Sunday, January 31, 2010

As time goes by...

Sixteen years ago I wrote the following.

There needs to be a settling of my soul. I need to lie down in that meadow, feel the warmth of the sun through my entire body, hear the breeze, feel the colors of the autumn leaves, smell the air. Listen to the silence and let my soul relax, let the walls finish crumbling. But I need to be in a place first that I can come back to...

I need to be strong, to listen to myself. I need to love others, but I need to love myself first. I want to be loved, openly and honestly. I want all my loves to be pure, not clouded with deceit and lies. I can have that...and I certainly deserve that. That pure unconditional love left me, a long time ago, and I have made sure always that I never would feel the pain of not having it. And it was never in question, and now it is again. And it leaves an emptiness in my heart, a reservoir of tears that flows uncontrollably. And I don't understand why I can't have it all, why I have to suffer first.

How do you forgive such subtle destruction of your soul? My parents didn't beat me, molest me, fight in front of me...we had everything we needed, didn't we? I guess not, not me. They just assumed I was okay. They didn't need to encourage me, love me, listen to me. I was invisible, my feelings were non-existent. I learned to be emotionally self-sufficient. What does that mean? I guess it means I stopped feeling. I stopped wanting, and I stopped for a long time, living life. Yes, you are always so happy, never stop being happy. We can't deal with unhappiness. Just keep on smiling and everything will be alright, just stop feeling and everything will be alright. So why not A, so why not Asshole? It's all in character for me...love me as long as I am what you need me to be...unfeeling, giving, strip my soul of everything and give nothing back...it's okay. I'll always come up smiling. You can't drown me, and if you do, I'll smile to the deepest depths. Twenty years of forced smiling...no wonder my jaws ache.

It's a work of self-love, like a work of art, a poem. That's what I am - a work of art - intense colors, beautiful blends from coarse to refined, soft edges and a swirl of compassion radiating from the inside out.

I was 39. I had no earthly idea what the next decade and a half would bring. I hadn't even begun...there was still so much to learn about the family and my life.

Dreams do come true...

It's amusing to see what chores come calling when I want to avoid something I must do. Yesterday, my bedroom closet just had to be organized and what a surprise I got when I pulled this dilapidated cardboard box down from the top shelf. I peeked inside and saw stacks of folders containing all the legal petitions, documents, etc. from my divorce from husband #2 - the lunatic. I didn't go through it - not memories I cared to relive. I poked around a little more and found my marriage certificate to husband #1 - the abuser and my divorce petition. Didn't care to relive those days either.

I also found a few loose papers with some typewritten thoughts and among those, I found a dream that I had written down in March 1995. It isn't a coincidence that I came across this.

I was somewhere, I don't know where, with Asshole (husband #1), and he suddenly punched me in the jaw, with his fist, and almost knocked me out. We weren't arguing, and then he slapped me across my eyes and temple and he really hurt me. I got some ice and wrapped it up in a towell and was holding in on my jaw. I was really angry and I went to the police and told them I wanted to press charges against my assailant, but they removed the towell from my jaw and said they saw no evidence of any abuse. There was nothing they could do and I was screaming at them, telling them my face, my jaw, and my eye were all swollen and black and blue. They kept telling me that they saw nothing and that they would do nothing. I was angry but not crying. When I was being hit by A, he kept turning into husband #2 [Lunatic], and when I went to the police station, I couldn't remember if it was Asshole or Lunatic who had hit me. The police just totally discredited me because I could not remember.

be true to thyself

Can we ever truly be true to ourselves? I don't know of anyone who is. Maybe it should be a goal. I look at the LOML and see what troubles he deals with because he is not true to himself. He divides his life up into compartments that cannot interconnect and it forces him to live lies, to me, to his children, to himself. I was never true to myself. I shielded myself from my truths and wound up sick, sick, sick - mentally, emotionally, and physically for decades.

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." -- Shakespeare

Once we understand the power of truth, it’s hard to go back to anything else. If we go off track and enter the land of the white lie, we tend to feel it in our bodies. So then, what does it mean to be true to thyself. Quite a large subject to cover. To be true to thyself includes knowing what we value and what’s important to us and living these truths daily. Being true to ourself also includes having the discretion and integrity to know what truly being honest means and to be very clear about what is not true for us in our lives. Entering this level of clear thinking and commitment places a personal responsibility on us to live in a way where we value all life. Once we reach this level of truth, it becomes impossible, “to be false to any man”. Maureen Simon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A letter to self

Dear Self,

It is time to let go of life long fears. No one is going to abuse you anymore, not sexually, not physically, and not emotionally. But what I want to address with you in this letter, my darling self, is the need to maintain that hyper-vigilent stance you present against real and imagined sexual predators.

You don't need to keep eating for protection. It isn't necessary anymore to hide behind your weight, or to cover your beauty and sensuous nature behind layers of fat and baggy clothing.

It will be okay, I promise, to take back your natural physique. You will not turn into a sexualized object for any man's abusive needs or demented pleasures. You know how to keep yourself safe. You have a man in your life who would never treat you with such belittling and harmful behaviors as you have experienced in the past.

And yes, my dear, you can wear flattering and colorful clothing, if you choose.

And you can look in the mirror again and smile. Four plus decades of SHIT (yes, again) are going to come to an end.

Soon, I hope.

I had a conversation with my teeth...

actually my phantom front teeth. I met with Dr. B this morning and through tears and sobs, I told her that I need to rid myself of that bastard first husband of mine...that he still lives in the empty cavity that once held the tooth he so brutally knocked out. My mouth won't heal. I've stumped the dentist and the oral surgeon. There is no reason for the pain - there is no infection - but I am badly bruised; my tooth, my heart.

Dr. B suggested that we do some touch work around the pain in my mouth. What exactly she has in mind I'm not sure. But first, she asked that I have a conversation with my teeth. Tell them that it is okay to heal. Tell them that we can let go of the abuser and heal. It sounds funny, have a conversation with your teeth, but on the drive to work, I did. My darling teeth, my teeth that are no longer with me but once were a beautiful part of young girl's smile, you can heal now. That bastard is gone from our lives, forever. The bruises can heal. We've shed enough tears.

Maybe it's my imagination, but my aching gum that is holding onto all that pain around those missing teeth, has already started to calm.

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

no, no, no

Dr. B nixed my plan, immediately, angrily. No, she said, postponing therapy is the absolute worse thing you can do. You can't stuff anymore. Your physical ailments won't abate until you do the work. You should be coming here two, three, four times a week. You suffered extreme trauma -- once a week is the minimum.

Okay, I need to figure out plan b; plan m(oney). If I tape a $100 bill on my ceiling and believe that I will get 10 of them, will they find their way to me? I'm not being greedy. Funny, but I do believe I will find a way to earn that money and do the therapy work I need to do. And I need to do it before this stuff kills me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why?

Life hurts.

What did I do to deserve such suffering?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time for a break

I had my tooth extraction/gum surgery yesterday. Today I feel quiet...today I feel sluggish and heavy...today my gum feels tender and sore...today I cried intermittently all day long. It's evening now. I wish I felt better but it's not happening. Of course, the pain killer has numbed the aching as well as the emotions.

Thirty years later I still suffer from the consequences of abuse. I don't want to be a victim anymore. I'm not a victim anymore but I just don't heal. That's not totally true - I am healing...oh so slowly..way too slowly. So, I made a decision about therapy.

I can only afford therapy twice a month. It's not working out too well for me. I spend my 45 minutes revealing my most unsettling insights into my past, exposing my vulnerability, and trusting in Dr. B's ability to release me back into the world feeling safe. The revelations are becoming too intense and I end up leaving therapy in a very fragile place. My health is suffering. Because my time with Dr. is so limited, we have been unable to do any of the SE healing work.

My decision? To postpone therapy for a month or two while I pay off my dental bill ($5200) and save a little extra money so that I can go back to therapy on a weekly basis. Then I believe I will again make some healing progress. The way things are going I don't feel as though I'm progressing in my healing and physically I'm crashing. It's too painful to bear right now.

Maybe I'm fooling myself. Maybe I'll fall apart if I stop seeing Dr. B. I will make sure that I can reach out to her if my plan fails. Maybe she will talk me out of it but I doubt it because she's all about business. If I can't pay her, I can't expect her services.

I think it's time for a cool yogurt smoothie. Consumption should be refreshing and painless. Now if I could only breathe...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

desperation setting in; DANGER! DANGER!

Desperation has taken over. I am sick again, miserably sick. I am always sick - my illnesses just travel around my body, paralyzing a limb one week, poisoning my digestive tract, clogging my head making it nearly impossible to breathe...it's not funny. It's crippling. It's almost deadly, especially in the middle of the night when my thoughts go rampant. What am I to do?

Scream from the rooftops?

I WAS ABUSED - SEXUALLY, PHYSICALLY, and EMOTIONALLY.

I WAS ABANDONED BY MY PARENTS.

And cry my eyes out...poor me, poor victimized me.

If there is a god in heaven...

Dear God, please help me.

I have terrible thoughts swirling around inside my head. I can't stop them and I can't sleep.

please...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

If only I could sleep...I could do anything

I didn't sleep last night...still awake at 4:30 a.m. so I took a xanax. I remember the clock passing 5 and then dreaming about a fireplace. A gigantic stone fireplace in a dump of a house that I was moving into. I kept telling myself that the fireplace made the whole house worth owning. I proceeded to pull all kinds of SHIT out of the fireplace - broken statues, furniture, trash, food scraps and under all that stuff was a very neat pile of logs stacked and ready to be lit.

Then the dog woke me - it was 7:30 and he needed to go out. So, I bundled up, went out for a quick spin around the yard and fell back into bed until the LOML called at 8:30 and woke me. I was so so very tired and he was so so very down in the dumps that he didn't really even have anything to say to me. I don't want to be sad anymore but I can't seem to stop it. Everyone I know is anxious and sad and struggling in some fashion.

Most days I long for the darkness to begin my escape from the drudgery of my waking hours. The ritual begins with a hot soak in the tub and a few pages of a book or magazine, then into my pajamas, perhaps a short visit from the LOML, and then, yes, sleep -- a beautiful night of blissful slumber and peaceful dreams. I open my windows just a tad for a little of the frigid night air and turn out the lights. I crawl into my bed snuggling up under the down comforter, hug my pillows, and close my eyes. The bed linens are cool and crisp; the weight of the comforter heavy and warm. My little dog burrows down under the covers and nuzzles against my calves. The only thing that could possibly make it better would be to have the LOML next to me. For that one moment when I first curl up into bed, the world is perfection and nothing can befall me.

Only I don't allow myself to fall into a deep and restful sleep. It is literally just a moment or two before exhaustion overtakes me and I drift off into that place of semi-consciousness. It is there that something grips me and shakes me awake with such a fierce disturbance that my heart races, my body temperature goes haywire, my eyes fill with tears, and I sit up with a jolt. I stand up, take a few deep breaths, walk around my room. Sometimes I look in the closet. Most times I look out of the window. I scan my surroundings but the only eyes upon me are those of my little dog, who night after night jumps out of bed with me, searching for whatever it is I think is there. I take a few gulps of water and after rearranging my covers crawl back into bed. Only this time I don't feel like restful slumber is awaiting me. I toss and turn, my legs start to ache, my thoughts get repetitive and unstoppable. I know I'm in for one hell of a fight. Breathe in; breathe out. It's my mantra to quiet the thoughts. It works for a few seconds but without my permission or knowledge my mind drifts off to unsettling places. I just ache everywhere. On average I wake up and get out of bed 3-4 times a night...but that's not counting how many times I wake.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Anger rules

I live in an angry household. We are all gripped in a chokehold of anger. It just lives in us and rears it ugly head way too often. It makes me sad. But why wouldn't we be mad? We have had more than our fair share of shit. There's that word again, SHIT. I say it often; I write it often; I think it and dream it and I'm sure I've eaten it in my life. Oh, not literally but most of the shit in my life isn't literal.

I dream about shit. The other night I dreamed I was in a bathroom taking a poop (my other word). As I unrolled this rather hefty amount of toilet paper, this authoritative woman came into the bathroom, grabbed the toilet paper from my hand, and accused me of trying to cover up my shit. I told her no way, I had nothing to hide. I was just going to wipe my ass...but she didn't buy it. I got angry (again) and told her that she could look through my shit - she could even analyze my shit -- but she wouldn't find anything because there was nothing to be found. She took a piece of the bagel she was eating, dipped it into the toilet and scooped out a little piece of my poop. Then she continued to eat her bagel -- all but the section with my poop on it.

Today was an exhaustive day fueled by acrimonious tempers. Sometimes I just want to curl up into a ball and sink down into the earth. Ah...maybe that's death.

I slept a little better last night but tonight I will try it without Xanax.

My leg is improving. My eye isn't twitching. My teeth are quiet.

If only my thoughts would relax.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

consumed with hate

I had to get my temporary bridge glued in today - that meant cutting out the two crowns I just had put in a year ago and paring down one perfectly healthy tooth. It was 90 minutes of intensive drilling and an overwhelming feeling of nausea. It mean fighting back tears and trying to not choke on the teeth fragments, saliva, and water spray that wasn't getting sucked up by the tube.

These are my front teeth. The teeth that I can't remember getting knocked out. The same teeth that I am 99% certain were smashed by the ex-husband, who wasn't yet my husband. As I was leaving the dentist, she told me she understood why this was so upsetting. After all, I had strong, healthy teeth and there was no reason why my front teeth shouldn't have survived with me this long and longer. "I never asked you but how did you lose your teeth?" It's the dreaded question. One that I can't answer with full disclosure because I have removed that memory. I told her I didn't remember but I did know that it happened about 37 years ago. "It must have quite a blow to have broken just the two of them they way it did." Yes, I think so. It was definitely traumatic because I can't remember. She agreed and we both fell silent. Okay, then, I'll see you next week. I was choking back tears and years of anger and frustration.

I hate him. I hate that fucking bastard who punched or kicked out my front teeth. I can't seem to heal from it. I thought last year it was finally over when my new crowns were in place but not so. The one tooth got infected and eventually cracked vertically under the gum. But I'm not healed - not inside, not emotionally. I never got angry. I never wished that dirty lying abusive prick death. I didn't want to think about him or harbor hate or waste my time having him in my head or my heart. Oh, but he was there...slowly killing me. Everything that I cannot remember insidiously destroying my life. And I pretended not to notice. Out of sight, out of mind? Don't believe that for a minute. You've got to heal, somehow.

I dreamed about him the other night. I was at his mother's house and I walked up the steps to the backdoor and out he came. He was angry and his eyes were bright red - like Satan. He started to hound me about my whereabouts and he was getting very beligerant and threatening toward me. I told him to go fuck himself and he forceably picked me up and threw me over the railing. His three brothers were standing underneath and they broke my fall. They weren't actually trying to catch me but when I landed on them, they started to manhandle me and I stood up, puffed up like an animal under attack, and told them to get the fuck away from me. They all had blood red eyes as well. I quickly made me way back to my car and as I drove out of the unpaid driveway, I floored the accelerator and spit dirt, rocks, mud, and ice all over the four of them.

At least in this dream, I wasn't running away from them down the dark deserted street in my bare feet, scared shitless. Things must be improving somewhere inside me.

He terrified me in so many ways.

He is a useless, waste of a human being. No, he's not even human. He's an ugly, brutal, disgusting monster.

Healing is better than hatred. Heal then forgive or do I have to forgive first. How do I forgive this? Oh, he was a drunk hailing from generations of drunks? I don't think so, not yet, anyway.

I'm going to bed. Yes, I took a xanax tonight so that maybe, just maybe, I can fall asleep and stay asleep for a few hours. It hasn't typically worked but maybe tonight's the night. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 04, 2010

No more beating around the bush...

I thought it was ending. I thought I was well entrenched on the road to recovery...but it's more like I'm drowning in the muck on the side of the road. I have spiraled into an uncontrollable decline since mid-summer. First, it was the meltdown of my son, who confessed through a hailstorm of tears that he was sexually molested as a child while under his father's care; next, my daughter approached me while cooking dinner one evening and told she was having these repetitive dreams for more than a week of hiding under the bed in our old house -- no dream, my darling little girl. The climax was my mother's off-handed divulgence that my grandfather had an incestuous relationship with his eldest daughter and it all culminated with an emotional trip to visit my alzheimer-riddled father.

My body broke down this past year. I have always had a lot of physical fortitude and inner strength but no more. No more denial. Right now my ailments consist of a twitching eye (lower lid) for the past two days; and sciatica, I believe - a persistent, painful throbbing which starts in the top of my left buttocks and emanates down the middle of my left thigh - it feels like a hot poker running vertically through my leg. Oh, and my teeth again. My front tooth cracked vertically so now I need dental surgery and a bridge. And my left cracked molar is in the middle of a root canal. I mustn't forget to mention the somewhat nightmarish trip to visit my mother for the holiday. Why doesn't she like me? Oh, I've gained weight and now I'm too fat to be respectable or acceptable in my dear mother's eyes.