My Community

Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: MoonBeam on April 20, 2019, 01:35:15 PM

Title: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 20, 2019, 01:35:15 PM
It's another night without much sleep. There are many these days. I stayed in bed for an hour or so, my mind running, then finally decided I am not my best company and wandered around for a bit. Nothing feeling in any way soothing, I went down the rabbit hole of hating on myself joined by the myriad of negative beliefs I tend to hold, then I thought about OOTS. I could reach out. I thought I might post, but couldn't bring myself to comment on anything--I didn't feel like I had anything of value to offer. So I read and reread other's posts and started to feel a little less alone, less focused on my own distress. I thought if I began a journal then perhaps I can come here and tell someone when it gets to be too much. Sometimes it feels like I just need an anchor to be able to make it through--for someone else to know I'm drowning. I feel pretty alone in this most of the time.

I'm working with a therapist, who has really made a point to say she "has my back," and I believe she does, as much as I can. I see her twice a week. I'm also trying to work on a friendship I've had for around 7 years, someone dear. I never told her anything about my traumatic childhood or experiences until a few months ago--prompted by my T.  I never let anyone in and most of my relationships end after a few years. Somehow this one has stuck. She didn't run away or judge, she was kind and caring, but I still can't reach out to her when I'm in need of support. Trust is hard and being seen is terrifying.

So, here I am, grateful for the company and safe place to come out of hiding a little. Thanks for getting me through the night.

The sun is coming up. I think I'll make some coffee.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: woodsgnome on April 20, 2019, 02:01:32 PM
It's good to see you've taken up the idea of journaling on here. It can, as you say, be a place of refuge from the overwhelm of trying to make it back out of the rabbit hole, the self-hate, doubts, and panic, not to mention sleeplessness.

I hope this can provide some relief. It's also good to know your t and your friend support you as well. May that continue and also spur progress towards recovery.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 20, 2019, 02:30:04 PM
Thank you woodsgnome.  It is so helpful to feel understood.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on April 20, 2019, 05:40:38 PM
Quote
Sometimes it feels like I just need an anchor to be able to make it through--for someone else to know I'm drowning. I feel pretty alone in this most of the time.

Someone else to know you're drowning - to lend a hand - to say, "I've felt like I was slipping under the surface before, too" and know you're really truly not alone in this.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 20, 2019, 05:58:35 PM
Hi MoonBeam - I hope you don't mind my popping into your Journal to say 'Welcome' and that I hope you find journaling helpful.  I really like your name, and your icon too.  Wishing you the best here.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on April 20, 2019, 07:32:46 PM
Quote
Sometimes it feels like I just need an anchor to be able to make it through--for someone else to know I'm drowning. I feel pretty alone in this most of the time.

Someone else to know you're drowning - to lend a hand - to say, "I've felt like I was slipping under the surface before, too" and know you're really truly not alone in this.  :hug:
:yeahthat:
Glad you started a journal and that you took the risk to reach out to this community and to your friend.  :applause:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 21, 2019, 01:32:27 AM
Three Roses, Hope and notalone, thank you so much. I'm grateful for your responses. For lending hands and dear welcomes, for encouragement and understanding. Yeah, i don't have to be alone in this, not anymore.  I feel a little emotional, writing that.  Feels like a pretty big thing to say.  Thx.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 24, 2019, 06:20:41 PM
Trigger warning for struggling.

It's a hard day.  I've hit the reply button on my journal several times over the last few, but haven't been able to type anything. I don't really have anyone to reach out to, except my T and I don't want to pull on her. I always worry it will be too much, so I'm going to throw a line out here cause it's only getting worse with me as the captain.

I feel like it would take pages to explain, to lay the foundation, but I'm thinking all I have to do is say what I'm feeling and folks here will understand. There's a lot of emotion under the surface, several things came up this last weekend and this week, and all i want to do is crawl away, hide under a tree somewhere dark, curl up and drift away. Sometimes I think if I could cry, I could release some of this, feel relief, but it stays stuck in my chest. I feel exposed, afraid, like I'm free-falling with nothing to grab hold of. I'm berated by my inner critic, but trying not to listen. Trying to tell myself I'm ok, I'm safe.
I have to pull it together cause I have people to take care of and deadlines today at work, but I can't breathe or think clearly. I'm suffering in silence, like I always have. Why does it have to be so big? Feel so unmanageable? Overwhelming? I feel worthless and broken. This is such an old story. I just want it to go away, though I know I have to go through it. I've been trying to go around forever. Honestly, I'm hoping the dissociation will kick in and I can get back to functional numb. Sort of functional. Feeling is not something I know how to do and it really scares me.

Ok, I think writing this might be taking the edge off of the panic. I'm telling myself, this is not an emergency. Everything is ok. I am safe. This will pass. Breathe...


Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on April 24, 2019, 06:28:18 PM
Hello MoonBeam,
I never cry either.  Sometimes I feel like my chest is going to explode... but then I mostly get a panic attack.  I feel envious of others that seem to be able to shed those tears sometimes. 

I know those days.  IMO those days are even harder for those of us that have suffered trauma.  Itís harder for us to keep bailing water when all we wanna do is quit.

We understand and care  :yes:  I think the fact that you were able to reach out is huge.  Iíll sit with you for a bit if you like? What do you like to do for mindfulness? Happy to help if we can.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 24, 2019, 06:38:49 PM
Mindfulness...  Ummm. I feel really foggy right now.   Listen to some music maybe? Or walk a lap around the block? Move? I tend to become frozen.

Thanks so much.  I can't believe you are here with me.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on April 24, 2019, 08:03:15 PM
MoonBeam, I could have written most of your post, in other words, I understand those thoughts and feelings. Glad you reached out and posted. It is so hard when just breathing seems like such an ordeal. Were you able to go for a walk &/or listen to music? Here for you.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 24, 2019, 09:26:17 PM
Thanks so much notalone.  I put headphones on and took a shaky walk.  I'm working on not listening to the shaming voices, criticizing me for needing help, for not holding it together.  I'm dealing with body memories too, they just keep coming.  It's just like this sometimes. this is my process. I'm going to hold on to the idea it will pass, cause it has before. And having support on here makes it different. I'm not going to just disappear under all of it.  Someone is with me in this, in a way I'm being seen, and it's ok. In fact it's helpful.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on April 24, 2019, 09:48:00 PM
What you are going through is really hard. You are not doing anything wrong. Others who have been abused have similar experiences. You are not alone. This will not last forever. You are safe.

Glad you were able to listen to music and go for a walk. I also freeze and I know how hard it can be to get outside and walk. Be kind and caring to yourself.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on April 24, 2019, 11:34:39 PM
MoonBeam,
As you know, I hate body memories!!! Itís not fair.  Why do we have to relive trauma through them anyway?

Still with you too  :hug:

I donít know what kind of mindfulness works for you, but I can tell you what I do. I try to listen to music, watch a silly video... love puppies and kittens.  Sometimes Iíll watch a favorite movie.  Do you have a pet? Iím very physical so I often need to touch something.  Pet my dog, use a stress ball etc.

Whether it works or not... still with you
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 25, 2019, 02:50:57 AM
My folks are staying with me-leaving Sunday. It's been hard. Complicated for sure. So my place doesn't feel safe to me right now. I have two sons who are 19 & 13-my younger son has intense OCD. He has a therapist, who I think is helping.
I have a big fluffy dog. She is amazing-A real comfort. And my 19 year old tries to help out all he can. I divorced my husband of almost 20 years, 2 years ago. He moved far away from us.
I've been trying to figure out who I am underneath all of this, but what I found after all the distractions were pulled away was all of my unprocessed trauma from my childhood and beyond.
It's still all there. All the running, denying. The broken relationships. It's all still right there. If I want to find me, I have to walk through this. I'm not always sure it's worth it.
Sounds terrible and selfish, but it's true. Sometimes I see light and love and what I think I might have been like, but mostly I see the train wreck of what others put on me, what I learned to believe about me-the worthlessness, brokenness.
There's got to be more than this. I'm just in a rough patch. I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other and look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for being here and understanding.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on April 25, 2019, 04:23:56 AM
Quote
It's still all there. All the running, denying. The broken relationships. It's all still right there. If I want to find me, I have to walk through this. I'm not always sure it's worth it.
Sounds terrible and selfish, but it's true. Sometimes I see light and love and what I think I might have been like, but mostly I see the train wreck of what others put on me, what I learned to believe about me-the worthlessness, brokenness.

I could've written this! The good news is that now we know we've accepted lies about ourselves as truth; but now we can throw off others' perceptions of us and begin to let our true selves blossom.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 25, 2019, 09:05:20 PM
Thank you Three Roses. You're right and I'd like to think I could tell the difference, though its so easy to go down the well-worn path of negative self-associations. Oh, where to begin nurturing that blossom?
I wonder about a time in the future where the first thought is something kind and nurturing, when that becomes the well-worn path. When the balance shifts from punishing to compassion. Practice I suppose and hearing others success stories. Or maybe I will feel differently? After a life-time its hard to imagine, but I'll leave the door open for sure.
Thanks so much everyone, for your insight and support.

Good thing, today is better.  I just kind of checked out for the rest of the day yesterday, was super tired and even though it was all still there this morning, somehow it has been manageable. I'll take it.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 26, 2019, 10:56:58 PM
Trigger warning. For history.
I've come to realize, it seems, my process for uncovering thruths, or my past, or... is that something comes up, either in therapy, or a trigger of some kind, I start to feel feelings, I struggle or push against those feelings, it then becomes increasingly physical (with memories, often this includes intrusive visual flashbacks and body memories) -- shaking, anxiety, headache, that feeling I'm not safe--so basically, a melt down.  Then, I start to get a picture of what I've uncovered and try to figure out how to move forward with this new information. ??? 
An interesting thing, to see my process. It felt this time like I needed to grieve, but I didn't know how or didn't have the place to be able to do that and it turned into an avalanche or volcano maybe, seeking some sort of release.
This time its been about, well many things, but mostly, my relationship with my mom.  My folks have been staying with me and my boys--they do every winter, but this year has been really different. I haven't been able to engage with them. I basically avoided them at every turn. This has been hard for my mom as I've always reinvented myself to fit what she needed forever. But truth is I couldn't this time. And I won't tell her, "Hey I've been processing the trauma I experienced starting at 4--which mostly happened under your nose, and I can't deal with you. I can't give you what you need or take care of you like I always have. In fact, my heart is breaking realizing just how much I wasn't taken care of, even before the abuse started, how you just stopped caring for me."
There was always shaming and blaming, definitely so, when things came out in my teens--because I had a short stint in residential care and as a minor, things had to be reported...  I just had to put it all away to have a relationship with her. Which I did, for a long time.
This is a ramble for sure, but I'm just getting the picture of why I fell totally into an EF and meltdown this last week. I don't know. My T suggested that because I'm feeling more resourced, I'm able to look at some of these earlier disruptions-relational disruptions.  That seems like a good thing. I know thinking about my relationship with my mom feels almost as scary as looking at the CSA we've been digging up.
It's all really multifaceted andI'm pretty sure once I start looking at it, more will be revealed.
My new mantra seems to be, I can't go around it anymore, I need to go through it. I just really don't want to. But, I do want to live--really live. I can't say I ever really have.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on April 28, 2019, 08:40:46 AM
Hi MoonBeam,
I really related to so much of what you wrote here - and I wanted to send you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on April 28, 2019, 05:13:15 PM
Thank you so much Hope. I really appreciate your  :hug:. And your words of understanding.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on May 01, 2019, 11:47:00 PM
Oh MoonBeam,
I really can empathize with what you wrote.  I like that mantra but understand how scary that idea of going through it can be.

There is a difference now though! You now have us  :grouphug:  we will listen and help you wade through it.  You donít have to face it alone anymore.

I think we all have different processes, and I am impressed by how honestly you have stepped back and looked at yours.  Do you think that reinventing yourself to please your mom is that fawn response? Just wondering?

As far as the flashbacks and body memories, I hope they ease up soon for you.  I notice mine come and go more in waves than anything else.  Hope you get some smooth sailing soon  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 02, 2019, 05:41:45 PM
Thanks so much Deep Blue. 

Today I feel like giving up, like there's too much on my plate -- I'm not handling any of it, and my inner critic is having a field day with it all. It helped to see your reply though, coming here, feeling like folks care and I'm not an anomaly, that there are others who understand what I'm experiencing. It makes it hurt a little less. I want to comment on other's posts, but I don't feel like I have anything of value to offer.
Definitely, I can relate to the Fawn in my relationship with my mom. That is really good insight. I can see it in most of my relationships. Something to look at for sure.

Journal Entry:
I've been thinking about the difference between an extended EF and depression. I don't seem to ever really come out of it. For an afternoon or a day or so, if I really look at it, but mostly I feel this heaviness all of the time. I keep thinking "I'm not supposed to be like this." But I don't recall how I used to be able to show up and even feel good. I don't seem to be able to remember what that felt like.
There are times where it's way more intense, related to a trigger of some kind or memory. It's the ache in my chest underneath it all that makes me weary. My T acknowledges for me, that there is a lot of grieving to do. I don't think I can give myself permission to grieve. I have no idea what that would look like. But I do feel the weight of it.
I need to take steps to feel better. I started to make a list of things that fortify me, or would be fortifying. Things I need to stop doing, as well, as they only add to the weight. I don't know how to actually do those things--like get up in the morning early, so I can practice a little yoga. I can barely drag myself out of bed and its only because I have to take my son to school. I would be late to work every day, I'm sure.

How do we begin to make these changes when just getting through is so hard? I don't see how I'm going to get through this. I'm feeling really low.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on May 02, 2019, 05:57:00 PM
 :hug: It is really hard---everything sometimes----because of what you experienced when you were a child. It affected you significantly. You are not doing anything wrong because life is such a struggle. You are suffering the consequences. I understand how sometimes the simplest task seems overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on May 02, 2019, 06:55:51 PM
Quote
How do we begin to make these changes when just getting through is so hard? I don't see how I'm going to get through this. I'm feeling really low.

I'm struggling with this same issue at the moment. My back keeps going out and my overall muscle tone is not the best. I know I need to start exercising but just can't seem to find the energy!

My question to myself these days is, "How do I find the motivation to find the motivation to make the necessary changes?"  :Idunno:

I want to make changes, but that's not exactly right - a more accurate way to say it would be, "I want to want to make healthy changes."

Here's what I found that is helping. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm starting by choosing to believe in myself.
https://m.wikihow.com/Overcome-Learned-Helplessness
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 02, 2019, 10:36:20 PM
Thank you notalone and Three Roses. I'm giving myself a hard time because I got through for so long, seemingly functional and now I've hit this wall, or more like, fallen into this pit. I was afraid I would fall if I looked into it. I've had "bad patches", hard times, but this time, for the first time, I am looking at the abuse I suffered as a child, trying to process it, so I can have the kind of life experience I want, not always trying to compensate for what has always felt like deficiencies, inadequacies, something that was wrong with me. I am doing this now because I never have been able to  before. In fact I properly blocked it out for years. So yes, it's going to be overwhelming, isn't it? It's tremendous. It's horrible and heart-breaking, what we all went through.
"Be kind to yourself." Right notalone. First thing I forget I can do. Darn Inner critic. I wonder if I can call it out--separate the unkind thoughts, the untruths? Thank you for saying I'm not doing this wrong. I forget there is no right way and berating myself for feeling badly, well it only makes it worse.
3R,  I'm sorry to hear about your back. I hope it gets better soon. Yes! I want to want to make healthy changes. Well, said. It seems like I'm getting through the day, maybe making progress, then something else gets added on or comes up or happens and the scale tips and I'm under it all again. I can write down a list of things I can try to do to help, but doing any of them feels out of reach.
I need to begin small. I'll try to think about one thing I can do, just one thing that's different, that's kind, that changes the old story.  I'm connecting with you all here--that's something. I'm so grateful. It really does help.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on May 03, 2019, 01:31:40 AM
I need to begin small. I'll try to think about one thing I can do, just one thing that's different, that's kind, that changes the old story.  I'm connecting with you all here--that's something. I'm so grateful. It really does help.
:yeahthat:
In my therapy session recently, I told my therapist something that I was thinking of doing for the little parts of me, then I said, "What good will that little thing do?" He said if you are in a dark cave, a little light sheds a lot of light. It doesn't light the entire cave, but it makes a difference."
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 08, 2019, 10:24:29 PM
Thank you notalone. That image has been helpful. A little light really can make a difference and I've been feeling like I'm in a dark cave.

Journal: It's been a few days since I've been able to check in here. I've been super overwhelmed. Today, I almost didn't get out of bed. It was all I could do to drag myself up and out. I'm not sleeping much at night and that always makes it harder. I felt a little better when I got to work--lots of distractions, but I don't feel like I've had a reprieve from the darkness in a while. I'm tired of being down and none of my old coping mechanisms seem to work anymore. It's like I'm having to completely reinvent. I'll admit, most of my coping mechanisms are not the healthiest, so this is probably a good thing in the long run.
I've sort of moved into a place of numbness, not really feeling anything. I sense myself lift-off, or out in T sessions. I can't seem to stay present for anything.  I'm trying to remind myself that I deserve patience and kindness. We've backed off talking about anything heavy in T, just looking at the day to day. I thought it would be a good time to create fortification, some tools for coping. I'm not getting there though. I was triggered by something in our last session and it was all I could do to tell her. I am so shut down. Something has to give. I'm stuck and I wish I knew what I need to do to move it or how.
I really wish I had something positive to share.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 09, 2019, 10:32:01 PM
I just reread this post from a few weeks back--I can't believe between copying the text to opening my journal, I can't remember who shared it. Gah!  Anyway:
"I came across this today - "Trauma is not in the event; it is in the nervous system."  For me it emphasizes the deeply physiological aspects of trauma versus the tendency to see it as strictly psychological.  It speaks to why I have always felt that I am not holding onto trauma, rather it is holding onto me.  It isn't merely a memory, it resides in more places in my physical being than just my brain/memory."
*TW* I've been in this so much, to the extent that I am lost inside a swirling mess of trauma. I can't think of any other way to describe it.  I'm having trouble seeing the person inside the mess. It's not even feelings. I feel nothing. I have a sense of pressure or pain in my chest, so I know something is there. I'm having flashes of memory. They swirl around in there, swoop over me, making me wince and turn away. This isn't new. There's usually panic attached to this experience, but even that is mellow in this fog.
I think maybe my mind, my body, my being, is verging on releasing a new memory, or more pieces of an old one, something I tucked neatly away, to keep me sane--I was never safe. One thing that's interesting is for a moment I can see me as a young child, like a real person, playing alone, actually see me--the child, existing...  I think this might be a good thing, perhaps some kind of acknowledgment that there was a me in there somewhere, a child who existed outside of the abuse, the neglect, though I have no idea where she is.  Maybe I'm on the verge of finding her.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on May 10, 2019, 01:01:23 AM
Feeling for you being "lost in the swirling mess of trauma." I know the feeling and would like to send you a hug.  :hug: You are not alone.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 10, 2019, 05:35:55 AM
Hi MoonBeam,
I would also like to extend a supportive hug - if that's ok  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 10, 2019, 05:11:49 PM
Thank you both, so much.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 22, 2019, 12:17:19 AM
It's been a little while since I've posted in my journal. I've been lurking here and there, but haven't been able to write much. I've been thinking a lot (always) about this journey, but with support and each new piece of insight from all of you, my T sessions and (sometimes terrifying) self-discovery there is a little more light than there was before.
I started therapy about 10 months ago because I was heading deeper into depression and things were really falling apart. My relationship of 20 years had ended (my initiative), I was full-on in single parenthood (still am) and then I lost my job. I started to fall into a really dark place-one I had remembered being in before in my late teens/early 20's (20 plus years ago). I was self destructive, self-harming, totally alone, medicating with drugs/alcohol/anything, lost...  I could see I was heading down that road, though I didn't understand why. I thought if I could get some perspective, I could get back on the horse and things would start looking up. Easy peasy.
Some weeks into therapy, my T asked me about my history. I explained i didn't really remember much of my childhood and what's past is past, so it doesn't matter anyway. She asked if I had any history of trauma? Again, irrelevant in my opinion.  (I imagine that's why she gets the chair and I get the couch, right?) I was so wrong. I see how my denial and dissociative amnesia served me, but eventually it seems that all things that are built on a misshapen, broken, incomplete foundation will eventually crumble. That's exactly what's happened.
I've been realizing that in the last few months really, I went from having no past to having a past filled with abuse, hurtful, neglectful people--complex trauma in a nut-shell (no pun intended, kind of). There is still so much I don't remember, but the lid has definitely been opened and the memories which have come to the surface have been horrifying. I've read a lot about CPTSD since beginning and I'm blown away how all the patterns, the symptoms had/have permeated my life--even when I was what I would have considered functional. I'm textbook CPTSD (If it were in the textbooks)!
Anyway, what this all means to me at this moment is my constant fear of the past, running and pushing away, denying no longer works. Though I am beginning to appreciate that it was what kept me going all those years, it now has become just as detrimental as the trauma I ran from. I think these awarenesses sink in, in layers, little by little. With this, my hope is that I can find a way to accept? the past I was given. That I can stop trying to go back to something that never existed--the me I feel I'm supposed to be, or wish I was. That I can find a way forward, a way to make peace with myself, find some compassion and stop hating and shaming little me.
I've posted about having to go through it, not around it anymore, but I think what that meant before was, peek at the trauma, mourn a little (eventually when I can learn how to cry), deal with the body memories and flashbacks, maybe build a relationship or two and voila--life moves ahead. I think I'm finally understanding processing, working through this is not "dealing" or gritting my teeth and getting through. I'm really going to have to learn to love me, to forgive me, to embrace that I am where I'm at and who I am. I'm going to have to feel pain and allow myself to mourn, to fail, to not have answers for how or why and embrace the process even when it feels like I'm falling.  The biggest difference is I think there will be folks to help me get up when I do fall and cheer me on when things get better.  This isn't a solo journey and it's ok to need and be supported. Toughing it out isn't an option anymore.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on May 22, 2019, 12:30:25 AM
Those are really big insights and understandings. I'm pretty much in the same place as you. Definitely not a solo journey. I could not continue to do this without my family, friends, therapist and this group. Just today a friend came over and spent several hours with me because I was really struggling. Thanks for sharing here and keep reaching out to others.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 23, 2019, 05:36:56 PM
Thanks notalone. I'm so glad you have such strong support. It's hard to ask and sometimes harder to accept I find. I need to work on that.

Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on May 26, 2019, 08:19:26 AM
Hi MoonBeam,
I read what you wrote, and I agree with Notalone - such big insights and understandings there.  I relate to a lot of what you've written. 

 :hug: to you, if that's ok.
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 28, 2019, 02:45:45 AM
Thank you Hope. I appreciate the hug.

It was a particularly tough weekend. No reason why really, just more of the same. I've been feeling so stuck. I've been feeling like what good is remembering the past--what's the point? I'm not sure what processing memories looks like, but they come up, sometimes I tell the story in therapy and then I don't talk about it again. It just stews within. Do i need to talk about it more? How I felt? What i understand?
I think i need a clear way forward with these things, though it's not like I can talk about them any more freely once they have surfaced. Everything is still so physical. Does this ever change? I think I'm looking for a map, a map that just doesn't exist, an easy path, a clear path through, but to what?
Going to do some more EMDR in June with the hope that alleviating some of the physical symptoms of the trauma will make room for moving forward, but I haven't talked with my T what that looks like.  I have a desire to uncover that which is hidden from me, but again I'm questioning--what's the point? It all feels so awful. Am I really moving towards some form of emotional freedom?
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 28, 2019, 10:23:48 PM
**Trigger Warning** Really hard day. Things have been pretty rough for a while. I just fessed up to a bout of SH in T and I feel really raw. Let her know I'm not feeling safe. I'm not even really sure I know what that means. She reminded me of a trigger that came up in session last week. I was talking matter-of-factly about some facet of my childhood, we were talking about pleasure, and I said "I only ever remember pain". It was an unguarded and brutally honest statement. This hit me so hard it felt like I had touched an electric fence. I didn't know what to do with it except stuff it right back down again. We didn't have much time left in the session and it felt big, so we put it in the container.
Today after my confession (that's what it felt like) she explored with me that perhaps this was a bigger trigger than I realized and perhaps this is why I've been feeling so distraught. It feels that might be the case. Seems like I go from one EF into a deeper one without ever really coming out. I didn't know this was possible. I'm at a loss. She's seeing me again on Friday. Asked if I can hang on till then. I can.
I came back to work after the session because honestly being alone doesn't feel like a good choice for me right now. But being here is hard too. I need to find some compassion for me. Inner critic is really pouring the self- hatred on. Can I just let it be ok that I'm in pain? I am in pain. I'm in pain and its reasonable that I would be in pain. Let it be ok.
One thing that's really bothering me is I smiled as I told her about the SH. I smiled the same way when I was a kid any time I was scared or felt embarrassed or cornered. I hate that I did this.

Thanks for letting me get this out. Running it over and over, alone in my head, is not good for me.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on May 29, 2019, 09:28:24 AM
I hear you. Safe  :hug: :hug:

I've gone from one EF to another or been in what feels like several at once, at different layers, so I'd say anything's possible with EFs. They do get better with time spent in healing. There is hope!

 :applause: :applause: for telling your T about your bout of SH.

Sending you a ton of compassion from here at the forum.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 29, 2019, 06:33:53 PM
Thank you Blueberry. I'm going to get through this. The support from you all here and the unrelenting, compassionate support from my T is such a gift. Its so helpful to feel understood and cared for especially when in an EF and inner critic is pretty clear I'm not worth that kind of compassion. Trying to change the paradigm, just realizing when that's been the story for so long, its tricky to turn it around.
Thank you for saying "There is hope." I'm going to hold onto that today. I received a beautiful, thoughtful message this morning from someone who truly cares about me. It reminded me to honor even the parts that are messy and unwanted, that there is beauty to be found in me and this process, and I am truly not alone in this. I'm feeling the love, even in the middle of the storm and that is different. I am so very grateful.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on May 29, 2019, 07:47:21 PM
 :)  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on May 29, 2019, 09:57:12 PM
One thing that's really bothering me is I smiled as I told her about the SH. I smiled the same way when I was a kid any time I was scared or felt embarrassed or cornered. I hate that I did this.

When you were a child, smiling was an armor that protected you. I'm guessing that you needed that armor because there wasn't an adult to care for you when you felt scared, embarrassed or cornered. You've worn that armor for a long time. Please don't beat yourself up that it is still there. It was needed in childhood and it takes time to replace that protection with new skills and resources. You didn't do anything wrong.

Also what to send you compassion and a hug in your pain.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on May 30, 2019, 05:44:38 PM
Thanks so much notalone.  That helps. :hug: 
I'm definitely feeling like that scared kid a lot in this EF.  Today I'm calling on my grown self to step in. Really calling on her to step-up and take care of things--getting up, getting my son to school, showing up at work. I'm having to put all of the rest of it in a box. It's too much right now. I'm hoping tomorrow's T session helps some of this move through.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 03, 2019, 04:54:51 PM
Sunday: Today I'm feeling different. I've been so stuck--frozen in this latest EF on top of EF. Friday I had an opportunity to move through some of it in my last therapy session and I'm so grateful. We did an EMDR session and I totally broke down--head on my knees, hands over my face, sobbing. I can't usually cry and when I do it's a few choked sobs or errant tear that escapes. It's always felt futile too when I've been alone in it, in that afterwards I don't feel better--just hopeless. This was different. I cried freely and breathed deep releasing breaths and I was so supported, really cared for. It is a very different way to relive the past for me and I believe that is what processing looks like. I really became aware of how deeply I hold shame and blame myself for all of the abuse I experienced. I was able to connect a few dots with the relational piece as well, which for all of us with cptsd, is huge.

Monday: Day three post EMDR seems to be a thing for me.  I feel the shaking, the fear really, wanting to hide, feeling super fragile. The thing is, is that I can see it. I don't know how to keep it from becoming overwhelming, but I am super conscious that I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to have a breakthrough, then go into the same cycle of deep depression and isolation.

This is the feeling I get in my body when there are emotions, things that need to come out and I usually start dissociating and shutting down. I want things to be different. I want to feel worthy of a joyful, peaceful existence. I don't want to hide anymore. I want to let go of the shame, the blame that is so deeply ingrained in my being. I want to feel and be grateful.

Thanks so much for listening. It's a wild journey this one. I think I'll just sit on the side of the path for a little bit and listen to the trees sing in the breeze.


Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on June 04, 2019, 12:20:46 AM
MoonBeam,

Sounds like you had significant steps forward in your therapy session. Glad you were able to take some time to listen the the breeze in the trees.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 11, 2019, 06:53:42 PM
I haven't been able to write for a bit. I haven't been feeling well, I think cause of the EF I've been in. Experiencing a lot of body memories and flashbacks. Something is different though, I haven't been going down the path of self-hating mostly. I know this is because I've been feeling so held and supported in it. Just feeling that level of being cared for has really inspired me to want to care for myself. I've been bouncing back and forth a bit, but that's actually huge-to not just be lost in it, diving down the rabbit hole. I'm telling myself it's ok to feel this way, it's appropriate. That it's different now. I'm not alone.
 
I think I'm beginning to understand for me at this point too, its not about what happened-the details, but how I felt about it while it was happening and the years after. The negative cognitions. I can't change the things that happened, that I continue to remember, that will always be a part of my history. I don't think I can forget or block them out again, but I can change what they mean to me.
 
I get so stuck in the memory that it just becomes overwhelming fear and... and I've needed to flee-to dissociate.  I think there might be room to allow some exploration of what I was feeling, what I was learning to believe about myself at the time. Hmmm. I think this is due to the EMDR sessions we've had too, moving a little of it. It's so scary to think about sitting with it in that way. But truth is I feel like I'm at a point where I need to gain some courage and see what I can do. Otherwise, my life does not feel worth living and I want it to be a life worth living.

This post seems really scattered, but that's ok. I'm tired of judging everything I do with scathing disappointment. It is what it is and I am where I'm at.

Grateful to have you all here, walking our familiar paths, lighting lights for each other along the way.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 11, 2019, 11:48:42 PM
Grateful for you, too.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on June 12, 2019, 12:37:04 AM
MoonBeam:

Your post didn't seem scattered at all.

That is a big deal that overall you have been self-caring instead of self-hating during this time of body memories and flashbacks. It is huge to not be going down the rabbit hole!

I think there might be room to allow some exploration of what I was feeling, what I was learning to believe about myself at the time. 
My therapist has been talking to me about dealing with the messages that I internalized because of the abuse. I even started a list. Haven't gotten too far in dealing with those messages.
But truth is I feel like I'm at a point where I need to gain some courage and see what I can do. Otherwise, my life does not feel worth living and I want it to be a life worth living.
You are courageous. I can see that in things you have written and your openness and honesty. Supporting you baby step by baby step.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 12, 2019, 05:26:37 PM
Hi MoonBeam,
I am also grateful you are here, and I have read your recent entries in your Journal and think you are taking some very insightful steps, and sending you a supportive hug  :hug:  I think what you said about being lights to light our way - together on this path - it's very apt and also reassuring. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 13, 2019, 04:47:20 AM
Three Roses, Not alone and Hope. Thank you so much.  :hug:
I really want things to be different. I feel like there's room for self-care. I want there to be. I've tried writing things down before, but its been too real.  Maybe its a good place to start, to try again. Things are pretty real atm. Thank you for saying I'm courageous. It feels so fleeting--the moments when I can stand up to the IC, that I can be more than the trauma--I have been before. I can be again? I really want things to be different.
I feel so sad writing this. I don't even know why. I've been feeling like if I could let some emotion out, things might move, but I'm still so stuck. Baby step by baby step.  Keep it in perspective right? Thank you for seeing good things in me. The negative self-cognitions are soooo prevalent. I want to start working through this.
Your kindness is powerful. I've been so grateful for the beautiful candles of insight we light for each other. I've been in a rough spot and I know you have too, but we're working through it, aren't we.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on June 13, 2019, 04:50:43 PM
Quote
so grateful for the beautiful candles of insight we light for each other

🕯️🕯️🕯️❤️
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on June 20, 2019, 05:24:15 PM
Beautiful candles of insight - I also hold onto that lovely image and thought MoonBeam - your words are evocative and special.  Reflective of you, I think.  I hope you don't mind my saying that - because part of me just said I am being over the top, but the thing is I wanted to say it - and I do mean it.  So I'm saying it.  Inner critics are challenging - I agree with you.    Anyway, I wanted to wish you the best and also send you a supportive hug, if that's ok.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 20, 2019, 06:10:57 PM
Thank you so much Hope! Not over the top. Really kind and thoughtful and means a lot. Perfect in fact!  :hug:

I was just saying to my T on Tuesday that I'm so weary of constantly editing everything I say and do for fear I will do it wrong or make a mistake, look foolish or make someone upset at me (darn inner critic) and in that, I am missing so many opportunities for connection! I feel like I miss the conversation half the time. This is a big thing for me. I'm so grateful you just showed me how lovely and empowering it can be to let go of the criticism and my fear, to want to share something, meaning it and following through and saying it. It's important.

In fact I posted on a thread about mood swings a bit ago, but i think i mostly talked about depression (likely 'cause that's where I've mostly been lately). I think I totally missed the mark and was feeling self-critical, then I saw your reply here and It made me think, you know, I shared my thoughts. Maybe there's a nugget in what I shared, maybe not. It's ok.

Good medicine Hope. Thx again. So glad to be here with you all.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 27, 2019, 06:31:56 PM
I haven't written in my journal for a bit. It feels like I haven't had any words to put towards the feeling or not feeling. I guess I've just been in an EF for a while now. Had a few reprieves that lasted an afternoon, but I've not really been successful at climbing out. I've been trying to stick with it--when I start to feel something, but it comes in huge sweeps that send me into a shaky panic and then I shut down and it gets stuck in my chest.

**Trigger Warning** I have a really hard time breathing when this happens.  A lot of abuse that happened involved bigger people holding me down, sitting on my chest or crushing my body under theirs while they hurt me. I couldn't breathe and I still very much feel like the tiny, scared child wondering if I'm going to die.
Sorry, that's a lot. It's where I'm at.
**End Trigger Warning**

So, I put it all away, buried it as deeply as I could to become a functioning adult, not only shutting out the pain and fear, shame and loathing, but any chance at real connection to the world around me, above me, below me... And now it seems as the memories are escaping  through cracks in the layers of hardened clay I surrounded myself with, I'm right where I left me, scared, scarred and alone.

I'm trying so hard to see that things are different. That there is a way out. To find a way to allow me to exist with these two worlds colliding.  That at least grown-up me is not alone. I have a really great T, who cares for me. I have people, one I would call a friend. I have two kids to take care of. They love me. I have OOTS, understanding, support and compassion from all of you.

Things have been coming up lately about my FOO. I've always taken responsibility for the way things were, the things that happened to spare others from pain or stress. I've never allowed myself the opportunity to mourn because I've always made it the priority to protect those who hurt me or didn't protect me, especially my parents. It's all very sad and I don't know how to do sad.

Yesterday work was rough--had my annual review. I was asked to decide if I am really going to embrace, to own my position, if I really want to be with the company.  I felt like crumbling and saying, if only you knew it's so much bigger than that. I'm asking myself that question about my life in general every day. I'm showing up and trying my best--which I admit, isn't that great these days. But I am trying to do things differently. I'm trying.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on June 27, 2019, 07:20:43 PM
You are brave for being were you are.  I'm going through very similar situations in my life now too.  I changed careers because when my clay started cracking I knew I couldn't handle the stress of teaching in a classroom.  Not right now anyway. 

I am working full time and the are days I struggle to stay present and make it through my shift.  I do the best I can but it's a fraction of what my best use to look like.

I have two kids and if it wasn't for them I think I would have given up multiple times along this road. This journey sucks it's hard, unrelenting and unfair, and yet we all face it everyday.  Whether we are stuck in an EF and barely able to function, or is a good day today? The world sees only the masks we wear, the porcelain finish.  They don't see the wars we fight to get out of bed, or just to make in to work.

A quote that I like:
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You are braver than you believe you are stronger than you seem you are smarter than you think and you are more loved than you know!
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 27, 2019, 08:24:59 PM
Thank you Tee  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on June 27, 2019, 08:50:03 PM
Breathing has been an issue for me too. The following YouTube videos have helped me. I change the count (breathing in/breathing out), usually to a lower number, because that is what I am able to do. This is not to give a quick fix or minimize the reason you have a hard time breathing. It has been helpful to me so I wanted to share. If it is off base, please disregard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5viPbzpQKTk&list=PL1YJ49es97IrlmamOo3Yj5AbOOSXdvXXA&index=2&t=0s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoQVgJx_QN4&list=PL1YJ49es97IrlmamOo3Yj5AbOOSXdvXXA&index=2

Yesterday work was rough--had my annual review. I was asked to decide if I am really going to embrace, to own my position, if I really want to be with the company.  I felt like crumbling and saying, if only you knew it's so much bigger than that. I'm asking myself that question about my life in general every day. I'm showing up and trying my best--which I admit, isn't that great these days. But I am trying to do things differently. I'm trying.

I have a friend who has physical disabilities. Each step that she takes requires concentration. As you can imagine, she is rather tired at the end of the day. The things she does takes longer and much more effort then that of the "average" person. Yet each accomplishment is a major victory because she has so much to overcome. Some of her struggles are seen. Our struggles are not seen. I know for me it is hard when in certain areas I'm functioning at 30% or 50%, but those who know some of my story remind me that what I am able to do is amazing.  Our "disabilities" are not seen and for the most part unknown by others. Still it is a major victory to get out of bed, take care of kids, go to work, etc. I know it is really hard. You are not alone.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on June 27, 2019, 11:02:37 PM
Thank you notalone.  I keep my belly tight and my breath shallow.  The video is a kind gentle reminder to breathe as fully as I can. That will be good self care for me-allow my body and brain nourishing breath.
The link and your kind words are much appreciated. Thx for the  :hug:.

I suppose the truth is I do tend to present well, meaning I look "normal", clean, dressed, I seem to be engaged (when I'm not).  I got really good at acting the part--the "porcelain finish" right Tee. You're so right notalone, the damage is on the inside. And the truth is, I'm exhausted. As long as I keep getting out of bed, which some days as you know, feels almost impossible, it's gotta be worth something.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on July 04, 2019, 12:36:15 PM

I felt like crumbling and saying, if only you knew it's so much bigger than that. I'm asking myself that question about my life in general every day. I'm showing up and trying my best--which I admit, isn't that great these days. But I am trying to do things differently. I'm trying.


Hi MoonBeam - I think you are brave - you show up, try to do your best, and you're trying to do things differently, and you're trying - all those things, they are so brave, and especially when you have felt like crumbling. 

I am failing to find the words I want to say now, but I would like to send you a hug, if that's ok.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 04, 2019, 04:29:56 PM
Quote
**Trigger Warning** I have a really hard time breathing when this happens.  A lot of abuse that happened involved bigger people holding me down, sitting on my chest or crushing my body under theirs while they hurt me. I couldn't breathe and I still very much feel like the tiny, scared child wondering if I'm going to die.
Sorry, that's a lot. It's where I'm at.

You don't have to apologize. It is a lot, but it's what you endured and we are here to hear you, so we can support you. We've all been silenced too long.

The not being able to breathe part is familiar to me. It is a horror like no other I've ever experienced.

You're an important member here, giving support and listening to the stories of others, sharing your gifted insights. Keep on keeping on, my friend. 💪
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 08, 2019, 06:12:41 PM
Thank you so much Hope and Three Roses.  :hug:

It's been a tough week/weekend. But throughout it I have been experiencing something different... I've been crying. There have been so many triggers and I cancelled all plans from Thursday on, things I really should have shown up for, but essentially called in sick. The tears have fallen somewhat freely, though mostly out of a sense of hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed. I have noticed that with letting the emotion come (which is new) the intensity of the pain in my chest has diminished a bit. I'm really consciously shutting down the inner-critic. I'm not able to replace the negative thought with a positive one, but I've been letting them know, they don't get to have an opinion on this one. It's helped with the spiral of self-hatred and I think allowed the tears.

I remembered hearing a voice telling me that I should be ashamed of myself for showing emotion when I was really young. **TW**: Berating, threatening and/or hitting me if I cried. The whole "something to cry about" story**End TW** One of many lessons from my FOO.  I get why things are the way they are--why I am the way I am. That's not really helping though. I think if anything remembering all of these experiences has added to a sense of unmanageability and feeling overwhelmed, broken. Memories are powerful when they are stuck in one's very being. I understand healing is about creating new stories, new experiences, overwriting the past in a way. Integrating what was into what is. Right now that feels unattainable. I'm lost in the sea of what was. Sounds like an EF now that I write it out. I don't think I've come out of whatever EF I've been in for months.

Seeing my T tomorrow. That should help. I wonder if I'll cry in our session. I've cried 2ce in session in the last year and both times I was so ashamed. I hid my face and couldn't look at her after, even though she was incredibly caring and comforting. It's all so interesting this puzzle of me.

Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 08, 2019, 06:23:52 PM
Quote
I understand healing is about creating new stories, new experiences, overwriting the past in a way. Integrating what was into what is. Right now that feels unattainable. I'm lost in the sea of what was.

 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 09, 2019, 12:34:32 AM
Hugs moon beam I'm hear with you.  I don't cry either same reasons.  My T keeps telling me it's safe to cry none is going to hurt me there but it's just not really something I can do yet. :grouphug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 09, 2019, 02:22:52 AM
MoonBeam,
I'm glad you were able to cry and let some of your feelings out that way. It is okay to cry. (Just in case it helps to hear it.   :))  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 10, 2019, 09:50:04 PM
Thanks so much Three Roses, Tee and notalone, for your encouragement and support.  :hug:

It's so interesting. The tears have stopped and I'm back to not really feeling anything. I think about emotional regulation, about how either emotion has come in enormous, uncontrollable waves that overpower and render me dissociated or i'm left in the vast void of numbness.  The tears last week felt like grief, some from feeling overwhelmed and like a failure--like I just can't do it. But crying about that instead of turning it into self-hating feels like progress.

The theme of the week for me has been around worthiness, understanding the struggle with the concept that I have a right to exist. I've never felt like I deserved love or good things in my life, to be cared for. I've wanted these things, but never really believed they were for me. I've just been kind of owning that belief, acknowledging that has been my truth.

It comes into play daily and seriously affects so many aspects of my life. Relationally, it's huge. It keeps me constantly second guessing my interactions with others, even those with whom at this point have proven they care for me. So now the break is less about trust (still a little about trust) but now more about accepting care and love from others. Letting go of the huge feelings of guilt and shame when someone cares for me, like I'm taking something from them I don't deserve. It's an interesting shift to consider and I'm just in the noticing phase. Noticing when this happens, what my reactions are and how it plays out.

More to come on this topic for sure...  Best to you all.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on July 10, 2019, 11:36:32 PM
Well in the theme of allowing others to care about you, Iíll throw my hat in and say that I care about you and that the compassion you show on this forum is worthy of being cared for  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 11, 2019, 12:48:56 AM
"Accepting care and love from others. . ." Rotten that it has to be such a struggle, but it is worth the struggle to let care and love in. People are broken, so hurt is part of the equation, but still worth it. And YOU are worthy of love, care, and tenderness. Sending some care to you right now!  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 11, 2019, 02:11:33 AM
I
Well in the theme of allowing others to care about you, Iíll throw my hat in and say that I care about you and that the compassion you show on this forum is worthy of being cared for  :hug:
Yeah that
I don't know how to do the cute emoji but I totally agree with deep blue! Send my love and care! :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 11, 2019, 06:40:39 PM
Deep Blue, notalone and Tee, Thank you. Your care and  :hug: are well received.

I was just reading the essay Emotional Neglect and Complex PTSD, by Pete Walker. There are so many layers to work through. I've been thinking about all of the negative cognitions I've carried about myself--I thought directly symptoms of the abusive childhood into young adulthood experiences I endured, and while I'm sure those planted many seeds of negativity and fostered a deep foundation for loss of self, I see now too, how big a factor not having anyone to protect me or even try to keep me safe, or comfort me was in my believing I was in-fact worthless.

The 'things' that happened were horrible and its easier to point to that and say, yes those monsters, those tangible, physical experiences were responsible for my misery, however all of those messages were validated over and over by those who were supposed to take care of me essentially showing me, yes, it's true--you are nothing. And while 'those people', my FOO, were responsible for some of the physical abuse as well, monsters, it's the emotional neglect, the turning away, the blaming and shaming that is making its way to the surface these days.

I think this is part of healing. Going in deeply enough to find the places where the story begins, where the roots are embedded. I have an EMDR session tomorrow, my fourth in as many months. I am supposed to come up with the memory I want to process. Its overwhelming to try to choose something when it's all so tangled. Hopefully a path becomes clear, i think it usually does. 

Much love fellow travelers.
 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 11, 2019, 07:21:27 PM
Good luck :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 11, 2019, 08:35:57 PM
however all of those messages were validated over and over by those who were supposed to take care of me essentially showing me, yes, it's true--you are nothing.

MoonBeam,
I wish I had some profound words to take that away, but the truth is that I also deal with those messages. Just wanted you to know that I understand and you are not alone.

Hope your EMDR goes well tomorrow.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 11, 2019, 09:41:17 PM
I wish I had some profound words to take that away, but the truth is that I also deal with those messages. Just wanted you to know that I understand and you are not alone.

Me too notalone. Thank you. I wish that for all of us. It's a sad and deep scar. I know there are folks who have successfully reframed their own similar patterns of belief, though it is a never-ending journey. I know it is possible to shift that thinking--call it out, see it as the untruth it is and build new ways of seeing ourselves, claim our truth--we are worthy!

I also know when I see other people, I see their value, their worthiness, their strength, compassion and courage. And while we share the same story, the same symptoms, the same brokenness, the same insight, the same good bits and steps towards recovery, it is so hard to trust that in me--that there is all of that worthiness, strength and courage in me.

This will take time and deep work. But I hope to begin seeing me differently. I think its inner-child work, which I haven't really started. Perhaps it's time. Big  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 11, 2019, 10:09:24 PM
hey, moonbeam,

you wrote in my journal about being on a similar path right now, so i read what you had to say the past few days - it really does sound very much alike in some respects.  honestly, i get it.  i know the lip service to everyone else about worthiness, value, the right to be here and to exist, yet not quite feeling it within myself.   this is the first that i've been fully consciously aware of that.  it sucks!

i know about looking 'normal', 'social', 'with it', all those good things that are on public display.  i also understand about how making these changes can't be done all at once - i think the fact that they are being noticed right now is big enough for a bit.  i'll tell you as i'm telling myself - we don't have to rush this.  take your time, keep your pace according to what works best for you, and trust this process.  being here, being surrounded by these people who do nothing but give us positives, support, and acceptance just the way we are is truly a miracle, in my mind, and is a most potent healing potion all on its own.

we'll get thru this.  hang tough, mb - i'm hangin' right beside you!  sending love and a gentle hug filled w/ compassion - those non-physical scars can sometimes run deeper than the physical ones.  i'm in that boat, too.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 11, 2019, 10:46:29 PM
My T asked me last night if little me 4,5,6 year old me had come into her office years ago would she have said that I was a naughty little girl worthless or unworthy of love, or trash or any of the other lies that I was told and that I tell myself now?
I said no probably not.  She said why?  I said because no little kid should hear that even little jerks have something they are good at.
She said so why do you believe the lies? :Idunno: I don't know.

We all have believed the lies we all struggle with them, but think about a kid you know or just one you may have seen recently would you ever tell that kid they have no value? 

Our inner kids were told that so many times that we believe it.  I'm not sure how to change it.  I can see your value as I'm sure you see mine. Now we just have to find the magic mirrors to help us see our own.

Hope some of that makes some sense.
Love you all!
 :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 11, 2019, 11:24:06 PM
  I can see your value as I'm sure you see mine. Now we just have to find the magic mirrors to help us see our own.
 :grouphug:
:yeahthat:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on July 14, 2019, 07:26:18 PM
 :hug: to you MoonBeam - you have said things that have helped me - just in the way you express things.  I would like to wish you strength for undertaking the inner child work, and hope you know we're alongside you as you commence this work.   :grouphug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 15, 2019, 10:49:23 PM
Mmm. Thank you all so much. I don't have it in me to write much at the moment. I wanted to say I'm so grateful for you all. For the support and encouragement, for walking with me, for kind words, for being such shining lights--even when things are hard.

I had an EMDR session Friday. Relational stuff with my m, realized in a big way I've been carrying her shame all these years--turned into my own. I took it on and I owned it.  Her beliefs became mine.  The EF that followed--still in it, has been about me feeling like that little, sad, lost kiddo, filled with shame, the teen who hated herself, the young woman who tried to reclaim herself, and now the middle-aged mom who's seemingly as lost as ever--right back there in so many ways. Feeling all of the powerlessness and insignificance.

Glad I can say its an EF, though I don't want to deal with it anymore. I have a t session tomorrow, but I don't want to go. More shame and a pretty typical reaction to deep work. Maybe if I keep calling it out, it will start to feel different.

I'm going to have some time this evening to myself. I'll make an effort to be kind to me and see if I can't let some of this go. Still hanging in. Still showing up, so far.

 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 15, 2019, 11:37:07 PM
showing up and hanging in are major, and congrats to you, sweetie, for doing so.  that's a big realization, i'd say. 

i think that's an interesting concept, that you've carried your M's shame and turned it into your own.  never thought of that like that before.  i wonder if that happens a lot.   i think i went the opposite way, mainly cuz i saw my mother as somewhat of a mouse.  gray. 

i hope that if you can continue to call it out, it'll help reduce and diminish it within you, thereby diminishing the EF as well.  also hope the session goes well tomorrow.  best to you with this - i'm really glad you're making a conscious effort to be kind to yourself.  way to go.   :thumbup:

sending love and a hug filled with anti-shame solution.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 15, 2019, 11:41:52 PM
sending love and a hug filled with anti-shame solution.   :hug:

Love that hug. Made me smile.  Thanks so much San.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on July 15, 2019, 11:54:27 PM
Hey sweetie,
Iím glad you will have some time to yourself tonight. Just want to send you some warm  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 16, 2019, 02:32:20 AM
MoonBeam I get exactly what you are saying. I struggle with this too. I replay what was said to me to myself so much is hard to stop self hate at times.  My T says I'm my harshest citric at this point.  This comes from growing up in a home where I had to be perfect.

Continue to call it out I do think it deminshes the power. A caring hug :hug: I'm here with you! Be kind to yourself!
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on July 16, 2019, 06:21:59 PM
Hi MoonBeam,
You're doing some big things in your therapy - and I hope your next session was ok.  Sending you a supportive hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 21, 2019, 07:34:15 PM
MoonBeam,
Sending you a caring hug.  :hug: Please do what you can to be kind to yourself.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 22, 2019, 04:32:40 AM
Hello dear hearts. Thank you all for your warm hugs and well wishes. I didn't mean to check out, but haven't been able to post for a bit. I'm sorry I haven't been around and didn't let anyone know. Been in a pretty extreme EF--parts of self emerging that I didn't expect. I worked through some deep shame in my last EMDR session and after letting it all come through I find I have more clarity on the pain underneath. Teenage me has been crying out for help in an extreme way.

**TW**
I've been a bit out of control I'm afraid, though it all seems appropriate somehow. Self harming came up again and while I am regretful, I am not carrying the shame with it. I get it. Teenage me was in so much pain. After years of abuse it was the only way she could cry out--no voice, all of that pain turned in on herself. The EF I've been in the last week has truly been a revisit to those years and this is the first chance she's had to be seen. While I feel sad seeing the reminder of self-harming, it gives me huge perspective to see a physical representation of the pain I carry. Though now I have to hide it because it's not ok to show that kind of pain. I'm going to try to give her all the care she needs to get through this, she will have a voice and will not need to hurt herself anymore.
**End TW***

Grown up me has been showing up at work and all the places, doing all the things, but mostly I've been pretty dissociated. I truly just keep showing up as much as I can.  While in some ways it looks like a huge back-slide, in others it feels like progress.

Thank you so much for being here for me. I'm sorry I haven't been here for you this last week.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 22, 2019, 04:44:59 AM
 :hug: MoonBeam take care of you.  Both young and old are important. Glad your back. You don't have to be ashamed of pain. Here with you. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 22, 2019, 05:30:45 AM
You're an important, supportive voice here but self care is the most important thing you can do. I go thru times when I just can't post, don't know what to say, can't dredge it up from somewhere - disappear for days - but it's totally okay, because our number one priority should be ourselves. You matter.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: woodsgnome on July 22, 2019, 01:30:43 PM
 :hug:

I also go through those shadowy periods when I can't stand it anymore, including being on or posting here. I not only feel drained, I also don't feel capable of contributing anything to others as they express their troubles; even when they share those rare bits of recovery. It all hits home, and hard.

This leads me to periods when I can't 'do' it anymore, I just want to 'be' free, or as free as I can get. This means I might need to shut down the thinking parts to where the rest of me can mellow out and regain some semblance of feeling okay with life again, especially with that mysterious persona I live in. I allow the push/pull to come apart and just flow -- allowing is way more important than trying, as it involves letting go of the overt pain for a while if not for good.

But I don't mean to write a speech here about me, either. Instead of ego-talk I prefer soul-talk, and in that language just want to say you're doing great by being great, starting with being kind to the only one you can fully affect -- yourself.

Good to see you chime in again; when you can be present, you add a lot. Thank you so very much.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 22, 2019, 03:09:40 PM
moonbeam, i echo the thoughts and well wishes of the others - you must be your own first priority.  this place is all about everyone taking care w/ everyone else, and when one of us is missing,  they can take their time, restore their energy, do what's important for them knowing that the rest of everyone will still be here.

i'm so glad for you that you were able to process out of so much of the shame.  that's a horrible feeling to have to deal with. 

finding your teenage you and acknowledging her pain, her inability to communicate it in any other way, sounds like a big step to me.  the idea of now wanting to tend to her shows so much growth to me.  i'm truly glad for both of you.  keep taking care of you and her as best you can, ok?

sending love and a hug filled w/ compassion and care for she who had no voice till now.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 22, 2019, 11:56:07 PM
Wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you for your kind, insightful support. I appreciate you all so much and am grateful that you are sharing your journey with me. Healing is not something that can happen alone. I understand this now more than ever.  I do feel overwhelmed and triggered at times, I know we all do. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to offer and others still, I can't pull the words out and sit blankly, just reading and empathizing, wanting to send love and care and not being able to. It is a comfort to know this is something others also experience at times.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 23, 2019, 12:45:58 AM
 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 23, 2019, 01:56:40 AM
Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to offer and others still, I can't pull the words out and sit blankly, just reading and empathizing, wanting to send love and care and not being able to.
:yeahthat: I feel like that often on this site. I do feel very cared for by you and your words have brought me comfort. When you are in a place where you can't read others' posts or respond, that is okay.

**TW**
I've been a bit out of control I'm afraid, though it all seems appropriate somehow. Self harming came up again and while I am regretful, I am not carrying the shame with it. I get it. Teenage me was in so much pain. After years of abuse it was the only way she could cry out--no voice, all of that pain turned in on herself. The EF I've been in the last week has truly been a revisit to those years and this is the first chance she's had to be seen. While I feel sad seeing the reminder of self-harming, it gives me huge perspective to see a physical representation of the pain I carry. Though now I have to hide it because it's not ok to show that kind of pain. I'm going to try to give her all the care she needs to get through this, she will have a voice and will not need to hurt herself anymore.
**End TW***

Grown up me has been showing up at work and all the places, doing all the things, but mostly I've been pretty dissociated. I truly just keep showing up as much as I can.  While in some ways it looks like a huge back-slide, in others it feels like progress.

I am so glad the teenager is being seen and heard. She is worthy of care and of being heard and understood.
Going to work and functioning is a major accomplishment with all you are going through. I don't think you could do that without some dissociation. I don't think that is a "back-slide," I think it is helpful for you to do what needs to be done.

Sending all of you lots of care.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 24, 2019, 07:01:44 PM
Thanks so much notalone.  :hug: Your words and understanding bring me great comfort. It's been a rough couple of weeks for sure and knowing everyone is here, fighting for well-being, supporting each other, working on healing, that I'm not crazy, that these are symptoms of trauma, that we're going through the same things, knowing I'm not alone anymore, makes it somehow possible to keep walking.

The (aptly named) EF I've been in has literally been a step back in time. A step back to my most desperate, lost, self-destructive period in my life. I'm reeling from how intense it is, how even years later having not processed any of it, its still all there-frozen in time, in my being. I think about the effort it must have taken to stuff all of that for so many years--seemingly unaware of the impact on the day-to-day. Serious denial.

Had t yesterday and was really not doing well. My T spoke directly to my teen self and while it was difficult to let go and take up the exercise, I was able to allow her to speak briefly. She just really needed help. She needed one safe person. She didn't have that. I do now, though I don't know how to support other parts of self, to support her--I see the value in more of a one-on-one between my T and teen me. Perhaps I will ask for more time with that.

I just have no idea how to do this. How can grown up me learn to love myself, when teen me is soooo filled with shame, self hate, disgust and extreme sadness. I haven't really done this kind of work before, separating parts of self, acknowledging different parts of self. Littler me seems to have held onto some form of hope. Mostly she was confused and hurt, sad and ashamed, but still held some form of light for the world, for life.
Teen me, gave up and understood that I had been ground into the earth, and she took it all on herself--her fault. She deserved every bad thing that ever happened, she knew she was a failure, she was broken and would never be anything more.  I just want to wail for her--her pain is so real, so huge, but I can't let it out. It's stuck in my chest.

I need to separate from this. This is taking me down. I need to step into grown-up me. To see me as safe, worthy, not at fault. A grown-up with responsibilities, children I love who need care--the care I didn't have.  I need to focus on today. The work in front of me. The things I can do. To allow healing and change. I need to make choices in the moment that will keep me safe. I need to find the strength to believe I deserve to feel better. To love myself.



Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 24, 2019, 07:43:02 PM
I just have no idea how to do this. How can grown up me learn to love myself, when teen me is soooo filled with shame, self hate, disgust and extreme sadness. I haven't really done this kind of work before, separating parts of self, acknowledging different parts of self. Littler me seems to have held onto some form of hope. Mostly she was confused and hurt, sad and ashamed, but still held some form of light for the world, for life.

Baby steps. I'm trying to figure it out too, but this is something that I've been doing. If it fits for you, great; if not, that is okay. For the smaller parts, I've borrowed picture books from the library and read to them. For another part, I got a youth book on CD from the library and she listens to it, usually at night. A thought I had for your teen part is to get her a special lotion that smells good to her. It would be good if her body was treated with tenderness and not harm.

MoonBeam, I know this is really hard and indescribably painful. You are not alone. I am with you and I care.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 25, 2019, 01:54:15 AM
You are worthy of love, you're worthy of being protected. You're worthy of forgiveness; our young selves did what we needed to do, in order to survive emotionally and physically. I'm in awe of people like you who are doing everything they can to not repeat the mistakes their own parents made. Awareness can be painful and difficult but it is better than stumbling blindly down a path of dysfunction and darkness.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 25, 2019, 02:41:35 PM
dear moonbeam, may i say that i don't think your teen self gave up.  from what you described, she took on the role of the workhorse, shouldering all the wrongs and pain, carrying them for you.  she protected you the way she could so that you could get to a place where you would be ready and strong enough to start pulling them off her a little at a time.  baby steps, as notalone said. 

i give you so much credit for allowing your t to talk to your teen, and personally, i hope you allow more of that.  your teen deserves to hear what she couldn't hear before - she was too busy shouldering the burden - but perhaps now is the time when she can begin to unload, little by little, piece by piece.

you said you didn't know how to do this, but this is exactly how it's done.  you're doing it.  it may be unfamiliar territory, but your t sounds like they're guiding you on the path that will help you do this.  i give you a lot of credit, sweetie.  let the healing begin.  sending love and a hug filled w/ clarity.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 29, 2019, 08:43:46 PM
I'm so grateful for your replies and care.  I have been in a really dark place lately and not able to post. I wrote a lot this weekend in my paper journal, one I share mostly with my T and spent some time in meditation, which has been most helpful. My boys just left last night to visit their dad 3000 miles away for 2 1/2 weeks.

I started to post this in "therapy" as a question, but realized I needed to write more about it, so decided to post here instead.

After a particularly long and deep EF, one that landed me deeply in the heart of my lost, angry, scared, destructive and emotionally obliterated teen self, my T has recommended a psyche eval by a psychiatrist. The symptoms I experienced in the EF were intense and involved behaviors I exhibited during that time of my life--drinking excessively, dissociation with lost time, destructive behaviors, etc. It was a dark night of the soul for sure and I'm finally coming out of it.

I know this suggestion/request is out of concern and a desire to be thorough and make sure I am getting the best care. I think she spoke to my deep depression not lifting and being in that state for so long, well... the thought is it could change with medication. Which could be true and I've discussed this with my GP. I also think though, she has lost trust in me--that she feels I wasn't honest about the depths of it all--that I was in danger and didn't let anyone know. I also wonder if she's thinking deeper issues are at play--co-morbidities undiagnosed, but I think complex trauma is enough to account for my experience.

I deeply respect and trust my T--which is miraculous and speaks volumes to her skill as a care provider. I did let her know what was going on, just a little after the fact. It takes some days to get up the courage sometimes to share and its true, part of me just didn't want to feel that broken and by admitting it, well, there it is.  Plus, honestly i didn't understand what was happening until after the fact, I felt really out of control and I suppose that's part of the problem. But I did share with her as soon as i could. I was honest, as I always have been with her. Honest like I never thought I could be with another person. I realized I was in trouble and at our next appt I said I was not doing well. Shared all I was aware of.

I can't write any more right now, but I don't want to delete what I've put out there. Perhaps I can come back later. I really am doing better. I'm just weary. I am making a space to love my inner-teen and with the lifting of the EF, I feel like change can happen. That she can be seen, cared for. That it was all necessary in a way, to burn off some negative, to clear a path for healing. I do feel i have greater understanding than before and I'm thinking about ways in which she might feel soothed and possibly even safe thanks to all of your loving insight and support.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 29, 2019, 09:18:11 PM
 :hug: your not alone
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on July 29, 2019, 10:51:39 PM
"A dark night for the soul" is a good description of the anger, fear, feelings of being lost, destructive behaviors and dissociation that you experienced. Super hard and painful. Thanks for posting and letting us know how you are doing. Here is a hug for you  :hug: and one for the teen, if she will allow it and feel safe enough to receive it.  :hug: If not, that's okay. As Tee said, you are not alone.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 30, 2019, 04:30:54 AM
Thank you so much Tee and notalone. My teen would really appreciate a hug. She really just needs to be cared for right now. I can't speak enough to how much being heard here and cared for means. I don't feel alone. I am grateful to have your support. 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on July 30, 2019, 05:37:29 AM
My inner teen is high-fiving your inner teen.  :chestbump:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on July 30, 2019, 03:14:04 PM
dear moonbeam,. thanks so much for sharing all this.  i totally get the concept of not being aware enough on a conscious level to report exactly how you're feeling or what's going on w/ you.  i've experienced that much of my life.  the idea of having to be 'ok' speaks loudly and clearly to me.  i'm glad you wrote about it.  i think that all the writing/posting i've done here, getting the responses, caring, love, concern has helped me to not fall back into those dark places of the soul.  i hope you keep posting, let it out, let us take it from you as much as possible to help ease your struggle.

were you able to explain this dynamic to your t?  do they know about it?  that might be helpful.  i know it's helped my d to know that i sometimes have lapse times between my immediate response and what is underneath it which might not come out until a few days later.   it has then not become a trust issue so much as clarity as to how my brain works.  it's helped me to understand that as well.  i can now speak to it without as much confusion within myself.

keep taking care of you as best you can.  i've been on meds before - sometimes they can help you get thru a rough patch until you're able to maintain stability on your own.  they've helped me that way.  it works differently for everyone, of course.  either way, wishing you all the best as you move thru the mucky part of this recovery journey.  sending love and a hug filled w/ clarity and stability.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 30, 2019, 07:00:34 PM
My inner teen is high-fiving your inner teen.  :chestbump:

Awesome. Thanks Three Roses. Right back at your inner teen.

San, thanks so much. I do think my T is aware of my slow processing, though I think it would be good to talk this out with her. I'm seeing her shortly. I imagine we'll go over everything we talked about last week, though I don't remember everything due to dissociating during our last meeting. I haven't been freaked out about it though, which is interesting 'cause the relational piece is huge for me--often afraid of abandonment, that I'll ruin things, won't be worth care anymore, blaa, blaa--inner critic. I think this speaks to my believing this is a safe relationship. This doesn't mean things won't change, or that she'll be around forever, but she wouldn't be abandoning me.

In thinking about it, the thing I was avoiding telling her, that took a few days to muster up the courage to tell, was another bout of SH, but that wasn't what she was concerned about. She was concerned that I didn't remember doing it completely. I remember it happening, kind of. That did scare me and I said so. That's what I meant by being out of control and I do think it was a combination of dissociation, but also alcohol. I didn't want to feel anything and was using alcohol to numb, trying to get to the point I could just pass out, sleep. I'm not using alcohol to that extent anymore--its not safe and a dangerous combination with already feeling on the edge of things. I get it and I do care about being safe. I'm not sure what else I could have shared that would have kept me from being in such a dark emotional place. It was a heavy EF and it was my reality for a long time when I was a teen/young adult.

**TW**
I used to leave my body during the abuse. I remember the first time that happened and it was after years of being abused already. I floated to the ceiling. I remember looking down on the scene, on me, but I don't remember what was happening. **End TW**

When things get super rough or scary, I leave. I don't intend to, it just happens. I get nervous often before therapy. I don't know why exactly. i just feel anxiety. I can't seem to stop it. This makes me feel like a child. I want so badly to go in there, in my center, in my body. Show up as a sovereign, strong adult. Maybe it's shame. I'm ashamed I need help, that I'm not stronger, that I feel broken. These are messages from my foo for sure. I can't seem to shake them though. They are literally in my body. I was institutionalized when I was 16 and I am afraid of that happening again. Losing my free-will. I think that's why when I'm feeling the most shaky, that's when its hardest for me to reach out. That and shame.

It's time for me to go to my appointment. Thanks so much for letting me get this out. It's a puzzle and I do feel like it's a particularly mucky part of recovery, but in that--I think I can see, it is in fact recovery.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on July 30, 2019, 11:14:51 PM
 :hug: steps forward there's no Shame in needing help processing our junk it's too much to do alone. Keep moving forward you can do it. :applause:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on July 31, 2019, 08:26:08 PM
Well, the 'dark night of the soul'--(I actually am naming my last EF because it was sooooo long and soooo awful) really does seem to have lifted. I've been a right mess for weeks. I don't even really know how long. Not that I was ever great, but geesh. If I'm honest, looking behind, I'm surprised I didn't end up in residential care.

All I can say is thank you. Thank you for being here for me, helping me through. I'm feeling gratitude in a big way today. I'm also feeling weepy as I write that. huh. Emotions are so complicated.

I posted in Exceptionally difficult day last night. I was blind-sided by a trigger and flashback and I truly thought it would send me right back down. I am still standing and not only that, I am actually doing alright. I believe it is because I was supported in a time of great need.  My T was available to help me initially and then asking for help here on the boards, I received it. My T has gone above and beyond really for the last year, supporting me in crisis and I believe each time that has happened, and it's been often, it has paved the way for a reframing, for processing the trauma to begin. I clung to the board last night and i felt cared for and I wasn't alone in it. More proof I am worth care and support. More reframing.

I've had some breakthroughs throughout this last EF related to my inner teen, as I've been posting about. I think by letting her out, trying to embrace her and not stuff her back down i am reaching a part of myself, that without, there would be no recovery, no healing. It was after an intense session of EMDR, processing deep shame from my FOO that it all started to emerge. The shame was the stopper in the bottle so-to-speak, and it kept me stuck and hopeless. It's not been pretty what I've been experiencing, and I was in no way sure I was going to make it out of it, but I can see how necessary walking through the fire is. How courageous we are to keep going. How strong we are for not giving up, when that's all we feel we can do--give up.

I had therapy yesterday earlier in the day and followed up from my last appt. I am just starting to realize how far out I have been. My T was able to recognize my pattern: deep work, relational disruption, deep EF, all the self-hating, all the old ways of coping.  This one was the worst so far since we've been working together and she was correct in her concern for my well-being, even if I wasn't able to see it or perhaps admit it at first. She also said she knew I would come out of it, maybe not then, but soon. Oh, the faith she has in me.

We're going to hold off on meds for now since I am doing better, really try to work with basics--diet, sleep, exercise (basics these may be, but elusive to me all the same) discuss supplements with my GP.  See how it goes. Continue to build resiliency and strengthen tools for self-care and self-regulation before we dive into more deep work. Today I'm just going to hold on to feeling somewhat at ease. My heart is pounding a bit writing all of this, but I'm still going to look at it as progress. Baby steps. That's what I've got right now.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 01, 2019, 12:33:18 PM
I'm so glad you got the support you needed, and are on the way out of the EF! That's great news  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 01, 2019, 01:18:48 PM
 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 02, 2019, 12:18:10 AM
Thx Tee.  :hug:

I find there are days where i just scroll the boards, I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. I tend to need to avoid triggers, so I'm careful about what I read on those days. Today is one of those days. I think I'm realizing I'm feeling anxious, unsettled. Maybe I'm looking for connection, camaraderie, distraction. I've been doing ok the last three days, even with a big old trigger and tough evening the other night. But since the trigger--the next day I started to have another piece of memory come in flashes. 

I'm feeling a little unsettled. A little unsafe.  Anxious.  I feel like I need to stay out of the deep end of the pool for a little while. I need a break, to get my feet back under me.  I'm starting to feel that tired, weary feeling that trauma leaves me with. The buzzy head and the edge, always vigilant--what's hiding around the corner or in the dark or right in front of me in plain sight.  I'm going to need to practice self-care tonight. I'm going to need to step up for me if I am to avoid an EF, which I would really like to do. I'm feeling tired of it always being a struggle. I'm not down at the moment, but feel kind of on the edge. I think it's been a week for it. Perhaps there's something in the stars calling my stuff out.

Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 02, 2019, 12:43:21 AM
Take care of yourself. I get that. It's hard to be here some times.  For me it seems looking at others thoughts and committing actually helps me distract me from my hole at times. Sometimes that helps break my loops.  Not sure how much it helps me long term.  But it helps to know I'm not alone, and it makes me feel useful to to encourage others.  Sending love :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on August 02, 2019, 01:22:56 AM
**TW**
I used to leave my body during the abuse. I remember the first time that happened and it was after years of being abused already. I floated to the ceiling. I remember looking down on the scene, on me, but I don't remember what was happening. **End TW**

 I get nervous often before therapy. I don't know why exactly. i just feel anxiety.

I also have a memory of floating to the ceiling and looking down on the scene.
Being nervous before therapy makes perfect sense to me. You're diving into difficult issues. I always feel anxious before a session. The amount of anxiety is related to what I plan on talking about.

Hearing that you are feeling unsettled. Makes sense with what you just went through plus having flashes of memory. Sending care to you.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on August 02, 2019, 02:05:42 AM
For what it is worth MoonBeam,
I have those days where I just need a connection too. I do feel connected to you  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 02, 2019, 03:50:37 PM
hey, mb, i've got one of those days today.  just want to take the day off, do a little of this, little of that, not much of anything but give myself a rest.  also on the edge, so i know that it's a good thing i don't do much and that will stop it in its tracks.  with you on this one, sweetie!  love and hugs   :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 02, 2019, 08:19:58 PM
Agreed Tee. It is good to get out of my head and feel compassion for others.  A reminder I suppose that I can be compassionate for myself too.

notalone, thank you. It has bothered me greatly that I can't seem to control my nerves before a session, especially since my T's office feels like the only safe place in the world at times.  I think we're going to try grounding exercises together at the beginning of sessions to see if that helps. Yeah, the floating to the ceiling thing... Thanks for letting me know you experienced that too.

Deep Blue, thank you. I am feeling connections. It is a lovely feeling to have and I feel very cared for.  :hug:

San, thank you. I took it easy last night--didn't do anything except eat and stare at the sky. I'm letting that be ok. I even went to bed at a reasonable hour, though sleeping is always a challenge. I hope you had a restful evening.

Today is ok. I feel like I'm hanging in.  I usually have therapy today, but my T is on vacation. A well-earned one I must say :). I do find I really look to our sessions to get me through the weekend. I feel like it will be ok though. I have some things planned--a friend's daughter's bat mitzvah. It will be social and I'm giving a few people a ride, so I have to show up. And on Sunday I'm hoping to pop by the bead store and perhaps make a little something. We'll see.

memory flash is still there and if I linger on it at all, it becomes unsettling fast. I try to tuck these things away, to deal with it in therapy, but I don't usually deal with them in therapy. I don't know why exactly, but I end up not talking about it. I think i wait to process it with EMDR, but those appts are pretty far apart and I've only had a few--3? I can't remember at the moment. I really struggle to get words out, to tell the story in talk therapy.  But if I don't, then I end up just sitting with them stewing under the surface for weeks. I don't look at it on my own very much cause it makes me feel unsafe and panicky. But it showed up to be processed I suppose. It's littler me stuff. Lately things have been about teen me.

I wonder about telling parts of my story on here some day. I think I've heard that other folks have written time-lines and the like. I haven't really seen those posts. Would that be a recovery journal kind of thing? I can feel myself dissociating a bit just thinking about it. Good to be able to observe what's happening in my body and when. I know in 12-step groups one generally tells their story to qualify, which clearly is unnecessary here. I'm not sure if that's what I would be looking for in sharing.  I think it would be more about not being afraid to be seen and not being at fault and letting go of the shame of my story. Letting some of it out. It's heavy to hold--our stories, our pain.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on August 03, 2019, 12:21:00 AM
I really struggle to get words out, to tell the story in talk therapy.  But if I don't, then I end up just sitting with them stewing under the surface for weeks.

I also find it very difficult to "get the words out." Sometimes I look back at a session and realize that the memory that I told my T was told in a total of about 3 sentences and it took me the entire session to say it. If I don't tell him, then the memory loops in my head (and feelings) seemingly endlessly.

Glad you were able to take it easy last night.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on August 03, 2019, 12:32:11 AM
MoonBeam,
Iím the champion of changing the subject, laughing off my trauma, and minimizing it.

My T knows me well enough by now that when Iím desperately trying to change the subject it means that something BIG is usually underneath.  Sometimes she will call me out on it right away. Other times she tries to steer me back.

We all deal with trauma in different ways.  The bottom line is that we all got through the trauma the best we could. There is no right or wrong way to talk about it in therapy.  Just do what you feel you can and write down things you are stewing about to bring to your T next time. 

Take good care
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 03, 2019, 02:51:23 AM
Thx notalone. Yup, that's totally me.  The whole session over and I've stared at the floor, said hardly anything.  Sometimes my T just sits with me. And sometimes, when it's obvious i'm checked out dissociating, she calls me back in. I wonder if there will ever be a time when I can tell her something and not feel such fear and shame. Actually get the words out, make eye contact.  Cause its stuff that happened to me, not anything I did.  Damn it. I think that's what I'm working towards. It will always be disturbing, the things that happened--the bleep show that was my childhood (sorry). I do wonder if I would ever be able to share the story without all of the trauma seeping through with it. What is processed? Anyway, I'm so glad we have someone in our corners, guiding us on our journeys. A good T is a remarkable gift.

Deep Blue, thank you. That's the other side: me saying, well its not really that big of a deal. I'm not sure why it upsets me. It's way too easy to think I should be better, doing therapy better, all of it, but it's true. I'm just taking it as it comes and doing my best and sometimes that means avoiding the heck out of something. My T is like my witness now though and she can call it to my attention. So glad for you too that we have good care providers helping us, guiding us on this journey. I do write in a journal, things to bring to session. I don't always share it though. Maybe I should think more about that.

Thank you all for being here. Above all, I've been extremely grateful for the connection and care I've received. I'm sad we were all hurt and I'm grateful to not be alone.  :grouphug:

Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 03, 2019, 03:11:27 AM
There's a lot of times that I don't say a lot while during my therapy. Hugs :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 03, 2019, 03:28:01 AM
 :hug: Tee. Thx.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 03, 2019, 03:29:25 PM
Quote
It's way too easy to think I should be better, doing therapy better, all of it....

This is me, too. Should be farther along, blah blah blah. The truth is that wherever we are in our healing, we are there. And that's okay.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 07, 2019, 01:20:53 AM
just checking in.  hope you're doing ok, mb.  i know you've been having a rough go of it lately.

from what i've been reading here, it sounds like you're doing therapy really well.  you're also much further along than you were.  one example of that is posting here, speaking your truth, allowing us in so that we can show our support.  that's real progress.

sending love and a hug full of compassion for yourself and what you've gone thru.  you are where you are, and we've all been there in one shape or form.  just want to let you know you're not alone. 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 07, 2019, 03:15:09 AM
San, I'm not doing ok. Thank you for checking in. It means so much. It's a really tough night. I'm gonna go hide under the covers and just be still. I should probably do something else to take care of me, but I think that's all i've got. I'll try to write later. Love to you and everyone.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 07, 2019, 04:12:46 AM
 :grouphug: I'm there with you MoonBeam, I'll bring my own blanket though.  This has been a really long week and it's only Tuesday. So if it's ok I'm going to wrap myself in my blanket and just sit with you tonight. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 07, 2019, 04:20:44 AM
mb, all you've got is enough.  i still see it as self-care.  you're keeping yourself safe and that's the most important care of all.  if it's ok, i'll bring my blanket, too, and we can just be together.  love all around.   :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 07, 2019, 06:57:25 PM
Thanks Tee and San for sitting with me last night.

It took 45 minutes to get up this morning, which is better than some days. I don't know if I'm in an EF. I'm not sure what I'm in. I know that I'm tapping into some pretty deep places right now. It's been about parts of self. I was always afraid to allow these parts to be seen or heard, afraid they would take over perhaps and if I didn't keep it all held really tight--all of the split pieces, the shattered parts of my being, would either drift away or destroy me. Notalone, Hope, San (and probably more folks) have been doing some amazing work with their inner-selves and re-birthing, and I feel like this has allowed me to be brave enough to open the door a crack to experience some of this myself.

Coming out of the last, really intense and scary EF after my T spoke directly with my inner-teen, I think was the first little realization I had, that she just really needed to be acknowledged, she wanted to be heard. She had been acting out most defiantly and angrily. This honestly terrifies me. And since then, my little 7 yo self has shown up in a big way and she wants to be heard.  She wants to talk. She was forced into silence by others, then by me for so long. I thought I had completely destroyed any chance she could ever be ok.  I think I'm realizing it's grown-up me that is keeping me stuck, frozen, afraid of the trauma. It's too awful and scary for grown-up me to look at. Teen me told little me yesterday that by keeping it all secret, you can still pretend it never happened. But once you tell... 

Little me started talking, telling stories last night. Things she remembered, that grown-up me did not. Things grown-up me won't look at. FOO dynamics, abuse. She remembers a lot about her life. I started to let her write. It's on the paper. A paper I don't have to, can't look at.  I will try to bring it to therapy on Friday. I will have to read it out loud if I want to share it.    ****TW**** It's a lot about the abuse from one of the longer-term perps that started when I was 6, almost 7 and ended when I was 14. End TW** .  She just let her thoughts and experiences out.  Grown up me has never been able to write about any of it or talk about it.

Notalone, it is really hard to not feel like this makes me actually crazy or crazier--acknowledging the split. And there is a huge split. I appreciate what your T said about it, what you shared on your post.

I think I'm realizing this is the key to any chance of recovery for me. I never learned to love myself. I learned to hate myself. I've been trying to learn how to change this without the pieces, like a shell trying to feel full. It's not possible. I've been kind of floating in and out the last few days. Not feeling depressed, but seriously lost and not in my body. I need to be careful and try to practice mindfulness today. I'm a little afraid I might disappear. 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 07, 2019, 07:26:12 PM
 :hug: MoonBeam I'm hear for you.  Healing is hard but letting you littles tell and sharing with your T are huge steps  :applause: :cheer: I'll be here cheering you on. You are not crazy.  We protected ourselves in the only way we could to survive. By letting different parts good different memories.  I still don't have many memories from 7-15 because I was so dissociated during that time of my life.  As we heal or parts start to fill in the holes.  You can do this. We are here for you.  Stay strong. Big comforting and understand hug. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Deep Blue on August 07, 2019, 07:27:08 PM
I see you MoonBeam. You wonít disappear.

I agree that self love is what we all needed.  It is so hard to reprogram all the messages we got growing up.  I have a very difficult time loving myself.  Most times I struggle with even liking myself.

 The way I look at it, I have to reprogram 25 years of my life! Iíd been getting the message that I was less, dumb, lazy, for a long long time and it takes a long time to try to reverse it.  Hugs and love to you MoonBeam  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on August 07, 2019, 10:21:34 PM
MoonBeam,

First, just want to give you a big  :hug:.

Your Teen, Little M, all the parts need and deserve to be seen and heard. I'm glad little you started telling. It was a great idea (and brave) for you to have her write things down. If you are not ready to read it, could you give it to your T and have her read it? Or maybe little you could read it to her?

I know this is really scary. You are not alone and you are not crazy.

Please tell Little M. that E is her friend and that E understands about bad, icky things. (To both of us: We are not crazy. We have dealt with great harm in a creative way.)

Sending a hug to all of you from all of me.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 07, 2019, 10:27:17 PM
hey, mb, i think you are so the opposite of crazy!  speaking about this, allowing your younger self to write about it shows, to me, such progress, such strength and courage, in making yourself seen fully and whole.  that's what is continuing to keep you from disappearing. 

as i'm doing this work, i'm finding pieces of myself integrating in ways i never thought about.  i am becoming more solid.  i've spent so much of my life 'floaty', and i do believe i'm touching ground in ways never imagined.  please make sure you go at your own pace w/ all this, ok?  that's really important.  i think taking that paper to your t is a really good idea, too.  your t can help you stay grounded and assimilate the information, if you're ready to do that.  you don't have to push yourself - it will come in its own time, when you're ready.

thanks for posting here, for allowing us to support you, send you care and love.  those are things we've missed out on while growing up, and, even tho it might feel uncomfy at times (it has for me - it took me a long time before i could actually feel what i was getting from people here), it shows your courage.  you may be stronger than you think.  sending love and a hug full of acknowledgment of all the parts of you.   :hug:

just read notalone's post, and i totally agree w/ the idea of dealing with horrors in life in a creative way.  that's one of our strengths.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 10, 2019, 11:16:56 PM
Thx Tee for cheering me on. I appreciate it.  I hope you are hanging in and feeling ok today.

Deep Blue, Thanks for saying you see me. That brought tears to my eyes and made me feel safer. Yeah, its going to take some time to change those old paradigms. I think its possible though--which is new. Self-love I do believe, is a learned behavior. Just stopping the self-hate is a good first step.

notalone. Thx so much for understanding and honestly your and E's bravery has in a way allowed me to give my little M permission to speak. She is incredibly brave, resilient and even sometimes seems undaunted, like she still knows how to be joyful or in the moment.  I have a lot to learn from her. And seeing her now, I do see her creativity and how she utilized that to survive--all these years.
Thank you for the big hug. I felt it.

San, thank you. I really appreciate what you wrote about becoming more solid. I've been feeling the emptiness inside me acutely lately and allowing these other parts to be heard, well it kind of feels like even though its painful stuff, somehow I do feel a little more complete. Or a little less empty. Thank you for saying it's important that I share. I agree. That made me feel important.  It's time to start telling their story, my story. And you're so right. There was no one to tell before. No one to care.

I did bring the writing little M had done into session. I checked in first the day before to make sure it would be ok to share some hard things. It was a story about some of the things that happened and a clear recollection of things that were said--the programming, the lies, the manipulation. It was an honest account of her pain. It was our story, or the beginning of it anyway.

I ended up not feeling  that i could be vulnerable before I began reading and therefor kind of shut down and couldn't feel emotion around it, but i needed to get the words out. I've been holding onto some of these memories for months, others were newer. It's like they've been sitting on my heart, images, memories and I felt like they were smothering me. And if little M was brave enough to tell, I needed to be brave enough to let it out. So even though I was totally detached from the words I was reading, I still felt a lot of relief after. Like I had purged some deep poison.

I was kind of in shock/or super dissociated (felt more like shock) when I left the appt. I went home and curled into bed for an hour. That helped. I didn't want to be alone, so I went out to meet a friend and her daughter in town.  I'm really glad I went. I'm still doing ok. I have a lot to do for work this weekend and I'm having a hard time focusing, but I'm not in danger. I'm not wrecked. No EF to speak of. Hopefully this is a new chapter. Hopefully I've come out of that super scary dark place into a new clearing, where the sun can shine in and light the way a bit.

Thank you all for your loving, caring support.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 11, 2019, 12:25:28 AM
 :applause: :cheer:
That's great that you were able to share the story with your T.  I'm sure the dissociation with the emotions is still needed as you are healing.  It is hard to remember to the deep hurts of the past held by our littles.  I'm glad you're letting Little M have a voice and feel safe enough to share it.  That is so brave of both of you. Big hug :hug:. 

I told my T I'm scared that I may fracture again if I keep looking into the past trying to heal...  She said we will deal with it it happens.  But it really does scare me.  I'd almost rather stay stuck in my current exhausting * than break into pieces. :Idunno:

I really do think you are so brave and strong!
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on August 11, 2019, 01:54:36 AM
MoonBeam & Little M,

You were brave to write and read the letter. MoonBeam, it is okay that you didn't experience your feelings when you read it. You did a good job of taking care of yourself by taking a nap and then meeting with friends. (I'm always tired after a session, even a less intense one.)  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on August 15, 2019, 06:40:55 PM
Thanks for the hugs and supporting affirmations dear hearts.  It was a tough session for sure, but somehow later it became empowering--sharing my story. In telling, it felt like I broke the rules. That I refused to keep their secrets, to protect them any longer. I think that's part of the reason I can't talk about things that happened, can't speak the words to my T. It's not so much that it's horrible (which it was) as much as I think that my training was so complete in keeping the secret, protecting the abusers, that I physically am not able to speak the words. Well and there's the shame...   It will be interesting to see how this progresses or changes (if it does  :'(   ).

My T suggested I burn the writing as a cleansing exercise and I had planned on doing that, but then realized that it is part of my story and not something that I need to feel shame or fear around. I decided to write down my feelings around the memories, around the story and burn that instead. To keep the pages somewhere, out of sight, for a while at least.

I think things are shifting for me. I know it's not going to feel like steady progress from here on out. There will be dark times that feel like back-sliding, but I think I have let go of needing to punish little me, teen me and perhaps even grown up me a little. I didn't realize how much i held little me responsible still. I find that a little sad.

I'm heading out of town tonight on a trip. Going to pick up my boys from their dad's 3000 miles away (they have been with him the last two and a half weeks) then heading to visit friends in Northern England. I've been soooo overwhelmed getting ready, passports, car rentals. Leaving my place is a bit of a chore--animals, gardens... But everything is in place (I hope). I was thinking traveling like this with my kids is actually pretty brave and quite the grown-up thing to do.  It will be good for me. Hoping to start some real self-care activities when I return. Oh yeah, and I'm quitting smoking cigs on this trip - gah! There's my first big self-care task.

Thanks for being here...  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on August 15, 2019, 06:59:08 PM
Hi MoonBeam,

The session with your T was tough, but it sounds as though you've made enormous progress. Being able to share your story is a huge deal, as is letting go of punishment.

Have a safe journey. I hope you have a lovely time  :).
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Tee on August 15, 2019, 07:02:03 PM
 :hug: have a safe journey and enjoy your time with your kids.  They will be special memories that will last a life time make them count.  Congrats on the self care!  You can do it.   :applause: :cheer:

Be safe can't wait to hear about your adventures when you return. Be safe! :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 16, 2019, 04:31:20 AM
sounds like it will be a great adventure for you and your boys.  enjoyenjoyenjoy!!!  and, congrats on quitting smoking - been there, done that at least 1000 times, but it finally took, and i haven't had one for over 3 yrs.  i'm with you all the way on that one.  do your best - it will be enough. 

sending love and a hug filled with the love of the open road (i love road trips).   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on August 17, 2019, 03:08:16 AM
It was a tough session for sure, but somehow later it became empowering--sharing my story. In telling, it felt like I broke the rules. That I refused to keep their secrets, to protect them any longer.
Yes, that is a huge thing to tell the secrets. No need to keep their rules or protect any abusers. You have the right to speak and be heard.

My T suggested I burn the writing as a cleansing exercise and I had planned on doing that, but then realized that it is part of my story and not something that I need to feel shame or fear around. I decided to write down my feelings around the memories, around the story and burn that instead. To keep the pages somewhere, out of sight, for a while at least.
That is great that you realized what your T suggested was not a fit for you and came up with something helpful for you.

I'm heading out of town tonight on a trip. Going to pick up my boys from their dad's 3000 miles away (they have been with him the last two and a half weeks) then heading to visit friends in Northern England. I've been soooo overwhelmed getting ready, passports, car rentals. Leaving my place is a bit of a chore--animals, gardens... But everything is in place (I hope). I was thinking traveling like this with my kids is actually pretty brave and quite the grown-up thing to do.  It will be good for me. Hoping to start some real self-care activities when I return. Oh yeah, and I'm quitting smoking cigs on this trip - gah! There's my first big self-care task.

Very brave and grown-up thing to do.  :cheer: Enjoy your time with your boys.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Sceal on August 17, 2019, 02:43:53 PM
Sounds like you've done quite the breakthrough for you. Did you do the burning of your thoughts and emotions around the topic? If so, did you feel it helped?
I always wondered if I should do something similar to it, but never been quite sure if it would actually work. :P

A trip with your boys sounds wonderful, and nothern England is so beautiful. I hope you'll have a most wonderful vacation.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on August 17, 2019, 03:58:13 PM
Hey, grats on stopping smoking. That's tough from what I hear. I always loved traveling with my kids, seeing new places with them. Have fun!  :wave:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on August 24, 2019, 01:47:54 PM
Hi MoonBeam,
I hope your trip is a good one, and thinking of you.  Sending you a hug, if that's ok  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 27, 2019, 04:07:53 PM
thinking of you.  hope everything's going smoothly.  love and hugs   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on September 18, 2019, 04:58:08 PM
Hey everyone.  I think you would all say I don't need to apologize for being away for so long, but I want to. It wasn't my intention at all and I have missed being here. Travels were actually lovely--visiting friends in northern England was the best. Family stuff is always hard, had a deeper connection with my sis than I have in years and with that a ginormous trigger.  Re-entry into life was hard. Catch-up in general, school starting for my younger kiddo, catch-up at work  :blahblahblah:.

Right now I'm hanging in, though really struggling with some relational stuff.  I've been doing ok, since coming out of that super intense dark period, which lasted way too long. Well, I guess it lasted as long as it needed to. I must have actually worked through something though, cause things are different.

On a really positive note, I attended the first of a seven-class series on mindfulness meditation for anxiety. It is a group of 10 (i think) women and 2 facilitators.  It was mostly an introduction. I looooved it.  Can't wait for the next one.

 :grouphug:  MB
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 18, 2019, 05:15:25 PM
welcome back!

glad that for the most part your trip was pos.  and so happy for you that you loved that class series beginning on mindfulness.  very cool!

and, no, you didn't have to apologize.  we're just glad you're here, safe and sound.  love and hugs, mb.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 19, 2019, 04:44:56 AM
Welcome back!  :wave:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 19, 2019, 09:43:43 AM
Welcome back MoonBeam   :wave:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on September 25, 2019, 08:52:32 PM
Thanks so much San, Three Roses and Hope. It's so lovely to feel so cared about!

I'm struggling again and I'm feeling like I have no one to reach out to in my physical world. I've been having some triggers come up around smells and the usual anxiety and I had nightmares over the weekend and Monday eve, last night too, though not as bad. I think its related to my talk with my sister when I was visiting and the memories that has called up, but honestly its just a mess and I can't discern what or why I'm experiencing what I am. I'm so tired of this. I haven't been sleeping well, so I'm thinking I'm just really physically tired too. Plus honestly, I'm just not feeling well--headache, upset stomach, dizzy. The problem is I can't tell if its a physical response to the anxiety or if I just don't feel well. I feel lost and I have no way to find my way back. No anchor.

We had the second group meeting last night and one of the exercises was to breathe into our bellies for 1 count, then out for 2, then in for 3, then out  for 4--up to an out-breath of 10. I've been practicing that today when I start to get super anxious and its been helping. I was feeling pretty out of sorts when I got to the meeting last night. My boss was pretty much railing on me all afternoon about anything and everything because he was stressed out and I suppose I took it on. I felt battered by the time I left to go to the meeting and really just wanted to lie down in a quiet space before hand to settle or steal myself, but I didn't feel ok about asking to come in early and take up space. I didn't want to seem needy or out of sorts. I struggled through the breathing exercises and had a really hard time staying present, which bummed me out. Now I'm worried that I ruined the experience for others with negative energy and folks will think I'm not a good fit for the group--too much of a downer, self centered, too broken.

I'm feeling really broken today.  I'm afraid of not being able to manage another EF and after unraveling so completely this summer, I really want to focus on healing, on wellness, but I can tell I'm stuck. I'm not allowing feelings out, though I don't know how to let them come. I feel like I'm afraid of everything when all I want is to be brave and steady and strong.

I feel a little better after writing this. Less alone and less anxious.

Thanks for being here fellow journeyers.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 25, 2019, 09:58:16 PM
nope, you're not alone.

support groups are for people who feel broken sometimes.  we've all been there.  it sounds like you don't quite believe yet that you deserve to take up space, unless, of course, everything about you is perfect.  i've attended a lot of support groups, and honestly, part and parcel of them is to support the members no matter what space they're in.  i think you'd have been perfectly within your rights to ask to go in early so you could center yourself.  being centered or grounded is not unheard of in these places.

as for making a bad place for the others, i don't think so.  everyone does not come to these groups feeling 100% all the time, or there would be no need for them.  this is for you as an individual, just like for all the other individuals there.  you're not better nor worse than anyone else there.  i'm just glad the breathing exercise was helpful.  thanks for sharing - it sounds like it could come in handy.

i'm holding out a tree branch - grab on!  i know it's only virtual, and i'd do it in the physical world if i could.  you've gone thru a lot lately, lots of emotional stuff besides the trip - i've no doubt that it's taken its toll.  it's ok to just be with it, get some rest, allow it to flow thru and out of you.  it may take some time, but that's ok.  you're ok.  sending love and a hug filled w/ a compass.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on September 25, 2019, 10:17:17 PM
Thank you San. You're right. The goal isn't to be perfect and that includes not having to always have it together. It should be ok to be fragile sometimes.

And thank you for the compass.  You always send the most perfect hugs.  :hug: 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on September 25, 2019, 10:20:24 PM
I agree w/ San. It's tempting for me to believe everyone else around me has their act together, and I'm the only one in pieces. But I'd bet real money that most or all of the people there were in the same boat as you.

May peace, calm, and self acceptance be yours today.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Jazzy on September 25, 2019, 10:50:00 PM
Sorry you're having such a rough time Moonbeam, and that your boss is taking things out on you. That's no good at all. I hope you feel better soon, and find some peace. It is good that the breathing exercises, and writing have been helping. Take care! :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on September 26, 2019, 01:41:35 AM
MoonBeam: I care about you.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on September 26, 2019, 07:36:51 PM
Three Roses. Agreed and thank you for peace and self-acceptance. Terminal uniqueness right? My self esteem is in the ditch right now and I can see how much I'm feeling less-than. It's old stuff for sure.

Jazzy, thanks for your kind thoughts and support.

NotAlone, Thank you. I feel your care. Right back at you  :hug:

I found a three-part work sheet on line on Janina Fisher's website called "Re-activate the Trauma Impacted Brain." She has them posted as an exercise for therapists to use with their clients. One of the exercises is to log experiences throughout the day of when I'm noticing triggers or feelings-what's happening, what the belief behind it is and wether or not it belongs in the past or present. I think the idea is to recognize all that is actually from the past that bleeds into the present and putting it back where it belongs. Like, if I'm feeling unsafe or scared is that related to something that's actually happening right now or is it an EF or trigger? It's been a little tricky because the feelings the past calls in so affect my present. It's been a good exercise so far-seeing how much I'm hijacked by the past though.

Like Tuesday, I was triggered by my boss's distress and actions and instead of being able to say, hey I know you are feeling frustrated, upset... I'm feeling a little targeted. I totally went into--I deserve this 'cause I suck mode and its my fault. Definitely the past. I couldn't figure it out in the moment 'cause I was too triggered and went into shut-down mode. I'm going to keep trying to work with this and see what I can learn about my patterns and reactions.

As for today, I still feel really unsettled and emotional. Still waking from uncomfortable dreams. I think I'm on the verge of putting another piece of the past together and I'm afraid of the fall-out. My inner critic has been in full swing and I think my teen is upset. She's the one who becomes self-hating and impulsive. I need to pay attention to her and let her speak. My heart is racing at the thought. Maybe she is the voice of my inner critic. I need to do everything I can to not end up where I was just a few months ago. I feel overwhelmed and I'm not sure what to do. I'm feeling like nowhere is safe and I wonder if that is related to what San said about not believing I deserve to take up space, cause that's a real thing for me, for my teen. past.

 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on September 27, 2019, 12:24:58 AM
that sounds like a good exercise, one that might be grounding for the present.  if you can tweak those past and present triggers out, it might help you feel a bit more stable. 

i hate those messy times.  i go thru them, too, but happily, not as often as before.  keep trusting the process, mb - you'll eventually get to where you need to go.  sending love and caring hugs.   :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on September 27, 2019, 07:33:41 PM
As for today, I still feel really unsettled and emotional. Still waking from uncomfortable dreams. I think I'm on the verge of putting another piece of the past together and I'm afraid of the fall-out. My inner critic has been in full swing and I think my teen is upset. She's the one who becomes self-hating and impulsive. I need to pay attention to her and let her speak. My heart is racing at the thought. Maybe she is the voice of my inner critic. I need to do everything I can to not end up where I was just a few months ago. I feel overwhelmed and I'm not sure what to do. I'm feeling like nowhere is safe and I wonder if that is related to what San said about not believing I deserve to take up space, cause that's a real thing for me, for my teen. past.

 :hug:

MoonBeam, first, I'm sorry that life is such a struggle right now. I wish I had a way to give you a break from all the emotional turmoil.

It makes sense to me that you are afraid of the fall-out of another piece of the puzzle coming to light. You went through such a difficult time over the summer.

At my last therapy session, I talked to my T about a very angry part. I told him what she wanted to do. He said we may have to have some boundaries (to keep her from being self-destructive). I wonder if your T can help your teen to safely express herself by letting her know that she has a right to be heard, but it is not okay to . . . (harmful behavior). Kids and teens need outside boundaries. Just a thought.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on September 28, 2019, 06:32:07 PM
Hi MoonBeam,
Sending you a supportive and gentle hug if that is ok  :hug: 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 01, 2019, 06:50:22 PM
San, notalone, and Hope, thank you for your encouraging words and support.

I think I'm beginning to recognize that most of my reactions to things are all past, though I'm not sure how to differentiate between the piece of present life that is uncomfortable or difficult and all the fears and feels that come flooding in from years of programming and dysfunction.  :stars:   Triggers and flashbacks are easier to say--hey, that's an intrusive part of my past and it needs to rest for now and I don't have to look at it in this moment. I suppose that means I'm gaining a bit of resilience around those experiences. As long as they aren't super intense. Or, I'm stuffing them and denying my feelings. Maybe that's part of creating a functional balance. Telling myself I can look at this later. It's just that I don't look at it later and it eventually erupts. Where are the directions for navigating this???


Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 01, 2019, 07:19:25 PM
I also am learning to "put things on the shelf" until another time. Sometimes the item (memory/feelings) is too heavy and the shelf breaks!  :fallingbricks:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 01, 2019, 09:13:42 PM
Agreed notalone.  :fallingbricks:  Well said.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 02, 2019, 08:42:39 PM
Kind of a long share here.
I went to the 3rd Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety group last night. The first one I left feeling excited, inspired and like i belonged to something. The 2nd one I got there triggered and spacey after a rough afternoon at work, and fought to feel regulated throughout, but still got some great exercises that I've already been able to utilize in a moment of distress. Yay for new tools!

Last night I was feeling fine when I got there, the usual nerves and displacement in social situations, but regulated. We learned about 3-part breathing, which is breathing very deeply into our belly then continuing to fill the rib area with the breath then the upper chest. So, really deep, full breathing. I realized it's been a long time that I've been shallow breathing into just my upper chest, holding my belly tight all the time.
As I began to take these slow deep full breaths, I started to feel an opening in my abdomen, my center. It felt huge and full, and then it felt like that overwhelming, scary rush of emotions when they escape on the rare occasion totally out of my control, in a huge burst and I become afraid, want to flee and then freeze and can't seem to let the emotion out. Gah!

I felt this happening and I started to panic. I didn't know what to do. I had been talking with my T in session last week about not asking for what I need (if I can even figure out what that is) because I'm too afraid to. I was definitely starting to panic and knew dissociation was soon to follow. I thought about telling the facilitator that I wasn't feeling well, that I needed to step away for a moment, but as I sat there with the giant ball of emotion (couldn't say what emotion or how many) I started to realize I was afraid. I felt the fear clearly. I asked myself what I was afraid of. I was afraid because I didn't feel safe. I felt too open. Too vulnerable. I could discern that this was a feeling from the past, that I wasn't in danger in the moment and decided probably sitting in the group was safer than going off alone to curl up into a ball. I couldn't really come back into my self at all for the rest of the group and I missed the rest of the exercises because I can't really remember what they were. So I guess I dissociated after-all. I was trying to talk myself down, and regulate my breathing to normal too, all while hiding that I was in distress.

So, on one hand, I feel like I made progress cause I was able more or less to identify what was happening. And, maybe I can access those big feelings in a safe place, like in T, by breathing deeply? and have a chance to see what they are? IDK. The other hand though, is I got totally overwhelmed, didn't let anyone know, and continued to feel overwhelmed and completely dysregulated because I didn't do anything to shift what I was experiencing. I froze. I'm both kind of like ok, that was some progress and also really frustrated.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on October 02, 2019, 10:14:42 PM
MoonBeam, that sounds like big progress to me! You may have dissociated after a while, but before that you seemed to stay in your body and to manage to notice what was going on. e.g the feelings were from the past, not the present. Also you figured out it was safer to stay there, than leave the room. That's great too! You were able to decide on a course of action - and after discussing the problem only a week before in T. Wow! It used to take way longer for my discussion from T to turn into RL actions. So, good for you!  :applause: :applause:

Having felt into the situation so clearly, you'll probably be able to do that another time and maybe feel a bit further and/or speak up about it. It may be easier to speak up when you're with just one other person than in front of a whole group. Seemingly small steps lead to healing!  They may actually be big steps though :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 03, 2019, 12:01:10 AM
MoonBeam, that sounds like big progress to me! You may have dissociated after a while, but before that you seemed to stay in your body and to manage to notice what was going on. e.g the feelings were from the past, not the present. Also you figured out it was safer to stay there, than leave the room. That's great too! You were able to decide on a course of action - and after discussing the problem only a week before in T. Wow! ........ So, good for you!  :applause: :applause:

Having felt into the situation so clearly, you'll probably be able to do that another time and maybe feel a bit further and/or speak up about it. It may be easier to speak up when you're with just one other person than in front of a whole group. Seemingly small steps lead to healing!  They may actually be big steps though :hug:
:yeahthat:
I completely agree with Blueberry. To identify what you were feeling and then to stay in the room because you decided it was the best option, was really good and big steps.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 03, 2019, 04:51:28 PM
Thank you so much Blueberry and notalone for such thoughtful encouragement. It does feel a bit like steps forward. I'm trying to keep the Icr out of it.

I don't know what would have happened if I had said I was struggling or was super activated by the exercise. Perhaps there were more than two options--stay and try to work through it in silence, hiding in plain sight, but not truly alone, or go be alone and curl up and retreat to the safety of my closed off, and closed in world.

Maybe there's a third option, where by being seen I get support and an opportunity for validation and healing in real time.  That, for some reason, scares me the most--being seen, asking for help.  Little steps on the path...  I really like your thoughts Blueberry about feeling a bit further into it or being a little more brave perhaps next time it comes up. I have t on Friday, so maybe I'll ask her to practice some breathing with me and see what comes up.

This is actually a really big thing for me right now. It ties into several things--a lifetime of training that I'm not supposed to ask for help, or be needy, the concept that if I break that old paradigm and do, then I have to know what I need specifically--to be healthy in my asking--(which I don't usually or I second guess and completely undermine it), then there's the risk of rejection if I get that far (which is far), and underneath it all the deep rooted belief that I am undeserving (which is instantly fed by rejection). I'm not saying any of that is rational or reasonable, it is simply the way I'm wired.  I'm trying to see it differently.  It's a good opportunity to shine more light on it I suppose.

Thanks again  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 03, 2019, 05:04:56 PM
hey, moonbeam, that was quite an experience, and i think you dealt with it really well by staying there.  maybe not perfectly, maybe it was messy, but it was something different from old patterns, and i see that as progress.  well done!   :applause:

the idea of not knowing what or how much you're feeling can be a topic to discuss, either with your t or even at the beginning of the next group.  it's ok not to know - just letting even that information out is a step, and, yeah, you might get support or even help with it.  and, i get the idea of not asking for help - i lived most of my life like that.  it was truly difficult at first to be that vulnerable, but in the end, i did get both support and help, and that felt wonderful.  so, slowly, slowly, step by step - you'll get there.   :thumbup:

i'm guessing that you've got a lot of emotions repressed, and perhaps that breathing exercise let too many of them loose at one time.  i think that's something to possibly talk w/ the group leader about, see if there are any suggestions on how to do it more slowly, or in smaller increments, so that you don't get overwhelmed again.  that emotion stuff can be tricky, and altho it might be just right for some, for others, depending on the depth of their own trauma and experience, it can be too much.  i'm still getting overwhelmed at times when certain emotions come up that i'm not used to feeling. 

keep taking care of you, ok?  sending love and a hug filled with care and compassion.   :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 03, 2019, 09:17:10 PM
This is actually a really big thing for me right now. It ties into a lifetime of training that I'm not supposed to ask for help, or be needy and if I break that old paradigm and do, then I have to know what I need specifically--to be healthy in my asking--which I don't usually (or I second guess and completely undermine it), then there's the risk of rejection if I get that far (which is far), and underneath it all the deep rooted belief that I am undeserving (which is instantly fed by rejection). I'm not saying any of that is rational or reasonable, it is simply the way I'm wired.  I'm trying to see it differently.  It's a good opportunity to shine more light on it I suppose.
I'm sure you have heard the following before, but sometimes we need to hear things many times and from several sources. You have a right to have needs and to have them met. You have the right to ask for help. "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer. You deserve care, compassion, and love.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 03, 2019, 10:37:17 PM
Thank you for the encouragement and supporting me owning it as progress San. I am definitely intrigued by being able to access those deep stuck emotions simply by breathing so deeply. Something to explore in t for sure-whether or not it was a one-time thing or a new point of access for me. Those feelings have only erupted then overwhelmed so far when trying to talk about something in t or with an intense EF. I'm hopeful there is space for some real healing work in that experience or opening when/if I'm not blindsided by it. Asking for help is about being vulnerable and maybe empowered? That's just gonna take some work. Step by step it is.  :hug:

NotAlone, you and others here have attested to my worthiness and I am so appreciative. I do feel that it's true--I do deserve care, compassion and love--I feel that more and more. it's just those darn triggers... How easily those new tender threads seem to tear away when exposed to pressure. Though I think each time I reattach them, they will affix to my being with more strength.   :hug:



Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 04, 2019, 02:25:40 PM
i agree w/ you, mb, about the reattachment process.  i think each experience gives us an opportunity to re-evaluate those triggers and what they mean to us, then we are able to look them square in the eye and say 'no' one more time as we make it through.  i think this access of emotions is interesting as well.  will be looking forward to seeing how this progresses for you.  i'd almost like to try it the way you described the breathing, but am too scared right now.  maybe some time in the future, so thanks for sharing.

sending love and a hug filled w/ perseverance.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 04, 2019, 06:23:20 PM
Thank you so much San. I feel, for sure. I'll keep you posted.

sending love and a hug filled w/ perseverance.  :hug:

Right back at you!  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 07, 2019, 04:11:40 AM
I'm a little bummed tonight. I bought a ticket to see a band I really enjoy play tonight who were touring through my town. As it got closer to time to go, I kept getting more and more anxious, finally giving up on the idea of going. Most things I do, I do alone, so I'm not usually bothered by heading out on my own, but tonight I couldn't do it, didn't want to face all the people, while i stood there awkwardly on my own. I didn't want to go anywhere today.  At least I'm not in an EF, cowering, in a corner. Just anxious.

In all honesty, I felt a little unsettled all day. I can't really say why. I have been feeling pretty isolated lately, so a show probably would have been good thing. Oh well. I'm going to try to not give myself a hard time about it and just accept that I did what I felt I needed to in the moment-self preservation. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 07, 2019, 10:28:10 AM
Dear MoonBeam,
I just wanted to offer you a comforting hug, if that's ok  :hug:  I know you wanted to see that band, and normally you'd have managed to go, but for some reason you just weren't feeling up to it, and that's ok.
Just wanted you to know that I relate very much to what you said - it's hard sometimes to push through to do something - and maybe that's ok.  I'm glad you're not being hard on yourself, and I hope that whatever you end up doing instead of the band, that you'll be ok and maybe even enjoy whatever it is.   :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 07, 2019, 11:41:15 AM
Oh well. I'm going to try to not give myself a hard time about it and just accept that I did what I felt I needed to in the moment-self preservation.
Although disappointing that you didn't see the band, it is okay that you decided against going. I understand that feeling of looking forward to something and then anxiety builds. Difficult and frustrating. I'm glad you made a decision that felt the most caring for you.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 09, 2019, 12:41:20 AM
Hope and notalone, thank you. I was disappointed for sure, though its much better when I'm the only one I'm letting down. Not being able to show up for things is a fairly regular occurrence, but this time it felt a little more like a choice. I did get some crap from the ICr later in the eve, but managed to just go to bed early and figured I'd deal in the morning.

I really am doing so much better overall. The further away I get from the summer and how rough things were for a while there, I can see that I am beginning to integrate the ways in which I have been supported and held, the things I've learned so far and feel like I'm building some resiliency to the past and life in general. 

I'm heading out soon to the 4th Mindfulness Meditation Group. Not sure what I'm going to share about last week--the intensity, the dissociation, how activated I became from the breathing exercise with the group. I am looking forward to it though. I shared with my T about my experience. She's not leading the group, but is a support to the person who is. I think she mentioned to her it was kind of an intense exercise. I think it will be scaled back tonight. If I get triggered, it will be another opportunity to assess and perhaps ask for help, though I'm not feeling like it will be triggering.

MB
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 09, 2019, 07:30:01 PM
Went to group last night. It was triggering. Though I feel like I managed to stay in my body. Or at least I was able to bring myself back in. Not sure. I found myself feeling super anxious when it got time to go. I'm wondering if it was because last week was so intense. We did an exercise that involved breathing in, in short gulps to fill the lungs, then breathing out in a steady exhale. It made my heart race. Another person at the group shared that her heart raced too, but she felt invigorated. My heart racing felt like terror. I didn't share about that and that's ok.

The second thing that brought me a lot of discomfort was near the beginning there was a lot of emotional sharing. Two people cried while they talked about the feelings that were brought up with the other exercise-a heart exercise (that I missed last week because I was totally dissociated). One person was sitting next to me and as she shared I instinctually wanted to comfort her--to put my hand on her shoulder. I felt great compassion and admiration for her bravery and vulnerability.  I didn't comfort her because I don't know her or what would be ok with her or what she needed.

I found myself feeling more and more isolated. The old feelings of not belonging. Like I shouldn't even be there. I don't know why I was so uncomfortable. I don't feel like I was wishing I could be vulnerable too. I had a serious flight response. Wanted to bail. I've been feeling really isolated lately, like I really don't have anyone to reach out to, so it makes sense that is where the discomfort would land.  And today I'm feeling super dysregulated. Alone. Sad. I want to crawl into bed and hide. I can't though. I have meetings today and need to pick up my kiddo, food shopping, all the things. The whole showing up even when we don't want to.

I just really don't want this to turn into something bigger. I think it's just discomfort right now. I won't be able to talk about it in person for a few days.
 
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on October 09, 2019, 08:59:40 PM
I hope that mentioning it on here has helped a bit? Whether or not virtual  :hug: :hug: :hug: anyway.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 09, 2019, 09:09:49 PM
Blueberry. Thank you. I was just feeling embarrassed by how whiney my post was. Some younger part of me for sure. I came back to edit and here you are. I always feel better when I reach out here and am so supported. I am truly grateful. I meant to say so.

I know I'm not alone when I come here.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on October 09, 2019, 09:41:17 PM
 :hug: :hug:

Your first post didn't strike me as whiney btw.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 10, 2019, 01:35:46 AM
Your post didn't seem whiny to me either. Just that you were processing.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 10, 2019, 03:49:09 PM
Thank you both.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 11, 2019, 10:40:12 AM
Dear MoonBeam,
Sending you a hug  :hug:  The session you attended sounds challenging so well done for being there and getting through that. 
You're processing a lot, I think, and I hope you are ok. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 11, 2019, 07:26:15 PM
Thank you Hope.  I really appreciate your  :hug: and support.

The group has been challenging. There are three more classes. I want to keep going, but I am feeling pretty disconnected about it. I feel myself shutting down and that is a little disappointing to me. I don't want to create drama where there isn't any--because I can't stand being in my body. Maybe I'm sabotaging because its uncomfortable.

Overall, I have been doing better, though this last week I've been feeling like I'm walking on an ice patch. Like I'm trying to stay upright, but could slip and fall at any moment. I asked myself last night--what are you doing to feel better? The answer is: nothing really. I'm just hanging on, though I'm not sure what I'm hanging onto. Busying myself in the details of the day, crashing into bed at night, and waking up with my brain in full fear, stress and discomfort mode. Then doing it all over again.

I've been reading some great articles written by Janina Fisher, PhD. about sensorimotor psychotherapy. She's been working with complex trauma for over 20 years and even worked with Bessel Van der Kolk early on. She is also the author of the worksheets I was looking at about recognizing what feelings, triggers are related to the past and what is actually happening in the present. She also writes a lot about how important stabilization is before even trying to work through stories and memories of trauma. About ways to create and maintain that stabilization. I feel inspired about ways to move ahead in recovery when I read her work. It's even given my mood a little lift, but then I come right back down again. Everything is feeling heavy. I wonder if I feel like that when emotions get trapped-when I don't let them out and I'm holding them, heavily in my arms, my heart, my body.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Jazzy on October 12, 2019, 10:39:57 PM
Hi MoonBeam,

I just wanted to point out that you have been reading articles and going to your classes, so you are doing a lot more than nothing. I've tried group therapy a few times, and I really can't handle it, so to me you are doing a lot. Hope this helps a bit. I hope you feel better soon, and can get your feet back on solid ground.

Take care! :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: woodsgnome on October 13, 2019, 06:52:10 PM
I think what you're experiencing with at least some of this is your inner critic, who also likes to blindfold its person into thinking they're doing poorly when there are at least some signs to the contrary.

So I concur with Jazzy in noticing that there are indeed these other signs that indicate you may not exactly feel in a good way, that under the radar there are those signs. For instance, the book by Janine Fisher you refer to -- sounds like a good haven in which to search and appreciate some of the ways you're not stuck.

Regarding the group, sometimes they are just too much to trust fully, but again your willingness to even try at this at least shows your willingness to allow for the chance to derive some benefit from feeling so vulnerable.

This may sound crazy, but I find it's helped me to softly breathe in/out, recite a word like 'peace' to myself, and relax from over-thinking the situation. Especially in a specific group situation (not a general social meeting) -- others may even feel as jittery as you do in that sort of gathering.

I hope you can feel less stuck, soon  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 13, 2019, 09:32:42 PM
hey, mb, sorry you're struggling at the moment.

i agree w/ the others that you are doing things for yourself, for self-care and encouragement, even if you can't recognize them all the time. 

discomfort can feel dangerous to us, for sure, especially if it's related to some past experience.  like being vulnerable in front of others.  maybe that's happened to you in the past, and something bad happened because of it.  i know i've projected my own experiences at times when i see others do something that wasn't positive for me to do when i was younger.  it might be a fear response that was uncomfortable for you.  i don't know, just some thoughts off the top of my head.

at any rate, i honestly think you're doing a great job with this so far.  you're noticing your emotions and feelings even if you can't quite recognize them for exactly what they are.  group experiences can certainly bring that out - i've been involved in a lot of groups, and learned a lot from doing so.  i think you're learning about yourself, and i don't think that's a bad thing.  keep doing what you believe is best for you, ok? sending love and a hug filled w/ self-awareness. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 15, 2019, 03:22:57 AM
Hey Jazzy, Thanks so much for your insights. It's easier to say I'm not doing all the things than to acknowledge the things I am. And Woodsgnome, yeah, inner critic--it's never enough. and San too, the group is intense. You are all so right--there is intimacy required to participate in a group like this and as soon as it gets real--people sharing and connecting, I'm ready to fly. It is indicative of a real fear of being seen, of seeing, of experiencing intimacy.
San, it really was a feeling of danger--this isn't safe. Why? All past. All true--as as soon as you let your guard down the things that happen matter, you let people in and bad things happen. A very old paradigm.
Thank you all for pointing out that I am trying. I am showing up, though it seems somewhat hollow when I can't take any of it in. Inner critic? probably. I sound and feel very cynical.
I think that is sound advice woodsgnome--I don't have to dive deeply into the exercise, I can just breathe softly in and out and repeat affirmations. Just take in what I can. That is something. and san, I am experiencing emotion. trying not to fear it and hate myself for it.

A few nights ago I had a breakdown like I haven't in over a year, since the first memories surfaced since beginning therapy. Though this was different. I wasn't feeling fear and horror, grief for injuries, I was feeling a profound sense of worthlessness, that I ruin everything and that I have failed profoundly. It felt like I was taking responsibility somehow for all the things that I didn't/couldn't hold. I cried for hours, until there were no more tears and I was still sobbing, my face hot and fevery. It just wouldn't end.

I have a lot on my plate. Crazy busy work week. Ten and twelve hour days at work. My kid's dad has been visiting the last few days. I suppose that's a whole other tale. I behave and make nice and make it all ok for everyone. I want to tell everyone to just expletive off.

All I can do is keep going. Keep moving, showing up. And here I thought I was going to get out of an EF. funny. Thank you all for being here. I used to pride myself on being able to write beautiful things. To create a mood, tell a story, inspire with words. All I can do now is pry a few words out, to try to understand and attempt to let it all go. I feel like a shell. Where am I in all this...
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 15, 2019, 05:31:42 AM
you're here with us, mb.  maybe you can't see yourself right now, maybe only flashes once in a while, but you're here, and we're with you.  :grouphug: your honesty is forthright and courageous, and i give you all credit for that.   :thumbup:  it will eventually smooth out a bit and you'll get your feet under you again.  sounds like you really do have a lot going on - plus, holding that 'i have to make it all okay for everyone' mask is a heavy load.  it gets wearing and knocks us off balance.

please be kind and gentle with yourself, ok?  you deserve that.  i liked wg's suggestion, too, that you might want to do those group exercises at a level that's comfortable for you.

a quick story about the lion and the roar.  male and female lion go out to hunt.  the male has a ferocious roar, very scary, but the female is the true hunter, very dangerous.  when a herd of animals come through lion territory, the male goes to one side of the path while the female goes to the other.  as the herd gets closer, the male begins roaring.  from past experience, the herd recognizes that sound and veer away from it, but what happens is that they go straight toward the female, who proceeds to bring one down.

i heard this story many years ago, and learned to look for the lion and the roar in situations that are frightening to us.  the roar is just hot air, and won't hurt us, even if it seems scary.  it makes us uncomfortable, but it doesn't really hurt us.  it's the actual lion, the true danger, that we must be afraid of and stay away from.  too many times, our past experiences roar at us, and we become scared cuz they remind us of a time when we were really in danger, so we run from the roar.  we often do it automatically cuz we've been in danger when we heard it in the past.

i think part of our healing helps us to distinguish just what is the lion, the true, present danger, and what is the roar, the hot air that sounds dangerous, but really doesn't hurt us.  the more we're able to face down the roar, the less real danger we are in.  it's scary, it's uncomfortable, but in the present, it won't hurt us, won't cause damage. 

don't know if that helps at all.  it's helped me, so i thought i'd pass it on. 

sending love and a hug filled w/ energy and stamina. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 15, 2019, 05:38:54 PM
Thank you San.  :grouphug: 

I very much appreciate your story. It is echoing the awareness I'm trying to hold in asking myself, is this response--fear, emotion, panic--in alignment with what is actually happening in this moment? Is it reflective of what I am experiencing  here and now? I appreciate being able to hold the lion as a visual for the reaction, the roar. Thank you.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 18, 2019, 09:28:20 PM
Had the fifth group meeting on Tuesday eve. I had t earlier in the day and was seriously unsettled--still in whatever I had been in over the weekend--deep grief and shame. During our meeting something shifted and I felt a profound sense of relief and really let go of the shame and grief I had been sitting with. I didn't cry, it just lifted. My t was talking about a perspective shift-something we've been looking at recently. She reminded me that I now have the perspective of the adult as well as the perspective of the child being injured. That I can call on that perspective in those intense EF's. I felt great relief and felt supported and that I would be ok.

It's about tapping into the dual awareness we've been talking about. We talked about how when folks w/o or who have worked through their trauma grieve, while they are in it they have a sense that they are supported, that it will pass and they are fundamentally, underneath the feelings, safe and ok. (The dual awareness of the experience and the current reality) I didn't have that. I've never had that and when I was in such despair over the weekend, it felt just like when I was little. That it was inescapable, that it would never end, that I was totally alone in it and that it would end me. I can see now with my adult perspective, that isn't the case. It did end and I am ok and I do have support. I felt good after the meeting and was even noticing some magic in my life, which I miss when I'm totally stuck in the trauma.

I got to group that evening feeling pretty good still and we started a breathing exercise that involved having our hands over our nose. Instant trigger, Instant flashback, couldn't breathe. So I stopped! I stopped and breathed calmly and evenly and thought affirming thoughts (thank you Woodsgnome and all) and waited for everyone else to finish the exercise. I didn't dissociate. I took care of me and it was totally fine. I did feel a bit unsettled, but not derailed. I think that is an implication of the resilience I am building to experiencing those kinds of flashbacks. It didn't feel like I was stuffing it, more just stepping to the side of it. That I could get away. That it wasn't the current reality. I was in a room with other people, safe.

i wanted to share cause it feels like progress and you all have helped me so much with this.  :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Jazzy on October 18, 2019, 10:34:37 PM
Sounds like great progress MoonBeam, good job! :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Blueberry on October 18, 2019, 10:51:21 PM
Yes, great progress and great self-care, MoonBeam!  :hug: :cheer:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Three Roses on October 20, 2019, 03:24:34 PM
Quote
I stopped and breathed calmly and evenly and thought affirming thoughts (thank you Woodsgnome and all) and waited for everyone else to finish the exercise. I didn't dissociate. I took care of me and it was totally fine.
:cheer: :applause: :cheer: :applause: :cheer:

It's great to hear this! I'm happy for your progress!
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 20, 2019, 11:50:13 PM
MoonBeam, big progress in during your therapy session and in your group.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 22, 2019, 06:57:56 PM
Thank you Jazzy, Blueberry, Three Roses and Notalone, for your support and seeing progress.  :grouphug:

The weekend was rough, but I think it's lifting a bit today. I had been having intrusive flashbacks last week and kept putting them in the container, so I would not be dragged down by them. I do find that helps, but it also seems when they come up, they come up to be seen and are not willing to stay in the container for too long. I can't sit with them and process. I don't have the skills. So I put them away and get through. Mostly they hit me first thing when I wake up--when my guard is down. Then throughout the day any time I stop or shift focus, or don't focus. It's just a recurring visual that I can't stop seeing, its behind everything.

Over the weekend, I took a moment to sit with it because I started to notice a lot of negativity creeping in, really harsh ICr, the underlying shame and darkness. I couldn't really separate which part was wanting to be heard from adult me and a sense of worthlessness was really starting to settle into my now, my present self. I've been really working with trying to identify that which is from the past and that which is actually current. I feel more confident in identifying teen me, but this was younger. I did some writing, just wrote what was coming up. I think it was the right way to handle it. Turns out it was 10yo me. I was worried about falling into a long EF with it all, but today I'm feeling a little relief. Shaky, but some relief. So there must be something in her needing to be validated. I have t today, then the meditation group tonight. I'm not sure if I'm going to bring it up in t. I thought it was important to tell the secrets to break the power they hold, but now I'm not sure.

Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on October 23, 2019, 10:42:25 AM
Hi MoonBeam,
That container sounds useful, and I'm glad that you were able to put your intrusive flashbacks in there, so you weren't dragged down by them.  I relate to what you said about how things were on the weekend.  I find that sometimes my parts blend with me, and I can't separate which part is where, and which part is my adult self etc.  It's difficult.  It was really good to see how you wrote things out, and were able to separate which part was communicating, and that you have found some relief. 

I hope your T goes ok today and also your meditation group. 

Sending you a supportive hug, if that's ok.  :hug:
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 24, 2019, 12:23:47 AM
I also try to put things in a box and put them on the shelf. It helps, but like you, those things want attention and "show up" here and there. Things hit me early morning also, when I am vulnerable.

For me telling someone the secrets is really important, but sometimes the part needs to be behind the scenes for awhile before she feels safe enough to come to therapy. Telling the secrets is REALLY hard and takes time.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on October 30, 2019, 12:47:13 AM
Thank you so much Hope and notalone for your responses.   :hug:

I haven't been posting this last week, but wanted folks to know I'm here and reading and thinking of all of you with deep respect and compassion. I'm treading water, but hanging in. On the journey.

 :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on October 30, 2019, 09:55:34 PM
MoonBeam: Throwing a floatation device to you to make keeping your head above water a little easier.  :hug: :bighug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Jazzy on October 30, 2019, 10:46:44 PM
Hope you feel better soon MoonBeam! Take care! :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on December 04, 2019, 07:57:51 PM
Dear MoonBeam,
Sending you a hug, and hoping you're ok  :hug:
Thinking of you
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on December 10, 2019, 03:08:10 AM
💛

I'm not dependable. I want to be.
I disappear. I don't mean to.
I know you understand, but still i'm sorry.
I wish I were different, resilient, strong, free. I'm not.
I'm broken and the pieces are everywhere.
I want to gather them, but there's too many to hold.
Thank you for being here with me anyway.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on December 10, 2019, 03:27:33 AM
 :grouphug: You (all of you) are precious.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on December 10, 2019, 07:42:02 AM
Sending you love, hugs and support. :grouphug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Snookiebookie2 on December 10, 2019, 09:39:41 PM
💛

I'm not dependable. I want to be.
I disappear. I don't mean to.
I know you understand, but still i'm sorry.
I wish I were different, resilient, strong, free. I'm not.
I'm broken and the pieces are everywhere.
I want to gather them, but there's too many to hold.
Thank you for being here with me anyway.

Wow, I wish I could have written these words.  So wise, so self-aware and poetic.  I'm sure these words could describe feelings that all of us here have felt from one time or another.

I hear you X Sending you big hugs  :hug:.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on December 30, 2019, 09:31:49 PM
Thank you NotAlone, Snowdrop and Snookiebookie2 for seeing me. I'm very grateful for these boards, this collaboration of beings, seeking healing, connection. The understanding and support that can only be given by those who know.

I think it's time for a quick recap, sort of where I've been the last few months. Perhaps a gentle *TW* as I'm mentioning abuse.

Last summer, while visiting family I saw a pic my mum had found, an old polaroid stuck on the fridge. The pic was of me holding a cake with the #10 on it. I was struck by the fact I had zero memories of that person, didn't even recognize her as me. I hadn't noticed until then, the gap in my memory. Since starting t over a year and a half ago, I have had many memories return, much younger memories of CSA,PA, just what a dumpster fire my childhood was. I've relived some things I hadn't totally forgotten from teen years, but all of a sudden there was this gap between 10 and 14 I hadn't realized was missing.

Then comes Fall, and my birthday in early Nov--I'm not a fan. Never have been really. Pieces of memory began to dislodge. It's so interesting to me how the pieces come back much in the same way that I was coming apart at the time--in fragments, shards of an existence. There are flashes of images, body memories, illness, then more pieces. My memory is far from complete and I feel like I've had enough. I don't want to remember any more, though I must say that hasn't been my choice--returning memories echo the abuse in that way. I've been trying to acknowledge 10yo me, had a t session where she bravely shared. I mourned some at the beginning of this, for the things I remembered hit me hard. Then waited for the body memories, the triggers to fade a bit, to get back to functional, to try to hold dual-awareness so I can be mama, employee, friend, all while learning to let the little out. 10, is still a little, still needs protection. 

I can't say that I've come far with this, though I can acknowledge I did not become completely derailed. I have been supported, I've shared with my T, a friend, held onto a connection to higher self or source. Sometimes its just gritting teeth and getting through, but I have some resiliency now I see. I'm beginning to believe there is more to me than what happened to me. I am more than the story I was told by other's harm, neglect, carelessness. It seems that is the difference. I am not alone anymore as I re-experience the past. I am not holding this alone and in that I am beginning to heal.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on January 01, 2020, 03:56:47 AM
You are not alone.  :hug:

I don't want to remember any more, though I must say that hasn't been my choice--returning memories echo the abuse in that way.
This really struck me. So true.

Completely get trying to get back to functional and hold dual-awareness.

Thank you for sharing, MoonBeam. I really appreciate you and your wisdom and tender heart.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Hope67 on January 02, 2020, 06:48:13 PM
Hi MoonBeam - sending you a hug  :hug: if that's ok, and also wanted to say that you have been doing such a lot of processing there, and I also appreciate you and your wisdom and I agree that you have a tender heart. 
Hope  :)
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 04, 2020, 09:32:22 PM
NotAlone, thank you for your kind words and understanding. Healing is so incredibly hard sometimes. Thank you for being here and sharing this journey with me. I'm savoring your words--that I have wisdom and a tender heart.

And dear Hope, thank you. I always appreciate a  :hug: from you and the kindness you bring. You're so right. I really have been processing a lot. That feels so different from even months ago where I was still wondering what that meant--to process. To feel, to allow, to heal.

Feeling. That is a concept that was terrifying to me. I was sure I wouldn't survive if I allowed myself to feel. Sure I would die from the pain of it. The dark abyss would swallow me.  It seems so melodramatic seeing it in writing, but it was a deep rooted belief I held onto for so long.

Things have changed for me so much. I don't believe that anymore--that I will die if I allow myself to feel, to be vulnerable (to select few in safety, and here at OOTS), to listen to the littles, so damaged and afraid. I can even say I have some compassion for myself. That I'm able to discern (more often than not, I think) the difference between the past and present and navigate, albeit clumsily, through the maze of trauma, of memories, experiences, untruths and also see the hidden gems of new realities, new beliefs, new understanding of who I am.

I'm on day three of shifting habits that are not and have not been healthy for me. I'm preparing for a meditation retreat of sorts next weekend and there is a mandatory diet which requires no alcohol. I have been self-medicating with alcohol for most of my life. I'm a functional drunk, but still I drink every evening to avoid feeling, to avoid triggers, to stave off the fear, to fall asleep, all of it.  I realized that preparing for the retreat is actually half of the gift and the work of attending this retreat. I am doing so much better than I thought I would be. I am still smoking cigs, but down to 2 per day. Soon to leave those behind, I hope and will work towards that. Not required for the retreat, but because they hurt my chest and make me feel unwell. This is huge for me because I realized, I no longer want to do things that hurt me. So much has changed.

This morning I was sitting outside, feeling sunshine after heavy rain last night, soaking in the beauty of the light dancing in the drops of water retained by the browned grass seed, swaying gently in the lightest whisper of breeze. I took it deeply into my being. Truly just noticing the beauty in the moment. These moments are not something I experience daily, or perhaps even weekly, but they exist. They exist in a mind and in a heart that was shrouded in fear, self-hatred, and learned worthlessness. Today, I will keep my eyes and my heart open to the love, the comfort, the peace of that which is beautiful around me, and within me.
 :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on January 05, 2020, 01:58:09 AM
Feeling like you might die from your feelings doesn't seem melodramatic to me. Maybe it would to someone who hasn't experienced deep, dark pain, but to me it makes sense. You have made enormous growth in allowing yourself to feel and to share your feelings with safe people.
I can even say I have some compassion for myself. That I'm able to discern (more often than not, I think) the difference between the past and present and navigate, albeit clumsily, through the maze of trauma, of memories, experiences, untruths and also see the hidden gems of new realities, new beliefs, new understanding of who I am.


This is BIG!     :fireworks:

Supporting you as you work on shifting your alcohol habit.  :bighug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 06, 2020, 03:49:24 AM
Thank you Dear NotAlone, for understanding. I'm sorry you do and grateful we all have each other.  And THANK YOU for the fireworks! Big smiles from me and the littles!

I wanted to acknowledge how things are changing for me. To hold that awareness, to remind me I am moving forward. I know it's always going to be up and down and sometimes way down. I think truly the biggest difference in all of this is not being alone in it. Being seen and cared for by others, being supported and feeling the strength of this community here. It makes the toughest times bearable.

I was triggered in t on Friday and started to panic. Total flight response, nervous twitchy-wanted to run. This would then usually turn into freeze as I realize there's no escape (I think cause the danger is within me, from the past). I felt it wash over me, was aware it was happening, but couldn't quite keep the awareness of the present. My T asked me to pause and helped me through a grounding exercise to bring me back in. We put the things that triggered me in a "container" until later (it was near the end of the session). The difference is now, even after the trigger, I didn't fall into the chasm or have a lingering EF. I was really ok.  I was able to feel safe again. I'm not sure if I would have faired as well on my own with the same trigger, but I'm learning how to navigate and how to ask for help.

I know I will need to look at the things that were coming up. In time I believe I will be able to, hopefully without the immediate physical memory taking hold. Still, I say, things are getting better.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on January 07, 2020, 12:44:59 AM
To be able to put things in a container until later and not fall into the chasm is big growth.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 07, 2020, 05:53:32 AM
Thanks NotAlone. I appreciate that.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 07, 2020, 02:49:32 PM
Quote
The difference is now, even after the trigger, I didn't fall into the chasm or have a lingering EF. I was really ok.  I was able to feel safe again.

^^^ This sounds like great progress!
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 09, 2020, 04:59:48 PM
Thank you Snowdrop.  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 10, 2020, 03:53:33 PM
well done, mb :thumbup:  sounds like you're going in a pos. direction w/ everything.  to be able to contain the neg., and navigate through the unresolved without falling into that chasm - huge!  and, i'm so glad for you that you're finding this place to be helpful as well.  you're right - you are not alone, :grouphug: but loved and cared about here.  so glad you're able to ask for help more often now.

sending love and a hug filled w/ continued strength and self-awareness. : :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: MoonBeam on January 15, 2020, 05:42:34 AM
Thank you San.  I always appreciate your hugs.

I went to a healing retreat last weekend. It was held by amazing, wise women healers, medicine women. I went hoping to connect with me, the missing parts of me, my inner child/children. The work was intense, painful, beautiful, life-changing. The facilitators were incredibly loving and supportive.
After the first evening, I didn't think I could do the rest. I felt it was hopeless, that it was too late, that there was nothing of worth left inside me. The healers worked with me, talking and doing so much energy work, by the second evening my heart was beginning to open. I was able to go deeply within and when I got to the place I always get stuck, they loved me through, removing my pain and allowing me to welcome back in the part of me that left when I was seven, when I started to leave my body during the abuse.
I realized after the first evening of the healing work, when I left my body as a child, I never really came back in, the pain was too great. That made so much sense and was heart breaking. The soul retrieval allowed me to feel love, deep love for my little. I cried for days, sobbing, feeling grief and deep love for this child. I understand so much now.  I knew there were these parts and I could hear them, remember them mostly, but this weekend I was able to hold my littles, to tell them how sorry I was they were all alone for so long and that I wished I had been able to get to them sooner.
My homework is to spend 45 minutes or so with my Little every day. Spend that time painting or taking a bath or a walk talking with them, play a game, anything that will bring me into a loving relationship with them and through that a loving relationship with joy. I have been able to be with my 4yo completely and Little M (a little) She sat in my lap today. I am so moved. I don't have enough words to explain all that is going on in my heart.

Love and blessings  :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: Snowdrop on January 15, 2020, 06:57:59 AM
Thank you for writing about the retreat. What a profound experience. I'm delighted the soul retrieval and healing was so successful. A big "Welcome home" to your retrieved parts. :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: notalone on January 15, 2020, 02:39:28 PM
MoonBeam, I have tears in my eyes. Profound. Powerful. Momentous. So, so big.
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: sanmagic7 on January 15, 2020, 06:10:36 PM
dang, mb, what a profoundly inclusive experience!  thank you for sharing.

it's amazing what a few days of intense work w/ the right people can do for us, how it can change things we had no hope of being changed.  i marvel at your strength and determination to put yourself in this place so that you could face and work thru so much pain.  another example of how we've cared for ourselves in the way we've needed to survive what we've gone thru. 

i've just been thru a painful experience, too, on my way to a healing change, so i understand a bit of what you're talking about.  the depths of the pain we've been holding, however we've done it, is remarkable.  we most certainly are precious human beings.  sending love and a hug filled w/ rest and relaxation :hug:
Title: Re: MoonBeam's Recovery Journal
Post by: woodsgnome on January 16, 2020, 11:18:54 AM
I'm in awe of this development for you. You are so deserving of re-finding yourSelf in all your beauty and reflecting the love that has made its way back to you. That is huge; I hope it continues to turn better for you  :hug: