The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 6 – Collage Day

SexualHJ_06

With today being something of a rotten day, I still decided to have a go at continuing with the sexual healing journey. I have entered the first chapter of the second part. The second part of the book is all about “making changes”. It introduces various ways and areas in which changes can be necessary to go from an unhealthy idea of what sex and sexuality is to a healthier one.

I didn’t feel up to much writing and reflecting today, but the book suggested to make a collage of the unhealthy view on sex that I have, as well as the healthier view I would like to develop. You know, to get a better idea of what my current understanding is, as well as to get an idea of what I’d want my future understanding to be like. So that was what I started the day with today.

*TRIGGER WARNING: the ‘now’ part of the collage is graphic and contains explicit imagery.*

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Okay, so here we go. Here are the two collages I ended up with next to each other:

CollageBoth

And if you want to see better, here is my current, unhealthy idea of sex:

Collage01

And here is what I would like my healthy version to be like, the goal I am working towards:

Collage02

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What’s interesting is that when I started out, I had absolutely no idea of what my ‘goal’ side was going to look like, but then it kind of came together easier than I thought it would be. So I guess the good the collage making did was that I realized that my current idea of sex is really nasty, but also that I actually do have something of an idea of what I want to work towards. That’s more than what I thought I had before I made the collage. So I guess that’s a good step into the right direction.

Okay, off to do something nice with my mom now.

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Missed the past episodes of the journey? Here they are:

A project for 2013
The Sexual Healing Journey Begins, Chapter 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 3
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 4
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 5

Book source:
MALTZ, Wendy (2012): The Sexual Healing Journey. A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Third Edition; Harper Collins. New York.

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Signs of good therapists + warning signs of bad ones

After the statement about “good” therapy with which I did not agree, I want to write down my thoughts regarding what I actually consider signs of good therapy, or rather of good therapists. I’ll add things that I learned to recognize as warning signs, too.

GoodRorschachSigns of good therapists:

  • a good therapist explains how she works and why she works that way
  • a good therapist is interested in helping me figure out what my therapy goals are and in helping me achieve them
  • a good therapist is a genuine, authentic and decent human being
  • a good therapist’s office feels safe and comfortable
  • a good therapist contributes to a feeling of hopefulness
  • a good therapist accepts my feelings and helps me explore them
  • a good therapist is respectful and professional
  • a good therapist is interested in establishing a positive, safe and empathic relationship with me before going anywhere in therapy
  • a good therapist is able to maintain this positive, safe and empathic relationship with me, even when she says things that might challenge or upset me
  • a good therapist can help me feel safe during the sessions and makes sure I am in a good place before I leave her office
  • a good therapist is knowledgeable on the issues she wants to treat and will say so, if something exceeds her abilities
  • a good therapist is *there* with me, I can feel her be genuinely present
  • a good therapist stays calm and on top of things even when I become chaotic
  • a good therapist is a mature person whose behavior speaks of her having morals and ethics
  • a good therapist knows how to laugh, too
  • a good therapist is honest with me
  • a good therapist can read my nonverbal cues and reacts to them
  • a good therapist is willing to give me feedback and answer my questions, as long as they are relevant to therapy
  • a good therapist steps back from power games
  • a good therapist respects it if I disagree with her or refuse to do something
  • a good therapist will admit to a mistake if she made it and apologize

 

BadRorschachWarning signs that I have encountered in past bad therapists:

  • therapist is repeatedly late for appointments (or does not show up at all)
  • therapist does not explain what she wants to do or why
  • therapist crosses physical boundaries (like by hugging or touching, euuuuuwwww) without asking for permission
  • therapist talks a lot about herself and the hassles of her own life
  • therapist talks not at all
  • therapist follows her own agenda and does not consider my goals / wishes / requests etc.
  • therapist is judgmental of my behavior
  • therapost does not take me and / or my objections seriously
  • therapist tries to manipulate my feelings (like by inducing guilt or making me feel bad about my behavior)
  • therapist blames my family (or, I suppose, other people in my life)
  • therapist thinks my opinion is uneducated and not worth listening to
  • therapist understands everything I say as evidence of my lacking mental health
  • therapist openly admits to bordering-on-illegal stuff like fraud (for example by charging the insurance for different services than she actually provided me with)
  • therapist wants to become personally involved in my private life and/or answers to invitations along those lines
  • therapist agrees to having sex with me or even invites me
  • therapist tries to feel better about herself and tries to meet her own emotional needs by helping me
  • therapist tries to talk me into / out of things
  • therapist makes unprovable claims regarding what causes my issues
  • therapist empathizes so much that I feel like I need to protect HER, because she can’t cope with the bad stuff
  • therapist identifies with me and / or my situation too much
  • therapist pushes me into the direction she wants to see me go
  • therapist leaves me feeling unsafe and unstable
  • therapist insists to muck around in issues that I don’t feel ready to face
  • therapist conveys that she does not like me, that I am annoying or a pain in her neck

Wow, I noticed that I could go on and on and on, especially with the warning signs list. I really have met my share of crappy therapists! I’m glad that my therapist F, however, has given me some faith in therapists back. The signs of good therapy all apply to her. 🙂 Even so, it’s rather outrageous that so many crappy ones are out there and allowed to mess with people. It always makes me very sad when people speak about crap their therapist did.  😦

The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 5

SexualHJ_05

With the headache having gone away a bit after having had a walk outside, I feel like I want to continue with my sexual healing journey, because I need something to keep my mind occupied. Today is my goal making day. It’s the last chapter of part one, and it’s called “deciding to reclaim our sexuality”. That sounds good.

This chapter asks me:

  1. to identify the reasons why I want to reclaim my sexuality.
  2. to identify and tame my fears.
  3. to create realistic goals.
  4. and to recall that I am doing the journey for myself.

So here I go. I will share my thoughts on those areas in the above order.

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1. What reasons do I want to reclaim my sexuality for?

Quite frankly, because my own behavior sickens me. It sickens me that I behave so much like someone who did nothing but hurt and abuse me wanted me to, and that I don’t even have an idea if I have any own wishes or behaviors separate from that. I mean fine, my stepfather taught (or rather conditioned) the way my sexuality works, I can’t change that. And yeah, my mother was never shy to remind me that a cheap whore was exactly what I was going to grow up to be, I can’t change that either. But I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of actually BEING that way, by the way I behave. I want to develop healthy attitudes towards the whole issue. I want to stop feeling involuntarily aroused by sick shit. I want to be able to be more in control of my sexual behavior. And I want to stop the sexual acting out within my family, because that’s not really me! That’s really my stepfather’s fucked up behavior still alive within me. And I hate that! I hate that he still has got that control over what I do! I want to have that control back! That’s what I want to reclaim my sexuality for.

2. What are my fears and how can I tame them?

First off, I am afraid that this whole focusing on sexual things will make my issues worse. That my PTSD symptoms will flare up and drag me down. That I will get triggered into sexual acting out. That I will do stupid things and that I will feel worse than had I just left well enough alone.

Then I’m afraid that memories may come back. Like, memories I still suppress. Maybe there’s stuff I can’t cope with. Maybe I will learn awful things about myself. My memories have the tendency to resurface when I focus on the issue and I’m afraid of what might come back to me.

I am afraid that if my mom, who’s helping me on the journey, learns about stuff, she will think I am disgusting and despicable and won’t want me for her daughter any longer. I know this one is unreasonable, but it’s really hard to shake that fear off.

And lastly (or last I can think of at the moment) I’m afraid that I’m gonna fail. That I try hard, give it my best shot, get my hopes up high, and then fall flat on my face.

And how I am taming those fears? Hm… I try to remember that the only failure lies in not trying and that the rest are mistakes to learn from. I let mom remind me that she’s okay with the ugly stuff, too. I make sure I feel safe with my family and in a good enough place for journeying before I start. I let mom remind me that she’s here to help me if things overwhelm me. I test that a bit. That’s all the taming I can think of right now.

3. What do my realistic goals look like?

The book asks me for three general goals and suggests I split each one up into three target goals which the general goal consists of. Okay.

General goal 1: Behaving sexually appropriate within the family.
– keep from making sexually suggestive gestures etc. towards my dad and brother and other family members.
– don’t undress in front of others, and don’t dress lewdly at home (or elsewhere).
– know touch and affection within the family to be non-sexual.

General goal 2: Discontinuing my use of sex for self-harming reasons.
– I understand that sex and punishment are not the same thing.
– I manage to keep myself safe even when I have the opportunity to use sex in a bad way.
– I learn to tell appropriate sex partners from inappropriate ones.

General goal 3: Becoming more comfortable with my sexuality.
– I learn to tell that (and why) sexuality itself isn’t bad or dirty or harmful.
– I learn to be more okay with my own body.
– I learn to value whatever positive aspects about sexuality might be.

Mh… I think that wasn’t too bad for starters. So let’s see, what was last… ah, yes, I remember.

4. Who do I do this journey for?

Yeah, I recall it, for me. The book says this can be hard, because we have a tendency to want to do it to please others, for example, or because we feel pressured. And I must admit that I do feel guilty for making it so hard for my family sometimes. After all, they have to deal with all my inappropriate behavior. They don’t put pressure on me, but, well, they don’t exactly love my being this way either. But I will try to do as the book says and keep in mind that I am doing in most of all for my own sake. To get rid of my stepfather’s influence. And that is true, I wish to get rid of my issues for that reason with all my heart.

I guess that’s a good beginning. And I feel like I did okay with today’s tasks. The previous part of the journey was harder.

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Next up will be part two of the journey, which is called “Moving Forward – Making Changes”. I’m a little nervous reading that and hope it doesn’t move too fast. But then, I suppose I can move as fast as I want, right? So I stay optimistic. After all, having a look won’t hurt and I’ll just see how I like the making changes part.

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Missed the past episodes of the journey? Here they are:

A project for 2013
The Sexual Healing Journey Begins, Chapter 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 3
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 4

 

Book source:
MALTZ, Wendy (2012): The Sexual Healing Journey. A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Third Edition; Harper Collins. New York.

 

The Dreadful 15th

Like my previous post already said, I’m having something of a crappy time. It’s probably all the good stuff and progressish stuff coming to kick me in the ass. I learned not to fret too much about it, because it’s what always happens after a good stretch, but I hate that it came with a lingering headache. I mean really, that’s overkill. I wish it fucked off.

Anyway, I suppose what also contributes to the crappy time is that the 15th is drawing closer. Dreadful date. In 2002 it was Tuesday and a social worker lady and a police officer barged into 6th grade math class. I had just turned 15. (And if you are better at math than I was and wonder what the heck I was doing in 6th grade at age 15 – I got enrolled in school a year late and then got held back twice, repeating 1st and 5th grade, but it didn’t matter because by looks I fit in with the others and I never really cared anyway.)

Anyway, the police officer and social worker lady called my name. I panicked. I thought I had somehow gotten into trouble, big-time. I was mortally afraid of what my parents would do to me once they found out I had attracted not only the attention of some concerned teacher or something, but of the police and whatnot. They demanded I take all my things and come with them. First they took me to the social worker’s office, then to a children’s home.

I didn’t comprehend until a couple of weeks later that this was not some temporary thing but that I wasn’t ever going to see my family again. At that point I seriously freaked and my foray into mental health care started with a hospitalization.

Ever since then Jan. 15th is a bad day. The day I lost my life and everything in it, basically, and had to trade it for shit. Not that my life wasn’t plenty shit before that, but at least it was the shit I had grown up with. Familiar shit. I would have given anything to get it back. Especially since by then amnesia had set in and I wasn’t remembering most shit.

Fast forward eight miserable years and some months and my future family picks me from an advertisement text stating my name, age, diagnoses and a short summary of what the shrinks-in-charge perceived to be my advantages and disadvantages, along with a 2×3 inch picture. They probably figured that since I have no next of kin who might complain, I’d make a good guinea pig for some foundation’s family care project. I didn’t care. I didn’t care about most things.

FirstPictureTurns out it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got kicked out of the project, but my family kept me. Adopted me, even. And ever since I am looking at the picture – they kept it – and wonder why on earth they chose me. Why did they want to meet me and not some other chick?

I still remember the day they took the picture. The guy with the camera was all ‘smile, put your best foot forward’. Well, you can see for yourself how well that worked. Maybe if I hadn’t been drugged up so much I would have smiled. But then no, probably not. So it certainly wasn’t because of my engaging smile that they picked me. And I hate to think it was out of pity. I really can’t tell what it was, so I return to the picture again and again trying to find out.

Mom assures me it was because when they saw my picture they felt like this might work out, having me at home with them. She says she can’t explain exactly what it was that brought her to this conclusion. She calls it intuition. Which is one of the most annoying non-answers because it tells me nothing at all.

Ah well, but I’m rambling. I guess I just wanted to put the crappiness into words that the 15th comes with. Losing everything. Eventually meeting my family for some unknown reason. Maybe it was random. Maybe my whole life is random. I don’t know. I try to make the best of it anyway. I just wish the headache would fuck off.

The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 4

SexualHJ_04

After my little break over the weekend, I’m now ready to continue with my sexual healing journey. Today’s chapter is called “identifying the sexual impact”. The book identifies six areas that will typically be affected by sexual abuse.

  1. Attitudes about sex
  2. Sexual self-concept
  3. Automatic reactions to touch and sex
  4. Sexual behavior
  5. Intimate relationships
  6. Sexual functioning problems

Today’s part of the journey will be for me to identify what kinds of impact my experiences of sexual abuse have had. The book provides a checklist with common impacts for each area, which I will not reproduce here, but if you are interested, the book is only about $10 / £7, so not really expensive to get. Instead of reproducing the whole list, I’ll list only the items that apply to me, personally, and add my own.

So the big question of this chapter is “What kind of impact has the sexual abuse had on me?” Here are my answers.

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1. How sexual abuse has impacted my attitudes about sex:

  • I feel like sex is a form of punishment.
  • Sex feels dirty and degrading to me.
  • I think sexual desire makes people act unpredictably.
  • I feel like sex is something I have to endure until it’s over.
  • I feel like sex is something to pleasure men.
  • In my mind sex and sexual abuse are the same thing.
  • I feel like sex is aggressive and hurtful.
  • I feel like sex gets dangerous if I don’t comply.
  • I feel like sex is a way for one person to dominate another.
  • Sex feels humiliating.

2. How sexual abuse has impacted my sexual self-concept:

  • I feel like I am an easy sexual target.
  • I feel like sex is the one thing I can be of use for.
  • I feel like my sexuality is disgusting.
  • I hate my body’s sexual responses.
  • I feel like I want sex for all the wrong reasons.
  • I feel like I don’t have the right to deny my body to anyone who wants it.
  • I feel like I am still a girl, sexual development wise.
  • I feel like I am either inviting abuse, or have no sense of being sexual at all.
  • I feel like if I want sex, I want abuse, and am as sick as an abuser.
  • I feel like I deserve whatever I get during sex.
  • I feel like I’m inferior to people because of my sexual history.
  • I feel like I am damaged goods.
  • I feel like I am really disgusting for having done certain sexual things.

3. How sexual abuse has impacted my automatic reactions to touch and sex:

  • I normally have little interest in being sexual.
  • I sometimes seek out inappropriate sexual possibilities.
  • I am bothered by sexual thoughts I can’t control.
  • I get sexually aroused by thoughts of sexual violence and abuse.
  • I have a sexual response in situations where I shouldn’t.
  • I easily misunderstand touch to mean that somebody wants sex.
  • I have flashbacks of sexual abuse during sex.
  • I feel emotionally distant during sex.
  • I experience negative feelings (shame, disgust with myself, anger, hate…) when I’m done having sex.
  • I experience physical pain after having sex.

4. How sexual abuse has impacted my sexual behavior:

  • I am unable to say no to sex.
  • There are no limits to what I would do during sex.
  • I feel confused about how and when to be sexual.
  • I manipulate others into having sex with me.
  • I don’t care whether sexual partners are involved with someone else, if they are in the right place at the right time.
  • I had more sexual partners than was good for me to have.
  • I feel confused about what is appropriate and what is inappropriate touch within the family.
  • I often can’t stop myself from engaging in sexually suggestive or explicit sexual behavior within the family.

5. How sexual abuse has impacted my intimate relationships:

  • I have no interest in proper intimate relationships and have never had one.
  • I engage in casual sex that I invite myself, because I’m afraid of letting someone else determine time and place, knowing I am unable to say no.
  • I want nothing to do with people I have had sex with, because I find them disgusting for having had sex with me.
  • I feel like anyone who wants to have sex with me is a despicable person and a pedophile, because I still think of myself as a little girl and because I definitely look and behave an underage person, too.

6. How sexual abuse has impacted my sexual functioning:

  • My sexual behavior aims at relieving tension, not at achieving pleasure.
  • I don’t find sex pleasurable.
  • I don’t find sexual arousal pleasurable.
  • I don’t find orgasms pleasurable.
  • I do not like to touch myself, sexually or for reasons of hygiene.
  • I experience pain with sex.

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Okay, so what have I learned from that, and how do I feel?

First of, I find it quite shocking to see so fucking many items on each list! I mean I knew I was messed up, but seeing the mass of items is really depressing. It’s not like any of the items would be real news to me, but still… seeing them all written down in plain words, so many of them, that’s different than just kind of knowing they are there and then quickly looking elsewhere. 😦

And how I feel . . . well, really embarrassed. Some items make me sound like a really sick person. I am afraid that everyone will think “whoa, she’s fucked up, who would think/feel/behave that way?! She must be one really dirty slut!”

But at the same time there is this stubborn part of me that says “Shut the fuck up! It’s not me who chose this, it’s what happens when people get abused, so I won’t sugarcoat it only to look better, because it’s not me who ought to feel guilty, but any asshole who assaults innocent kids or would consider me an appropriate sexual partner!” I mean really, I try to be respectful of everyone, but when I think back at the people who I’ve had sex with, there’s not a single one I feel even one shred of respect for. Anyone who looks at me and thinks I’d make for an appropriate fuck, despite the fact that I look like a teenager and that my sexual behavior is way inappropriate, especially those who actually carry through with it, THOSE should be the ones feeling guilty and embarrassed!

So I resist the urge to delete this whole post and remind myself that I haven’t chosen any of this. I have not chosen any of those behaviors! They are the impacts of shit other people did with me! I don’t feel good about any of them! In fact, I do what I can to avoid anything sexual altogether, because it’s so threatening and fucked up for me! But the impacts are there and I really, really want to get rid of them.

The next chapter is called “deciding to reclaim our sexuality”, and I look forward to that. I very much wish to reclaim it!

Thank you for reading, and I’m sorry if this was a hard or depressing or fucked up read.

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Missed the past episodes of the journey? Here they are:

A project for 2013
The Sexual Healing Journey Begins, Chapter 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 1
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 2
The Sexual Healing Journey, Chapter 3, Part 3

Book source:
MALTZ, Wendy (2012): The Sexual Healing Journey. A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse; Third Edition; Harper Collins. New York.

Q & A Tuesday ~ On BPD, boredom and frustration

QandA

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions in a comment, and since it would be a novel length comment back, I’ll answer them in a post instead. Here we go. Please be aware, though, that even when the questions ask “how is this for people with BPD in general”, I can’t really say.  I can only say how it is for me.

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Q: You stated that when you’re bored, you want someone to share that pain with you? Is that a common trait of BPD?

A: Like I said, I can only speak from my own perspective and I’m no shrink or anything, but I’d say boredom itself is a fairly common trait in people with BPD and I might not be the only one who has a tendency to end up sharing the misery. For me it is not about actively wanting to make anyone miserable at all, though. I feel bad about making others miserable. For me it’s more that I feel like it’s so unfair that everyone seems busy and content, yet I’m so endlessly bored and don’t know what to do about it, and then it kind of starts to feel like “if anyone cared about me, they would help my misery”. Then I’m like “hey, look, I’m bored” and if nobody reacts I get a little more annoying in the “heeeeeey, really, I’m bored!” way. Then, if nobody reacts still, I start to feel like they don’t care. My thoughts go something like “great, nobody cares about me, I knew it! They don’t like me, they just pretended, but when it gets inconvenient for them, they show their true colors. I hate them. They suck. They don’t deserve to be so content doing whatever they are doing.” But sooner or later my thinking gets a twist again and my thoughts turn on myself, like “but then, they are right in not caring. Why would they care about me? I’m horrible. I can’t even keep myself entertained. Like a baby. Of course they don’t care. They wish I wasn’t even here. They think I’m despicable and they are right. I am despicable…”

So depending on where in my line of reasoning I start to act, I’ll either try to make them miserable in return because I get angry and hurt over them not caring, or I do something to punish myself for being the way I am if I’m already further down the line. That usually forces them to interrupt what they are doing, too, because chances are I’ll do it somewhere where they are sure to notice, just to see if, by any chance, they DO care after all. (Luckily it doesn’t really get to any of those points for me, because I have a mom who is aware of my sensitivity to relationship messages. So she usually reacts to my ‘hey, look, I’m bored’, takes it seriously and helps me find ways to cope with it.)

Well, and of course, this is what happens with me, and I can only speak for myself. Others with BPD might have different mechanisms and different lines of thinking. Everybody is different.

Q: Would it be possible for someone BPD to do an activity by themselves instead seeking someone else to ‘share the pain’?

A: I think it would be possible. Not everyone with BPD will probably want to share the pain in the first place. Like I said, everybody is different. But I think that even with someone like me, who has a certain desire to ‘share the pain’, it’s possible to do an activity by myself instead. It depends on how well I am at that moment and how well I am able to resort to my own coping skills. If I feel pretty secure in my relationships at that time, if I manage to remind myself that it’s NOT them not caring, but just me being bored, then I just try to busy myself, like by drawing a new zentangle or blogging or, well, trying to engage mom or someone else at the house in a more positive way.

Q: Is ‘Non’ the right term for someone who doesn’t have BPD?

A: Suit yourself. 🙂 Non is fine because it’s short and I know what you mean. I’ll take anything, as long as it’s friendly and I know what you mean.

Q: From what I’m gathering here, there’s a lot of narcissistic traits, or at least from what I’m reading, and a lot of self-pity, with a disregard for others, notably your loved ones?

A: For me, I wouldn’t say there is a genuine disregard of others. Not in the ‘I basically don’t care about others’ way. I care a lot about others. I try very hard to be kind, I want especially my loved ones to be pleased with me, I admire and love them a lot, and how they feel matters greatly to me. What gets in the way is my emotional mess when it comes.

My feelings are easily triggered and pretty intense. I think that may be the part that ‘Nons’ have the hardest time relating to. I get pretty much the same kind of feelings everyone does, but very quickly and several times as overwhelming. Add to that that I have emotional coping skills matching that of a little child. My emotional regulation skills don’t suffice. So I do what any child who is overwhelmed does – I cry for my mom to fix it, and stop caring whether that’s convenient for her at that moment, or whether I hurt her, too, in the process, and I feel upset if I perceive her attitude as uncaring, because that directly ties in with traumatic experiences for me.

So I wouldn’t say I am particularly self-pitying, just that when faced with the full force of my emotions, I have trouble looking beyond it. Kind of like that: if you got acid on your hand and it burned terribly and you could see your flesh sizzling away, you’d probably stop caring whether it inconvenienced someone if you cried for help and got in people’s faces about it, because it hurts so much and gives you a panic. It wouldn’t mean you have a general disregard for others, but just that you are in a situation where you are suffering so much that you temporarily can not be bothered with caring for others, but need relief from the acid on your hand and need your wounds attended to. That’s how I experience emotional distress. So even when it looks like I wallow in self-pity and disregard others’ over it, I don’t really. I just don’t know what else to do about the emotional acid.

Q: On the last bit, would you prefer everyone to fail as you were to? Now, when I say fail, I mean you may inevitably come to succeed, but another has done so before you. Would you rather be stuck on the same problem and get frustrated (and who knows what else… would something like that trigger a psychological regression?) until you give up or eventually get it (and feel satisfied, possibly?) or have someone help you?

A: When emotionally well, I don’t want anyone to fail. When I get into an emotional unbalance (like because I am failing with something and get these overwhelming thoughts that I must be truly retarded or inept, a terrible failure myself, and certainly nobody will want such a failure in their lives) I can temporarily want others to fail, too, for two reasons.

1.) To feel better about myself, because if others fail, too, then the task must be real hard, which means that maybe I am not such a complete failure after all, if they don’t manage either, or

2.) In the hope that they will see how terrible I feel about it, because they experience the same thing, so they will then understand why it upsets me so much.

I don’t really do very well with being stuck with a problem by myself, because I easily slide down the fateful line of thinking “I must be a failure to suck so badly at this, nobody wants me if I am such a failure, I will lose them”. (Okay, that’s shortening a really long line of reasoning, but this is the essence of it.) So instead of keeping trying I will get discouraged, blame the problem for being too hard (so nobody starts thinking it might be me being the failure) or become overwhelmed with emotion (which leads to drama, that’s probably where the regressive behavior would start, so yes to that) or have someone help me (which is, all things considered, probably the best possible solution, if I manage to get someone to understand that I really need help and what reason for). Well, yeah, and if I do keep at the task long enough to actually get it eventually (which doesn’t happen so often, for abovementioned reasons), I feel very satisfied and pleased with myself.

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Okay, that’s it. Today’s little Q&A. I hope that my answers made sense?

This should be me! – a.k.a Gone Baby Gone

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

There was a terrible situation yesterday night. I went to the kitchen with mom and in passing I looked through the door to the living room and caught a glimpse of a scene from a DVD dad was watching, Gone Baby Gone. I have no idea what was going on, but the scene was in this shabby house with a woman who was, like, a drug addict or a boozer or something. You could see from the way she looked and talked and behaved that she was really fucked up, unstable and unpredictable, able to turn violent and stuff.

It was the way my mother used to look. Except my mother had brown hair and that woman’s hair was blond. Like mine.

The resemblance to how my mother had been was horrifying. My heart beat like crazy, I felt frozen to the spot, instantly detached from reality, and I couldn’t look away from the screen even though what I saw made it worse.

Mom noticed I hadn’t followed her into the kitchen, so she came back and got me. She’s really quick to pick up on stuff like that, so I never needed to explain what had happened, she could already tell I had been triggered and was in a bad place. So instead of taking me to the kitchen, where we might have overheard stuff from the DVD, because the living room is right next to the kitchen, she took me back upstairs, and helped me come back to reality and calm down.

Which worked for a little while, and we snuggled, but then I got this thought that this woman I had seen should be me. I mean, really, it should. That was exactly the kind of home where I had grown up. Our house had looked cleaner, because of my mother’s OCD, but the whole atmosphere was exactly the same. I got this overwhelming feeling that this was the life that had been planned for me. That this is what I ought to have become: A fucked up drug addict and alcoholic who has a shabby home and a pathetic, miserable life.

But instead of that, I live in this really nice house, with people who I’m not even related to yet call mom and dad, exploiting them, messing with their lives, taking all those things they give to me that I don’t deserve, because the life that I was chosen for was never this life, but the kind of life I had seen on the TV screen.

The noise in my head was unbearable: This should be me. My life should be like that. How dare I exploit good people. I deserve a life like that, not the life I live now. I took something that I had no right to have. I should get punished. I must leave them. I do not deserve people who love me and care for me. I should be doing drugs and alcohol and have a shit life, just like my mother had . . .

To cut a long story short, the night turned into drama. I wanted to hurt myself and screamed and cried and it took a long time until I calmed down again. Most of it is hazy to me, but I think dad stopped watching the movie when I started screaming and helped mom with keeping me safe, because I have half a memory trying to kick him because I was so angry that they wouldn’t let me leave. Which in turn meant that I woke up several times during the night in a panic over losing everyone. Mom didn’t leave me during the night, so it was okay-ish, because I wasn’t alone, but this morning I feel exhausted, because of the bad night and waking up early, and awful about giving everyone such a terrible night, after it turned out to be me, who ended up “gone baby gone”.

Feeling exhausted and guilty is a dangerous mix for me, so that even when it has the potential to make me feel even more guilty, I’m also grateful that mom keeps me close by today. Crisis watch.

Mom insists I skip today’s part of the Sexual Healing Journey and I can’t argue that. I’d be a mess today. So instead I’ll do something a little more uplifting and try to make a list of things that I like, to get my thoughts (and hopefully my feelings, too) into a good direction again.

I hope you all had a nicer start into your Sunday.

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