Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Fortress, My Blaze


This started off as a post for the dog blog that turned into so much more.  I left all contents as is.

I have been struggling with any consistency in leash training my dog Blaze. While I'm technically not having any problems, there is a part of me that doesn't feel qualified to handle her extreme self will. I am intimated by how smart she is and haven't yet figured out how to conquer my fear of her strong independence. I am terrified of trying to break her will and spirit. It is not her giving me any hard time or acting different, it is I that can't seem to keep myself together when I try to work with her. Some days we walk along without a hitch while other days I feel like I'm dealing with a stranger's dog. She has developed this will to survive through her horrific abuse. She was never one to cower from a blow or being locked up for hours at a time. And I understand all too well that will to survive and the fear of being broken if having to bend that I project on to her. She has adapted just fine to every test I have given her. Every bit of training and behavioral reshaping while steering clear of crushing her spirit. I continue to work within her means and boundaries and limitations. Her wit is astonishing, it seems her wheels are in a constant motion that never seem to quit. I understand this all too well. I constantly feel like I'm being thrown back and forth when I am with her, never quite knowing whether I am coming or going. This is a brave example of what my husband must go through on a daily basis with me.


I have nurtured that survival force so that nothing can penetrate it, or at least I like to think so. I am constantly reworking and redesigning this wall of protection so that life can not happen to me and hurt me again like it did in my past, but no matter how hard I try I can not escape it. No matter what I will always get hurt by people, whether they meant it or not and life just keeps happening. The fridge is going to break down at some point, the house still has to be paid every month, the dogs are always going to bark, and for some reason, I just can't stop the whole world and ask to be left alone for the rest of my life. And I still can't grasp it. Not even as a concept. Protecting myself from the pain in my fortress, does not stop the fact that it is happening. As I am a master of compartmentalizing every little ounce of feeling and thought, I have thousands upon thousand of these tiny pieces in a heap in the basement so I never once have to look at them. The problem is that the basement has been full for years and now they are filling my living space and I can't get around them anymore. I can barely walk through them. So I've tried picking up a few of them, thinking if I look at them and see what they are maybe I can find a better spot for them. There is nowhere to put them anymore. How do I get rid of everything that represents my life and my ability to be here? Do I just get a shovel and start heaving them out the window or door? How do I start me over without all of this? Who am I without these piles of me to turn to in case I forget? How do I just let go of everything that kept me alive? And decided who am I? Do I sit and sift through, hoping to at least keep the good parts? Do I know enough what the good parts are? Seeing how everything in me has been completely shattered into these pieces, does that mean my will has been too? And what I thought was holding me together or should I say what I've been trying to hold together has been shattered as well? Can there really be more to life than just pain and misery? And how in the world would I ever accept it? How would I know it? Is there a way to believe in it? Trust it?

It is my will that I am so frightened of and it's power to never change. To hold on to the only the thing I know that has been there through everything, myself. And as the walls crumble and the seas crashes in, there I am left with myself. Alone in the same sea of misery and pain as when it all started with no one to call on because my every action, thought and feeling has acted as if that was my only option, because my past conditioned me to believe that way. And I have done everything in my power to continue that abusive belief. Everything I think and feel is negated by this believe and I have held onto it as my firing power to survive. Somehow my walk with Blaze tonight, broke that ice and I've come to realize how much it has been hurting me, even more than I realized.


Maybe it is time to talk. Really talk.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON!!



I have stopped self-mutilating.  This past winter, my fingernails felt like weapons, even getting above the quick, and I just kept chopping them off, so I couldn't tear at my skin.  My fingers have been healed for months.  I have even had nails on and off, but when my hands begin to feel violent to myself, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP!!    And I save myself.  Sometime in June, I stopped gnawing on inside of my cheek and lips.  I actually don't know how it happened, I just quit doing it.  That was worse than my tearing the skin off my fingers,  I was constantly chewing my inside cheeks.  They are healing as well.

It wasn't a conscious thing to stop self-mutilating.  I didn't make a decision of any kind, I was just tired of the physical pain and anxiety that was festering because of it.  I have cut my nails before when they felt like knives and I couldn't stop myself, but this was the first time I started cutting them at the source, before I could start.  I still start to pick at fingers sometimes, (I'm not a saint), but this has been the most that I have been aware of doing it and will stop myself.  That is a freaking miracle!!  Chewing on my inside cheek and lip has been a little bit more difficult.  It is a much more unconscious habit than my fingers, so I've had more slip up recently, but I am still more aware than I have ever been and doing my best to stop it.  

So here I am wondering why I am a fuck up mess when my coping skills aren't being utilized AND I am in the process of reducing my meds.  Well...DUH!!  I still can't believe I am not self harming.  Can you imagine how screwed up my brain is at the moment without abusing the crap out of myself?  It's like finally breaking from one of my abusers after all this time.  Talk about not knowing how to function!!  No wonder I feel like there is a giant hole in the back of my head!!  LOL!  My entire system has probably gone haywire not knowing what to do with itself.  Talk about starting over! My self abuse has gone on for as long as I can remember.  And I have been doing fantastic without it.  I can't begin to tell you what I have been through that I should have chewed holes through my cheek and slashed my fingers to the bone and I haven't even come close...that's just freaking fantastic!!  And we're not even talking about all of the negative messages these acts have perpetuated and victimized over and over through the years.

The first steps to really loving myself and I am finally doing just that!!  :)     



   

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Keep Forgetting...

I forget sometimes that I have been off anti-depressants for three years and the fact that I have cut my anti-pychotic Respirdol in half for three months.  I forget about the cycle of withdrawal usually happens every three months or so and I feel like the bottom half of my brain has been blown out.  I am struggling with connecting, to anything.  I feel like there static between me and every one, like looking through a fuzzy station and I can only grab bits and pieces.  This same thing is happening in my brain.  Like the neurons are struggling to fire and when they do, they hit empty space.  Then out of the blue the lightning bolts in my head will connect and there is a rapid firing cycle at finding the mark.  And then as quickly as it started it begins to fade again and the target stands waiting through all of the smoke and haze, while everything in my head becomes limp, never knowing when contact will be made again.  And I am just trying to get the round peg in the round hole like again and again and again. 

I have been in the process of relearning everything I know.  All the things that used to make me who I was.  I am rebuilding and recreating myself, literally.  I forget that sometimes.  In fact, most of the time because I can't figure out what the heck is wrong with me.  And then I panic, because the disconnecting static almost stings my brain and I can't think because my firing missile won't work in my brain and I panic more because I can't remember what is going on and why I feel this way and why I can't just do something and change it.  And I had one of those epsiodes tonight and it finally dawned on me, I'm ready to hit the three month mark of cutting my meds down.  The withdrawal.  Functioning without.  And doing so among all the static that sizzles through my head.  And it is a son of a bitch.  And it is scarier than a mother fucker, but when it all comes together for that moment in time, it is the glorious feeling in the world and I'd just about do anything for it not to end.  And when it does, the first thing I think of is, getting all the feeling back and going on meds.  Not always consciously, but it is there.  And I'd give anything at that moment to bring it all back together, to feel alive again instead of a walking corpse.  Then there are those partial times, when some of the picture is coming in and out, those are the worse.  Just make up your mind!!  Be there or don't.  These half ass firing in my head are the most frustrating, like walking through a tunnel of reality or death.  It is like something out of the "Twilight Zone."  And I just want to scream!  And I want to run!   Anything to rev up the energy so that the firing will strike.  This is usually my most active part of the day.  I need to do something physical, but because of my weariness, it is difficult and trying, but I can't lay down.  RESET!  RESET!!  Come on get those tracking missile out---I need some connection.  Anything!  CONTACT!  CONTACT!!  And here we go again as the neurons start missing again and everything comes back down and I am lost again.

So much work to do, one step at a time.   Some days are better than others.  Mostly it helps when my husband is home because I can stay connected with him and it helps me stay in focus and I'm just usually happier when he's around.  The rest of the time it is all a hit or miss.  Or something in between.  And I still forget that.   

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sick Hopes

I got to thinking today (I know, scary thought) and remembered a time, for about two years or more when I was so depressed and wasn't able to nap during the day, that I would wish for a flu-like illness.  Yes, I was that sick, for I would have rather taken on a case of fever, shakes, chills, and the violent explosion out each end if it meant a valid excuse to be able to sleep all day long.    I couldn't take naps because I struggle with the guilt of needing extra rest along my responsibilities that I knew I couldn't accomplish and would fail at.  It was that bad, that I would pray to be sick enough so my body and brain would shut down long enough to vacate the world for a day or two.  I would have actually rather had food poisoning or the flu because that is how heavy it was to face the day being depressed.  I wasn't asking for a lifetime disease, just a couple of days of sleep without any guilt.  I went through this wishing every day to rest my weary body and mind. 

Needless to say it never happened and I don't know when I stopped this sick wishing for sickness, but looking back makes me realize I have been getting better over the course of time.  Now, I'd still like to sleep the entire day away or even take a small nap, but I think that is a far cry and a little bit more "normal" than hoping for the flu just so I can sleep.  Yeah, I think there's some improvement there.  :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tumbling

I was talking to people.  Ideas were exploding in my head.  The energy was addictive.  I was alive and every neuron in my brain felt invigorated.  I was walking through fears that have plagued me from the beginning.  I was high on anxiety and tripping over the excitement.  I couldn't write fast enough or just enough in general. I felt like I was gripping a blazing horse whipping by the world.  And even the fear couldn't hold me down.  It was electric.

Until I began tumbling ever so gently down the mountain and didn't see what was happening, until there I was sitting and looking up and where I'd fallen from.

"What...what just happened?  What is going on?  How did I get here?  I was just up...there."  "There must be some mistake.  You can't do this to me.  I thought we were done with this game.  How could you do this to me again?"  My face frozen in shock, my body weary with defeat.  This can't be happening again.  I sit and look at that hill, determine to crawl up if I have to.  Every movement feeling broken and stiff and I crumple under the weight of trying to get back up that hill as a gentle hand holds me back.  NO!  Please don't keep me here.  The loving arms hold me while I weep in exhaustion, pain and sadness.  "It is time to be quiet and rest," the caring voice whispers.  "Take this time to mourn and breathe.  I am right here and I will not let go.  There will be time to fly again, but for now it is time to be still."

 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beyond the Mountain


I don't remember much of the actual climb, but I remember sitting at the top.  The view was beyond spectacular.  The group that I had climbed the mountain with were all on a static high.  They were excited and giddy while I was quieted and withdrawn.  I couldn't understand their excitement for when we reached the peak, it didn't seem like a big deal.  I remember thinking, "This is it?"

What took my breath away was the view.  Mountain peaks in every direction for as far as the eye could see.  It was the highest vantage point I'd ever been at and the largest scope I'd ever seen of the world.  Surrounded for miles by this mountain range, I was comforted in the silent hope that I wasn't alone. 

Reaching the summit had meant little, it was the glimpse of the beyond that stilled my soul with the faith that there was more to my life than what I could see and still carries me through until this day.   

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just Sad

I was terrified and could prove that she was "one of them."  I was certain I was standing up to every abusers I have had when I went to tell her I couldn't continue therapy.  Though I was stark white with fear, I faced her.  I confronted her.  And we continued to talk.  I left reassured, comforted and with an open door policy if I chose.

And for some reason I am sad.  Very, very sad.  My fears and paranoia were spacing off every which way.  But I still faced her.  And she accepted.  A couple of times that I have been to therapy, I have walked away with a strong sense of my distorted view of people.  Being that it has been confirmed over and over again, I have never had a reason to challenge it.  And she does.  Gently.  But noticeably.  Making me aware of my twisted thoughts that are as natural as breath.  Yet, I sit up and take notice.  Like when I walked out today.  I have lived with so much bad, I don't know that anything is good.  Maybe that is what is making me sad today.