I’m gonna get up and try, try, try!

Yeah, that’s me singing my own version of P!nk. And it’s me being stubborn and refusing to cave in. Refusing to be defeated. Refusing to be a victim. Refusing to be a slave of my history.

I had a crappy New Year’s Eve! Midnight gave me a flashback and I screamed my heart out. I watched dad’s fireworks from inside the house with mom by my side because I couldn’t stand going outside in the dark, or being alone. – So, so what! I’m still a rock star!

Fuck you, abuse! – Fuck you, stepfather! – Fuck you, mother! – Fuck you, mental health issues!

You can knock me over and kick me down, but you can not prevent me from getting up again, from rising! I survived this far, I’m not going to give up now! I’m prepared and ready to fight. Not with violence or dirty tricks, like you did and still do.

No, I’m going to fight by being disobedient to your sick rules.

DisobedienceForMentalHealth

I’m going to fight back by being strong-willed. By holding on to what’s good and right. By not accepting to keep playing by your rules. By reclaiming myself. By using my skills and resources and support. And by getting up one more time than I fall, even when I fall a lot.

I’m gonna get up and try, try, try!

So despite the rocky night, I’m feeling good and all-in-all it was a good start into the New Year. Because I got up. Because I am determined to make it a GOOD year for myself! I wish you all a very good year, too! Get for yourself the best possible 2013!

Advertisements

The letter I’d love most to receive

Dear Lola

Three days ago I wrote this letter to my birth mother. I’m not going to send it, because I don’t want contact and don’t even know for sure where she lives. Unless she made a u-turn in all aspects of personality, it would do me no good sending the letter anyway, because if she did react, her reaction would probably be just as unhealthy for me as receiving no reaction at all.

Even so, it’s hard to not think about the chance at hearing the words I have so longed to hear for all my life. That’s why I thought why not write those down myself. The one response from my birth mother that I would really, really love to get.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Lola,

thank you for your letter. To say that I was surprised to hear from you would be an understatement. It must have taken you great courage to write down your thoughts like that.

I feel like there are so many things I should say, but words don’t come easily. I am glad you are in a good place now. I am glad to hear that you have found your family. And I am sorry that things are hard for you.

I know I play no small part in that. I can see now that you suffered at my hands. I was never a good or safe mother for you. Struggling to deal with my own life somehow, I had no eyes or ears or heart for a child. You were my daughter, but all I saw was work and an invader on the life I tried to make for myself. I was only a child myself when I had you, did not know about the needs a little person has and I was unable to care about anyone other than myself. Unable to see anyone else’s situation.

For this I am sorry. I am sorry I never protected you from abuse and pain. I am sorry I added to it. I am sorry I abandoned you. I am sorry I never even said goodbye.

There are a lot of things I could tell you about my own past and my own struggles in this world, but you are right in saying this is not about me, but about you. For this one time, it shall be only about you.

I was never able to feel love for you, but I want you to know that this was not because of you. I am certain that you were a very lovable child. I can see in hindsight how hard you tried to make it easier for me to love you. And how bitter it must have been that all you got was derision and hate. It was not because of you. It was because I was not in a place to love anyone. For that I am sorry. You would have deserved so much better than that.

What you deserve is the family you have now. You deserve a mother who loves you and protects you, and a father who knows that children, one’s sons and daughters, are not sex partners. I am sorry you had to wait so long for your family, but glad you have them now. Please don’t ever feel bad about enjoying being with them and giving your heart to them. I am not mad at you.

Please know that I am also not mad at you for rather living with them than wanting to get back in touch with me. You have your own life now and that is good. I am still not in a good enough place to be trusted not to hurt you any further.

What I want you to take along on your journey through life is the knowledge that I am proud of you. You survived abuse. You survived being with me. You survived being without any family at all. You survived being made to think of yourself as worthless and beyond help. That takes a strong person. I am proud of you for making it. For walking through this difficult life straighter than I ever could.

I hope that you can go and use that strength for your advantage and for your recovery. With the small part of me that is capable of thinking like a mother, I want nothing more than for you to have a good life. I want you to find contentment and happiness. I want you to become everything you are meant to be. Everything you want to be. The part of me that can think and feel like a mother will always love you from afar.

Happy Holidays,
your birth mom

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My mom helped me word that. She also helped me cope with how much it made me cry to think those words up. I wish I could receive words like those for real. Mind you, I’m not having delusions, I know it will never ever happen. So I guess this will have to do. And I feel okay.

A Painting that Describes my Situation – possibly *TRIGGERING*

First of all, sorry, everyone who looks, if this painting is disturbing or triggering. I woke up with the mental image – me on the stairs looking down at what’s beyond – on my mind and I could not get rid of it. I felt the compulsion to draw/paint it. I don’t know why. Maybe to turn it into a real picture. Maybe to share. I don’t know.

So anyway, that’s what I ended up with:

 

It’s pretty much what you see. Me, feeling pretty small, sitting on the top of a staircase that leads down into some creepy basement, looking down, feeling uneasy, yet glued to the spot, pondering, doing nothing. I try to think, but my mind refuses to comply.

I guess the symbolism doesn’t require a shrink to figure out. It’s looking pretty nasty down there. The colors speak for themselves. Behind me, there is light, but my back is to it. I don’t see it. All I see is what’s in front of me, down there, but only from a distance, because I’m not going down there either. No way in hell, me thinks, and I freak a little at the thought.

I talked about it with my mom, and she said she wonders if that doesn’t describe my current situation quite well. It’s no secret that I’m traumatized – PTSD doesn’t fall from the heavens after all – and I have some sort of an idea of what happened, too. But at the same time I don’t want to look at it. I’m quite content dealing with the BPD stuff, leaving the PTSD out. But at the same time I’m getting nowhere. There’s so many good stuff, lots of light (like my family now, and I could probably be doing a lot of things), yet my back is turned on it and I can’t go there, because I’m sitting, at a safe distance, my feelings neatly cut off, staring at the possibility of going down there. Down where the crap is.

 

Just staring. Nothing more. But nothing less either.

My mom says she thinks just turning my back on the basement, going into the light and living happily ever after ain’t gonna happen. How could I just step away from the basement, when it’s not a real one, but one within me? She’s got a point there. She says in order to be able to let go, I’d need to make trips down there. While being safe and feeling safe, this time around. So I can look around. Integrate parts that I have split off. Take away its power to instill terror. And in the end, come back up for good, close the door and step into the light.

Sounds so easy in theory. Is so hard in practice.

So I’m still sitting. Pondering. Frozen.

Scared.

Thoughts on Vulnerability and Courage

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”
(Brené Brown)

Brené Brown is a research professor studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame and I just learned about her by happening across this video of her TED talk “Listening to shame”. She said a lot of thought provoking things, but what resonated with me the most was the quote above.

I spent the majority of my life trying to avoid to be vulnerable, because I only knew the bad kind. The kind that’s imposed and cruel and painful. When I was MADE vulnerable. So initially what I resented about being part of a family the most was that I couldn’t hide my vulnerability as well anymore. In any professional arrangement, like at a hospital or group home or even therapy, staff are working shifts and I could hide from them by simply awaiting the end of their shift (or the end of the session). They would be gone, had lots of other stuff to focus on and it’s relatively easy to detach, tune out or turn my back for a brief period of time when shit upsets me.

Vulnerability: daring to let go of what feels like your protection

Not so in my family. Mom’s shift never ends. Gosh, and just a gazillion of things about family life make me feel vulnerable. So after some days of honeymoon and feeling like the luckiest person on earth being in a family, reality had me crashing down when a million things at once made me feel crappy and awful and miserable about being in a family and there was nowhere to go. I couldn’t discreetly hold it together until someone’s shift ended and just break down in private. No, when I was upset someone noticed and inquired.

In the beginning I fled, tried to lock myself in rooms, tried to leave the house or even hid in closets or under the bed (very mature, yes). If that wasn’t possible, I defended myself by attacking, by trying to hurt the other with insults and yelling and threatening to do terrible things if I wasn’t left alone.

It never worked out so well. My mom never yielded even an inch. She stayed, patient and calm and far away enough to not seem physically threatening, yet close enough to be THERE. If I wasn’t doing anything dangerous, she just waited me out. Even when dinner went cold. Or if it was way past midnight. How I hated that. Those were the times when I was the most determined to leave that damn family the first chance I got and never see them again, those monsters who didn’t have the decency to at least give me a break when I was the most embarrassed about myself.

But before I could do that, I had to survive the terrible situations I was in somehow. Sooner or later I always got exhausted to the point of caving in. Letting on what I was feeling so awful about. Putting my vulnerability right on display for my mom to see. Feeling mortified.

And now guess what? After the initial mortification, it got better. No ridicule, no mockery. No hurt. My mom was aware of how hard it was to be so honest. Of how weak and unworthy of anything I felt. And of how brave it is to dare and be vulnerable. How much courage it takes. How understandable it is to feel so anxious about it. And at the same time how much closer we can get to one another if we share and learn to recognize vulnerability as a gift. In the end, I never wanted to run away anymore, but felt a little more at home. A little safer.

I am convinced this is one reason why I am so close to her now: I feel safe enough to be vulnerable around her. She values vulnerability and she cherishes the bravery that’s involved. And while it still takes courage, every single time anew, it got easier. And it feels good to know that she knows me at my worst, knows my weaknesses and how terrible I often feel about myself – and still wants to be my mom.

Safe relationship + vulnerability = even safer and stronger relationship.

So what can I say. . . Be courageous and vulnerable, and careful about who you give that gift to! Someone who tramples all over it isn’t worth giving it to. Cherish it when someone gives you the gift of his or her own vulnerability! And listen to Brené Brown talk. I find her inspiring.

C PTSD - A Way Out

A place to check in daily

The Serenity Game

Marriage- The Final Frontier- Humor is the Key

Creative Liar

Because the truth makes me cry.

ladyswan1221

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Simple Pleasures

Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes

scienerf

So many MonSters so little time

silence of silence

i took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: i am, i am, i am.

We're All Mad Inhere

Life as it is: Surviving Insanity

Raison d'etre

There must be more than one...

Cupcakes and Anguish

Ramblings of a crazy creative ninja

firefliesandfairies

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Love—Life—OM

Support for survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud

Beauty from ashes daughter

Words of hope from an abuse survivor

Tackling BPD

My story of recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and anxiety through self-help. How I learned to like myself and live a happier life.

The Bottom of a Bottle

Trust me, I've been there, I've looked, I've searched and I know now, that there are no answers to be found in the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a blade! Fighting Hard, Recovering, Rebuilding, REBORN. Moving on from addiction to a new life.