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Messages - Bermuda

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1
The Cafe / Re: The Potting Shed - Part 2
« on: January 29, 2023, 09:22:10 AM »
Sometimes I fantasise about my plants taking back my building after a huge disaster. The thought brings me comfort, like I’m making a positive difference in the world. I don’t think it would take too long, just a couple years without humans and vines would reach into every cranny. I imagine the rats making their way from the basement all the way up here to the fourth floor. Rats living out their days in peace with the silverfish in their post-urban oasis.

Self sustainable gardening brings me joy.

2
Sorry this is long and I don't want to make this seem like I am making this about myself. I just wanted to put context into what I wrote.

I was studying human rights law and this happened to me so often. I felt my professor was actually quite judgemental of me and saw it as a weakness, and clearly I wasn't in a position to explain myself or defend myself. It was often quite humiliating. I do imagine that most students didn't think too favourably of the professor for his behaviour toward me either. Some topics can be extremely challenging, even unexpectedly so. I remember posting about this when it was happening and the advice I was given on here was to explain it if possible. I have taken that advice in more personal settings and it has helped, mostly. Maybe this is why I said that most people will not be critical of you for choking up, especially talking about some travesty.

Choking up isn't unprofessional. It isn't a weakness. In the case of my judgemental professor, I read his published works and he survived genocide. Him being harsh of my emotional reaction was likely just him dealing with his own trauma. It had nothing to do with me.

I hope this in some way helps.

3
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: January 25, 2023, 10:29:52 PM »
Thanks Armee for saying that. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that just because we are the sum of our experiences that doesn’t mean we are our experiences. Water ≠ a swimming pool

The equation is more like
Biology + experiences + more experiences + reflections and alterations = humankind

4
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: January 25, 2023, 07:02:36 PM »
I was recently reading over my own posts as I do far more frequently than I think is healthy.  :wave:

I had this emotional reaction to my posts thinking they make me sound very angry lately, that my reflections on my life are negative. It was odd, I had this feeling that I needed to change how I am expressing myself. I thought this feeling through while I was in the shower...

I spent half of my life in terror, fear, with so much just grief and sadness. I never once reflected on my emotions thinking that they were wrong. I didn't like how they showed themselves (panic attacks etc), but I didn't relate to those feelings like I do the ones I have read in my recent posts. It's strange. I think a lot of it has to do with religion. Growing up in an environment where forgiveness is a necessary act. That even if someone's transgressions were purposefully harmful and without remorse, forgiveness is the only option. In a religious environment in which everything you say and do must be with grace and submission there is no room for natural stages of healing.

So, I've come to the conclusion that what I feel isn't hate, because it was never love. I'm not that empassioned. It's deep resounding resentment. It's anger. It's unforgiving. It's the fuel that keeps me safe, and it's totally fine. It's not only justifiable given the extreme hardship I had to endure but it's also healthy. I feel bitter. I will communicate here in all truthful bitterness, because that's why I use this forum. So, just wanted to say that.

5
I wish I had an answer, but I don't. I do suffer with this too and can relate to your feelings of awkwardness even as a tiny female. I always bounce between saying too much to explain my behaviour, or saying nothing and making everything weirder.

People are generally a lot more understanding than we think and those who are not exposed to so much trauma are also a lot less perceptive. They may not even notice you choke up, and if they do they might not take note or just think you needed to clear your throat or something. In my experience, those with complex trauma are the most observant and since we live inside ourselves we just assume that others are like that too, but they're not. We are almost always our harshest critics and we see ourselves differently and deeper than those around us.

6
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: January 23, 2023, 06:02:05 PM »
Thank you for the book recommendation. I would love to read a book sometime just casually. I may fit it in just for that in and of itself.

You are right. WE are change makers. I can't help but notice more people talking about how social anxiety and other mental health concerns have been treated, medicated, over the years. This is not just me being anxious. It's not just me being uncomfortable in front of people. It's complex layers of bleh that is intertwined into everything I do. It's conditioning. People are listening, the world is changing. The next generation of people living with complex trauma may be treated differently. They may be heard, helped, encouraged, and not simply drugged and drug onward.

7
Recovery Journals / Re: Rainy Journey 23
« on: January 23, 2023, 04:50:13 PM »
I am sorry your day has been hard. Here for you if you need to vent to someone without judgement.

8
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: January 23, 2023, 04:46:40 PM »
I can't relate to others and especially not to "single path people", but "single path people" are the only acceptable societal normative. They are the ones who have both defined success and assigned that title to themselves. That path was robbed from me and nothing I can ever regain, but I keep trying. My studies are inherently social and I will have to speak about myself. I either have to uncomfortably lie or be exceptionally vague and aloof as not to disrupt the point of the lessons. I am so scared of introducing myself. I am scared of panicing publicly, and freezing when someone inevitably calls me by my "slave name". If that offends someone, I was a slave.

9
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: January 23, 2023, 04:11:56 PM »
I am heading back to university. It has been causing me a lot of anxiety, and not in the ways people might expect. This will be rambly.

I have studied a lot. It's something I do, but it's extremely difficult for me. I was studying at this university (remotely) during the pandemic, and I stopped for a life detour. Now I am resuming my studies and had to go pick up a new student ID. I put it off for two weeks. I walked into the university and felt overwhelming panic. I am older, but it's not because I am going into my late 30's. It is this extreme feeling of being found out. I am so terrified that someone will speak to me, or ask me a question. I walked the stairs up and down just to avoid orientation. I felt like I was floating, close to tears, close to fainting. I did not orientate myself. I was just breathing and trying to keep my facial expression neutral as I walked up six flights and then directly back down. I just got an email saying my class has been moved to a different university building.

Educational trauma. I tried so hard growing up. I was never the best, and even if I had been it would never have been enough. I had an older brother who was always the smart one, even though he was not at all that. I worked so hard to be noticed and recognised positively. I did everything I was told, even tried to do the things I was told were impossible. I was made to write essays about my life goals only to be told that they were unreasonable and unattainable upon presenting them to my parents, and that I wouldn't be getting any support. I changed my dreams over and over again. I graduated two years early and was forced to apply for my own diploma. I applied to universities internationally but my parents told me to sign for them and refused to disclose any financial information. I had to figure everything out on my own and just make up what I didn't know.

After I had been homeless and on my own a couple years they found me. I was having a police officer escort me to my place to get clothes and bring me to a safe hotel. A note had been slipped under my door. I gave it to the officer and told him to read it for the record and not to tell me what it said. I told him it would likely start off nice and end manipulative and threatening. He told me that was basically correct. He said there might be something important I should know, and that is that I had beeen accepted to two very prestgious international universities. This was years later.

Once I wasn't just trying my best to stay alive, all I've done is study. I keep a binder full of certifications for no reason. I'm not driven. I don't work. I just collect papers, and I'm so terrified that someone will ask me why I am studying, what my goals are, what career I am in, and the thought of walking into a different university building makes me want to vomit. All I can do is try to be invisible like I did my whole childhood and hope no one asks me any questions and maintain a neutral expression. When I am floating around I am like a ghost and cannot reply anyhow.  :disappear:

10
General Discussion / First manifestation of trauma
« on: December 18, 2022, 06:55:45 PM »
I am just curious. When you look back on your very first trauma disorder symptoms, outwardly noticeable, what were they? Did you know at the time that it was trauma related?

For me it was extreme social anxiety and obsessiveness. It probably really got bad at about 12. I secretly set strict boundaries for myself, and did things in distinct sequence, and stuck to intense schedule. No one seemed to notice.

My social anxiety led me to tears publicly. The thought of conversation would make me physically sick. I had an extreme fear of talking to anyone.

Also, pulling hair, picking at nails. I was undeniably anxious all the time.

I had no idea that it was trauma related.

11
Letters of Recovery / Re: To who made me.
« on: December 17, 2022, 01:04:59 PM »
Thanks, it felt good to be sassy. I don’t fight so much with my inner critic these days unless she is mirroring things I have often heard like, “But they’re your family!” The truth is I have never experienced “family”. December always reminds me.

12
Letters of Recovery / To who made me.
« on: December 16, 2022, 12:36:00 PM »
To the person who brought me into this world and hung that over my head as they hung me by my ankles.

I don't know you anymore. It's been about 18 years now. The truth is, if by some misfortune we happened to cross paths I wouldn't honour your emotions with an explanation. It would be degrading and open myself up for rebuttals that I heard far too frequently as a child. Most poignantly, it would lack irony.

One of my earlier memories, when I was 3 years old, my cousin lived in our basement with my aunt while she was escaping an abusive relationship. I remember you and my aunt fighting regularly about my cousin's behaviour. My aunt, as sheepish as she was, staunchly opposed your use of punishment on my cousin. I remember her being quite upset about you punishing my cousin for "talking back". My aunt said that my cousin, not so much older than myself, had every right to voice her opinion. At the time, I truly believed you were right and that my cousin was very naughty for explaining herself.

See, you instilled in me the very things that you came to despise me for. As a child I was obedient, except when I was silently and stealthfully disobedient. I accepted my punishment without hesitation, believing that life isn't fair. I silently moved out of your way when I knew you were looking for someone to punish. I shrank down so that you could tower over me, I knew that you needed that.

I lived in a home where my life was in danger, but I didn't complain. I remember several years later, that same aunt came to live with us again. My cousin had already left home, and my aunt had two small children again. She was escaping another terribly violent relationship. One day my aunt walked into the family room to discover me on the floor while my brother was pinning me down and choking me. She fought my older brother off of me. I stood up and said nothing, took a deep breath and walked away. My aunt was horrified and in shock and wanted to call the police. She went to you and you dismissed the whole thing, laughed it off. You disregarded me. I made myself easy to forget. I was 15 years old, he was 17. I was never taught that this was wrong.

You spent a lot of time singling me out "teaching me a lesson", and when the day came that I was warned about my whole life, you lashed out at me. You criticised me for the very behaviours you forced onto me. You told me that I was silent and deceptive. You told me that I never talked to you and that you didn't even know me. As you clarified so frequently, you are my mother and not my friend, and I would never undermind that with conversation. It wouldn't of been met with friendliness.

So, that same day when you told me to leave and that you never wanted to see me again it shouldn't have come as a shock to you that I obeyed you without trepidation or hesitation. I did as I was told. To me it wasn't a choice, it was an order. Now, 18 years later and the single reply you have gotten to your unlawful attempts to get to me have been a cease and desist. But it's not spite. It's not hate. It's principle.

The explanation that you don't deserve is that when you told me life isn't fair, I knew inside that you made it unfair. It was a choice. You mocked my sense of justice as you stripped me of my dignity. I won't strip myself of my dignity to honour you with closure. When you mocked my emotions, humiliated me, ridiculed me and intentionally hurt me I didn't dare talk back and you will die with that burden. That is the irony.

P.S.
One thing I realise now that I hadn't back then is that it was never my duty to be who you needed me to be, ever withstanding. I owe you nothing, but you owe me 18 years.

13
Ideas/Tools for Recovery / Re: Three Good Things Today - Part 7
« on: November 01, 2022, 03:09:07 PM »
I felt silly for a moment yesterday. I can't remember last time I felt goofy and childlike.

I am constantly reminded that the world is changing. Many of the more commonplace occurrences in the childhood of people of my age are no longer accepted as normal. That makes me feel understood.

I ate a bag of crisps today. It was a me-time moment well spent. I never buy myself treats. It felt special.

14
Poetry & Creative Writing / Shhh
« on: October 28, 2022, 05:52:03 PM »
This isn't the real me. I remember when she died.

I was a spirited child, and now I am just the spirit of the child who was broken by a rod of my own choosing.

I made my bed. I tidied my toys. I did the washing, and I hung myself out on the line. I did everything I could do only to disappoint them. I cried until I sighed and wasted my tears until they wasted away and left with the rest of --me.

1st year was a respite from enclusure I kept myself in from Them. No one could hurt her there. -There was nursery rhyme and dance and she chatted away quite carelessly, both seen and heard and regrettably so until the voice was taken from her mouth by force. The short safe-haven of self-expression shattered along with self. Not even a whisper of her lives anymore within this unwavering adherence to quiet time.

I spy glimpses of her face in those of strangers in passing, but she passed a while ago now and left this temple in ruin.

15
Recovery Journals / Re: Bermuda's Memories - Overflow Journal 1
« on: October 28, 2022, 04:54:36 PM »
It's true. I also feel deeply empathetic and emotionally invested in the injustices of others to the point that it can feel overwhelming. I can't watch graphic movies.

And like you I have wondered... My own SA is something that I had literally forgotten. Maybe it just didn't make my top 500 worst worth-remembering traumas. At the time I got on with life. My brain filed it in the "Nothing can be done, sort it out later" pile. I always related to that type of trauma, even though I couldn't place why. I couldn't question the situation. I had no power in it.

It's hard to watch other people go through things. I would never treat their experiences as I do my own. "There's nothing you can change, so it doesn't matter or exist, or even effect you at all." ...But that's what my brain reinforces for myself all the time. Sometimes it's the most insignificant things that I wish I could simply let exist that I can't (until the facade crumbles, of course). Medical things, I am so afraid of authority and of someone telling me they see nothing wrong that I would rather not check, not ask, not experience at all. I can't allow myself, or will myself to experience things with certainty, and quite ironically people take me as a liar because of this. I have been accused of lying about the strangest things just because of how timid I am.

There was a fuel fire in the harbour where a boat I owned was. I upsettedly told my coworker that I needed to call and check on my boat, and she looked me in the eyes and told me I was lying and that I don't even own a boat. So many examples of this kind of thing. Every time I am shocked and confused, and you know what, I never stick up for myself either. I just shut up like a good girl and move on. My yacht was covered in black soot but was otherwise fine by the way. What emotion was I supposed to portray, and to what extent? My very presence usually feels like too much. (Just like the length of this text, sorry.)

I look up to people who are unabashedly themselves. People who have a distinct style, or speak up about things they're passionate about even if I am not. I see someone walking down the street with wild hair dancing while they walk, I just want to celebrate, but I am not that. I am wishy-washy, shifty-eyed, I cross my arms (which I've been told makes me come across as arrogant), I speak about myself as if I don't even believe me. I want to be powerful. I want to command an audience... I can't even tell you if my shoulder hurts because that's relative and experiences can never be objective, and I don't want to take your attention away from real people with real problems.

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