Starting my journal

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Snowdrop

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2019, 12:28:58 PM »
Wow! Well done you! I applaud your strength and cheer your actions. :applause: :applause: :applause:
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

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Perplex

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #106 on: November 25, 2019, 02:12:08 AM »
Thanks for the support guys.

I submitted the form today to the relevant body to discuss the more recent child abuse I'd witnessed which I'd always been threatened, guilted and manipulated into keeping quiet every time i tried to speak up. Well, no more.
You don't get to do whatever you like just because you don't want accountability and then lie and deceit and threaten others into submission.

I'm very happy I did this.  :cheer:
I'm happy to hear that! That must have taken a bit of work to achieve but you got there!

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2019, 06:12:38 PM »
It really did, it took so much complicated emotional feelings and energy to get there. They replied today stating what I shared is concerning therefore they have made a referral to the children's services. I'm so pleased that the children's wellbeing is now on the radar of professionals. I just started feeling like a phoney and a coward at work....going in as a doctor, my role including protecting vulnerable people and here I was, still unable to protect vulnerable innocents after witnessing the abuse first-hand. I just couldn't let it slide anymore and my (hopefully temporary) emotional state with the guilt and fear no longer felt like a good enough excuse for me not to advocate for them.

I'm struggling with accepting the fear, guilt, shame and terror as I process the big steps I have taken but goal is to let them be there without trying to fight them off and end up exhausted and defeated.

I feel like I don't know how to even process things....never did I see or be allowed to experience 'processing' things after something bad/big happened -  its all new to me to not react to my flight or fight and inner critic! Anyone got any tips on learning how to process and accept the feelings that come with processing things? Especially in between therapy sessions, it can be quite hard.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 06:14:32 PM by holidayay »

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Perplex

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #108 on: November 26, 2019, 11:39:28 PM »
It really did, it took so much complicated emotional feelings and energy to get there. They replied today stating what I shared is concerning therefore they have made a referral to the children's services. I'm so pleased that the children's wellbeing is now on the radar of professionals. I just started feeling like a phoney and a coward at work....going in as a doctor, my role including protecting vulnerable people and here I was, still unable to protect vulnerable innocents after witnessing the abuse first-hand. I just couldn't let it slide anymore and my (hopefully temporary) emotional state with the guilt and fear no longer felt like a good enough excuse for me not to advocate for them.

I'm struggling with accepting the fear, guilt, shame and terror as I process the big steps I have taken but goal is to let them be there without trying to fight them off and end up exhausted and defeated.

I feel like I don't know how to even process things....never did I see or be allowed to experience 'processing' things after something bad/big happened -  its all new to me to not react to my flight or fight and inner critic! Anyone got any tips on learning how to process and accept the feelings that come with processing things? Especially in between therapy sessions, it can be quite hard.
I think it's important to remind oneself that it's okay to take the time to just... ease down and let thoughts simmer. There's no real rush to do anything or feel anything, nobody will fault you for taking a little while longer to process things if need be.
It was a big step and definitely in the right direction.  :)

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Not Alone

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2019, 04:12:22 AM »
I think that Perplex's advise to take your time is good. Journaling helps me to process. Sometimes talking to trusted people and sometimes "art therapy," i.e. sketching how things seem to me visually, helps me.

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #110 on: December 01, 2019, 10:31:12 AM »

I think it's important to remind oneself that it's okay to take the time to just... ease down and let thoughts simmer. There's no real rush to do anything or feel anything, nobody will fault you for taking a little while longer to process things if need be.
It was a big step and definitely in the right direction.  :)

This is so relaxing to read  :)

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #111 on: December 21, 2019, 12:01:14 PM »
Remembering more and more....this is so distressing.

Distraction isn't working.
The memories are so strong and come with associated horrible feelings of despair, guilt, helplessness and terror.

***SA - Trigger warning***
I fell into a deep depression when I first left home, aged 18. I moved into student halls of accommodation, where a student in my flat decided she did not like me. She criticised my clothes, my lack of money, my hair, my boyfriend...everything. She showed the obvious disgust she felt around me clearly and wanted me out the group of friends that was quickly forming. I left the flat and moved into a cosy flatshare, not wanting to be around her anymore after she made threats to hit me. In the new flatshare, I fell into a deep depression, and isolated myself completely. Stopped attending university. I couldn't concentrate on the smallest of things, never mind my school work. I started having flashbacks of the sexual abuse I encountered from my older sister. I had never told anyone at that point.

I couldn't imagine what my mum would say. I was scared to make her sad, she had talked of all her problems for as long as i could remember and was quick to anger. I didn't trust her at all. I didn't want to burden my other siblings; our whole family had lives that just seemed to continuously go wrong; everyone seemed chaotic, miserable, stressed. Our eldest brother had commited suicide a few years ago. Nothing made sense.
My sister who abused me decided one day to visit the city I was in. I despised her, but loved her kid. She was so harsh on him, I cherished moments where I could show him some nurturing.
I see now she has anti-social traits.
I felt uncomfortable and unsettled with her excitement at coming to visit. I knew intuitively she only got this excited when she had a plan hatched up her sleeve to take advantage of someone/steal/cheat/lie to further her own needs/wants. She has a mindset where she forms an idea in her head of how exactly people will serve her, and she doesn't need to tell them or run it by them - simply plough on ahead with her agenda and if anyone resists - she will turn to anger/threats or fake crocodile details to guilt them.
It wasn't long before I found out her agenda on this occasion. A relative of her husband lived in my city, and had decided to divorce her husband. Her family lived in another country and she was alone. Divorce was frowned upon. My sister, sensing the vulnerability, decided she would 'save' this girl to be her 'maid'. To offer for her to live with her, in order that the girl could look after her children, and serve her needs. She didn't run the second part of this deal by this woman. The woman was just supposed to do it, didn't we know?
I felt sick and creeped out and thought she was absolutely deluded to believe this would happen. My mum just laughs at her ideas and encourages them, in the hope they may work out. They're equally deranged. Her son, an infant, was being driven down for the ride. Absolutely zero thought was given to his wellbeing in this. I told her I would be around for her son, and that was it. She had this arrogant tendency to agree, not really listening to what people say, thinking she will just turn up and do things however it pleases her, and people will just do it. They turn up and she ushers me in the car. I reminded her I was here only to spend time with the child. She starts to get angry and i'm torn between holding my own, and the poor child witnessing her ferocious anger. So i get in the car and soothe him. She then gets very excited at the prospect of her new 'maid'.
The girl turns up and is ....not at all subservient, as my sister arrogantly assumed she would be. My sister first attempts to charm her and tell her how much she has done for her, by renting out a car and driving all this way. The girl thanks her but doesn't see this as proof she now owes a debt, as I guess is my sister's intention by repeating to her what she's done for her.

The child starts crying and gets agitated. Its late and dark and he should be having his bottle and asleep. My sister has absolutely no interest in any of this. Her mask falls off and she starts screaming and swearing at him. I don't hold back at this point and tell her firmly to back off and leave him be, and if she can't be a nurturing mother, to stay quiet and let me handle his distress. She then starts swearing at me and the girl looks at her like she is a maniac. My sister then starts smearing me to this poor girl - telling her made-up stories of how I have always victimised her and treated her badly.
As the night goes on, it becomes obvious her psychopathic plan is not going well for her. She has more screaming fits. The girl eventually comes to me and says 'sorry to say but your sister has serious problems, i feel sorry for you...' and leaves.

My sister starts crying when the girl leaves and berating herself, calling herself stupid and dumb and lashing out at herself wildly. The whole time, I'm thinking of how to best shield my nephew from all of this. She shows zero concern for him. I decide it is pointless to engage with her in any authentic way, even though i want her out as soon as possible, i decide it best to placate her and soothe her so she is in a calmer mood around her child. I tell her she is not stupid, and that the girl just doesn't understand her. I ask her if she has any passions or things she wants to get involved in, to maybe create a little career/hobby of her own. I suggest we walk to the park nearby so the child can play and have fun, as we talk. This calms her down and she agrees.
She talks about how she loves make-up and applying it. I encourage her to apply for health and beauty training opportunities. In the park, she is calmer than I've ever seen her. She is relaxed and in the moment. Its like she had been yearning to be listened to.
It breaks my heart that this will be over as soon as they drive back home. I feel absolutely powerless to stop this and to make their lives better.
Never mind the traumatic memories of how she hurt me.
Never mind the deep depression and terror i had been living in and which had no room at all during the visit. On the balance of things, it was my decision to put that aside for the sake of a vulnerable child.
But it dawned on me with despair that my empathy in this situation will always be used against me, will always be used to serve her. There is no room for boundaries or anyone else's needs.

When she was without child, it was far easier to not interact with her. Now she has a baby, its like she understands that normal people will care and this will be her vantage point.
That day left me like a zombie. I felt paralysed with terror and fear.  :spooked: I didn't know what to do....how could i casually say to my best friend the next day: 'by the way, my psychopathic sister visited and this happened...?'
So i locked it up in a box, as with all the other things i couldn't deal with, and lived with terrifying nightmares and c-ptsd symptoms, not knowing what they were or why they happened to me.

No-one else in my family was anywhere near normal. When I told my other sister, she merely went quiet. These silent responses often cemented the trauma...the silence seemed to confirm the helplessness and deep fear that the world was unsafe and I should just accept that I didn't deserve it to be any different.

(Since those traumatic days, i have reported her to social services and told them as much as I could. I only wish I'd known to do it sooner, much sooner).
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 12:06:21 PM by holidayay »

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #112 on: December 27, 2019, 06:30:53 PM »
The guilt of buying things/wanting to have fun.

That day I got the teenage mutant turtle inflatable. With another inflatable. And a towel and a mug.
My heart was pounding and i felt so scared, and disgusted with myself.
I wanted the inflatables badly, for so long, when i was yearning to go and splash in the river with the other kids, or in a pool.
Mum disapproved of having fun, going out, buying things. She cut off all my social contacts as soon as dad passed away. We were to always stay indoors and not entertain ideas of socialising.
I felt guilty and 'indulgent'. She of course had to comment on the mug and towel i bought for myself. I was sick of using the old, worn out towels she refused to throw out, and rarely even washed. They smelt bad and were shared by the whole family. I wanted my own towel. And the mug was small and purple. I liked it. I was 16 and had enough of never being able to buy anything for myself.
She made me feel like it was wrong. Wrong to buy things for myself. Wrong to want things and wrong to even NEED things. I never used those inflatables. I didn't even want to look at them in the end. Who did I think I was, daring to believe I could have fun and be entitled to it?

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #113 on: January 13, 2020, 10:08:11 AM »
Therapy is working....slowly.
Its causing cognitive dissonance before it works, understandable.
But it is exhausting and scary.
Realisations are hitting more and more.
The rumination at night time got very heavy and difficult to manage. I set up new rules for bed time. Get up and walk to the bathroom if im tossing and turning and having too many racing thoughts. Make a hot drink. Get out of bed in the morning despite the many crippling thoughts and especially the inner critic hitting the hardest when i wake up. Feelings of dread and anxiety and doom.
I'm trying to develop myself in the areas where i missed out on. Boundaries. Self-esteem. Not taking on other people's responsibilities. Not blaming myself for everything, and every time someone behaves badly, as if i inherently deserve it just by being me. Standing up for myself.
Not resorting to idealistic fantasies as a way of coping - that was necessary when i was younger, now its detrimental.

Talking out memories of particularly hard-hitting emotions that were left unaddressed and silenced. Not continuing to silence myself.
Being patient and kind to myself.

A lot of this healing seems to me to be about re-parenting, after re-visiting and 'resolving' old wounds/traumas. Correcting the emotional imbalances and healing festering wounds, then learning how to do things differently. How to relate to the world differently. How to show up everyday differently. How I talk to myself differently. Not constantly put myself down and shame myself or believe I am not allowed to make mistakes/be anything less than perfect. Learning this and practising this, over and over and over again.
That old mindset tortured me for so long.
Its all about repetition.
We got used to one awful reality...now its time to get used to another. A more hopeful and positive reality.
One that does not include emotional vampires. I've noticed they are very drawn to me. My therapist said its because of my vulnerability. I am getting better at feeling both vulnerable AND fending them off. Not engaging as i used to, not feeling obliged or like i owed it to them to be nice and receptive. They are the types of people who say far too much, far too soon and have constant problems. They have no boundaries and cross them easily with the inappropriate things they say and do.
Just like my family.

Sometimes it just feels like one huge mess that cannot be untangled readily. And I suppose it can't. But every little step untangles another little segment. And the brief moments of clarity and feelings of ease - sometimes they even last a whole day - make it all worthwhile.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2020, 05:24:43 AM »
hey,

i agree w/ you about the entanglement of all this stuff we've gone thru, experienced, witnessed, or were helpless about, and how very slowly it sometimes seems for the tangles to get straightened out.  therapy can be slow, but every tiny step we take is something to build on later, and it's always there, even if we forget it for a minute.   

i hear you about processing all this stuff - sometimes it came so quickly, one after another, that there just wasn't time to process - but i was never taught how to do it properly, either.  one thing i do believe is that different ways can work differently for different people.  writing here on the forum has helped me a lot, allowing the feedback and support that i've received (which has been a process in itself), as well as other things i've just made up to help myself.  i've done 'funerals' for past relationships and people who are no longer in my life, or for what i didn't get that i needed and can never go back for.  i did anger notebooks, where i only put in angry thoughts and feelings and words toward people who have hurt me - when the notebook was full, i threw it away.  didn't want all that negativity around me anymore.

you'll find your way, and it'll be personal and you'll know it's right for you when you do it.  sending love and a hug filled w/ compassion :hug:

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #115 on: March 17, 2020, 05:15:59 PM »
I've taken a few days off work to focus on my healing work.
I figured its much called-for after the past week. With the combination of doing the video interview for the police last Saturday, and all the panic about the coronavirus, I did not feel up to being a doctor during this health crisis. I already had one patient last week who sent me into a spiral by loudly claiming about corona cover-ups in the hospital I work at.

Its been quite helpful so far. I've been focusing on some of the persisting emotional blockages, the ones that creep up suddenly and if I don't pay them attention, they grow in size until they become quite monstrous and way too overwhelming. Filling up lots and lots of journal paper  :stars:

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Snowdrop

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #116 on: March 17, 2020, 06:50:42 PM »
I've been thinking of you over the past few days with the health crisis. I'm glad you've been able to take a few days off, as looking after yourself is important. I'm glad the journalling is helpful. :hug:

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2020, 08:12:51 PM »
Aww, that means so much to me. Definitely not used to hearing that someone has been thinking of me.

I feel very positive this evening, a welcome respite. Not even gonna start questioning how long this might last! I'm going to brave work in the morning, see how I get on. Have a therapy appointment in the afternoon so that's always a comforting factor to look forward to.

Hope you've been well Snowdrop, I always appreciate your kind responses  :grouphug:

I've been thinking of you over the past few days with the health crisis. I'm glad you've been able to take a few days off, as looking after yourself is important. I'm glad the journalling is helpful. :hug:

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Not Alone

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #118 on: March 18, 2020, 12:19:13 AM »
Glad you were aware that you needed some time off work and gave yourself the time.

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holidayay

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Re: Starting my journal
« Reply #119 on: March 19, 2020, 04:17:02 PM »
Did anybody ever use...fantasy as a way of coping? And being easy prey for rubbish relationships but fantasy thinking would fill in the blanks? I'm realised I used to do that. I would get attached to a completely fabricated relationship that didn't match the one I had in real life....the one in real life was papered over to make it seem safe, secure, fun and this feels embarrassing to admit.....finally going to be the thing that made all the pain and the past somehow go away.
It didn't.

Today feels so dark. I woke up feeling pretty full to the brim with heavy emotions. Which brought back memories of the last guy I had this fantasy 'trauma bond' with. I've started doing some healing exercises related to the memories of this, since they keep coming back, with stronger intensity.
2017-2018 was completely ruined because of this. As was Paris, which I am really annoyed and regretful about. I feel like the city has been tainted. I can barely think of it or see a picture of the eiffel tower without feeling like the breath has been knocked out of me and my heart starts pounding and I remember feeling abandoned, rejected, given the silent treatment and like I was completely unworthy. I hate that a city like that has been ruined for me. Its such a profound trauma right now, I still struggle to breath when I think about it.
That bit outside the eiffel tower where tourists take pictures. The grass. The lights. The fountains.

I feel defeated, I know I need to go towards this pain to overcome it but it feels raw still, too engulfing. I'm scared it will never go away.