Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts

Friday, August 24, 2012

They're Just Dogs

I've been through many things in my life that nearly killed me in some way or another.  The horrific life I've lived has left lasting emotional scars that have left their mark like a branding.  The only constant through this hell has been animals, particularly dogs and the close contact I have been so blessed with through my life.  Being able to look into those eyes, no matter what was happening, gave me the peace of mind and comfort to carry on another day, another hour, another minute, because all I ever saw was love.  That piercing unconditional love that reached deep inside of me to let me know there was more than all of this.  One dog started my journey that lead to every animal I ever encountered and those that I was so privileged to have in my life that has aided in this lifelong healing with every painful step I have taken.  I can not begin to share my gratitude.

I have scraped the bottom of the barrel so many times in my life that I didn't know which way was up anymore.  I have felt more worthless than one person should ever have to feel in a day, let alone a lifetime and I have never felt a reason to really be alive.  This was more than being in a tough spot, it has been a way of life that I have been trapped in with no possible way out.  Scary doesn't begin to describe it.  So many times I didn't know if I was going to make it through, or if I even wanted to.  Ideas I still struggle with on varying levels as far as my self worth and value because of my past and today was one of those days.

No matter how far I try to runaway in my mind, no matter what horrors from the past reappear to try and haunt me I have nine tangible beings that help keep me grounded and here.  No matter how I feel, what I think about who I am, it is the eyes and fur of these living being in this home that never let me get that far from the truth again.  They remind me every day of my value and worth to them and the many before them who shared in that same truth.  The never let me forget how much I mean to them and how precious our love for each other is.  They have taught me how to reach out to them all the while reaching out to me when I need it most.  I can not begin to describe the countless times of this out pour of this unconditional love as they constantly rally to prove I deserve it.  For if it wasn't for the many animals I met in my life, I would never know what true love was/is.  Animals saved my life, over and over and over again.  So many times I can't begin to count.  I have never stopped depending on them and the biggest gift I got in return was learning that they depended on me as well.  A concept I am still trying to understand to this day.  I may never know 'why' but they have been teaching me each day to embrace it and who could ask for more than that?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crash and Burn

About three and half years ago, my body just gave out on me.  I remember walking my one dog and when we reached the house, I felt like I'd hit a brick wall.  I remember thinking that I couldn't do this (walk dogs) anymore.  It was like my entire body went limp and I've felt like I haven't had a muscle since.  A couple of months I went to the doctor for severe neck pains I'd had for the past year, he thought my overall weakness and fatigue was due to PTSD.  Nobody told me it could effect your body. 

I have been coming to terms with the idea that I am actually feeling my body after so many years of dissociating from it.  I can't seem to comprehend the lack of strength or weariness that makes my body feel fluid and sluggish.  For years my husband and I have done heavy lifting, moving, hauling and I never once had an issue with not being able to do it.  My husband trusted me more than anyone when he needed someone strong to help him.  For the last three years, it has all been downhill.  Logically I understand.  I can analyze the hell of it and everything makes total perfect sense.  The last three years have been the purge of memories from my abuse and learning to stabilize my bipolar.  I have felt like I've been sprinting a marathon all my life yet can't seem to understand this ragged, used up body that is in this skin.  I have beaten the hell out of these bones and muscles, because most of the time I never felt the depth of the pain I created, yet I can't grasp why I'm feeling it now, all at once.  I haven't been completely disconnected from my body, I still bruise and bleed, but it has been in pieces and parts and the more my mind kept coming together, my body has been following.  When I began to feel my feet actually pounding the pavement and the slamming of my heels, I knew I was beginning to come full circle.  And so did the pain from all the years of damage.  And it is causing my depression to spiral and cycle.  Limitations remind me of my abuse.  And so I flux all day long, of being OK, to depressed, to laughing and then all over again.  I feel like I keep grasping these parts of my body and put them back in only to feel the pain and rip them back off.  I'm having a hard time accepting that this is what I've worked so hard for, to come back together and yet it is so painful I tear it back off again.  One positive: these pieces are staying close and in view when I take them out, as opposed to actually completely dissociated from them again.  So I guess that is a plus. 

So I take things slow, try to be proud of any accomplishments and for the most part fail miserably.  Realize I have good days and bad days and still wish there was a way out that I haven't thought of yet.  I don't know, is that progress?  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


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 12, 2011


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, March 22, 2011


While a friend ranted about circumstances being out of her control.  I shut down.  I literally shut down.  It wasn't so much the force that was directed my way by her rant, or the fact that I felt like I was in a vice as she went round and round the same thing.  It was having to shut down that hurt me more than anything.  It was painful.  In fact in took me until the next morning to actually figure that out as it took that long to open back up and feel safe again.  It was not a pleasant feeling and I found I didn't like it. 

I do it on some level almost all of the time, it is almost unconscious, like being in public or uncomfortable situations that involve people.  This time I was fully conscious and felt the lights go off the second I walked in the door.  I was also present through this entire rant, if that makes any sense.  Later in the evening after I'd been home and was ready for bed, I went outside just to breathe.  To feel the cold air on my skin and hug my dog who stayed rather close.  That's when it struck me how free I was.  To not be caught in that vicious downward spiral and have to live with such constrictions.  I've come a long way from where I've been.  It was a good reminder. 

My husband asked me several times throughout our evening, what I was feeling and thinking.  I couldn't give him a answer, except what had happen, until this morning and I awoke in tears.  It had everything to do with shutting down.  I have lived many years, in that blank, empty stare, numb to everything and now it was painful to retreat to that place of death.  It was extremely painful and I didn't like it at all.  I was actually scared of it. 

There is nothing more in the world than feeling and living fully.  Even when I am depressed I don't shut down to that extreme.  The experience caught me off guard.  Even as it was happening, I couldn't seem to stop it.  I know I keep saying this, but I didn't like it.  It felt horrible.  What is a protective measure for me was painful and awful and kept me locked until the next day.  The pressure to survive an attack that had nothing to do with me was intense, as intense as the situation. 

I still have a long ways to go in learning to cope and finding new methods, but I know I want to find an alternative to shutting down so hard.  It will take time and guts but I think I have it in me to search for other means to protect my mind.  For now, I am immensely relieved that it is over and that I am free to talk about it.  And that feels pretty damn good.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Silver Lining

Thank you for everyone comments.  The past two weeks have been rather difficult and painful and for reasons I was unaware of until today.

Stubborn Brut
My depression and anger kept building on each other.  When my stubborn dog Brut wouldn't come inside, so I could walk my other dog Silver, it was the last straw.  I was beginning to tip to the point of rage and I was so mad I was having feelings of  hate towards Brut.  I knew my feelings were out of context, but I couldn't seem to stop to furry.  After glaring at each other through the sliding door, I moved to another seat.  I just wanted to be left alone, my whole world felt like it was falling apart and I was angry about not keeping it together.  I was madder than hell that I couldn't keep it together.  For two weeks, something has been brewing inside of me and it had hit it's peak.


 Silver laid her whole body on top of my lap and arms and didn't move.  She's 74 pounds and solid.  The only thing I could do was tear at my one thumb that I had begun abusing again in the last couple of days.  Tearing at the skin of my cuticles.  Beating myself up.  Hating who I was.  Silver stayed there until eventually I couldn't fight anymore and surrender to her warmth and security.  The memory came as clear as day.  A question about my past that I never knew the answer for, right there in front of my face.  A doubt that made the difference between peace and disturbance.  Finally after all of these years, I knew the real answer.  Bringing me the peace I questioned.  Another piece of the puzzle that I could finally lay to rest.

Pain, sorrow, I grieved for my loss as I held Silver tighter and tighter.  It wasn't the first time Brut has refused to come in, but this time he was more defiant about it.  If he did come in, I would have left to walk Silver, hence not giving her the opportunity to help in the healing.  I was about ready to go out of my mind as I had been overcome with intense emotional pain that wasn't going to stop.  I kept trying to run away from it, but once Silver was on my lap, I had no where to go and the healing powers began.

When Brut came in, I immerse him in thank yous, hugs and kisses.  If he hadn't been such a bastard this post would have been a another huge rant of rage or nothing at all.  Sometimes what I think should happen is the furthest thing from what I need.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Calling BODY TO BRAIN...

"I feel like my skin is starting to wrap around me."  This statement from my last post REFLECTIONS astounds me.  The description is the honest truth.  I am actually staying still long enough for my skin to wrap itself around me.  My entire life, I've been constantly trying to jump out of my skin.  Anything to run, escape and get out of it.  I learned to hide in my head. 

When your body is tortured the only safe place is your mind.  I found a way to hide in there.  Whether in my depression where I had the guarantee of being numb from both my body and mind.  Or in manias where I could ride the shots of giddiness and the electricity of being alive.  Being bipolar gave me a means of coping.

This means of survival separated my head from my body.  Amongst the distorted thoughts, the terrors, and the black holes of my mind I continued to retreat there, anything was better than dealing with myself as a whole.  The disconnection was so severe that my body was an alien to me.  A foreign creature that made it capable to operate.  It may as well have been a robot.

As the my brain has started to come together, there has been another process taking place that I acutely became aware of, my brain is beginning to connect with my body.  It has been a combination of events, situations and life style changes, but looking back the biggest impact has been a mirror.  A full length mirror.  For the first time ever we have a full length mirror in our home.  For the first time, in a long time I'm seeing myself as a whole.

Now I hate mirrors with a passion.  I've flipped myself off many times.  I turn my head in disgust if I see them.  As I've begun to heal, I was beginning to accept looking at my face.  I could actually stand to look for more than a second or two.  With the new mirror there was suddenly a full version of myself.  There weren't any tentacles or devil tails sticking out.  I was human.  I was actually human.  Which might sound really out there, but the delusions and lies I've lived with for so many years, coupled with bipolar thoughts, there were times I wasn't really sure.  I've conjured so many images in my mind there was no telling what I might see, but the proof was there.  I was a regular human being.

 This connection between body and brain is remarkable to me.  I have rarely experienced it as the uneasiness will make me flee the scene.  Pain has been the only connection between my body and brain.  Currently in the form of self-mutilation.  It has been the only thing I have ever known.  I can't believe I'm actually staying in my skin and it is getting more and more comfortable.  It's been incredible!  There are days when I'm completely in tune with it and there are growing days when I must take things slow like a child learning a new skill.  There are days like the post SCREAMS OF SILENCE when everything shuts down to recuperate and rejuvenate.  I didn't understand what was happening until the pieces fell in front my eyes yesterday.  Now it all makes sense.  I may not know what is to come of this phase in my life, but it has been fascinating so far.  I think I'm going to like this part of my journey. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tidbits of summer

I know for many summer is far from over, but here August is the last of it.  I saw trees already starting to turn colors, if that gives you any idea.  

I am still in a state of awe that my childhood issues are wrapped up and my bipolar symptoms leveled out.  I still feel like I am on a different planet sometimes.  After so many years of torment from both, it has been very different and strange and wonderful and scary all at the same time.  It has been like experiencing fresh, soft, green grass on my bare feet for the first time, when all I've ever walked on is nails.  How do you describe that sort of feeling?  I know that it feels so good, I'm almost afraid to move because there's no way that the next step could be as good.  When I find it is usually better.

Every spring I have had what I call, "spring sensations," which consist of an extreme mania and physical and mental memories from my past.  Both are quite extreme and both are equally as painful.  This was the first spring I didn't experience them.  This summer was the first I had very mild cases of it.  One of the main sensations is this feeling of everything being out of place, as if the world rearranged itself.  These "summer sensations" were happening as I experience this world new world from a completely different mental vantage point.  There was more than once that I felt lost and confused.  It was the dogs, my home, and talking to my husband that kept me grounded.  And lots of prayers.  Parts of my day were "normal," other parts were just strange and unusual.  It is the longevity of being mentally stable that throws me for my biggest loop.  I have never had more than a day or two, of what I would consider being stable.  This has been a couple of months.  That's a huge record. 

My grief comes and goes.  Something else that is new.  I have taken time out of my day to just grieve and then will carry on.  Before it would hit me like an anchor and sink me to the bottom.  Today I took a couple different times out of my day to pay tribute and was able to let go.  So much different than plummeting into the pain and sorrow that would normally hold me for days or even weeks.  Today was simple and made for a productive day. 

It has been such a journey and some day I hope to put all down in words.  When the time is right, I will.        

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Power of Music: Part 3

After attempting suicide, fear and paranoia lead me to phase out Metallica for a brief period and I was introduced to another group.  Nine Inch Nails, (NIN).  While Metallica was singing about life as if it was their own, (my interpretation), NIN was personal, straight from the gut experiences and I felt every song Trent Reznor was singing was for me, about me, and around me.  We could've been twins.  He mastered this  retched, raw talent early in his career.  There was a sense of equality in his pain that he portrayed and he bled it from every pore.  He struggled with God through his albums and I understood that level of mistrust, because I had it.  Everything he sang was in first person and the amount of suffering was immense.  The music was intense and had style and class. It was very refined and carefully skilled.  It was unlike anything I'd ever heard before.  It pulsed and cried through several layers upon layers of sound. There are hidden sounds you may not hear for years unless you really listen.  He whispers through parts that are also difficult to catch and understand, but they are there.  Just like my life all those secrets that no one ever knew, he had them too.  The mood he created in his expression, in my opinion was and is unsurpassed.

He does instrumentals and sad, painful songs that when all is lost, he feels the sorrow too.  His emotions are intense, gut wrenching, honest and angry.  Powerful and lost.  Sad and excruciating.  I understood.  He spoke the words I was forbidden to create.  He screamed the torture that had been crammed down my throat.  He expressed in lyrics and music what I had longed to be able to.  I was aching, bleeding for someone to share my agony with someone, instead he shared it with me.  He spoke of death, something I longed for, for I needed a way out of this anguish.  I listened and I understood.  I knew what every note felt like, I had been there.

This love affair has been going on for 20 years and one I hold close to my heart.  For what Metallica begun by starting to dig at the reasons for my feelings and emotions, NIN expressed them for me.  I might not have made it through my life without these beliefs to hold me together.  For there is also hope in his music.  A sliver of hope that I bound myself to for dear life that helped me make it to this moment in time.  You can't put a price tag on that.

As with Metallica it is difficult to pick out one song that fits everything about NIN and me.  Though I always hold dear to what is his classic and the first one I heard, "Head Like A Hole."  When my abusers were getting the best of me, whether then or now, this song simply puts things back in perspective.

 I also have a link to the song.  Nine Inch Nails, "Head Like A Hole"      

Chorus from NIN, "Head Like A Hole" from the album, "Pretty Hate Machine."

head like a hole
black as your soul
i'd rather die than give you control
head like a hole
black as your soul
i'd rather die than give you control

bow down before the one you serve
you're going to get what you deserve
bow down before the one you serve
you're going to get what you deserve


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Power of Music: Part 2

Listening to Judas Priest lead the way for finding other heavy metal groups.  When I stumbled on to Metallica, I thought I had found my god.  Their heavy beat awoke the emotional coma I'd been in for 20 years.  The immense pain, the injustice, and the sorrow they play and sing about resonated to the core of my being.  Someone finally understood what I was going through and feeling.  Some one got me.  It was like they were in my head pulling out every word, every note and explaining my feelings and thoughts in that secret place I had hidden away.  I became obsessed, as I do with most music, but this grip on me was like finding someone who was going through the same thing.  Alone in this world, Metallica became more than just a good group, they became my ally.  Helping me fight through, giving me a reason to understand.  They help me with my buried anger I didn't know I had, but that I had every reason for.  They became like a drug, giving me the release I'd longed for from my life of pain and misery.  The power of being able to tap into that pain and anger started an unraveling of understanding.  All I'd ever wish for in my life was to be understood.  Metallica understood.

I have several of their albums and still listen to them.  They have as much meaning today, if not more than back then.  I don't know that I could tell you an absolute favorite song or album because they all are to me.  I don't think I could pick out a line or lyric that sums what I feel, because they all fit.  Metallica gave me a truth that I have never experienced, from every word to ever guitar solo.  Truth in the hollows of pain, exposing it from the depths.  Exploding with an honesty that I was desperate for, aching for and was on the brink of death for.  All my pleadings for truth were finally being answered.  One band gave me that. 

When we think we don't make a difference in others lives, think again.  One heavy metal group gave me the tools to believe and to understand myself.  One album gave me a relationship with myself in order to begin the healing and 20 some years later still does.  They were singing for me.  Whether they meant it or not, their songs stung into the pain and took bites out of it, because they shared it with me.  I didn't have one friend who was willing to come close to that.  No human would touch the untouchable, but Metallica did. 

Except from:
Metallica, "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)"





Friday, June 4, 2010

Pain falling

For the last couple of days, I have been still. Wondering about purpose. What is the purpose? Does what you do really matter? Why did I care for an egg that never hatched? Why did the person I mentor, smile and lie to me, then throw me away like trash? Time and energy invested, what did it really matter? What purpose did it really serve? Will I ever really know?

My dirt came for my garden. I didn't really care, but I went out anyways. While we were getting things set, it started to sprinkle and I felt my spirits lift. I love being in the rain. I felt a renewal, maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all.

My husband left and I began to spread this massive pile of dirt as it conitued to sprinkle. The hope left and the mental pain of loss began to set in with every move I made. I delved into the pain. I felt it. I let it wrap around me and dove into it with every shovel and rake and wheelbarrow full. The rain steadily increased. I faced it, I didn't fight it nor did I try to elude it. I let it fill my being and show me its existance. I wasn't overwhelmed nor afraid, I accepted it. I accepted the pain I was in while I worked non-stop. I was not angry or sad by it's presence, I welcomed it and I believed in it. Pain tells me something is wrong. That I have been hurt and I acknowledged it. I didn't sink in depression nor did I numb myself to it, I believed in it. I didn't front it off and ask why me, I flowed with it. Letting it take me where I needed to go. I raked and shoveled and emptied the wheelbarrow. The rain fell harder and harder.

When I had finally went as far as I could go, I was completely drenched, the rain was falling hard, I put the tools away and went out back with the dogs for a minute. That's when the downpour started and I stood quietly in it. That is until the dogs politely informed me that another minute more and they would start to melt. They didn't believed a word of me when I told them that, they were hardly that sweet. To play along I took them inside anyways.

Soup on the stove, rain pounding the roof, I wasn't sure what I felt, but I went through it. I took pain's hand and followed. The rain meant I wasn't alone in feeling my pain. For that I am grateful.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Rescued by the Moon

Today it was sunny. A bright sun shiny day that made me want to hide in the closet. Every move was an effort as it was and now it felt like the sun was burning a hole in my brain. It felt like it magnified my open wounds, torturing me, until all I could do was lay down to survive. When I awoke it was evening, the last hints of the sunset fading away. The pressure had been release, the relenting pain of depression had succumbed to peace. I went outside with the dogs to play, the black velvety night with the stars dotted above comforted me. Then I saw the crescent moon, hanging ever so slightly to the west and I began to breathe again. I cried in relief as this quiet peace began to wash over me. I could feel myself slip back into my mind and body as the cool air wrapped around me. I became grounded in myself. Sometimes the moon is my friend and sometimes it is not, but tonight it was. Like an old friend I could count on and believe in and tonight it didn't let me down when I needed it most. An unexpected gift tonight as the moon in it's evening sky soothed the torturous burns of the sun. With manic depression, pain comes in all different forms, from different elements, so does the relief. To each his own.