The Physical Conundrum

I'm back from California! One family reunion and two earthquakes later (one was a BIG one!) I am safely back at home :) I had a great time and got tons of pictures. 4 generations of my family all in one place. I love them so much!

I got back last night and made it an even later night due to a hair nightmare. Long story short is the salon coloring I got ended up turning maroon, so I decided to try a home remedy to release some of the red. Well that left my hair jet black (it's normally a light reddish brown). Two failed attempts at lightening it with store bought dye and I finally gave up at 1AM. Headed to Sally Beauty right at 9AM to get dye stripper to take out the black, turned my hair traffic cone orange (which is what it is supposed to do so you can re-dye it). Finally started re-dying it at 10:30 with my normal hair color, but forgot that stripping your hair makes it hold onto dye quicker and more deeply, and that I needed to cut the processing time in half. So my hair came out a deep chocolate brown with reddish tint as opposed to a lighter brown. It doesn't look bad, it'll just take some getting used to (and highlights once my scalp has time to heal from the massive doses of chemicals it received in a 12 hour period, LOL).

Oh, and of course I had a session today with A and had to be seen in public. I finished up with my hair at 11:40 and had just enough time to get dressed and gun it to her office for my appointment at 12.

She commented on how much she loved my hair. I chose not to elaborate on the craziness that was the entire process of this hair, but said something to the effect of "It's a little darker than I wanted, but thank you." LOL, if she only knew.

I didn't really have a clear picture of what I wanted to talk about with A today, especially given the fact that I was so far removed from my normal routine/thoughts/actions for the past week. We bounced around on a few things, cutting being one of them and how I'm still having desires to do so. I don't want to result to hurting myself as a means to cope, but in one form or another I have always done that. The first 8 years after the abuse I used food to harm my physical self. When I kicked that, I turned to cutting. I have always had a physical outlet for my pain.

She asked me what pain I am trying to compensate for. I have been having obsessive thoughts lately about a memory that is bothersome to me. This memory involves me being alone with my abuser. It is constantly on my mind. I told her I didn't feel like I should be bringing up something that we had already worked on, but that these recurrent thoughts/dreams were upsetting. I always hesitate bringing up the abuse with A, because after spending time on it already I am worried she'll be thinking "Oh gosh, this again. Doesn't she know that this is not the only thing she needs to work on?!" I started crying because I was frustrated with myself for thinking this. I told her it made me think that because I keep coming back to this that I think I'm never going to get over this or feel like it isn't this huge weight that is following me around.

She challenged me to think about whether or not that was me, the 13 year old saying that or me, the adult saying that. To which I replied, I have no idea. I feel as though I quit maturing at age 13. I feel like I am no where near where a girl my age should be emotionally.

Somehow we got on the topic of touch. It started with me obsessing over these memories, constantly replaying all the times M touched me. I happened to mention the horrific sunburn I got a few weeks ago playing into my still very present fear of touch because I wouldn't allow anyone to touch me to apply sunscreen in places I couldn't reach. I freak out at the prospect of going to the doctor because it leaves me in a very vulnerable place. Will they touch me or not? It's gotten better as I have established long lasting histories with my OB-GYN and family doctor (who just in the past year learned of my abuse), but it is always in the forefront of my mind. As for anyone else, the only safe place to touch me is on my hands or feet. Anything else and you have inadvertently triggered internal reactions and thoughts so shaming I can't even write about them.

And yet, as much as I freak out at the prospect of physical contact, my body is craving it. I think that is partially why I cut. It gives me such a deep physical feeling and reaction. It calms me down. Think of it as a big hug. A big hug that scars you. I notice that when I get really anxious, I become extremely tactile. I always start pinching myself or scratching myself to stimulate some sort of physical feeling. As a kid, I started suffering from trichotillomania. Even then apparently I wasn't getting my physical needs met and started producing them for myself. I still to this day suffer with trich.

I am being pulled in two directions. The idea of anyone touching me anyplace from knee to shoulder is terrifying. I have been my own source of touch for so long I have tainted the idea of anyone else ever doing so in a loving/healthy manner. Yet, I crave it so much that I am finding more extreme ways to produce the physical feelings that my body desires.

And I am now without that physical aspect of my healing. Ever since A's ultimatum, I haven't cut. And ever since my anxiety has been steadily increasing. It's all starting to make sense. But what isn't clear is how things will end. No, that would be too easy.


Bernie said...
June 18, 2010 at 1:15 AM

I really like the color of your hair, and I am so happy you had such a good vacation. What a beautiful view to observe each day.....such a blessing.
I also am happy the A is helping you, even more important you are trying to help love that. Good luck sweetie working with A on your issues. God Bless and have a great weekend....Hugs

Just Be Real said...
June 18, 2010 at 3:12 AM

Lily glad for your return. So glad you has a great time. Yeah, heard about those earthquakes.

Ahhh, the many colors of hair. Back in the 70's I was even a blonde. I have dark brown hair, but back then I was experimenting. Was not the greatest color on me. I have had what you show in your pictures also and even jet black.

Glad you were able to share more with A.

Dear one I hear you with the craving of physical contact! I am getting so much better in this area though. We all progress differently. Just want to encourage you though Lily to hang in there. I still find myself jumping unexpectantly at times when approached.

Dear one thank you for your supportive comments to me. Means the world.

Blessings and ((((Lily))))

Anonymous said...
June 18, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Oh the hair color....I have had the same experience. I have decided to never touch my hair myself with color. If my hair colorist ever retires, I will be at a loss.

Here listening and sending "safe" cyber hugs. :)


Harriet said...
June 19, 2010 at 7:13 AM

The hair looks pretty!

As for your session, it sounds very difficult. I'm sorry your anxiety is increasing. I also know that feeling of "I've talked about this so many times already, I'm sure he is sick of it." Sometimes I don't talk because there isn't anything else to talk about and I don't want to bore him or make him think I'm not improving. Sigh.

sarah said...
June 19, 2010 at 7:30 PM

I think you're insight is pretty right on. For me too touch has been a huge issue. I hated being touched...sometimes even now...I pull away if a hug is too long. And the hair color thing...I think it's sort of great experimenting and I think the color looks good...Really glad you had a good time with your family...

Anonymous said...
June 19, 2010 at 11:34 PM

Your hair is so pretty! I can't imagine why you didn't want to keep is that orange color between changing colors!

I'm so sorry your session was anxiety provoking, but it sounds like it made you think! Sometimes, those are the best for me--when I can think and process a bit on my own afterwards.

That is fantastic about not cutting since the ultimatum.

Fantastic. Remember, that is you doing the not cutting and not the ultimatum!

Just Be Real said...
June 22, 2010 at 4:23 AM

Came back to give you a hug dear one and lifting you up in prayer!

God Whispers In The Wind