choices and even tell her my story. I was profoundly disappointed in her responses which were from a place of utter denial. But it was important for me to experience that disillusion in order to get to reality. The reality is that my mother cannot exist in the truth with me. And it's something I still work on grieving; the loss of the mother I want to have and know I will never have. This segues right into:

GIVING UP EXPECTATIONS ~ This was a note I took in T which says it all: Inherent in all of what I said to T is this deep down belief that my mother is capable of what I want from her and somehow holding it back from me. She has it but is not giving it, she could be open but chose not to be, she knows something she won't tell me. These are my illusions. That I'm not what I need to be in order to get from her what I want. That I need to somehow find the key to unlock her into being what I need. It's a carry over from the childhood abuse that taught me to assume responsibility. It can't be her....she is my parent. IT MUST BE ME. This is something I need to let go of. I need to stop believing she is capable of more than what she is giving me because that is where I'm getting caught up and being disappointed.

GOD ISSUES ~ This is still an issue for me. The mention of God, faith, spirituality, makes me livid. I have alot of anger with God. I haven't addressed it. I'm not sure when and how I will.

STRESS/HEALTH/TESTS/MEDS ~ It's not a distinction I'm proud of that my doctor tells me I am the most extreme case of physical manifestation of stress she's ever seen. I've been through stress tests, ultrasounds, CT Scans, MRIs, bloodwork upon bloodwork, inner ear tests, neurological tests, specialists, trial meds......all to come to the same conclusion. I'm nuts. It's all stress related. In the end, I finally gave into anxiety meds. Started with one and decided I was okay to come off 6 months later. With the near immediate return of panic attacks, I had to go back on them. I've been on for over a year now. They help but I'd really love to get off them in 2008.

ASSERTING SELF ~ I do find myself more capable of identifying and asserting my needs.

INNER CHILD ~ Another huge area of struggle for me. I am not sure about this whole inner child thing. I can't connect to "her" at all. I even have the pic posted here on my blog of me as a child, which is my IC image. But there is no connection at all. I don't know how to reach her. I don't know how to heal her.

BLOGGING ~ was a direct result of the online group. It's something I'm so happy I began. It helps me so much and I really enjoy it. I used to keep a Word Doc journal but this is so different. I find myself more likely to be completely open and honest, sometimes raw even...I feel compelled in the hope that it will touch someone else; either strike a chord to let them know they are not alone or even inspire, teach or help in the healing process. It's my ultimate goal for this blog.

FRIENDS/SUPPORT ~ I suppose that's self explanatory. It's been a blessing to me, sometimes a life saver, to make friends and receive support. It's been a privilege to BE a friend and offer support.

LOSS LIST ~ This was a great assignment we did, listing all of the things we felt we had to grieve the loss of. It was helpful to me in identifying areas I needed to address.

HUMAN DOING ~ T made an interesting comment that I need to realize that "I" and "my brain" are not always one and the same. She told me that the state of peace exists within me and every person simply by doing nothing. It's my brain that constantly snatches that away from me because it doesn't want to go into "feeling" mode. She said there is a reason we are called "Human Beings" but I refuse to be a human BEING....instead I am always a Human DOING! I can't say this has improved to the point of being healthy but I have learned to make a little time for me in my days. I've let go, to a degree, of the need to do everything. It's still something to work on though.

TODAYS ISSUES CONNECTED TO PAST ~ Am I the only one who struggles with this? There are so many days that I just can't accept that all this junk today is still related to that which happened 30 years ago. Sometimes I think it's just me, screwed up in present day....nothing more.

DATING ~ has become a totally different experience. This is the longest I have EVER been single. And I'm not really tremendously concerned about it. I mean, I want another significant other. I'd love to get married again someday. But I really do not feel the need to get lost in another person. I think I'm still enjoying carving out my own little space in this world and I'm not ready to share it. That is a 180 from a few years ago.

SLEEPING SITTING BREATHING ~ I posted about a year ago that I would sleep all curled up in a tight ball with my arms wrapped tightly around myself. I would sit in a similar manner, closed off, tensed up. And breathing was at such a diminished level, it's a wonder I was not passing out every few minutes! This has changed. I am much more relaxed. I actually breathe freely, unless I am stressed in which case I have to work at remembering to breathe. I sleep in an open position. I sit in a relaxed manner. A positive change.

BOOKS ~ One I need to work on. I have bought so many great books that would be most helpful. But I never read them!!

FORGIVENESS ~ Yeah,'s rattling around in the attic somewhere. I don't really have a big understanding of it or what it will do for me.


Enola said...

GREAT post. I love the format. I was trying to figure out how to write mine. I'm going to unabashedly steal your format.

You've come so far. I hope you can see that from reading this! You should go stand on a mountain top and sing somewhere! I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I love this format too, and may mimic Enola in stealing it from you. I've my two year blog anniversary coming up--somehow I missed the first year anniversary.

In answer to your question, yes, I think most of us survivors of childhood abuse struggle with having to deal with all this junk constantly. It's never going to be pleasant, that's for sure.

I'm glad to hear you no longer feel the need to lose yourself in a relationship. I did that all of my adult life until about ten years ago. I decided then I wouldn't get involved again until I'd figured out what was wrong with me. (I didn't know about my DID then.)

Well, it's been ten years. I've somehow lost interest in being involved with a man. It's not that I'm now a man hater, I just don't feel driven to find someone. Guess along the way I went through some healing, eh?


Maia said...

Thanks for writing. I just found your blog and it really speaks to me (in that I could have written some of what you write). You are very eloquent with your words. I agree that it's very frustrating that most of us survivors deal with stuff today that has to do with what happened then. It's a bit overwhelming to look at exactly HOW MUCH stuff is related.