Things have gotten bad enough that V had to escort me to the hospital this morning. I'm being admitted to the PHP program for women.

Lots of unknowns right now. How long I will have to take off of work, if I will qualify for paid leave, what treatment is going to be like, etc. I sure could use some prayers... Life is really scary right now.

Fact or Fiction?

I'm so glad I have another week off. Don't get me wrong, I loved flying out to California to see my dad and actually had a really fun Christmas with my mom and sister, but I need some time for me. Doing things I want to do, not things I feel obligated to do.

I've had 3 bad nights in a row stemming from a conversation I had with my little sister on the plane home from California. V had been talking to me about possibly talking to her to see if she could help fill in some holes I have in my memory immediately after I was abused. I don't know where the courage came from, but I asked her about things I never thought I would. What happened after I came out of the bedroom? What happened when we got home? What did Mom say/do? What did I say/do?

Some things I had snippets of, other things I had completely out of order in which they actually happened, other things I don't remember at all. My sister was so helpful in telling me what she remembered, which is a blessing since she was only 10 years old at the time. I told her I worried about her having to go through the same thing I have over the past few years. She asked me if I had PTSD, to which I told her the truth; yes. I asked her how she was able to go through life without having the abuse affect her as much as it did me. She talked a little bit about her own abuse, which she has never done... at least not since that day that she disclosed her abuse to me and my mom. She was spared the invasive nature of abuse that I suffered, which explains to me a little more about how she can shrug it off so easily.

She and I are so different in how we react to things. She blows up immediately and then is basically over it, I am extremely sensitive and hold things in. I think she really began to understand why I have had such a hard time with this. Why I'm afraid to be in a relationship. How hard it is to feel the pressure from our family to get married when they have no idea what it's like to carry this burden.

After we got home Thursday night and I laid down to go to sleep, I was inundated with flashbacks and vivid replays of things that were brought out and dusted off from that conversation. They invoked physical reactions and sensations that make me want to vomit. I've been so confused. Am I remembering actual events or is it my mind projecting things with this new information to fill in the blanks?

I may never know...

Finding Joy and Peace

It has been hard to find the joy in anything lately. Life has been one hard confrontation after another. One painful truth after another. The holidays have compounded my normal depression and anxiety having all these new emotions on the surface that have rarely, if ever, been a part of my daily life.

It's very hard to not let these new emotions consume me. They are very powerful and I have no experience in allowing myself to feel them when it's safe to, and turn them off when it's not. It is scary to feel like you are being dragged around with no control. It makes me want to run back to my "comfortable" place, where emotions are pushed under the rug and life is just about going through the motions.

I find myself praying for peace more than anything else these days. Will it ever come?


I have been extremely busy lately. Family parties, church parties, work parties, school, therapy. Jeesh. It's the last week of school before winter break, so my kids are falling apart at the seams. They are burnt out and need a break. As does their teacher. But we have finals to prepare for which means no down time :(

I have been approaching some hard topics in therapy with V. None harder than the one we just touched on last night, and after 20 minutes I was curled up in a ball, fighting off a panic attack and flashbacks that left me in a daze the rest of the night. I am so freaking exhausted of not being able to approach therapy the way I want to or think I need to because my body can't handle it and shuts down. It's frustrating to feel like I have to work at a snail's pace when my mind has made the decision that my body has just not caught up to yet. V says I need to be more patient with myself. That I put way too much pressure on myself and that I have got to focus on the baby steps as my victories for now.

I went home last night and tried to calm myself down, but ended up sending myself into another panic attack thinking about how I didn't plan ahead with my cutting and will have to work extra hard to cover scars while I'm visiting my dad out in California. They just got a new pool installed and he is so excited for me to enjoy it. I CANNOT get into a bathing suit. Oh my gosh. There is just no way... and I wasn't thinking about that over the past 6 weeks. The scars on my thigh are mostly healed but you can still see them in direct sunlight. The ones on my calf are fresh. I just wasn't thinking that I normally don't start cutting there until I get BACK from California... so now I'm stressed out about what I'm going to say to get out of swimming in their new pool. I'm not going to be able to wear shorts at all like I normally do there (it's winter and cold here so I wasn't thinking about that either!). Ugh.

Lots going on in my world right now... I can't wait until I can get to a point where I actually enjoy the holidays again. Right now they are nothing but a source of stress and anxiety.

Lots of Pain, Lots of Tears

It has been a rough week. Lots of pain. Lots of tears.

Excerpt from an e-mail to V last night:
"I didn't realize how much of me could hurt at one time. And as stupid as it sounds being 27 years old, I just wish my mom was someone I could go to. I wish I could drive home, crawl into her bed right now and just cry. Cry and tell her how much I hurt and how I want her to make it all go away... to tell me it'll get better... that she loves me and is sorry I'm hurting.

Yet, I'm here alone. Even when she was physically there when I needed to be told these things before, she was never really there. I was still alone. Nothing's changed.

Maybe this is what a broken heart feels like."

Too Much, Too Fast

I was not looking forward to my session at all yesterday. After the hellacious aftermath of Thursday's session I was about ready to kiss therapy good-bye and welcome back my good friend denial.

So as I settle into V's office last night, she asks me to update her since I last talked to her (which was on Saturday). She had offered to see me Saturday morning, but I declined because I just couldn't imagine trying to process more when my mind was struggling to sift through the overload from Thursday. I was more specific with her about how horrible Friday was, and how it carried over into the weekend but that I was feeling better. I told her I was worried about coming in that evening because I didn't want to leave feeling so unhinged and fearful. I thought about cancelling, which I never do.

What happened next was something I was not expecting. She apologized. Huh? I was confused. Why in the world was she apologizing to me? I was the one calling and e-mailing her when I couldn't keep it together. I should be apologizing for bugging her so much. Yet she apologized for pushing me to confront too much, too fast. She said the way she worded the comment that totally unraveled me ("He could have killed you," see last post) was too harsh and she felt like it was her fault for putting me in a place that forced me to confront some scary feelings that I obviously wasn't ready for (as per my physical and PTSD reactions over the weekend). I hadn't really thought about that, but her comment definitely threw a huge kink in my otherwise very fluid system of fake truths and quasi-denial. Coming to terms with the truth of that statement was extremely unsettling (for obvious reasons) but even more so because it completely shut down the belief system that I have been relying on for the past 13 years. How in the world am I supposed to adjust to that? Apparently I wasn't ready. At all. I guess that's why she was apologizing. I know she did not mean to affect me in that way, nor could she have known I would have reacted as intensely as I did, but she was worried that I was going to be afraid to commit as much and hold back more because of how much it hurt me. LOL, was it that obvious? I didn't even have to say it for her to know that's what I was feeling.

I already hold back a lot when I'm in session. I still have not gotten to the point that I can let something in and immediately react to it. I don't feel comfortable showing raw emotions in front of people. I will go home, process it, go through a whole cycle of emotions by myself, then be ready to talk about it later, still keeping the emotions out of the mix. V and I have talked about this already. I am completely honest in telling her when I am holding back emotions that have been brought up by questions she asked or things I've talked about. But I've also told her I want to eventually be able to react to something initially, without holding anything back. It's exhausting to have to wait to be alone, try to understand a whole slew of confusing feelings, then shove them back down for the sake of feeling safe. I don't want to do that, but right now it's the only thing that I know how to do...

So after talking about all of this, V made sure to let me know that she would not push me as hard as she did Thursday, not because I can't take it (because I could, it would just suck 24/7) but because she wants me to feel safe with her, and does not want to hurt me. That was so comforting to hear, for so many reasons. Knowing that she really does care about my well-being is probably the biggest thing for me, but also knowing that I didn't even have to say anything about this for her to know that it was too much for me to handle. That just blows my mind. I'm so grateful for her.

The rest of our session she lead me back to what we were talking about Thursday, carefully. She asked me more about my reactions to what we talked about as opposed to taking me back to that moment in time. I got upset and teary-eyed a few times when her questions got me thinking about all the emotion that was brought up as I was processing alone. I am horrible at putting what I'm feeling into words, especially emotionally charged things. It was frustrating for me to be so upset and not be able to explain why... and that is basically where I am all the time now, it seems.

All in all, I left Monday night feeling much more stable and safe than I expected. I'm interested to see how tomorrow goes...


My session with V on Thursday was intense. My body has responded by throwing me in a tailspin of uncontrollable panic attacks and horrible mood swings. I had to leave work Friday because I couldn't get myself under control. I can't even begin to wrap my head around how much I am going to have to release to heal. God help me.

"He could have killed you." It's scary how true those words are. If he wanted to, he could have killed me. No doubt. He was so much stronger than I was. To hear that I possibly saved my own life by not fighting back is a double-edged sword. Horrible to think that I could have ever been in that much danger, yet good because for once I can sincerely acknowledge that I did not and could not have had as much control as I pretend I could have. That throws a kink in my belief that I could have done anything to stop him... something I've all but convinced myself was true. But seeds of doubt are growing and I'm beginning to see that for exactly what it is: not true. As scary as it is to ponder what my reaction would be if I was placed in the same (or worse) situation now, overpowered by someone bigger than me, terrified and hurt, I wouldn't think my reaction would be any different. I would do what I thought would be safest for me and not fight back; live to see another day. Being able to identify this for the first time ever is already making it harder to blame the 13 year old for doing the exact same thing. Yet, I'm stuck in a place where I don't know what to do with that. So much focus and thought has been spent on the "what if's" that I started taking on the blame. If I suddenly don't acknowledge them anymore, where does all that emotion go? I can attempt to throw it all on him, but it's like two opposing sides of a magnet; no matter how hard you keep pushing, it'll keep getting bounced off or thrown back. Why can't I feel ANYTHING about him? There literally is nothing there. It just doesn't make sense. I wish I could understand why, that of everyone in my life at that time, he is the only one who never got any anger. Everyone else has, either directly or indirectly. I have hated them all for lesser things. But not him. Why have I made him immune to my emotions?
-- Journal writing from Thursday night, post session


Such a vile and nasty word in my book. Something I wouldn't ever think of myself, until this weekend.

I had a session with V on Saturday which I really enjoyed (yes I know that sounds strange). Over Thanksgiving break I was feeling very negative and "poor me" so I decided I needed to do something to remind myself just how blessed and lucky I am. Not to minimize anything I was feeling, but rather to keep myself from drowning in self-pity. I decided that I would make some digital scrapbooks to share with V of childhood, family, friends, college time and travel. It was so fun to go back and look at all the happy moments (because who takes a picture of something sad/not fun?) in my life. So often I tend to completely shrug off all the good things because I spend so much time in therapy trying to heal from the bad. We spent the whole hour going over important things, details, people, etc. I left feeling pretty good. I went home to take a nap because I hadn't been sleeping well at all and when I woke up I felt like crap. Like the bottom had been pulled out from underneath me. As the afternoon and evening wore on, my mood and thoughts got darker and darker. By 2 AM I decided that maybe I'd feel better if I e-mailed V just to let her know where I was at emotionally, sort of a release to just get it out.

I told her that I was having a very bad night, complete with some suicidal thoughts, wasn't able to sleep, etc. I made sure to tell her that I wasn't at a place where I was going to act on anything but just that I was having a hard time. I also mentioned that because I wasn't sleeping I decided to take a larger dose of my sleeping pills than I would normally. I finally was able to fall asleep, only to be woken up by my crazy aunt calling at 8AM asking for my mom's number. Geez. I checked my e-mail from my phone before I rolled back over to go to sleep and saw that V had e-mailed me back, wanting to know how I was and how I slept. At that point I wasn't done sleeping but the thought crossed my mind that if I didn't respond right away, maybe she'd think the worst. So I went back to sleep and woke up to a second e-mail at around 11AM. Basically saying the same thing, that she was thinking about me and wanted to know how I was doing. Feeling solace in the fact that she was thinking about me/worried about me, I decided to not respond again. By 5 she sent me an e-mail telling me she was getting worried that she hadn't heard from me and that if I didn't respond she was going to have to find another way to check in with me. Just being able to read that she was worried about me was enough to make me e-mail back at that point, but the next few exchanges of e-mails proceeded to scare me a bit. She said she was about an hour away from calling EMT's to come to my house and check on me. Good Lord. If she had done that I would have been absolutely HUMILIATED. Just thinking about it made me feel so shamed that my actions could have lead to that. Then I started feeling horrible that I intentionally manipulated her to get what I wanted out of the situation; knowing that someone cares/worries about me.

So when I went in to see her on Tuesday, I told her I didn't want to talk about this weekend, but figured I wouldn't get away with that. Overall she just wanted me to know how she perceived my e-mail Saturday night to explain why she chose to react the way she did/planned to react. Not having any history with me in this area, she said she didn't know if my e-mail was a way for me to deflect attention away from the fact that I was planning on killing myself or if I was sincere in what I said. Not being able to determine that, she had to do what she is sworn to do to protect me physically, which would have eventually involved "the authorities" if I had never responded back to her. Feeling so guilty I just tried to deflect the conversation away as much as I could. We moved onto talking about my "safe box" which I finally finished decorating and filling with the things that I wanted to put in it.

Inside were some statements about myself that I wrote 2 years ago for one of the first homework assignments I had with A. I didn't really read over them in depth, but just tossed them in there. So of course when V opened the box and started going through them, the first one she pulls out says "No one makes a big deal out of me. It makes me feel loved and important when people worry about me." God. Can we just light up the big flashing arrow and point it right on me? MANIPULATOR! *flash flash* I wanted to crawl in a hole. I felt like an absolute idiot, she probably saw right through me.

As we were wrapping up, she asked how I was feeling and I told her I still felt horrible about this weekend. I mentioned that I think I used this weekend as a way to test her, to see if she really would follow through on the fact that she says she cares. I also said I was worried that she was mad at me or that she thinks I'm ungrateful since I "snapped" at her about the EMT comment and told her how humiliating that would have been and how upset I was that she would even think about that. I told her I felt like all I did was waste her time this weekend and that made me feel awful. She looked at me and asked me "Did I say you wasted my time? Or that I thought you were ungrateful? Or that I was mad at you? Of course not, because that is your perception, but it is not true. I know I could tell you a million times it's not true and you still probably wouldn't believe me. I was just worried about you. No fine print attached."

*sigh* I left feeling like I had just run over a litter of puppies. I decided I would e-mail her and apologize (probably for the millionth time) and attempt to "come clean" so that I could try and put this behind me. Here's what I sent:

When I got home tonight, I re-read the communication from this weekend and can see even more so how my actions were a way to test the validity of your word, even though you have given me no indication to believe that you are anything but trustworthy and honest. The "ego" side of me is constantly whispering in my ear that you couldn't possibly care enough to do anything for me, outside of our interactions in your office or via e-mail. And it became clear to me that after you read that paper from my box (the one about not feeling important unless someone is worried about me) that our sequence of e-mails this weekend was a way for me to see if you'd follow through with what you have been saying. And boy did you surpass anything I ever could have imagined. My freakout was largely based on the "severity" (not the right word, but I can't think of anything else) of how you responded, but also the fact that you responded at all. I wasn't expecting anything aside from a "We'll talk about it Tuesday" or "Go the hospital if you can't stay safe" reply. I never really expected genuine concern.

It was never my intention to turn our communication into what it ended up being, I hope you know that. I honestly was just trying to get out these thoughts to hopefully ease my mind and also to let you know what was going on. It's much easier for me to start that conversation by writing out what I feel as opposed to speaking it out loud. I just can't imagine walking in your office and being like "So I thought about killing myself this weekend." Uh, no.

Any step back this weekend was as a result of my actions, not yours. If anything, I feel like you helped me trust you a little more, I just hope it wasn't at the expense of you being able to trust me less.