Thank you for the comments you left me about C.R.. I have made the decision to go again on Thursday to a different church in the area who (according to their website) has a small group for women dealing with issues of abuse.

Counseling today mainly went over my confrontation with my mom and the feelings/emotions that resulted from that. Aside from feeling oddly empowered, right now I don't have much to go on. I had e-mailed A sometime last week asking if she had any open appointments on Thursdays so that I could make the most of my time off this summer by coming 2x a week. The next two weeks I will come in if anyone cancels and have the last few weeks in July double-booked. She asked me given the fact that I am focusing on working hard this summer, what my goal is by the time I have to go back to work.

I told her I want to stop having nightmares by then. I think the fact that I am having them is because I go to bed EVERY night thinking about it, trying desperately to go over everything step by step because I have a piece of that day missing. I can remember everything up until a certain point, then there is a gap. What I remember next does not fit with where it left off. I have lately even wondered if there is a way for me to find the detective that was in charge of my case so I can get a copy of my statement. I think I need to change my goal instead of not having nightmares, to not obsess over trying to fill in that missing piece. I really think the bad dreams will subside if I can let that go.

On a happier note, I took my 6 year old ni.ece out with some friends from work and their kids to a local pizza and arcade game establishment. She had an absolute blast (as she is one of four and rarely gets to do stuff by herself) as did I. I love being able to spoil her :) Next week I'm taking the oldest 3 to the waterpark in my city. Family bonding time!

A Big Step

I am definitely getting an A on my homework this week. I was supposed to take risks this week, and there's no denying I did that.

About 5 months ago, the prospect of C.R. was brought up to me in session to which I immediately freaked out and shot down. Time passed, changes were made and it was reintroduced. I was still extremely hesitant but my "Hell No-o-meter" was not buzzing at full blast anymore. I mulled over it and had all but decided to at least try it, and give myself the option to do nothing after that if I didn't feel comfortable.

I went tonight.

I got there about 10 minutes before, sat in the parking lot and scoped out the people walking in. Most of them were male which made me extremely uneasy. I had all but decided to leave, drove to the exit then decided that I was being a baby. I cranked it in reverse, parked and walked in. The large group setting was in the church. There were a few worship songs, then a "lesson" followed by celebrations. A couple of the female leaders (M and C) introduced themselves to me (I guess they knew I was new) and asked if I was going to stay for orientation while the others split up into small groups. In order to get an idea of what everything entailed, I agreed. I was the only newbie this time, so M took me to a separate room and we talked. We talked about what brought her there, why I was there and what C.R. entailed. It is a Christian based program which would probably be good for me if I had my "spiritual ducks" in a row, but I am in such a bad place right now. Everything is based on your solid belief that God is there for you and loves you and I can honestly say I don't feel that way now. I was honest with her in the fact that I was having a lot of spiritual struggles that I was also working on in therapy and I wasn't sure if I could do what was "required" in order to be successful in this group. In addition to that, she said that everyone is expected to share after their first visit, to which I immediately raised red flags to. A always told me that if I went, speaking was only expected when you were ready. I am ready to listen and take in others' experiences, but I still don't feel ready to talk about my own.

I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with the information I was given, but yet so at peace talking to her. Part of me was screaming to leave and the other part knew that if I just had the strength to, I could trust her. Before we walked out of that room, she asked me if there was anything she could pray about for me. I told her about the situation with my mom and our talk, and then she took my hand and prayed for me.

I am afraid to go back. I just don't know if I am ready for this.

Did that just happen?

I am on emotional shut down after what happened today.

My mom called me out on the fact that I have been distant and pushing her away. What I thought I was hiding so well was apparently very clear to her. She was confused as to what she did to make me be so distant and angry and asked that we talked about it instead of continuing on the path we were on. It just so happens today was her birthday. Geez, pretty sure I completely ruined her day.

I have been toying with telling her what has been bothering me for the last month or so, but didn't really think I was strong enough yet. Then I got this e-mail from her and sat in my car (got it via my Black.ber.ry) thinking of all the ways I could respond. I typed a few beginning snippits, basically avoiding the issue then realized that this was my opportunity to do what needed to be done to help me. For once in my life, I thought about me. I drove to the house, sat down with her face to face and told her everything that was going on with me and how it includes her. It was brutally honest and to the point. I didn't sugar coat anything. I told her about my struggles in dealing with the abuse itself and how her inactions are a big reason why I have been pushing her away. I went into vivid detail of everything I am having problems with and am currently working on and the fact that I have been pushing myself away because I need the space in order to deal with it. It's too hard for me to be around acting as though everything is OK. I told her I don't want to try to do that and resent the fact that I had to do that.

My sister was there when I got there and listened to all of this, which was in the end a very good thing. I have NEVER talked about the abuse with my mom and sister. I took the opportunity to ask her things that I never have been able to before, like "How does it affect you now?" "Aren't you mad, too?" etc. She is still in extreme denial. Her coping mechanisms are completely different than mine, so she probably didn't understand why I was going off on my mom for things that she doesn't feel are a big deal. I think now that my sister understands what I am working through (even though she may not completely understand the feelings behind it) she will hopefully be able to logically see my position. The last thing I want to do is alienate her because of the distance I am putting between me and our mom. I've already ruined my relationship with her once because of the actions of my mom, and I'll be damned if I am going to let that happen again.

My mom at one point apologized to me, and I know she meant it. But at the same time (and I told her this), I am not at a point where I can accept her apology. Right now, it is just words to me. In the end, she asked about how/when she could contact me and I told her she should feel free to call/e-mail me whenever she wants, but that I probably will not be the one to initiate it for a while. I told her I need the distance in order to figure out what I need as an adult to help heal the 13 year old that is still inside of me hurting and that there is nothing she can do now to help me figure that out. It's on me to do that. She's just going to have to give me the time and space I need.

Normally this type of thing would send me directly into a panic attack. Confrontation like this is not my m.o. I do not talk this bluntly or directly about anything... in fact I can't think of a SINGLE time in my life that I have done something like this. It feels weird to look back on today and not feel completely guilty or panicked for what I did/said. It's so strange. I know I hurt my mom, and I am sad that that had to happen but I am not upset that I told her the truth. That is such a change for me. I almost can't believe I feel this way.


I am remembering things I have spent a long time trying to bury and at the same time I am frustrated with my inability to remember other things. It is very hard to have gaps in your memory, knowing full well there should be something there.

I had a nightmare of him last night. This much I do remember...

Forward Thinking

Howdy all, I'm back from the Rocky Mou.ntain state. Spent some fun times with my family, went up to our cabin (where it was cold enough to need multiple layers!), hiked, kayaked, and did other wilderness things. I got back home today, a good 40 degrees higher than it had been where I was. And now, 10:30 at night my A/C has chosen to crap out. Fabulous.

I had sent A an e-mail last week after our last session because I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with the things we were discussing and my inability to acknowledge them at that specific moment in session. That in turn was leaving me to feel extreme guilt for what I left unanswered and for telling myself that I should have been brave enough to talk. After all, they are just words right? Beginning our session tonight with the e-mail I sent, we picked apart the things I told her were keeping me from speaking up in session, as well as my hopeless feeling that no matter what I do, there is just too much to fix to even bother. At first we focused on why I feel as though I am not able to speak up in session when asked something that really strikes a chord with me. Bottom line - I'm telling myself I should not be feeling this way and that I am bad/awful/wrong for doing so. Solution - Work on using positive reinforcement as a means to at least acknowledge what I am feeling is there, and if I can do it, tell myself it is OK that I am feeling that way. Main line - the negative thinking is hurting and not helping me, but positive thinking is at worst neutral, but has the potential to be helpful.

In addition to that, I am to start working on forward thinking instead of backward thinking. Part of the hopelessness I am feeling is because of revisiting sessions where I feel I did not do the best I could, or push myself as hard I could, causing me to wish I had said this or done that, etc. etc. Instead of thinking backwards, I am to think forward. If there was something I didn't answer or bring up that is still on my mind later, write it down and talk about it next time... or don't if I still don't feel like it. That way I am taking control of what I can change (i.e. the future) instead of obsessing what I can't (the past). Seems so obvious, but for someone like me who was always called out on past actions, it is not easy to break that cycle.

After discussing these very important things, she asked me: "What do you feel you are ready to talk about?" causing me immediate stress in having to categorize and prioritize the things in my mind and pick something to talk about. Ugh. Picking one thing over the other is hard for me to do, because it means that I have to vocalize what I think is the most pressing issue. In all honesty, I'm afraid that what I want to talk about is something that she thinks I don't need to work on. Stupid I know, but I am afraid that if I say the abuse is something I want to talk about, she's going to think "Why is she bringing this up again? Doesn't she know this isn't the cause of all of her problems?" So instead of being direct, I tiptoed around vague things until time was up. My immediate reaction was to be disappointed in myself, but I tried to push that into making goals for next weeks session based on what I would have changed for this weeks.

They are as follows:
- Don't be vague, be direct and give details of my fears
- Try not to hold back tears if they are there
- Be honest about what I want to talk about

It's now 11PM and it's still 93 degrees outside.. and I still have a broken air conditioner. Forward thinking says I'll be placing a call to the office at 8AM sharp to get someone to come fix it.


Trip to NY.C was amazing. Our flight was cancelled the day we were supposed to leave (very bad weather here) and we couldn't get a flight out til the next day at 6AM. So we lost a day but we were still able to do everything we wanted to, just at a much faster pace. We saw 3 Broadway plays and did all the popular touristy stuff. I'm pretty sure I walked over 30 miles in 3 days. What an experience :) I'm leaving for Colo.rado tomorrow morning. My aunt and teenage cousins live in NW Colo.rado, and my other cousin (who is more like my sister) is meeting me up there. Should be pretty relaxing. I'm hoping to do some white-water rafting, but we'll see how my back behaves.

I had a session last night that I thought I was prepared for, but as it has played out lately, I am taken completely off guard by the emotions and fear that come over me. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to speak in session. Namely, she will prompt me for more clarification or information and I seize up. I know the answer or know why, but fear is keeping me from talking. The two things that are rearing their ugly heads that I did not expect to are my issues with food and God. I can keep it together when we are discussing anything but these things (or the abuse, but that is an obvious barrier that I expected). I told her the main thing that is keeping me from talking about it that these things are just coming to the surface and the fear that it is going to be something that I have to work on immediately keeps me from drawing attention to it. After all, it took me 10 years to seek help for the abuse. Having already given me my "assignment" for the week, she said that anything I felt like talking about would not result in additional work for the week. Knowing that, I felt much safer opening the door a little more. I was able to talk about the two main fears I have about food and God and left it at that. I wrote something last week that would have been helpful to share if I had the time, but we had none so I didn't say anything. Maybe next week.

I went to get a massage today, much needed after all that walking around NY.C. I was feeling a little panicky before going and was hoping it would calm me down. I ended up hyperventilating and had trouble getting myself back in order. Once I was able to get my breathing under control, I started crying. The music that was playing and my current state was just too much for me to handle, and even though my eyes stayed closed the whole time, my tears pushed their way through and streamed down my face. God bless my massage therapist. She knows enough about my life that she was able to keep me from going into a full blown panic attack. She gave me a huge hug before I left and told me that she was there if I ever needed anything. Of course, that sparked more tears that I thought I had under control. What it is about hugging that is like a release valve? I promised her I'd be alright. And I will... eventually. *sigh*

Did I even breathe today?

1. Woke up at 9:30
2. Started laundry
3. 10:45 appt to drop off (new) car to get front 2 windows tinted
4. Picked up by D and taken to chiro
5. Got adjusted
6. Back to pick up (new) car, finished windows in 30 mins
7. Drop off D's car, drive to lunch
8. Order and eat lunch
9. Notice weird pain in neck
10. Go to Tar.get to pick up travel size items
11. Kill time, visit pet store
12. Buy cute cotton dress at for $12.99 (WOO!)
13. Run to De.pot to visit D's husband who was sent to pick something up
14. Start feeling stabbing pain in neck
15. Call from inspection company, ready to inspect (old) car
16. Meet inspector, get (old) car inspected
17. Drive 30 mins to turn in (old) car to dealership
18. Fill out paperwork, turn over keys
19. Call chiro, wonder if adjustment messed with my neck
20. Race back to chiro and get there 5 mins before close
21. Adjusted again, no reason for neck spasms and pain
22. Drop off D at my apartment to pick up her car
23. Run to Kinko's to fax lease termination to new dealership
24. Pick up dinner from grocery store
25. Get to apartment just as tornado sirens go off (SERIOUSLY?!)
26. Take cover in bathroom with 2 cats, flashlight and cell phone
27. Emerge 30 mins later, eat dinner
28. Oh crap, laundry? Fold and wash
29. Shooting pains in neck/jaw still, web check-in to CareNow
30. Called into office, seen by doctor
31. Diagnosed with acute lymph.adentitis, given antibiotics and pain meds
32. Fill prescr.iptions, spend 3x longer there than at the doctor
33. Home at 10PM, shower
34. Phone with friend, pack, charge electronics
35. Blog about my crazy day.

Oh right... *breathe*

Hello, NY.C! I'll be back Monday night.


Gosh I hate crying, and I have been doing nothing but that since I left my session this evening. Crying makes me feel awful. Like something toxic is being pumped through my system and the off switch is broken. Crying is only nice if it is something you want to do... something you need to do. I was not expecting this and now I fear it's too late to turn around.

Whenever I am directly asked anything related to God or church in my sessions, something inside of me immediately reacts and I have to hold back the tears. It is an instant reaction. Something I have noticed, but not drawn attention to until tonight. In my homework, I mentioned something in one of my goals about not being afraid to go to church. To dig a little deeper we discussed how the social expectations of church scares me (i.e. the control is in the hands of a large group, rather than me) and then started discussing what emotions I have that cause me the instantaneous reaction of crying. I hesitated to even start down this road because one, I really can't pinpoint a specific reason and two, I'm worried that whatever that reason is, that it's going to be stupid/anti-climactic/etc. I told her it wasn't anxiety or really fear, but sad and upset. "Why are you upset?", she asked. I don't even remember exactly what I said, but I immediatley started crying and it didn't take long for me to feel myself losing control and put the brakes on. I totally railroaded our path in session, and asked to talk about anything else. Having nothing in mind, we cut it short. I hate it when I do this. I retreat at the slightest hint of feeling because it wasn't something I had the time to plan for. I really wish I could take a second and think calmly about things instead of jumping directly to a closed door. Add another goal to the list...

New Car!

I bought a new car! I got jerked around at the first dealership I went to, didn't have that "I've gotta get this car now" feeling at the second, and was going to give up but decided to try one last dealership. Success! They were able to get me within the range of payments I was shooting for, and I tell you what, this car is amazing. There are so many options that I don't even know what to do with most of them! ;) It's not as economical as previous car, but is still good considering how big it is. So excited!!

One Small Step

Today was my last day of work. Big party to celebrate!

Now normally large social gatherings that involve alcohol make me very nervous. I don't drink, so being around a large group that is, eventually gets very loud and raucous. So normally if I go to these events, I often come up with an excuse to leave long before I ever arrive. I need an out if I feel things are getting out of control (my version of it at least, by no means all that bad to most people). I left work not long after the last bell, feeling anxious because of the prospect of having an empty 11 weeks ahead of me and always feeling obligated to fill it with things I don't want to do because I really don't have an excuse not to. Then feeling as if I was entering into a situation where I normally feel completely out of control almost sent me into a panic attack. I could feel it coming on, but the tools I have now are so much more adept at staving off those attacks. I was able to talk myself down and have a little pep talk with myself.

I arrived with about 10 staff members already there, which was comforting to me not having to wait around for conversation. We quickly had to move into the back room at the pub, as we exceeded 20+. I started off a little withdrawn, chiming into conversations as I had something to add but mostly felt a little out of place because I wasn't drinking or eating. I decided to get up to chat with my old team members who I never see because I moved departments. Ahh, back in my comfort zone. Once I got up and moving around I actually was able to enjoy myself. 2 hours passed without me even checking my watch! A lot of people had already left, but we got everyone else together for a picture (always fun when you have that many people) and I love that I have a "last memory" of my friends that are leaving. I left not long after, not feeling guilty that I left before other people, but that I stayed and enjoyed the time there. I am really learning that it is not worth worrying about what other's think about me, but listening to myself and being OK with the decisions I make.

One small step at a time.

Journal Share, Part II

Sometimes looking back is just as hard as looking forward.

January 2009
Tell your story. Three words that haunt me almost as much as the story itself. Why should telling someone be so frigthening? There is a certain notion that if I don't acknowledge it, then I can pretend (at least around others) that it didn't happen. If only it were that simple. I have two main fears about telling my story. One: The actual speaking part. Saying out loud everything that I remember about that morning. The things I would have to describe and put words to. In my head they are memories; no dialogue needed. The actions speak what the words don't. Two: The worry that once they know they won't be able to see me as anyone else. All they will remember is this story. The idea of having other people know, think about, and dissect my own personal hell scares me. I'm afraid that people won't look at me the same. I'll forever be remembered for that story and those actions.