Flashbacks – Trigger Warning!

I have been having flashbacks from hell for the last week. I have been reliving the sensation of hands around my neck. A slightly stronger pressure on the right side of my larynx. I am feeling fingers tighten. Making it more difficult to breathe.

I have been battling to believe myself. I know it happened. I know it is real, and yet I don;t quite believe it. Today I made a connection though. When I told my parents about the physical bullying that I had endured in primary school, my mom turned around and said to me:

You are wrong. It never happened.

Those incidents I knew about. Those incidents I have no doubt believing occurred.

Yet my mother was adamant that they did not happen. She used the exact words that she used to deny her own abuse. I am not wrong. I know my mother abused me, and yet sometimes I battle to believe it. Its tearing me apart somewhat.

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Memory

I have been dreaming about water lately and I took that to signify from my subconscious that perhaps I was ready to deal with the time that I nearly drowned as a kid. And today in therapy, we did just that, and it was one of the most intense experiences of my life. Literally coughing, feeling the water getting pushed out of my lungs, my heart pumping faster and faster to keep up. I was only three and a tiny little mite and did not deserve that experience, and yet when my therapist asked the three year old me whether she decided that she should die, I said no, and when asked why not, I replied that I was stubborn.

One of the most powerful things in hypnosis is the fact that you can talk to parts of yourself, reminding them that they are special and loved.

Just something

It’s funny how memories creep up on you sometimes. For instance, the memory about how clearly I wanted to call bullshit on my mom when she told us, after her mother’s murder, that because we never know when a loved one is going to die that she always says that we must just love one another. But at twelve, all I had was a feeling, the disconnect about what was said and what was acted upon. That love was not unconditional, it was a treat to be doled out, and ripped away as punishment.

 

From the Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity

I’m currently working through my issues with a wonderful therapist and she gave me this story adapted from the Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines, and it is worth sharing:

I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse, so I know full well the devastation that kind of betrayal can cause in a person’s life. From the time I was four months old until I was four years old, I was sexually abused so badly that it almost killed me.

I had a particularly difficult time dealing with the effect it had on my self-esteem, and for many years I played the victim.

I will be eternally grateful for a teacher who one day abruptly called me on my act. In order to heal this childhood trauma, what you’ve got to do is create a new story about it, he told me. Okay, here’s your new story. Try this one on and see if it works for you. You came onto this planet to be a woman of power. Your soul chose this pathway, and because you chose it, you also chose to take an initiation in the misuse of power at a young age. During this initiation you leaned what it feels like when power is misused, and it is horrible. Therefore, it is now safe for you to be a woman of power in the world because you know now that you would never misuse nor abuse this power. And in this process, you have gained the most valuable of all spiritual gifts — the understanding heart.

My world reeled from this and cracked open a bit. It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little, one day at a time, I began to embrace this wonderful new story, a saga that completely reordered my personal history. It made me feel powerful rather than helpless, and it allowed me to give up the role of victim.

It also brought to mind the coaching of another teacher who told me Never ask a ‘why’ question. There are no absolute answers to why questions. But if you absolutely have to ask why, at least have the good sense to make an answer that pleases you.

Reframing the abuse has helped me to achieve peace of mind, and that is a joy.

I’m not okay…but I will be

My depression is a dark secret. Very few people in real life no about it. Even less of them know how bad it is. And the effort of hiding it is becoming exhausting. An unexpected visit at the weekend exhausted me.

I get consumed with feelings of self-loathing. Angry at myself for being so pathetic. Their is a tiny voice inside my head that speaks out and tells me that I’m being irrational, but it is drowned out.

I think one of the things that makes it worse is that I feel like I don’t have any right to be depressed. That I’m a liar and a fake and that I should just happy the fuck up.  I should be grateful for what I do have. I should be out in the world riding rainbows. But at the moment it is just too much effort.

Perhaps I am just exhausted, tired out of pretending to be okay. Because right now I am not okay. I will be one day. But today is not that day. And it’s alright for me to cry a little bit.

I know I need to get help, the thing is I suck at asking for it. I don’t know if it is a hangover of being an abused kid or if it is just stubbornness, of wanting to exist in a reality where I don’t need help. Where I am completely independent. But that would be just another form of delusion.

So for now I’ll just get it off my chest, I’m not okay…but I will be.

Why, Mom?!

Mom, if I could ask you just one question right now, it would be “Why?”.

Why were you so mean to me? Why did you consistently tell me and act like you didn’t love me? Why did you always throw in my face the lie that I was an argument that dad won.

It’s the week of my wedding anniversary…and this is probably the most difficult time of year for me. Perhaps, it was unreasonable of me to expect one occassion in my life to be an opportunity for you to make all the past hurts better. But you did not show the slightest interest in any of the wedding planning, until everything was organized. I had to beg you to come and shop for wedding dress fabric with me and R’s mom.  And even then you acted like it was a chore.

I know you were not a mean or vindictive or generally horrible person. So why were you all of those things to me?

And I know that I am not a bad or horrible person, so why did you send me emails telling me that I was.

I know that you had other drama with your extended family around my wedding…but you never told me this. And quite frankly, it shouldn’t have mattered. I am your daughter. Surely that should have counted as a trump card…as a reason to pay a little bit of attention to me.

At my bachelorette party you did not even greet me?! So yes, I guess I am still carrying a lot of hurt and pain around from this occassion…and maybe it was unfair for me to expect you to make me feel special around my wedding day, you had never managed it before, and perhaps you choked under pressure.

But dammit mom, I wish I could remember feeling that you loved me…and not just read the words in a card. Because those words feel like a lie when I remember these things.

And maybe I shouldn’t write this to you…but if I don’t let it out, I think it will eat at my soul. I know I will never know why.

I can hope and rely on other people’s recollections and words that you did love me…and that you were proud of me. But dammit Mom, I wish you had shown me that when I was alive.

I know we had a difficult relationship. I also know that L managed to worm her way into your life and spread her venom and was a bad influence in you sending those poisonous emails, but you were an adult, and did have control over your actions, and you chose to press send.

I know you never understood the way I pulled back and never truly let you back into my life after that, because for you it was an isolated event. But for me, it was more…I needed you to show me that I could trust you. And now you can’t.

You also can’t tell me why! But perhaps that is a blessing…it means that I can choose to see the best in you, recognize the influences of operant conditioning and believe that you did love me. You just didn’t know how to show it.

What I Missed: Having someone who has got my back

It’s the little things that I missed out on growing up that bite at me and hurt me the most.

Knowing, for certain, that there was someone there who absolutely, without a doubt, was on my side.Not necessarily agreeing with everything that I say or do but caring and looking out for me.

Someone who let me know that I was unconditionally loved. There were people in my life who did, but I was kept away from them. Made to believe that love was based on what I did and how I compared. And to know that no matter what I would always be second best, and never good enough.

Knowing that I would be disbelieved and was unworthy until I could prove otherwise.

I’m a mess at the moment because of it…and yet I am still running away from these memories and hurts. The ones that are in the corner of my mind’s eye.

I am feeling the effects of them at the moment, crying the tears that I suppressed so many years ago…but I cannot recall any detail…and with most of them there is just a shadow of a glimpse of them, one that I sometimes catch out of the corner of my mind’s eye.

It’s terrifying and exhausting…but cathartic too…crying for “no reason”. Tears washing my soul.

But sometimes still I catch myself denying the reality of what I grew up with. And I know that it is a coping mechanism, one that I developed so many years ago, and simultaneously conditioned into me that with absolute certainty I would tell you I was not abused or hurting.

I am letting myself feel the hurt now and taking it from there.