Hope66's Journal

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2017, 04:09:49 PM »
JdCooper - thank you so much for your comments - which I've just read today - I really appreciate the fact you read some of my journal and I especially like your validation of the fact my Dad burned my stories, as that hurt me so much - although he claimed it was an accident - but I wonder how that could happen.  I also think it was representative of him taking much of my innocence and not allowing me to be a child or to be creative and play - I feel anger about those things now, and I've been protecting him for so many years by not confronting him with the truth about different things.  I don't think it's worth doing it now, because I believe he would deny it - and Mum would collude with that - and they would present a united front and say 'Nothing to see here' - I feel sure of that.

I am so sorry that your space was invaded, and I so relate to that feeling. 

You spoke of being in denial, and I think that's how it is when we're in the fog and can't see past it.  Yet things can re-traumatise us, and that's not fair.

So thank you.  I appreciated your comments very much.

***Potential Triggers - mentioning Sexual abuse, but not graphically***
So, to my journal entry for today - as I've not written here for a few days - I want to reflect on the fact I shared some details of my sexual abuse in the other section of the forum, and it felt like a mega thing to do that - yet I also felt a pressure to do it, as I really wanted to share what had happened and see what would happen - I felt 'safe enough' and just writing it down felt really helpful, and people validated my feelings, and it felt incredibly emotional - my inner critics came out in the moments and days after to shame me for writing it 'publicly' because of course I had been shamed into keeping it 'secret' and not sharing it with anyone for many many years.  My partner was the first person I told - and I've also more recently told a couple of very close friends - and thankfully I received such positive and supportive responses from them, although I could tell they were all shocked.

I disclosed to a therapist I saw a few years back - but only because her first question in the interview was whether I had been sexually abused, and I said 'Yes, I have' - and she asked me a few questions about what happened, and once I talked more about my experiences she was quick to suggest that I estranged myself from the toxic effects of continuing to be in contact with my FOO.  I was surprised because I thought that therapists wouldn't be so prescriptive, but I really think she appeared shocked as well.  That shocked me into a realisation that it was 'true' and 'happened' - whereas before I couldn't decide if it was significant enough - not sure if this makes sense.   

But when I think back to it, I think - was it that bad?  People experience worse things - and I realise it's the inner critics perhaps saying that. 

My partner sometimes fears for me, as he feels that I am going round in circles trying to 'work through' my emotions and feelings, and I think he hopes that I'll be 'better' and 'over it' - but it's a tough thing to get over ingrained brain-washing, coupled with sexual abuse, and incredible 'control' and the errosion of an identity - I feel like I'm just beginning to 'find myself' and discover what 'I like' as a person, and what 'I want' - and I am beginning to try to experience things whilst staying in the 'here and now' rather than dissociating - which I do frequently.  I am beginning to make some progress at this - I think so.

I was scared that when I wrote about my experiences in a bit more detail, that somehow my Dad would read it, and immediately know I was talking about him - but I realise that's ridiculous - he's unlikely to ever find his way to this forum.

I am so relieved that Mother's Day is over now, here in the UK, as it was so triggering for me in the week leading up to that occasion.  But it's over now - and so hopefully there won't be many more triggers relating to that for a while - and I'll be less likely to ruminate about such things.

Whilst I write these words, there's an inner voice that is saying - "Delete this - it's meaningless drivel" - "Who cares how you feel anyway" - "You're moaning about nothing - get over yourself" - and the usual comments of "You're a drama Queen" and "You don't know you're born" etc - but I know those statements are from an inner critic created by my parents - and I am not going to listen to them. 

We all have a right to express ourselves and live our lives in an authentic way, and be true to the person we find out that we are, and I am seeking to find myself in amongst this past muddle that kept me tied up and frozen in fear.  I am thawing out, and I am enjoying the sunshine and the prospect of life without the confines of parental suffocation.

I can even feel some anger surfacing about the injustices of it - and I wonder what to do with that emotion. 

Anyway, it's good to have written something here today.  I am not sure how much sense it makes, but it feels good to have written. 

Hope  :)

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Three Roses

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2017, 08:18:26 PM »
Quote
Whilst I write these words, there's an inner voice that is saying - "Delete this - it's meaningless drivel" - "Who cares how you feel anyway...."

I do!  :yes:

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2017, 08:51:04 AM »
Three Roses - thank you so much.   :)

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2017, 05:38:29 PM »
***TW: Possibly some triggers - mention of sexual abuse ***

Today I felt really down mood-wise.  I realise I wanted to shift my mood - either by eating, and even considered drinking alcohol this evening to 'lift my mood' - but in the end, I decided to 'stick with' my feelings and think about what they meant and what they were.  I think it's down to the fact I disclosed some memories of sexual abuse, and it was the spilling of emotion that came from that.

Interesting that last night I lay awake - or in some kind of semi-awake state, and was imagining all kind of things - tried to stay attentive to the thoughts and feelings, and noticed that I related to a couple of 'inner children' - within myself - one who is very shy and frightened and lonely, and nearly showed herself to me.  It surprised me so much - I nearly saw her, or imagined her.  Not sure, but I felt she was present, and that she wanted to tell me things.  But she only showed for a moment or two. 

I was pleased that I was able to stay with my thoughts and feelings, even though today I can't remember too much about what I thought about!!!  I just know I felt very flat today - numb, and low in my mood. 

However, I haven't binged on comforting foods to numb myself (past coping strategy) and I decided against alcohol to 'lift my mood' and as time has passed, I'm beginning to come out of it - and feel better.  So I think this is good.

I've also noticed some feelings of anger, and instead of brushing it aside, I've sat with it - and allowed myself to feel it and to direct it at my FOO - instead of trying to 'protect' them and be their 'perfect daughter' - someone who wasn't encouraged to express my own feelings, and who was expected to be what others expected me to be.

To think how I struggled at first to write anything in this forum, and was silent for the first few months of being here, and now I am posting and contributing - and feeling more confident and braver as time goes on.  It's validating and helping me in so many ways. 

I'd like to write more about my SA, and I will do so, but I need to pace myself, and process the feelings that are coming up as a result of that, and I know I mustn't rush that - but I feel I want to do that, as it will help me to move forward with it, and process it and hopefully it will make me feel less alone with it, and more connected to life - having survived experiences and come through them - also reminding me that I am now estranged from my FOO and therefore I am safe from further distress, but I need to emotionally detach as well - if that's possible, as I still feel their 'control' in my life, and their censor on my freedom, but it is less suffocating now, as I am physically separated from them.

But they've left me a legacy that I didn't want, and I need to ensure I bury that legacy somewhere where it can't hurt me anymore.  I wonder if that is possible.

Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2017, 03:28:12 AM »
Hope,

Quote
    Whilst I write these words, there's an inner voice that is saying - "Delete this - it's meaningless drivel" - "Who cares how you feel anyway...."

Can only agree with Three Roses here: I also care how you feel!!

And in addition, I have inner voices who say similar things, but actually what your and my inner voices are saying in this sort of case - that's the drivel! I hope it's OK for me to say that to you. It's still a lot easier for me to validate a fellow sufferer's feelings than to acknowledge and validate my own.

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2017, 08:41:17 AM »
Hi Blueberry,
Thank you so much.  It means a lot that you commented, and I really value what you said - and understand what you're saying about 'the drive' - you're right.  Challenging that inner critic and voice is important, and knowing where it stemmed from too.
Thank you again.
Hope  :)

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2017, 03:55:10 PM »
Not sure what I'm going to write today in my Journal, but thinking that it's been doing me good to write things and post about things, and so I want to continue - I feel I'm making some progress - but it's like going up and down, backwards and forwards - with no particular direction - I keep dipping in and out of different topics and subjects in relation to so many areas of my life that feel they need attention, and sometimes I feel like I'm swamped, and at other times, I feel some clarity.

I am also aware of my inner critic, which tries to thwart me and hold me back, but the thing is that I'm actually listening more to the words that are expressed by the inner critic, and I'm actively challenging them by verbalising them, and looking for the power behind those words, and quite often, there's no reality behind the critical tone - it comes from my FOO and their brain-washing of me.  So I don't have to listen to it, and it no longer has power over me - not unless I allow it to have.  Hope this makes sense.

Since I lay in a semi-awake state one night, and noticed how what I perceived to be an inner child - a smaller me, who was frightened, and briefly showed herself to me that night, I've been imagining that when I'm walking along, I am no longer alone, but I have a few inner children following along - it's more like a symbolic feeling, but at the same time it does feel quite real.  Anyway, I feel as if I'm carrying a baby - literally close to my chest as I walk, and that I'm trying to nurture that baby - because I feel that I wasn't nurtured properly when I was a small baby.  I also have a small girl, maybe about 6 years old, maybe younger, who is trying to hang onto my trousers as I walk - because she doesn't want to be far from me, and I am trying to help her to feel more confident and reassure her that I won't leave her - and that she's safe.  Then there's another child who seems relatively care-free and she's skipping and running along behind, and she doesn't seem to need my help in the same way that the others do.

I am finding this a really interesting thing - because I'd not allowed my imagination to flourish much before, and therefore I'd not been able to experience these 'children' - I see them as my inner children, and I am glad they are in contact with me.

I just want to reflect also on the fact that as I was writing this, my partner happened to come into the room and was talking about putting a jumper on, and I ended up snapping at him, and telling him I needed some space to write something personal here - and I am amazed that I felt such anger - as if he was coming into my space and I felt ashamed for writing these things.  I guess it shows how personal it is, and how protective I am of my inner children, and wanting to communicate in a private sphere - even though I share things with him - I admit I've not talked about the inner children with him - except that I wanted the doll that my inner child seemed to ask for.  I bought that doll, and my partner asked me if he could pay for it, and so he's taken it to wrap up for my BIrthday later in the year - so the doll is currently wrapped up!

I'd better stop writing now as I need to do some stuff - didn't realise the time, but glad I've been able to write this today. 

Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2017, 12:03:28 AM »
Hope, I'm sorry that you don't have your doll yet, that she's lying wrapped up somewhere. I hope your birthday is in early summer rather than late autumn so that you don't have too long to wait.

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2017, 05:36:57 PM »
Blueberry, I really appreciate you saying that - and yes, my Birthday will be not too far away, so I will have my lovely doll sooner rather than later.  Exciting!  :-) 

OK, so my journal entry for today - I am feeling positive because I'm reading 'yet another book' and I feel the need to copy a whole section from it, as I relate to it so much, and want to remember it. 

The book is by John Bradshaw, and it's called "Home Coming: Reclaiming & Championing your Inner Child" - and this is the section that resonated with me (one of many sections of his book infact):

copied from p65 of the book: "One way adult children avoid their legitimate suffering is by staying in their heads.  This involves obsessing about things, analyzing, discussing, reading, and spending lots of energy in trying to figure things out.  There is a story about a room with two doors.  Each door has a sign on it.  One says HEAVEN; the other says LECTURE ON HEAVEN.  All the co-dependent adult children are lined up in front of the door that says LECTURE ON HEAVEN!

Adult children have a great need to figure things out because their parents were unpredictable adult children themselves.  Sometimes they parented you as adults; sometimes they parented you as wounded and selfish children.  Sometimes they were in their addictions, sometimes not.  What resulted was confusion and unpredictability.  Someone once said that growing up in a dysfunctional family is like "getting to a movie in the middle and never understanding the plot."  Someone else described it has "growing up in a concentration camp".  This unpredictability caused your continual need to figure things out.  And until you heal the past, you will continue to try to figure it out.

Staying in one's head is also an ego defense.   By obsessing on things, one does not have to feel.  To feel anything is to tap in to the immense reservoir of frozen feelings that are bound by your wounded child's toxic shame.

So, I repeat, you must actually do the original pain work if you wish to heal your wounded inner child.  The only way out is to go through it.  "No pain no gain" as we say in the 12 Step programs.

My belief is that recovery from childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse is a process, not an event.  Reading this book and doing the exercises will not make all your problems disappear overnight.  But I guarantee that you'll discover a delightful little person within yourself.  You will be able to listen to that child's anger and sadness and to celebrate life with your inner child in a more joyous, creative, and playful way."

(Quoted the above from the book by John Bradshaw).

I am filled with enthusiasm for this book, and hope that I will do the exercises recommended in the book, and make some progress in the process of reclaiming and helping my inner child/children.

I wanted to share that information in my journal - as I feel it is a route to recovery and I am hopeful.  :-)

Hope   :)

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2017, 04:23:50 PM »
I was feeling very positive when I wrote my last entry in this journal - however the process of going through the Easter weekend has brought up many varied thoughts and feelings that have dampened my enthusiasm.  This is normal though, as Easter is a triggering time - reminds me of family of origin (FOO) holidays - and memories, and heightens the fact we are estranged.  I feel quite a lot of grief and sadness - but it is related to the 'what if' scenario - and I also notice that I feel 'guilt' - i.e. accompanied by thoughts such as 'If only I'd managed to cope' - but it was so toxic to be part of that FOO system, and I had to break away for my own sanity.  For my own peace of mind.  It wasn't easy, and it took me a few decades to finally do it, and I've done it, and I need to resolve these feelings that come.

I talked to my partner about it today - and that was helpful.  He told me I have no reason to feel guilty - that I am not responsible for the actions of other people, and that I shouldn't take those on board.  I know he's right, but at the same time, I have felt responsible and I've felt bad about not being able to keep things together - and it's distressing to think about it sometimes.

But I have been feeling things strongly, and the grief that I feel is very potent and strong.  So I think that's good that I'm feeling it, rather than dissociating or comfort eating to numb myself.  Previously I would have been eating loads of chocolate treats - Easter is full of those - everywhere.  But I've not done that this year.  I am feeling the emotions, and I think that is progress.  So I am feeling positive about that.

I also feel the need to interact more in the forum - so I will try to do more posts in places where I can discuss thoughts and feelings with others, as that really helps too.  I hope to do that more this week - but I will see how I feel, as I know that saying I'll 'do' something can often make me feel pressured, and I don't need pressure on top of my other demands.  Bit like having a 'To Do' list that ends up stressing me out.

As I'm writing this, I notice that I feel a bit 'frustrated' - as if I'm not conveying what I want to say, as if I don't really know what I want to say or how to say it.  But thankfully I'm writing something, and that is making me feel better.  I feel like I'm over-critical - I wish I could just be without always looking and analysing my behaviour, etc - but at the same time, I feel a need to do so.  Dilemmas.

If anyone is reading this and wondering about starting a Recovery Journal - I would say that it does help - just getting words out can be good - I'm glad I can come here and communicate from time to time, as needed.  It really does help.   :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2017, 05:16:39 PM »
Hope, thanks for writing. It might even inspire to go and write in my Journal again.

Good on you for sitting with your feelings and feeling them instead of eating Easter goodies.  :cheer: i can't say I've managed that.
Good on you for writing even if you feel that you're maybe not quite expressing what you want. I think that will come some time. That's my experience anyway, at some time the clarity comes but before it can be good just to write, maybe bringing the clarity a little nearer.
 :hug: to you on this difficult holiday.

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2017, 05:54:07 PM »
Hi Blueberry,
Thanks for your message, and I was good for most of Easter - in terms of not comfort eating, but I did end up over-eating in the evening on Sunday night - so I could only last so long...  Never mind, it could have been worse...

Yes, I do hope to gain some clarity - and the thing is that there are moments of clarity now and again.  I can feel them and sense them, and that is what gives me some hope that things will get better.

Just having this forum and gaining strength and support from the great people on here - it means a lot.  It's somewhere to come and 'talk' and know that the people around will understand, and that they listen and really 'know' what a person is talking about.

We've got through the difficult holiday of Easter - that is progress in itself.   :)

Thanks for the  :hug: Blueberry, and wishing you the same.

Hope  :)

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2017, 03:58:41 PM »
I had hoped to write more in other parts of the forum, but somehow I felt a bit 'frozen' when it came to expressing myself!!!  I guess it could be down to the fact I've been reading another book (I do read prolifically about self-help stuff as I am so eager to change and learn) - anyway, I'm reading a book by Steve Sisgold called "What's Your Body Telling You" - and it is really good so far. 

Maybe listening more to what's going on in my body is meaning that I'm attending more to bodily cues, and also my emotions too - what I'm 'feeling' as opposed to my tendency to 'think about things' and not really process them at a 'feeling' level. 

I've been reading things people write in the forum, and many things help so much to hear - I relate to so many things that others write.  I am really thankful that this forum is here - it is so helpful. 

I've got to a chapter in the book called 'Releasing Trauma' - so I'm hoping that will be helpful. 

That's all I feel I want to write in my Journal for today, but I am glad to have come back here and written something, as I know it helps me whenever I do.

Hope  :)

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Hope66

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2017, 06:56:03 PM »
I finished that last book, and now I am 'without a book' to read - i.e. not managed to find another source to focus on - and as usual, I tried certain things - like focusing on my 'whole body' and what is going on in it - rather than my usual tendency to dissociate from what I'm feeling - and I know it was helpful to a degree, but at the same time, I can feel myself 'avoiding' things.

Maybe I just can't deal with things so well - my usual tendency is to obsess about things more and previously I ruminated a LOT of the time - I am thankful that more recently I've been able to be more 'in the moment' and 'mindful' of things around me - and that is a good thing.

Potential trigger here:
There's a big part of me that would like to be more 'open' in the other parts of the forum, and share more - I did disclose about some of my sexual abuse, and I found that to be really helpful - especially reading the validating replies, I was thankful for those.  However I avoided re-reading what I wrote for about a month, and then went there again and re-read it - and when I read the replies, I felt a hot flush of emotion in my face, and my inner core was very 'active' in terms of feeling intense emotions.

I am glad I wrote about it though - because having it 'out there' and away from me, and knowing that other people have 'read about it' is somehow comforting - I can't explain why that would be, but it is positive.

I did disclose about my sexual abuse when I saw a therapist previously, and she did validate my experience, and I wanted to tell her more about it really - but I felt that she didn't necessarily want to hear about it.  But maybe that was me that felt that, and wanted to protect her somehow...  I'm not sure.

I'd like to talk about other members in my FOO - but I fear that if I talk about those people, that somehow one of them will see what I've written, and recognise themselves.  I've seen that people have discussed this in the forum, and that others haven't been 'found' here - but I guess part of me is scared of a person from my FOO 'finding' me - I am 'no contact' with most of my FOO - and I feel VERY scared of the prospect of any of them having any contact with me.  I guess that must be my inner child being scared - rather than my adult self - as it feels like a primal fear, rather than any 'real threat'. 

I'd always done everything they wanted me to do, and I'd always been the 'golden child' in their eyes, and as long as I did that, things appeared to be fine on the outside, but inside I was 'dying' - my needs (emotionally and spiritually) weren't being met, I was mirroring the needs of my parents, and 'being' who they wanted me to be.  Now I am trying to discover who "I am" - what 'my needs are" - even what my preferences are. 

I relate to descriptions of being codependent, and I feel very fragile and small in certain situations. 

More recently, I have felt times when I feel stronger though, and that is a good thing.

My emotions have been more labile lately - e.g. watching TV programmes with any emotive content - I find I really end up crying or feeling strong emotions - I think this is a good thing, as I'm opening myself to 'feel' more rather than repressing and pushing it down. 

Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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Re: Hope66's Journal
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2017, 09:09:53 PM »
Hi Hope,
Good to hear more about you and how you're doing again.  :wave:
I found after I mentioned my fear of FOO figuring out who I am through my posts and various people posted that that had never happened, my fear dissipated fairly quickly all by itself. You've done a similar step here in mentioning your fear so it might just disappear too. I know it's hard to be patient and remain in the moment - which imo includes listening to body or emotions wanting to avoid certain topics till we're better able to deal.

I find that when I cry during films or when reading something sad that that's working as a release for my own emotions, which are often very pent up. I think it's a good thing too.

I'm curious: have you got your new doll yet? Or is she still wrapped up?
 :hug: from Blueberry