Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BUSTING THROUGH!

I found out today that I'm not the only one who is good at solving puzzles.  I saw my psychiatrist today and she began to ask questions about my medication, my depression, but especially my abuse.  I just told her.  She asked, I answered.  It was a huge relief to finally tell her.  To be able to feel a trust there between the two of us.  My husband is the only one who knows the whole story and it felt great to share it with another human who understood.  She has probably been waiting for the right time to ask and it was because the next thing I knew it was all rolling out.  She knew just the right questions to ask, how to ask them and was listening to the answers.  Direct eye contact.  It didn't shock her and she didn't look down on me.  She wasn't trying to find an angle to use it against me.  I didn't need to explain everything, she already knew.  We were both at the point that we were going to bust if it wasn't talked about.  She took the opportunity and we ran with it!

I haven't spoken with a professional since I married my husband.  He has been my counselor.  I've needed it to be that way and it has worked for many years, but it was so nice to talk about it with someone else.  To open up our relationship a little bit more.  I've been seeing her for three years now, with little tidbits here and there and after our last visit, we began to bond, but today we took everything to a whole new level.  At one point I told her I couldn't believe I was telling her all this because I never planned on telling her anything.  She was only a doctor for my meds.  I was so blown away after the appointment, I barely spoke on the way home.  I had been dreading this appointment for weeks as I do every appointment and yet I walked away feeling like a burden had finally been lifted.  It was there on the table and I was OK.

It wasn't until later in the evening as I replayed the conversation in my head, when I began to wonder about the legitimacy of it all.  Fear was circling in as again I broke the sacred vow of talking about my abuse.  What her 'real' intentions were and the fact I gave her so much detailed information.  Secrets that have never been spoken outside of my marriage where I know they are forever safe.  Yet, here I sit, alone in my own personal therapy writing about my experience as the anxieties melt away in the truth of my own words and I find myself in a mixture of awe and excitement.  I busted the wall again.  I tore it down and climb over and I made it through and today that makes it the best ever!  I proved again I can't be beaten down and that I will make it through and that friends takes a lot of guts!!  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Depression, Self Mutilation, A Flashback and LOVE


I've been running around in circles in my head about my self-mutilation, my depression and my childhood abuse.  I keep wanting to separate them but they keep running into each other like collective water drops.  The web that exist between them has started to break down but is still strong enough because one doesn't seem to outweigh the other.  They do not surface all at once, but it is a gradual succession that when their strengths are combined it is powerful and overwhelming. 

A flashback has been waiting to surface for some time.  I was unsure at first, but my depression has been weaved into everything I think, say and feel.  Or don't feel as the case may be.  When the mutilation starts, it has become serious enough to get my attention.  My self mutilation is based on self guilt, self blame, and self hate for things I "did" in the abuse.  Basically I'm a rotten person who must condemn myself for my abuser's action.  Anxiety and fear are the fuel behind it.  I tear at the skin around my fingers until I bleed with open wounds.  It is probably a transfer of pain as well.  Trying to stop the emotional pain and bringing about physical pain, but honestly it is about abusing myself.  There is no one there to beat the whip, so to speak, so I must do it myself. 

After weeks of this, I find my thoughts reverting back to a certain time period in my life, not so much an event but the surroundings that I remember.  Particular things that stand out, whether they are things I remember from healing or something that is a common part of that time period.  Now I'm feeling frantic.  Digging into myself, hating myself, and a depression that is dragging me down.  I feel empty, useless, numb except for my thumbs that are taking the brunt of my self hate and loathing.  The stirring has begun.  The fight for this memory to be release has begun to unleash it's battle and the war is on.  For that which I can't speak of, is coming to my conscious and soon I will have no choice. 

Of course this is all spoken in hindsight.  I vaguely have any awareness at the time.  I usually gripped with anxiety and fears that are astronomical, while this heavy weight anchors my thoughts and feelings.  I might have an inclining about a memory about to surface, but really I'm just trying to get through the day. 

Then I am there, backed up with tears that I can't seem to cut loose, holding my dog, playing a song that has been reverberating through my head and with one little crack the dam begins to bust.  A flashback plays out in my tears.  The physical and mental pain are overwhelming.  I hear my own screams hidden in the far reaches of my tears.  My tears fall with shards of glass cutting my body, piercing my eyes and stabbing me like a thousand needles.  The flashback is broken and fragmented, nothing is clear cut as I now remember what has been safely tucked away and experience for the first time.  It is now part of my conscious, I feel every bit of it and it is part of me again. 

I stay present through my dogs who rotate their positions around me.  Each one's presence significant through the fragmented memory.  At one point both of my male dogs, Brut and Zappa were on opposite ends of the couch with me in the middle.  A feat in itself as they tend to ignore or fight each other.  Silver, my nurturer, was there when I needed a mother figure.  And when it was over and I was in shock and pain, I laid with my two dogs who are my comforters, Chance and Blaze, each pressing as close to me as possible, surrounding me in their protection.  They didn't even move when my husband came home.  When I went to bed my nighttime protector Fiona laid tight against me.   

In the aftermath and recovering from my flashback, I finally cut my nails, so as not to hurt myself anymore and my thumbs are almost healed.  My anxiety has slowed down and my depression has elevated to sadness.  The pyhsical sensations have passed but the emotional scarring is still fresh.  Tender to the touch.  There were moments when I questioned it's reality, but I wasn't told anything I didn't already know.  This time though I just felt it.  I felt it, it hurt, and it didn't kill me then or now.  Now I was just safe enough in a house full of dog love where I was protected against everything evil and was free to expel that pain that was berating me.  I am blessed to tears at these beautiful creatures and their paths in my life, along with the strong person I am slowly becoming aware of I am.  There is nothing more beautiful than being a part of love and what that truly means.    

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Come in Midnight...Are you there?

Today's walking buddies, Zappa and Fiona

I feel like I have nothing to say, but feel the need to connect.  I feel like my brain is wrapped in barbed wire and every thought and movement gashes my skin.  The spring weather is beautiful but bizarre to me, as if I have stepped onto to foreign planet.  I feel like I am running out of brain cells trying to compute this strange phenomenon.  My only real connection through the day is walking my dogs.  It has become very grounding and like my rock.  It takes everything I have to force myself to do it, but those moments together with them feel like the only thing that is real.  Besides my husband, of course. 

I thought about drinking today.  Or should I say, I was thinking about escaping into oblivion.  Wanting to the wash away my thoughts and feelings.  Not that I've been feeling much, but I would like to shut my brain down and go comatose for a while.  I would like to skip this small section of my life and wake up on the other side of the rainbow, where there is peace and contentment.

Sometimes I just sit and stare, not wanting to move a muscle, afraid of making a move.  Living in the chaos of my childhood abuse, addiction and being bipolar, I want to just sit and relish in the stillness until the dog wants out AGAIN.  :)  Even as it all seems to falling apart, somehow I keep pulling back together.  I actually have no idea how I am doing it.  I don't seem to make any conscious decision, somehow I just keep moving and stopping and moving again.  Regardless of how I feel, I am trying to make my life better and take care of myself and my family the best I can.  It has something to do with the little things.  Due to a short growing season, I've started my garden indoors.  Every day I wake up and see how much taller the little plants have gotten and the new leaves that have started.  I got excited when I found out my one of my favorite giant houseplants needed to be re- potted and the reason it was looking a bit stressed didn't have to do with my lack of care.  I was thrilled when I was able to brush my dogs without treats and there were no fights because food can cause tension.  I cleaned the bathroom.  Was it a huge heap of fun?  No, but it sure looks prettier! 

Where's the grub?
My little ducky is not only eating out my hands, but now runs over to me when it is feeding time.  We were never able to bond when he was younger, so he always used to run the other way when I would come in the pen and now he comes to me, that is so cool!  I walked two dogs at the same time.  I can usually only take one at a time because they are so strong and only slightly trained, but today I didn't want to split up the pair, so I took them both and it went great!  Yes, all of these little things have gotten me through the day today and may not seem like much to someone else, but they were precious to me, because in between all the mess of life I was still given hope and beauty and love and you can't ask for anything better than that.  :)       

Friday, April 8, 2011

A

If I had just one wish
Only one demand
I hope he's not like me,
I hope he understands
That he can take this life
and hold it by the hand
and he greet the world with
arms wide open

From Creed, "Arms Wide Open."

BLACK


I am at the depths of sorrow.  I've curled up into my black hole, hiding from the world.  Who was that girl in that last post?  I have been wandering in this transparent box, detached, alone, watching from the inside.  I don't want to stay here.  I don't want to go out there.  And I walk on the same fence back and forth.  Scared to fall one way or the other.  I don't know what I want.  I don't know what I am looking for.  So I crawl under the black in the safe place.  It's just too much to bear leaving it or fighting it.  So I wrap myself up tighter and rest in solace. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Passage



My senses are extra sensitive on normal days, but in a hypomanic stage, it is like every nerve is pushing through my skin.  My right hand seems to have a cluster of sensory cells in the center of my palm that can be almost painful to the touch. 

My senses are in overdrive in the spring and I am prone to manias as my body wakes up to the changing season and the worst month associated with my abuse.  It is like a double whammy.  The tension running through my body is like an electrical current that never shuts down and my right hand will cramp into a fist because of the power surge that emulates through my palm.  My body is on guard, setting up for the defense of the attacks that have happened before during my childhood abuse.  It is making itself ready to protect what I will be living through for the next few months as my brain relives the abuse again.  This is when the core of what happened to me started and I am preparing.

One of the biggest triggers I have is heat and dry air.  Winter is my comfort zone, mentally I thrive better in the colder temperatures.  I feel safer in the winter.  The cold, the solitude, the isolation.  Whereas in the warmer weather, I feel like I have a fever, I feel like I can't breathe, I panic and feel dizzy, all while being in a constant state on being "on."  Right now the weather has been fluctuating between warm and cold letting me test out my coping skills and preparing me for what is to come.  The intensity is no where near the levels they have been at and I keep dipping my toes and slowly wading in the shallow water, finding out what works and what doesn't when it warms and the sun is out.  So far, so good.  I have been experimenting with different options while I still have the break of the cooler weather to fall back on.  Which has taught me the biggest key to my recovery.  Taking those breaks when I need them.  Be it the middle of the day or during the dogs walk time or whenever.  It doesn't matter, I'm learning when I need to push myself and when I need to step back and rest without guilt.  This makes a HUGE difference.  I've begun to recognized that is more than my body that needs the timeout, but more importantly my brain.  Another HUGE difference.  I've been taking some pretty bold steps in my recovery and have realized that I need some mental reprieve just to take in these major accomplishments.  To give myself the credit for when I've done something and to examine my thoughts and feelings about them.  It doesn't take much to get overwhelmed or wrapped in the grips of fear and I've begun to learn how to bypass those snowballs effects, by stopping and regrouping.  It is all in the beginning stages, but damn it feels so good to be in control of myself!  To not be plowed down by the beliefs of my past abuse and be able to grab it by the balls, before it grabs me.  And that is just fucking awesome!!

This spring will be an interesting one.  I'm sure I will get thrown off the trail more than once and there will be days that the past will have me, but I already feel like I've got one up on it.  I still have the truth backing me up every step of the way and no one, NO ONE, can take that away from me!!