Because of You

I was reading one of my favorite blogs on my blogroll and was impacted by her most recent post "Since U Be.en Gone", in reference to the Clark.son song. The reference is something that hits home for me and it got me thinking of another Clark.son song that came on the radio during a rough patch I was having... never noticed the depth and meaning of the lyrics until I really listened. The entire song doesn't match up to my feelings, but the chorus could have been written by me.

As I continue this journey to no longer be afraid, I have a feeling I will come across many more lyrics that will speak to me as this one does. Finding out what I am afraid of is the first step though, and I will start that process on Tuesday.


I can't believe it's been over a week since I last posted!

My cousin flew into town Friday night from Cali.for.nia. Her flight was delayed 4 hrs and we did not end up getting home til 2AM!! We hit the spa the next day, had a late lunch with my mom, did some shopping and went to the game Saturday night. Sunday we slept in, watched some House and Law & Or.der:SV.U then went out to meet some friends. We stopped to see my sister, who happened to be in the same city we were in that night then went home. I had to go back to work on Monday, so she stayed home to work on paper she had for midterms. I dropped her off at the airport late Monday night and have been so busy the rest of the week.

My session Tuesday was scary. Scary because I am starting to realize what exactly I am going to have to confront in order to begin "moving on" and the idea of doing it makes me want to run away. I e-mailed her later on that night and told her just how much I was freaking out and she gave me some good tips to hold me over til our next session. Now that I've had time to simmer down, it's back to being no big deal, but I know as soon as I cross that threshold on Tuesday I will be a nervous wreck. Wednesday was a late night because we had a meeting after work, then I had to get to the gym. Last night I left as soon as I could to have time to workout and enjoy some TV time at home. My Tivo is almost 100% full and I just can't find the time to watch anything! Today was a good day, all things considered. I was scheduled for a 30 minute massage (all she had time for) but ended up staying for an hour and a half because I had so many knots in my back and hips and she kept saying she did not want me to be in pain all weekend. Gosh I love her. Not only that, but she insisted on only charging me the original fee. So I got her back with a huge tip ;)

My new bed is being delivered Sunday, so after I hit the gym tomorrow I will be getting good use of my Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons for a new mattress pad and sheets! Have a good weekend!

Emotional Work

So as part of my homework (and work in what I am lovingly calling "Phase 2"), I am to make a list of things that are hard for me to read or are things that I feel/think about myself in the book she (my therapist, A) recommended for me, called On Th.e Thres.hold of I sat down with it for a long time last night, and am planning to do the same in a few minutes because I won't have the opportunity again until Monday night, and I hate putting things off until the last minute.

Reading this book has been hard. It makes me feel that weight in my body that I can't stand. It's going to be hard work going through all of this. This is my list so far, and I still have over 100 pages to go.

p. 40, para. 2: I didn't want to go back once the counselor knew. I didn't want to see that look in her eyes. I imagined she was repulsed by the sight of what was in front of her.

p. 56, para. 3: My efforts to hide the truth from others succeeded. People saw me as a quiet girl, a nice girl. A girl who blended in with the scenery.

p. 72, para. 1: Don't speak, don't feel. They have been taught to blame themselves. Self-hatred comes easy. These children have learned how to numb their feelings and continue on as if nothing horrible has happened.

p. 86, para. 3: To live in a body that reminds you of memories that you would just as soon forget is to feel horribly trapped.

p. 93, para. 1: Your energy is consumed by watching your weight and controlling your appearance. You believe that if your only value is in your physical body, then it better be good. If it is not, then you are worthless.

p. 102, para. 3: I should have stopped it. I should have run away.

p. 114, para. 3: You can dissociate from the feelings in your body, from your emotions or from the reality that is happening.

p. 117, para. 1: Some believe that facing the truth about your life would hurt and destroy you rather than set you free. Some believe that love is possible only if you do everything right. Some believe that if people learned about who you really are, they would walk away in disgust.

p. 124, para. 1: The result was to ignore the warning signs because she could do nothing about them anyway.

p. 127, para 2: Many survivors believe they have to answer any question anyone asks them. The concept of saying "I would rather not answer that" does not feel like an option.

Black and White Thinking

I had a double session today. I had to skip last week because of an after hours meeting I couldn't get out of, so since it was my week off I figured I could double up.

I was asked to make a list of things my mom has taught me, both good and bad. I have a lot of resentment towards my mom in relation to how she handled my abuse, in addition to other things. The list was not hard to make because it didn't really place blame for anything, it was simply a fact-based list. After discussing some of the good things she has taught me and why I enjoy being around her, we began to discuss the negative things and I could feel myself turn on the "minimizer". I feel intense guilt for feeling and thinking bad things about my mom and that causes me to downplay things she did that have effected me.

I told her how confusing it was to go from resentment when I am apart from her, to feeling as though nothing is wrong when I am with her. That's where the black and white thinking comes in. There is no middle ground when it comes to my mom. I respond to her the way I was taught by her. Everything is always OK on the surface, but behind closed doors is where the real emotions lie. We talked about how easy it is for me to "live in the gray" with my dad. My dad has let me down in many ways, but I accept his faults and don't feel the need to shield him the way I do my mom.

"Why is that?" she wonders.

As bad as it is to say, I never expected any emotional support from my dad. He was consistent with not providing that... but I expected so much from my mom because I knew she could give me what I needed. She was inconsistent, but it was there. I always hoped that next time would be different. She's hurt me too much for me to be in the gray right now. I learned to deal with my hurt by separating my emotions into two compartments; black (the angry, resentful feelings) and white (the feelings I needed to have in order to maintain the facade).

We also talked about how I feel my progress is going. I was honest in telling her that I feel as though not much has changed, but that I am more aware of how things have affected my life and my reaction to those events. She said that because we are still in the process of acknowledging the events and people that affected my life, that there are generally not huge gains in healing and growth but that it is a necessary step to get to the next part where most of the healing happens. This part deals with all the emotions and thoughts tied to all these events and working through them to find a place of peace within each subset. She was lengthy in describing the work that goes into this step and I told her how overwhelmed I felt in knowing what I had ahead of me.

She said instead of focusing on all the work ahead of me, that I should go back and look at the work I have done. Although I may not believe it, she told me that she has seen huge changes in me since we started working together 5 months ago. She told me she is proud of what I have done, especially telling her my story. In the face of so much pain, she is proud of how brave I am and how as much as it hurts and is uncomfortable that I continue to show up and do the work. She told me that even though I don't see the bravery and strength she does, that one day I will. It is a good feeling to know that someone believes in you when you aren't strong enough to believe in yourself.

To continue the shift into "Phase 2", my homework is to look over a packet on shame. I have intense feelings of shame with the abuse, which have filtered into my relationships with my family and friends. There is a list of common thoughts of "shame-thinkers" and I am to highlight the ones that I feel/think and what thoughts provide me proof that this is who/what I am. In addition to that, I told her that I had bought the book she recommended but was having a hard time reading it more than a few pages at a time. I've had it for almost 3 weeks and I haven't gotten past Chapter 3. I am having trouble acknowledging the things that some stranger is writing are the way I think and feel. It's very exposing to know that someone else thinks/knows about things when you thought you were the only one. So in addition to the packet, I am to go back and write down the things that made me feel that way so we can start incorporating those into the emotional work as well. I jokingly put a smirk on my face and raised a fist "Yay!" We both got a good giggle. She and I both know that as much as the homework assignments challenge me, I do them because I need to, not because I want to.

Until next Tuesday, I have a lot of stuff to write about.


Today went exactly as planned except for one small bump. Went for a medication check and my 2nd Gar.dasil shot today and was expecting a quick in and out. Last time I had a series of weird reactions (basically spikes in BP) after the shot, but attributed it to my extreme anxiety and stress level. I got my shot (which by the way hurts like hell) and headed to the front to schedule my next appointment and pay. While I was standing there waiting for her to finish her phone call I got extremely lightheaded, "fuzzy vision" and felt like I was going to throw up. I told her I needed to sit down and she yelled at the nurse for some water... yeah. Little late for that. I ended up somewhere short of the chairs, thankfully segregated from the embarrassment of passing out in the waiting room. I felt like such an idiot! A nurse for one of the other doctors administered my last injection and was like "Oh yeah! I remember you now." LOL Great. My doctor had to come back out and make sure I was OK, gave me a sweet pat on the head and told me to take my time getting up. Geez.

I came home and took a nap because I was feeling a little woozy still, then went to get my hair highlighted and trimmed a bit. I was able to schedule an appointment with someone who is really hard to get, so I was stoked. She did an awesome job on my hair. Did my grocery shopping afterwards, came home and unpacked, did the dishes and ate some dinner. I'm about to tackle a little cleaning before settling down to watch House and 24.

I have a double session tomorrow at 11 which I am kind of nervous about. I have some writing I need to do for that, but am wondering if the focus is really where it needs to be right now. Ugh. It all needs to be worked on, but I just feel like there are some things that are holding me back in my life more than others. I just pull back so much when we barely touch on certain topics, I can't imagine how hard it will be if I were to say that I would like the main focus to be that. It makes my heart race just thinking about it.

Night Owl

So I've quickly reverted to my internal time, which is very much the night owl. I spend most of my off time up until 3 or 4AM, and sleeping in spurts throughout the day. I am in the way wrong field for my internal clock. Getting up early is a bitch!

2 days of my week off have already blown by. I hate that. I spent them visiting my best friend (who is just weeks away from delivery). I can't help but just stare at her when I am there with her. I have never been privy to so much of the pregnancy stuff than I have been with her. I cannot wait to meet her little boy. I'm hoping I can get down there in enough time to "see" the birth. The anticipation is killing me!

I drove back a little earlier than I planned to today so I could stop by a huge furniture warehouse in town that is only open on the weekends. They were advertising mattresses and I have been needing one for a while. My massage sessions have done wonders on my shoulders, but my hips and back are increasingly painful because of my old mattress... so I figured I'd use my tax return for this purpose. I got an awesome deal on a queen pillowtop mattress and box spring for less than $1000 including delivery. Only problem is they can't deliver until next weekend, and my cousin will be in town from Friday PM- Monday and I am not going to wait around for a delivery when she's only here for a short time. So now I'll have to wait 2 weeks.

Tomorrow I've got an appointment at my OBGYN for my 2nd Gar.dasil shot and a medication follow-up. I'm hoping she'll agree to write me the script for the so I won't have to go back to a psychiatrist. We'll see! I'm planning on trying out a new spa/salon near my apartment after that. I need to touch up the highlights in my hair big time. I'm sure I'll make time for a nap as well, in addition to some grocery shopping. I hope that the week goes by a lot slower than the weekend! I need all the relaxation I can get!!!

Am I doomed?

I'm so wound up right now I couldn't possibly sleep even though I am exhausted. I didn't get home til 8 tonight.

I started trying on clothes tonight to figure out what to wear tomorrow. I had to dress to the nines today since it was a special day, so I wanted to be business "comfy" tomorrow. I pulled out a pair of pants I hadn't worn in a while. They fit, but there isn't a shirt big enough to cover my muffin top. Ugh. Switch pants, they fit too a little looser than I remember but still tight at the waist and plop, muffin top. So I hopped on the scale w/ the clothes. Bad choice. On the scale without the clothes, better but still awful.

Back story: Up until 2005 (call it Dec 04) I was morbidly obese... easily 100 lbs overweight. While finishing my last 18 months in college I dropped 83 lbs. Then pre-graduation celebrations hit and I gained some weight, but was back down to 167 when I started work. Over the past 3 years workingl, I have put on 13 lbs... most of which has been in the past year during my intense struggles with dealing with my abuse and emotional issues I never really knew I had.

So FF to tonight and it was just too much. I haven't had a panic attack in a while, so this definitely caught me off guard. I feel like I've lost control. I have been eating out with little regard to whether or not it's the best thing for me. It's definitely the easiest. I have been relying on pre-packaged processed food for convenience. I don't remember the last time I cooked something that required a little elbow grease. I used to cook all the time. Before it was the food that I almost always had in check and the exercise I struggled with and now I feel as if I've completely lost my ability to make good choices, to stop eating when I'm not hungry or even to recognize the fact that I'm putting stuff in my mouth without even realizing it. I have come home every day for the past 2 weeks and just stuffed my face without even remembering what I ate. That really scares me because the feeling that comes with that is somehow I will never be able to go back to how I was before. I had will power. I had awareness. I had desire.

I don't know how to get that back, and I do not want to continue on this path I am on. I am so afraid to get fat again.


A good portion of my adult life has brought me face to face with extremely uncertain times.

I was 17 and just started my freshman year of college when Sept. 11th occured. I remember sitting in the lobby of my dorm with about 100 other students watching everything unfold on TV wondering if the United States was about to go "up in flames". Never had I experienced a feeling like that. Never again do I want to feel that way. I cry anytime I see footage of that day.

I was at home on a Saturday morning in February 2003. I turned on my TV when I woke up and the news was on and they were showing what looked like a flaming streak in the sky. Apparently I had turned on the TV in a lull in dialogue because it took what seemed like eternity for them to reiterate that what I was seeing was the space shuttle, Columbia. I thought it was a nuclear missile... not that I knew what that would look like, but I definitely thought it was something bad.

I was 19 when we "declared war", and I remember thinking "What does being at war mean? Are there going to be more attacks? Should I expect combat on my home soil? Am I safe?" All I had to reference was what I read in my history books about WWII and the Vietnam war. I had no idea what "being at war" meant.

My first half of my 20's were pretty stable in the grand scheme of things. Nothing as mind altering as the aforementioned, but then again I was away at college and I lived in my own world. *sheepish grin*

The first 2+ years of "real life" has been wonderful! I have a wonderful job; fulfilling, pays well, great job security. Then the Dow started slipping and I could see/hear the worry in my dad's face. A lot of my family's money is in the stock market. On a good day last year (while still in the 10000+ range) the Dow lost 100 pts and my dad said that that loss equated to about $100K lost for the family. Umm, wow. I didn't need to know that. I made the mistake of looking at my quarterly report for my 403b in December and found out that I lost over 1/3 of my contributions.

At 25, I am now experiencing the effects of a recession. It's extremely frightening for me to see how quickly everything seems to be falling apart. I've lived almost all of my life (as an aware member of society) in pretty prevalent economic times, so seeing the opposite of this is causing me to ask a lot of questions again. Is my job safe? Will my family be OK? Are we headed for another "Great Depression"??

Uncertain times bring up a lot of questions for me. Unfortunately most of them cannot be answered!


Over the past 2 nights I have had VERY involved and intense dreams. The reason I bring this up is because I almost never have dreams that I remember, let alone two nights in a row. I'm lucky if I have one night a month where I have a vague recollection when I awake of dreaming about something. But these dreams were so vivid that I honestly had to go back in my mind and think about whether they actually happened or not.

Friday Night - My dream started off black and white. Random. I was in the apartment from "I" with my sister and we went downstairs to go swimming in the indoor pool. One end was extremely shallow, the other was SUPER deep. She and I were in there then all of a sudden I am playing with 2 black dogs that were the size of hummingbirds. Because they were so small we stayed in the shallow end and I sprayed them with water. Suddenly I was in the deep end and my sister was out of the pool just staring at me. I climbed out then was back in the hallway of the apartment building, panicking because I couldn't remember the apartment number that we came from (i.e. and Ricky's). I went up and down the hallway and landed on #12 as my final choice. Lucy was in the living room typing on a typewriter I used to have as a kid. It was one I got for my 7th birthday. Then somehow I ended up back in my college town, having to walk back to my current city. I chose to run because apparently I was fit enough to run over 100 miles and not be winded. I ran past 3 sleighs with reindeer, then ended up getting off track somehow. I was in the downtown area of a very shady city, following the train tracks and trying to get to the bottom of the hill. When I did I got back to a "nice" city but was lost. So I just started running again on the city streets, up a mountain where all of a sudden I was with a group of people and we were going up the mountain in a "spider position" (on feet and hands, belly up), dragging our butts on the ground. We got to the top of the mountain and there was this huge field of flowers and in front of me was the most beautiful canyon I have ever seen.

Saturday Night - My dream started off in a room that looked like a study. It had mahogany walls, bookshelves full of books and was dimly lit. In a chair sat an old woman who was my therapist. She told me it was my fault for what happened to me, that I was disgusting and dirty, as well as other things that upset "me", but I don't recall what they were. I left in tears and somehow found a new therapist online who reminded me of my massage therapist in real life. The only bad thing was that she worked in the town where I went to college and that is over 2 hrs away, so she suggested I take a helicopter to see her. I would schedule 2-3 hours with her at a time, but would drive straight from work, see her at 6 then drive back home around 9. I remember feeling so great when I was there, but still so traumatized by what had occured earlier. My main panic in this dream was not being able to schedule time to see her. I forgot an appointment that I had scheduled and freaked out. Then I received an e-mail from her bragging to her co-workers about a website one of my clients made about me.

For me to remember all of those details, not only from last night, but the night before has never happened to me. I have only ever had one dream before when I was a kid where I remembered specific details, but it was a recurring nightmare I had... so you tend to remember the bad stuff. I wonder what I'll dream about tonight.