Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Right this minute I am stone cold sober.  I slept for more than 9 hours.  I am trying to get through some thinking before the kids get up.  An online friend mentioned that when you go through stuff like this you want to harm the people who hurt you.  Your body gets all of this energy so that you can fight off an attacker.  But no one is attacking me.  No one is hurting me.  But my body doesn't know that.  My body feels like I am a tiny child and people are horribly abusing me.  It's a weird kind of regression.  My children are major triggers right now because little kids are rough.  They crawl all over you heedless of sharp elbows and knees, they pinch and grab, and just generally they act like I shouldn't have feelings.  Like I am invisible.  Kind of like my dad.  When he paid attention to me he brutalized me.  When my mom paid attention to me she complained that I wasn't doing enough work.  Yeah, I have some anger.

I fired my therapist yesterday.  After an exchange that made it sound like very different approaches to healing I decided that I need to find someone who is more like me.  I don't do well in the nice clean office in the nice part of town with the nice upper middle class woman who wears pearls.  I think I have a nasty attitude before I walk in.  That's my shit and my baggage and stuff I can mostly deal with most of the time.  I don't think I can right now.  Right now I need a therapist who is used to dealing with addicts and people who don't have their lives together even slightly.  Because right now I am reverting to shit with my family and no matter how many high fallutin psychology "experts" you can quote long passages from, if you don't know what a seriously abusive family is like... I don't think I can talk to you right now.

My therapist had fuzzy boundaries.  She made a big deal in group about how it is specifically illegal for her to share her story... but then she dropped details.  She is not rigorously accurate with her word.  She thinks it is ok to say, "Ok, person A will go tonight and person B will go in two weeks" and then something happens in the intervening week and she decided that person B wouldn't go in two weeks.  I was person B and she didn't tell me that she decided that we should do something else on Monday.  That's why she didn't give me room to speak.  Because she didn't understand that I was clinging to the ability to speak.  That was the only reason I crawled my way out of my house shaking and upset.  And then she expected me to sit there and listen to everyone else process and only take my short turns and be appropriate for the group.

I can't do that right now and the fact that she acts like I am a problem because I can't?  Yeah... not a good fit.  Most of the time I am highly functioning.  Most of the time I can sit there and explain why she is totally right.

I have been awake for ~40 minutes now and I'm sober.  The longer I think the harder I shake.  I'm scared because I know that I do have rage issues.  I know that I am angry with my entire family.  I think that is why I am sitting out here shaking.  Someone HAS to be in a lot of pain as their punishment for me hurting so much.  And the only people here are my kids.  This is how the cycle goes on through generations.  I am not able to hurt my father because he is dead.  I have cut off my mother and sister and quite frankly the only damage I was able to do to them was to refuse to keep my silence.  That is the only tool I have.  This therapist does not understand that being able to speak my truth regardless of how or where or how appropriate it is, that's what is keeping me alive right now.  The fact that I am allowing myself to express what happened to me.  The fact that friends are coming out of the woodwork to listen?

Maybe I can't walk into a group and find the support I need.  Maybe I am too broken.  This isn't the first group I've terrified.  But if I am too broken to go find a group because the people in a group are too broken to support me... it's hard.  I get good support from my friends.  Sometimes I feel like it is better than I deserve.  But I don't have people in my life who were abused like me.  I actually just sent an email to a woman I used to be close with.  She has a horrifying background of sexual assault, prostitution, drug abuse, etc.  I hope she responds.  We've kind of lost contact.

I know why I am afraid to be cold and why I keep my house so warm.  When I get cold I start shivering and I feel like I am going into shock.  When I feel like that I have a harder time keeping the memories at bay.  I used to sit in our house in the mountains under a pile of blankets and think about my abuse.  My mom and my sister went back and forth between telling me I was an abuse victim and saying I was just a whiner.  The story was always that what happened to me wasn't as bad as what happened to my sister.  So I shouldn't complain, because look!  She's fine!  Only she's not.  She can't hold down a job usefully.  When she manages to get into a relationship with a nice guy she destroys their life until they stop dating her and go off and fix the damage.  She is a very broken person.

So I keep my house warm so I don't have to sit here and shiver and feel scared.

A few minutes ago I had to break and go nurse Calli for a bit.  Of course I felt like I was a better mother because I was sober.  But there is this thing that happens when I nurse, I don't know if it's common and it's weird body tmi.  Nursing makes me have to poop.  For the 5am nurse, if things are timed badly, I sometimes lie there in agonizing pain trying to not shit the bed because I need Calli to go back to sleep and she won't let go of my nipple so I can go to the bathroom.  During this time period, honestly it's only like a 2-3 minute of crisis feeling, I sit there and visualize the ways I want to hurt Calli in response to her hurting me.  Because I feel like it is her fault that I am in so much pain because it hurts only when I'm nursing her.

Maybe the right answer is to let her scream and get up and use the bathroom.  Today what I did was I told Noah that I was in a lot of pain because I have to use the bathroom and she won't let go.  And Noah stayed up late last night so I didn't want to bother him and I was feeling really upset about the fact that I was in pain and wanting to hurt my baby because of it.  Noah told me, "It was my choice to stay up late.  I'll take the baby.  Go."  I love him so much.  He is so good at giving me permission and space to have whatever feelings I need to have.  I don't know what I would do without him.

So I have some rage issues.  Ok.  When folks like Sharon (or my ex-boyfriend) tell me that I am destroying my life with rage I feel confused.  I get the impression I feel way more rage than other people.  But I don't really see how it is destroying my life.  I have bad periods where it puts my life on hold.  I am out in the garage right now and I am absolutely not part of my life right now.  It's sad.  I'm not happy about it.  But I don't see how I am destroying my life.  I am stepping out of my life for a little while and I am having my rage issues come out by myself with a computer in the garage.  No really, that is about the best kind of control anyone can ask of me.  The alternative is to tell me I'm not allowed to feel the rage at all.  Excuse my language, but fuck off you fucking cunt.  Don't tell me that rage is destroying my life because it isn't.

Rage is causing me to sever the bonds with an abusive family.  Rage is causing me to admit out loud that my father raped me.  Rage is causing me to have the strength to stand up and say that my mother and my sister are evil.  That they are child molesters.  That my sister is a rapist.  I need to say those things and I do not have the courage to say them without this level of rage.  Not really.  But given that I am surrounded by people who love me and support me, and given that I am extensively checking in about my mental situation (I feel more than a little uncomfortable with the fact that I am live blogging my breakdown, and yet... I feel like I am being very accountable so I know that I am not crossing any lines) I don't feel it is in any way shape or form appropriate to say that I am destroying my life.  To be clear Sharon said, "Your rage is going to burn you and your family alive if you don't get some support.  Expressing the rage is fine for a start, but you can't sustain this level of fury on a moment-to-moment basis forever."

Forgive me for laughing as I think about the idea that maybe I should get some support.  I have many many people checking in with me as I do the hard work.  Maybe I'm just doing it in a way that doesn't work for her.  But I am doing it.  I'm tired of feeling invisible.  I cannot see a therapist who sees no value in the way I am processing.  The way I am processing has allowed me to have a very good life and very good friends.  I am no longer in an abusive situation.  At this point in time I am surrounded by people who love me to distraction who want to give me every ounce of help they can.  And I'm letting them.  People are coming over and caring for my kids and doing my laundry.  People are showing up with food.  People are calling and leaving comments and texting me and emailing me and...  I have support.  I am not past (See Ali, I do listen) the crisis yet.  But I will get past it.  I will.  I have done it before.  I'm not sure if this is the darkest place I've been, but it's pretty bad.

Let me state this pretty clearly.  I am not dead because I will not do that to Noah or my kids.  My will to live is a flickering flame right now.  But god damnit I am going to get through this.  Those mother fucking pieces of shit aren't going to kill me.  They aren't powerful enough.  But I'm still scared.

I think I should fall down the rabbit hole and tell stories.

1 comment:

  1. something is standing out to me, and i hope it's okay to point this out. in saying this, i'm not defending or agreeing with sharon's statement.

    i see a big difference between what she said (rage will burn you alive) and what you heard (i am destroying my life with rage). it might seem the same - it's about you, rage, and the effects - but your role is totally different. something is hurting you, versus you are doing something wrong. in her version, you have a risk and a need (and some responsibility to get your need met). in your version, it's almost as if you are to blame.

    it brings me back to something else you wrote about, your abusers telling you that your reaction to the abuse was wrong, that it isn't a big deal, that you should be glad you didn't get it any worse. because it sounds like you are hearing that your rage is not valid, and i don't think sharon is saying that, but because you heard it so much, maybe you are still hearing it. one of those differences, again, between what you "know" and what you feel.

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