Finding Calm Among Chaos

I've been praying a lot lately. Praying for strength and guidance to do what the hard work ahead of me. Praying for humility to be able to ask for help when things get to be too much. Praying for faith. Above all, I want to know that God is there for me. That in the midst of all the chaos in my life, He will be there for me.

Today was hard. I ended up going in to see V even though I wasn't scheduled today. We talked a little bit about our last session (resulting in a panic attack with some things that she is bringing out of denial with me) and how I went home and coped with it. For me, coping is cutting and because I didn't do that last night it manifested itself in other ways. I didn't sleep well... and when I did, it was riddled with horrible dreams. V discussed the importance of me finding a way to relax so that my body doesn't hold onto all the bad feelings I am constantly processing. Somehow we got on the topic of ego, and how she thinks that mine has completely run away with me.

Everything that I process gets a negative spin put on it, regardless of whether or not it actually was negative to the objective viewer.

"They just did that because they felt obligated. They're only your friend because they want something from you. Why bother, it's not going to last. Asking for help just means you are weak."

The list goes on and on. And on and on. For whatever reason, somewhere down the line I decided that it was safer to view things negatively and it has spread like wildfire. V asked me to come up with some positive things about myself, to which I had almost nothing. Everything that popped in my head felt contrived and cliche. I told her I didn't really have anything that felt like it separated me from anyone else. Then she asked me to think of myself at 13 (pre-abuse) and describe positive things about myself. That was much easier. I had a whole list of things that V wrote down, all positive things that even put smiles on my face while recalling and remembering how happy I felt. From there she asked me to take each one of those things and try to connect it to me now. The few things that were constant were being active in church and enjoying service/volunteer work. She scribbled a few things on the paper then handed it to me.

Down the center of the paper was a line, splitting the two parts of me in half and on it were the words ABUSE, ADDICTION, DIVORCE.

"Look at those two parts, Lily. The person you are now is not who you really are. That line that is drawn down the middle are the things in your life that are not your fault. Even though I know you don't believe it, you are not to blame for your abuse. Your parents divorce was not caused by you or anything you did. Your dad's addiction is a disease, which again cannot be your fault. All of these things you did not cause, but you are holding onto the blame and punishing yourself for them. And all of that punishment has changed who you are. That list on the right (of who I am now) is a cover-up of who you really are. Who you are supposed to be. Who you are not allowing yourself to be."

I lost it. It took everything in my power not to weep. To feel like you are two different people is one thing, but to be given proof of that and to feel acknowledged, validated and understood all at the same time brought on this rush of emotion that I could not have prepared for. The little girl inside of me is screaming "Finally! Someone else knows I'm here! I can't be ignored now! She knows I'm here! She's going to get me out!" I just sat there and cried, trying to take in everything she said, all the crazy thoughts being thrown around and then trying to verbalize what I was feeling physically and emotionally once I calmed down. That didn't work too well. I don't have words for this. I tried to start, but the tears just took over again. All I was able to get out is that the tears I was crying were sad tears, genuine grief. I could feel it. Like I felt with my grandma. That tearing pain inside, the one you think will never go away.

After what seemed like hours of me just sitting there crying, V jumped right to the chase. The only way I am going to get a hold of who I really am is to go back to what I did at 13 and do what I know made me happy. Would I be willing to sign up for service projects? Sing in the choir again? Play? It seems so absurd. I'm in my 20's! I don't play! I haven't sung in choir since right before I was abused, then being the center of someone's attention like that became the worst thing I could ever think about doing!

V gave me a lot to think about. She even joked about how she sends me home with more to process and think about than anyone else. I took that as a compliment, maybe that means I'm working harder than everyone else? She suggested that because it was so nice outside, I don't go home and hide, but go to this park that is near her house. It has a huge lake and fountain, park benches, a walking trail, and fishing docks. I absolutely love the water and find solace in the sounds it makes. I left her office and drove straight there. The sun was beginning to fall behind the hills and houses, but the atmosphere was perfect. I just sat there and listened to the life around me. It helped clear my mind and control my emotions. Things suddenly felt less out of control, more doable. God answered my prayers and showed me that He is here, giving me the calm I want so desperately in the midst of all this chaos.


Paula said...
November 24, 2010 at 5:47 AM

hUrray! I am so happy for you. Yes, chgange doesnt come easy to us, but it does arrive. I am truly happy that Little Lily was heard and validated, I am glad that Big Lily had some calm in the perk. I am thinking of you! Keeping you close as you break through. Knowing how hard it was, I am so freaking proud of you for not giving in or up, seeking a t who got oyu straightaway and you feel the progress. You go girl!

Mary said...
November 24, 2010 at 6:42 AM

Lily God is there, he is there all the time even when you can't sense him. He will never leave you, abandon you, forsake you. His love for you is unconditional and constant.

And honey, you need to play!!

Grace and peace

sarah said...
November 24, 2010 at 6:51 PM

I love what Mary said....I second that.....hugs to you Lily....really glad you found V...

Harriet said...
November 25, 2010 at 7:19 PM

Once again I'll say how great I think V is, in general and specifically for you! Sometimes after I left my therapy sessions I would go out to the farm where my daughter keeps her horse and just stand around, watch the horses, enjoy the breeze and the smells of the farm, the quiet, the solitude. It was nice. A good transition between therapy and life.

Just Be Real said...
November 29, 2010 at 3:58 AM

This post has touched me and Lily I am proud you the little one had a voice! Thank you dear for all your support and encouragement. Also the holidays are not good to me either. Blessings. ((((Lily))))