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Messages - bee

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76
VeryFoggy I offer a  :hug:
I'm so glad to hear that you have a T that you can trust. I am also sorry to hear that you are struggling to hold on to a very dear relationship to your sister.

Maybe you can add yourself to the list of people you trust. Or if you're not ready for that at least see that you are taking care of yourself. You are learning to protect yourself.  As you continue to make decisions to protect yourself from from untrustworthy people you will see that you can be trusted.

I understand all too well that the process of learning to protect oneself can get very lonely. But, by removing people who hurt you from your life, you will be able to use your energy to make yourself stronger, instead of using it to fend off/heal from emotional blows.

77
Inner Critic says:
You're just being sensitive.
You're exaggerating.
You're lying, everyone will think so.
It's your fault.
It's all in your head.
You're being lazy, you just need to try harder.
Just get over it already.
Spending time working on yourself proves that she was right, you are self centered.
Seeing a T proves she was right, you are the crazy one.
Complaining about how difficult your childhood was only proves that you are a whiner.
Never let anyone get to know you, they will see that you are unlovable.

My counter argument. If I do not fight against these thoughts she will win. I refuse to let her win.

Explanation:
My M made it clear that my conception was not planned, my existence was, at best, an inconvenience. I realized at some point that she wanted me to rectify the situation. If I kill myself she gets what she wants, she wins. When I realized this I got very angry, I made a promise to myself. I refuse to give her what she wants, she will not win. Therefore I fight with everything I have to recover from this.

This was harder to write out than I expected. The insults that I hear continually from my inner critic are harsher than I realized, especially when I see them all together like this. I'm thinking about writing them on a piece of paper that I can reference, preferenced by, 'a narcissistic, sociopath thinks that you are .....' And followed by 'Do you choose to believe this today?'

78
My aunt. Not that she has any idea. She got out though. Left the state, was independent, self sufficient. The life she led proved that it was possible. She might have disapproved of my NC, we never spoke after I went NC, we weren't close, but she was my inspiration.

79
Also been working on recovery for a long time. Why I joined this group though?
Reading about the effects of trauma on the brain has shown me that I need human interaction in my recovery. I'm not ready for face to face group therapy, so I think this is a good step to get me there.

80
Does anyone else have gaps or fuzzy recollections of entire periods of time?   

Too many. I call it Swiss cheese brain. I told someone that I'd never been to a certain city. Several years later I remembered that we had taken a family vacation there. I had totally blanked it out. I asked my siblings for details and it turns out that my m was hyper stressed on that trip, so probably things did not go well. So I blanked it. Still have hardly any memories of the events. That's a big one, but there are a ton of small ones. Sometimes makes me wonder what else is in my head that I don't currently have access to.

81
While I always knew my mother was "off", I still managed to maintain a certain level if denial while growing up. It was easier to believe that I was the problem. If you've ever watched TV after school specials you'll know the plot line. There is always the kid who is messed up and needs help, and the kids who are the helpers. I always saw myself in the helper roll. My realization/acknowledgement of how bad my abuse was flipped that. It was a shock, and horrifying. I saw my whole life as a lie. I didn't know who I was. That feeling has mellowed a bit.
I still have bouts of denial.
I still get shocked during T when in processing memories, and realizing that there do not seem to be any 'small' traumas. They all provoke huge emotional responses.
I'm starting to feel anger, but did not feel that at first.

Kizzie,  :hug: I don't know if laughing at a teen hiding in a bath tub is a response I understand. Maybe that's not what they were laughing at. Anyway, that is nothing to be ashamed of, you were taking care of yourself in the best way you knew how. If they were aware of it, why did it not raise a red flag? To me this sort of thing should be treated with total compassion. I apologize if I'm off base. Just be gentle with yourself, meetings like this that bring up the past can be draining.

82
I started this last year. Writing all of the 'major'? traumas starting at the earliest I can remember. When I told my T what I was doing, she couldn't suppress her reaction. It was horror. As in, why would you do that to yourself. I don't think it's bad to remember, but trying to process it all once, is a bit much I think. I got to first grade. I think I'll add to it as I'm processing the memories in T.
The advice to revisit your hometown? "Let the impressions, memories, and feelings wash over you" :blink: hey, who wants a flashback, yea, that sounds like a good idea. Are you f***ing insane? Maybe it works for some, for me it would be a sure way to catatonia.

83
I've done some art therapy that includes drawing myself.
Self portrait. Stick figure sitting with knees up encircled by arms, head down, in the corner of a pitch black room without windows or doors.
Self portrait. Dark, roiling stormy sky over a desert plain. Lightening striking all around a lone stick figure, same posture as above.
One of my mother and I. Two figures walking facing forward. The adult looms much taller than the child. They are holding hands, the child's arm stretches upward, forcing her to nearly walk on tip toe. The adult wears an expression of grim determination. The child's head is bent forward and her hair covers her face, hers is a posture of shame and dejection.
(This is the walk of shame when I was four. I had been playing at my friends house down the street. My mother came to take me home. I had to use the restroom, but didn't want to at her house. I tried to hold it as we were walking, but failed. I was embarrassed and scared, and started crying. My mother accused me of doing it on purpose to embarrass her. She threatened to give me something to cry about if I didn't stop my blubbering. She hissed through clenched teeth, "You will walk normally, and pretend that you did not just poop your pants. You will walk straight into the bathroom, and clean yourself up, do not expect me to help you."

I've done one of my mother's face as I see it in my mind during a rage. That one is scary.

I find that drawing things helps me get in touch with memories that are vague.
But, this is not something that can be done in a week. These were done spaced out by months. I've also done abstract things and found that they show just as much. Also, my art therapy stuff always looks like kids drawings. I minored in art in college but, I puposely keep these as simple as possible. If you plan on drawing stuff, don't expect it to be "pretty".

84
I've done this a little in the past, not recently. I also feel it is not something to be done until you are good and ready. When I did it, even in small bursts it unleashed major ***t storms.
I remember looking at a kindergarten school picture of me caused me to sobb, that happy little girl was obliterated, she never had a chance. Maybe it's good if you want to get in contact with your emotions, but if you still need to figure out the emotional regulation part, not such a good idea imho.

85
Always knew mother was off. I started really questioning stuff in 2000, when I started T.
Kizzie put it well.
Looking back, another part of not being able to fully accept that I was abused, is that to do so I had to let go of the faint hope that one day I might get what I need(ed) from my FOO.  I had to openly look at the fact that they would not change, that I had always been alone and would always be int terms of having a functioning, loving, caring FOO. Very, very hard but nowadays, I don't have any doubt about being abused and I don't waste energy pining for what I now know is a fantasy.
I officially gave up my hope when I went NC. I think that was 2007. Sometimes I think, 'Really, that long ago?', other times, 'Oh, I thought it's been longer.' Time is weird for me.

Honoring this date seems weird. It's like honoring the death of a loved one. Honor the death of my hope? I get that it is also the beginning of protecting myself, but the cost was so high, it's hard to see it as a positive.

86
Your outcome is wonderful news. You acted in such a brave way. Wow! Congrats!

87
I really appreciate this discussion. If I do go somewhere I am unaware of where it is. I had a massage therapist that asked me often, but gently, "hey, where did you just go?" The question would bring me back, but I never questioned where I had been, just away. She's the one that clued me in that I was dissociating. I might bring this up with my T. Never heard that people are aware of where they go. :blink:

I do a kind of dissociation that I thought was more catastrophisizing/day dreaming. That's when I think about all the worst possible things that could happen. There are actual thoughts then, but when I come back to reality they get hazy and stop making sense, kinda like dreams sometimes make no sense when you wake up, but you know they were perfectly logical when you were dreaming.

88
"You're a good person, it's gonna be ok"

I sometimes imagine myself being the loving mother, mothering me and making those brain connections that didn't happen as a child happen now.

I said the above quote to myself, several years ago, over and over, one word for each step, as I hiked or walked.

I imagine myself as a loving mother too. I cradle/hug my IC and rock her as I say over and over, "there there it will be ok."


Feeling things is scary, but it will not kill me.
There is a reason I react the way I do, it is to be expected, it is allowed, I can accept my reaction.(working on this one)
Feelings are like being caught in a wave in the ocean, there is no point in resisting, go with it, and it will pass.
Looking at these I sorta see that they are not exactly positive, more survivalist. One's that are a bit more positive.

I survived the abuse, I am stronger than I know.
I survived the abuse, and now I have two cats, and that makes me feel like the luckiest person in the universe.
From this I learned to dissociate, which means I never have to be bored, and it's handy during a cleaning at the dentist.(read this as a bit snarky)
More seriously, from this I have learned skills that I can learn to use to my benefit. (Compartmentalization, calm in crisis, use logic instead of reacting from emotions when needed, disassociation, high alert/super senses, reading of people, etc.)
Being one of the abused sucks, but it allows me to feel empathy for others who have suffered.
Having to sort through the wreckage of my childhood will result in me knowing myself better than the majority of the population.

89
Keep fighting, cat, and Lizzie - thank you for your replies. It is so reassuring to find others who can understand.

This next part feels totally off topic.
In response to C's post.
The truth is people do leave us. I think that's ok to talk about. It's part of life. My sister's husband died, at less than 50. It is very real in my life.
These are my thoughts on that. I'm working toward being in a place where instead of preparing myself for abandonment everyday, I can enjoy the time I have with that person without holding a part of myself back. Being fearful of abandonment means always keeping myself at a distance, never fully being invested in a relationship. As a child abandonment is equivalent to death. Human children are not self sufficient. As I work through the pain and terror I felt at being abandoned as a child I hope to gain the belief/knowledge/faith in myself that I will survive future loses. I still expect future losses to hurt, but the goal is that I do not have an overwhelming feeling of annihilation along with the pain. I could continue as I have been, always thinking of contingency plans, but I believe more and more that I want more than that. Until I work through my childhood feelings all new losses will feel like I am facing death.

90
For emergency grounding I make myself notice something I see, something I smell, and something I hear.
For deep relaxation. I usually use this if I'm having trouble falling asleep. You want to be laying down, or in a position where your muscle can be relaxed. I start by counting my breaths, long slow breaths, thinking only of the air going in and out. Breathe with your stomach, be aware of moving your stomach in and out with your breath. When I've counted about 10 in a row without my mind wandering I start the next part. I picture a glowing light starting at the tips of my toes. I bring the light slowly up my legs, hips, torso, arms, and finally my neck and head; feeling the tension leave as the light envelopes each part of my body. Don't be surprised if it's harder to I've the light over some areas, just take extra time there. If you're still awake now is the time to think affirming thoughts. What ever you want. They can be simple like 'I am a good person.' Or 'everything will be ok.' It's part of a guided meditation that was taught to me on the speech and debate team, and a similar one taught by my swim coach in high school. For these we relaxed then pictured ourselves swimming with a perfect stroke, or doing a debate and winning, so you could try picturing yourself overcoming a difficult obstacle instead/with the affirmations.

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