deepbreaths' journal

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deepbreaths

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deepbreaths' journal
« on: October 14, 2020, 01:03:55 AM »
I don't really quite know how to do this, but I guess I'll just dive in. Mostly because I'm angry today, and I'm almost never in touch with my anger and the only way I know how to express it is to write.

I found this site through a facebook friend's post about supportive resources for DV awareness month and thought I would check it out. Honestly, it's always a little hard for me to see people posting about these topics because I felt so shamed and silenced growing up, I've never been comfortable talking about abuse and it's hard sometimes to see other people do it.

Anyway, it's been very emotional for me to go through this site and read about other people's experiences. I'm seeing you all put into words feelings I've been wrestling with, and there's a comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one feeling this way, but also reading them makes me feel all of those things full force, and I usually like to keep everything shoved down in a tiny box so I can get through the day.

And yesterday I was feeling down and desperately wanted some comfort from my M. I've always thought we had a pretty good relationship, but I've been realizing lately how her emotional unavailability and failure to protect me were neglectful and damaging. I was never allowed to be vulnerable or sad or angry in front of her; I had to be unshakeable. She likes to joke that I'm really the parent in our relationship, I'm always taking care of her needs and supporting her. I made (make?) excuses for her, that she was having a hard time or overwhelmed and that I was strong enough to handle things so I could wait my turn and support her now and then when things got under control she could support me. Except, that time still hasn't come. And when I try to go to her for support or comfort, she's distant and in a rush to get back to whatever it is she wants to be doing that isn't talking to me.

But I really wanted her to see ME and validate my feelings. So against my better judgement I called her and said I was feeling down and wanted to chat. And she promptly made it all about herself and how she was feeling, and would I be terribly offended if she left to go play her videogame with her friend. And she said that she was glad I felt I could turn to her when I wanted someone to talk to! I'm pissed at her for not listening, not putting me first. And I'm ashamed and angry with myself for thinking that things would be any different this time.

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marta1234

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 01:41:18 AM »
Hi deepbreaths, welcome to the forum  :heythere: . I know that coming here at first is very nerve wracking (well for me it was) and that it took time for me to trust people here and accept the support I was receiving. In any case, I applaud you for sharing your emotions and struggles with your first post. It takes a lot of courage. Sending you lots of support and a hug (if itís ok) :hug: .
I also wanted to add that Iím sorry youíre going through with this with your m right now, and that youíre making these realizations. I havenít had that with my m, but Iíve had this ďone sidedĒ (i hope itís ok for me to label this from what I have read, if not then please ignore) relationship with other people. Sending you lots of support :)

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gravity

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 02:22:58 AM »
Hi deepbreaths.  Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel very similar to you in regards to having a less than positive relationship with one's M.  I'm sorry she was unavailable to you when you needed her most and she made you the parent in the relationship.  That's not fair.  A supportive hug, if that's okay for you  :hug:

Also, welcome!

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deepbreaths

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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2020, 04:41:48 AM »
Thanks marta and gravity for the welcome. Virtual hugs are always appreciated  :hug:

Thanks also for the validation, because it's not fair! and sometimes I have trouble feeling that even when I know intellectually it's true.

As usual for me, the anger has quickly faded to depression. I wish I could have a better relationship with her. I know she doesn't want to hurt me and genuinely does her best, but it's not good enough? And I feel selfish for feeling that way, which sends me back in the endless loop of prioritizing her feelings over mine.

And completely unrelated but I've been seeing everyone's posts about IFS and I had never heard of it. I was a little skeptical but I tried it following some youtube videos and it was really interesting, even brought up some memories I didn't know about. So, I'll have to talk to my T about it tomorrow and try to find out more.

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marta1234

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 05:02:29 PM »
Deepbreaths, your wants and needs are deserving too. Iím sorry you didnít receive the comfort and validation that you needed in those periods of times (and even now). It is ok to feel this way, because it is normal.
Congrats in looking into IFS, I know that it took me a while to even be open to the idea (so many parts want to protect me from feelings and memories). Hereís some well wishes for starting or just looking into your ifs journey  :cheer:

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deepbreaths

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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2020, 10:23:37 PM »
Feeling my grief over losing my grandmother so much today. I dreamt about her last night, where she was alive again and was just hanging out with me, eating breakfast. I miss her so terribly. It feels like she was the only person looking out for me as a child, although I know that's not true. I feel like I haven't quite had the time to mourn for her yet; I spent the first week after death taking care of my M, and had to dive back into work full time since then. So maybe today I'll just share some memories of feeling close to her:

I was reminded today of when I was a teenager and she and I volunteered together teaching adult English for Speakers of Other Languages class. She used to light up interacting with students, listening to their stories and talking about their families. She had a huge heart and loved without judgement.

A road trip we took with also my two aunts, on her "Tony Hillerman" tour of the southwest. Everywhere we went she had to stop and read every informational sign. When we got a flat tire, she carefully photographed all of our backsides as we changed it, to document the experience.

Whenever I would bake desserts, she would hover around the kitchen waiting for me to be done so she could like the bowl, especially if there was chocolate involved. Being in the mall or shopping center as an ice cream place was a good enough reason to get some.

Perhaps an odd choice, because it wasn't particularly happy, but I remember coming home from school when my B was arrested to her lying on the sofa. She was upset and we both cried as soon as she started telling me what had happened, she was as much a victim of his abuse as I was and needed him to be away, but we both loved him at the same time.

Tucking her in to sleep last spring when I was helping with her medical care. She looked like a child being tucked in by a parent, it was so tender.

Maybe that's enough for today. I know it's not necessarily a CPTSD thing, but my relationship with her was definitely shaped, and probably brought closer, by everything. A last bit on some early IFS work, I was talking to a part that was sad about being NC with my F, which I was a little confused about, and she told me she was sad that we had hurt him by going NC because she caring about him despite his abuse was what my grandmother would have done. She had this bumper sticker on her car that said "Remember who you wanted to be", and I always wanted to be like her. But she understood and forgave me for what I had to do. And I think I can feel sorry for causing him pain at the same time as knowing it was the right thing to do for me.

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rainydiary

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2020, 10:54:30 PM »
Iím sorry to hear about the loss you are experiencing.  Thank you for sharing the memories of your grandmother.  Itís so interesting how we can have CPTSD and experience something that is so separate from it.  I wonder if this time you are navigating through will show you ways you have grown or healed or how you would like to move forward. 

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gravity

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2020, 02:35:59 AM »
I'm sorry.  That is a lot to experience and it can be overwhelming.  A supportive hug, if you would like it  :hug:

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deepbreaths

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2020, 05:00:12 AM »
Thanks rainy and gravity for the kind words and validation. I've found myself avoiding posting as it has been very emotional for me the last few days.

A big challenge this week has been trying to get to sleep. I've been up past 3 or 4 AM for the last several nights and am feeling very drained by that, not to mention that it makes it difficult to get my work done! I've had disturbed sleep patterns most of my life, but I've noticed it is always worse during EFs. Not to mention that lying down to go to sleep is itself a trigger for me. Sleeping has never felt safe- I deal a lot with hyper-vigilance and I couldn't monitor what was going on at night if I was asleep. Also, one of my abusers occasionally used sleep deprivation as a tactic to control us.

It's very frustrating because it's the one thing I can't will myself to do. My T has tried to be helpful on this topic, but she mostly recommends the same advise I've found online like making my bed comfortable or practicing better sleep hygiene, but none of these do anything to treat the underlying issue!

And then even once I do manage to sleep, I'm having nightmares about my F. I've been NC for years and it doesn't seem to get better. did have an interesting realization though which is that in these dreams (and in my waking worries too), it's always someone else that let's him back into a space where I am and I can't get away. I'm wondering if that's because, as a child, I was always forced to see him/talk to him, even after my parents' divorce. I would occasionally try to refuse, but was always coerced into spending time with him anyway.

It's already late here and I know I need to sleep, but am dreading having to lay down and have nothing to distract me.

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deepbreaths

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2020, 05:43:17 AM »
Haven't been on in a couple weeks. I've been feeling a little too overwhelmed to do anything but stay afloat with nothing left over to try and get better. I'm feeling like every small thing sets me off right now. Had what is in perspective a tiny and gentle rejection, but I'm spinning out. I feel like everywhere I turn, nobody can ever accept me or love me for who I am. Like some part of me is so broken and wrong, that I never could be loved because who would ever even bother. I pour so much of myself into my relationships, hoping that one day I can find family or friends or a partner who wants to be with me as much as I want to be near them. And they never do. When it's all around, it's hard not to feel like I'm the common denominator. I know that must just be an ICr, but it feels so true.

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dollyvee

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2020, 08:42:28 PM »
Thanks for sharing deepbreaths. Youíre not the only one who have had these feelings about being the common denominator. I just wanted to comment and say I understand.

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deepbreaths

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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2020, 11:51:44 PM »
Thanks dollyvee, I always find comfort in hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. Honestly looking back and reading that post, even just from a couple weeks ago, it's like seeing a different person. I was so upset the evening I wrote that, and ultimately had an incredibly supportive text exchange with my best friend who never fails to tell me that she loves me. I'm so grateful to have her in my life. I often try not to bother her with my worries since I know she has a lot going on, but leaning on each other is part of the balance.

I've been having such an odd week. After really enjoying Pete Walker's Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving earlier this summer, I had really been dragging my feet on reading the Tao of Fully Feeling (I have the audiobook and the narrator is pretty bland but also maybe I wasn't quite ready since I'm enjoying it now). And much like the first book, although abuse from my F and brother have always been more present in my mind, his books always leave me thinking about my M. I'm really starting to appreciate the degree to which she really was neglectful. I uncovered a memory this weekend trying an angering exercise, and unlike some of my missing memories, after noticing this one, I was sure it had always been there just below my consciousness, like if someone had mentioned it I would have known but it didn't seem important.
Anyway (TW for those who need it):
I remembered how I never had clean or untorn clothes or regular access to hygiene products. I didn't even own an underwire bra until I was a high school senior and HAD to buy one to go under the white dress I was required to wear for graduation. And for a period of time, that I can't seem to place, I only owned two pairs of underwear, both with holes, and I used to have to hand-wash them in the shower and would often wear them wet. I still own a variety of old, torn, and stained clothing, some of which I've probably had for 10 years, that I can't stand to wear but also can't throw away. I often smelled and was ridiculed for it, including by both parents. I felt so ugly and disgusting, I had terrible posture and always had to wear two shirts and a sweatshirt to try to cover my body.
I'm trying to remember and embrace the idea that I no longer have to hold onto things that don't make me feel good. I have the financial resources now to buy what I need (or WANT!). So I bought myself some new clothes. I seem to have to re-learn this lesson for every section of my wardrobe. I think I've gotten most of them now. Except for shoes probably...maybe a task for another day.

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dollyvee

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2020, 12:07:21 PM »
I'm glad you feel validated and are finding some relief. I was really triggered by a dating rejection last December and is actually what led me to find this forum. For the first time there were ppl saying things that I was feeling about being intimacy/rejection and I feel like that helped ground me a bit. I find it very helpful to read others' experiences on this board. From what I've read from others, and it's true for me as well, it's easier to relate to other peoples' experiences of trauma and identify them as abuse than it is to my own. The self doubt and old programming kick in, making everything fuzzy when I think about my own experiences  :fallingbricks:

Thank you for sharing your experience after figuring out your protective invisible ink   ;D I'm really sorry you had to go through that and feel like you had to hide yourself; that your parents didn't care how awful ppl were to you and were just as bad. It's horrifying how some ppl are. I find this really relatable as well (my own mother refused to buy me underwear and I was always trying to hide myself.)

I think I had a similar experience after reading the Pete Walker book too. It was like ok, this is it, this is actually what's been happening to me and it's not me, there's not something wrong with me. But I also think it's taken time to unpack that - to recognize what happened was abuse and not just the physical things. The psychological mess and entanglement, programming - whatever you want to call it - is huge.  After starting to read about IFS, and beginning to name my parts, this mess is starting to make a little more sense to me and why I can feel like so many different ppl as well as my reactions to things.

I'm glad you are treating yourself well and are giving yourself what you need, and that growing up you had the resources to get out of there! You're on a path to self understanding and healing  :grouphug: I don't want to take over your thread, just want to say you're not alone.



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notalone

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Re: deepbreaths' journal
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2020, 11:49:19 PM »
Your neglect (lack of suitable clothing and hygiene products) makes me feel sad for you and angry at your parents. Hurray for buying what you need and want.

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deepbreaths

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« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2020, 03:56:16 AM »
Thank you dollyvee and notalone for the validation. Your point dollyvee about it being hard to name your own abuse, even if you could recognize it in someone else is very true for me as well. I know this is common issue, and I find mine exacerbated by my family who all believed that I had been spared the worst abuses, like the physical abuse that my brother received (even though he later did physically abuse me). I had always thought I had a good relationship with my M, but I don't know how much of that was because I depended on her and had to maintain a positive-seeming relationship to survive.

I'm still so ashamed and embarrassed about the state of my life at that time, it's very difficult to talk about it, even with my T. I'm thinking maybe there was a good reason that I had repressed those memories. But I supposed the fact that it's coming up now must mean I'm on the road to recovery? That I can better handle it now than before? But buying new clothes has been excellent and I even managed to throw out some worn-out shoes and junk as well.

I skipped family Thanksgiving with the (very-legitimate) excuse of the pandemic, but I'm facing down whether or not to visit my M for Christmas. My brother recently went LC with her and is not planning to attend, and without my grandmother this year, I'm not sure I want to go and stay with my M alone. I'm so hurt and angry with her right now, I don't want to go just to be her emotional support, but I'm not sure now is the right time to take a stand. I might be able to get out of it citing the pandemic (which very well could be a problem if I did try to go since  I'd have to take a train or a bus), but I would feel guilty letting her down for my own wants.

I this post has gotten away from me, so I'll just end it here with the highlight that as I was upset this evening and wanting to go out, I checked the website for the closest ice skating rink, and they've finally opened for the season, so I can get in some exercise this week to work off this anger.