Missing Them

This has been a very hard week already, and it's only Tuesday. Saturday will be one year since my grandpa died. I miss him so much. It is also almost 6 months since T's death. I just received some new pictures so I could take one to work. Too much grief this week.

Listening To Myself

So my date Friday went pretty well, I could tell he was really nervous so he didn't talk much. I on the other hand have never been so calm during a date. What a testament to how much I have grown over the past two years! That being said, I have been trying to figure out where to go from here. I never felt much of a connection with him. We have a lot of common interests and come from similar backgrounds, but there really is not a physical connection. No spark. I can compare how I have felt with previous boyfriends and I still get butterflies thinking of them, but with him there is nothing. I'm trying not to let that hold me back, and trying to convince myself that maybe if I go out with him again something will spark up but I think I am pushing myself because I want a relationship so bad.

Another thing that is a red flag for me is that he calls or texts me ALL the time. For instance... when he first asked me out we exchanged numbers and I talked to him for like 3 hrs last Sunday. Whatever, that seems pretty normal to me. But then he'd text me Monday morning to see how I slept. Then 4PM Monday as soon as work was over to see how it went. Then would call me Monday night. I told him I don't keep my phone on on Tuesdays (session days), so then he called me Wednesday, talked to him for almost 2 hrs (ugh, I hate talking on the phone), he sent me a text at 2AM wishing me a good nights' sleep, a text at 6AM greeting me good morning, then called me after church Thursday. This is all before our first date.

So we go out Friday night and it wasn't the best date in the world, but it was fun enough. He drops me off at home and no lie, 3 minutes later he calls me and apologizes for being such a goober... telling me he was so nervous, etc. He had asked me earlier in the night if I wanted to go to the state fair with him on Saturday, which I politely declined since I already had plans. So I wake up to a text asking if I am sure I don't want to go. 6 hrs later he texts to see how my day went. He wants to know if he can call me when he gets back to his truck (which I thought would be immediately) so I told him that I was eating dinner. No problem, he says... he won't be back to his truck for an hour or so. So I asked him not to call me, told him I don't even talk to my mom or best friend but once or twice a week. He apologizes and that's that.... I started to think I got my point across when he texts me tonight. "I know I'm not supposed to call, but I just wanted to see how your day went."

That just does not seem normal to me, and is a total turn off. I do NOT want to get involved with someone who is that clingy and smothering. Part of me thinks I'm over-reacting, trying to convince myself that I am the one being too sensitive but the other part of me knows that this would probably not be a healthy thing for me at this time in my life. I've been praying a lot for guidance, asking God to help me see what He wants me to do... I think I already have my answer but I am just not sure. Opinions, please.

Excitement and Fear

I am proud of myself today. I had 4 journal writings from last week that I had the goal of going through in session today and I didn't let my fears overwhelm me. I even read 3 of them outloud, which is not something I normally do. The one I wrote from last night was a little too fresh and heavy for me to read myself, so I let her read it and decide the questioning she wanted to take with it. I was extremely weary of approaching this subject because I know I have some deep rooted fears there, which are making themselves known this week (more so than other weeks).

I have a date Friday night. I met a guy at my friend's party last weekend, and he found me via Face.book when I was tagged in some lovely pictures (it was an 80's theme and let me tell you, I rocked it!). I'm not one who is easily flattered by what others say to me, generally because I don't believe it, but he basically said he'd like to take me out sometime because I caught his attention immediately and he thought we would have a good time! So we exchanged numbers, talked for about 3 hrs Sunday night and he seems like a really awesome guy. He is taking me to the base.ball game Friday night. I told him I'm a huge sports fan and he called in a favor to one of his friends to get these tickets! I am excited :)

But at the same time, I am scared. I haven't dated anyone since I started confronting all these issues I have with my abuse. I feel like I am in a much better place to actually enjoy dating, but I am also so much more aware of how affected I am by what happened. I am still terrified of being touched. I am afraid to trust anyone with that information... so in the past I always sabotaged the relationship before it got to that point. I don't want to keep doing that, but I don't know how to not be afraid. I've been praying a lot this week. I've felt more peace than I've expected to so far this week, so I hope that can continue.


Last night's group worship was focused on gratitude. It was broken down into 4 parts and discussed in the context of scripture, as well as the personal experience of one of our co-leaders. Each part gave us the opportunity to think about how to express gratitude for things God has given us, how He has put individuals in our life to help us through our lives and recoveries, how He has allowed us to recognize our own growth, and how to express gratitude for our church.

This worship and support group is really good for me because it allows me to see how God is part of my recovery and journey to a better me. During those few hours every Thursday, it is so clear to me. I have a lot of things to be grateful for, and a lot of them I can see God's hand in. But I have to sit down and think hard. I do not take the time to acknowledge the gifts life has given me, but rather I focus most of the time on the little things I cannot change and forget the amazing things I have in my life. When I let go of those things I want to change, I feel out of control. Instead of focusing on the positive, I am holding onto the negative.

Today I had a very stressful day. I was running circles in my head of what I could have done differently, how I can handle what comes after, and everything I needed to do before heading out for the weekend. No gratitude in my mind. I finally left and stopped to check my mail, which I hadn't done in almost 2 weeks and my little box was FULL of stuff. After sifting through all of it I was left with my water bill, a shoe store coupon and an envelope from my doctor's office. Ugh. I really thought I was done paying all my medical bills! I ripped it open wondering how much I was going to owe this time, but to my shock it was a check! $50 back in my pocket! Sometimes gratitude comes in different forms, but I chuckled and thought to myself, "Nice one, God. The $10 off coupon I got for the shoe store would have been enough, but you really made your point with the check!" Suddenly, the weather seemed nicer, the day a little easier.

I'm grateful I had my eyes and my heart open to God today.

What A Week

These last 7 days have been about as up and down as they can go. Birth and joy, then terror and panic, guilt, anxiety, and worry.

Tuck.er is doing remarkably well. His surgery had to be postponed because of concern about complications since his liver is not fully recovered yet, so they are looking to Monday to be his first surgery. He had his first bottle today :) He's such an angel. I can't wait to go back to the hospital and see him.

When all of this blew up Thursday, I was left with a profound feeling of guilt of how I had been viewing my personal situation. I felt horrible for cutting, and feeling so down about things that now did not seem like such a big deal when this little baby's life hung in the balance. It helped me keep my promise that I would not cut that week.

I am having trouble maintaining a balance of things. I am pushing myself further and further into denial and pulling other things in front to try and block entry to my feelings. I am in workaholic mode, doing way more than necessary and not delegating the responsibilities to my counterparts. If I keep on this pace I am going to burn out quickly. I am struggling with my weight. I have my eating under good control and am doing a good job of exercising at an appropriate rate, but due to medication I am not losing weight. In fact I have gained over 15 lbs since I started and cannot seem to drop an ounce no matter what I do. So I've made the decision to start tapering off my medication. The main reason is for the weight... I am falling back on unhealthy habits to try and induce we.ight lo.ss so I can get back to my "normal weight". Another reason is that I think it will help me get more in touch with my emotions. Unfortunately I am taking the risk of my anxiety returning and being a hinderance on my recovery, but that is a chance I am willing to take right now. My panic attacks have been under control, only having two in the last 3 months, and those were induced by very intense sessions. On an unconscious level, I think I already made this decision because I had forgotten (really and truly) to take my meds for about 5 days and was having some massive withdrawals. I couldn't figure out what the deal was, then it hit me. I called my doctor today and asked for a schedule to follow so I could taper off.

This week I have got to work on being more balanced. Normally on Wednesday's I work late, then go workout, come home and have time to eat, shower and go to bed. But because my schedule this week is a little more hectic than normal, I gave myself permission to just go home and veg today. It was nice. I'm about to go journal a little bit and dig into some things that we discussed at my last session. Why do I think it's wrong for me to feel the way I feel? Why do I minimize how I feel? That's my focus for this week... being OK with my feelings.

Finding The Reason


I had a panic attack in session today in the midst of discussing my need to cut lately. I can't pinpoint anything specific that caused me to cut Friday night, but I went looking through drawers and boxes because my cuticle scissors weren't going to be good enough. I found some straight raz.ors in my toolbox I didn't even know I had and cut more in one night than I ever have.

I knew by revealing this that I was setting myself up for being asked to commit to no cutting this week, but she also threw in asking me to throw away my raz.ors. Immediate panic set in. I can't do that yet. Knowing they are there serves as a comfort even if I don't use them. I just don't think I WANT to do that yet. For whatever reason I have convinced myself that this is what I have to do in order to feel better and I just don't have the desire to change it, even though I know I should.


You Have To Be Ready

Sunday I met my mom and sister for lunch, but they both came over to my place first so we could all drive together. My sister had posted on Facebook that she was excited about something that was going to happen the previous night, then in the morning posted how awful it was. Apparently my mom knew more about what the entire situation was because she started speaking in code, but I was able to get her to be more open. She's afraid of being judged. I have been hard on her in the past, so I understood her hesitancy.

Back in July I had asked her if she wanted to get together one weekend and she told me she was busy. Again, I asked what she was doing and she wouldn't tell me because she was afraid I was going to judge her. Through a short game of 20 questions, I found out that she had been in contact with an old high sch.ool teacher of hers (she's now 22) that she had a huge crush on. They had been talking about meeting up that weekend. Why would that be a problem for me? Well, he's married.


I don't approve of it, but I can't do anything about it. She's an adult, he's an adult. I didn't tell her anything but to be careful.

So rewind to this past Saturday. They had finally set up plans to meet up (while his wife was conveniently out of town, nice, right?) and she said she was excited all day long but as she was getting ready she was so nervous. She downed 3 shots to calm her nerves, then drove (yikes, again) 30 minutes to meet him. She said the whole time she was there, she kept downing drinks to calm her nerves. She said he kept leaning over and touching her, just stroking her arm or leg, or touching her hair. Thoroughly weirded out, she said she went outside to smoke (according to her so trashed she couldn't even sit up straight) and he came up behind her and started rubbing her back and telling her he wanted to take her home so he could take care of her. I have never seen my sister so panicked as she was telling us this story. She said she was freaking out, that she didn't want him to touch her and that she just wanted to leave.

I looked at her and told her, "That's what M used to do to me. He'd come up behind me and start touching me, telling me things that sounded loving but he was just earning my trust so he could hurt me later." I told her, even now I freak out when people touch me, especially guys I don't know really well. I told her the reason she was freaking out is because she knew he was not a safe person, and that her instincts were telling her to run away. And the fact that she had to drink before she got there and the whole time she was there should be a clue that something was wrong.

We let it go at that.

My little sister is crumbling. Since she broke up with her boyfriend of 5 years in July, she is finding out what it is like to try and find a guy who is not going to hurt or take advantage of her. She is on the road to alcoholism, drinking every day, often getting very drunk. She is angry. She lashes out with little reason or provocation. While her coping mechanisms are completely different than mine, she is headed down the same road I was on. That road where denial throws you head first into a brick wall and you have no idea what hit you.

You see, my little sister was abused by the same man who abused me. And I am watching the slow, painful train wreck of her life knowing that I can do nothing to stop it... why? Because she's not ready. She doesn't realize that her life is revolving around her denial that what happened when she was 10 years old didn't affect her. She hasn't the slightest clue. Even if I told her, she wouldn't see it. She is going to crash and burn and it breaks my heart that this has to happen to her, too. I've was there. 21 months ago I hit that brick wall and my life fell apart. But when that time comes, she is going to have something I didn't... a sister who has been there and can help. When she is ready, I will be there for her.

Seeing Behind The Smile

A smile has a powerful message. It relays happiness, contentment, joy and love. It is a natural reaction as a result of one (or more) of these emotions. But sometimes we use our smiles incorrectly. Smiles should not hide sadness, pain, grief or loneliness.

Not only do we use our smiles to hide our feelings, but others do the same. How do we know when someone is truly happy or is using their smile to hide their real feelings? For most of us,we don't. Obviously the closer the relationship, the more you are going to recognize the attempt to cover up, but most of our daily interactions do not involve processing the true feelings of others. So is it suprising that we take the lead from others and plaster a permanent smile on our faces, too?

Today I have realized just how much that affects how I perceive other people. Being as it is the first Thursday of the month, we had a pot-luck dinner before worship tonight. It's always so much fun being able to socialize with everyone and enjoy some home cooked food. Tonight we listened to the testimony of one of the leaders of our group, and his rocky road with abuse, sexual addiction, drug use and pornography addiction, his breakdowns of multiple marriages, abandonment of his kids and the eventual path that lead him to church, God and to a seminar recommended by his pastor that introduced him to C.R. and lead him to begin this ministry. Listening to him go through his story, break down when he talked about how abandoned he felt as a young child, how empty he felt when he tried to use sex as a means to fill the hole in his heart, hit me hard. Not 30 minutes before, he was across the table, talking, eating, SMILING like nothing was wrong. And here he was before me, a flawed, hurt and broken person; just as every single one of us in that room is.

Why do we spend so much time hiding who we truly are? Why do we feel obligated to do this? Who are we protecting from our real feelings? When we split into small groups, all the women tend to break into sub-groups: one for general life issues, one for issues of abuse. Today we didn't really have enough to break apart, so we stayed together and for the first time I felt an absolute sense of security. Every week we come together and talk about our individual journeys with abuse, addictions, etc. There is no pretending that everything is happy behind our smiles. We all know otherwise. And for the first time I realized that I am safe with these women. I don't have to always have a smile on my face, or reply "good" when someone asks me how I am. I can take off my smile for a couple of hours a week and feel safe that no matter how I feel, I will be supported and loved.

Not everyone is given the amazing gift that I am just now realizing I have received. So the next time you put a smile on your face, I hope it is because you are truly happy, not masking your pain.

Unconscious Mind

My uncons.cious mind has been working overtime lately. With the business year starting to ramp up, my freedom to process whenever I want has been taken. I hardly ever sit down and really work through things with the exception of Tuesday nights when I am in session. As a result of this, my unconscious mind is taking on the extra weight and is producing nightmares that I have been having a hard time coping with.

I didn't bring them up in session yesterday as I was afraid of talking about them. But when I got home I knew I needed to bring them to her attention so I didn't hide from it, so I e-mailed her and let her know just how bad they had been and the details of everything. I felt a little better knowing that I hadn't just tried to push them aside, but now I'm scared about having to talk about them. I went back and read my recap of one dream in particular and could feel myself trying to shut down just reading it. Talking about it is going to be much worse.