It ruined me

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Dee

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It ruined me
« on: March 24, 2019, 04:23:54 AM »

Lately, after my last hospital stay and trauma in November I have been reflecting on how my abuse as a child changed the person I might have been.  I can pinpoint it back to the time I was in  elementary school, how things seemed different for me.  How I didn't interact the same as other kids did.  Maybe I am doing what if's, but I know I don't have the life I would like or the life I should of had.  I have had some successes, but they were almost torture.  I ran and did so competitively, but I was completely obsessed with it and my diet.  I later had to stop because of osteoporosis due to my eating disorder and my inability to let myself recover when needed; I pushed beyond human limitations.  I am well educated; I did so while working.  Yet, I obsessed over my grades and I worried constantly about if I was good enough.  Now, I don't give myself credit for my education because I don't feel I went to good enough schools.  The stress from being perfect took a toll on my health both physically and mentally. 

I am 45, retired and disabled.  I had kids early because I rushed into marriage and family (trying to get that family I never had, but always wanted).  I'm divorced and alone.  Having kids early, means they leave early.  Mine didn't just move down the street, they went into the military.  It's not even just the physical aspects of it all.  It is the misery I feel day in and day out.  The lack of judgement that I seem to exercise over and over.  I should of been so much more.

I haven't spoken about it.  It just came out in therapy, but my inability to exercise boundaries and my lack of judgement hurt me again.  Boundaries are the single most difficult concept for me to learn.  Like an idiot, against my better judgement, I let someone in my house to drop off something after a night of drinking.  Drinking has been an issue and I've been doing well after my latest inpatient treatment.  I was drunk, then passed out.  I only have two memories I was so drunk, but it is enough.  This was in November, November 9th to be exact.  A different person wouldn't have gotten into that situation.

And yet, while all of this has already been on my mind, Barbara Streisand said "it didn't kill them."  I beg to differ, I think it killed me in a way that she cannot understand.  it profoundly influenced my life in a negative way.  I read the other day that there are people who are alive because their kids are.  I thought that was beautifully stated and so very true. 

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Kizzie

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 07:10:55 PM »
I am humbled by your honesty Dee.

Recently on Twitter someone suggested that the more trauma we have to deal with the stronger we become, that is, it's an opportunity for growth. Understandably a number of survivors myself included took great issue with this and tweeted about the reality of trauma. Many of us struggle to survive in the face of trauma past and/or present whilst not being equipped with the tools others have like healthy boundaries, self-protective instincts, a supportive, caring circle of friends and family, of feeling like we belong and that we matter ....

We live with being constantly triggered, feeling like we are broken, and with co-morbid conditions like addiction, eating disorders, chronic illnesses, etc.,  because the trauma lives in us not only emotionally or psychologically but physically.

It all takes an untold amount of energy just to survive.  And as you suggest, sometimes we fight to survive not for us, but for the others in our lives we love - that's the reality of trauma for many of us. 



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Dee

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 03:13:54 AM »

Kizzie, thank you for your reply, it is very validating.  I also hate the saying, we don't get more than we can handle.  I think that is another BS statement that people think is nice to say.

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Kizzie

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 04:27:22 PM »
I also have grown very weary of the motivational tweets saying things like that or you are stronger than you know, etc.  It's not that encouragement isn't helpful, but I feel like it puts the onus on us to recover and helps those who are saying things like this to feel better, like they have been able to help.  What we all really need more IMO though is more and better (trauma informed) treatment, education, services and support no matter where we live.

When I had cancer in 2007 what I was most grateful for was having access to a terrific oncology team and cancer services/programs for me and my family. I was forewarned and prepared that I would likely suffer from PTSD for a year or two afterwards and I did but it passed because I had those things in place and they  helped me to be resilient and to process the trauma. 

Even then I disliked seeing motivational posters etc about how strong cancer survivors are - I wasn't strong, I had no choice and all the pink in the world was not going to change the fact that it is a nasty, difficult disease and treatment to go through.

My point is we need to be able to speak about the dark side of trauma.  We also need to be okay with not being responsible for helping those around us to feel better about what we are going through.  If people are uncomfortable then perhaps they will work to help us bring about the treatment. services and support we need.   
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 05:54:06 PM by Kizzie »

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Three Roses

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 05:05:29 PM »
First of all, thank you to Dee for starting this thread. When we can share these experiences which are thought of as the darker side of human experience, we gain camaraderie and support, knowing we are not alone.

It so hard, so mind-numbingly difficult, to reach out for support, understanding, etc and then feel like you have to help your listener regulate their emotions about what you're saying. I agree that maybe if more people are uncomfortable with what we are saying, we might be able to expand the quality and quantity of trauma-informed services available to us.

Speaking for myself, I feel like the trauma I encountered and the way I was socialized have combined to form a style of communication in me has been labeled too direct, confrontational, etc. Also due to the level of violent correction I suffered when I said something not approved by what I think of as "the party line", it's very intimidating to fear that you're going to encounter reactions that are shaming, or where you feel like you're being hushed, or whatever.

Dee said, "Like an idiot, against my better judgement, I let someone in my house to drop off something after a night of drinking.... A different person wouldn't have gotten into that situation."

I am filled with compassion and tender, nurturing feelings in reaction to this statement. I want to say that although I fully understand and honor the view of yourself this has created, and your right to state those views, that I hope you see yourself as an innocent person who was trusting, and that the fault lies not with us but is ALWAYS with the person who takes advantage of our ingrained, human desire for trust and connection.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 10:08:26 PM by Three Roses »

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Kizzie

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2019, 05:53:32 PM »
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I hope you see yourself as an innocent person who was trusting, and that the fault lies not with us but is ALWAYS with the person who takes advantage of our ingrained, human desire for trust and connection


:yeahthat:  I felt the same way Dee.

 :grouphug:

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Blueberry

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2019, 07:47:31 PM »
Dee said, "Like an idiot, against my better judgement, I let someone in my house to drop off something after a night of drinking.... A different person wouldn't have gotten into that situation."

... I want to say that although I fully understand and honor the view of yourself this has created, and your right to state those views, that I hope you see yourself as an innocent person who was trusting, and that the fault lies not with us but is ALWAYS with the person who takes advantage of our ingrained, human desire for trust and connection.

 :yeahthat:

Though I personally react more with sadness to your statement, Dee, probably because I often react in a similar way towards myself. I prefer to think that a person without your history of trauma and the ways you developed as a child to survive in your FOO, that person would maybe not react the way you did. Not because that person is intrisically better or smarter than you, but because luckily for them, they don't the background you're dealing with.

I really appreciate the honesty of your post and I see myself in more aspects than the one above.  :hug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2019, 09:08:02 PM »
Dee, thank you for starting this thread. I do truly echo what everyone here has said. Even more as someone who recently felt that same thing. I said nearly the same words to myself. If I was a different person or did not have my trauma I would have reacted and chosen differently. I blamed myself for what happened and blamed my background in trauma for it.. like it was my choice to have that background. It is so important to realize it isn't our fault for that. Also that being a trusting person can happen to anyone, trauma or no.

I do also love what everyone has said about needing to be able to open up about the darker side of trauma. It i so hard to be honest about those darker times because the need to almost put a filter on for people that don't get it. For me that has meant having to dull down my story and leave out lots of details for fear that my truth would be too much for people. I do find as I am moving forward that I am able to share more openly. I recognize that nothing can change about those world until this is talked about. Now I don't advocate as much as I would like to but I know many people that do and hope it will start to help these converstaions to happen more often.

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Dee

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 05:46:37 PM »

On the rare occasion that I tell my story, I end up comforting the listener.  I find myself saying things like, "I'm okay, really, it's fine." or "don't worry about me, I'm great" or "I'm doing great, it's all good."  None of it is true, but I cannot stand the look I see on their faces.  To make them feel better I try to present myself as someone it didn't effect or someone completely recovered.  I also find I don't want to be the needy friend or the friend with problems, so I keep it to myself.

After November I told no one.  I went until recently, telling no one.  Even now my therapist knows but my closest friends don't.  It really is about feeling too shameful.  I do know what he did is on him.  I know he was wrong.  I have gone over it hundreds of times and I do know that I did not consent.  I have also gone gone over it hundreds of times in what I should of done differently.  I know that I put myself in a bad situation and was irresponsible.  Though I know I was a victim and him a perpetrator, I also feel partially responsible.  I think that is why I can't tell anyone and why it took me so long to.  My therapist pointed out when I told her "I was a disappointment, a failure, and shameful" she said this isn't the first time she has heard me say this.  She said that I am building a wall back up that we were tearing down.  I just can't see how I will ever see it differently.  So now I work on at least trying to forgive myself.

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Kizzie

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2019, 05:53:48 PM »
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So now I work on at least trying to forgive myself.

I hope you will be able to do so Dee, I really do.  You are a good person and I hate to see you suffer :grouphug:

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Elphanigh

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2019, 07:21:44 PM »
Dee, my heart goes out to you so much right now. I know that you will one day work on tearing that wall down again. It will take time and patience but now that you have started to face what happened you will heal, of that I am sure. It makes so much sense that you would build that back up a bit, you went through a lot and it of course brought up those old protections and survival instincts.

What I see though is that you are reaching out now. I hear bits of self compassion and understanding that I know will eventually win out as you process. Know I am here and I will help as I can. Also know I understand (as you know) and believe you can face this all and heal. I believe in you and am with you all the way :hug: :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: It ruined me
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2019, 09:18:47 PM »
Dee, my heart goes out to you too, just thinking about you keeping that stuff to yourself for months. Good on you for being able to open up about it to your T and now to us as well. I hope you can feel a tiny little bit of relief having done so.

I join you in empathy about having difficulties forgiving yourself. It's really hard for me too, but it has been getting a bit easier. I do see progress in you, lots of it. I'm not just saying that the way people do, so I believe that it will get easier for you too sometime. :hug: