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Topics - Elphanigh

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1
Letters of Recovery / Letter to D
« on: August 01, 2020, 03:40:28 AM »
D is an abuser of mine, not my dad but I am not sure what else to abbreviate him to.



D,

Honestly I am not sure why I am writing to you. You caused me and those around me more pain than I am capable of expressing in words. I looked you up today, despite knowing better. You are having another little girl, your first one is almost 2 years old. When I found out about her I went spinning because I was so afraid for her and feared that by not finding a way to lock you away all those years ago that she was somehow my responsibility. I learned over time that she was not my job and that I did everything I could back then. Seeing that you are having another little girl, that you have gotten married, and seem to have a happy life.. I am both glad and heartbroken. There is a part of me that truly wishes you have changed, that you are healthy enough to raise those girls how they deserve, healthy enough to love your wife and treat her well.. That part of me wishes you a better life recognizing what caused you to hurt me was years of intergenerational pain and learning.

On the other side, I wished that your page would have showed that your life went to * these two years. I don't want to wish you poorly but you deserve to bear some of this burden and you never will. I hope some part of you lives with guilt and questions the ways you acted before.. that it has led you to hurt and feel some fraction of the pain I do. I will never wish what you did on anyone, not even you, but I do wish to know that you have felt some of the pain of this burden you gave me. I do wish you ill sometimes, even though that is so outside of my own nature. I want to know you remember the ways I do, that your life has in some way been impacted too. I wish for you to have to grieve the people you hurt and to feel that guilt.. so it fuels you to do better for those around you. I want it to fuel you loving those girls in ways that I am not sure you are even capable of.

I don't truly know what to wish you. I don't wish you harm but I do not truly wish you well either.

I do know that I wish your girls well. I wish for them to grow up in a healthy world, free of the abuses I endured. I wish them a healthy family and a happy life. I wish them so much better. I wish no harm ever comes to a hair on their head. I wish others around you well, and in conjunction I guess I must wish you well at least some. I have to wish you well enough that it does harm does not befall them... not fo you but for them. I am morally obligated to do that much.

I wish that I had managed to lock you away all of those years ago. I wish the system had not failed everyone involved but it did. I wish I didn't know where you were or what happened to you. I wish I never felt the need to wonder about you.

-Elpha

2
Recovery Journals / Further Adventures of Elpha
« on: July 24, 2020, 11:53:50 PM »
HI everyone,

I know this is primarialy for me but I know I have not been around in a while and wanted to start as a greeting for all the old faces here that I care for so deeply.

Honestly, I feel drawn to write here but am not exactly certain what I will write. I think I just feel comfortable, seen, and known in this space. It is a comfort to always be able to come back here, be seen for who I am, an allowed the space to heal without any pressures to be or do anything.

I guess update is a good start. Grad school is phenomenal (and super stressful). I am more than halfway done with my program and so much closer to becoming a licensed social worker and therapist. The road has taken me through so many wonderful and crazy turns. I would not change it for the world but my goodness the expectations are huge. It gives me hope though for all of the trauma informed practitioners that will come out of my generation. I have such a deeper understanding of helping others and will continue to gain that. I have so many colleagues, friends, and mentors that take into account trauma in a way that is tremendous to behold. They do exist and man the mission is strong as ever, even if it is slow growing. I am constantly in awe and so grateful to be studying among people that care so much and are so open to new ideas. I learn from them and from all of you (plus my clients of course). I think my mind and abilities are always being challenged but I am rocking it and cannot wait to have my license

On the personal front things have come so far but also be so difficult. I guess I always come here in times of change and difficulty, which maybe is unfair? Right now is a little more challenging. I am finding a greater depth of grief, change, and attempted forgiveness right now. It is like refacing a deeper level of my demons. A bunch of my worst nightmare memories and sexual traumas. I know I am capable but it is a really painful time on that front and I have to remember all of the progress I have made. I know it is apparent in my self-compassion and love, even jus tin the way I am writing here but I can still forget sometimes. A new round of nightmares and anxiety sometimes blurs that progress. I don't really have words for all of the feelings, or at least now ones that I feel explain them to the full extent. Language is limited sometimes.

I will probably allow younger me to type in here some too, since it is more difficult for her to voice things in my day to day. Not right now as I think I will leave this as it is and begin more of a deep dive later.

3
Successes, Progress? / Diagnosis change
« on: December 05, 2019, 06:21:21 PM »
I thought I would put this progress here because this place has been such a source of healing and compassion for me. I am always in awe of this community, even if I am currently not posting much in it. You have all are part of my journey, and will continue to be. That being said I thought it important to celebrate this win with you.

Last night, I updated my diagnostic scores and such with my T as we do every six months or so to review my treatment plan and goals. For the first time in my life when I did the Ptsd diagnostic, I no longer met the criteria. This means, currently, that no one can formally diagnose me with C-Ptsd or Ptsd. The healing work I have done in the last 6 years has made this kind of progress. Looking at the symptoms and scores from two and a half years ago I have cut my symptoms in more than half... Therefore, can no longer say I have Ptsd.

This is huge progress but also really strange and mind-boggling to me. I have clung to those labels to explain my experiences and to find a community in my life. Without it, there is a bit of a hole, but mostly I just feel relief and joy to know it is possible. I posted a little more about some feelings I have about it in my journal but do not want to bog this post down with them.

Thank you all for being so warm and welcoming that I can share this here without fear of being excommunicated because of it.  :grouphug:

4
Checking Out / Miss you all
« on: November 12, 2019, 01:41:50 AM »
I was not really certain where to write this but I wanted to put it somewhere. I am not around much because of school and life right now, as most of you know. That being said I think about all of you so much and wishing you all amazing things  :hug: I miss getting to be here as often because this is such a beautiful community so I wanted to come here and make sure you know how much of an influence you all have on me even when I am not writing here  :hug:

Really this community is so amazing and I am beyond grateful. When I struggle, I often think of people here and the reminders that I have been given overtime here.

Anyways, I miss you all and will try to write a little more when I can.  :grouphug:

Lots of love and support,
Elpha

5
Letters of Recovery / New Letter to M
« on: October 31, 2019, 06:37:33 PM »
Dear M,

I am writing this down so I don't say the words aloud to you. I know you are stronger and safer than you have ever been. It is beautiful to watch you grow as a person, and I want you to know I am proud of you. I can see it in the way you treat everyone around you, including me. Feeling the difference in how you treat me has been a love and hate kind of thing for me. I lvoe it because for once in my life I feel like I have a mom that hears me, but I hate it because I know I didn't have it before. I hate it because I don't know how much I can trust it... and because with every improvement, you make I want more and more to tell you things you don't know.. things that I swore I would take to my own grave. I hate that I want to tell you the truth and let you in because I know it will hurt you and that is is still somewhat risky for me. I hate that your betterment is weakening my age-old resolve to never share with you that part of me.

I will see you in person a few weeks from now, and I am worried about how this part of me will hold up. Will it slip out in smalls ways, or will I manage to keep it to myself this time?

I finally feel like you are present in my life, more than you ever were when I lived closer. I am working so hard in school right now and you are encouraging and caring. I feel heard by you and like you are curious about my experiences. I feel supported and loved in a way I did not before. It feels almost safe. How will I know when we are both ready? or if I am ever ready? What would I even say?

I know if I ever want you to know me fully I need to tell you. That in order to be honest about my motivations to go into this field, in order to truly discuss my passions that you need to know. I know now that you wouldn't want me to be doing this on my own. It feels like you would want to hear me now, and that you would stay with me this time.

.....
....
.....

Okay, I will have to come back and write more later. That put me pretty heavily in tears for the moment.

6
Letters of Recovery / Letter to my fear
« on: August 01, 2019, 07:04:22 PM »
Brackground for this: I have done a lot of inner child/ego state/ IFS like work so this is a very well ingrained thing for me. The fear I am writing to is more the part of my mind and person that holds a great deal of my fear from my life. I have been in touch with different parts but Fear is a new one for me, I felt I needed to write to her some as I have the others when I needed to.


Dear Fear,

Thank you for keeping me safe all of those years, I needed you to hold all of these difficult emotions and you did it beautifully. It let me save so many people including myself. I am alive because you were able to hold so much for me.

I am sorry it has taken me so much time to help you heal. I did not mean to neglect you, but I was not ready yet to hold those emotions for you. I can do that now though. We are safe in the life I am building, and I can hold onto those feelings so that you no longer have to be alone it it. Fear will no longer overwhelm me, or cause me to drown in a sea of darkness. I am out of that darkness now so we can look at the fear together and give it all of the healing light it needs. It will take time but I promise those feelings of terror, uncertainty, and lack of control don't have to rule us while we are processing it. We have things like safety, hope, joy, confidence, and compassion now.

I know those memories that we have are really scary, but they are no more. I promise that we are no longer near the people that hurt us. That if we were I am louder and strong enough to do everything I need to protect us. It was not in our power back then, but we have so much power now. We are going on to help other people find their power too, I can't wait to show you that.

I promise we are in this together, that I won't leave you to those emotions by yourself again. You never should have had to carry them, but I am so grateful that you did.

Love,
Elpha  :hug:

7
Letters of Recovery / Letter to M
« on: June 17, 2019, 04:38:39 PM »
Dear M,

I know we don't really talk much, I mean we talk but not on a personal level and never had. I have been searchign for a way to talk with you since I was so small. Sadly, I could never find the words, or find times where I thought you would hear me without panicking or questioning what I had to say. As the years went on it was apparent that I couldn't just spring it on you, that it would cause you and everyone around me great pain... I stayed silent to protect myself and others from that.

I want to talk now though, you deserve to know and I deserve the support of the person you are becoming. I have seen a change in you, that you are more present with my niece and S. It is a beautiful thing to behold what seems like your own healing work in process. I see it in the times that you don't give into your anger, and the times you share mental health positive things on fb... the way that you have started treating and inspriing your friends to do healthy things. That is the person I needed to talk to when I was younger but now here that person is and I want to talk to her. I want to find a way to have an honest, and open relationship with you.

All those years ago when you caught my babysitter with adult videos in the house and you asked if they had done anything to us... when I said only a little that was a lie. I was terrified to get in trouble and to get you hurt. I had been threatened into silence, and truly believe they would hurt people I loved if I told you when you asked. I don't know what happened to them but I hope they got locked away... all I know is I never saw them again. For that I thank you.. whatever you did to make that happen saved me more pain and abuse. They were terrible and manipulative and hurt me for years. I am sorry that I could not tell you sooner, and that I could not protect the things I tried so hard to protect. I was little and doing everything I could.


There there was DV (calling abuser 2 DV for easy identification purposes here).. He got caught abusing another get in the nieghborhood when I was 12. You took me into your room and asked if he had ever touched me. I told you that he had taken me behind a tree and groped me inappropriately. I am sure not in those words, I was so panicked and almost told you know. The truth is he had been abusing me as long as the babysitter had and he had many years after she went away to continue it. He kept me silent by barganing and convincing me it was all I was worth in the world. I couldn't come forward because I had no value, and was convinced it was my fault. After I told you that day that he had hurt me a little, I was terrified of what he would do to everyone I loved. I never knew fear for myself because I had been through it all, I didn't care about my own well being anymore at that point. You left me in a dark room crying. I have always wondered why you did. Maybe it was too much to bear, and too painful to hear I had been hurt again but I was terrified and I needed you to be there for me.

When I was asked if I wanted to talk to someone about it, you let me tell them no.. without trying to help me understand that it would do me good. I was glad then, but I wish that you had seen and tried a little harder to get through to me. I had just lost an aunt as well and was in such deep pain from all of this.

I spent my life trying to make up for everything I thought I had caused and failed at when I was younger. Now, after multiple years of intense healing I know I never had anything to make up for. I was never at fault for any of it, and I deserved to have the support and safety that I needed growing up. I don't blame you for the abuse, but I do wish that you had been there for me and protected me. YOu were blind to the signs time and time again... I needed you to see me.

I know you see my niece and see the world differently now. I am glad for that, but it breaks my heart you couldn't do that then. You were young and had many more health issues. I see and know that. It is why I am not angry, just hurt. It is why I want to give you a chance to be the M I need now. To see the fight I have had to put into the person I am, to be proud of what I have created from all of that hurt.

I don't write to make you hurt or feel bad, that is not the intent in telling you. I want to be honest so we can have more of a realtionship, so I can talk about how excited I am for my graduate program because I will get to help people like me and be what I needed. I love you so much, and don't want to keep this secret anymore. I deserve to be open and free, you deserve to know your daughter a little better. What you do with this is up to you. If you are not prepared to handle it in a healthy way you do not have to respond and we can go on like we always have. I will respect that boundary. If you want to talk about it, or have questions I am here. I just wanted you to have that option.

Love,
Elpha




(side note: definitely wept writing this, so there may be many errors in here)

8
Recovery Journals / Elpha's Adventure pt. 4
« on: June 03, 2019, 01:28:19 AM »
Starting a new chapter tonight! I have moved states, gone to my first mental health conference, and register for graduate classes tomorrow! It only feels fitting to have a new journal for all of this. I have learned so much and have so many ideas from just one conference. I am also finding skills I learned in therapy are truly paying off during this process, hoping that will continue.

This is number 4 for me (goodness I write a lot in two years)... I am finding it fitting as 4 is my lucky number that this part of my journey gets to be journal number 4  ;D

I don't have a lot to say, but I know I will need this space and missed writing here while I was away the last couple of weeks. Onto the new adventure! :cheer:

9
Checking Out / Off for a bit
« on: May 15, 2019, 03:48:25 PM »
Hi everyone, I know I have not been super present here recently but did want to check in and just say I am going to be taking a break for just a bit.

I am moving to a new place in less than two weeks, and trying to coordinate the end of this chapter but also the start of the new one, which is just a ton to juggle so I need to step away from a few things until it isaccomplished.

I will be back after the 25th, and will be glad to see you all again  :hug:

10
Letters of Recovery / Letter to little me
« on: April 18, 2019, 09:59:17 PM »
I have been meaning to come here and write letters, several come to mind but I think a letter to younger me is the most important one at this moment. I will try to address younger me by ages if I decide to address different parts.


Dear little me,

I want you to know I am here for you now and that you deserve to rest now. You did such an amazing job and it is my turn to do the job now. I think you are such an amazing six year old and you deserve to get to play soccer, chase the mail man, and practice singing to Broadway songs. Thank you for working so hard to keep yourself safe and for helping your family so much. You did so well, and I promise I will hard to do the same.

I hear you when you say you are sorry for hurting L, but I promise that it isn't your fault. I am sorry that I blamed you for so long, it was really hard to look at that memory until now, and I am sorry I left you alone with it for so long. You did not deserve to hold the burden of that blame or guilt, you did everything you could and more than anyone should have ever expected. I see how much you care about her and know you did everything you could to protect her. It was not your job, but I am so proud of you for doing it. It shows how good and loving you are. You deserve to know how much she loves you and how much I love you. I promise you do not need to say sorry anymore, it was really scary and I am here to help with that now.



to be continued... going these in chunks as I get emotionally with younger me feeling this as I write. Inner child work is a weird little thing.  :hug:

11
Birthday / Birthday today
« on: April 04, 2019, 03:24:28 PM »
So I turn 25 today and I am trying to enjoy it. Honestly I do not feel much like celebrating. People are being kind, my coworkers had a cute card and some delicious cupcakes. Even had a candle for me to blow out  ;D

I opened my gift from my family, and it was a few things that I absolutely adore. Truly thoughtful and precious.

Yet, here I am unable to really celebrate the birthday. I know part of me feels 25 is old and like I have not done enough with my life by this point, but I also know that is an inner critic lie. I work most of my day but can relax and enjoy tonight so maybe that will help.

For now trying to think of it as celebrating the progress of the last year and maybe get past my feelings of dread.

12
Successes, Progress? / No longer qualify
« on: March 20, 2019, 03:56:48 PM »
I have been unsure about whether to post this celebration or not but I feel like I can. I realize that this celebration doesn't mean that I don't have a place here, it just means I am healing.

I found out this week I no longer meet the criteria for the Cptsd diagnosis. My t does not even believe I fit the criteria for the Ptsd diagnosis anymore. I will find out about that one on Monday (little nervous if I am honest). Technically though I no longer have Cptsd. I have small symptoms and such but everything is so minor and not affecting my daily life enough for it to be considered something that is diagnosable anymore.

I had conflicting thoughts about posting this because I didn't want to feel like I didn't have a place here or a healing family anymore. I realized though that all of you would celebrate this with me and that is part of the beauty of this place. I can still heal here even if I don't have a diagnosis, and can celebrate healing so much and finding out it is truly possible.  :hug:


13
Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / It happened again.. *tw*
« on: February 26, 2019, 02:01:27 AM »
Okay reiterating the trigger warning on this just in case.


*trigger warning*


I am still traveling because of blizzard weather here, I havenít been able to make it home. I should be home tomorrow.  Because of that last night I went out with a person I met here just as friends. He was very kind and I thought well intentioned. I normally read people well and truly thought I was going into something safe.

However he wasnít and I am now trying to deal with the fact it happened again. I spent my entire childhood being sexually abused..and always believed it prepared me to protect myself but it didnít. I tried everything and did everything someone is supposed to in order to be safe.

I am not sure how I will be okay again.. or how I will go back to normal life. It feels impossible to be okay and to feel safe anymore.

I waited to post here until I wasnít in crisis anymore, and took time to travel to somewhere safe etc... but I am still struggling and just need to remember I have people that care and wonít be disappointed in me..

14
Successes, Progress? / Master's program
« on: January 23, 2019, 06:25:00 PM »
I am not truly sure where to put this but I am celebrating my acceptance into my top choice grad school program today!  :cheer: :cheer: So many of you have been encouraging through this process and I just wanted to share that success. I will start in the fall working towards my masters in Social work so that I can become a trauma informed therapist. Also to just be able to be a stronger agent of change for the trauma community!  :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

15
Family of Origin (FOO) / M is coming to town
« on: January 15, 2019, 06:20:38 PM »
I feel like this is probably the right place to put this. I rarely write in the particular sub thread but goodness knows I could. Anyways it feels right today rather than in my journal.

My M has decided to improptu visit me for 5 days. This has never happened, ever. Any time I have seen her or had her in the city I live in it was very well planned and with other people. Honestly when she brought it up and asked on Sunday, I said yes because I am working on a major emotional shift in regards to her and thought that it could be good for me. However later I realized that it is scary and goodness I have a lot of feelings about it that I did not expect to exist.

There is a level of panic and uncertainty that comes with her being here. I spoke with it extensively with my T last night. Realized that my M and I had never had that much time alone in my life. I am not honestly sure how that will go, or what it will be like. Then the last time she was in town, and really the only two times she has been, it went very poorly for me. It has been multiple years and a lot of healing has happened in that time so we will see.

I was panicked originally because I assumed my M wanted something, or there was some big news she wasn't telling me until she saw me in person. I have asked her and my S to see if there was anything going on, and it honestly seems that my M just wants to visit because she misses me. I wasn't home for the holidays and that is the first time that has happened so she just misses me and has the time off. There is a small voice in my head that doesn't believe that but for now I need to take her at her word, and trust my S as well.

I find that it is painful that my M is showing more interest and support in my life now than she did when I was a kid. She notices things and seems to truly care what I say now... when I was a kid she was so blind or deeply in denial. My T said last night (rather bluntly but I expect it from her when I need it) " Does your mom Dissociate? It would make sense because it would be so impossible to not see what you went through without dissociating or having severe denial." Which is true, and I have had that conversation with my T before when I realized that as a kid I could have only hid so much. Like I was good, but there is no way I was that good. Anyways it is hard to have her showing more caring and support now that I feel like she did my enter childhood. Like as adults we might actually get along and be okay....

My younger parts remember all the instances she was scary or ignored me when I needed her. I can't shake that right now. I am working towards forgiveness, trying to decide what that would look like for me towards her. It has been a work in progress and will remain that way for a while.

Anyways I have just under two weeks until she gets here. She is staying in my apartment and seeing my life, the one I have built and worked so hard to have. It makes me nervous but I am also so in need of it to go well. To have maybe some sort of good relationship with my M which is so confusing. It is against every other fiber of my body that feels like it needs to be guarded and put distance between us. Then there are just the tears that sit at the back of my eyes when thinking about all of this.

This feels like a jumbled post and I appreciate anyone that managed to follow it. Anyone else ever had to have them in town? or maybe feel similar conflicting things?  :Idunno:

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