Allie's Archives: a recovery journal

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alliematt

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Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« on: November 25, 2016, 05:09:03 PM »
My name is Allie.  Well, that's not my real name, but it's the name I am using here.  I've toyed with using a recovery journal for some time.  And I'm not even sure where this is going to go.  Am I just going to spill on here, and say things that don't make any sense? 

I'm not even sure if I have C-PTSD.  I don't know if I've overreacting to stuff that happened to me.  I mean, I'm 53.  Shouldn't I have it "together" by now?  Why am I still bothered by things that happened when I was six, eight, fourteen, twenty-one?  Bullies were/are stupid.  They lied.  So why does what they say/did still bother me?

There are days I feel like a failure.  I have a hard time making friends, and I'm afraid of being alone in my old age.  My son has special needs.  He will probably not be able to care for me when I can't care for myself.  And he doesn't have brothers or sisters.  I'm not close to my family.  We're just too different.  And my mother physically can't carry on a conversation right now. 

I've been lied to and screamed at for years, and I am having a very hard time trying to figure out the truth about anything.  God doesn't lie, but men can and do use His name to lie to people.  And they use Scripture to "prove" that what they are saying is the truth. I am afraid of getting things wrong and going to *.

I started having swear words drop into my head when I was about 14.  In church, of all places.  I am so tired of holding back on cursing, and sometimes I have let fly with "bad words".  (I know swearing is not appropriate here.) 

So where is this all going to go?  I don't know.




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woodsgnome

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2016, 10:15:46 PM »
Alliematt, I relate to what you're saying. Especially this:
"Shouldn't I have it "together" by now?  Why am I still bothered by things that happened when I was six, eight, fourteen, twenty-one?" The why can sometimes be explained by how vulnerable we were then, when it all seemed to press in so tight and we absorbed it. But sometimes there's just no making sense of it.

You ended by wondering, "...where is this all going to go?" One thing I discovered, is that all my old maps to the sure fix for everything got dropped in the mud. Now my only recourse is to move on without them, hoping that I may even find some surprises and resources I might not have found relying on the sure maps. Having tried so much 'out there', the new discovery might be an inner strength or notion or realization that wasn't apparent in my previous tries.

So I hope you feel that way with your journal...some of the old pain will probably filter in, of course. But you're aware it might, and deserve to find a way you can call your own. Being 'together' perhaps isn't even out there, somewhere else. It's a sign of strength to be able to trek on with doubts and vulnerabilities intact. To me, that sounds pretty 'together', too.



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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 01:00:50 AM »
After a frustrating day yesterday, I did a little bit of shopping today and while I was out and about, I just said, "I don't know (fill in the blank)", and I listed a long list of things I don't know.  I don't know how to be a good friend, good wife, good Christian, good anything.  I don't know how to pray.  I don't know how to handle my son.  I don't know how to get better.  I don't know.  I don't know.  I don't know.

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 12:44:22 AM »
I think the main reason for my bad mood on Friday and Saturday was because I was not wearing my estrogen patch.  I put it on on Saturday and have been feeling a bit better.

But right now I feel terribly tense because my son is watching Wheel of Fortune and talking along with it, he just asked me, "Does so and so have a partner?"  (So and so being someone from our church.)  He asks about partners because he's a fan of police shows and everyone seems to have a partner.  (My son is a teenager with autism.  Crime shows are an obsession of his.)  And I'm going back and forth between here and talking to my BFF online.  We also are filling out paperwork to get guardianship of our son when he turns 18.  This is for his legal protection, because there are just decisions he's not legally competent to make right now.  My husband is planning to take Friday off work to help file the paperwork.  And I feel tense and stressed over it.  (My son's birthday is in February.)

When I have "bad days", I end up reverting back to the same issues:  how in the world do you know whether or not you're being lied to?  Are people going to scream at me for making a mistake? 

And right now, I'm so tense that I can't really think!

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2016, 05:34:08 PM »
Annnd, I am still tense.  Monday and Tuesday, I did fine as far as working a new schedule which included writing and exercising.  But everything started falling apart, I think, on either Monday evening or Tuesday.  I think it started with a phone call from my husband reminding me about an affidavit I needed to give to our son's doctor attesting to his legal incompetency.  We need this to file for legal guardianship of him. 

I turned that into his doc's office on Tuesday.  It needs to be picked up either today or tomorrow, because we're planning to file the paperwork on Friday. 

Tuesday evening, I found an email in my box saying that I was scheduled to help serve lunch at our seniors' Bible study at church . . . tomorrow.

I have the following things on my to-do list, and my mental/emotional state is such that I've been on the computer instead of dealing with the to-do's: 

Four phone calls, all for some sort of appointment
Get more ear plugs, because my husband snores
Pick up meds
Make a meal list (which I'm halfway done with)
Find my son's last psych eval, most recent Individualized Education Plan, and speech evaluation (all of which we need for the guardianship filing)
Pick up a library book on hold for me
Cut up leftover turkey to use for turkey salad (so the turkey won't be wasted)
Pick up tortillas and celery at the grocery store
Do 108 pages of proofing (about two hours' worth of audio)
Do laundry
Donate clothes to Goodwill
File guardianship paperwork tomorrow
Let my son's teacher know that he'll be out of school for part of the day on Monday for a well-child appointment.

Yesterday, I helped at the seniors' Bible study.  From there, I went looking for a pair of swim goggles.  I've gone swimming without them for the last two days and my eyelids have been burning from the chlorine.  If I'm going to keep swimming (cue Dory  ;) ) I need them.  I found the goggles, and while standing in the checkout line, got a call from my husband saying that he was about to put in for the time off.  I told him that the doc's office had called me back, and said that they'd mentioned that the doctor's affidavit form said that our son had to have been seen within 15 days of the date on the affidavit, and the last time he was seen by the doc was for a sore toe in June.  They're willing to use any information from June, but suggested that I go ahead and make an appointment for our son in case there was a problem with the date on the affidavit. 

I said that to my husband in the checkout line, and spent the NEXT FIVE MINUTES trying to explain the whole situation.  I had to pull out of the line and over to the side and HOPE that the conversation was relatively private. 

We're still going to turn in the paperwork on Friday.

And oh yeah, WHILE I was on the phone, my husband said he'd gotten several emails about our bank balance, AND that there was a $500 withdrawal from our account.   That $500 was me taking out cash for gas and food for the month.  I'm trying to pay cash for food and gas each month, and that doesn't always work. :-(  Also, I have the bank account set up so that it emails us whenever a) our balance falls below a certain amount and/or b) a transaction exceeds a certain amount.  So I had to explain THAT as well.

From there, I went to the foot doctor for an appointment, and while on the way there, heard on the radio that a tornado had touched down one county over, and that the squall line that produced it was going to reach the area I was in within 22 minutes!

I made it to the doc's office.  It started raining hard just as I was going in.  (The foot doc went okay, the pain they were treating me for has gone down.)

Then I called to see if my son was home, and had to call him back because the phone call dropped.  He was home.  (He's high-functioning enough so that he can be home alone for a small amount of time.)

I also deal with the "regular" stress of my son's constant chatter about the stuff he watches and his constant repetition of what he hears on TV. 

And when I posted of my frustration on my FB page this morning -- in addition to having posted news about recent fires in the US, I got a well-meaning but extremely annoying message from my sister-in-law informing me that I needed to put my mind on good news and "suggesting" I read a particular Bible verse.  I am sorely tempted to respond to her with a verse from Proverbs about people who sing songs to a heavy heart!

When in the name of God does the stress end?  When do I get to feel better?  When do I get to feel relaxed and mellow rather than constantly tense, stressed, and ready to scream???  And how does this all link into CPTSD??? How?

 :fallingbricks:  :aaauuugh:

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Three Roses

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 09:42:42 PM »
 :hug:

Be good to yourself. I had to really learn how to say "no" when I was just too busy to take on one more thing - no matter how small it seemed.

I realized my activities were falling under "the disease to please" category, and not really done from the desires of my heart. Except that being liked felt good!  But, I learned you can't buy being liked - you can only rent it.

So, I stopped trying to help everyone who asked. I lost contact with some, but I know the friends I have now like me for me, & not what I can do for them.

I also learned how to delegate. This was difficult because I had such strong feelings about how everything should be done! But letting go of all that was really good for me in the long run.

I hope you find a space in the turmoil to take a breather, and some much needed "me time"! :hug:

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2016, 11:15:55 PM »
Well, one thing I did do:  I sing on our church's praise team (not every Sunday), and when an email went out asking if any of us would like to help with the children's musical, the first thing I thought was, "No!"  I knew I had too much to do and putting one more thing on my plate would make it crack!

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 05:57:19 PM »
Be yourself, they say, because who else are you going to be?

But "being myself" was what got me bullied in the first place.

I was shy and an intellectual, and I got teased and mocked for it.  Back in the day, girls weren't really supposed to be brainy. 

Nowadays, girls have to take STEM classes (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) or else be considered traitors to the sisterhood.

You have to be pretty and slim.  I'm fat, and I don't consider myself very attractive.  I like my hair, and that's about it. 

As a so-called "modern woman", I'm supposed to have a career outside the home in addition to husband and children.  Actually, women are supposed to be "career women" who don't NEED men, but if you do decide to get married, you'd better be prepared to juggle it all or to have it all.  And it can't be just "any" career--you have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be considered truly successful.  There will be no true equality of the sexes until EVERY Fortune 500 company is headed by a woman, we have a woman President, a woman Vice-President, an all-female Cabinet, and a female Chief of Staff.  And oh, yes; cooks, housekeepers, and food service people must all be men (because those are traditionally women's jobs.)  In fact, women should work and men should stay at home with the kids!

But, as a Christian woman, if I want to work outside of the home and I have children, I'm neglecting the kids.  I need to be home for them because no one can replace a mother.  I'm the one who is "on the hook"; even though fathers are important, mothers are the one who are "on the hook" for how their kids turn out.  (I actually heard a Christian radio show say this.)

In high school, I got called a lesbian because I didn't have a boyfriend.  But when I got a boyfriend, I got laughed at about that, too; and then that boyfriend broke up with me and didn't even bother to tell me the relationship was over. 

If I showed my "smarts", I got bullied. 

When I tried to play sports, I got bullied.

If I "turned the other cheek", it didn't help, because it only encouraged them to keep going.  The two times I fought back, it didn't help, either.  I got laughed at about that, too. 

When I wore an Adidas shirt because it was a "popular" shirt, I heard someone say they'd never wear theirs again.  And then I was asked if I went to the Adidas concert.  WHAT do you say to something like that??  No matter what you say, you're in trouble. 

God is supposed to love you as you are . . . but then you have to be "out of yourself" all the time, invite everyone to church, constantly have Bible studies with people, and make sure they become Christians.  And oh yes, you have to be "excellent" in your classwork as well.  God demands excellence in every area.  No excuses.  You're supposed to get up early for a "quiet time" because of the verse in the Bible that describes David laying his requests before the Lord in the morning, and the morning is supposed to be your best time.  And heaven forbid if you ever skip a quiet time.  You should never skip time with God. 

What do you do when every.single.thing. you do is commented on by someone, somewhere, somehow?  The way you sit, the way you breathe, the way you stand, the way you dress, the way you talk (both the vocabulary you use and the way your voice sounds), the way you hit a ball, the way you run . . . ? Whether you do or don't invite the person you're standing next to in line at the grocery store to church? 

I feel like someone is constantly looking over my shoulder ready to say, "You missed a spot."

And then you're told to stand up for yourself but not told how. 

And when you do, you get yelled at.  Or, if you object, someone has an answer for your every.single.objection.

You cannot win.

Be yourself?  Yeah, right!





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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 11:59:29 PM »
Wednesday I was convinced that no one liked me. 

I've been running around a lot lately, and Sunday a week ago was particularly bad, involving church, lunch out, buying a shower gift, attending said shower, and then taking my son to a youth group meeting.  And then early Monday I took my son to a doc's appointment, and I nearly overslept.  I got him there, and then I went back home and crashed. 

I sing on our church's praise team as an alto.  I'm not a natural alto, and I feel very insecure at times singing alto because it's not melody. 

The day after that rehearsal, I had a counseling session.  The counselor reminded me that because of the bullying and church experiences I'd had, my brain WAS doing its job in trying to protect me from bad stuff.  However, it does tend to go into overdrive because it can misinterpret things (like, people talking to each other and not to me doesn't mean "I'm being shunned", it can also mean, "they need to share information/they're closer friends or been friends longer than I have with them, etc.) 

I had a talk with my brain afterwards and thanked the right side for protecting me, but reminded it that it doesn't always need to go into "protection mode". 

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 02:16:46 PM »
I put a lot of pressure on myself.  And as a result, I end up getting paralyzed and doing nothing.

Right now, I have a 217-page document to proof that's due tomorrow.  It's a legal transcript that I got yesterday.  It's four hours long, I've done an hour of it, and I've proofed a total of 65 pages.  The one thing I am looking forward to is getting this done . . . and then some relaxation.

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2017, 06:35:14 PM »
Yesterday DH and I had a counseling session together.  Since we have a special needs child, we see a counselor monthly because we do feel the need for extra support. 

I can't remember exactly how the subject came up, but I talked about how I feel like I have to "kowtow" to people, especially those who don't agree with me.  For some reason, an issue with my mother came up . . . and that opened up a big discussion. My DH and my counselor think she's been abusive, and I am not completely sure they're right . . . and yet, so many of my memories of her are of someone who yelled, lectured, and sniped about people.

DH says that my mother sniped about me behind my back to him. I overheard at least one "snipe", where she told him that I "fouled up the bathroom schedule". This was when we were visiting her on a vacation a number of years ago; my sister was living with my mother at the time (she was recently divorced) and I didn't know she needed the shower at a particular time so she could get ready for work. No one told me. So why was it me that was accused of "fouling up the schedule" when I didn't even know what the schedule was?

Things finally came to a head several years ago when we bought a small notebook to record what we were spending on vacation. My mother asked what it was, DH told her, and she exploded, saying that was "rude". I don't know if she thought we were keeping track of what SHE spent on us or not . . . but an argument followed, and as a result, my mother and husband didn't speak to each other for the next four years.

*I* am the one that has to initiate contact with my mother and sister. My sister will text me if something's going on with my mother, *I* am the one that has to initiate contact with my mother and sister. My sister will text me if something’s going on with my mother, but that’s about it. Over the last year, my mother’s physical condition has seriously deteriorated (she is not in assisted living) and I believe her mental condition has as well. The last time I saw her was this summer, and she thought I had come to take her to Wal-Mart. I just went with it and took her there.

Because of my mother’s medical condition, she *can’t* initiate contact now, and I’m cutting her plenty of slack there. But for years, I was the one who called her, and the “reason” she gave was that she never knew when I was going to be in, and she didn’t like talking to my answering machine. I said that to the counselor, and his reaction to her reasoning was, “Bull.”

I’m trying to work out what, exactly, my relationship with my mother is . . . and I don’t know if she’s been abusive or not.

Then this morning, a friend who is reading a novel I drafted told me she had issues with a female chaplain character I wrote. She’s very conservative and doesn’t believe that women should be preachers. And I’m not so sure if I agree with that anymore. (I don’t want to get into the religion issue. This just happens to be the context of this conversation. :)) She’s also a writer and I trust her input as far as writing criticism. She did tell me that, as far as the character was concerned, that while *she* wouldn’t put that particular character into anything she wrote, that was *just her*. )

She did comment that I “took criticism to heart” — and I suspect that the combination of a very critical mother, dealing with bullies while growing up, being spiritually abused in college, AND having some bad roommate situations as a single woman have all made me very, very, very oversensitive to be criticize. I have a visceral, physical reaction to criticism because I’m expecting it to be harsh.

So, on top of having dealt with bullies and spiritual abuse, is it now true that my mother was abusive?  Do I have dig out from under even MORE abuse???

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2017, 01:59:52 PM »
I hope it's OK to post about this subject here; if not, I'll delete it.

I can't get rid of the loop:

Everyone believes they are right.
Everyone can "prove" it by Scripture.
But too often, the conclusions are diametrically opposed to each other.
So how do you know who's right?

More and more, I despair of coming to any conclusions.  I feel like I'm standing on quicksand.

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2017, 01:37:59 PM »
I had a chat with a woman from church on Sunday.  She reminded me that God loved me.  So why don't I feel loved? 

I do see my counselor today.  I think that will be a good thing.

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 05:08:44 PM »
Last night I went on a rant.

I posted something to a friend on FB that was meant to be funny.  She didn't think it was.  I apologized and deleted the post.  There was a political element to the post and I'm sure it added to her reaction. 

Ever since, I've kicked myself to Pluto and back and I'm on my second round.  The woman I offended goes to my church and I see her pretty often.  I'm afraid to face her tomorrow. 

Last night I ranted to my husband.  I feel like I have to kowtow to everyone.  I feel like I'm a failure as a woman because I'm not a CEO, engineer, scientist, mathematician, or high-powered lawyer.  I'm a failure as a Christian because I see God as very angry at me and I don't feel his love.  I can't forgive myself for screwing up.  God forgives, but he doesn't take away consequences. 

My husband needs to be made love to and listened to.
My son needs to be cared for and listened to.
My family needs to be fed.
My house needs to be cleaned.
We're going through the guardianship process with our son (we meet with a lawyer on Monday--this is just part of the process.)
I need to write.
I need to proof.
I need to pay back debt.
I have a mom I'm worried about because of her health.
Last night my sister broke her leg.
I need to lose weight.  I look and feel like a fat cow.  (Moo!)
I need to exercise. 
I need to eat better.
So what did I do yesterday?
Buy a big bag of peanut butter M& M's!

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alliematt

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Re: Allie's Archives: a recovery journal
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 05:12:34 PM »
I try to support people and see things from their point of view, but too often, I don't feel like I'm given the same courtesy.  Just for once, I'd like people to say, "Yeah, I see where you're coming from!"

And I"m bracing myself to be screamed at for whining and complaining!