Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.
I've said that.
by Raven Carver
Every day is hard but how much harder can it get. Living in the world of trauma I am already waiting for that next kick in the pants. Waiting for the next person to let me down. Waiting to be hurt once again. I have no idea what it is like to get up every morning without fear. My abuse ended physically over 20 years ago but every day I relive parts of it. This can be waking up and reliving the nightmare I just had. It could be a simple thing triggering me into a flashback. You know when it is the hardest, those days when your husband comes up behinds you and hugs you or kiss you and you flinch. Knowing that my flinch causes my husband hurt is the worse thing to endure. I hate knowing there are people around me that judge me when I react in situations in a negative way.
I hate that a small situation can make me defensive and I react before I think. Usually this means I react in anger. I completely shut down and the only thing I can do is go into protection mode. I know people don’t get why I react the way I do in those situation, Hell I don’t always understand why I do. I want what most people want, that is to feel that the people around you are able to support you even when they are not able to understand.
Vulnerability is the worse thing for me. I hate to ever let anyone know they have hurt me. I tend to push people away so they don’t have the chance to hurt me. However, when they finally do leave me, I experience that abandonment feeling. The most embarrassing thing is when I show people I fear losing them, that I come off as needy and always needing reassurances. What I hope is that one day I can have normal friendships and normal reactions to them. For now I at least keep trying and working on myself. Big thanks to the people in my life that I know 100% always are trying their best to understand me and support me. One day I will be able to have a healthy interaction when things throw me off balance. Like always thanks for listening to my ramble!
Do you ever think about other people’s lives? Do you wonder if they have suffered the way you have? I think about this a lot. I hope that most people have not lived their lives suffering the way I have. That is wishful thinking on my part though. I know there are way to many people in this world who have never had the chance to live a life free to free, disappointment, or hurt. Lately I have thought about other people who have suffered at the hands of another. Why have so many not been able to pick themselves up? Why was I able to be ok and survive? While I am not the healthiest person mentally I have managed to figure out a way to live a good life. There are days were I wish that I could forget all the pain I have been through. Most days though I know that if I didn’t get through the sexual abuse I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Don’t get me wrong I wish it had never happened but I don’t live my life regretting it. If I did that those “men” would continue to destroy my life and I will not allow that. It’s time I stop distrusting the world and remember to live it because I have missed out on too much already!
I wish I could say this is easy but shit it’s the hardest thing I have attempted to do. Every morning I get up and remind myself I got this. I am in control of my life even though I don’t always feel that way. At least I am realizing just how lucky I am. I have an amazing husband that no matter how bad I am he is always there, I have some best friends who always have my back, and most importantly I am happy with me!!
Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Bad dogs barking loud
Big ghosts in a cloud
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Mean old Mother Goose
Lions on the loose
They don’t frighten me at all
Dragons breathing flame
On my counterpane
That doesn’t frighten me at all.
I go boo
Make them shoo
I make fun
Way they run
I won’t cry
So they fly
I just smile
They go wild
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Tough guys fight
All alone at night
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
Panthers in the park
Strangers in the dark
No, they don’t frighten me at all.
That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair
(Kissy little girls
With their hair in curls)
They don’t frighten me at all.
Don’t show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I’m afraid at all
It’s only in my dreams.
I’ve got a magic charm
That I keep up my sleeve
I can walk the ocean floor
And never have to breathe.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn’t frighten me at all.
I was lucky earlier this week I spent some time with an amazing 17 year old. This experience ended up being an awaking for me. This 17 year old was a reminder of me at 17 and how crazy life could be at that time. Here was I realized during the evening we spent together. I have continued to put all the blame on myself for allowing my abuse to continue well past the time I felt that I should have been able to stop it. This particular kid reminded me how fragile life is at 17 and how confusing things can be. How can I continue to blame my 17 year old self? I was just trying to survive! Of course I didn’t want to be rejected, ignored, not loved. This is every persons basic need. He broke me and made me live every day of my life wondering when I will be free. When will someone want me for me?
I have spend most of my adult life continuing to believe all the shit I was told. No one would ever want me. I couldn’t survive without him in my life. Now I wonder how I was able to be the person I am today. I wonder why I was lucky enough to find a man who loves me and truly wants me. Even though I have all of that I still question his motives everyday. Maybe he is not still here because he loves me, maybe he is here because it is easier then starting over. I hate that my abusers have me second guess the one person in my life that wants me and loves me. Now I need to figure out how to completely take back my power. I need to shut off the voices that tell me I can’t survive without him. I need to stop hearing my abuser every day try to break down my confidence. I make a promise to myself I will find away to shut their fucking voices down in my head. I will continue to survive. I will continue to be the woman I want to be. This is my time all my time! One day I will be able to tell him to fuck off!
Let’s go back a little ways to when I was a child. Imagine being 7 years old the first time a person who is suppose to take care of you violates not just your body but your mind and soul. How does a child of 7 deal with that? How is adult who was that child suppose to deal with that? Well if you have not dealt with this type of trauma let me tell you how we deal with that! First we avoid anyone as a child and as a adult who could cause the same shame and degrading feelings that stay with you. For me, I just isolated myself. If I never left the house no one could get to me, no one could be allowed to hurt me. Well this worked amazingly well for many years. Then one day at 32 you have no option but to stop the isolation and get out into the scary fucked up world. Now what am I suppose to do. I look over my shoulder, I make sure I am always in a position to get away fast. That gets exhausting after awhile and it becomes harder to feel safe. All I wanted to do was go home and close and lock that door, but that is no longer an option. So shit what’s next how do I keep going? I kept going by taking a lot of meds for anxiety and depression but they only helped to a point. I needed to find away out of the darkness that has been so safe for me. The more meds I took and the more I had to leave my house I started to get angry! I was angry with myself. I would say, “Jen stop being a baby stop whining your an adult act like one!” Easier to say then actually do. So I need to make my next step. How do I move into the world and out of my house? Well I decided to just go for it and went back to school. OMG the first few months were the hardest thing I have ever done! It also became the one thing that saved me. I finally would have a purpose!!
I am sitting in the parking lot of my therapist office. Once again I got my time confused so I have an hour to myself and I plan to use it to talk to myself and anyone who needs to know they are not alone.
Question have you ever found yourself just surprised at what you are capable of? Well I feel like a child waking up from a 42 year nap. Due to my abuse there are certain thinks I have never experience because of being afraid of anyone and everyone around me. One of the big struggles I have had for years is fearing men. This fear has kept me from not engaging with friends if there husband or boyfriend will be there. I have never had any male friends that I would consider being open with or trusting. Imagine being 42 and never knowing how it feels to have a friend of the opposite sex. I would always avoid any situation that could leave me in danger if a man was around. Rationally I know this is stupid that not all men are awful, but the fear does not allow me to think rationally!
Now imagine being 42 and having a friend enter your life who is male and not knowing how to feel about the relationship. I have only connected on this level with my husband he makes me feel safe and not alone. Well over the last month my life has started to change. It’s scary as hell! There is a guy who I have been able to open up to who does not judge me or make me feel uncomfortable. I have struggled with this thinking does this mean that I have more then friendship feeling so this guy. Do I not still love my husband? I feel like a child who is just learning what a friendship is. Thankfully I have people in my life who listen to my concerns and remind me that it is ok to have friendships that include those of the opposite sex. My problem is I get so frustrated with myself because I shouldn’t have to struggle with this. I should have learned as a kid that friendship can be just that and nothing more. I know my marriage is secure and I love my husband more then ever. In fact he has been so supportive of my new experiences and he knows that I am not doing anything wrong. Now I just need to keep remembering that!
I have not written a post in a long while. I have been spending time working out a new realization I have had. If you have read my other posts then you will probably get this. For the many years I was groomed there were certain things I was told over and over again that I couldn’t do. If you have ever been in a situation that you were controlled and manipulated I know you can appreciate where I was and am at. I was never allowed to cut my hair and OMG the first time I went and did this my life was hell. He wouldn’t talk to me for weeks. Maybe I should have been happy when he would not talk to me for weeks but because of all the manipulation I would beg him to forgive me and talk to me again. For the longest time I thought this was screwed on my side, but slowly I am realizing that it was not just my fault. I have not been able to give up all the fault, but I continue to work on that and hopefully one day I will be able to let go completely! I’m the mean time I am going to continue doing all the things I have always wanted to do. I will be person who in her forties finally figures out whAt she wants. FYI I plan to start coming back and writing more again. This outlet has been hard for a little while but I am ready to continue.
I am ready to start my full story. I have been working hard in my therapy and I am ready to inspire others to keep moving forward. So my story starts back at the age of 7. Imagine being 7 years old and encountering your first sexual abuse. This person was my mom’s second husband and the person who was suppose to step up and be a father to me. You see my “father” was also not a person who was good in my life. My “father” was an alcoholic and a wife beater. I do not have any memories of him because my mom was strong enough to walk away before things became worse. Then she married my stepfather who also ended up adopting me. This was going to be the person who taught me what I could expect from a father. Ya now that is funny! All I learned is that I was his toy the person he could abuse and screw up my life. The abuse started out small and of course at 7 years old I did not know that things were not okay. It started with him wanting me to sit on his lap. Eventually he would sit me on his lap so I was sitting right on his penis. Of course I did not understand. From there he would start touching my chest. Of course at 7 I did not have any chest but that did not stop him from enjoying the touching. One thing I am relieved about is that he never touched me in my vaginal area. Eventually he moved on to forcing me to have oral sex with him. At first it was just quick but eventually he got to the point where he was forcing me to give him oral sex until he would ejaculate in my mouth. I can still remember the taste, smell, and fear I felt that first time. I ended up vomiting on him. You would think that would be enough to keep him from wanting to experience that again. Ya if you thought that you were wrong. I still to this day am not able to perform oral sex with my own husband. I am lucky that he completely gets it and never has asked or pushed me to try with him. This is all I can give tonight. I have to be careful so I don’t end up with nightmares tonight. Please continue to follow my story and if my story helps you in any way or feel that it would help someone else please feel free to share and leave me comments. Thank you!
So I recently had therapy and over the last few days shame and vulnerability have been on my mind. Many people look at these two words and they think they are the same or at least very similar. I am learning that this is not so. For many years I always put these two words in the same context but as I have been working through my trauma and learning more I realize I have been very wrong. I also have been thinking about how shame and vulnerability have affected the way I have dealt with my trauma. Don’t get me wrong I have not worked completely through this but at least it gives me pause before I let the shame take over my day.
So the reason I have been thinking more about this is because a little over a week ago I did something I have never done before and have always promised myself I would never do. I had a complete emotional break down at work. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had just done this in the privacy of my office but I was not alone! I spent at least 30 minutes blubbering and opening my soul to a coworker and my friend. While I value this person I was ashamed that I lost my composure and dumped on her. She was amazing and so supportive but the next day I struggled to look her in the eyes. I actually tried to avoid her. So when I talked to my therapist she pushed me to look at what I was really feeling. We talked about vulnerability and why I looked at this as shame instead. It is easier to feel the shame because at least then you don’t have to admit to yourself that you just exposed a new part of yourself to someone. My tribe looks at me like I am strong and put together and always has my shit together are at least that is my perspective. I feel that I can’t let anyone see that part of me because I am open to being hurt and falling back into the way I have always been, closed off so that I can’t have any reason to let anyone in.
So what about shame? Shame is the way that abusers keep their thumb on you and keeps you from telling anyone your secret. Shame is what the two abusers in my life used to assure that no one ever figured out how sick and fucked up they were. Instead I was the one that felt sick and fucked up. Hell I still feel that way 90% of the time. The funny thing is that 90% is an improvement as I have always felt 100% fucked up. It has been over 20 years since I was molested and groom by these sick people but they still have so much power over my life and I hate that. I have been working hard to take my power back but I do not feel that it is happening fast enough. HAHAHA the funny thing in all this is I am a therapist I do this for a living and I still don’t give myself any breaks. I can tell others that it gets easier and it is not their fault but I am a fraud because I have not gotten myself to believe my bullshit!!! So this post is going to be a reminder of a goal I am going to set for myself and I hope that by putting this hear my readers will remind me that I made this goal. My goal is that I am going to work hard to be more vulnerable and allow myself to feel what I feel without worrying that the people around me will not respect me. I also am going to use this format to write my whole story without a filter. I am going to stop hiding my secrets and start exposing my abusers secrets. I AM ENOUGH!!!
This week was great. I had my first audit at work and while it was a lot of work to get ready for it the team nailed it!!! No citations and good for two years.
After my emotional breakdown last week at work I feel much better after getting past my embarrassment. I don’t like to show my vulnerability but it sure made itself know at work of all places. I feel like the person who witnessed this understands my moods a little better and realizes that as the boss I keep everything bottled up so as not to be weak or at least to not appear week.
Two Monday’s ago I hit the lowest of my low. I was suppose to go see my therapist that day and when I got up I decided not to go. Not because I was doing ok, but because I didn’t know what the point was any more. I did not want to continue to struggle and feel alone. The day I needed that therapy was the day I skipped it. As a social worker and therapist I know better then this. I can’t and will not let myself get to that place again. I never want to feel that low again. I am going to try and remember that tomorrow it can only go up from my lowest. ❤️
Man work has been crazy!! I forget how much work there is to do to get ready for state audit. This one is more stressful then the others I have been through. This is my first one since I have taken over as Service Director of my program. One more week to get ready and I think we are going to be ok or at least as okay as possible. I can’t wait until this audit is over and I get to rejoin life again!!! Be back as soon as this is over!’
Tomorrow it is time to get back to work. I actually feel ready and in control. I always like when I have therapy it helps me out things into perspective and come up with a plan. I need to remember that I am enough. If I can remember this I can get myself back on track in my career and take the reins. While the last two months have been harder then I ever imagined tomorrow I go in with a game plan.
I also used today as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I need to find a new social group so I signed up for a photography group and will be going to the first meeting on Monday. I also found a dance group that looks interesting but I really need to work myself up for that one. 😊 I am looking forward to finding new interests that have nothing to do with work and with people who are not connected to my work. All and all the last few days have got me back on track!
It has been a long time since I have logged into my blog account. I have been avoiding it for sometime now. The last month or month in a half have been rough. I find myself second guessing myself 20 times a day every day in everything I do. I know this is a good outlet for me so why I made the choice to ignore one of the things that have helped me the most I do not know. I plan to force myself to write at least 3 days a week to deal.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been reminding myself to take care of me. I have gotten back to taking my medications more consistently then I have been over the last month. I have also gave up the cigarettes but to do this I have started to vape. It is a good start and I plan to start bringing myself down in the nicotine and give up everything. I also took the chance and talked to my husband to explain that my needs are not being met in our relationship. We talked and came up with a plan. It has been 21 years and I am not ready to give up on that.
Therapy has been pretty rough over the last couple of months also. While we have not dealt with my trauma as of late we have been working on the affects that have surfaced since I started this journey. Have you ever thought about whether or not you are weird and if other people have the same thoughts and struggles. I always thought my in securities and sometimes childish behaviors were things that only I deal with. You have no idea what kind of a relief it felt to know that I am not alone. The hardest part was admitting out loud and to myself that I am not as put together as I like others to think I am. Therapy is again tomorrow and I am looking forward to it. I want to keep exploring myself and learning more about why I deal with things the way I do. Don’t worry I plan to get on tomorrow and talk about any new revelations I come up with. For now Good Night!