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Topics - Not Alone

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Checking Out / Busy days
« on: June 19, 2022, 09:08:53 PM »
I miss connecting with people here. I've been busy lately and probably won't be on much for the next few weeks.

Recovery Journals / Not Alone: 2022
« on: January 01, 2022, 02:35:37 PM »
I am printing my journal from 2021. I think that I have a need to have printed versions of my journal here as well as my written journals because my life is so fragmented and compartmentalized. My journals are pieces of the puzzle.

I am not in a good place as we begin 2022. I will try not to do too much reflecting because I am too close to the "my life is meaningless" road.

Web Sites, Support Groups & Organizations / Carolyn Spring
« on: December 05, 2021, 02:51:29 AM »
I haven't been on Carolyn Spring's website for awhile. I went back today and read some of her blogs. I find what she says to be very helpful and well-stated.

I know I've mentioned her before, but it has been awhile. She is a survivor of childhood trauma and trains others to better help trauma survivors.

Music / Death Without a Funeral
« on: November 12, 2021, 04:09:48 AM »
This song is meaningful to me. I'm guessing many of you can relate.

Death Without a Funeral
Jason Gray

There's no stone to lay the flower down beside
No mention in the paper, though something clearly died
No gathering for family and friends eulogise
It's a death without a funeral
There's no book to sign for people filing in
No table full of pictures, where they'd say "remember when"
No song is sung about how all good things come to an end
It's a death without a funeral
When you see me, I'm still breathing
Though a million things have died inside of me
But there's no healing without grieving
No wonder why it's hard to rest in peace
When there's nothing we can bury in the dirt
No place to lay the memory of all things that were
No way to feel the closure, no ending to the hurt
It's a death without a funeral
When you see me, I'm still breathing
Though a million things have died inside of me
But there's no healing without grieving
No wonder why it's hard to rest in peace
One apple hadn't fallen with the leaves
As I reached up I remembered how we both planted that tree
With one bite I was surprised to find the fruit was still so sweet

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jason Gray / Andy Gullahorn
Death Without a Funeral lyrics © The Gullahorns Music

Poetry & Creative Writing / Not Bad
« on: October 17, 2021, 03:29:30 AM »
You’re not bad.
   I’ve heard those words before.
   Usually my shame kept me from seeing his face.
   This time, I saw the emotion in his face,
   Heard the tenderness and conviction in his voice.
You’re not bad.
   In desperation my eyes reached across the physical distance between us,
   A drowning soul reaching for something to hold onto.
You’re not bad.
   A cry escaped my lips, emanating from deep within my soul.
You haven’t been bad.
You haven’t been bad.

   The words repeat themselves over and over in my mind,
   Breaching a layer of self-condemning conviction.
You’re not bad.
Not bad.
Not bad. . .

Sexual Abuse / Therapist used the word. . . TW
« on: June 12, 2021, 12:50:08 PM »

Use of r*** word, sexual abuse, bondage

The Part of Not Alone that this happened to is writing.

I told my therapist that something happened when I was 13 or 14. It wasn't important. It wasn't a big deal. I was tied to a bed and a man had sex with me. I didn't say no or struggle or resist. I got on the bed and did what he said to do.

My therapist said he raped me. When he said that I shook and my already fuzzy/tunnel feeling got even fuzzier. He immediately asked what happened. I couldn't talk though. After a bit of silence, he said more.

His using the word "rape," has really shaken me. Was he right? I've been telling myself for a long time that what happened was no big deal. I looked the word up in the dictionary, but it didn't help. I need someone else to tell me if he was right. I even went on a chat on the computer. The lady said that rape and assault were legal words and she could send me information from my state. I didn't want that. When she said that I wanted to cry.

Can someone tell me? Was my therapist right? Was it rape even though I didn't resist?

13/14 year old

Ideas/Tools for Recovery / 76 Healing Quotes & Affirmations
« on: May 31, 2021, 03:56:51 PM »
The wellness society lists 76 healing quotes and affirmations. Some of these quotes are free to be downloaded and printed. Other good information on their website worth checking out.

If you take a look at these, which ones are helpful for you right now?

For me, it's this one: "35. It’s ok not to be ok." I am trying to get some cleaning and other things done. I felt really overwhelmed and went to my room to take a break. Also, "28. I refuse to judge myself according to the standards of a society that makes no place for people like me." This one because, even though it is rarely said, when my husband has stated his true feelings, he has said in different ways that he wants me to put the past behind me and move on and be okay. Even though it is rarely stated by him, I feel the immense pressure of that.

General Discussion / Harmed by Healers
« on: March 12, 2021, 03:05:53 PM »
I am grateful to the many professionals in my life who have come along side me with compassion to help me to deal with my trauma. They are all human and have their own issues and make mistakes. The mistakes still cause pain, even if the intent was not evil. I've spent many sessions processing issues from previous professionals. Others on OOTS have also shared that they've been hurt by professionals, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

I'm starting this post, not as a place to bash therapist/psychiatrists/etc., but, if it would be helpful, an opportunity to share about being harmed by a healer.

Poetry & Creative Writing / Wound
« on: March 09, 2021, 10:17:24 PM »
Severe. Soul-threatening.
Ignored. Denied. Minimized.

Emergency survival; hide it within the deepest corner of the heart.
Awoken by a word, a sound, an object. . .
Bleeding. Hurting. Demanding attention.

Delicate. Fragile. Tender.
Treat it gently.

Listen to its story. How did the injury occur?
Feel its oozing, painful emotions.
Honor the seriousness of the injury.

Treat the root cause of the injury, no band-aid.
With care, apply the painful healing ointment of belief, compassion, and acceptance.

Over time there is healing.
Beautiful and Ugly.
Testimony of the pain, the journey, and bravery.

Dating; Marriage/Divorce; In-Laws / 2 steps forward, 10 steps back
« on: February 19, 2021, 05:11:21 PM »
I have written very little about my relationship with my husband, wanting to be honoring and respectful to him. I want to preface this post by saying that there are good things about my husband. Right now I am just done.

My husband is partially retired and at some point will fully retire. When that happens, I will need to get a full time job in order to have health insurance for myself and our kids. Right now he is committing to working 3 months at a time. I told him that I felt like there was a house hanging over my head, held by a string.

I currently only work 11 hours a week. I don't know how I will emotionally and physically handle 32-40 hours.
I am seeing my T 2x/week. When I start full time, that will need to be reduced to 1x/week.
I will need to find a job that will give me the time to have a day to see T. I can't do T then go to work.
My therapist only accepts one insurance, so if the job that I get doesn't have that insurance, I will be paying him out of pocket.

My husband sees what he wants to see and hears what he wants to hear.
> When he fully retires, we can stay on his insurance for a certain amount of time, but the cost is REALLY high. He and I looked at the numbers and agreed that we could not afford to pay that much each month for a length of time. After that discussion, when I bring up the stress of me working FT, he has said he didn't know that I needed to work FT. He's ignoring the reality of the numbers.
> Yesterday, when I asked if he was going to work the next three months (no concrete answer) and again told him how stressful getting a FT job would be for me, he pulled out a list he had made of the reasons that me working full time WOULD BE GOOD FOR ME.
> I said, "You don't have anything on that list about what is it means to work FT with cPTSD."
> I told him that even now with my minimal hours and relatively easy job, there are mornings that I can barely get out of bed, get dressed, I wonder how I am going to manage to put my "work face" on. His response was that you have to work up to it. In other words, he was only referring to the physical challenges of working more with NO inkling of the emotional difficulties.
> Then he asked if this was going to go on forever. (A discussion we have had multiple times.) Me: Yes. cPTSD a chronic condition. It is not going away. There is no finish line.
> Husband: Does that mean you and I won't ever have a life together? Me: We could have a life together now, but you don't want to walk this journey with me. You are waiting for your wife to come back. Another conversation we have had before. He blamed me for not telling him things. (I have told him things and sometimes he responds with kindness, but often his reactions usually lacked any feeling of empathy or he minimized the risk in my telling him what I did tell him. Sometimes he even had the inappropriate response of making a joke. I know that is his discomfort, but still triggering and hurtful to me.) Basically he told me that my thinking that he isn't walking with me in the journey is my fault (I don't tell him things) and is all in my head.
> He also said that it was okay to look at the past, but at some point you needed to put it behind and live life.

 :pissed:                :pissed:                :pissed:                :pissed:               :pissed:
I had my therapy session right after that interaction so I was able to vent to my T. I'm still really mad. Also really alone. I thought that he had gained at least a little bit of understanding of what I'm dealing with, but it seems like very little.

I am very happy to receive empathy, but please do not offer me advise on how to help him to understand. We have been in marriage therapy together, I've given him articles to read, he's read portions of books, I told him there was an online support group for spouses of people with cPTSD (he rejected that option). He hears what he wants to hear and he sees what he wants to see. He would deny it to his dying day, but to me, it seems that he wants his stepford wife back.

Questions/Suggestions/Comments / Loosing "Recent Unread Topics"
« on: January 05, 2021, 12:02:29 AM »
When I click on "recent unread topics," the list appears. If there are there are five posts, for example, after I read one post and go back to "recent unread topics," there should be four posts. But there are only three. Posts are "disappearing" without me clicking on them. Not sure if this is an issue with the OOTS website or if it's a glitch with my computer. This has happened to me several times in the last few days. (I have turned computer off and on.  :Idunno:)

Recovery Journals / Not Alone: 2021
« on: December 31, 2020, 05:05:14 PM »
  :heythere:       :sunny:          :cheer:       :boogie:        :whistling:               :grouphug:               :cloud9:               :umbrella:               :yes:            :bighug:            ;)       

Starting my new journal a day early.  :bigwink: Instead of giving my journal a meaningful title, I just titled it with the year. Maybe the subtitle would be: "We'll see where we need to go and take the journey step by step." Long subtitle.  :rofl:

This morning I went through my folder of papers and art work from 2020. I sorted those and filed papers into different categories. Most were added to boxes of previous years' papers and journals. The boxes have notes on top asking the contents to be destroyed in case of my death. Why am I keeping such vulnerable paperwork? I think maybe because my childhood has been such a mystery to me. What happened? What didn't happen? What is true? I've been working on putting the puzzle pieces together. Those papers, art work, and journals are some of the puzzle pieces. Some of the picture of the puzzle has been partially put together, but there are more pieces that need to be added; i.e. more memory and processing of those memories. I may need to refer to the pieces that have already been put together. (And I have gone back to journals and notes when working on certain issues.) For now I strongly feel the need to keep all those items.

Last night I reread Carolyn Spring's Unshame. I can relate to so much of what she writes. (See: ) It reminded me and gave me encouragment that her journey has been step by step, filled with many failures, but the success was in continuing. When she was learning mindfulness meditation, Spring stated, "I failed and failed for twenty minutes but in the end I succeeded, simply because I didn't quit." (Spring, 45)

I had been fairly consistent with practicing a form of meditation, but it's been many months since I've done so consistently. Spring's book has motivated me to be more consistent about meditation and also with my awareness of my breathing. I had gotten into the slump of using those things when I was in trouble, but I do believe it will be beneficial for me to make practicing mindful meditation and breathing an (almost) daily routine.

I ordered Carlolyn Spring's book, Recovery is My Best Revenge: My Experience of Trauma, Abuse and Dissociative Identity Disorder. I'm not sure why I've been hesitant to order that book in the past.

My therapist has been on vacation for two weeks. I have been trying to give myself a break from therapy without ignoring the Littles. [I have Dissociative Identity Disorder and Littles are young Parts of me.] This morning I spent some time with the Littles, checking in with them and then reading a story to some of them. Even though I have tried to still care for them, they have been further away with T being gone and me trying to take a break from therapy and just not wanting stuff to be stirred up. It feels like many Littles are active now and wanting to talk! I don't have to work again until Tuesday, which makes it a bit easier to take care of them. I still have to wear the "Wife," "Mom," and "Friend" hats. T returns on Monday. Two weeks is a long time. I am grateful, though, that I haven't been in a really bad place during those two weeks.

(Note: Littles definitely active and felt the need to decorate the top of our journal.  :bigwink:)

Christmas & New Years / Best Wishes
« on: December 23, 2020, 03:49:26 AM »
I know that the holidays can be really difficult for many. I wish you peace and kindness this season.

From, Not Alone

Symptoms - Other / Hard to form words
« on: October 02, 2020, 10:10:07 PM »
Sometimes I have trouble coming up with words or even just speaking. This is especially true when I'm in a therapy session talking about a trauma. Others had mentioned similar experiences so I want to share a portion of this article. The whole article is worth reading.

There is another area of the brain that is relevant here, called Broca’s area. It is concerned with language and speech – with words. Like the hippocampus, it is also shut down when the smoke alarm is sounding. That is why in a state of terror, like a flashback of trauma, it is so difficult to get our words out. In a situation such as public speaking, at the moment that we most need to speak fluently, our mind goes blank and we literally cannot think of anything to say. This isn’t some random occurrence – it is caused by Broca’s area having reduced bloodflow in moments of high stress and so being ‘turned off’. It’s what Judith Lewis Herman calls the “wordless terror” of trauma.

But the flipside is that if we can get ourselves talking, or focusing on words such as through puzzles like wordsearches or crosswords, or by reading or journaling, we will be coaxing our brain to restore its bloodflow back to Broca’s area again. And by doing that, it will start to turn on the front brain as a whole again. When a therapist gets you to talk about the weather, or football, or what you had for tea last night, it’s not because they can’t cope with your flashback or re-experience of your trauma – they’re getting you out of a back-brain, triggered state by turning your front brain back on again. Some therapists are smarter than they look!

When I read this article, it brought to mind a time when my former therapist asked me what kind of car I drive. Now I know what he was doing. (BTW, I wasn't able to answer him in that moment.  :Idunno:)

Checking Out / Less time on OOTS
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:06:14 AM »
For the last few weeks I have found my ability to respond to others' posts to be fairly limited. I have been unable to write anything in my own journal. I will drop in as able through August, but will not be here as often as in the past though the month of August.

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