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Everything posted by aperson

  1. What does healing look like for me? I ask myself this question often and the answer is pretty much the same. I just want to be content. Happiness seems like a goal of perfection. I want it but I know it isnt really possible. So I settle for what is possible. I dont think that is asking too much. Like I just want to be sure that I learn and grow from the past. What does healing look like? It means I sleep like a normal person. Bed at a decent hour and up at a decent hour. Most importantly, I stay sleep. I actually get rest. Rest that isnt either deeply troubled by dreams or interrupted 3 hrs in. It would mean that I am not constantly fighting sadness and depression. Hell, bordering suicidal at times. The hurt from the past gets its chance to be fully felt and it doesnt hurt as much. The physical hurt from the act cant be felt anymore. I no longer feel the act. What does healing look like for me? I like myself. I know who I am and want I want and I am ok with it. I am ok which makes mostly everyone else ok too. I dont feel disgusted by what I see. I am not ashamed by who I presemt to the world. The world sees me with no filter or masks. I forgive me. Forgive myself for being too young to understand. Too young to know the right thing. Forgive myself for being scared to do the right thing when asked. Forgiving myself for blaming me for not being able to speak. That my mind and body couldnt move past the shame to speak my truth. I forgive them. First, I gotta blame them but then forgive them. Accept that I will never know why they did it and forgive them anyway. Whew...I think writing these down and seeing what I want is hard and it's not all. That's hard to see the broken parts. There's a lot and it all feels impossible. It feels like playing the lottery. You play knowing you will never win but if you do the rewards are immeasurable.
  2. I really just want to be a good person. Be a good sister, daughter, aunt friend and worker. I just want to help others. But you cant do that when you need help yourself. But that's what I want. I want to be normal with feelings. I want to be able to relate to others in a genuine way. That's what they took. My ability to be any of those things. My belief that I will ever be any of those thing. Nothing will ever be the same. Even after all these years, I am still grieve the loss of the future that I wanted and never got. And I am afraid that a positive new future can never be. I am afraid to let it all out because I dont think I can stop if I start.
  3. aperson

    Close to the edge

    Thank yoy @Viceless. I dont have many other words but I appreciate your words of support.
  4. aperson


    I am broken. Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with that fact. Being broken and trying to grow is pointless. I cant grow because I will always be broken. I cant move on because I am broken. I dont like these feelings. I dont want these feelings. I am sorry that I have these feelings and cant move past them. I am sorry that I learned to protect myself too late. I am sorry I am not brave. I am sorry I brought shame to myself and my family. I am sorry that I allow this to affect people I care about. I am sorry I cant live up to the expectations that others want for me. I am sorry I am not strong enough to handle all of this. I am sorry that I allowed people to come in my life who meant me nothing good. I am sorry I broke someone else in ways they probably dont even know. I am sorry that it ever happened. I am sorry that I dont know how to express the hurt well. I am sorry I cant forget it. I am sorry that I feel more at fault than a victim or survivor. I am sorry I am not good enough. I am sorry that I cant handle good self-care. I am sorry I am not strong enough to protect others. I am sorry for everything.
  5. I feel like I am getting close to a breaking point and there is no one I can turn to. I am being swallowed by the pain. There are storms building up inside and they will merge into one soon. I just dont know that I can stop what is coming. This pain is so unbearable. Living with the hurt and shame is unbearable. I just want to not feel this bad so much. I want to stop remembering and feeling. They haunt me. They taunt me by living life like I didnt exist. Enjoying their days and building more relationships. I sit and try not to feel them touching me. I feel the shame. I know everyone else sees it too. I need to visit the river. To sit by it and listen to it rush by.
  6. You know, I started this journey because I needed to make an effort to deal with my past. But I am no better off than when I started 11 years ago. I thought I would eventually be able to say the words. That I would learn the skills to deal with this in a healthy manner. But I fear I am in the same position. I am still holding on to it and holding back from others. Just when I believe I am making progress, something happens and I realize I am not. I still push away everyone. I stop calling. I stop texting. I stop trying to be a part of the conversation. Sometimes there is something that I believe justifies it. Sometimes I justify it as necessary. There is no way I will be that vulnerable again. Itxs not fair to those I push away. They are clueless to the reason. Hell, they may even be happy to not have to try so hard too. At the end of the day, I am still in the same spot as I was, holding on and holding back. I am trapped. Trapped in my mind and my past. Both are breeding negativity. Both are a prison that I built but I also hold the keys. I just want to be able to look back and say I forgive me and them. I just want to say 'this is how it made me feel' instead of 'this is how it makes me feel'. It feels like every day it happens again. Every day still feels like the first time. Every day brings the same hurt and pain. Every day it be comes harder to take care of myself. And everywhere I turn, there are reminders. Reminders that these things still happen. There are still people who exert their power. There are still people who take away things they have no right to. They take away things that dont belong to them. Once they take it, you may never get it back. I miss having innocence. I wish I knew what trusting someone felt like. I am working on understanding love. I want to know what it feels like to give it and receive it. I want to know the path I could have taken if they hadnt come along and changed it. And it's a dangerous path looking at what could have been. It's also hard not to. So 11 years and here I am. Friends gained and lost. Steps forward to go all the way back. Feeling just as sad as I did when I started. Feeling just as hopeless as before. The main goal now is to not get committed to a hospital. I dont think I could fake my way through it. There are others that count on me for support they need.
  7. aperson

    Lost and Confused

    Thank you @Enigma87 and @Viceless. I have a difficult time accepting compliments but I appreciate that you understand what sounded like silly ramblings. I know in my head that I am not alone and these feelings are true for most people. If I keep repeating it and see enough of others who are feeling the same, one day I will believe it. And maybe that will be the true first step in finding a way to heal.
  8. A bit of honesty? A bit of truth? The fact is I am terribly lost in this huge world. I am surrounded by people but still totally lost. I keep trying to follow the rules but the rules keep changing. I keep trying to make a path to a happy life. There are all these...detours. And they can bring so much pain and hurt. They change the the path you were on. I want so bad to be free from this 'thing' that happened. Some days it doesnt even feel like it happened to me. Like that isnt possible to happen to me. Then there are those times when I cant escape that it happened to me. I cant escape the emptiness it created. I cant escape the shame. I cant escape the fear. I wish I could even speak the 'thing' but I cant. Not for myself at least. How do you put words to a thing you werent even old enough to understand? How do you explain the need to be even more invisible? Undesirable? How do you put that into words for someone who hasnt experienced the 'thing'? So to avoid the 'thing' you do everything you can. You run. You hide. You ignore the 'thing' and anyone associated with it. You add an invisible shelter around yourself. Never letting anyone too close. Never being too open. Always keeping the most scared part of yourself sacred. You know that this is wrong but how else do you keep living in this life if you dont. Because when you look out at the world behind your invisible wall you see nothing good. You see danger. You see hate. You fear everything and everyone. I can tell you what happened but do you really understand what that means? What that does to a person? Do you know that moving forward is hard? It's even harder when you feel unsupported, unwanted and unloved. It doesnt matter if you helped contribute to some of it. You cant always see that. All you can see is that you are alone in this. You are the only one who can feel the unspoken. There are days you can 'forget'. You can move through the world. There are times where you must wear the mask. You havent forgotten but you push through the day until the end so you can take off the mask. Then there are the rest. The days you cant even pretend anymore. Yo sit and watch the world moving on and wondering how they can. How do they no see the danger? Why are they not hiding and trying to be as invisible as you? You head hurts from all the chaos. The chaos in your mind and the chaos in the world. The more I try to make sense of it the more chaotic things become. You try to fix one thing and 6 more come up. And fixing those you realize you never fixed the first one so you must start all over. Now you dont know where to begin. It's all so hard. It's all so draining. I keep thinking now may be a good time to try therapy again. But what does that look like during a pandemic? Virtual sessions? No, I cant. The pandemic is an excuse. I probably wouldnt go anyway. And if I went once, I would never go back. I cant even discuss with the people I am closest to how do I tell a stranger? I cant admit it to myself even. I really dont know what else to do at this point. Like I am at a complete loss. I cant move past it. I cant do what is needed to begin the process to move past it and that hurts. That maybe one of the more painful things. It means I am stuck this way forever. Stuck in misery and fear. Stuck in a past that blocks any future. Stuck alone. That's what I have to learn to accept. The living with lonliness and fear in a world that many times I dont want to be a part of. I havent taken one of my drives. The ones that allow me to think uninterrupted by home. I think given my current mindset, it may be less productive. What do I want? For someone to see the unspoken. For someone to be able to comfort those unspoken words. I dont think that is possible though. I guess I feel like the answer that will be given is no one can comfort me but me and I just dont know how to do that. So the sleepless nights will continue. The pushing away will continue. The silence will continue. The misery will continue. Will it continue because I want it to or because it just cant be comforted. People say there is no one beyond help although everyone feels like they are. I am not sure I fully believe them. It feels like I am an exception to the rule. I am the square trying its best to fit in a circle. Trying to shave the corners so she can fit in with the rest of the world. Trying to pave a way from a past that I just am walking in circles.
  9. My 11 yr old niece is taking a master class in this I believe. Example, I am person who is allergic to bug bites. I have been my entire life. When most people get a bug bite, it is a nuisance. They itch a while and move on. Bugs seem to be attracted to me though. They bite and invite their friends and I itch for weeks and blister. This means that I end up with horrible scars at times. I currently have terrible scarring on my ankles from flea bites over 2 years ago. They itch daily. My ankles are discolored from it. Tonight before going to bed, my niece saw them. She is terribly bothered by them. She covered them in order to avoid seeing or touching them. I removed the cover because I was hot which is why they werent already covered. I am extremely self-conscious abouth them. Anyway, she puts the cover back and says yuck. Another example, I am overweight. I know this. I have always been heavier than most. She proceeds to tell me that if I lose weight, I may finally get a boyfriend and have kids. This is a weekly thing for her and I seem to be on the receiving end 80% of the time. I try to explain to her how sometimes this can be hurtful. Even giving examples of how someone could say things about her and hurt her feelings. That has little affect. I have tried telling her how these things hurt me. No change. So tonight, I am fighting back tears that a child has triggered my insecurities once again. She sees no issue because to her, if she has something to say she should just say it. I am trying not to resort to hurting the self-esteem she has. And I must say, she has confidence I couldnt imagine. No one knows where she got it but she was born with it. While I love this kid to death and would do just about anything for her, right now, I wish she was someone else's kid. Or at least I didnt live with her. Right now, I wish I could be petty enough to break her spirit like she does mine.
  10. aperson

    No Title

    So 1 night of 6 straight hours of sleep is all I get? Weeks of of getting 2-3 hours a day and 1 night is all I get. This is bordering on crazy. I am falling asleep on my lunch at work. Today I fell asleep on a conference call. It was less than 10 mins but it doesnt look good. I have been trying to be less focused on the negative. I hoped this would free my mind to relax. I am not trying to avoid anything just lessen the control the negative mindset has over me. Acknowledging I am not doing the best but accepting that and saying this is what I can do to feel a bit better. Writing is not coming as easily as I thought it would. Dont get me wrong, the process of feeling like I am in conversation is helpful in the sense that I am not having the conversation in my head. That tends to keep me in a cycle of negative thinking. Plus I get to write and try to organize the chaos. On a good day, I can put clear words to feelings and doing that feels good. Right now, itxs a much harder process. It feels like there is this new feeling that the world has never seen. It needs a name and description and neither are possible. The thing is I know it's not a new feeling. I just lack the capacity to put it in words to label it. No label, it keeps lingering. Or maybe I just need to stop acting as if certain things dont bother me when they do.
  11. aperson

    What you cant see

    Thank you. Sitting is definitely welcomed. 💜 Thank you.
  12. Some days the intangible losses hurt worse than the physical act. Those things people cant see but you still feel. Those things that you usually ignore because the physical is easier to explain. Yeah, those losses cant be measured so easily. And they are harder to explain to others. I just want to get back what I lost.
  13. I keep trying to write something but none of it feels right. If feels forced. It feels required. It feels censored. Today I dont want to feel any of those things. Just know, I am not OK. I am not fine. I am not managing. I am hanging on by a thin thread most days. Stretched well beyond what I thought possible.I reached out and then pulled back. Why? Who knows. Because that is what I do. Because the help didnt feel like help.
  14. Thank you. I hope that one day one does as well.
  15. Thank you for reading it.
  16. ***********************FAIR WARNING***************THERE IS BRIEF DISCUSSION OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS*********************** This ongoing battle within myself is quite painful. I like to believe that I have a reasonable amount of intelligence. But this battle I am not winning. I am not okay most days but I am really not okay today, this week. It's like the battle of an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Both trying to lay out their case on why I she be on there side. But they aren't an angel and a devil. They are the young girl and a young woman. Each of them are still putting out their points as to what i should believe and what I should do next. The young woman is the logical me. She tells me all the things I should know and would tel another person in my position. She says that I am not to blame for the circumstances I found myself in then and now. That the truth of the matter is that I wasn't experienced enough to know how to react to the situation so I reacted based on that little experience. It wasn't right nor was it wrong. it just was. She insists that there is no right or wrong way to have reacted. Even if many people react the same there will never be a right or wrong way to react to someone causing harm to you and ensuring your safety and sanity. She believes and supports me. She knows the internal battle I fight on whether it was or wasn't (insert term here). She says that if I believe it then it must be so and whatever the next steps I want to take, she will be there holding my hand. She insists that I allow myself to feel whatever emotion I have at the time. That can be sadness or anger and she even understands the desire of wanting to take death over the pain I have. All of it was valid and allowable. What isnt allowable is actually giving up on myself or harming myself to avoid the feelings I have. She doesnt make me feel guilty or ashamed. The young girl is my irrational side. I guess that is the best word. This child is a ball of emotions and impulse. She screams that I am to blame for not doing anything then and now. She says that I must have wanted these things because why else would I not say anything. She yells that I am a horrible person. She agrees with my mother. That only girls who want to do these things find themselves in these situations. This girl says all the names that I have called myself are true and I am not worth spending another day 'battling' over something I know to be true. She says there is no point ruining anyone's life over something I caused. She tells me if I cant deal with the shame and hurt I caused then I should just end my life. I hear each of them. I understand each of their points. I believe each of them with conditions, if that makes any sense. Because of the ongoing battle with myself I am constantly replaying what I remember. I am constantly dissecting each scene. Trying to find a way to prove one of them wrong over the other. Trying to find an answer to the one question I cant escape and that is how do I move forward. At the end of the day, I find that I start to replay all the owuld have and should haves and could haves. If I had only done this. If I hadn't done this. If I hadnt gone here. If I didnt look a certain way. If I wasnt so shy. An endless cycle that further intensifies the hurt and pain. It prevents the mind from shutting down because there is no end. The what-ifs are infinite like the number of parallel universes. Every decision has a new outcome and new set of decisions and outcomes. The only thing being affected by all of this is me. My mental state. My ability to interact in the world. I believe it when people say that these kind of internal battles have an affect on you physically. I am physically tired because I cannot sleep. i am physically sick because my blood pressure is probably through the roof from the stress. I I know that all of this is reeking havoc on my body but I cant seem to make the thoughts stop. Work is a mild distraction but not enough. So I continue these ramblings to hopefully release what I know is building up inside. This is the only option I have at the moment and I fear that this will not be enough as it hasnt been so far. What I need and want will not be fulfilled. And knowing that is another set of hurt and pain.
  17. aperson

    Groundhog Day

    Here we are with what is starting to feel like the movie Groundhog Day. A repeat of the same old nonsense. Another night of wanting an emotional release from the thoughts that are swirling. Another night that I find little relief. Images and negative thinking that seems as normal as breathing today. Tackling back and forth with myself on who is at fault and what I can do better. Fighting the feelings of whether I remember it all correctly. Was it as some would say normal childhood exploration? Do I recall it correctly or did I fill in a gap with a possibility and hung on to it like it was the gospel truth? My first memory is a very young child. Barely school age. Could I really recall something that long ago and understand what it was? Is that why I find it so difficult to talk about? Calling it by its name seems so...finite. How can I do that when I am still trying to reconcile that it happened? But there is no reason for me to not believe what I remember. No one planted the thoughts because I had never been around anyone at that time who talked openly about those things. I was older when it was discussed. I felt them as being wrong before someone told me it was wrong. What they didn't say is that it could be anyone, even your closest family. They didn't say that the cousin or 'grandfather' could be capable under the guise of 'love'. It took me a long time to realize that wasn't the life that every girl goes through but by then, it was too late. I had normalized the experience and the keeping of the secret. I had spent years hiding the truth from everyone including myself. By the time I heard it was ok to tell, I was too afraid of what not keeping the secret would do to my family and myself. I can recall the times that I was forced into therapy and when I chose therapy that the pain was the same. My throat felt like it was closing. My voice retreated. The closest I could come to expressing the pain is to allow the tears to fall and make myself as small and invisible as possible. This is how it was on week one and week 31. Any discussion that moved to this trauma ended the same. It's funny that I have had different types of traumas in my life but this is the one that always brings shame. It's a shame that feels unforgivable. Like being branded with a scarlet letter. Shame. Hurt. Pain. Sadness. Secrets. Filthy. Blame. Hopeless. Helpless. Worth less. Broken. Impure. Ugly. Scarred. Afraid. Invisible. Lifeless. Unloved. Dumb. Damaged. Angry. Lost. So here I am years later trying to tell the child I was that what you recall is a fact not fiction. Telling her that it's ok to speak that truth and call it by its name. Telling her that real family will not abandon her. They will show support and love. They will respect the process it now takes to heal from those experiences and allow that child to flourish into a confident and strong woman. Instead she cowers in the corner. She feels alone. She feels forgotten. She feels unworthy. She feels unloved. She is sad because she cant see a future without these feelings and a past that haunts her. She prays that one day she doesn't lose control and end up making matters worse. All she wants is to make sure that the young girls she influence know they can come to her if they cant go to anyone else. There is no judgement. Just unconditional love, support and the knowledge they are never alone. That there is no right or wrong way to heal. So here is another night of crying unseen tears. Of wrapping my arms around myself wishing they were the arms of someone who loves me without conditions and assuring me that I am safe and heard and fully supported. Here's to another night of wishing I had something to take me to another plane of existence. One where the world and people in it are all good. A world that is safe. Here's to another night where I will fight the urge to hide in my own world knowing I will only mildly succeed. Here is to another faild Groundhog Day.
  18. @RubyRosie I appreciate your response. Insomnia drove me here years ago as well. Much of the time, these entries are enough of a release. Just know that your reading these entries is sometimes all the support I need. Have a good night/morning.
  19. It's been about a week that this mild insomnia has been going on. It started slowly months ago. I went from going to bed at a decent hour to staying up until 1 or 2 am. Now I am at no sleep or sleeping at 3 or 4 am. It's one of those things that spirals out of control before you become aware of it or why it happened. But I know why. I know how it started and why. Partially my fault because I cant say no. I removed myself from a stressful position to a much less stressful job. Best move at the time for many reasons. But opportunities have presented themselves in the new job and I couldnt say no. The start to being sucked in again. Probably because I really want to be accepted and I really want to prove I am capable. Just as good as anyone else and worth a chance. Those insecurities get me every time. Sucks me into situations I then feel trapped by. So here I am, getting back into a stressful position that I may come to resent soon. Slightly already do. And I sort of dislike that about myself. I like it because it keeps me learning and thinking. I dont like it because I dont know how to say enough. Been that way since I can remember. Always wanted to be accepted by people. Have a friend to go through life with. Be valued by people. Be liked by people. That wasnt the case for me. I am sure there are many things that contributed to that. Dealing with a drug addicted father as a young child. Dealing with parents who didnt seem to like each other let alone love each other. Having younger siblings who seemed more adaptable to those issues. And of course dealing with trauma from a young age. It's funny how they all seem to link together though. They all taught me that love is quite conditional. That bad things are not to be discussed with anyone. That trust is not given freely as it will be abused and misused. Kids didnt deal with me at school. Not bullied, just ignored. The talked amongst themselves about me. They made comments that at the time I didnt understand. It took a long time for me to realize that what they said wasnt mean but it wasnt that nice either. It was hard to see my sister and brother move much easier through school. While kids ignored me, they flocked to my siblings. Kind of hard moving through school eating and playing alone. Hoping that you can choose to be odd man out so you dont have to be on display as odd man out. Teachers found me easy as a student but wished I would socialize more. Not sure who I was to socialize with though. The kids didnt want me with them. But they had no clue what I was dealing with. Home life sucked most days. I was holding on to more secrets than should have been required. And I had no outlet either. So add those things together and you get suicidal me at 13. Not allowed to return to school without an evaluation. The evaluation ended up in a 30 days stay on the kid's psych ward. Trying to figure out how do I share as little as possible and still get out. Knowing once I do, I will return to some of the same nonsense or worst. My father no longer did drugs but their marriage was still broken. I still had trauma that wasnt being dealt with and there was no way I was going to start then. They would not keep me ever again!! So I suffered in silence. I kept those things that were hurtful inside under lock and key. But I still hurt. I still experienced trauma. So there I was my first year of college and feeling like that young child again. I am hundreds of miles from anyone I know, afraid and scared. And feeling like these people dont want me around either. Here come hospital stay number 2. Much briefer than the first but I had learned the system. Say as little as possible and stay out your room. I left that stay trusting even less. I was looking for help but abandoned. I returned to school with a requirement of weekly counseling for the semester. The hardest thing was maintaining the facade on days where I just couldnt anymore. They were not sending me back. I would not have my parents called. They were now in the midst of their first divorce. It wasnt messy but it is divorce. 2 years later, I felt like I had to deal with this mess inside so I started counseling. Who would have thought it would be disastrous. Ok, it wasnt another hospital stay but it wasnt productive either. 95% of the time I spent in total silence or crying. Either way trying to form words that I forced myself to never speak of to any one. Well the result was me being kuck out of school for horrible grades because I just couldnt cope any more. But I cant tell anyone. Here I am 20 years later and facing the same dilemma. I need to vocalize these things I am holding on to but I cant. I cant put them out there so they keep me up at night trying to figure out how to not become swallowed by them and give in to what they tell me is best. It is now 630am and they fight to remain they only thing I think about. I am weak. I am tired. I feel like giving in.
  20. Here it is nearly 130am and I am lying here trying to silence my mind while much of the world is fast asleep. It's a battle I have been fighting for a few weeks now. I thought I was winning nearly a year ago. I was asleep before the late night shows came on. Slowly things returned. Some days, a bad movie helps. Other days, a sleep aid is needed. There are a few reasons why. Continuing to suppress feelings and emotions doesnt help. When the feelings creep in, I push them back and try harder to find distractions. Then there is the physical pain. 2 months from the procedure and I am thoroughly dissappointed. My hopes were high. The results are half and half. While the bleeding as reduced tremrndously, the physical pain remains. It is constant and more painful than before. None of this is uncommon. My dr did try to keep me level headed but I had sky high hopes. The realization that my dreams were again squashed is difficult. Guess this is the time I forgot to hope for best but prepare for worst. Then there is the high blood pressure. While it is under control as confirmed by my most recent appt, there is a lingering thought that one day it will stop work and I will die in my sleep. Since I am not suicidal and havent been for months this thought is troubling. When my bp was at it's highest I had no symptoms. No headaches or dizziness. I was fatigued but I was also anemic. The last thing I want right now is to have my family find me no longer alive. The drs have terrified me enough that it is a daily thought. Thanks for nothing doc... These are the things that have me up at 130am knowing the alarm will go off in 5 hours. So I guess it is time to take some pain meds. I hope there is some Tylenol PM left. Maybe I can be sleep in the next hour.
  21. aperson

    6 weeks post-op

    It has been 6 weeks. I had hope by week 3 that this procedure would work. That my dr giving me news in my last visit that there were some abnormalities in the samples taken during the procedure would just be her being overly cautious. That all this somewhat triggering stuff was over. A month post-op I was happy that this would be the end. But then came the cramping and spotting. I had hoped that this would bring me back to at least normal but it hasnt. I have pain daily. I am too afraid to contact my dr because they will think I am not allowing enough time to know what my normal is. But I am starting to believe this isnt it. Basically, I am scared. I dont want another procedure right now. I dont want to go through an exam right now. But every day I am hurting physically, I start to hurt more mentally as well. I take pain meds when I must like to get through work but I try not to other days because I dont want the meds to become useless or I grin and bear it until I cant anymore. So I am treading the line of acting too quickly and waiting too late. I dont want either but the procedure was never a guarantee. It was to give me a bit of relief. It was really to minimize the issue so I no longer was anemic. I am just disappointed. I wanted this to be a bit of a cure without having to make the ultimate decision of a hysterectomy. I allowed myself to have high expectations and failed to prepare for reality.
  22. aperson

    Being vulnerable

    So, I heard something on the radio the other morning which I know has been a HUGE struggle for me over the years. Being vulnerable. Being vulnerable has always been a huge struggle for me. I hardly let anyone see any of my emotions or internal struggles. In the 4th grade, I asked for a new bike for my birthday. I wasn’t sure that my parents would be able to afford one but that was the only thing that I wanted. The day of my birthday, I got my bike. Internally, I was ecstatic because I know they had to sacrifice to get it. (My siblings and my birthdays are within 6 weeks of each other with my sister and I only being 2 weeks apart). On the outside, I said a polite ‘thank you’. I made sure that I was tall enough for it and new how to operate the gears and brakes. I rode it once that evening for about 5 mins. Not because that was all the time I was allowed to ride it but because, I didn’t know how to allow anyone to see my excitement. For my 16th birthday, I received a car. At the time, I had not asked for a car. Not because I didn’t want one but because I knew my parents could afford one. Shelling out a $1500 expense with 3 teenagers was extravagant and just couldn’t be justified. I had just returned from a gifted cruise (my cousin had recently been placed on punishment and I went in her place) and my parents surprised me when I came home. Again, internally, I was jumping up for joy. Not only did I get what I really wanted but it was total shock and surprise because I didn’t ask for it. Externally, I smiled and again said thank you. For a week, my parents thought I didn’t like the gift because I wasn’t boasting about it to anyone. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and be ‘free’. (I got the car a week before my birthday, so I still had my permit and couldn’t drive it anyway) Again, I couldn’t allow them to see the utter excitement that I had about the sacrifice they made to get me something I would really enjoy. I later learned that my grandmother had purchased the car for me. That didn't change anything because now I knew that the one thing my parents probably wanted to be the greatest surprise for me, they couldn't do on their own. These are 2 examples but there are countless others that extend past the material items and into mental well-being. But when I think about it, this has always been the case. From the earliest I can recall, I have always not allowed ANYONE to see fully past that wall that I had placed up. Is it because of the males that had taken advantage of me at an early age? Is it because that is the life that I was brought up in by my parents or other relatives? Is it because I was conditioned other places that being vulnerable made you weak and susceptible to danger, threat or be taken advantage of? I have yet been able to pinpoint where it started but I can see it’s affects throughout my life and in everything I do. I take very little credit for anything that I have done that would be considered an accomplishment to others. Even when I know that my feelings have been hurt, trust broken, I rarely show anyone that. I typically stay calm, cool and collected on the outside and trembling with fear or a ball of confusion on the inside. Recent example is my medical procedure. I knew that given the symptoms, I was having what would occur. I had a procedure before and I knew how it affected me mentally and physically. Even the testing and exams that were needed to determine what procedure to have were triggering. None of them every knew. I told everyone what would happen and that they had nothing to worry about. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I couldn’t drive home afterwards, I would have told no one to come with me. I had to present a front of being strong and OK. The procedure, although very common, had to appear as if I had it done like brushing my teeth each morning. It was nothing big and I would be breeze through it. Inside though, I was panicked. I had to take a medication before the procedure that would cause triggering pain and I knew I would only be able to take Tylenol for it which over the counter would have no effect. I knew that after the procedure, I would be in some pain that again would be triggering for me. I also knew that I would have stronger pain medications that would keep me sedated for it but I shouldn’t rely on to avoid my emotions. I knew that preparation for the procedure would be a struggle and I would be extremely conscious of if I had prepared enough. I knew that from the day I had to start preparing until weeks after, I would always feel insecure about what the doctor and nurses were going to be thinking if I had not been prepared enough. When people asked me how I was doing, I told them I was OK, even though I was still feeling pain. My sister and my niece became ill shortly before and after my procedure. So now we were all going to be in a position of needing someone and all we had was each other with my niece dependent on us both. And due to another extended family emergency, we have 2 additional children in the house to take care of and try not to send back sick in a couple of days. So, I sucked it up and did what was needed in order to take care of them and not try to catch what they had and take care that the dogs were fed and not tearing up the place. But I was and am in turmoil most of the time still. There are intermittent pains that I have just from sitting at work all day to the pains of my body just trying to heal itself after the procedure. I know that the latter will continue for at least 2 more weeks. With me being the only person working, I can afford to just take off when I don’t feel well. Even my post-op in a couple of weeks I am trying to decide to tell the doctor the truth or a lie or a partial truth. She is not aware of my past. This was an intentional omission on my part but I am sure obvious to her by now. Dangerous move? Yes. Necessary for me? Yes. It even shows up in my relationships with people whether they are family or not. With family, they have become use to it but they still ‘joke’ about it. There are the jokes about how I don't hug anyone or rarely say I love you or cry about much of anything or show much anger. Some days, it stings a little. Other days, I push through with a strained attempt to hug or say a quick love you so that they are appeased for a short period of time. I call it being a work in progress and trying. The truth is much of the time, it feels like fire to utter those words or give/receive that hug. With friends, I try to never let them see me sweat. If I am having a bad day emotionally, they accept it as me being tired or that I am just the shy silent type and don’t participate like that. Sometimes, I even say it is because I just don’t like people and have reached my limit for the day. Usually though, I am feeling something that I cannot express out of fear of what will happen if I do. Whether that is fear of other people’s reaction or fear of how much I will show of myself to only be rejected, be invalidated or my feelings be minimalized as not that big of a deal. While it may not be a big deal to anyone else it is a huge deal to me. I am the one feeling it and I am the one dealing with it. Others may be worse situations and making it through or in similar situations and making it through but they are not me. Entries in this blog were even supposed to help me break down this wall that I have placed up for the better part of 40 years. I find that I am censoring myself on this too. It took me 45 mins to write to this point and I wrote it on MS Word just in case I changed my mind about adding it as an entry. By the end, I will have read it 3-4 times. I have edited it so much I wish I had just left it in its original form because now it seems too rehearsed or planned or some paper to be graded for school. I will try to get the point across without getting too detailed in what I am really thinking. Why? Even strangers that I will never meet cannot enter my safe place for fear even their replies will taint the place I have shielded myself from the rest of the world. Even though I recognize all of this, it is still extremely difficult to not be this type of person. The moment that I even think I can gather the words to say ‘help me’ great fear takes over. I can’t say that there have been enough times that I have been supported when I show some vulnerability that outweigh the times when seeking help was more hurtful than not saying anything at all. And because my circle of friends or safe people is small, when the hurtful ones happen, I feel like there is nowhere else to turn. The safest people to let in are no longer safe. Or they are only safe for very minute issues like work sucked today or the stranger at the store was rude. I admire people who can allow themselves to be free in this manner though. There is a strength in being vulnerable. There is trust in being open enough to allow people in to see that you are not putting up a facade. I am sure that they have been hurt by people who abused this but they still press forward and open up to others for the sake of their own growth. They put fear aside to allow in the help that they need. The put pride aside. I am not saying without vulnerability you can’t grow but the damage that it can do internally puts a strain on you mentally because you hold onto a lot of frustration, anger, anxiety and just stress. I don’t know. At this point, I am just hoping and that the little I am doing will eventually build to something much bigger and years down the road, I can look back and see how far I have come. But right now, it feels like a task that I just don’t want to do. That the little bit I have done is all that I will ever be capable of and one day I will have to learn to accept this weakness and continue to suck it up when they jokingly poke fun at me. And nearly 2 hours later, I am still contemplating posting this and chipping away at the barbed wire, steel reinforced concrete wall that seems better than any maximum security prison ever built.
  23. aperson

    After surgery...

    I finally got approval for my surgery after months of dealing with my blood pressure. I am now 3 days after surgery. I will say I was a bit worried of how I would be enotiinally but it all seemed to go so well. I slept off the anesthesia day 1 with very minimal after effects. I had no bleeding and by bedtime very minimal cramping. But I could feel the emotions starting to trickle in. Day 2 was different. No cramping. No bleeding and the emotions had subsided. I thought this will be a breeze. No painkillers needed and I am back to normal. I started moving around trying to make sure I didnt overdo it. After all, I did just have a procedure less than 48 hrs ago. But again, the evening came and I started to feel like I was cramping again? Is that real pain or repressing emotions pain? Is it all in my head? I took some ibuprofen instead of the hard stuff just in case. I dont really like the hard meds because they make me sleep and I was uncomfortable but not in terrible pain. Day 3 and the cramping remained. Starting to feel like this whole process may be a fail. Reminding myself that this is normal. This isnt a fail and I should be experiencing this 72 hrs after. The dr said that I could experience spotting for a few weeks off and on and because of the ablation, I should feel cramping as scar tissue forms. But I dont want meds because, I had worse pain than this a week ago and took nothing. I can tough this out. Now I am spotting again and cramping. I am trying to keep in mind this is normal but it is starting not to work. I am starting to feel the surge of emotions from the real or imaginary pain. I wasnt really prepared for this I think. I focused so much on ensuring I got the surgery that I put it out of my head that there are emotions that I will feel from the pain. I forgot to do what I normally would do. Prepare myself. So I am trying to practice self-care. Being kind to myself. Resting. I am back to taking meds because I dont want to loose sight that the pain is real even if it is mild. Reducing the pain will reduce the emotional aspect. I am reminding myself that none of this is the result of my past. All the women in my family from the eldest to the newst adults have had a similar issue. They either are srill dealing with it or had it resolved many years ago. This isnt my fault. I am not to blame. I did the right thing. I return to work on Monday. Physically, I can do it. Physically, I am ok to return. Now to manage the emotional and mental. I can do this. I got this. I have been been in worse places and turned it around. I can do this.
  24. aperson

    I am...

    I am.... Perfectly made with flaws. Flaws to encourage growth and wisdom Intelligent. Knowledge I have gained and more knowledge to obtain. Kind. But able to display anger when not treated in kind Safe. No longer surrounded by those who wish me physical harm Brave. To face my fears, past and current Open. Open to the possibilities that life has to offer Loved. And I can give love to others Strong. To fight the demons and battles that come my way Able. I can do all things I set my mind to achieve Worthy. Worthy of all that life has to offer and all opportunities headed my way Enough. Being my individual self makes me enough for anyone I come in contact with. Enough that I dont have to change to be loved, appreciated or cared for. Reminding myself I have more to offer than the negative thoughts that fill my head and hold me back from being the best me that I can be.
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